Chapter 14 - Chapter 2: Alliance #5
After leaving Caitlin’s tent, In-gong walked with Carack and talked with him.
Carack nodded at the rough explanation like it was expected.
"Well, then it is another reconnaissance mission.”
"It is a little bit rushed but it will begin today. It should be kept secret from others.”
It was decided that the cave would be kept a secret from Caitlin and Chris’ troops. It was unlikely that the orcs, especially the Red Lightning tribe, would actively engage in espionage activities but there was still a chance.
The faster the passage in the cave was explored, the better it would be. Depending on where the passage in the cave connected to, the whole operation might change in the future.
Carack didn’t ask why and only nodded.
“Ah, I did some work while Prince was inside. I have recruited some troops today.”
Carack laughed at In-gong’s question.
"We received a lot of damage.”
The fight against Kaichin was a melee. It had been a one-sided fight until Carack killed Kaichin, so there were those who were seriously injured and died.
In-gong swallowed his saliva. It wasn’t because the damage was greater than he thought. Even if he was concerned with Aura, it was surprising that he hadn’t considered the deaths of the orcs until now.
‘Yes, a person is dead. People. It isn’t a game.’
In a game, the lives of the soldiers were just numbers. If he had enough resources, he could increase or decrease the numbers.
However, this wasn’t a game and each of them had their own lives.
After a moment, In-gong took a deep breath. It was unreasonable to pamper each soldier but he shouldn’t think of them casually like he had done previously. If he only thought of people as numbers, then he would be disqualified as a human.
In-gong controlled his heart and looked toward Carack again. Carack’s eyes were asking, ‘what are you thinking about this time?’
In-gong just shrugged.
“So, are the recruits coming?”
"Rather than that... Didn’t we used to have 30 troops? This has been increased to 50 people. It will take time for them to reach our base, so the numbers will be supplemented from Prince Chris’ camp.”
The troops had almost been doubled?
"It is due to Prince’s merits.”
Carack said pleasantly. In fact, In-gong was quite familiar with this situation.
Achievements would be rewarded. That was the basic formula of Knight Saga.
In-gong had distinguished himself by killing Kaichin and Kaidum as well as finding the cave. It was natural for rewards to be received.
‘In the first place, Shutra only received 30 orcs because he had no merits in the past.’
Despite all of them being children of the Demon King, Chris and Caitlin received two times more orcs than Shutra and even had their lycanthropes.
The reason was simple.
Chris and Caitlin had distinguished themselves as children of the Demon King.
'Well, I will build up my merits from now on.’
It was the power of infinite positivity and he would make it so.
In-gong formed a tight fist to express his resolve and asked Carack.
"Then did Carack receive anything separate?”
Although it was In-gong’s merit, Carack was technically the one who killed Kaichin. Carack laughed and tapped on his chest at In-gong’s question.
"I got a reward. And I received it from Prince.”
Carack proudly lifted the dwarf axe that In-gong gave him.
“I’m glad you like it.”
'I still have the items I packed for later. Should I bring out an armour?’
He had decided to carry on with Carack, so he should invest in him. It would be better for In-gong if Carack became stronger.
After having a chat with Carack and returning to the base, In-gong headed toward the cave with his newly joined forces.
The road to the cave was smooth. In the first place, it was close to Shutra’s base. It was also under Chris and Caitlin’s sphere of influence, thanks to Kaichin’s defeat.
‘A prince normally rides separately on a horse.’
Just like last time, In-gong walked next to Carack. Usually in games and movies, soldiers walked while nobility were on horseback.
‘That reminds me of something. Chris and Caitlin also seem to be walking around. Is it because they are lycanthropes?’
He used to ride on horses when playing Zephyr. It wasn’t an ordinary horse but a phantom steed that could fly in the sky.
‘I will use it later.’
In-gong, who had been thinking about the past (?), suddenly stopped walking. There were two people in black robes standing in the middle of the road.
