Chapter 54 - Chapter 8: Excavation #3
"This-! Why did you have to say that?”
“You are the one who asked!”
In-gong screamed at Carack after seeing the mini-map. There weren’t just one or two red dots. There were more than 30 dots coming from different directions.
Almost all of them were casios. There were some drake ogres mixed in but not many.
'Remnants of the enemy forces?’
In-gong raised his head and looked around quickly. His companions, who had been setting up a camp, hurriedly pulled out their weapons as the casios and drake ogres came running.
It was an unreasonable guess since the monsters didn’t have any identification marks, but In-gong felt like they weren’t the ones who had fought at the same temple. It was because they were running like crazy with a purple aura surrounding them.
“Don’t panic! Get ready for battle!”
Ferocious Eyes cried out fiercely. The centaurs held spears instead of bows and Delia blew a whistle to gather the dracos.
For the past three days, In-gong’s party had never been attacked by an enemy. They had just found the corpses of the casios and drake ogres occasionally.
In-gong finished organizing his thoughts. Now wasn’t the time to think leisurely. Like Ferocious Eyes said, it was time to prepare for battle.
Carack threw down the pile of firewood and picked up his dwarf axe. In-gong quickly opened his inventory and equipped Earth Quaker.
A reaction came as soon as he opened the power of a dragon humanoid. Earth Quaker cried angrily as it emitted a red and yellow light and In-gong’s white aura grew like oil had been added to fire.
However, that wasn’t all. In-gong raised Earth Quaker and gave a loud shout,
“Green Wind! Magic!”
He called upon the support magic that Green Wind had used in the battle against Mustafa!
However, unlike his expectations, nothing happened. In-gong looked urgently toward his waist. Green Wind had a temporary home in a small piece of wood, so her voice was heard from it.
'Master, it is impossible. I don’t have the strength right now!’
In-gong understood immediately. Green Wind had spent most of her power making a substitute of herself. He hadn’t thought she would be so weak that she couldn’t use her secondary magic, but now wasn’t the time to think about such things.
'I will do it myself!’
[Battlefield Protection Lv1]
[Grassland Reclamation Lv1]
It was the secondary magic that Green Wind had used in the battle over the small temple. It was level one, so it wasn’t as powerful as before, but it was better than nothing.
A green wind wound around In-gong’s limbs and his body felt lighter. At that moment, Green Wind exploded,
‘H-how? Master, how can you use my magic?’
Instead of replying, In-gong gave Protection of the Wind and Grassland Reclamation to Carack. Green Wind’s devastated voice was still buzzing at In-gong’s ears.
'T-this is my presence...!’
The image of Green Wind in his head flopped down weakly, but he couldn’t afford to worry about it right now. The centaurs at the edge were on the verge of collapsing under the casios.
In-gong raised a dwarf dagger with his left hand in order to use Below the King’s Flag. However, before he could do so, screams rang from before him.
There were four women in the group and In-gong’s gaze headed toward Delia who was riding a draco.
In-gong rushed out hastily after hearing the screams while Daphne screamed as huge monsters dived down from the sky.
Many things flashed through his head instantly.
The monsters, geist - a flying humanoid monster with the wings of a bat instead of two arms, were a vampire species that sucked the blood of their prey.
It went without saying that their goal was Daphne. A geist grabbed at Daphne with sharp legs.
In-gong immediately activated Aura. Explosive running speed unique to Beast Authority was triggered and In-gong moved in between Daphne and the geist, swinging his fist without any particular aim.
In-gong fist struck the upper body of a geist. He had used the skill urgently but the strength was enough.
The body of the geist, that had been floating in the air, flew out a few meters and slammed into the ground. In-gong also lost his balance and fell to the ground, but it was only for a moment. In-gong’s body recovered quickly and he rushed toward the geist. The geist was a man with a huge body, over two meters tall, but his body was light because he was a flying person.
In-gong had to finish it in one blow. A geist’s most powerful close combat weapon was his large wings and sharp claws at the tips of his wings. The two wings were made of a special leather that was excellent in defense. Additionally, the battle could drag on for a long time if the geist flew up.
In-gong struck the geist’s chest once again. In-gong’s explosive power rushed out and cracked the geist’s ribs; Earth Quaker was breaking his body. Blood spilled out as his chest literally caved in and he died.
In-gong breathed roughly. His aura was exhausted due to the explosive, but he could still afford to use it due to Dragon Blood.
It was Daphne, not the geist. Daphne was shaking on the ground while Carack was standing in front of her. Thanks to In-gong’s spell, Carack was surrounded by wind as he swung his axe at the geist rushing toward Daphne.
