Chapter 60 - Day 13, 10th Floor Big Picture (4)
The two people on the top floor were in the same state as they were before. Perhaps these two were the owners of the castle. Outside the window, the noisy sounds of fighting were still continuing. It might be because the Chinese had wiped out most of the people in the castle, but it seemed like the tragedy inside wasn’t known yet. It was better to get this done before it became louder.
“Si... Sister Sis...”
"Oh, she is your sister?”
The boy groaned and stood up as I untied him. After all, it was only one arm that was broken. His legs trembled due to fear.
“B... B... Bad people...”
"Not demons?” The boy looked at me with an expression like he didn’t understand my words.
“What is your name?”
I pulled out a bottle from my inventory. It was the potion taken from Kim Tae-hyun that I hadn’t used much of. Now there wasn’t much left. I poured a small drop on my finger, forced the boy’s mouth opened and shoved it in.
“Ugh... Kek... Keok...”
Did he think that he was eating poison? Then the boy felt something and he touched his broken arm. i asked, “Has the pain gone away? The bones should be recovering.”
The boy took one step back and stood in front of his sister. She was hidden but I could hear constant groaning.
"If you give me a good answer then I will drop the same thing into your sister’s mouth.”
“Crazy. Dog scum...” It wasn’t a good answer, but then Jin Soo-young spoke.
"You had such a thing... Give me a little...”
I ignored her and looked at the boy, who shrugged his shoulders.
“I am… Kino.” Even though he was crying a lot, he quickly grasped the situation. The boy, Kino, continued speaking. "W-We have no treasure. I told those people earlier several times. We just inherited this castle and the residents...”
“Ah. I don't care about that."
I interrupted and checked that the woman hadn’t stopped breathing before continuing. “To the people below, you taught them that we are ‘demons’.”
The offer of citizenship appeared in front of Kino. Even though he was startled, Kino didn’t show much amazement on his face. I couldn’t find any signs of religious fear or horror.
"Did the rule of rejecting people like us first begin in your generation?”
“Nope... No. I heard that...”
"Oh, you don't need to explain in detail. What I really want to ask is the reason for such an education.”
Sometimes the ruling class themselves were brainwashed by the myths and propaganda that they created, but I couldn’t find any signs of that in the child in front of me. It was evidence that there was a purpose for that rule being created and taught.
Kino explained. "The words in front of me... If I respond to this ‘revelation’ then I know that our land will be merged with yours. I learned that from my father and so on.”
“But... I learned that the result of such a unification has always been hopeless.”
Through my experience in the jungle, I knew that several explorers had visited the dungeon before ‘our world.’ So it was natural for some areas to have experience with integration in the past.
“A ‘king’ integrated this territory a few times, but there were always disputes with the residents. We weren’t the only people living there.”
Currently in Talia, two forces existed. The inhabitants of the forest and the residents from Jin Soo-young’s city. Even if they were ‘Tellans’, it was clear that they would have cultural differences. It would be strange if there were no disputes. Maybe they were still fighting now.
"My ancestors constantly brought the matter before the king to mediate the strife, but the king... He didn’t solve the problem at all. According to the rules of the gods...”
"We haven’t been here long.” Well, it wouldn’t be much different from explorers of other worlds. I couldn’t afford to act as king if it meant giving up time in the real world.
"In the end, the king constantly brought in new forces without resolving the conflicts, creating more... In the end, the kingdom was destroyed and the territories split apart again. There was no meaning and the fallout was just disorder and disputes...”
"I see. It’s okay. That is sufficient.” I waved my hands.
“Once again, we really have no treasure. So please spare my sister.”
"Well... Unlike you, your sister will need a lot of potions. To be honest, I really don’t want to use such a precious thing.”
Kino’s face distorted at my words. Of course, I had already made a decision from the beginning. I poured the last few drops of the potion into Kino’s sister’s mouth.
I looked around the room. It was clearly a place where the lord resided, but there was a scruffy feeling that was no different from the rest of the castle. The wall decorations and furniture were definitely old-fashioned and showed the signs of age. However, they must be well managed to maintain the original antiquity after such a long time.
“Do the people here listen to you?”
“Despite having no treasures and your sister only being a few years older than you, the both of you have managed to make the people outside listen. That makes me wonder.”
He didn’t have a clear answer. I changed the question. "What do you or your sister do as the lord?”
Kino saw that his sister was being healed and answered with a more relaxed atmosphere than before. "I, I just help out my sister... We are responsible for conducting the planting of the moss and the funerals for the old... If a new baby is born then we officiate the ceremony. Everything in the castle, such as management and...”
“Indeed.” Kino’s sister started coughing. “Bring the water.”
Kino quickly obeyed. As he poured water into her mouth from the kettle, she started coughing out blood.
