Chapter 131 - Chapter 23: Cross
The requirements for becoming demon king could be divided into three parts.
The first was having high merits. Merits were the basis of everything. The higher the merit level, the stronger the support from the Demon King’s Palace would be, and there would be more obtainable things. It was also the basis of the competition between the children of the demon king. So, no matter how much better they were in other aspects, they could still lag behind in this competition.
The second was strength. The strength of the demon king was just as important as merits in the Demon World. It was the royal children’s strength that was looked at when the Merits Department assigned missions. If their strength didn’t reach a certain level, they could only be assigned a few missions. Moreover, it was natural, but they couldn’ t become the demon king unless they were strong in the first place. The strongest royal child would become the demon king.
The third part was networking. It was important to become friendly with key figures of the Demon King’s Palace, such as the captains, as well as having alliances with outside forces or securing competent subordinates. These connections were just as necessary as merits and strength. There were many advantages to improving the reputation of a royal child.
There were many cases where the other party would inform them of information beforehand. Of course, depending on the type of fame, there could be more enemies than allies.
The reason why social connections were important was based on the ideal of the strong in the Demon World. Even if the demon king was strong, the people wouldn’t trust the strength of the heir if it was below a certain level.
The power of their forces, high merits, reputation and a solid network of people inside and outside the Demon King’s Palace...
These were the things necessary in order to become the demon king.
"Prince. Prince, get up. It is already morning. The sun has risen a long time ago."
A rough hand shook his shoulder.
As expected, In-gong opened his eyes to see Carack’s face. Carack helped the sleepy In-gong raise his body and handed him a cup of green liquid.
"Come on, drink this. It is a drink for your hangover.”
In-gong didn’t have the energy to resist, so he drank it, but the taste was truly terrible. Still, the drink had an effect as his mind cleared.
Carack laughed and handed him a cup of water. The clear, cold water was great.
"Carack, you seem fine.”
After clearing his mind, In-gong spoke while pressing a hand against his temple. Carack laughed again and hit his chest.
"Huhu, this is an alcoholic’s body. I continued drinking even after Prince slept, but I am still fine.”
The green colour of the orc skin made it difficult for In-gong to tell if there truly was no hangover. Therefore, In-gong decided to just nod.
"Yes, well done, well done.”
‘What’s an alcoholic’s body? Does he bathe in alcohol?’
After picturing the futile delusion, In-gong closed his eyes again. Then Carack shook In-gong’s shoulder once more.
"Prince, I truly waited until the latest possible moment before I woke you. There isn’t much time left until the meeting.”
They had achieved a great victory in the battle against the barbarians, but that wasn’t the end of it. Just like the case where they had defeated the Red Lightning tribe, there was still work to do. They had to restore the bases they had abandoned as well as secure the fourth base that might still contain barbarians.
The person responsible for this battle was In-gong, so all the clean-up was also In-gong’s responsibility. He couldn’t take a backseat and watch.
"Come on, get up. There really isn’t a lot of time. You need to eat a big meal in the morning.”
"I don’t think... Nayatra?”
In-gong raised his head before anyone entered. It was because Nayatra had appeared on the mini-map, which he had opened through habit.
As In-gong spoke, Nayatra entered the tent with both hands holding a large tray of food.
"Your Highness, breakfast is served.”
Nayatra said gracefully while keeping her eyes down. As In-gong stared at her with a blank face, she put the tray down in front of him.
"Breakfast is the start of the day. You have to eat. It is ridiculous if you don’t.”
There was a feeling of affection which couldn’t be hidden in the calm voice. It was nice but embarrassing. Was she doing this to gain favour with In-gong?
In-gong stared at Nayatra before turning his gaze toward the tray.
There was the smell of hot soup and freshly made bread. Some of the dishes were really hot like they had just been made.
“Hoh, is everything homemade?”
Carack moved closer to the tray with a face of admiration. Nayatra stretched out her hand to restrain Carack with sharp eyes.
"This is His Highness’ food. Step aside. As I said before, this food is for His Highness.”
Carack flinched at the cold voice, and there was a tinge of embarrassment on his face.
In-gong felt his appreciation for Nayatra rise as he watched the scene. She was a woman who was cold to Carack. It was indeed fresh.
"Thank you, I will eat it well.”
In-gong smiled and started eating breakfast, while Nayatra’s chill melted as she smiled back. As the two people smiled at each other, Carack had a wounded expression while he watched In-gong.
Some time passed.
After a quick breakfast, In-gong got dressed with the help of Carack and Nayatra. Then he headed to the tent where the meeting would take place. Nayatra wanted to come along, but In-gong’s aide was Carack.
‘Nayatra was always with me in Knight Saga.’
She was both a counselor and escort knight.
“Prince, what is with that look?”
“No, nothing. I was just thinking about a possible personnel adjustment.”
Carack’s eyes asked what he meant, but In-gong just laughed. He didn’t intend to change his aide, but it was quite fun teasing Carack.
In-gong tapped Carack’s shoulder and started moving quicker.
Felicia and Caitlin were already waiting inside the tent with Delia and Seira. Felicia was particularly noteworthy.
"Shutra... Noona wants to die... Divide Noona’s legacy in half with Silvan...”
Felicia lay on top of a big table and spoke in a dying voice. She had drunk so much yesterday that she was now suffering from a huge hangover.
In-gong sat next to Felicia and used a magic spell.
It was a powerful status recovery magic. It was slightly strange using it for a hangover, but the effect was clear.
“I can live a little bit now.”
Felicia groaned and raised her upper body. Her complexion was still bad, but she certainly looked better than before.
"Why didn’t you use it on yourself?”
"I can’t use magic because my head hurts too much.”
