“Then are the rumors true?”
“I am freed now, so please help Davy Jones. He suffers from such a cruel fate all due to me.”
Anne Bonnie strongly believed in Woohyuk’s uprightness. Triton, an offspring of the Sea God, was his servant. She had also learned from Triton that he commanded a young Kraken as well.
Seeing the earnestness in Anne Bonnie’s eyes, Woohyuk nodded back.
“I accept your request.”
“Great, if you hand him the jewel, I’m sure he will reward you handsomely.”
It was the very same red jewel that Anne Bonnie had been obsessed finding, since it had been the betrothal gift given to her by Davy Jones.
It was something that held many happy memories of the two of them, yet Anne Bonnie was willing to hand it over to Woohyuk.
“By the way, can you forgive this old man over here?”
“Of course, it isn’t like he was in the wrong in the first place, and he doesn’t have long to live either way.”
According to Anne Bonnie, Wallace was nearing the end of his life. Most likely he’d pass on something tonight.
“I won’t take any more of Wallace’s precious minutes, I'm leaving.”
“May the sea waters you travel be ever calm.”
Anne Bonnie smiled and pecked Woohyuk lightly on the forehead.
As she returned to her ghost ship, Wallace finally spoke, breaking out of his stupor.
“It’s like a dream come true. I can’t believe I got to meet the legendary pirate Anne Bonnie.”
“You can meet her again very soon.”
Wallace’s days were already counted. Most likely he had just 4 or 5 hours left to live. Still, he didn’t seem anxious about it.
“Death comes to us all eventually, I’m ready.”
“In the end you aren’t able to see your daughter’s face one last time. Are you okay with that?”
“It’s indeed a pity, but there’s not much I can do about it.”
He had already entrusted Woohyuk to deliver the pendant, so he could be at peace when he goes.
Wallace grabbed the ship’s once wheel again, as his blue eyes got lost in reminiscing about the past.
* * *
Wallace had successfully completed his final voyage. At dawn, Campbell sailed in Delphoa port, as he passed away on the deck, his hands holding the wheel with a large smile on his face.
As the sun rose, the passengers that had lost consciousness last night, finally began to open their eyes.
Everyone was confused as to what had occurred.
Agatha, the only one to have resisted the effects of his Cradle of Grief, had her memory wiped by hsi Lost Lyre.
Once in the city, Woohyuk set out to locate Dorothy, carrying Wallace’s body on his back.
The second floor of a stone building in the residential sector, situated adjacent to a flower shop.
It was a nice place for an old couple like them to raise their granddaughter.
Upon seeing Wallace’s corpse, a blonde girl ran towards him, balling her eyes out. An old lady sitting by the fireplace, also wiped her tears in silence, as she grieved for her lover.
“He died of natural causes at the end of the journey. He wanted me to give you this.”
After a short period of time, Woohyuk handed Dorothy the secret pendant he had been given by Wallace.
He had managed to keep his promise without having any greedy thoughts.
Dorothy gave him a blank stare, as she pulled out a purple gem from his pocket. As she placed the gem in the pendant's socket.
They proceeded to fuse, in a dazzling flash of light.
“Granpa...said, he left some very precious things here.”
Woohyuk nodded and watched her evaluate the pendant.
“What is it?”
“These are my grandfather’s memories from his younger days. Back when he was a famous pirate. There are also his adventures with his colleagues after he quit piracy....”
The pendant contained Wallace’s most precious and meaningful memories from throughout his life, saved as a form of video.
Dorothy sifted through them all, until finally arriving at his last recording all the way at the end.
[My dear Dorothy, by the time you are seeing this, I am surely no longer of this world. Don’t be too scared just because I’m not around. Life is a series of adventures, and if you have the courage to press forward, you’ll discover unexpected treasures along the way. If ever you are going through a tough time, or feel lonely, take a look at my memories saved in this pendant, so as to liven up your spirit.]
Wallace had always been worried that Dorothy’s meekness wouldn’t allow her to overcome the adversities one faces in life.
The reason that he kept the pendant until the last moment, was that he wanted to fill it with a more complete set of his memories.
Now that the pendant was in her hands, Wallace’s most precious treasured memories would always be with her.
“Thank you for fulfilling grandfather’s request….”
“I just did what I felt was right.”
Still, Woohyuk wasn’t the type to do a good deed without expecting something in return.
After refusing some silver coins from his wife, a system message appeared.
[Quest: Wallace’s sincere request has been completed.]
[Reward: Obtained a Memory Pendant.]
‘Is it the same kind which Wallace had?’
Since it was a reward for completion of the quest, he felt that it should be superior to the other one. As he placed the pendant around his neck, additional information appeared.
Effect: Can save the owner’s memory in the form of a high definition video, to be viewed at any time. In addition, it can reveal a random meaningful memory of a person you come into contact with (once a day)
He knew of a few other artifacts that allowed one to record memories, but to be able to spy on another’s memory was an entirely different matter.
Although the random element and the fact that it could only be performed once a day were heavy restrictions, it could still be very useful if used in the right situation.
“Then I’ll go there next.”
Woohyuk took his leave, giving the old grandmother a gold coin to pay for the cost of the funeral.
It was time to focus his attention on Medusa’s Temple. He already knew its approximate location, so he only needed to do some basic reconnaissance.
It was definitely on the map. The sanctuary of Witch Grimhilde that had once engulfed the Izuna kingdom in chaos.
Eventually she had been defeated by the Gray Wolf Alliance, although it had cost them dearly. She was definitely an opponent that he didn’t want to face this soon.
‘I’ll have to travel by myself this time.’
Leifina was tasked with protecting Joanna, as well as looking after Ria, while the others each had their own tasks as well.
