Chapter 94 - Chapter 14: The Last Flame #9
"Uh, is Last Flame the name of a person?”
Carack whispered to the group. Seira, who was walking next to him, responded in a small voice,
"Rather, won’t they be similar to Green Wind?”
That was a likely story. If Green Wind was a person who had the power of the wind, it was possible that the last flame was one with the power of fire.
"Either way, it is intriguing.”
Felicia said with a smile. It was good for her. Encountering unknown knowledge always excited her.
Caitlin said in a small voice and Delia nodded. Amita, who was leading the way, suddenly stopped walking. Their long tail pounded against the ground as they shouted,
“I only called 9th Prince, so why are there so many followers?”
Amita’s anger was understandable. It was literally a procession.
Felicia and Caitlin were on either side of In-gong and Silvan was next to Felicia. The aides, Carack, Seira and Delia, followed by Daphne, were behind the princes and princesses,
Amita was angry, but it was more cute than scary, simply because they were a raccoon. Moreover, there was one person in the party who could handle Amita comfortably.
“Amita, I’ll hug you.”
Daphne opened her arms and said to Amita. Amita then turned to Daphne and nodded.
“I won’t refuse.”
They coughed a few times in embarrassment and Daphne hugged Amita with a gentle smile.
The party followed the gentle Amita and went to a small temple nearby. It was a little bit larger than the temple on Enger Plains and was built entirely of wood. It wasn’t made from cut trees, but the trees themselves had tangled together into the shape of a house.
As they passed through the entrance at the tree trunks, there was a large space with a little girl standing in the middle. She was a short-haired girl dressed in a white dress.
“The guardian of Spider Forest.”
In-gong looked at the girl in surprise after hearing Amita’s words. Robin had talked about a big spider, so he had never imagined she would be a little girl.
'It isn’t a body. It is like some type of terminal. Moreover, she seems to be a young guardian based on her appearance. A large spider might have been the guardian in the past, but based on her appearance, the previous mess is understandable. She seems young and weak, without the strength to fight.’
In-gong jumped as he heard Green Wind’s words. ‘A young guardian? There’s even something like this? And the former guardian was a spider. Does that mean a guardian can give birth?’
He was full of questions that he wanted to ask, but the situation wasn’t good.
The girl guardian lifted the hem of her dress slightly and curtsied.
"I am Kafran, the guardian of Spider Forest. Thank you for saving me.”
He wondered where she learned how to curtsy. ‘Did Amita teach her?’
In-gong laughed at the thought of a raccoon teaching her courtesies and called Green Wind.
Green Wind took a solid form next to In-gong. Unlike the party that was accustomed to seeing Green Wind, Kafran made a surprised face when she saw Green Wind.
In-gong turned to Green Wind and said,
"Share your stories. Isn’t this a rare opportunity?”
It was a chance for guardians to talk to each other.
Like In-gong said, it was a rare opportunity. Kafran’s eyes sparkled and Green Wind also seemed excited by the prospect, but that was only for a moment. Green Wind frowned and said hesitantly,
“But I have to follow Master...”
"It doesn’t matter. Only 9th Prince can face the last flame alone.”
Amita said in a stiff voice. However, Kafran seemed pleased.
In-gong stroked Green Wind’s head lightly.
“I will be back.”
"I understand, Master. Come back safely. It would be good if you can buy me a gift.”
Green Wind laughed happily. In-gong chuckled at the words ‘buy me a gift.’
"Who taught you to say that?”
"Carack taught me.”
Everyone’s gazes turned toward Carack who simply had shameless expression on his face.
While they were all laughing, Amita shouted,
"Do you plan to stay here all day? Let's go!"
Green Wind remained with Kafran while Felicia and Caitlin showed interest in their conversation. Silvan, Delia and Seira stayed still while Carack and Daphne, who was carrying Amita, followed In-gong deep into the temple.
They stopped in front of a black door and Amita jumped down from Daphne’s arms.
“It is up to here. Only 9th Prince can enter.”
Daphne was sad since she wanted to see the last flame, but Amita didn’t tolerate anyone other than In-gong.
