Chapter 62 - Chapter 9: Exception #4
"I would like to join you on this mission."
The next morning, two people came to visit In-gong, who happened to oversleep.
One person was familiar while the other one was unfamiliar, but he could soon remember the name.
One of the children of the concubines. In-gong wasn’t sure, but the person was clearly a siren.
'A male siren.’
Sirens were a beautiful species that lived in the sea. They were famous for being powerful people who were able to naturally gather magic power in their voices in order to lure people.
Standing before In-gong, Cadaroph was also a powerful voice magic user. He was a teenager. The young siren had blue hair, twinkling eyes and a cute appearance, but In-gong wouldn’t allow himself to be seduced by a male or female siren.
"I'm sorry, I have already decided who will go on this mission. I will borrow your strength at the next opportunity.”
In-gong answered with moderately reasonable words as he placed his hand on Cadaroph’s shoulder and smoothly led him out of the drawing room. Cadaroph blinked a few times at being kicked out of the drawing room before nodding like it couldn’t be helped. Daphne still remained in the drawing room.
"Have a safe trip.”
In-gong shook hands with the bemused Cadaroph and closed the door to the drawing room. Flora would send Cararoph back.
Daphne bit her lip as she watched and asked in a slightly nervous voice,
“Can I go with you?”
"We should go together. Look after me this time as well.”
In-gong answered calmly as he sat beside Daphne and thought of the process that had brought her here.
As expected, Cadaroph had stuck to Daphne in order to enter the drawing room.
Yesterday, after the court gathering, In-gong had returned to the mansion and ordered Flora and his servants to graciously refuse all visitors except for Felicia, Delia and Daphne. It was in order to minimize unnecessary encounters like Felicia had proposed yesterday.
In-gong hadn’t kicked out Cadaroph because he was a male siren. Cadaroph was the unnecessary meeting Felicia was worried about.
Cadaroph was a hidden follower of 4th Princess Anastasia and among Anastasia’s followers, he was an especially enthusiastic follower. However, he was hidden because Cadaroph’s abilities laid in ‘spying’.
When In-gong played as Zephyr, Cadaroph had always approached him with a bright smile and then as always, he had tried to betray In-gong at a crucial moment.
'That Cadaroph came to me?’
He didn’t think that Cadaroph would have suddenly changed from Anastasia to In-gong.
Frankly speaking, compared to theo ther children of the demon king, In-gong’s merits were still not worth a lot. He had made a strong impression due to the shocking incidents at two court gatherings, but that wasn’t always a good thing.
Daphne had come back after seeing him directly on Enger Plains.
In-gong was currently attracting a great deal of attention for his achievements and growth. So, it was possible that he would keep growing like this.
However, shining like this was also dangerous.
The children of the concubines went to whom they thought was closest to becoming the demon king. Their futures depended on it, so it was still too risky to bet boldly on In-gong.
‘He was someone who listened to Anastasia until the end, even when Zephyr was winning. He wouldn’t have joined me so suddenly. Rather, the important thing is the other side.’
Even if he was a spy, the possibility that he had come to In-gong on his own accord was low. It had obviously been a command from Anastasia.
‘It is a little too weak to be an attempt to keep me in check... Maybe she’s just keeping an eye on me?’
Either way, it didn’t change the fact that Anastasia was starting to notice In-gong.
In-gong recalled Anastasia from the court gathering. She had been eerily beautiful, but she was as strong as her beauty. Her nickname was the female Zephyr.
‘This is all because of the demon king.’
As he cursed the demon king who put him in this situation, In-gong returned his attention to Daphne.
He gave her orders to prepare meticulously in order to leave the Demon King’s Palace quickly.
"So, where are you going?"
After sending Daphne off with her orders, In-gong quickly replied to Carack’s question.
"I will go to the Merits Department.”
“It is great to see 9th Prince.”
"Hello, Isabella. Were you surprised yesterday?”
In-gong greeted her with a smile and Isabella smiled back.
"It was amazing. It was huge. Is Prince okay?”
She asked with a little bit of worry as the demon king had done something unexpected yesterday. In-gong sighed and answered,
"I will leave it to your imagination.”
It was a playful answer, so although Isabella raised her eyebrows, she didn’t express any more concerns. Actually, it was pleasing when he stepped back and looked at it. The demon king had shown an interest in In-gong and not anyone else.
Isabella asked with a friendly smile,
"Do you want to hear about your achievements or the new mission first?”
"I’ll check my merits first.”
