Chapter 176 - Chapter 35: Battle #3
Silvan, Felicia, Chris, and Caitlin returned to their mansions in the evening, with Anastasia at the forefront.
In contrast to what he had expected, Anastasia only left In-gong’s mansion after finishing dinner. She noticed Chris’ looks before and after the meal but continued as though she didn’t care. Caitlin smiled because she thought it was an opportunity to get closer to Anastasia, but Chris was different. In Chris’ eyes, Anastasia was just staying to spy on them.
Although his mood wasn’t great, Chris didn’t explain about what had happened on his mission. However, Caitlin briefly explained that he had done moderately well fighting against the creatures.
Anastasia was more curious about In-gong’s life among the lizardmen than Chris’ life. She knew In-gong and Felicia had stayed at the Dragon Temple, which could be called the sanctuary of the lizardmen, but she couldn’t understand what they had been doing there.
In-gong just smiled while Felicia talked about the brilliant appearance of the Dragon Temple. It felt like the conversation at Baikal’s tea party.
"The Dragon Temple seems amazing.”
Although Caitlin seemed satisfied, Anastasia and Chris didn’t look that good. Chris frowned while Anastasia hid her displeasure behind her elegant appearance.
"Let's talk again in the future."
In-gong said in a small voice to Chris, who was the last one to leave his mansion. When he was finally alone, In-gong sighed and looked up at the ceiling. Carack asked from behind him,
"Prince, what is it?”
"I still have a conversation left.”
Carack made a puzzled sound, but In-gong just headed upstairs. He didn’t forget to give instructions to Flora whom he met along the way.
'Master, you seem to be nervous.’
In-gong took a deep breath in front of his bedroom door before opening it.
"Hello, Your Majesty the 4th Queen.”
4th Queen Elaine Moonlight was sitting in a very comfortable position on In-gong’s bed. She wore a blue dress with a narrow skirt, but it fit well with her dark blue hair.
“My appearance isn’t a surprise?”
"The appearance of the 4th Queen is within the expected range.”
In-gong laughed bitterly as he closed his bedroom door. Without opening the mini-map, he could feel Ludwig’s presence on the balcony. Elaine frowned slightly before smiling at him.
"Hmm, did you notice that I broke into your bedroom?”
"I am a little sensitive."
In-gong responded appropriately as he stood before the window which led to the balcony. Elaine smiled once again since it was exactly opposite from where Ludwig was hiding.
"I heard about Curtis. Anastasia doesn’t have the same personality as her mother. Well, no, to be precise, there are only several layers of bark on top of the egg... at least for now.”
Elaine nodded pleasantly at In-gong’s question.
"Isabella said so. You are an older sister killer. Don’t you turn your older sisters into fools?”
Elaine laughed like she found it very amusing, while In-gong gave a soulless laugh.
"Hah, how interesting. Anyway, there are several reasons for me to visit today. Can you come over here?”
Elaine patted the area of the bed next to her. As In-gong approached reluctantly, she pulled a necklace out of a box she had prepared in advance.
"This is the Lycanthrope Tears.”
It was a yellow jewel lodged in a wolf’s claws. This was the first time In-gong had seen it.
'Is the Lycanthrope Tears also part of the tears series?’
A total of three tears had appeared in Knight Saga:
The Tears of a Dark Elf gave a powerful mental defense;
The Succubus Tears could create a love potion;
And the Draconian Tears restored the wearer’s magic power. Yet now, there was the Lycanthrope Tears.
'Could it be that there is one for each queen?’
It was a moderately interesting story. In-gong was able to understand why this was the first time he had seen the Lycanthrope Tears.
In Knight Saga, Silvan had cut off Elaine’s head. Zephyr hadn’t participated in the lycanthrope subjugation until the end. Zephyr’s purpose had been to wipe out the lycanthropes and weaken the other children of the demon king, not build up his own merits.
‘Then is there a Gandharva Tears? Will something happen if I collect all five in the set?’
It was like a game idea, but it really seemed like that might happen.
‘I’ll need to check.’
If the Gandharva Tears existed, then there was a high possibility it would be with the remains of the 5th Queen.
