Book 7 Chapter 173 - Slave Liberation (6)

“...!”

“...!”

Woohyuk heard short gasps next to him.

On his left and right, Cynthia and Catsy stared at the Slave King in astonishment.

They had not expected Arminius to firmly oppose their master.

Woohyuk also stared at Arminius with a small frown.

“For what reason?”

“Although I am called the Slave King, I have no intention of reigning over them. Because we are all common human beings.”

“Then, do you plan to abolish the status system and the monarchy of this country? What are your specific thoughts?”

“The monarch must exist if we do not want external problems to come find us. But the reigning monarch does not need to rule. No matter how good I am, it is impossible for me to make decisions while thinking of the well-being of the kingdom’s citizens.”

The ideal political system Arminius was referring to was a constitutional monarchy.

A structure in which the king existed in name only and most of the state affairs were undertaken by the People's Assembly, a group of representatives of the kingdom’s citizens.

However, it was too radical of a system to be realized now, and it didn't fit well with these chaotic times.

Woohyuk sighed on the inside and asked Arminius.

“The upper-rank demons can brainwash the citizens. If a demon king tries to take over the kingdom with a representative like Ivanov, would your system have a good alternative as a defense?”

“We have you, Hero King. I've heard rumors that you have the legendary magic book Lemegeton with you. If that's true...”

“I cannot stay for long in the Talis Kingdom. I have to fight against all the evils in this world. So you need to think this through. With a single wrong decision, all the people of the kingdom, including the slaves, could be slaughtered.”

A heavy silence dominated the air for a while.

Arminius thought of something with a dark expression, and then quickly bowed his head.

“… In truth, I have far too many burdens to carry. Everyone is looking at me with eyes of hope and salvation, but I have no skills and abilities other than fighting.”

“So, did you raise your own ideals like you would a flag?”

“This kingdom must change, one way or another. Nobody denies that fact, except for the royalty and nobility. I firmly believe that we must move forward even if there will be some sacrifices.”

Arminius stared into Woohyuk's eyes with a grim look.

Tension ruled over the conference hall.

“… If so, prove it.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Show me that your convictions will not shake. Not even by a millimeter.”

Woohyuk got up from his seat and pulled out a normal C-grade longsword from his belt.

The slaves who were positioned around the conference room raised their weapons all at once in fear.

Their opponent was the Hero King who had subdued demon kings and witches.

He was a being that they could never overcome.

“… Is this the only way?”

“Aiming for your ideals without having a realistic alternative isn’t going to get you anywhere. Anyone can come up with a utopian world in their mind and escape reality through it. You need power as well as wisdom to change the world, Arminius.”

The leadership that Woohyuk pursued did not force others to sacrifice themselves. But he would not be crucified as a martyr to atone for everyone’s sins.

He was not a priest, but a monarch.

The monarch ought to be able to protect those living in his land from internal and external enemies.

What he needed was strong power and wisdom to use it skillfully.

It was his belief, and it would not be shaken by any other ideals.

So Woohyuk was asking Arminius.

'Do you really deserve to lead them?'

“… Everyone, back down.”

“Arminius!”

“If you interfere with the duel, I will not forgive you even if you are my sworn brother.”

Arminius wanted to be acknowledged by Woohyuk. He wanted to prove that his convictions were right.

He believed that Woohyuk, the Hero King, was different from the other nobles who were only interested in lands and wealth.

Eventually, a temporary arena was created, and Arminius began his assault on Woohyuk.

“Haah!”

Three years spent fighting for his life in the gladiator arena.

Whether his opponent was the Hero King or not, he was confident that he would not be pushed back.

Their weapons didn’t seem to have a large gap in power either.

Clang!

The two longswords clashed, creating a sharp metallic sound.

Arminius' expression strangely distorted.

'… He’s strong.'

Arminius didn’t mean pure physical strength.

He was talking about the spirit behind Woohyuk’s longsword.

He was completely overwhelmed by Woohyuk, who had challenged the limits of human beings for decades.

'Just what... what has he gone through to become this powerful?’

After having lived a life of conflict and battles, Arminius had reached the point where he could grasp his opponent's habits and abilities to some extent just from a few sword exchanges.

However, currently he could not judge Woohyuk's ability at all.

Woohyuk's status was so high that he could not see its limits.

Clang!

Clang!

Arminius was gradually pushed back.

The slaves who were watching the two duel from farther away looked nervous.

The confrontation between the Slave King and the Hero King.

On the surface, the battle was still ongoing and the two were on equal footing, but behind the scenes, the victor of the duel had already been decided.

It was because Woohyuk deliberately didn’t give the final blow.

Eventually Arminius knelt on his own with a wretched look.

“… I lost.”

“Why are you giving up? The results have not been decided yet.”

“I know that you’re not killing me on purpose.”

If Woohyuk wanted to, he could stab Arminius’ vital spots whenever he wanted.

He could have cut his neck or slashed his waist to separate Arminius’ upper and lower bodies.

But he hadn’t.

Arminius realized that the reason behind Woohyuk’s mercy was the slaves he led.

Woohyuk sincerely wanted to make this kingdom rich and peaceful.

As his sincerity was clearly communicated, Arminius's anger faded away like dust in the wind.