I poured the rest of the water on her face. A face that wasn’t that much older than Kino was revealed. If Kino looked like he was in the 2nd year of high school, then she would be around a 3rd year university student?
“...Ah.” Eyes with deep double eyelids stared at the ceiling. Then she became astonished as she saw me.
As her eyes flashed, I quickly stepped back. Then I gave Kino instructions. "Calm her down. Do it until we can have a conversation.”
Kino ran into his sister’s arms. He touched his sister’s cheeks, that were neatly restored, and whispered a few words while sobbing.
"You are a saint.” In the meantime, Jin Soo-young was sitting down to alleviate her pain. Her voice was quite clear.
“Yes. Doesn’t the sight fill you with pride?”
"Not at all." Jin Soo-young frowned. I looked down at her.
"I thought your mind wasn’t bad.”
“Still. You should study more, like your father. Your mind will improve if you read a few history books.”
Leaving the speechless Jin Soo-young behind me, I walked forward again. Kino had told his sister that I had saved them. However, her eyes didn’t seem friendly as she gazed at me while hugging her brother.
“... Thank you for sparing the life of me and my brother, King.”
"But we... We won’t follow you.”
"Shouldn’t you listen before deciding?” Obviously, there was a place somewhere in this castle where integration was possible.
"Of course, it is possible but you should’ve seen it. Even if you bring the people of this land to your territory... Only chaos will occur. You won’t be able to keep it.”
“... Aha.” I was impressed. "Is that why you developed the rules of the religion?”
“...I just finished what Father planned.”
At first, it was just a rule to reject the offer of citizenship. However, wouldn’t a third party frown at the thought of a religion? In fact, Jin Soo-young had already described the residents of this place as fanatics.
“Great.” To an outsider, this was just a barren territory with fanatics. The idea of integration would be dropped instantly. Even if they killed the lord for the sake of treasure, the territory would just be ignored instead of integrated.
But rather, I needed to integrate this land. "You know the integration place, right? Please guide me.”
“...!” The woman’s eyes shook.
"What... Didn't I tell you? This place...”
“Yes. I still want to do it.”
"If you are looking for treasures, of course there was a time when my family had relics. But after several integrations...”
"One remains.” I pointed my finger and declared. “You.” Kino's sister.
"Aren’t you at the top of this religion? Despite the religion only have a short history, you only need to say a few words and the residents will follow you.”
"I will never...”
"I will give you the right to rule.”
I heard Jin Soo-young take a sharp breath from behind me. It was the same for the woman.
"It is like I said. I will give you the right to rule my territory and all the people living in it.”
So far, I hadn’t paid much attention to the governance of my city. When I thought about it, the city was definitely part of the dungeon. Even Isaiah would get more power the more the city was active. Instead of neglecting the inhabitants, was there a way to organize them into one community?
"I think your skills are sufficient.”
In history, the means that the ruling class used to justify their rights varied. They could monopolize information only they knew, promote social discipline or lead ceremonies. Of course, that alone didn’t make them a ruler. Sometimes it was necessary to borrow the power of armed forces or wealth, but that wasn’t the case in this castle. It was the planting of moss, management of goods and various ceremonies. It felt like they had squeezed everything possible from this land. The difference was more prominent compared to the forest. A culture and rules were maintained here under a unified leader, compared to the forest where the population was scattered.
“My city has a sun. There are no metals to be used as raw material yet, but there is a blacksmith for quality goods and breeding grounds for livestock. I will leave it to you.”
Their ancestors had been tired of the chaos. But, that was when their ancestors were one of the many neglected. They didn’t have a position as the ruler.
"But by what authority...”
"Authority? Why worry about it? It is my authority.”
I could still wield ultimate power in the city. I could give and take citizenship away at will. I just couldn't pour my effects into the city due to time being the same as reality.
"I can give you as much authority as you like. I will support you... Well, a more reliable guarantee should be given when thinking about the people who would come in the future. I want you to be my empress.”
I just threw a word that I thought of. It seemed they needed to discuss it.
I moved away and gave a signal to Kino. The boy had distanced himself from his sister without knowing it while listening to the conversation. I approached his sister’s chair and bowed. After lowering myself to my knees so that we were eye level, I placed my hand on her thigh and asked.
“What is your name?”
“Yes. Mino. I need a companion. Someone who will rule my city when I’m not there. Don’t you also want your people to live in a better environment? These are people who followed you and your family faithfully. They deserve to see the sun.”
Eye contact was always effective. "And once again, I think you are well qualified.”
“Let’s go together.”
At that time, I heard yelling from outside the door. The news of intruders had spread and the people outside were coming up.
There was the sound of the door opening and the desperate expressions of the residents calling their lord. "Lord!"
As the agitated residents tried to storm the room, "Stand down." Mino raised her palm and stopped them.
“This person, he came to save us.”
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