In-gong raised his head at the voice he heard from right beside him. He turned toward Elaine only to see her face right before him.
"Is there a problem?”
"No, I was just a little surprised.”
In-gong responded quickly and pulled back, increasing the distance with Elaine again. Elaine stared at In-gong before leaning toward him. Then she placed the necklace around his neck.
"The Lycanthrope Tears gives the owner a powerful regenerative ability. Have it. It will be very helpful.”
Despite how small the three necklaces were, they stood out. He would switch all three pendants onto a single chain later.
'Is this why she said she would return before?’
Elaine had said she would return with something in exchange for killing Gerard.
“The next thing is about the court gathering.”
Elaine frowned and changed the topic.
"At this court gathering, the 1st Queen and 2nd Queen are likely to participate. Sylvia is also participating. So, in fact, all the queens of the palace will be present.”
1st Queen Aishar Ragnaros and 2nd Queen Titania Nekrion... In-gong knew why Elaine wasn’t comfortable. In Knight Saga, the relationship between 2nd Queen Titania and 4th Queen Elaine had been very bad. The two of them were an example of a cat-dog relationship.
"You have already experienced the court gatherings a few times, so it shouldn’t be a big problem. Rather, the problem is the back issues.”
The court gathering was essentially a venue for publicity. Even though 3rd Queen Sylvia had appeared suddenly at the last one, it hadn’t caused a problem to the process itself. It was after the court gathering that Sylvia’s tea party invitation had appeared.
“1st Queen Aishar isn’t a big problem. The problem is 2nd Queen Titania... She isn’t the same as Anastasia. She is a really scary woman. Do you understand?”
1st Queen Aishar had a similar nature to 1st Prince Baikal. She was very gentle and rarely left her mansion, spending most of her time on gardening and reading books. However, Titania was different. She was a thorny rose, a poisonous flower.
Elaine once again got In-gong’s attention as she rose from the bed and looked down at him. She patted In-gong’s head.
"I asked for Master Bruce to spar with you. Wait a little longer. "
"Yes, Your Majesty the 4th Queen.”
"Tsk, tsk. Call me Mother.”
Elaine laughed as she embraced In-gong gently. She was similar in appearance to Caitlin, but unlike Caitlin, Elaine had more curves.
"Then that is all for today. I’ll see you next time.”
Elaine touched In-gong’s cheek gently before turning toward the balcony, instead of his bedroom door. Ludwig appeared like a ghost behind Elaine. Elaine’s and Ludwig’s exit wasn’t as fast as the sword duke’s, but it was faster than the wind. In-gong sighed as he stared at the open balcony doors.
“Why does the sword duke and everyone else not go through the door?”
In-gong murmured as Green Wind closed the balcony door.
Two days after the meeting with Elaine, Shutra’s faction, headed by Felicia, gathered at In-gong’s mansion. They intended to head to the court gathering as usual.
Felicia had many gold decorations on a blue dress which was as exposed as always, with her clothing being reminiscent of what she had worn at the Dragon Temple. Thanks to Chris’ return, Caitlin wore a white dress which covered her shoulders. Chris smiled with pleasure, but Caitlin’s frown showed she wasn’t satisfied.
Silvan and Chris were wearing a colourful suit and black suit, respectively, as usual. In-gong was also wearing a white suit like he had always worn.
“Did you hear? There is a rumour that all the queens will be participating.”
Chris’ eyes sharpened at Felicia’s words. He approached In-gong and said in a heavy tone,
"Beware of the 2nd Queen. Just watch the 2nd Queen.”
His eyes filled with flames like Elaine. Seeing this, a smile found its way onto In-gong’s face.
“What is it?”
"No, Hyung really is the 4th Queen’s son.”
Chris was still confused, but he didn’t ask In-gong anything else. Felicia stood next to them and added,
"Shutra, Omamama told me to watch out for the 2nd Queen as well. Don’t just laugh like that and be careful. Understand?”
“I understand. Hyung and Noona don’t need to worry too much. Will the 2nd Queen be the only one at the court gathering? The 3rd Queen and 4th Queen are bound to help.”
