Chapter 102 - Chapter 17: Test
The Demon King’s Palace was the center of the Demon World.
In addition to its geographical significance, it was the center of culture and technology, containing things that weren’t easy to find in other parts of the Demon World.
An airport for flying ships was one of those things.
There were dozens of people gathered at the flying ship airport which contained large and small hangars as well as a large space for take-off and landing.
However, even if it was the Demon King’s Palace, it was rare to have so many people gathered at the flying ship airport:
The concubine's children and their subordinates;
The nobles of the Demon King’s Palace and their servants;
And the servants who came out to meet their masters.
The reasons why all of them had gathered were slightly different, but it was ultimately to meet those who would soon be arriving.
Someone raised their hands and pointed to the sky, then someone else exclaimed and everybody looked up. There were also those who made welcoming gestures.
A sailboat with dark sails was riding the wind.
It was the flagship of the 5th Prince, Silvan Doomblade.
The Black Flame Dragon had arrived at the Demon King’s Palace.
They had not planned anything in advance. However, Chris and Felicia exchanged glances and got into the most appropriate formation.
In-gong was the first one to get off after Silvan’s crew members put out the folding staircase.
In-gong was immediately followed by Carack, while Chris and Felicia each took on a position to their left and right so that the two men were in the center. As always, Caitlin and Silvan stood beside Chris and Felicia. The rest of the aides, except Carack, followed their masters, creating a formation that centered naturally around In-gong.
This formation had symbolic meaning.
A rectangular table formation like this didn’t exist without reason.
The center of the group...
Was the one who led the group.
Not only had five children of the demon king gathered together, but they were acting together.
5th Prince, 6th Princess, 7th Prince and 8th Princess...
They represented the royal families of the dark elves and the lycanthropes.
Why were they moving together? Who tied them together?
The answer was clear.
Just by looking, they could tell who was leading the crowd.
It was 9th Prince Shutra Ignus...
The one who had defeated the Red Lightning tribe with 7th Prince and 8th Princess.
During the mission, he had rescued the 6th Princess and the 6th Princess showed her devotion by helping 9th Prince.
Additionally, the 5th Prince was added since he couldn’t stand to fight with the 6th Princess.
Their suspicions became certain.
Some were happy while others felt discomfort.
However, all of them understood intuitively.
A new faction had emerged in the Demon King’s Palace.
The youngest and so called Prince of Scraps, Shutra Ignus, was the head of that new faction.
In-gong smiled bitterly as he descended the folding stairs under the flood of gazes. He couldn’t tell what they were thinking through their eyes and facial expressions alone, but he knew.
“This is overwhelming.”
When he first visited, there had been no one to greet him and the second visit only had Felicia’s aides.
Then the third visit...
Everyone was paying attention to In-gong. Moreover, this time there was someone who came out to greet In-gong.
Flora, the butler for his residence at the Demon King’s Palace, stood with two people. As always, Flora seemed somewhat expressionless, so In-gong sighed when he saw her.
"What are you glad about?”
"Flora still seems the same.”
Carack cocked his head at In-gong’s words but In-gong just smiled.
He didn’t want Flora to look at Carack like Karma, Seira, Delia, Sephira and Daphne did.
In-gong erased his smile as he had almost completely descended from the folding stairs. Then he heard Silvan’s voice behind him,
"There are draconians. They seem to be hiding, but they can’t fool my eyes...”
“I smell the nightmares. Everybody has shown up. Don’t you like this?”
Chris said, cutting off Silvan’s words as he was talking.
Unlike Silvan’s haughty voice, Chris’ was mixed with the snarl of a predator.
Draconians and nightmares had come out. There were none in the group, so they hadn’t come out to welcome the party. It was either reconnaissance or spying.
It showed that they were aware of the group.
In-gong couldn’t be ignored.
“It is great to see 9th Prince.”
Flora bowed to In-gong. Subsequently, the servants in charge of Felicia’s and Chris’ mansion were gathered.
