Chapter 201 - Chapter 42: Awareness #3
It was Chris who broke the deadlock even though he was sitting still. He watched the tension with a delighted expression before laughing and pulling Caitlin up.
"I’d like to finish it today, but I’ll let it go for now.”
Chris’ words caused everyone to stir uneasily. The one with the greatest reaction was Felicia.
"F-Finish! Chris! What the hell are you imagining?”
Felicia shouted with a red face. Shame was clearly present in Felicia’s voice, causing Chris to widen his eyes and speak with a coy expression,
"What is Noonim imagining? Huh?”
In-gong also wondered this. What did she imagine from Chris’ words? In-gong’s face turned redder at the thought, and it was the same with Felicia. It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that her whole body was red.
"Ah, no… I mean...”
She stammered in a tearful voice, but she couldn’t think of a proper excuse. Chris grinned, while Caitlin asked with confusion,
Her eyes were innocent and clear. Seeing Caitlin’s expression, Felicia groaned with dismay like it was hard to face that pureness. Once again, it was Silvan who saved Felicia.
“Sob, sob. Felicia, this is the heart of a father who is giving his daughter away in marriage.”
"Ah, come on!”
Felicia reacted like usual, but her eyes were filled with gratitude toward Silvan.
"Hmm, hmm. Then shall we end it here? Delia, Seira, and Sepira will be worried.”
Carack, who had been watching the situation calmly, spoke and wrapped up the situation. Silvan, who had been struggling to overcome this situation, immediately agreed with Carack.
"Yes, let’s get up first. It isn’t just today. Let’s talk about this slowly in the future.”
Time was needed for everyone to cool down and think. Chris seemed to agree, but then he laughed and said roguishly,
“Think about it Shutra. Caitlin will be an even more beautiful woman in the future.”
Caitlin felt his share of shame. As In-gong watched Caitlin try to hide behind Chris’ big body, he nodded inadvertently. Caitlin, who was just ahead of her 16th birthday, was still a teenage girl. As Chris said, she would become even more amazing in the future. Once Chris spoke like this, Silvan felt some rivalry as he gazed toward Felicia.
"Shutra, our Felicia is already an amazing beauty, but she will become more so in the future. Felicia is always the best.”
Unlike Caitlin who had risen from her seat, Felicia was still sitting next to In-gong. When he thought about it, they were still holding hands. Felicia flinched and turned her head away again. Thanks to that, she exposed her red neck and ears.
"Prince, the situation is reoccurring.”
Carack once again organized the situation. Silvan was immediately aware that he had embarrassed Felicia further and backpedalled.
“Well, yes. I should stop now. Good night, Shutra.”
Silvan then reached out and pulled Felicia up. She staggered instantly, like she had lost strength in her legs, but soon stood upright and opened her fan.
“Yes, good night. Shutra.”
Felicia stuttered like she couldn’t shake off her agitation even with the fan, making her cuter in In-gong’s eyes.
‘It is too much.’
Everything she did looked cute. As In-gong was thinking this, Caitlin also opened her mouth. Her cheeks were still red, but she showed a more relaxed smile than Felicia.
"Have a good night's sleep. Have good dreams.”
"Yes, dream of Caitlin.”
Chris interjected, and In-gong replied automatically, making the mood odd again.
Silvan seemed to want to tell In-gong to dream of Felicia, while Caitlin punched Chris with resentment and Felicia buried her face in her fan. Carack couldn’t stand this endless loop anymore, so he said to the princes and princesses,
"Come on, go to sleep. It’s late in the night.”
He waved his hand and chased them away.
After everyone left and only Carack remained, In-gong let out a long breath. It was a sigh filled with many emotions. Carack gazed at him and said,
“Prince, it was hard to look at. I felt embarrassed for you.”
"Hey, why should I be embarrassed?”
"Isn’t your mouth smiling too much? That is why. You will understand if you look in a mirror.”
Carack was as sharp as always, and In-gong flinched for a moment before smiling coolly.
"Well... it is great.”
