Episode 278. A Hero's Path Smells like Flowers (3)

There was no sign or indication. Nevertheless, Kim Seon-Hyeok could feel Bluegon’s return. It was just like when the earth dragon had returned.

He immediately began getting ready to head towards the sea.

You need a ship?”

Since Marek rode Devon to the front line, he had no choice but to request a ship from the Grand Duke of Iberia.

“Why a ship all of a sudden?”

The Iberian Grand Duke had a puzzled expression when Kim Seon-Hyeok asked for a ship. That was only natural since his body was still covered in injuries. 

“I need to head out to the sea right now, just out to the front.”

“I don’t know where you plan on going with that body of yours.”

Although the Iberian Grand Duke was still confused by Seon-Hyeok’s vague answer, he gladly agreed to his request.

Even in the midst of a war, Granado was still full of energy and life with numerous ships going in and out of the port and it wouldn’t be difficult to find a ship for him.  

The problem was time.

Since they didn’t know when the Holy Kingdom would try something again, he had to meet with Bluegon as soon as possible to heal his beaten body.

“I’ll lend you a navy ship.”

With perfect timing, it seemed like a naval vessel that had been training was moored at the port to resupply.

He was extremely fortunate.

Unlike traveling on land, the preparation needed to sail was quite long and cumbersome whether the destination was far or close. Kim Seon-Hyeok, who had been quite worried about that, was finally able to put his mind at ease. 

“Since it’s a distance that’ll only take a day or two, it won’t interfere with the navy’s schedule. If you wish, I will arrange for you to board the ship tomorrow.”

Kim Seon-Hyeok had no intention of delaying, and as soon as the day dawned, he followed the guide to the port. 

It wasn’t difficult for him to find the naval personnel waiting for him. 

The navy’s blue coat was similar, yet different, from the blue coat of the field cavalry, and had a matching hat, along with a unique, curved blade meant to be used on the sea. The navy’s attire was easily noticeable even amongst the many sailors passing through the port. 

“Um, uh…”

However, the number of sailors was far greater than he had expected. Even at a glance, he could tell there was at least a regiment of navy sailors.

There weren’t just a lot of sailors.

There were also about a dozen battleships, which were very different in appearance from merchant ships, that were preparing to depart. 

“It is an honor to be able to escort the distinguished Indomitable Grand Duke. It’s a pleasure to meet you, sir. I am Francisco Lopez, in charge of the 1st fleet. We will serve you until you are ready to return, sir.”

He had only requested a ship to go out to the sea, but an entire fleet was tagging along.

“I’m afraid I’m causing a lot of trouble for you.”

“It’s the Grand Duke who needs us. Not only the 1st Fleet, but the entire armada would come rushing. We plan on training on the way, so please don’t worry too much about it.”

Admiral Lopez must’ve guessed what Seon-Hyeok was thinking because he explained the situation. Only after he heard that did Kim Seon-Hyeok feel like his burden had lessened a bit.

“All aboard!”

When he boarded the ship, all the naval soldiers who had stayed in the port looking at him quickly boarded the ship as well. 

“Direction, south-southwest. San Luis in the lead. 1st Fleet, depart!”

Having been informed of the destination, the 1st Fleet of Iberia finally departed from the port of Granado.

***

Perhaps it was because he wasn’t feeling well? He had already experienced sailing on a ship several times before, but this time, Kim Seon-Hyeok couldn’t get accustomed to the ship’s movements. To make matters worse, he had just calmed his stomach down, when he began to feel worse as the battleship moved violently and began its naval warfare training.  

However, the pain was only the beginning, and the closer they got to the area where Bluegon was located, the more the ship began to pitch and roll.

The previous ship’s movements were nothing.

As if a typhoon had hit, the ship shook and the fleet’s training stopped.

“All ships, widen the distance! Be careful not to be swept away by the waves and collide with our allies!”

Admiral Lopez was puzzled by the sudden increase in waves, but he didn’t stop moving.

“Indomitable Grand Duke, the ship is shaking. The deck is dangerous, so please head back down.”

When Admire Lopez saw Kim Seon-Hyeok staggering on the deck, he spoke with a concerned look on his face. He seemed worried that the Iberian’s distinguished guest would be swept away by the waves.

