Woohyuk designated Dreadlore and the surrounding area as the Sanctuary of the Dead.
The purpose was to defend against potential attacks from the Queen of Thorns Alice.
While the Norton Kingdom had barren soil and cold weather, it had a lot of areas where Mandragoras could be cultivated.
Therefore, they could inflict an effective blow on the kazaks.
In terms of geography, it was close to the Enoa Kingdom ruled by Alice.
The question now was who would manage Dreadlore while Woohyuk was away.
It would be a waste to leave Sieg or Bailey, members of his main force, in a remote area instead of taking them with him.
After contemplating for a while, Woohyuk decided to choose one of the undeads who had awakened after the Lich King's throne had reactivated.
So in the midst of selecting applicants and preparing a tournament...
“Death Knight Huperion greets Asura, the new Master of Dreadlore.”
A white-haired man wearing black plate armor came to him.
“Hmm… you are?"
“I was the commander of the guard who supported Nakron. And when he left this fortress, he put me in charge to protect Dreadlore.”
“… I see.”
There is no need to hold a tournament.
The former second-in-command of the fortress was right before him.
Woohyuk stood up from the throne and summoned Verserios.
“Swear your allegiance to me. Only then will I allow you to continue your previous assignment.”
“I will lead my army to conquer the empire and offer it to you if you were to order me.”
For Huperion, Woohyuk was no different from the successor to the throne, as he had been enthroned through a legitimate procedure.
Even if he was not a lich, he was the master Huperion had to serve with his life.
All the dead, including him, who had been asleep until now were waiting for Woohyuk's command in the fortress.
“The time is not wight. You simply have to protect this castle with all your might.”
“Understood, Lord Asura.”
“Then, let us pledge a master-slave contract.”
Woohyuk descended the stairs and placed Verserios’s blade on Huperion's shoulder.
However, this was merely a formal procedure.
Woohyuk had already obtained the title of Nakron’s Successor, so the master-slave contract had been created already.
“But where will you go after leaving the castle? My heart cries in anguish as I cannot stand by My Liege’s side after my awakening.”
“First I will conquer this world. After that, I plan to challenge the Demon God’s Throne.”
“… You truly are Nakron's successor. I have not known you for long, but I’ve realized that My Liege is an outstanding hero.”
Huperion looked up at Woohyuk with admiration.
What an ambitious and powerful monarch.
This person could potentially accomplish feats that Nakron himself couldn’t in the past.
“How many troops do you have under your command?”
“Ten thousand, My Liege. We may not number much, but it is an army that Lord Nakron himself recognized as elites in his lifetime.
Before challenging the Death God’s throne, Nakron had sealed them in the basement of Dreadlore, in case he would fail and not to return.
He then installed a device on the royal throne to select his future successor.
Woohyuk nodded at Huperion's detailed explanation.
“So that's how it happened. I will be able to leave with ease and leave this place in your care now.”
“Please do not worry about Dreadlore. Moreover, you can teleport here at any time, My Liege.”
If a warp gate was installed using magic engineering, those who were registered in advance could move to the specific location anytime, anywhere.
An example was the God of Light’s sanctuary in the Holy See.
And such a warp gate was also installed in Dreadlore.
This was tremendous information considering the fact that even small kingdoms were unable to do so because of the astronomical costs of warp gates.
Nakron seemed to have accumulated a huge wealth during his lifetime.
Feeling the importance of this fortress, Woohyuk agreed.
“I will stop by whenever I have time. Until then, raise a powerful undead army. I believe you have the skills to accomplish it.”
“Please leave it to me.”
Huperion bowed to his ruler.
When the conversation ended, Woohyuk left the room and headed to his own elite army.
“My Lord, we are all ready to leave. The morale of the soldiers is also high.”
“Good work, Sieg. But where is Brynhild?”
Everyone was gathered there except for her.
Sieg scratched his head awkwardly.
"That’s… She said she wanted to see the deads who woke up in the basement...”
“For what reason? She doesn’t like creatures of darkness by nature normally.”
“It might be something related to the Norton Kingdom.”
The Norton royal family had long been fighting the undead.
But in the past, they were also a noble family who once served Nakron.
In other words, since the tiger had disappeared, the fox decided to play the role of King of the forest.
“We mustn’t trust the Norton royal family too much. If Alice decides to expand her territory, they may ally with her.”
“That would be troublesome. Oh, there’s Brynhild.”
Sieg looked up with a happy expression.
Brynhild flapped her white wings and landed gracefully.
“Did you find out anything from the deads, Brynhild?”
“Yes, something a little shocking.”
“What is it?”
“It is said that the Norton royal family has been trying to uncover the secrets of eternal life for a long time. They have been secretly conducting human experiments.”
Their desire was to become immortal and rule the Norton Kingdom forever.
Woohyuk nodded at Brynhild's story.
“It's definitely possible. They would have ended up killed by Nigel and Logan in the near future if we hadn’t intervened, though.”
“We cannot leave them be. We never know how they would backstab us in the future.”
Brynhild also thought that Colesman could betray Woohyuk at any time.
