Chapter 199 - Chapter 42: Awareness
10,000 years ago, the red dragon destroyed all the civilizations in the Demon World.
Numerous species lost their civilizations. There had been a loss of history and traditions, as well as culture and technology. Some species even lost their language.
Among the various species, there had been one with a particularly brilliant and great civilization. Those who ruled the Demon World drove the rebellion against the red dragon and, as a result, lost everything.
Unlike other species which had lost civilizations but still had survivors, this species had not even a single survivor. Their names had been erased along with their civilization and their history forgotten. However, they had also left something behind. The ruins of where the indigenous species used to live, as well as their relics, were scattered all over the Demon World.
Then someone thought...
It was strange. Why had the indigenous species been wiped out? Unlike the other species, why were there no survivors?
No, from the outset—were they really wiped out?
As the Black Flame Dragon rode the wind, Silvan left the control room and headed to the bridge. All the key personnel, except for Silvan, were already gathered there. Felicia, who had been waiting for Silvan to arrive, looked around and asked,
“Sword Duke, where will we join up with Zephyr orabeoni?”
Zephyr was currently near the Aegis Gate. Due to the fact that he was already in the north, the meetup point would differ depending on the party’s destination. Felicia’s question included the location of Arch Lich Shutenberg. The sword duke stroked his beard and replied,
"Well, we have taken off, so I can talk about it now. You won’t be joining 2nd Prince.”
Felicia narrowed her eyes. The others were reacted in a similar way, so the sword duke added an explanation immediately.
"To be more precise, I alone will join the 2nd Prince.”
The doubts of those in the bridge deepened. Everyone, including Felicia, looked confused, while the sword duke just stroked his beard and laughed.
“Don’t look at me with that expression. I am going to explain it, so relax.”
The sword duke placed several models on the map of the Demon World spread out in the bridge. Each of them were in a position which seemed to represent In-gong’s group, Zephyr’s group, and Shutenberg.
"It is very important for the Demon King’s Palace and the whole Demon World that Arch Lich Shutenberg is defeated. In fact, I asked if you wanted to participate, but I was actually going to compel you using the demon king’s name. I’m glad that it worked out well.”
Everyone’s eyes widened at the declaration that the sword duke was going to forcibly drag them along from the very beginning. However, all those gathered here were children of the demon king. They had already fought with enemies of the Demon World in the form of missions, so this wasn’t a new thing for them.
The sword duke laughed at the subtle looks of the princes and princesses and continued talking.
"1st Prince and 4th Princess will also participate in this work. Actually, all the princes and princesses are fighting, except for 3rd Prince who is still in Curtis.”
The sword duke placed two additional models on the map of the Demon World. The model representing Baikal was placed at the Aegis Gate, while the model of Anastasia was placed in a very familiar place to In-gong.
‘Master, Enger Plains!’
Green Wind shouted. It was a cry only for In-gong’s ears, but the sword duke smiled like he had heard it.
"You will join 4th Princess at Enger Plains. I will go alone to the north and join 2nd Prince.”
The sword duke moved his hands, and the models were split into two groups. Chris looked at it and asked,
“Sword Duke, are you thinking about creating a pincer attack?”
The group centered on In-gong would head to the north, while Zephyr’s group would march to the west.
"Arch Lich Shutenberg isn’t a fool. He will notice if we move. So, we have to scatter his gaze.”
That made sense, but Chris spoke with a bit of displeasure,
"Then Sword Duke and Hyung-nim will be doing everything?”
Their group had the advantage in numbers, but Zephyr dominated them in power. Among the children of the demon king, Baikal and Zephyr would move together with the sword duke. If so, In-gong’s group was just bait, so it was natural to feel bad.
The sword duke shook his head.
"That isn’t it. This side also needs to succeed. If either side knocks down Shutenberg, then that is enough. It isn’t just 4th Princess at Enger Plains. My sura warriors will be arriving right now. Make them your guides.”
Chris frowned at the sword duke’s further explanation but nodded. Despite the sword duke joining Zephyr, having more troops sounded good.
However, In-gong had other thoughts. No matter how many troops they had, it was impossible to make up for the sword duke’s absolute power. When the sword duke said that either side could succeed, In-gong felt like there was something which was still being concealed.
"Sword Duke, why aren’t the captains coming out?”
The captains were the best military power of the Demon King’s Palace. No matter how important defending the north was, this was a mission where the sword duke was moving personally. If the captains didn’t move in this situation, then what was the point of their positions?
The sword duke looked at Felicia’s disgruntled face, which looked just like Chris’, and replied,
"Princess, aren’t I enough?”
“No, it isn’t like that...”
Although the sword duke was laughing loudly, it was a serious incident. Felicia started fidgeting, and the sword duke laughed again.