Kim Seon-Hyeok waved his hand and shook off Admiral Lopez’s support.

“No matter what happens, do not panic.”

Admiral Lopez looked puzzled at his abrupt remark.

“Whatever you see, don’t try to understand it or make sense of it.”

It was a warning, but at the same time, not a warning. The old admiral grinned.

“When you go out into the sea, you’re bound to encounter all kinds of strange things. And each time, I have realized how insignificant humans actually are. I can assure you, what you’re fearing won’t happen, sir.”

It seemed like Admiral Lopez spoke too hastily. Before a day had even passed, he had to revise his judgment.

The ships that had sailed without rest, all folded their sails and stopped on the spot. 

“Oh, my God.”

Admiral Lopez’s eyes widened as he stared at the mysterious landscape beyond the horizon.

The entire sky was blue and sunny, but it was storming over the horizon. The densely packed dark clouds were spitting out lightning from time to time, and rain and wind were blowing intensely over the water. The waves that rose high were as rough and rapacious as the devil’s tongue [1] and dozens of whirlpools that appeared and disappeared instantly were like the jaws of the devil. 

If there was a hell somewhere in the sea, it would be here.

The waves and winds were so terrible that even the elite fleet of Iberia, who feared nothing on the sea, didn’t dare go any further. Even Admiral Lopez gave up on advancing. 

The experienced old admiral was baffled by this outrageous phenomenon that was occurring in the seas of Granado, waters that were like their front yard. 

“There is no record anywhere that such a vortex had occurred in the nearby waters anywhere, sir.”

“We’ve checked the weather with the observation mages several times before setting off. None of them warned about a typhoon like this, sir.”

The sailors racked their brains and tried to figure out the strange phenomenon, but none of them could find an answer.

This was only natural.

“Didn’t I tell you?”

Of all those gathered here, only Kim Seon-Hyeok had an answer to this terrible phenomenon.

“No matter what happens, do not panic.”

The typhoons and whirlpools happening over there weren’t natural disasters or the capriciousness of the sea.

Bluegon.

This was the bad-tempered sea dragon silently throwing a tantrum at his indifferent owner.

Kim Seon-Hyeok made a troubled face at Bluegon’s behavior. He, the owner, had come this close to him, and yet, the sea serpent wasn’t showing himself.

Seeing how he had sunk deep into the depths of the sea without any intention of coming up, it seemed like Bluegon didn’t plan on coming to him as smoothly as Goldrake had.

Otherwise, he wouldn’t be stirring up the sea like he was protesting like this. 

Even the sailors who had spent several decades on the sea were terrified by this strange phenomenon, but when Admire Lopez looked over, he saw Kim Seon-Hyeok still looking very calm. 

“Can’t be…”

It was only then that he realized that the phenomenon and the person in front of him were connected. 

“Grand Duke, is what you’re looking for, over there?”

Based on Admiral Lopez’s question, he was feeling complicated. Kim Seon-Hyeok nodded.

“That is my destination.”

“Oh, my god…”

The old admiral gripped his head as he lamented. 

“Bring the boat as close as possible without putting yourselves in danger. After that, I’ll go by myself.”

“Absolutely not, sir! Even the largest and strongest ships would not be able to make a single attempt there before capsizing. But you want to go alone?!”

Terrified, Admiral Lopez tried to dissuade him. However, Kim Seon-Hyeok continued insisting on going alone.

He knew very well that he was the only one who could calm the petulant sea serpent.

“As of now, all ships, except for the main ship, will distance themselves from the whirlpool.”

However, Admiral Lopez was equally as stubborn as Seon-Hyeok.

“Sir, it’s impossible for us to get past that whirlpool and get to the middle of it all. However, I think we could get you to its vicinity.”

Until the end, Admiral Lopez didn’t allow him to go alone and chose to take the risk.

The fleet moved quickly. Next to the huge flagship, an agile-looking ship attached itself. It was San Luis, the ship who had led the fleet to this location.

“Although Vera Cruz is the most powerful ship in Iberia, she is a bit too slow to survive the stormy sea, but San Luis should be able to hold out a little longer than Vera Cruz.”