Felicia replied with a frown and drank the cold water on the table. In-gong turned his head toward Caitlin.
“What about Noona? Is your body okay now?”
“Yes, I am fine.”
Caitlin had gone to sleep right after the battle.
She smiled gently and then asked a question while tilting her head slightly,
“By the way Shutra, what happened yesterday? Your aura suddenly got stronger. It seemed like one more aura heart had grown.”
Caitlin was connected to In-gong through the Moonlight Core and Sunlight Core. Since he had operated the penta-core in the battle with the barbarian king, Caitlin had no choice but to notice the new aura heart.
In-gong looked around at those inside the tent before answering.
Seira was standing behind Caitlin with curiosity, while Delia and Felicia weren’t as curious because they were somewhat ignorant about aura. There was also Carack standing behind In-gong. As Felicia always said, the air was one body with their master. Therefore, he could tell these six people his secret.
In-gong took a deep breath and said in a calm voice,
"This story is only for the people here. Please keep it a secret.”
The curiosity on their faces became stronger. In-gong laughed inadvertently and started his explanation.
“Shutra is great!”
Caitlin’s eyes widened and shone. It felt like it had been a while since he last heard it.
It wasn’t just Caitlin who felt admiration. Felicia stood up and shouted,
"That's right, great. No, amazing!”
"That's right, Master is great and amazing.”
Green Wind appeared behind In-gong and hugged him. The people in the tent weren’t surprised anymore since it was a scene they had seen often.
The fact that In-gong had obtained Watcher Ainkel’s dragon heart on Enger Plains was known to everyone. However, it didn’t stop there, and he had now formed a dragon heart in his body.
In-gong explained that it was possible due to something special about Ainkel’s dragon heart, but they were still filled with admiration.
Caitlin spoke with a bright expression,
"So, that is why your aura suddenly became stronger. It is also why I felt something similar to Baikal orabeoni from Shutra’s aura. Shutra is really amazing.”
Caitlin expressed her innocent admiration. However, instead of replying like normal, Felicia burst out. She looked at In-gong and Caitlin with outraged eyes.
“Oh, my god. Aura becoming stronger is nothing to laugh at. It is truly great. Do you know what it means to have a dragon heart?”
"Uh, is Prince going to become a big dragon? Will scales form on his body? Or maybe he will grow a tail?”
At Carack’s question, Caitlin’s eyes widened and her gaze shifted down to In-gong’s hips. In-gong looked down as well.
Felicia firmly shook her head.
"It's not like that. What are you talking about? Why would he develop scales or a tail? Although horns or wings would be cool!”
Her words trailed off at the end.
Felicia covered her face with both hands and lamented,
"Oh my god. Why am I the only magician here? Why?”
"Princess, calm down and explain slowly.”
Delia came forward. It worked as Felicia continued speaking in a somewhat calm voice,
"A dragon heart is the dragon’s power itself. It could be called a dragon’s organ. The dragon heart contains the distinctive power of a dragon.”
"Then Shutra can shoot out dragon breath?”
Caitlin asked when she heard ‘power of a dragon’. Carack’s eyes widened.
"Prince, can you shoot fire from your mouth?”
As all eyes moved towards In-gong’s mouth, In-gong raised his hand to his mouth without even knowing it. The word ‘fire’ popped into his head.
Felicia shook her head at all their reactions. The wildly moving heart seemed to represent Felicia’s spirit.
“No, no. Nothing like that! More important and greater! Shutra, do you know?”
Felicia asked, turning to In-gong. Putting aside the others, her eyes were asking why he didn’t know.
In-gong searched through his memories. The information from Knight Saga and the books about the elder dragons came to mind.
What could he do with a dragon heart? Something that only dragons could do.
The answer flashed through his head, and In-gong spoke unconsciously,
They were powerful words, referring to the unique magic that only dragons could use.
"Yes, that's correct! Shutra has a dragon heart, so he may be able to use dragon magic!”
Felicia cried out with a refreshed face.
However, the rest of the party still had confused expressions. Caitlin and Delia knew about magic, but they didn’t have a rich knowledge of it.
Additionally, Carack, who was the most ignorant about magic in the tent, raised his hand.
"Princess, who will teach the dragon magic? Don’t you have to learn it from a dragon?”
There was little known about dragon magic. Felicia had no knowledge about it other than it was a powerful magic that only a dragon could use.
Carack’s eyes narrowed at Felicia’s less than confident reply.
"Princess, do you know a dragon?”
Caitlin replied as well, and Felicia calmed down her excitement.
The possibility of learning dragon magic was opened, but there was no way to learn it right away.
"Let’s just calm down. It is enough to know that there is the possibility. We can ask the sword duke or Amita.”
Those two people might know more about dragons.
In-gong could think of someone who knew about dragon magic, but it wasn’t a place he could visit right now.
As soon as the turmoil settled down, Vandal entered the tent, and they discussed future plans.
Although it wasn’t an exaggeration to say Evian was in winter all year around, that was also divided into cold and warm seasons. Right now, the really cold weather was approaching.
As soon as the meeting ended, the group gathered the troops hastily. They had to re-occupy the fifth, sixth and seventh bases and expel the remaining barbarians from the fourth base.
Since there was no reason to visit the fifth, sixth and seventh bases again, In-gong took out all the supplies from his inventory and handed them to the troops of each base. Thanks to that, the movement speed slowed down, but it wasn’t a big problem.
Then night came again.
Thanks to the fireplace, In-gong was able to check the mini-map in the early hours as well as open his inventory. He took out the Lucid Dream Pillow.
‘Now, I will start.’
In-gong took a deep breath and laid his head on the Lucid Dream Pillow, falling asleep instantly.
After a while, a loud voice was heard in In-gong’s ears as he opened his eyes in the dream.
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