“Princess is really funny.”
Felicia’s face wrinkled again at his words, but the sword duke disregarded it. He stroked his beard and explained,
“The captains need to defend Aegis Gate. The Winter King seems to have started moving.”
“The Winter King!”
Felicia exclaimed with surprise. The Winter King wasn’t just the king of the northern barbarians, but also the king of all things beyond the Aegis Gate. He had only appeared as a background story in Knight Saga, but he had power comparable to the demon king.
"Originally, the princes and princesses would’ve gathered at the Aegis Gate to confront the Winter King. But Shutenberg’s invasion is closer.”
If the opponent was the Winter King, then it was understandable to put the captains on standby. It was already 200 years ago, but when the demon king and the Winter King first clashed, two captains had been lost. It was the first and last time that a captain had been killed in the history of the Demon King’s Palace.
"Both of them... It is clear that something unusual is happening.”
The Winter King was the Winter King, but Shutenberg wasn’t ordinary either. Apart from the sword duke, the children of the demon king and the sura warriors were also being mobilized. Therefore, Shutenberg might be much stronger than Chris thought.
The sword duke nodded at Chris’ words.
"Yes, tremendous things are happening in the destiny of the Demon World. Then please do this.”
After the meeting in the bridge ended, the demon king’s children scattered to rest. The story was heavier than they thought, so the mental fatigue was significant. Rather than following the others, In-gong went up to the deck where the sword duke was enjoying the wind. It was stuffy inside the narrow cabin, but he had a more important reason.
The sword duke turned like he had been waiting for In-gong’s call. It was as if he had been waiting in a place where no one was present, knowing that In-gong would come. In-gong took a deep breath as he stood next to the sword duke and said,
"I’d like to ask you one thing.”
“I can guess what it is, but go ahead. Ask.”
The sword duke was smiling, but his eyes were blank. After seeing them, In-gong was convinced of it. It was clear that the sword duke already knew.
'Sword Duke, am I a pure-blooded gandharva?’
‘Correct. Prince is a pure-blooded gandharva. You don’t have a single drop of blood from the demon king.’
In-gong asked using message magic, and the sword duke used Trill to reply. The sword duke answered so naturally that In-gong felt awkward.
‘The 5th Queen... No, my mother...’
'It wasn’t an affair.’
The sword duke interrupted In-gong. He laughed and gazed far away.
‘The 5th Queen wasn’t like that. She truly loved the demon king.’
'Prince, I will tell you the most important thing. The demon king recognized you as a prince. No matter what anyone says, you are one of the two people closest to the throne of the demon king.’
This was an expected story. The demon king already knew everything, and yet, he had delivered the Seed of Extreme Nothingness to In-gong. The sword duke sighed and took out a blue ball the size of his thumb.
In-gong felt a tremendous magic power in his hand. It was a magic power which he had encountered for the first time in his life, but In-gong knew its identity immediately. It was the magic power of 5th Queen Semita Ignus.
'This bead contains the truth about the secret of Prince’s birth. You can only watch it once, so when you are ready, watch it with those you want to share the secret with.'
After those words, the sword duke left the deck. Once left alone, In-gong grasped the bead and prepared his heart. There was no reason to delay any further.
“Green Wind, ask Carack, and my brothers and sisters to come to my room. Tell them not to come with their aides.”
‘I understand, Master.’
Green Wind left In-gong’s side. In-gong fell deep into thought as he headed for the bridge.
He had already shared the most important secret about the Conquest Knight with Felicia. So, there was no reason to hide this from her. Caitlin shared the Moonlight and Starlight Core with In-gong and was a member of the King’s Knights. So, she was trustworthy. Silvan was the same. He was also a member of the King’s Knights. Chris didn’t belong to the King’s Knights, and he was the most political person among the children of the demon king. However, he was a strong supporter of In-gong. He was a political person, so it was better to confide the story now instead of having it come out later.
This was a situation where the sword duke and demon king already knew In-gong’s status. Moreover, Chris knew about Caitlin’s birth secret. It was beneficial for the lycanthropes to side with In-gong.
In-gong sat in the room as the children of the demon king started to gather. When Felicia and Caitlin arrived, it was still okay. However, after Silvan and Chris appeared, the cabin instantly became cramped.
In-gong sat in the middle of his small single bed, with Felicia and Caitlin on his right and left. Silvan and Chris sat on chairs in front of the bed.
“Shutra, what did you call us to talk about?”
Once seated, Caitlin asked as if she was representing everyone else. In-gong smiled at her and sighed. He raised the blue bead the sword duke had given him.
“Everyone, I wanted you to watch this with me.”
Everyone's eyes became focused, and In-gong injected magic power into the bead.
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