[9th Prince Shutra Agnus]
[Merit Level: 5 -> 10]
[Cumulative Merits: 15,000 -> 35,000]
[Currently Available Merit Points: 33,000]
[Merits related to participating in the Red Casios Expedition]
-Discovered the temple belonging to the guardian Green Wind.
-Repeled the group of casios.
-Repeled the group of drake ogres.
-Solved the 1st abnormal situation.
-Guessed the cause of the anomalies [Undetermined/Undead].
-1st grade merits against the casios.
[9th Prince’s merit has risen to level 10.]
[The facilities available to use inside the Demon King’ Palace has increased.]
[The monthly allowance has increased from 500 gold to 900 gold.]
'Oh, isn’t this better than the Red Lightning tribe expedition?’
In fact, he had expected it to some extent. The Red Lightning expedition wasn’t a mission exclusive to In-gong. Moreover, senior general Vandal had been involved in the mission, so it had to be evaluated in a general way.
On the other hand, In-gong had been in charge of the casios subjugation as Felicia had emphasized repeatedly. Moreover, he hadn’t acted as indirect support like last time. Instead, he had found the solution directly, so his merits obviously had to be better.
‘It means this strange situation has a lot of value to the Demon King’s Palace.’
It was due to the mysterious purple aura that had emerged from beyond the Northern Limit Line.
Isabella clasped her hands together and said,
“Once again, I really admired Prince’s merits. The casios subjugation is an annual mission, so no one expected it to become such a big deal.”
It made a lot of sense. In-gong had never even imagined that this would have happened.
However, there had been one person who caught onto it.
Perhaps the demon king knew? Did the result of this event have some significance to the demon king?
He was still missing too much information. Therefore, In-gong focused on the things in front of him.
"9th Prince, shall I send the rewards for your merit level to the mansion like before?”
He gained five levels, so he should receive a lot of rewards this time. He didn’t want to show his inventory ability, so he chose to have it delivered.
“I understand. Is there anything you want to use your merit points on?”
"Not here but somewhere else. I will go to the smithy and arsenal.”
“Indeed. Your merit level is now high enough to use several facilities in the palace. I hope you get a lot of good items.”
"Thank you, then can I ask you about the mission?”
“I understand. The mission outline is the same as what I said yesterday.”
[Dwarf Kingdom Thunderdoom Exploration Mission]
[During the development of a mine, a path leading to Thunderdoom was discovered. Secure the passage to Thunderdoom and explore the inside of Thunderdoom.]
[* Please depart from the Demon King’s Palace within the next seven days.]
The few lines of text were followed by a map made of light. In-gong was familiar with the place.
‘It really is Thunderdoom.’
He had already visited it in Knight Saga. However, the point of difference with Knight Saga was the time of discovery.
‘It won’t be the same.’
Quite a few things about the elder dragons had already changed from Knight Saga.
"General Kashubal lost his life during the Thunderdoom investigation. According to the report, poisoning from toxic gases seems to be the main cause of death. You should prepare for it.”
In-gong nodded. Whenever he entered Thunderdoom in Knight Saga, he had always carried various detoxification items with him.
‘In the first place, the mine was closed due to the toxic gases.’
It fit with the story, but why? It was a little odd.
General Kashubal...In-gong had never met him in Knight Saga, but had he truly not had any about the toxic gases? Or had he been accidentally injured despite the preparations? Either way, it was a wasteful end for an intermediate general.
‘I hope that Delia finds out more information.’
In-gong nodded and finished his conversation with Isabella.
"Thank you for the advice. Then I’ll be going now.”
“I will be waiting happily for Prince’s next visit.”
In-gong immediately headed to the eastern part of the castle that contained the armoury and smithy. He still had Felicia’s carriage from yesterday, so he didn’t have to encounter anyone while travelling.
The armoury at the Demon King’s Palace could be divided into two major areas. One was an area where mass-produced weapons and equipment for soldiers were stored. The other was a treasure trove of equipment for commanders, nobles and royalty.
Of course, In-gong headed toward the latter area.
Just like Isabella, Igor from Knight Saga was still in charge of the armoury.
“It is great to see 9th Prince. You have a merit level of 10, so the first treasure house is available to you. It is a principle to consume merit points when purchasing anything, but it is also possible to buy separately with money.”
In-gong smiled as he entered the first treasure house with the small demon imp.
The treasure house was incredibly large. It was almost ten times the size of the armoury found in the Thunder Light Anvil dungeon- no, it was twenty times the size.
Moreover, unlike the dungeon armoury that was empty in some places, the palace armour was packed tightly without any empty spots. It was like a department store of weapons.
It was surprising for In-gong even though he had already encountered it in Knight Saga. It was also new for Carack and Karma, so their eyes widened with shock.