They were Felicia and Caitlin, not anybody else. The two people liked In-gong despite their embarrassment, so why shouldn’t he feel good? Carack shook his head at In-gong’s shameless words.
"I was aware of this after meeting you, but you really were far from your brothers and sisters.”
If their period of growing up together had been long, then things might have been different today. In-gong nodded in agreement.
“Well... there was nothing in the first place.”
It wasn’t an exaggeration. Before becoming one with In-gong, Shutra had virtually no relationship with his other siblings. The Red Lightning Tribe mission was the first time he had seen Caitlin, let alone talked to her. It was no different with Felicia.
Felicia and Caitlin weren’t In-gong’s sisters in the first place. However, he couldn’t say this, even if the other person was Carack. It was a story that he hadn’t even shared with Felicia, who he had shared almost all his other secrets.
"Anyway... thank you. I didn’t think that Prince would tell me this secret.”
Carack said, turning his head sideways. It was embarrassing for Carack to say something like this. In fact, Carack’s reaction was natural. Other than Carack, the other aides hadn’t been invited and then a very shocking fact had been revealed.
"Of course, I should tell you. You are Carack.”
In-gong laughed, and Carack scratched his head awkwardly. Tonight seemed to be a night of embarrassment.
"Then I’m asking as Carack... Prince, who truly is the better one?”
Carack asked, turning the warm atmosphere awkward. In-gong cleared his mind and then took a deep breath.
"I think I should become the demon king first. Otherwise, what is the point of discussing it?”
"Such a big goal?”
This world was very different from Knight Saga in many ways, but In-gong still had the Day of Massacre in his head. He wouldn’t allow himself to be truly happy until he was the demon king. Elaine’s and Chris’ plans for marriage would’ve been established on the premise that In-gong would become the demon king.
“Understood. Then, I will really go now. Will you use the dream pillow so that you don’t lose your strength?”
"Ah, no. I won’t use the pillow today.”
In-gong was already in a situation where his delusions were running wild. He was afraid of what he would dream the moment he used the pillow.
"Then Master, go for a walk. Master is disgusting right now.”
Green Wind suddenly appeared behind In-gong and hugged his neck. Carack nodded as well.
"It is a good idea. The cold wind is the best to restore your spirit at night.”
In other words, it would calm him down.
"Okay, then I will be going for a while.”
He had just been in a heated situation, so the cool wind at night sounded quite nice.
Carack opened the door of the cabin with a chuckle.
There were some dark elves on the deck, but fortunately, Felicia and Caitlin weren’t present. In-gong greeted the dark elves before heading to a place that was deserted. The cool night breeze cleared his head.
In-gong became emotional and raised his head toward the night sky. It felt like the stars in the sky were falling toward him.
The sword duke approached from behind. He grabbed a seat next to In-gong and stretched.
"That look... you seem refreshed.”
The sword duke had been worrying about his reaction. Once In-gong answered calmly, the sword duke sighed and smiled.
"I am relieved. Yes, what about the reaction of the others... Prince? What is with that expression?”
The sword duke frowned and tilted his head. He had expected a reaction, but he didn’t think In-gong would look so embarrassed.
“Uh, um. That...”
In-gong hesitated before telling the sword duke the story. He didn’t tell every detail, but the flow was straightforward, making the sword duke curious.
"What can I say... I imagined this development to happen further in the future.”
"I-Is that so?”
The shock of In-gong’s birth secret being revealed had changed to confusion and embarrassment.
“The 4th Queen’s mindset... I thought it would come eventually... But uh, well, this is quick... Moreover...”
"It is strange to say something like this, but shouldn’t you normally feel distress over your identity or something like that?”
The sword duke asked.
It was like he said. As far as Shutra’s birth was concerned, Shutra wasn’t a child born out of a natural process but an artificially created one. Usually in this situation, the novel or manhwa protagonist would feel a serious confusion over their identity.
'I am not XX,’ or ‘I’m not human,’ or ‘I don’t care, I am human!’... They would think things like that. Then they would usually accept their identity through some dramatic situation.
However, In-gong was different. He didn’t feel any confusion over his identity.