In-gong heard Carack’s call and instantly cast a spell. A fire arrow extended from In-gong’s left hand and flew straight at the head of a geist. The person blocked the fire arrow hastily with his wings.
The fire arrow exploded against the wings, but it was only a level one magic. So, there was only smoke and soot.
However, In-gong’s intention from the beginning had been to seal the man’s movements. Carack’s weapon was a large battle axe and not a fist, like In-gong’s. It wasn’t long before it hit the wings.
Carack swung the axe like a cleanup hitter and smashed the geist. The geist screamed and fell onto the ground. Carack stepped forward and took the geist’s head off with his axe, just like he was splitting firewood.
Carack raised his head and gave a battle cry. It wasn’t a boast but to warn against any other flying geists.
After confirming that there weren’t any more geists, Carack turned and approached Daphne who was panting on the ground.
"Young lady, are you okay? Can you stand?"
Carack asked impolitely without honorifics but in a kind manner. He stretched out a hand toward Daphne.
Daphne stared blankly before nodding slowly.
“I-I’m okay. I can stand.”
Daphne swallowed her saliva and grabbed Carack’s hands. Carack then pulled Daphne up at once. Instead of intervening in the battles occurring elsewhere, it seemed like he was devoted to defending Daphne.
Daphne gazed at Carack’s trustworthy back and started to chant a spell. She used a druid magic unique to dryads.
When In-gong saw this, he went into a strange mood.
'What is this? There is a strange sense of deprivation.’
In-gong had tried to save Daphne and it was In-gong who had prevented the first attack.
Yet, what was that gaze? Shouldn’t she be gazing like that toward In-gong?
‘Perhaps, she doesn’t like younger people?’
Or was it the shaky leg effect?
However, the important thing right now was Daphne’s inexperience in battle. The Daphne that In-gong had known in Knight Saga wouldn’t have frozen up like this before an enemy.
The gap in time between Year 512 and Year 513, which was the start of Knight Saga, seemed to be bigger than expected.
‘Master, it isn’t the time to be thinking! The battle hasn’t ended yet!’
Green Wind’s voice woke In-gong up and he looked around. Ferocious Eyes had a blue aura around him as he dealt with the drake ogres and casios while the centaurs were fighting fiercely.
Just like the battle against the Red Lightning tribe, Felicia didn’t attack directly but restricted the enemy’s movements with various spells. The casios slipped on the grass while the drake ogres sank deep into the ground.
In-gong decided to support Ferocious Eyes. Delia was next to Felicia, so Felicia would be fine.
“Carack! Watch Daphne!”
“Understood! I will protect her!”
While Daphne stared excitedly at Carack’s back, In-gong rushed into the crowd of casios. Green Wind whispered into In-gong’s ears.
‘Master, I will strive to be helpful even without my power.’
It seemed to be an extension of what happened earlier. She didn’t want to hear ‘Yes, you are useless!’ There was slight depression in her voice but In-gong dismissed it. It was because the group of casios was right in front of him.
The number of casios, drake ogres and geist was nearly double that of In-gong’s party, but it was an almost one-sided battle due to Felicia and the overwhelming combat power of Ferocious Eyes.
Once the fighting ended, the casios were literally wiped out. On the other hand, there were no deaths in In-gong’s party.
After confirming that the last casios had fallen under the hands of an elite centaur spearman, In-gong took a deep breath. The battle time itself was short, but he had a lot of fatigue because he had to focus on the battle.
Dragon Blood ended and Earth Quaker was returned to his inventory. Then he belatedly recalled Green Wind’s words.
"Thank you, that was great help. You were very helpful.”
‘Thank you for telling me that. Although you are a bit harsh, Master is a good master.’
In-gong laughed after hearing her voice mixed with relief, resentment and gratitude. She had lived alone for many years, so she seemed to have a lot of pride.
After finishing talking to Green Wind, In-gong headed towards Daphne and Carack.
"Daphne, are you okay?"
Daphne responded quickly to In-gong’s question.
“I’m okay. Thank you for saving me.”
Her movements and voice were stiff, so it seemed like the effects of the battle were still with her.
“I’m glad that you are okay. Can you help with the treatment of the injured?”
Daphne ran instantly towards the centaurs. Although there weren’t any casualties, there were some injuries that could cause death or loss of limbs if not treated.
As Daphne left, Carack spoke to In-gong,
"I didn’t know that this was her first encounter.”
"That young lady said it. She was in shock throughout the battle."