Carack stepped back with Daphne and grinned at In-gong.
There was a gentle light inside the door. Small blue lights, reminiscent of fireflies, filled the room that had an approximate radius of two meters.
In the middle of the room, a green fire was burning on a small altar. It was a small flame that was only the size of Amita, but he couldn’t take it lightly. This was a flame that gave off an unusual energy.
Amita jumped on the altar and pointed to the green flame.
“This is the last flame. Put your hand inside it.”
Put his hand in the fire?
“It’s okay. This isn’t an ordinary flame. Do I have to explain everything like this?”
In-gong replied to Amita, who had taken out a pipe, and approached the last flame. After taking a deep breath, In-gong put his hands into the fire.
Amita’s words were true. Rather than hot, the flame was warm. He didn’t feel his skin burn.
In-gong slowly moved his hands further into the flame and it grew bigger. Suddenly, the now larger flame swallowed up In-gong’s body.
Instead of screaming, In-gong closed his eyes reflexively and soon found himself standing in a completely different place.
The world was on fire. It was a place filled with green fire.
However, rather than the negative representation of hell, In-gong was reminded of something else. It was an awkward expression, but if he had to name it, he would call it the Kingdom of Fire.
The beautiful and mysterious green flames bloomed like flowers and the warmth seemed to be melting In-gong’s heart.
In-gong stabilized his breathing. The flames in front of him parted to the sides and revealed the existence behind them.
It was a woman made of flames. She looked like a young girl as well as an unmarried woman. Due to the flickering flames, her appearance seemed to change constantly.
The last flame.
According to legend, it was also the first flame.
She sat down on her throne of fire and looked down at In-gong. As she smiled through her blazing hair, a throne came up behind In-gong and the two thrones neared each other.
"It is nice to meet you, Conquest Knight.”
The last flame spoke. In-gong stared at the last flame with surprise and she laughed at him.
"You are a Conquest Knight with the power of Conquest. I couldn’t help but notice since you used the power in front of my avatar.”
"Indeed. Amita is my avatar— a cute and lovable child.”
In-gong gave a small laugh. At the very least, their outward appearance was cute and lovely.
The last flame smiled at In-gong and crossed her legs. She leaned her head against her arm supported by the armrest and said,
"Your eyes are filled with wonder and confusion. Don’t you know what a Conquest Knight is?”
In-gong nodded. It was the first time he could have a conversation about what a Conquest Knight was. This wasn’t the time to be ashamed of his ignorance.
"Yes, I don't know. But I would like to know.”
His desire to know had become stronger after her words. The last flame spoke again,
The last flame was a queen. She uncrossed her folded legs and straightened her posture. Seeming to gaze into the distance, she recited a poem,
"Conquest, War, Death and Famine - the Four Knights of the Apocalypse.”
Flames rose up around the throne. The green flames started forming shapes: a crown to symbolize Conquest; a sword symbolizing War; a sickle symbolizing Death; and an empty bowl symbolizing Famine.
"They are the riders of the end and the ones longing for the destruction of the world.”
The flames erased the symbols. It was like the symbols had burnt and destroyed themselves.
‘Those who crave destruction.’
‘The ones who would cause the end.’
It seemed to be a natural story; War, death and famine - they were all words with negative connotations.
The last flame leaned back against her throne. She observed In-gong and said,
"However, you are a little bit- no, very different. Why are you a Conquest Knight?”
The last flame stopped talking. Then she stared intensely at In-gong and continued,
"The Knights of the Apocalypse are those who crave destruction. It isn’t because they are Knights of the Apocalypse. They were chosen as knights because they already have those urges."
The only Knight of the Apocalypse that In-gong had faced directly was Gerard, the Famine Knight.
He was crazy.
He enjoyed destruction and slaughter and even tried to kill his own kin.
"You don’t wish for destruction nor do you enjoy destruction and slaughter. Moreover, you aren’t affected much.”
He asked reflexively and the last flame laughed. She formed two flames which were connected by a thin line of fire in the air.