There were some concubine children who had greeted him on the second visit and some unfamiliar faces.
In-gong ordered Flora to move the baggage from the Black Flame Dragon to the mansion. Although In-gong had virtually no baggage, Amita had a lot.
Daphne, who was hugging Amita, decided to go with Flora. Additionally, Amita had already agreed to act like a normal raccoon. It was Amita’s request since they didn’t want to be involved in any troublesome business.
Felicia and Chris entrusted their baggage to their stewards and accompanied In-gong instead of heading back to their residences.
As a result, their aides joined the party and a group of over 20 people were moving together. Moreover, In-gong was the leader of this group.
'Returning home in glory.’
There were many concubine children who wanted to talk to In-gong. Among them were Silas and Selene whom In-gong had wanted to secure like Daphne.
He didn’t have to go personally to each person in order to recruit talented individuals. Another way to recruit talent was to create a power that would make the talent come find him.
In-gong moved toward the Merits Department.
His followers, including the concubine children, scattered in front of the Merits Department, but there was still many remaining.
There were five of the demon king’s children and their four aides.
Isabella, who was in charge of the Merits Department, smiled with admiration and confusion as the room felt narrower than usual.
“9th Prince is always surprising me.”
Her lamia tail waved pleasantly. The smile of a beauty was always pleasant, so In-gong laughed alone when a voice interrupted them.
"Isabella, I’m here as well.”
Chris grinned playfully. It would be embarrassing under other situations, but it was different with the children of the demon king who were close to Isabella. She laughed like she was accustomed to Chris’ frivolity and gave an exaggerated bow.
"Of course, I know. It has been awhile since I’ve seen 7th Prince at the Merits Department.”
Chris was satisfied with the intimate tone. Then another voice was heard,
“Yes, 5th Prince, I know. I’m very pleased to see 6th Prince and 8th Princess.”
‘She is like a nanny to children.’
In fact, Isabella had seen the children of the demon king since they were children. She even had a friendly attitude to Zephyr. Maybe 1st Prince Baikal and 4th Princess Anastasia wouldn’t be much different.
He didn’t know if it was a way to deal with the demon king’s children or due to friendship, but Isabella didn’t get involved in any political problems such as factions.
She only greeted In-gong today as a representative of the Merits Department.
"9th Prince, what can I do for you today?”
"I want to install a new facility in my mansion.”
"This scammer! This isn’t a smithy!”
Amita burst out and pounded their tail on the ground.
In-gong had just installed it, so the smithy was virtually empty.
"Now, there will be one. Amita can decorate it as you like. It will be your private smithy. If you have anything you want, please say so at any time."
Amita responded to In-gong’s friendly words by covering their face with their hands.
"Ohh, somehow, I have an ominous feeling like I can never escape from this place...”
They needed to create more than a dozen equipment. So, an extended stay was required, no matter how good Amita was.
While Amita was pessimistic about their future, Daphne took out a blue collar.
"Amita, this is a necklace. All pets in the Demon King’s Palace must have necklaces. Don’t forget to act normal.”
Amita’s necklace was truly a dog’s collar. Amita looked up at Daphne with a bemused expression for a moment.
"You— Are you enjoying this?”
“Aye, that is impossible.”
Daphne laughed and Amita gave a long sigh. They seemed to have given up.
'I’m glad I have Daphne.’
It seemed like he could leave Amita to Daphne.
In-gong moved the materials in his inventory to one side of the smithy, then headed for the salon room of the mansion. Felicia, Silvan, Chris and Caitlin were gathered in the salon room.
"They are having a separate tea time. Shouldn’t the counselors have time to rest as well?”
In-gong slightly frowned at Felicia’s answer as an image of Carack sitting in a flower garden popped into his head.
In-gong felt angry and Caitlin looked at him curiously.
“No, it is nothing.”
In-gong erased the image of Carack in a flower garden and sat down between Caitlin and Felicia.
Unlike Caitlin, Felicia laughed like she knew what In-gong had been imagining.
