Chapter 169 - Chapter 33: Victory
Curtis was a rainy and wet area, with the lizardmen residing in the swamp region. The lizardmen called the swamp area, Kalung Puoga, with many spectacular cities.
As there wasn’t much hard ground to build on, the lizardmen built on the swamps and lakes. It was obvious, but it was impossible to build ordinary buildings on a swamp or lake. Therefore, the buildings in Kalung Puoga had two forms.
One form was a ship. These were buildings in the form of large or small ships. Due to the chains connecting the ships, there was a sense of stability, just like standing on the ground.
The other form was a floating building. It was made by embedding long pillars into the swamp and then building on top of it. It was an ignorant way to use trees, but the area nearby was a forest. There were many giant trees in the forest, so there was no shortage of wood.
Carack walked along a bridge made of little ferry boats. It was a hot and humid area, so his whole body was sweaty. The lizardmen soaking in the swamp greeted Carack. They were the common people of Kalung Puoga, not soldiers of the Demon King’s Palace.
In-gong’s group had arrived in Kalung Puoga this morning, and it was now noon. This was the hottest time of the day, and it truly felt like it. There was no one who wasn’t sweating.
Normally, the trip would take four to five days, but In-gong’s group had made it in just two days. They had heard that In-gong’s group was coming, but the lizardman couldn’t help feeling astonishment and admiration.
“Those from the Demon King’s Palace are truly great.”
“I think so as well.”
Carack laughed at the admiration of the lizardmen soldiers who guided them around Kalung Puoga. There was great admiration for the ‘faster than the wind’ method. However, the soldiers who had experienced the ‘faster than the wind’ method for two days felt dislike for it, rather than admiration.
Kalung Puoga consisted of mainly one-storey buildings. Carack crossed a large building and arrived at a room.
“Princess, are you okay?”
Felicia, who was lying down in the middle of the room, replied loudly to Carack’s question,
“Do I look okay?”
“Well, it seems like you have a problem with the heat, rather than exhaustion.”
Like Carack, Felicia was sweaty. The dark elves’ high-exposure clothes didn’t help in stopping the heat of Kalung Puoga.
"Yes. It seems like you are getting used to this. Have you become stronger?”
“It seems so.”
She had become strong, but this time it was because In-gong had controlled the pace. There was no urgent reason, so he didn’t feel the need to drain Felicia.
"Carack, please have some of this.”
The sweating Delia handed out a drink in a large metal cup. It was a cold drink to cool him down.
"Thank you. Everywhere in the swamp is hot.”
Carack smiled after emptying the cup. Felicia stared at Delia’s red cheeks, wondering when her aide’s tastes had distorted, before asking something else.
They had arrived together, but she hadn’t seen him since. Felicia had collapsed as soon as she arrived at the accommodation. Carack replied with a laugh,
"He is talking to the officers. He wanted me to come and check on Princess. It is because Princess is very precious.”
"Hrmm, hrmm. You say that, but he won’t stop teasing his Noona.”
Felicia complained while covering her face with a fan. Carack chuckled when he saw her twitching ears.
"Princess’ face is truly bright. Indeed, a smiling face suits Princess better than a grim look. I think that all smiling women are pretty, but Princess seems especially beautiful.”
The compliments flowed out as naturally as water. The contents weren’t that unusual, but it was important that the speaker was an orc. Felicia smiled with admiration.
“Carack, you really are an orc, right?”
"I am an orc. I don't know why you keep asking me this.”
"Carack is special."
Delia replied in a soft voice, with a hint of pride mixed in it. Felicia resisted making a comment and changed the topic. A new visitor had come to chat; it was In-gong.
"Huh? You’re here already?”
"The talk ended quicker than expected.”
In-gong responded, and with the drink Delia handed him, he sat down in a chair situated opposite Felicia.
"How are you?”
“Not bad. What did you talk about?”
In-gong shrugged at Felicia’s question and then said,
"I just listened to the situation of the locals. I also heard some things about Victor hyung.”
