Chapter 180 - Chapter 36: Sanctuary
There were 30 or so suras gathered in front of the silver tower. There were males and females, but the one thing they all had in common was that they were young.
‘Are they like civil militia?’
Even the weakest one looked equivalent to a junior general, making them too powerful to be part of the civil militia. The inhabitants themselves were similar to ‘villagers’. As In-gong approached with the sword duke, one of the sura came toward them at a quick pace. He was a young man with red skin.
A slight smile appeared on the sword duke’s face. Indara was dressed in almost the same clothing as the sword duke, but he was wearing gold instead of the sword duke’s white. Moreover, his hair colour stood out because it was a dark blond.
"Prince, this is Indara who is in charge of the militia. He is one of the rising stars of the sura.”
“I am Indara, and I greet the 9th Prince.”
Indara bowed to In-gong. He gathered both hands together like a monk, in what seemed to be the sura’s unique greeting method.
“It is nice to meet you.”
In-gong received Indara’s greeting with a smile. He seemed like a young man around 20 of age, but he was actually 70 years old.
'Is he the one who replaces Gallehed?’
Gallehed, the sura captain, was the captain who was usually killed early on during the lycanthrope subjugation in Knight Saga. Immediately after Gallehed’s death, Indara had become the head of the sura at the Demon King’s Palace.
‘Speaking of Gallehed... Did he grow up outside the sura village?’
According to Knight Saga’s setting, Gallehed hadn’t been born in the Sanctuary or Demon King’s Palace but had been found in lycanthrope territory. His foster parent had been the late lycanthrope king and 4th Queen Elaine’s father, so the lycanthropes’ trust in him was very strong.
‘He’s been friends with 4th Queen Elaine since childhood right?’
Knight Saga’s setting filled In-gong’s mind. While In-gong was thinking about this, the sword duke turned to Indara and said,
"Indara, please clean everything up. I will return to the village first with the prince.”
“Leave it to me.”
Indara said confidently before bowing to In-gong again. In-gong said goodbye to Indara and moved with the sword duke. The size of the tower was more than what he had thought. It was an oval, not a perfect circle, but it was clear that the height of the tower was over 100 meters.
"I never imagined this. I am actually guiding Prince into the Sanctuary.”
The sword duke said suddenly as they arrived in front of the doors to the silver tower. He glanced back at In-gong before pushing his palms against the door. The huge doors opened to reveal the inside of the tower.
It was a moderately large village, and it looked like a rural scene with crop fields and children playing. However, the landscape of the village wasn’t what caught In-gong’s eye. There was a magic circle in the centre of the village. It was a ward which caused a pillar of light.
This was another sanctuary within the sanctuary of the sura. According to the sword duke, this could be called the sanctuary of the whole Demon World.
The sword duke raised his hand to In-gong’s shoulder, speaking softly as he moved forward.
"Welcome to the home of the sura, Prince.”
In-gong passed through the doors. The air inside the ward felt different. If it was winter outside, the inside of the ward was autumn. To his surprise, there was a sky inside the ward.
The sura farming in the fields bowed to the sword duke. He received them and sent back informal greetings.
"Prince, the Sanctuary has been attacked several times over the past hundreds of years. They were targeted attacks on the sura and the Sanctuary.”
The sword duke suddenly turned his gaze toward the ward in the centre of the village.
"That guy, Shutenberg… This is already his third attack. He doesn’t come directly, but every year he sends a few clones. However, that has limitations. According to our magicians, his body receives a lot of damage every time a clone is broken.”
According to the sword duke’s words, the attacks were quite relentless.
Why was Shutenberg aiming for the Sanctuary? Lich Shutenberg was so powerful that it wasn’t an exaggeration to call him a warlord of the Demon World. It was hard to imagine why he would want to attack the Sanctuary.
In that sense, Abseltur was also a big deal. Did they have a temporary alliance because they were both aiming for the Sanctuary? Or were they moving under someone else’s orders? The Death Knight and War Knight entered his thoughts reflexively, but Shutenberg and Abseltur didn’t give off the auras of War or Death.
