Chapter 117 - Chapter 19: Change
Karatus, the barbarian king, had crossed the border.
In-gong thought back to Paratus. As the barbarian king’s younger brother, his value was both small and big. If he was caught as a prisoner, he could be used somehow.
Was Paratus still caught under the pile of rubble? Or had he already moved? It had been close to 20 minutes since he used True Destruction. It wasn’t a long time, but it should be enough for Paratus to climb out from that spot.
Paratus was strong. So, In-gong wasn’t sure he could win against Paratus in a one on one fight. In a situation where there was no one supporting In-gong from behind, In-gong could lose his life in an instant.
It was a situation where he had to prioritize securing Nayatra, so he avoided the battle. However, what if that was the wrong move? Would it have been better to fight?
Felicia said, placing a hand on In-gong’s shoulder. In-gong recovered his spirit and looked over at Felicia thankfully.
She just laughed, immediately understanding what In-gong was thinking.
"The situation has changed. Once again, relax. Do you think that General Vandal has already been cornered?”
Her words were right.
At the time of his confrontation with Paratus, he hadn’t know the barbarian king was moving. Moreover, the reason he had avoided fighting was because he wasn’t certain he would win. If he had known the information, he would’ve taken risks. However, the previous situation wasn’t one where he should’ve taken the risk of fighting.
The barbarian king had crossed the border, and Vandal had moved to intercept him. It was done. As Felicia had said, Vandal wasn’t in danger yet. He needed to calm down.
"If it is General Vandal, he will do well. So, let’s wait. This isn’t a situation where we should rush. Wait until tomorrow to lead the troops."
This was the right move. The barbarian king hadn’t crossed the border with simply a few of his men... He had crossed with an army. In order to fight against the barbarian king, he needed more troops.
“Noona is correct.”
Felicia sighed with relief at In-gong’s answer and turned her gaze back to the Red Wolves. The Red Wolves weren’t moving quickly, so it was likely that Paratus had already escaped.
“Tomorrow morning, the dark elves will arrive. The lycanthropes are also supposed to arrive at noon. Let us depart tomorrow afternoon as scheduled. We will hurry after meeting with the troops. Do you understand?”
In-gong nodded again at Felicia’s words. Caitlin also nodded by In-gong’s side as though she agreed. In-gong took a deep breath to calm himself and turned his gaze to Nayatra. She was also surprised by the news about the barbarian king, and there was an uneasy look in her eyes.
In-gong needed to get Nayatra first. He needed to finish his business with her.
In-gong looked at the clock on the mini-map. ...It seemed like it would be a very long night.
By the time In-gong’s party returned to their hotel from the auction house, it was already midnight.
Half of the barbarians that attacked Takar had been caught and the rest had escaped.
Vulcanus, who had looked in briefly on the auction house, had been furious. Despite being in front of customers, he hadn’t been able to control his anger and had cursed several times.
Vulcanus was a VIP member of the dark elves, but he wasn’t part of the royal family. The reason why he wasn’t able to get any reinforcements was precisely because Takar was a self-governing territory. So, instead of revealing their identities, In-gong and Felicia had departed from the auction house with the other guests.
In-gong’s hotel was fine except for some minor damage to the exterior walls. Thanks to that, they were able to take a break.
In-gong washed and changed his clothes before calling Carack and Nayatra to his room.
"Wasn’t I supposed to tell you the story?”
Nayatra responded to In-gong’s words with a slight frown, as though it was slightly unexpected.
"This is faster than I thought.”
"There is an urgent matter, so I want to say it.”
If possible, he wanted to finish his business with Nayatra today. Nayatra nodded at In-gong’s words and sighed like she had been holding her breath. She straightened her posture and asked In-gong,
"Your Highness, how did you know my name?”
It was the biggest reason why she hadn’t tried to slip away when they moved from the auction house to the hotel.
However, In-gong couldn’t tell her the truth. She wouldn’t believe it even if he told her honestly.
"I'm sorry, I can't tell you right now. However, I would like to make a proposal to you, if you would listen?”
“What is it?”
Nayatra asked with a slightly wary look. In-gong shrugged slightly.
"I want to hire Nayatra as my subordinate. Of course, you don't have to worry about how you will be treated. I will treat you well as a prince’s escort knight.”
Nayatra’s eyes narrowed. Instead of trying to read Nayatra’s mind, In-gong immediately added something else,
"I will give this as a down payment.”
In-gong pulled out a small white jewel box with red gems embedded in it from his inventory. It was just for a moment, but Nayatra’s eyes shook.
"Didn’t you show up at the auction house because you wanted this?”
Nayatra could no longer hide her agitation, and In-gong sighed with relief.
‘This is right.’
He had seen it when he looked through the auction items. It was because this jewel box was an item that Nayatra always carried in Knight Saga. He had brought it along with Nayatra at the auction house and would be able to raise his favorability with her by giving it to her.
The relationship between Nayatra and the jewel box hadn’t been revealed in Knight Saga, but it was clear that Nayatra treasured it very much.
In-gong smiled at her, and Nayatra’s shoulders shook as she nodded. She responded with some resignation,
“That’s right, this is the only keepsake of my dead older sister. It had been taken from me forcibly during my childhood... It took me 10 years to find out where it was.”
It was such a sad tone that In-gong’s heart tightened just by hearing it. Carack, standing by the door, made a pitiful expression like he wanted to cry.
However, In-gong was different. He was ridiculously impressed.
Her acting ability was truly abnormal. If In-gong hadn’t known the truth, he would have believed her completely.