Victor had headed to the northwest two days ago, leading a group of lizardmen. It was his mission to take control of the west while Anastasia recaptured the east. Therefore, there was no chance for In-gong’s party to meet him.
'Well, there is no reason to encounter him.’
Victor was truly embarrassed by his work at Curtis, so it would just be uncomfortable meeting him.
'He is a prince.’
He was also just as good-looking as Anastasia.
Then while In-gong was still thinking, Felicia asked,
"Is there something special?”
"No. The story is predictable. Victor left because he was embarrassed.”
“I can imagine.”
Felicia looked away and shrugged bitterly. It was at this moment that a lizardman, who had been guarding the entrance, entered the room at a quick pace.
“Your Highness. The priest has arrived. She wants to see Prince.”
His face and voice were quite excited. In-gong cocked his head and asked,
"Priest? From the inner sanctuary?”
"Yes, Your Highness. The priest of the Dragon Temple.”
Felicia’s eyes shone at the words, ‘Dragon Temple’. The Dragon Temple was the spiritual home of the lizardmen living in Curtis. The lizardmen, who believed themselves to be the dragon’s descendents, not only admired dragons but also made them objects of their faith. The Dragon Temple was located deep inside the forest and was the headquarters of their faith.
In-gong could understand why the soldier in front of him was excited. According to the lizardmen, the priests, who lived in the Dragon Temple, were closer to being dragons. In other words, they were closer to being nobles, although the meaning was different to what it meant in the Demon King’s Palace.
The lizardmen felt admiration and love toward the priests of the temple. They really believed the priests were superior to them. By default, the priests lived deep in the forest and rarely met ordinary lizardmen. So, the soldier was excited just from having a short conversation with the priest.
Apart from the soldiers, the reason why Felicia was excited was simple. The Dragon Temple was an ancient ruin which had been passed down for thousands of years.
"I’ll meet her right now.”
Felicia cheered quietly at In-gong’s answer. The soldier also replied with an excited face,
“I understand, Your Highness. I will call the priest here.”
The soldier exited as quickly as he had entered. It was around half an hour before the soldier returned.
In-gong and Felicia sat side-by-side and peered down. The lizardmen had heard rumours the priest was coming, so the they had gathered. 41 people were staring silently with a serious look, so the auditorium felt even hotter.
‘Master, they are coming.’
Green Wind whispered in his ears suddenly. The priest was wearing a white robe and a hood over her head. She stepped before In-gong and Felicia, then she took off her hood slowly in an elegant motion.
At that moment, the whole room was filled with silent admiration.
The priest was a woman. Unlike the other lizardmen with dark green or blue scales, she had very beautiful silver scales. The shape of her face was very neat, and the blue eyes felt soft and powerful. Despite being a different species, In-gong still thought she was pretty.
The reaction of the lizardmen was more intense. In their own terms, her beauty was truly devastating.
‘Is she roughly in the same class as Anastasia and Felicia?’
He saw Felicia every day, so he had become accustomed to it. However, she was a tremendous beauty.
In-gong recalled Anastasia, who had used the succubus attraction, before shaking his head. Anastasia was certainly incredibly charming at that time, but this was different. She couldn’t be compared to the pure priest in front of him.
In-gong recalled Green Wind’s sacred expression and Caitlin’s bright smile; the priest was similar to that. The lizardman priest bowed to In-gong’s party.
"This humble girl greets Drakon Kechatulla, the great dragon warrior.”
Her voice was like rolling jade, and the lizardmen in the auditorium were thrilled, like fans seeing an idol singer. In-gong was worried they would faint. Felicia responded with a wide smile,
“I am 6th Princess Felicia. This is 9th Prince Shutra. It is good to meet you.”
“Thank you for your warm welcome. This girl is Moriyu.”
The priest revealed her name to In-gong and Felicia. This time, In-gong was the one who asked a question,
"Moriyu, why did you come to see me?”
"Great Dragon Warrior, the high priest wants to see the dragon warrior. Please visit the Dragon Temple.”