Daphne was 16 years old. The children of the demon king usually performed missions from their early teens, but the children of the concubines were different. If they didn’t volunteer, they didn’t need to participate in any combat missions.
In-gong watched Daphne as she used recovery magic on the centaurs. Certainly, signs of shock could still be seen.
"Your eyes are good.”
"You must have noticed quicker.”
Carack smiled and looked In-gong up and down. It seemed like he was looking for any signs of injuries. Then a voice was heard from behind In-gong and Carack.
"Shutra, should I be jealous that you protected Daphne?”
The owner of the voice was Felicia. In-gong shrugged and replied,
"Delia was next to Noona.”
Both Delia and Felicia laughed. Felicia moved closer to In-gong and said,
"Your strength was great. Did you become stronger?”
During the three days traveling together, In-gong had told Felicia about Earth Quaker. There was a high possibility of a combat situation in the north. Therefore, he couldn’t avoid using Earth Quaker as that would cause a sharp decline in his combat strength.
In-gong had thought of some excuses, including that it was a relic of the 5th Queen. However, in the end, he told her honestly that it was a weapon he had found in the same dungeon as the Thunder Light Anvil. He omitted that it contained Enkidu’s strength but it was still the truth.
At first, Felicia seemed somewhat upset but that disappeared when In-gong apologized sincerely.
In fact, what he had done was quite common among the children of the Demon King.
As a specialist in ruins exploration, Felicia had gone to many sites and secretly taken many relics. She couldn’t persecute In-gong for something she had done as well.
Felicia was more upset that In-gong had hidden this fact, that he had acquired Earth Quaker, from her.
There were factions among the royal children and subtle alliances between the different factions. Of course, it wasn’t really important but information was often hidden.
Felicia didn’t want to be in that type of bad relationship with In-gong and it was the same for In-gong as well.
‘I am glad that it turned out well.’
He was determined to form a close relationship with Felicia.
While Felicia and In-gong were exchanging regards, Delia and Carack were speaking to each other. Ferocious Eyes neared the four people.
“9th Prince, 6th Princess, once the wounded soldiers are treated, we should move.”
It definitely wasn’t good to stay in one place after being attacked.
"Yes, let’s do that. I will leave this place to Chief.”
Ferocious Eyes’ gaze moved from Felicia to In-gong. In-gong nodded and Ferocious Eyes ordered the centaurs to leave.
After 30 minutes of traveling, the group set up camp next to some collapsed stone walls.
Naturally, In-gong and Felicia were next to Ferocious Eyes. Felicia spoke first.
"Those guys, they were covered in a purple aura?”
"Does Noona know what it is?”
Felicia folded her arms at In-gong’s question and replied,
"I can’t say outright but... It was a really ominous aura. It felt like I was facing a curse magic.”
"Yes, a curse. Thanks to the purple energy, they became stronger, but their health was being exhausted. It is like raising strength by reducing life expectancy. Their emotions were also mentally neutered... It can only be seen as a curse.”
Felicia was a competent magician, but she couldn’t figure out anything else.
In-gong looked at Ferocious Eyes.
"Ferocious Eyes, it seems like the ones who fought at the temple aren’t the only ones.”
"I thought so as well. The geist are monsters that are hard to find on the Enger Plains.”
There were more monsters apart from the ones who attacked the small temple. Perhaps, there were also more monsters, like Mustafa, who could use the purple energy.
Ferocious Eyes closed his eyes and said in a heavy voice,
"Maybe there will be a second attack.”
Usually, the casios would come all at once, but everything was different this time.
In-gong recalled the group of casios he had met on the first day he arrived at Enger Plains.
The appearance might have been a strategic move for the centaurs to head in the wrong north-west direction, instead of going to the north-east where the small temple was.
If so, such an action wouldn’t have been directed by Mustafa. There was a bigger pattern behind Mustafa.
‘And there is one more thing.’
How did they figure out the true value of the small temple? The centaurs, who lived on Enger Plains with Green Wind as their guardian, hadn’t known about it.
In-gong had many questions. Felicia pressed a hand against her temples like her head hurt and spoke to Ferocious Eyes.
"It is worth going a bit further north, but what about defense?”
"I will send a few people back. The warriors of the other tribes haven’t been dismissed yet.”
After the casios were blocked, the tribes were going to scatter back to where they lived. However, now wasn’t the time for that.
"Go to the north. We should go at least to the Northern Limit Line. Something will be there. Right now, we need information.”
Felicia said and In-gong nodded. They had no intention of running away.
In-gong had to find White Eagle in the north and obtain information. Raising his head, In-gong looked towards the north.