"Anyway, there will be a court gathering in two days. Apart from this alliance, there will be Baikal orabeoni, Zephyr orabeoni, Victor orabeoni and Anastasia unni... All of the children of the demon king will be there.”
Even in Knight Saga, there hadn’t been a case of all the demon king’s children attending a court gathering. In the lycanthrope subjugation, Chris and Caitlin had been, naturally, absent and Shutra hadn’t been present at the other times.
Silvan remained silent due to Chris while Caitlin, who wanted to get close to the other royal children, had a mixed look of worry and expectation on her face.
Chris grabbed Caitlin’s hand and said,
"As Mother said, you shouldn’t worry about it. Maybe there is a problem on the periphery.”
Felicia was the one who asked. Chris nodded and continued speaking,
"I heard some things on the way, but I’ll have to check again today. It seems like the contents of the court gathering haven’t been publicized to the palace yet.”
Maybe it was an incident similar to the uprising of the Red Lightning tribe.
Due to the fact that the story hadn’t spread in the castle, Chris judged it wasn’t a big deal and changed the subject to something else.
"I am already looking forward to it. What else will happen at this court gathering? I was sad that I couldn’t participate in Shutra’s second court gathering.”
He wanted something extraordinary to happen so that everyone would be shocked.
On the other hand, Felicia frowned and touched her chest.
"My heart isn’t good. Please let this time go smoothly, Shutra. Yes?”
Silvan’s and Caitlin’s gazes also turned to In-gong. In-gong smiled in a manner similar to the gaze had given Amita when he had spoken about the smithy.
Two days later, it was the day of the court gathering.
In-gong’s faction was in the waiting room. Baikal and Zephyr were going to participate in the court gathering without waiting, while Victor and Anastasia were in a different room. Therefore, everybody was comfortable, except for Silvan.
"Uhh, I’ve worn this three times and I’m still not used to it.”
Carack spoke while touching his tie. Due to his hulking shoulders, Carack looked pretty good in a suit.
In-gong glanced at the others. As always, Felicia was wearing a red dress cut so deep, he could glimpse her hip bone, while Silvan was wearing a black uniform decorated with gold thread. He couldn’t wear his captain clothes and wasn’t exposed like Felicia, but he was still wearing his eyepatch.
Caitlin was wearing a blue dress that emphasized her waist, making her look calm and cute.
However, the most noticeable one was Chris. Although he had big muscles like Carack, Chris gave off a wild feeling in his black suit.
In-gong wore the white suit that he had already worn twice to the court gatherings, but Felicia seemed very dissatisfied that he wore the same clothes three times in a row.
"Anyhow, please let this proceed well without any fuss.”
Felicia held her hands together and prayed while Chris chuckled.
Then the waiting room door opened. It was their turn to enter.
As soon as the door opened, In-gong sensed it.
Something was wrong.
The court gathering was filled with silence. Confusion and surprise seemed to emerge even in the silence.
In-gong looked in front of him. He could see the backs of 1st Prince Baikal, 2nd Prince Zephyr, 3rd Prince Victor and 4th Princess Anastasia who were kneeling on one knee before the demon king
It wasn’t because of them. They were surprised as well.
Zephyr and Anastasia didn’t reveal anything, but Baikal and Victor seemed somewhat uncomfortable.
‘Then what is it?’
In-gong’s gaze moved a little further, then he heard Silvan’s sound of shock from behind him. Felicia and Caitlin, as well as Chris who was expecting an extraordinary situation, couldn’t conceal their shock either.
At the highest place on the podium...
The demon king wasn’t alone. There was one person next to the throne of the demon king:
Sword Duke Ishgard.
He was an elder of the sura who had never once shown up at the court gathering ceremony. With the exception of the demon king, he was someone who boasted the greatest strength in the Demon World!
His eyes moved toward In-gong, then his pleasant voice filled the silence.
"9th Prince, it has been one month. How are you?”
It was a light greeting.
However, it could never be taken lightly.
All eyes turned to In-gong and there were suppressed moans in many places.