Caitlin raised a finger to her lips and gestured for In-gong to come closer. In-gong approached Caitlin while Carack stayed behind. He saw that the other person standing there was Caitlin’s aide, Seira, who he had already met at the meeting.
In-gong nodded in response to Seira’s greeting bow and asked Caitlin.
“What is happening all of a sudden? Why are you wearing robes?”
Normally, she wore a blue cloak but at present, she was completely covered by a robe. Caitlin spoke in a low voice.
"I will secretly follow you on this reconnaissance mission. It is in case something serious happens.”
He could understand what was going on but he didn’t know why she was joining in secret. In-gong scratched his head and asked,
“Uh... so, you joined unofficially?”
Although she joined In-gong’s reconnaissance mission, it was a secret to the outside world. In other words, she wasn’t here.
"Yes. I will only move if it becomes really dangerous. This is because they should be Shutra’s merits.”
In-gong now approximately understood the situation.
They still didn’t know how much the Red Lightning tribe knew about the cave. So, Caitlin was accompanying him in case there was danger.
However, if Caitlin was involved, the merits of the reconnaissance mission might become hers. So, she joined unofficially.
‘It is true that it is a burden - I am a victim of results-focused education.’
It was reasonable to say that treatment was different depending on merits but it was a huge burden for young children.
‘Then that means she wants to give me a push?’
It could be interpreted in several different ways.
One, she wanted to make Shutra more useful by increasing his merits. Two, she wanted to make sure that she became friendlier with Shutra.
‘Chris may not know that Caitlin is doing this.’
It was clear that she came to help with a pure heart.
‘What type of star was I born under? No, not all children in this world are plotting.’
In-gong nodded as he was convinced and smiled brightly at Caitlin.
“I understand. Thank you, Noona.”
Caitlin responded by pulling down her hood and moved to the front of the unit with Seira. Unlike Caitlin, Seira seemed a little bit dissatisfied with the present situation.
‘She should be.’
It was a situation where her master had come to serve another prince for free. It wasn’t something she would do for Chris.
Once In-gong returned to his position, Carack asked him.
“Is it okay for Princess to join?”
"Uh, just don’t think about it and proceed with the operation normally."
Caitlin followed so quietly that Carack no longer looked back.
How much time passed?
In-gong found that other pathway inside the cave that he had described to Chris and Caitlin.
The only difference with the passage was that it led in a different direction. In-gong searched various empty rooms in the passage and frowned as he looked at the mini-map.
"All the rooms are empty.”
He was expected an arsenal covered in dust but there were no treasures in the room.
However, Carack didn’t seem surprised as he explained.
“Wouldn’t people take their valuables when moving? The dwarves would have taken all of it when they migrated.”
"Then what about the weapons yesterday?”
“I guess they weren’t that valuable.”
This was perfect logic. In-gong was speechless as he stared at Carack.
‘This guy, is he a genius among orcs?’
He felt strange but it was good for In-gong if his subordinate was competent. In-gong was convinced of this and looked behind him. Caitlin was almost invisible in the cave due to the dark robe she was wearing.
‘Next time, should I ask her to beat me with magic?’
It was a sudden thought but when thinking about Caitlin and Aura, he was suddenly reminded of magic and divine power.
‘Will she call me a pervert again if I ask her to help me with magic the same way she did Aura?’
In-gong laughed bitterly as he was reminded of Caitlin’s reaction, then he tilted his head.
‘What will happen if I’m hit by magic? Would it awaken? Will I be able to learn magic at all?’
He wanted to experiment. After returning from the reconnaissance mission, he would ask Caitlin to hit him with whatever magic she had.
‘Kuhuhu! Magic, magic.’
In-gong had a lively smile at the thought of being hit by Caitlin. Then In-gong looked up with a frown and Carack had the same reaction.
Carack raised his axe and said in a low voice. In-gong nodded. The mini-map was showing red dots that meant enemies.