"Those who have been selected as a Knight of the Apocalypse — Conquest, War, Death, and Famine - those are the only things that can be expressed. The Knights of the Apocalypse are strongly affected by them. That is how their strength is able to grow. Under that influence, they will try to bring an end to the world. But you are different. You are almost unaffected by Conquest. Conquest also doesn’t want to conquer you. Rather...”
The last flame became hazy as she smiled. Her eyes narrowed and she whispered,
"Maybe she is hoping to be conquered by you.”
The golden-crowned woman with red and blue eyes...
She had never tried to manipulate In-gong and only revealed her appearance and voice when In-gong was in a crisis.
"This is just my guesswork. In fact, this is the first time I’ve encountered a Knight of the Apocalypse. I have said all that I know.”
The last flame laughed and crossed her legs again. Then she spoke with a frowning face that was similar to Felicia’s,
"You don’t wish for destruction, nor do you want to cause the end of all life. What do you want to do? Now that the three knights are pursuing its end, what do you want in this world?”
It was a fundamental question.
What did he want to do?
Go back to his original world?
Of course, he was thinking about returning, but there was one other thing in this world that he wanted to achieve.
He had always been thinking about it.
He wanted to stop the massacre of the lycanthropes...
And prevent the Day of Massacre.
He wanted to change the demon king’s children’s future of being killed by Zephyr. He wanted to protect everyone, including Caitlin and Felicia.
All these things could be summarized simply.
He wanted to change the ending... And stop the tragic ending of Knight Saga.
He needed to do so. That was what he needed to do.
He didn’t think it was the reason he was brought into this world. He didn’t consider what Conquest’s dream was. In-gong himself wanted to do this.
He would knock down Zephyr and all the Knights of the Apocalypse that were seeking destruction.
It didn’t matter if it coincided with the reason for his summoning or Conquest’s dream.
In-gong’s dream was to change the ending.
"You are not like the Knights of the Apocalypse, but you are a person well suited to be a Conquest Knight.”
The last flame lifted her hand as she said this. Then she formed a fist slowly.
"The Conquest Knight is the king who subjugates all things — he who was born with the fate of a king.”
Punishment, obedience, governance...
Skills, magic, guardians, the heart of an elder dragon...
And it didn’t stop there.
"The simplest and most perfect way to fulfill your desires is to become the demon king.”
The 4th Queen, Elaine Moonlight had asked him if he wanted to do this.
Chris, her son and one of In-gong’s strongest allies, had also asked him.
Now, the last flame as well.
"Lord, will you become the demon king?”
“I will become the demon king.”
It was so natural that the last flame was satisfied. She got up from her throne and approached In-gong.
“Conquest Knight, who seeks life and not the end- no, the King of Conquest...”
She laid her lips on In-gong’s forehead; the sacred flame blessed In-gong.
"I pray that your dream will be fulfilled.
[Divine Power Lv1 has been learnt.]
[Incarnation of Fire Lv1 has been learnt.]
[A ‘strong alliance’ has been formed with the last flame.]
[Your level has risen.]
In-gong smiled at the sudden words. Just like the actors that he had sometimes seen in movies, In-gong kissed the back of the last flame’s hand.
And her response to In-gong’s unexpected action?
The last flame laughed and kiss In-gong on the lips, not the forehead.
In-gong’s eyes widened at the sudden kiss and the last flame kept laughing.
The world was burning.
In-gong opened his eyes. Instead of the burning throne and the beautiful last flame, the room was filled with blue light.
It had been a short yet long conversation with the last flame.
There were certainly benefits. He had learnt a little bit about the identities of the knights and was able to clarify his purpose.
There was also one more thing.
Amita, who was staring blankly at the last flame, suddenly pounded on the ground with their tail. They jumped up and shouted at In-gong,
“Why? Why did the last flame suddenly ask me to make you a full set?”
Instead of answering, In-gong raised a hand to his lips. The pleasant heat was still lingering there.
"9th Prince! Answer me!”
In-gong looked toward the last flame instead of Amita. It felt like the green fire suddenly smiled.
“Full set... Thank you.”
In-gong said and Amita shook their head. Once again, their tail slammed against the ground angrily.