The lizardmen in the auditorium let out sounds of admiration. This time it wasn’t due to Moriyu’s beauty. The Dragon Temple in the forest was a closed off place. They had never imagined someone would be invited there directly. Even Victor hadn’t been invited to the Dragon Temple.
When they thought about it, that wasn’t the only surprising thing. Moriyu showed up exactly on the day that In-gong had arrived at Kalung Puoga. This was despite the fact that In-gong’s group had shortened the usual schedule by three days.
Was there an oracle?
Felicia pulled In-gong’s arms slightly. She looked quite calm, but that was just on the surface. Her two eyes staring at In-gong had a strong desire to run to the Dragon Temple right now.
‘Quickly! Yes? Quickly!’
Felicia’s voice rang only in his ears. In-gong nodded and looked back at Moriyu. In-gong wanted to visit the Dragon Temple too. After all, he had come to Kalung Puoga in order to find out the story of the warrior Drakon Kechatulla.
"Thank you for the invitation. I will make the visit.”
“Thank you for your response. This girl will guide you.”
Moriyu answered with a sincere voice before bowing to In-gong. He could feel clearly the sadness of the surrounding lizardmen.
Two hours later, In-gong left Kalung Puoga and headed to the Dragon Temple.
Everything inside the forest was still huge.
The towering trees reminded him of buildings, and the bugs were still horrible. The carnivorous plants and wild beasts didn’t change. They hid in the natural environment of the forest and sought a chance to eat.
The weather was hot and humid. It was much more humid than the large forest near the Gullam village, and there were also deep swamps and lakes.
The most terrible thing was that the journey was long. Unlike the exploration with the Gullam hunters which had lasted just two days, they had to travel for three days this time. The Dragon Temple was located deep in the forest, and In-gong was able to see why the priests lived a closed off life. The temple itself was so remote that it was naturally isolated from the outside world.
Despite all these problems, the journey with the lizardmen was quite pleasant.
There were few attacks. In-gong’s party didn’t move on foot. Moriyu brought some dragon-like creatures from the Dragon Temple, and they were huge like the creatures in the forest. There were animals resembling Tyrannosauruses and Triceratops lined up, so the beasts of the forest didn’t appear.
There were also quite a few lizardmen escorting In-gong’s group. Altogether, there were 60 escorts, who all had a strong desire to visit the Dragon Temple. Thanks to the special incense of the lizardmen, there were no flying insects around them. The most exciting thing was the lizardmen’s traditional clothes to help with the heat.
In-gong looked at himself with a surprised expression. In-gong was dressed completely different than usual. He was wearing only short pants, with gold ornaments decorating his body. However, he wasn’t cooled just by taking off his clothes. The ornaments created a comfortable environment using magic. Even in this humid weather, Moriyu was able to wear her hood thanks to magic.
"Still, I feel strangely ashamed in this outfit.”
Felicia looked at herself with a slight frown. She was dressed in a similar manner to In-gong. However, her style was slightly different from In-gong’s. Felicia’s gold ornaments overlapped with each other to look like clothes. Therefore, her waist and thighs were exposed, but her shoulders and arms weren’t.
In-gong didn’t see it as any different from Felicia’s usual clothes, but she thought differently.
“Prince, stop looking. Princess is shy.”
Carack laughed while shaking the gold ornaments that he too was wearing. Delia and Karma, who were dressed in a similar manner to Felicia, were ashamed. When looking at Delia’s thighs and Carack’s biceps, In-gong thought that this style suited Carack the best.
Then the fourth day passed. Felicia was now accustomed to the new outfit and felt no shame as she gazed at a distant place. She was filled with awe.
Beyond the swamp was a giant lake, and the lake was shining with the bright blue from the sky. However, the real surprise was something else. There was a huge building floating in the air above the surface of the lake. It was a large and beautiful palace with a rounded roof. There was no rain, yet there were several rainbows.
Felicia cried out. In-gong nodded with agreement.
It was the Dragon Temple, the lizardmen’s spiritual home.
In-gong felt his dragon heart respond. The heart was throbbing.
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