At Admiral Lopez’s command, the San Luis crew transferred onto the ship. Only the minimum number of people to operate the ship stayed behind.

“I want you to rethink this. It’s still not too late.”

Kim Seon-Hyeok didn’t want anyone to get caught between himself and Bluegon and tried to persuade the Admiral one more time. But it didn’t work this time either.

“Indomitable Grand Duke, my assignment was to escort you so that you could safely travel the sea and return to Granado. It wasn’t to abandon you somewhere in the sea.”

In the end, Kim Seon-Hyeok had to raise both his hands in defeat at the old admiral’s stubborn answer.

“I don’t know what you’re looking for in that dreadful place, sir, but I hope it’s on the edge of that place.”

Having said that, Admiral Lopez closed his mouth and grabbed the wheel. As it looked like he was fully concentrating on the ship, Kim Seon-Hyeok couldn’t continue talking to the admiral and looked out into the sea.

“Bluegon, don’t push it.”

Somehow, compared to his other dragon subspecies, he neglected Bluegon. However, when he threw a tantrum like this, any thoughts of cajoling him completely disappeared.

Kim Seon-Hyeok wasn’t planning on letting it go if there were any casualties in the fleet because of Bluegon’s outburst. 

It was bad enough that Julian had been harmed after getting caught between his own recklessness and the ill-tempered dragon. 

San Luis broke through the raging waves and slowly made her way to the storm. 

Although there had been several dangerous moments where it seemed like the waves would capsize the ship, Admiral Lopez managed to keep the ship balanced.

It was indeed the skill of a captain who had spent his entire life at sea. 

But even an admiral like him couldn’t approach the edge of the whirling storm. 

“This is all that I can do for you, sir.”

Barely able to maintain his balance on the swaying ship, Kim Seon-Hyeok bowed his head in thanks for the old admiral’s hard work before heading towards the warship’s bow.

Thud.

He had reached the bow by the skin of his teeth and grabbed onto the wet railing when, like a tsunami, the waves came approaching like they wanted to swallow the San Luis. 

“If I do not return, then head back immediately…”

He stared straight at the massive waves as he spoke. And before he could finish, waves as tall as mountains came crashing down on the San Luis. 

“Grand Duke, it’s dangerous….”

Clutching the helm, Admiral Lopez tried to warn him, but the waves came down first.

Woooosh.

The waves that hit the ship disappeared in an instant. All that was left was the salty seawater that soaked the deck and after the waves swept through, Kim Seon-Hyeok was nowhere to be seen.

“Ah…”

However, Admiral Lopez’s expression was rather strange as he stared past the ship’s bow. Instead of looking distraught over the fact the distinguished guest he had to protect had disappeared, he looked more scared. Oddly enough, the brave admiral looked absolutely terrified.

“Mon, monster…”

Inside the dark blue waves that had risen fiercely and swept over the bow, the admiral had seen a monster.

He had seen a shadow of a giant serpent that hid itself in the waves, and the Indomitable Grand Duke hadn’t been swept away by the waves, but had been swallowed by the monster.

“In, Indomitable Grand Duke!”

However, the brave admiral quickly overcame his fear and ran to the deck, searching for the Indomitable Grand Duke.

Ssssssh

A shadow of something huge passing under the ship could be seen from the ship’s railing. And after a while, even that shadow completely disappeared.

“Admiral! The waves are calming!”

When they couldn’t even see the monster’s shadow, the raging waves calmed as if it had never happened. Any traces of the dark clouds spitting out lightning or the ravenous whirlpools were gone.

The sea was calm as if nothing had ever happened. 

***

“Bluegon, you bastard!”

Kim Seon-Hyeok threw a fit in the pitch-black darkness where he couldn’t even see an inch in front of him.

“Again! You swallowed me! Again!”

The damp moisture and familiar scent brought up bad memories. Bluegon had swallowed his owner once again.

“This bastard. You’re a repeat offender!”

While he had been shouting and swearing loudly, as if in response, a low voice could be heard. 


1. The Korean phrase here was 탐욕스러운 악마의 혓바닥과도 같았고 and I don’t believe this is an idiom, just an extremely descriptive phrasing to say that the waves were swallowing everything on the ocean.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter