Chapter 200 - Chapter 42: Awareness #2
5th Queen Semita Ignus’ magic power wrapped around In-gong’s magic power, which was flowing into the bead. The two magic powers naturally intertwined and became one. As the blue bead gave off a soft light, a familiar yet strong magic power emerged from inside it. This magic power was the demon king’s magic power.
Felicia cried out with surprise at the demon king’s magic power, while everyone else simply gulped.
With a nervous expression, In-gong stopped supplying power for a moment in order to breathe. That was when the images and voices coming from the bead paused like there a seal had been placed on it.
Naturally, everyone’s gazes turned from the bead to In-gong. With his eyes, In-gong asked Chris to wait for a moment, and then he took deep breaths. At that moment, the person he had been waiting for opened the door and entered.
"Carack, I was waiting.”
"I'm sorry. I am a little late.”
Carack scratched his head and smiled before closing the door. The cabin was already full, so he was forced to stand.
It was In-gong who had forbidden the aides from attending this meeting. However, In-gong’s aide, Carack, had entered. Chris sent In-gong a questioning gaze, but In-gong just smiled. In-gong was going to reveal an important secret in this place. The sword duke had said the bead would only play the video one time, so it was natural to bring Carack.
‘It is Carack.’
He didn’t need any more reasons or rationale. As Felicia glanced at Carack, she was convinced. After all, she was the one who knew best that Carack was always with In-gong. Chris let out a discontented breath but gave up as he leaned back. It was a signal to finish this quickly.
However, before injecting magic power into the bead, In-gong turned to face everyone. The reason he paused hadn’t just been to wait for Carack.
“First of all, I have something to say.”
"It is about my birth.”
Chris flinched reflexively at the word ‘birth’. Felicia and Silvan had no idea what to say, while Caitlin was just curious, since she knew nothing about her birth.
In-gong breathed out to speak again. He was already Shutra, so when he tried to tell the story, his lips didn’t work well because of nerves. The sword was already half-drawn, so In-gong squeezed his heart firmly. He then opened his mouth, and a surprisingly low and detached voice emerged.
"I talked to the sword duke. The sword duke said that no matter what happens, I’m still the son of the demon king... and one of the two candidates closest to the throne.”
He stated the two most important things first. It was not just Chris. The other children of the demon king also reacted after hearing that In-gong was one of the two closest candidates to the throne of the demon king. However, it was generally a good response.
"Shutra, what are you talking about?”
Felicia asked cautiously. It was nice to have a declaration from the sword duke about In-gong’s position, but his previous words were also in her mind.
‘No matter what happens, he’s still the son of the demon king’ sounded sinister.
No, it was more than that. Felicia’s expression and voice were quite rigid. She didn’t forget the first thing In-gong said. There was clearly something regarding In-gong’s birth. Chris’ face was stiff as well. Chris was very political, but he was still only in his late teens. With the thought that In-gong might know Caitlin’s secret, Chris’ face was filled with tension and confusion.
"The sword duke... he said that the demon king knew all of it. And this bead contains all the answers.”
In-gong started injecting his magic power into the bead again. A warm light was once again emitted from the blue bead.
“This is a video that can only be seen once. So, I called all of you here.”
In-gong had already decided to reveal his secrets to Felicia, Silvan, Caitlin, and Chris. So, instead of talking about it, they would see the video together. As In-gong kept injecting magic power, the bead started to float. The bead stopped at In-gong’s chest height and started to show a holographic video. As expected, it showed the demon king.
Felicia said with a low moan. The image of the demon king, which was the same size as the real demon king, faced In-gong and opened his mouth.
“Shutra, Semita’s child. If you are watching this video, then you have somehow realized the truth about your birth.”
It wasn’t a real-time conversation; this was a recorded video.
"It is as you already know. You are not a child born from me and Semita.”
Dismayed silence filled the cabin at the demon king’s blunt words. In particular, Chris showed a huge reaction. He barely prevented a sound from emerging, but his eyes were huge.
“Shutra, listen to my words carefully. This is all true with nothing omitted.”
The demon king began telling the story. It was a story which couldn’t be imagined, even by In-gong.
"The gandharva felt a sense of crisis. They seemed to have felt desperate after being defeated by the draconians. Maybe the gandharva hoped to get revenge on the draconians.”
Zentra Ignus, 5th Queen Semita Ignus’ uncle and king of the gandharvas, had wanted the next demon king to be a gandharva. However, Semita hadn’t been able to have the demon king’s child. To make matters worse, the draconian 1st Prince, Baikal, and 2nd Prince, Zephyr, had been born with exceptional talent.
"The nervous Zentra had a dangerous idea. So, he whispered sweet lies to his niece and my wife, Semita.”
Zentra had then placed the essence of the gandharva god, Dhrtarastra, which the gandharva had been protecting, into Semita’s womb. He wanted to created a divine gandharva child through powerful magic rituals.
At the time, Semita had thought the child would be born with the demon king’s blood. Perhaps, Semita had thought this because she either believed in Zentra too much or because she so desperately wanted to believe it. Maybe it was both.
“Thus, you were born Shutra.”
Zentra's plan had failed. Shutra had been born without a soul and couldn’t communicate properly, while Semita noticed that the child was unrelated to the demon king. She could have deceived the demon king, but she hadn’t been able to do it. Then the demon king recognized that Shutra wasn’t his child.
The demon king had gone on to punish the gandharvas. Rather than slaughtering them, the entire species would be imprisoned for 200 years. Semita had blamed herself. She had asked to be stripped of her position as queen and punished. However, the demon king hadn’t allowed it. Semita retained her position, and the demon king recognized Shutra as his child.
"Shutra, no matter what anyone says, you are the 9th Prince of the Demon King’s Palace. This fact will never change.”
The demon king ended with these emphatic words.
Then all the pieces fell into place. The demon king loved the 5th Queen as well. In-gong could only think of it like that.
As In-gong manipulated the bead, he found out that the video of the demon king was added recently. Therefore, he could understand the feelings of the demon king more deeply. It had been more than 10 years since 5th Queen Semita died, but the demon king still retained his feelings for the 5th Queen.
The image of the demon king vanished, and a new video emerged of 5th Queen Semita Ignus. The pale faced Semita repeated the story the demon king had just told. As she spoke, there were a few moments in which she seemed to be on the verge of tears.
Perhaps the demon king had added his video because he had been expecting this. Semita looked bad in the video, like she had an immense guilt pressing down upon her. As she whispered, Semita finally started crying. Her words were filled with a sense of guilt and love for Shutra, who had been born without a soul.
Tears filled In-gong’s eyes. They were tears shed by the body of Shutra who had been born without a soul—no, they were In-gong’s tears, rather than Shutra’s. In-gong and Shutra had already become one a long time ago.
Then the blue bead lost its light. The video ended, and the bead turned into powder after fulfilling its task.
The atmosphere was heavy inside the cabin. Everybody looked at each other, but none of them could open their mouths. In-gong wasn’t the child of the demon king. However, the demon king recognized In-gong as his child.
Chris was convinced by this and felt like he had finally realized the secret to In-gong’s rapid growth. It was due to the essence of the gandharva god, Dhrtarastra.
At the same time, Chris also felt some fear. If the demon king recognized In-gong as his child, then what about Caitlin? Had the demon king also noticed the truth about Caitlin? If so, why did the demon king remain silent? Did he not know about Caitlin yet?
Chris took deep breaths to calm himself down. The important thing right now wasn’t Caitlin but In-gong.
Caitlin was the one who moved first. She wiped away In-gong’s tears without speaking. Then Felicia covered In-gong’s hands with her own and said,
In-gong turned at the call. Felicia smiled brightly and winked as she spoke in a bright voice,
"It's okay. It is as Abamama said. There is no change. You are still my brother, and I am still your sister.”
Felicia grabbed In-gong’s hand gently. Her hands were very warm. Silvan laughed too.
"Both Abamama and the sword duke acknowledges that there is no problem. Shutra, I am also like Felicia. I am still your older brother and you are still my younger brother.”
The reaction of the dark elves was as expected. However, even though it was expected, In-gong still felt touched, and his heart warmed at their words. That was when a heated gaze headed his way.
"Okay, that is your decision. Rather, it is a good thing.”
Chris said abruptly as he shook off his concerns about Caitlin.
Felicia looked at Chris with a puzzled expression. Why did it seem as though he really liked this situation?