Two of the four queens were on his side. 1st Queen Aishar was neutral, so she wouldn’t be an impediment. Chris laughed at In-gong’s words and knocked against his shoulder.
“Hu, okay. Disturbance Shutra. I will put aside my futile worries and proceed to enjoy the exciting court gathering.”
Chris was expecting an event to happen again. Felicia opposed it immediately.
"Hey, does it have to be exciting? Shutra, please let it be quiet this time. Noona’s heart hurts at every court gathering. Yes?”
Felicia grabbed her chest as she begged In-gong. She looked so serious that he was unsure if it was a joke or her true heart.
"Anyway, let’s depart. It will be a big deal if we are late.”
It was Silvan, the oldest member of Shutra’s faction, who said this. Chris smiled at the tone which made Silvan sound like an old man but prepared to leave. Just as they were planning to leave the reception room...
Flora approached at an urgent pace and bowed before In-gong.
"Your Highness, the court gathering scheduled for today has been cancelled.”
Felicia cried out in an aghast tone. So far, the court gatherings had never once been delayed or cancelled. It was surprising that the court gathering was cancelled on the day it was to be held.
Chris asked sharply,
"Tell us a little more. What is the reason? Was there some type of accident?”
“I don’t know the reason. I received the news from a guard.”
Flora was surprised by Chris’ intimidation, but she responded in a calm tone. The court gathering had been cancelled, and the reason was unknown. Moreover, it was the guards who had informed her.
Felicia and Chris gazed at each other with confusion. It was obvious the court gathering had been cancelled due to an incident, but they couldn’t even guess what had happened. Silvan and Caitlin were no different. Caitlin looked at In-gong with an expression of concern.
In-gong started thinking, and thought of something reflexively. If ‘that’ had happened, then it made sense. It would explain why the court gathering had been cancelled. However, the timing was too early.
In-gong shifted his gaze in the direction of the Black Castle, which was called the true Demon King’s Palace.
The demon king, Mitra, opened his eyes. He wasn’t on a comfortable bed. The demon king recalled the situation just before he lost consciousness.
“The court gathering was cancelled. The queens were quite confused. Well, this is the first time it has happened.”
The sword duke spoke in a low and heavy voice. The demon king shifted his gaze and the sword duke came into his sights. The sword duke opened his mouth to speak,
"Has your sickness worsened?”
The demon king didn’t deny the sword duke’s worried question, but his current situation itself was the answer.
He had vomited up blood and collapsed; he had lost consciousness. It was fortunate that the sword duke had been the first one to discover him. The demon king had concealed his illness even from his guard, Reinhardt.
The demon king of the Demon World had always been considered an absolute being. If the fact, that he had a disease and was in a weakened state, were exposed, then the hearts of the people, even the queens, might change.
The next demon king wasn’t ready yet. Until a new absolute being appeared to guard the Demon World, he had to show a healthy appearance.
The sword duke clicked his tongue. He looked at his only disciple with sadness.
"Demon King, you don’t need to rush. Are you going to die before this old man? If you do, then you better be prepared. I will never forgive you.”
The sword duke spoke intently on purpose. The demon king smiled and raised his upper body slowly.
“Sword Duke, prepare to go to the Holy Land.”
The sword duke’s eyes widened at the command. The demon king could see the flow of destiny, so he wouldn’t say this for no reason. It was clear that something would happen in the Holy Land.
"I understand. I will leave immediately.”
Maintaining the Holy Land was the greatest task assigned to the sword duke, and it was related to the comfort of the entire Demon World. The sword duke prepared to leave the demon king’s side, but then the demon king’s magic grabbed the sword duke. The sword duke looked back with confusion and the demon king said,
“Not alone. Take Shutra with you.”
“To the Holy Land?!”
The sword duke raised his voice unintentionally. It was a confusing order. The demon king turned his gaze back to the sword duke, staring at him with calm eyes. The sword duke sensed that the demon king had read the flow of destiny. So, he didn’t ask any more pointless questions.
"I understand, I will do so.”
The sword duke replied before leaving the demon king. The demon king’s gaze lingered on where the sword duke had been, then he shifted his gaze to a distant place.
The flow of destiny was fluctuating.
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