"Sword Duke, can you tell me about the Sanctuary?
At In-gong’s question, the sword duke took a deep breath and replied,
"It is a very important place for the entire Demon World. The demon king decided to hide the Sanctuary from the eyes of the world. The large wards make it hard to find the land of the sura. It seems like Shutenberg somehow sniffed out its location… but I think it will be safe now for a few years. In the meantime, I hope to find Shutenberg’s base.”
It was safer to strike directly against the enemy, rather than wait for them to attack the Sanctuary.
In Knight Saga, the sword duke had the image of a wanderer. If the sword duke were locked to the Sanctuary, he wouldn’t have met Amita, another wanderer of the Demon World. Therefore, the story seemed correct.
The sword duke frowned suddenly and spoke in a slightly annoyed voice,
“Prince, I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you much more right now. I hope you understand.”
So far, based on the stories and actions of the sword duke, the existence of the Sanctuary was a strict secret in the Demon King’s Palace. Since it was the order of the demon king which had brought him here in the first place, it was natural for the sword duke to be careful with his words.
Thus, it was now time to wait.
"Thank you for understanding. By the way, Prince, are you okay? You faced a fairly strong enemy.”
“He was strong. I was able to beat him due to having the right balance of skills.”
They weren’t words of humility. It would have been really dangerous if he hadn’t intensified his divinity.
‘Only the poisons weren’t a big deal.’
When he fought Abseltur in Knight Saga, Saintess Beatrice had often been exhausted, like Felicia after ‘faster than the wind’ was mobilized. In addition to the various blessings, he had been able to use detoxification magic just like breathing.
The sword duke stared at In-gong before turning his gaze back to the front again. He didn’t ask about any of it. In-gong once again felt a sense of incongruity. Although In-gong had clearly changed, the sword duke didn’t express any doubts about those changes. It was obvious that there was something. Perhaps he knew the secret of Shutra, rather than In-gong.
As they reached the village walls, a few young sura greeted the sword duke and In-gong. The sword duke exchanged words with one of them briefly before speaking to In-gong.
"Prince, I think I need to look at the ward for a while. You should go and rest first.”
He then called out to a young sura woman, “Sindra.”
Sindra was a woman with long red hair and skin which was white like snow. She was a beautiful woman who seemed to be in her mid 20s.
"I will serve Prince.”
Sindra bowed, like Indara had done, before leading In-gong to a large building nearby. It was a building he thought would be a town hall, but there was an alien feeling as everything inside was oriental.
Sindra guided In-gong to a room which looked simple but tidy, then she withdrew after leaving a message for him to call her if she was needed. When he checked the mini-map, she seemed to be waiting in a small room nearby.
In-gong wanted to call Sindra and ask her something, but he changed his mind. If the sword duke was silent, then it wasn’t likely that Sindra would answer honestly. It seemed better to wait for the sword duke.
Some time passed by.
In-gong lay on a bed made of bamboo woven together and smiled.
"Master, can you give it to me one more time? I will be a well-behaved guardian in the future.”
Green Wind sat close to In-gong. She begged cutely for one finger, but In-gong pushed her away.
"No, Green Wind is already a well-behaved guardian.”
They were words that even Carack would admire. Green Wind stared blankly for a moment before crying out angrily,
"Master, then I will misbehave from now on!”
"Then no more. How can I reward a bad guardian?”
Green Wind nodded unknowingly before making a panicked expression.
"Hiing, Master is bad! Bad! Petty!”
"But am I not good to Green Wind?”
Green Wind’s face became grouchier at his words. Green Wind smacked her lips together a few times before hitting In-gong’s shoulder and screaming,
"Master is a fool!”
Then she disappeared into the wind. However, In-gong just smiled as she disappeared like a pouting child.
‘Ah, how fun.’
It was almost as fun as teasing Felicia.