“It is good. Now, there is nothing in the way.”
Chris laughed and placed a hand on In-gong’s shoulder.
“It does make a difference Shutra. The future bride candidate... no, is Caitlin a future queen candidate?”
In-gong blinked. It was the same with the rest of the group. They had never imagined that the words ‘queen candidate’ would appear in this situation. Moreover, the other person was none other than Caitlin.
As Caitlin panicked, Chris continued to speak,
"There is no blood shared between both of you, so it doesn’t matter. In any case, the demon king is the law in the Demon World. If you marry Caitlin after becoming the demon king, then the lycanthropes will be relieved.”
In the midst of his panic, In-gong was convinced of something, but it wasn’t because of Chris’ logic. A thought flashed through his mind. 4th Queen Elaine Moonlight often said that the demon king was the law. She had also asked In-gong who he thought was better between Caitlin and Felicia. Additionally, Chris’ response didn’t seem to be one that he had just thought up. It was clear that he already had the idea of marrying Caitlin to In-gong.
This was because the blood of the demon king didn’t flow in Caitlin.
‘No, that still matters. What is this really? Is is possible?’
Were they intending to reveal Caitlin’s birth secret? Or would In-gong and Caitlin just get married? Did they want to destroy any dispute about Caitlin’s birth using the power of the demon king? Even if he had the power of the demon king, it was still far-fetched. However, Chris and Elaine were the ones who planned this. The two people wouldn’t have thought about it if it wasn’t possible.
As In-gong continued to drown in his chaotic thoughts, Chris laughed even louder. Then while everyone was still in a state of confusion, he turned to Caitlin and asked,
“Caitlin, what do you think? If it is Shutra, is it good? No good?”
“Eh? Uh... t-that...”
Caitlin shrugged from where she was sitting next to In-gong and wiping his tears. Her pale face turned red so quickly it seemed like she would burst. Until In-gong and Shutra had become one, she had no encounters with Shutra. They didn’t grow up together, so there wasn’t the so-called Westermarck effect.
“No good? This is Shutra who you always call amazing.”
Caitlin shouted loudly. Chris patted Caitlin on the head.
"So, tell me honestly. How is it? Not bad?”
Caitlin gulped several times and then glanced at In-gong who was feeling tense and nervous. Caitlin’s already red face turned redder as she poked her fingers together and said in a low voice,
Then she covered her face with both hands like she was hiding her embarrassment.
‘W-What? This fierce cuteness.’
In-gong could barely breathe. It felt like his heart would burst at any moment. Chris’ smile widened. It was at that moment that...
"W-Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Chris?”
Felicia cried out angrily. Chris just chuckled at her and replied easily,
"Felicia noonim already declared that you are Shutra’s sister. So, back off.”
She had said that. Just a few minutes ago, it had been a very warm discussion. As Chris taunted Felicia, her expression changed wildly. Her eyes shook like an earthquake was occurring. However, it was only for a second. Felicia stared at In-gong and Caitlin, and barely managed to speak.
"Ah, no? I-I also like Shutra? I-I-I see him as a man?”
Her face was red, and her eyes were a little teary. It was obvious that she felt tremendous embarrassment saying this. All eyes, including In-gong’s, turned to Felicia. Even Caitlin, who was struggling with her embarrassment, stared at Felicia with surprised eyes.
“Ah...uh...I-I mean! I see you as a man!”
Felicia screamed and turned her head away, but she didn’t open her fan as usual. Rather, her hand holding In-gong’s squeezed tighter. It was like she was determined not to back down.
In-gong groaned without realising it. This situation was an assault on his heart. He felt like he was going to explode from Caitlin’s and Felicia’s cuteness.
“Felicia! I love you too!”
Silvan exclaimed suddenly with both arms wide open. Some of his brotherly love ran wild, but it seemed to be an attempt to relieve her embarrassment.
"Ah, come on!”
However, it only worsened Felicia’s embarrassment. The atmosphere in the cabin was chaotic.
While the demon king’s children were in a panic, Carack alone shook his head. The significance of the meeting was lost, but it didn’t bother him much. It felt good.
"This is youth.”
Carack relaxed against the door with folded arms and smiled warmly.
“What is with this subtly sweet, happy, and dangerous atmosphere?”
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