In particular, Karma gasped like she was having a heart attack.
"C-can I really take all of this?”
Karma stuttered at In-gong as she carried the items he picked out. There was a chain mail with lightning magic, a silver helmet and gauntlets. It was gorgeous equipment she could never imagine wearing.
However, In-gong just replied casually,
Karma’s eyes bulged but this much was nothing for the Demon King’s Palace.
‘This is the palace of the demon king.’
It was the centre of the Demon World. In-gong felt apologetic but the Enger Plains, where the centaurs lived, couldn’t compare to it.
Carack declared proudly,
"Don’t hesitate to take it. We have to become strong enough to help the royal family.”
His words made a lot of sense. Carack put on a black helmet that matched his armour and carried a big magic shield on his back. He had already gained some items from missions, so he didn’t need anything more.
In-gong chose leather armour that resisted attacks of various attributes for himself. Divine Beast Authority used explosive movements, so metal armour, that was heavy and hindered the body, didn’t match. Chris and Caitlin also wore leather armour.
He used exactly 15,000 merit points for the three of them. Most of it was used for In-gong’s armour and Carack’s shield.
‘I shouldn’t save merits on equipment.’
And this was only the beginning of his merits. Once he returned from this mission, he might be able to access the second treasure house.
‘Okay, okay. Now, I seem like a prince. This is a knight.’
In-gong was about to leave the armoury with a pleased expression.
‘Master, what about me?'
'Master, you seem to only be discriminating against me.'
‘I am also green but Master likes that orc better.’
Green Wind’s voice hit In-gong’s ears. In-gong laughed and asked in a mischievous voice,
“What would you like to have?”
As expected, she didn’t have an answer. It wasn’t always possible for Green Wind to materialize in reality, so she didn’t need any armour or weapons.
Green Wind moaned because she was speechless and In-gong laughed again.
"I’ll praise you when we get back.”
'Master, I didn’t do anything to be praised.’
"Then I won’t.”
‘W-well, it isn’t bad to be praised for no reason.’
In-gong restrained himself from laughing. Igor didn’t know about the existence of Green Wind and was looking at In-gong with uncomfortable eyes.
After leaving the armoury, In-gong headed toward the smithy. Karma thought it would contain dozens of craftsmen sweating in a huge smithy, but in reality, it was a neat office similar to the Merits Department.
The place where orders were received didn’t have to be the place where they were made.
The lizardman Kator, the blacksmith, received In-gong’s requirements one by one and confirmed them.
“Are you talking about a greave (for the shins)?”
“Yes, a greave.”
In-gong’s demands were somewhat different from the usual greaves. It might be better to call them combat shoes.
Beast Authority and Divine Beast Authority weren’t limited to hand techniques. There were as many foot techniques and kicks as there were hand techniques.
The greaves in the armoury were meant to protect the legs and were hindrances when it came to fast foot techniques.
His greaves needed to be as light as possible in a shape that didn’t interfere with the movements of the legs and ankles. They also needed to be enchanted with a variety of magic.
After reviewing In-gong’s requirements again, Kator replied,
“Well, okay. It is a simple structure, so it shouldn’t take that long.”
“How long will it take?”
"Two days should be sufficient.”
Karma’s eyes widened again after hearing it would only take two days. They weren’t just normal greaves but magic greaves. Yet it would only take two days? It was unthinkable on the Enger Plains.
However, this was natural to In-gong. In-gong thought about his remaining merit points and asked,
“What materials would you recommend?”
"I could make it with dragon leather and scales.”
In-gong was shocked by Kator’s words. Dragon leather and scales... They were the finest materials that In-gong couldn’t afford with his current merit points.
‘Is he joking right now?'
However, Kator was serious. He looked at Carack and Karma standing behind In-gong before saying in a slightly lowered voice.
"Some materials arrived this morning in the name of 9th Prince. It is enough to make your order.”
"Materials came in my name?”
"Yes, that’s right.”
This was common in Knight Saga. Zephyr’s supporters, including those from his mother’s family, often gave him presents.
However, a gift had come for Shutra?
'Perhaps the gandharva?’
Even though they were weak, they were the type of people capable of producing a queen. In-gong’s face was full of expectations.
“Can you tell me who sent it?”
Kator took a deep breath instead of replying, then he answered in a quiet voice,
Carack and Karma’s eyes opened wide at the same time. Even the two of them, who were from remote areas, knew that name.
Sword Duke Ishgard:
A legend who represented an earlier era.
He didn’t belong to any of the queens’ families.
He was the paternal grandfather to all the children of the demon king;
An elder of the sura, the strongest combat species.