“So, did you change your mind?”

“… I accept your offer, Hero King. As you mentioned earlier, this era is chaos. Now is the time to have a strong central point. Humanity needs someone they can rely on.”

Arminius also wanted a peaceful world.

He wanted everyone to live without discrimination and be recognized for their abilities.

But the time wasn’t right yet.

No matter how ideally he changed the world, what use would it be if the demons robbed them of everything?

Even if spring came, if the pests in the fields weren’t exterminated in advance, the hungry stomachs would not be filled.

As the battle ended, Woohyuk placed his longsword’s blade on Arminius' shoulder.

“From now on, you are to protect the peace at the Bayen County with your men. That is the right and the duty I give you.”

He was still lacking to rule over a small kingdom like the Talis Kingdom.

But there was no perfect human being from the beginning.

If he continued to work hard and move forward, his path towards becoming the ruler would still be available.

As Woohyuk encouraged the bowing Arminius the slaves around them knelt together.

He was the real monarch who would save them from this chaotic age.

Catsy opened her mouth with an excited expression.

“Meoooow! Master, you’re so cool! Now, we only have to deal with the slaves who joined the Witch Cult, right?”

“Hong Yuri will take care of that.”

Now he had to hurry to the north.

Although he had stolen the Valkyrie's Dagger from Melena, Lilith's subordinates were still aiming for the Edda Chronicles.

Aleister was most likely coming up with a scheme as well.

'Wait for me, Aleister. One day, I will kill you for sure.’

Woohyuk’s eyes shined with a firm resolution.

***

After completing all his duties in the Talis Kingdom, Woohyuk reunited with Eteria Rodinus.

They were busy restoring the lost contents of the Sangreal Chronicles’ manuscript.

Their current progress was about 25%.

“Any movements from Pronoia?”

“We didn’t notice any of those fanatics here. Maybe it’s because this area was occupied by demon kings before you arrived. But now that the kingdom has regained peace, they will soon send some people.”

The exhausted Boetius stroked his white beard with his hand.

They had no definite measures on how to deal with Rosenkreuz.

Woohyuk told Boetius to take a seat

“It would be best to take a break. You will have a hard time during the long march.”

“… I feel like I’m becoming a burden. Especially on those children’s shoulders. But I still have so much to do before I can retire...”

Boetius sat on a chair at the base camp as he stared at Ibn Rusud and Helena.

The two were quarreling as usual.

Their conversation made them appear like little kids, instead of a wiseman and a saintess.

“I also have a lot of work to do. And they’re all important tasks, so I cannot skip a single one. They may seem unnecessary in your eyes, though.”

“It's not that I don't understand your thoughts. But because we already know how your actions will impact the future...”

Boetius did not mention the details of the prophetic book.

Woohyuk looked unhappy.

“Then what are you telling me to do? I gave up on everything that would interfere with my plans to get all the way here.”

“… Looks like the time has come to tell you. There are a few things you need to know before you leave for the Norton Kingdom.”

Boetius struck his crystal staff on the floor three times.

Thump!

Thump!

Thump!

Then the surrounding landscape crumbled and quickly turned into a burning landscape.

"This...”

“It is one of the Three Great Catastrophes that will happen on the Eeth Continent in the future. In the prophetic book, it is written that this is the descent of the Fallen Angel Cruella.”

Cruella, an angel who fell after gaining forbidden knowledge.

She was currently sealed in another dimension

If someone with the qualifications to challenge the Demon God’s throne appeared, she would be used as a tool to test him.

“You mean this catastrophe is caused by me?”

“Our future is pre-designed and continuously managed by our Creator. He is especially observing you.”

The prophetic book did not explain why.

But what was certain was that Woohyuk could change this world’s miserable destruction.

Only he could help Eteria Rodinus rebuild the Ark of Knowledge and place the Holy Grail in it.

However, if he failed, the future would reach a tragic end as written in the prophetic book.

Therefore, Eteria Rodinus was paying special attention to Woohyuk.

“So, it means that the Ark of Knowledge, the Holy Grail, and the power of the Demon God must be gathered in one location in their perfect conditions. The Three Ancients Chronicles and the Nameless Tome are some of the magic books required to rebuild the Ark of Knowledge.”

“Yes. You must have many more questions, but be aware of that for now. Any more information will be poisonous to the current you.”

Instead, all of the epic quests linked to the Three Ancient Chronicles would be provided to Woohyuk.

Only then could they prevent the Three Great Catastrophes to come.

At Boetius' words, Woohyuk nodded silently.

Little by little, he felt that clues were slowly being released.

As the two continued talking, Helena approached them and spoke to Woohyuk.

“Do you have any presents for me?”

“What do you want?”

“You know, that sweet and bitter thing.”

The present Helena was talking about was chocolate.

She was too embarrassed to say it directly, so she was beating around the bush.

Boetius laughed and spoke when he saw her grieving attitude.

“Please take care of my granddaughter. She may be unruly, but her divine power is quite high, so she will be helpful in your battles against demons.”

“… I’ll try my best.”

Woohyuk had to travel with Helena during his journey to the Norton Kingdom.

It was because of his contract with Eteria Rodinus.

Woohyuk sighed, predicting all the skirmishes and quarrels he would have with her in the near future.

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