‘I’ll give it to her later when we return to the Demon King’s Palace.'
In-gong couldn’t create tremendous tasting blood at any time. In order to make the blood taste the same, he had to use Spiritualism.
‘If I am going to do it, then it should be when everyone is together.’
It was good to share it. He also wanted Felicia, Caitlin and Carack to try it.
'Will everybody be worried?’
He had left so abruptly that it was obvious they would be worried. The more he thought about it, the more he wanted to take care of them.
'Well, it is something like this.’
Anyhow, he would give them his blood.
'Well, it can’t be much.’
He couldn’t give too much blood and other fluids. Shaking his head to get rid of the thoughts, In-gong looked at the clock on the mini-map. It had already been an hour since he had separated from the sword duke.
‘I should have a real nap.’
The moment that In-gong thought so...
"Prince, would you like something to drink?”
The sword duke showed up unexpectedly at his window. He was holding a small tray which contained warm wine and a few snacks. In-gong turned to look at the door for a short moment, then he got down from his bed and sat facing the sword duke. The sword duke handed the cup to In-gong first.
"Thank you for your help. Thanks to Prince, the damage was able to be minimized.”
Abseltur’s poisons would have dealt massive damage to the sura, even if they defeated him in midair. In-gong smiled humbly. Then the sword duke spoke again,
"Is there anything you want in return? I will do my best to get it for you.”
It was something In-gong had been waiting for. He had finished putting his thoughts together while waiting for the sword duke to return.
'He might reject this.’
That was the first thought which came up. There was a question he really wanted to ask the sword duke. In-gong took a deep breath before asking,
"I would like to know about the sin of the gandharva."
At In-gong’s request, the sword duke made a difficult expression and shook his head.
“Prince, I need the demon king’s permission for that. I can’t just tell the truth to Prince.”
Although it was a rejection, there were still meaningful words mixed in.
‘Perhaps? Is there something secret about the sin of the gandharva?’
Maybe a small hint was given.
‘I have to wait for Nayatra.’
Instead of digging further, In-gong said another answer he had prepared,
"Then Sword Duke, I would like to learn more about Sura Heart Law.”
“Hrmm... that is good. And I think Prince needs a little bit of organization.”
"Yes. Various powers are mixed randomly in Prince’s body. It seems to be organized, but... it is very disorganized. I can at least help organize your aura.”
In-gong used aura, magic power, psychic power, and divine power. Moreover, as the number of aura hearts increased, his system became more complicated. It was a situation where he needed to organize the traffic.
The sword duke raised his cup at In-gong’s words and said,
"I think it is better to talk about it tomorrow after returning to the Demon King’s Palace. Now, drink some more.”
They exchanged a few more glasses. Then the sword duke suddenly asked in a sly voice,
“That reminds me. Between 6th Princess and 8th Princess, who is better? Ah, maybe you think the 4th Princess is better?”
It was a sudden but also familiar question. In-gong recalled the face of 4th Queen Elaine, and the sword duke’s eyes narrowed.
"Prince, it seems like you have received this question before.”
Indeed, this was the sword duke. In-gong shrugged and replied,
"4th Queen asked me playfully.”
“Hoh, 4th Queen.”
The sword duke slowly stroked his beard. Somehow, there was a knowing expression in his gaze.
‘What? Is there something else?’
Elaine's biggest weakness was Caitlin. Was this a sign that he knew about Caitlin’s birth secret? In-gong thought inwardly as the sword duke drained his cup. The sword duke refilled In-gong’s cup, as though saying that In-gong’s concerns were unfounded.
The white woman lifted her head in the darkness. Her red and blue eyes were gazing far away.
It was a place which hadn’t existed when the red dragon destroyed all civilization thousands of years ago. There was no connection to her. She couldn’t relate to it, yet the white woman could feel it.
A voice was calling from beyond the ward in the centre of the village.
It was a voice calling In-gong, not the white woman.
[TL Note] The author has provided a drawing of Felicia below:
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