As she repeatedly emphasized the problems of the Norton family,
“Meow! Master! I have something to report!”
Catsy appeared from thin air as she let out a soft cry.
“What is it?”
“Colesman is coming here with an army! They’re mainly cavalry and have about 30,000 troops!”
Apparently Colesman knew that Woohyuk had captured Dreadlore.
He must’ve also realized that the elixir of immortality was somewhere in the fortress.
Now that Nigel was gone, he intended to search Dreadlore before Woohyuk could obtain it.
With a small smirk, Woohyuk summoned Death Knight Huperion.
“Did you call, My Liege?”
“There is something you need to do.”
He had to allow the Norton Kingdom’s army to enter the fortress.
Then, Huperion would swiftly assassinate Colesman.
That was the essence of Woohyuk’s plan.
“Understood, then I will go make preparations.”
During his lifetime, Huperion was a Paladin of the Aperian Empire.
The reason he ended up in his current state was because he was hated by the fanatics.
He used to love the princess, a member of Solomon’s bloodline.
So Huperion wanted the ruling class of the Holy Aperian Empire to fall, and had been practicing assassination techniques to kill them all one day.
Having heard the story earlier, Woohyuk gave Huperion the task of dealing with Colesman to observe his skills.
When the Norton Kingdom’s army arrived, Colesman shouted to Woohyuk at the frontlines.
“I heard that you captured Dreadlore. I wish to go enter as well, so could you open the gates?”
“Your arrival is quite late. Are you sure you’re not here to take all the loot for yourself?”
Woohyuk mocked him from atop the wall.
Colesman's face turned red in shame, but he coughed and spoke again.
“It took a while to clear up the undead troops targeting the supply routes. And there is a treasure that Nakron stole from our family in the past in Dreadlore. I would greatly appreciate it if you helped me retrieve it.”
“… Alright. Come on in.”
As Woohyuk gave the sign, the Ragnarok Clan members opened the gates.
Shortly thereafter, Colesman looked puzzled as he entered the fortress.
“But where did all your soldiers go? I would have mobilized all my troops to capture this impregnable castle.”
"Who knows? Why don’t you worry about your own life instead?”
“What are you talking about? Surely not...”
Colesman couldn't end his sentence.
Suddenly, a black shadow dashed past him and he felt an intense pain in the abdomen.
When Colesman screamed in agony and dropped to the ground, the Norton Army pulled out their weapons in surprise.
Immediately, they heard a dissonant sound resonate in the castle.
Woohyuk had used the Lost Lyre.
Eventually, as the musical performance ended, the soldiers stared blankly at each other with confused expressions.
“Wh, where is this?”
“I was definitely fighting against the undead army to protect the supply line...”
Their most recent memories had been erased.
As the confusion aggravated, Woohyuk made Sieg blow the Golden Goat’s Horn to draw their attention.
“Keep calm. I will explain the situation.”
“What is happening, Hero King?!”
“Please let us know how we got here!”
Because of the reputation he had built up, the soldiers relied on Woohyuk.
Woohyuk coughed and spoke aloud.
“We participated in the siege of Dreadlore together. But everyone was affected by a wide-range hypnotic spell cast by the Witch of Greed. I managed to kill her with great difficulty, but sadly, King Colesman was attacked by Nigel and perished in battle.”
“His, His Majesty?!”
“His body! Where is his body?!”
The Nortom Army’s response was disbelief.
Woohyuk glanced at Sieg and ordered his men to remove the blanket that was covering Colesman's body.
“King Colesman fought bravely until the end. He handed this kingdom to me during his dying breath, asking me to protect it. He was worried about the little prince the most even until he passed away.”
Woohyuk came up with a touching story.
The soldiers nodded with tears, and wailing resonated in the fortress.
“If His Majesty said so, we will follow you, Hero King!”
“Hero King, please bring back peace to this kingdom!”
“We will do anything to be of help!”
A complete scam
Helena shook her head and clicked her tongue as she watched from the side.
Woohyuk lifted up a blue longsword that was lying on the floor.
Effect: Creates a storm in a 1km radius, sweeping away everything except the caster. It also leaves a Storm Stigma on targets that get damaged by this blade, interfering with magic and skills castings. When 3 stigmas are stacked, all magic and skills are disabled for 1 minute. However, if the opponent is stronger than the user, the effect’s duration decreases proportionally to the difference in strength.
'I now have all of the Norton royal family’s treasures and heirlooms in my grasp.’
However, the most valuable loot of this expedition was the Absorber Trigger that could activate Black Demolition.
A board with a red switch utilized by Angrboda during the earlier battle.
With this, Woohyuk could get an advantage in future battles.
'Is this all part of your plan as well, Aleister?'
For some reason, Woohyuk felt that Aleister was encouraging him to grow rapidly in a short period of time.
But whatever he was planning behind the scenes, it was good that Woohyuk’s plans were going smoothly.
He just had to be vigilant and not be defeated by Lilith's vassals and subordinates.
Woohyuk’s eyes shone as he watched the Norton Kingdom army cheer for him and shout his name.
Now, onwards to the Valkyrie's ruins.Previous Chapter Next Chapter