In-gong was already Shutra, but something still felt separate. If he had many memories of the 5th Queen, then it might be different. However, it had only been a year since In-gong became Shutra. Additionally, the problem of Felicia and Caitlin was far more important than some confusion over his identity.
After seeing that In-gong didn’t feel any identity crisis, the sword duke laughed once again.
“Well, you don’t have to react like that. It is good. Prince actually seems more dependable. You are mentally tough.”
In-gong replied coolly. The sword duke didn’t continue talking about In-gong’s identity but switched the topic instead.
"Prince, do you remember the first time we met?”
It was when In-gong had been facing the man with the blue aura at Thunderdoom Fortress. In-gong had been incapable of beating the enemy before him ,and everyone was prepared for death. That memory was still vivid.
The sword duke laughed and stared straight at In-gong. In-gong had been impressed by the sword duke, and now the sword duke was impressed by In-gong. It wasn’t because In-gong was a being created using the essence of the gandharva god. There was something more special about In-gong.
"It isn’t because of the divinity of the gandharva. I am really looking forward to Prince’s future. Someday, I might bow to you after you are the demon king.”
This was why the demon king had given In-gong the Seed of Extreme Nothingness.
"The group led by Prince is important. Look after the other princes and princesses.”
“Yes, Sword Duke.”
There were no more questions and answers.
The sword duke patted In-gong’s shoulder and left, while In-gong stayed on the deck for a bit longer.
Two days later, the Black Flame Dragon arrived at Enger Plains. Anastasia had already arrived first, so she greeted the party.
As elegant as always, she frowned when she saw the party before her.
“What is with this subtly sweet, happy, and dangerous atmosphere?”
The feeling around Shutra was quite different from when she last saw them. Chris was smiling more wickedly than usual, while Silvan was unsure about what to do. Felicia and Caitlin on In-gong’s left and right looked unnatural, as Caitlin kept on fidgeting and Felicia never removed the fan from her face.
In the centre of all that, In-gong was just smiling. Anastasia felt quite favourable toward In-gong, but she couldn’t help wanting to beat that expression off his face.
"T-That... it is nothing. Yes, there is nothing.”
Felicia said quickly. Anastasia looked dubious as her eyes narrowed even further.
Her questioning gaze was scary, but no one opened their mouths. In-gong was familiar with Anastasia, but there was a clear difference in position between Anastasia’s faction and Shutra’s faction. Anastasia was still a powerful adversary and head of a rival faction, so she couldn’t be told his birth secret.
"What—what are you doing?”
Anastasia attacked Felicia, who was the closest and seemed the easiest. The normal Felicia would’ve replied in a certain way, but she didn’t answer.
Anastasia’s eyes narrowed even more. Felicia, who was in charge of Anastasia, was in a helpless state, so there was no one to deal with her. Chris was able to compete with Anastasia, but he just laughed like the situation was funny. Then just as In-gong was about to open his mouth...
"4th Princess, shouldn’t you move? It seems like there are more people who want to say hello.”
The sword duke moved like the wind and spoke to Anastasia. She was surprised by the sword duke’s appearance but regained her poise as always.
"4th Princess Anastasia Nekrion greets the sword duke.”
“A pleasure. You are still as beautiful as ever.”
Anastasia was one of several people who had gathered at the Enger Plains to greet them, and she displayed a formal greeting to the sword duke. Felicia sighed with relief when Anastasia’s attention was turned away from her and toward the sword duke instead.
“Come this way. We have prepared a small welcoming ceremony. It would be better to exchange greetings there.”
Anastasia said gracefully as she led the way. At that moment, In-gong saw the people behind Anastasia. There was some good faces.
As the name suggests, the eyes were ferocious. However, despite the scary eyes, In-gong just smiled at him. It wasn’t just Ferocious Eyes who In-gong greeted gladly. Among the crowd at Enger Plains, many of them were In-gong’s people.
Vandal’s large size made him stand out as he smiled at In-gong, and there was a beautiful woman smiling beside Vandal.
The succubus, Nayatra...
It was her.
"Your Highness, I will report about the information I’ve collected.”
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