Not to mention that he had to move around covertly now that he was in a foreign kingdom.
As he laid out his future plans in his mind, Woohyuk headed to a nearby tavern.
As he opened the creaky door, Woohyuk saw men drinking in broad daylight.
It was quite the noisy atmosphere, with many of the clients wearing Adventurer Watches.
‘By now everyone should have settled in some position.’
Unlike in the Rhine kingdom in which the nobles rebelled, the Izuna kingdom was rather peaceful.
This led to most clans serving under a lord, or joining the kingdom’s army. Although the missions were dangerous, often involving killing monsters or fighting in wars, the rewards were generous as well.
“I’ll have a pint of dark beer.”
As Woohyuk placed three coins on the counter, a female bartender with a mature appeal smiled upon seeing some new business, and asked.
“Where are you from? The Rhine kingdom perhaps?”
“Why do you think that?”
“Because it is a neighbouring country which we have a lot of trade with. Although with the sightings of Ghost ships in the Nelf Bay, it has all but trickled to a stop.”
Bartenders were a wealth of information as they served customers from various places. Looking for info here would be helpful, since he wasn’t too familiar with what had occurred here in the past.
Accepting the pint given to him, Woohyuk started with a simple question.
“What is most talked about these days?”
“Territorial disputes. Adventurer Clans suddenly appearing just a few months ago, and they’ve already started intruding on the jobs mercenaries typically handled.”
Due to the arrival of players, the overall population of the Eeth continent had increased significantly. This resulted in food shortages, as well as increased competition for jobs.
Of course, this was something the Woohyuk was already well aware of given his years of experience.
“What are the most profitable jobs?”
“For mercenaries, it’s monster subjugation. If you hunt in more dangerous zones then the payout can even be several times higher.”
Monster subjugation was indeed a money making enterprise. Not only could you sometimes get some loot dropped such as magic crystals, but often the monster corpses were in high demand from Alchemist guilds as well.
This led to Clans and Mercenary teams seeking to gain exclusive rights to certain zones, by colluding with Lords or Merchant groups.
“What areas are classified as dangerous?”
“Hm… let me think about that, my memory isn’t so good….”
The bartender feigned ignorance as she gave Woohyuk a wink. Clearly she was looking to get paid for her information.
Woohyuk simply placed a silver coin on the counter without saying anything.
“Oh right, I remember now! Karl Heinz Mountains and the Witch’s Forest. Of course their is also our border with the Dane kingdom, but that doesn’t exactly count since the army is stationed there.”
The Kalr Heinz Mountains were located between the Holy Aperian Empire and the Izuna kingdom. This border would be dangerous since there was friction between the Empire and Kingdom armies.
The Witch’s Forest on the other hand was on flat lands, located in the southwest. Clans and mercenaries tended to favor this area, and were more common than the kingdom’s soldiers.
“Tell me more about this Witch’s Forest.”
“It's long been known as a cursed place, but only recently have the number of monsters begun to increase.”
According to the testimony of an eyewitness, he had seen a Witch perform a sacrificial ritual in a monastery deep within the woods, and it had been a living sacrifice.
Ever since, any mercenaries that went to investigate this had gone missing, leading to the spread of ominous rumours.
It had suddenly become a place that everyone avoids.
“Hasn’t there been anyone that has tried to kill it?”
“There’ve been several, but I can’t seem to remember….”
As the female bartender stretched out her hand, Woohyuk quickly placed another silver coin in it. They were finally at the part he had been getting at this whole time.
“Oh right, there was the Eclipse Clan and the Blue Hawk mercenaries. The strength difference between the two of them is rather significant however, the former being six thousand strong, while the latter only counting one thousand mercenaries.”
It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that it was the Eclipse Clan that was the one leading the Witch’s Forest subjugation.
Woohyuk thought for a moment before asking another question.
“Who is leading the Blue Hawk mercenaries? Do you have any information on them?”
“Tinia, she’s quite famous in these parts. Since very young she’s been on the battlefield, basically growing up within a mercenary group.”
She was a woman with silver hair and wielded greatsword. She was quite skilled, and had a wild personality to boot.
Also, she was quite pretty which wasn’t the norm among mercenaries. This led to many men secretly having a crush on her.
“Yes, and she has a sister Silvia whom she dotes on quite a lot. No doubt because she has assumed a big responsibility after the death of their parents.”
Upon hearing this name, Woohyuk was stunned as if he had been hit by a bolt of lightning.
‘I had no idea she was here.’
One of his most skilled vassals, she had died during Dragonlord Ivanov’s invasion in the past.
He had never heard of her being in the Izuna kingdom, but then again he hadn't known that she had a sister either.
However, according to this bartender, Silvia sounded like the same one which Woohyuk knew.
‘Maybe something happened to her in the Witch’s Forest.’
Apart from that, he couldn’t think of another reason why she would keep this secret from him.
As he recalled his memories of Silvia, always with a gloomy expression, Woohyuk asked.
“Where can I meet Tinia?”
“She won’t be in Delphoa for a while. She’s left for Arend in order to prepare for the subjugation.”
It would be a three days ride from Delphoa to Arden.
Woohyuk nodded and then headed for the exit.
“Hey, your beer….”
“I’m not in the mood to drink.”
He had to meet up with Tinia before it was too late. No matter what he had to do his best to keep her alive, so that Silvia wouldn't fall into a depression.
‘Back then it was entirely my fault that Silvia was killed.’
If only he had paid more attention, Raven Hill which was in the northwest wouldn’t have been caught unawares and razed to the ground by Dragonlord Ivano’s invasion.
It was a rare chance to make up for his past mistakes.
With renewed determination, Woohyuk climbed onto his horse.Previous Chapter