“But Nayatra, you don’t have a dead sister, do you?”
Nayatra was an only child. It was a story he had heard many times in Knight Saga. After hearing In-gong’s words, Carack’s eyes widened with disbelief while Nayatra swallowed her saliva. She spoke with a pale face,
"I am a little scared now. Your Highness, how do you know so much about me?"
The person in front of Nayatra knew her name as well as her sibling relationship. Additionally, why had he been looking for her?
Had he been watching her for a long time?
As she thought about it some more, Nayatra got goosebumps. She was disturbed by the idea that she hadn’t known someone had been watching her.
Nayatra had the nickname of ‘ice’, so it was rare for her to show emotion. In-gong felt a little embarrassed after seeing her pale face.
He said with an awkward smile,
"I'm sorry, I can’t tell you that now either. But if you accept my proposal, I will let you know in the future.”
It was a slight threat. It wasn’t easy to share inner workings with someone who had such professions. Furthermore, In-gong was a prince of the Demon King’s Palace. Even though it was a plain proposal, it was hard to refuse.
‘A complete villain.’
However, he couldn’t do anything else. There was a lack of time, and there was no way to explain convincingly as to how he knew the truth. His task was to secure her as a subordinate.
Nayatra shrugged and hesitated to answer. Then Carack added,
“It is better to agree.”
It was advice based on what he had been through. However, it was seen as a threat.
Nayatra, who was careful around Carack ever since the neck hitting incident, made a disgusted expression and bit her lip. She looked straight at In-gong with a determined expression and said,
“Okay, I’ll be Your Highness’ escort knight. But Your Highness, can you really make an unknown person like me your escort knight?”
In-gong nodded and responded,
"I know about Nayatra.”
It was the truth.
Nayatra didn’t know how to respond to In-gong’s words. Her confusion was quite cute.
In-gong added something else,
“Isn’t collecting information Nayatra’s specialty? Although you will be my escort knight, your job will be more on the side of information gathering. It is the right place for you.”
Nayatra was no longer surprised. She shrugged and spoke in a voice filled with resignation,
“I understand. I didn’t expect this to happen at the night market, but it can’t be helped. I will join Your Highness.”
In-gong jerked at the words ‘night market’, but it was only for a moment. He turned a bit red and rose from his seat.
"Good, then I will appoint you as my knight. Kneel down.”
Nayatra frowned at In-gong’s words and asked carefully,
"Is it a magic spell?”
She was worried about it being similar to a slave contract. In-gong answered with a calm face,
“I am a prince of the Demon King’s Castle. It can’t just be through words. Carack went through the same process, so don’t worry so much. Nayatra, I won’t harm you.”
He smiled at the end, but Nayatra’s expression didn’t brighten. In-gong would have made a similar look if he were in the same situation as Nayatra.
“I would like to believe Your Highness.”
It seemed like she was half asking a question. In-gong replied in a serious tone,
"Please trust me. I won’t harm you.”
Nayatra smiled and then wiped all expression from her face. She went down on one knee in front of In-gong and bowed her head. In-gong pulled a dwarf sword from his inventory and moved it over both of her shoulders. He invoked The King's Knights like he had done with Carack and Karma.
“Nayatra, I appoint you as my knight.”
It was a declaration that contained magic. The white power of Conquest rose and enveloped Nayatra.
Carack exclaimed unknowingly with admiration. Covered in a white light, Nayatra closed her eyes and In-gong did as well. In the darkness, In-gong was facing a woman with white hair and red and blue eyes.
'Punishment, obedience, governance.’
The white woman said with a gentle smile. Her eyes were warm as she looked at In-gong. In-gong nodded. There were many things he wanted to talk about with the white woman, but he instinctively knew that it wasn’t the time.
In-gong opened his eyes and saw Nayatra shaking in fear and ecstasy. He injected the power of Conquest through the sword above her shoulder.
Nayatra flinched but didn’t resist. She accepted In-gong’s Conquest. She became a new King’s Knight.
That wasn’t all. The present ceremony held more meaning than that.
[The level of Conquest has risen.]
[The level of The King's Knights has risen.]
[The maximum number of people in the The King's Knights has increased from three to five.]
[The level of Conquest Knight has risen.]
[The King's Knights: Conquest Coat of Arms Lv1 has been acquired.]
Letters made of white light rose in succession.
Naturally, In-gong triggered Conquest Coat of Arms. At that moment, a white coat of arms formed on Carack and Nayatra’s forehead. The same thing was probably happening to Karma, who was standing outside the room.
Nayatra opened her eyes slowly. Rather than with fear, she was looking up at In-gong with eyes full of envy and wonder.
In-gong put away the sword and reached out a hand to Nayatra.
Nayatra didn’t reject this time. She accepted In-gong’s hand with a small smile.
Zephyr raised his head, and he looked toward the southeast for some reason.
He felt a strange feeling of loss.
He asked but didn’t receive an answer.
Conquest, War, Death and Famine...
Zephyr shook his head. Then he turned his red gaze away from the southeast and back to the north.
The demon king watched the night sky.
However, he wasn’t looking at the dark blue sky or the myriad of stars.
It was at this moment that...
The demon king knew. His intuition was good.
Fate had changed. There was a change in the flow. If fate was a flowing river, there was only a small change in the current. Even so, it was a clear change. The demon king didn’t miss this fact.
He wondered what the cause was. How could fate be twisted?
The demon king gazed at the night sky. He remembered the face of Semita Ignus, the 5th Queen who was no longer in this world.
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