Chapter 131. The foggy forest (pt. 2)

It was a sunny spring day.

“Hu…”

In the inner courtyards of the Laputa territory, Skadi sighed within the garden.

She had been able to survive a near-death experience (due to Kang Chul-In) and had passed her message on to Kang Chul-In, but hadn’t heard a response since then. 

Though she had proposed a deal where they marry and Kang Chul-In received the Esmerelda territory, she hadn’t heard a positive response from Kang Chul-In.

Esmerelda is a strategic point that any Lord would want desperately. Even if it’s not right now, it will definitely play a key part in the struggle between Lords… Does he really have no interest in the territory? Or is it because he wants to win the territory fair and square, through fighting? I don’t understand.

Another Lord would have definitely taken this offer, but since Kang Chul-In hadn’t accepted yet, Skadi was confused.

Don’t tell me…

Skadi had doubts in her mind.

“Is it because he doesn’t like me? To the point where he wouldn’t take me in as his partner for a political marriage? Is that why he ran away?”

This hit Skadi painfully. The thing that one would normally refer to as ‘a woman’s pride’ was hurt badly.

It was at that moment.

“Huhu, there’s no way that’s true at all.”

Someone answered Skadi’s muttering.

“.....!”

As Skadi looked behind her, she was able to spot Butler Alfred, who, due to being a vampire, had a hood and a cape on him.

Wearing gloves that covered his hands, arm warmers, as well as scissors, Alfred seemed more like a gardener than a butler right now.

“Good morning, Lady Skadi. Sorry for interrupting you. As a butler, I shouldn’t have overheard the guest… Huhu.”

Alfred laughed.

“N-No, it’s alright. It’s my fault for speaking to myself in a place like this.”

Skadi replied, her face downcast.

“And also, you don’t need to be so polite when you speak to me. I’m not an Overlord anymore, just a traveler. I don’t have the qualifications to be called on so politely by you.”

“What do you mean? How can a servant like me be so rude to a guest that could end up being Milord’s wife…”

“Wife? If I got rejected even offering up my territory which any other Lord would kill for… I don’t have any hope. Maybe… Lord Kang Chul-In just doesn’t like me as a person…”

“Hmm… That’s not true, Lady Skadi.”

Alfred shook his head.

“What?”

“Huhu, since I’ve overheard your muttering anyway, can this lowly servant say something?”

“Go ahead.”

“Milady is misunderstanding something right now.”

“Misunderstanding? 

“Milord has said that Lady Skadi’s appearance is fabulous, so how can you speak words like that?”

And saying that, Alfred thought of the conversation he had with Kang Chul-In.

Milord, she’s come in with her arms open, so please take her!

No.

Why not, milord? Is it because Lady Skadi isn’t to your personal tastes and liking?

No, not really. If I really had to say she does have quite a pretty face, but…

Then w-why… Don’t tell me you want to live as a loner in this life too… Oops.

Alfred.

Y-Yes, milord?

Go and sunbathe in the garden for one hour. 

M-Milord! How can you tell a vampire to stay under the sun…!

Do you want mental training, or would you rather stay under the sun.

...I’m going.

Though it wasn’t quite a pleasant chat, it was also true that Kang Chul-In had said Skadi was ‘quite pretty’.

“R-Really? You’re sure that my appearance isn’t the problem?”

“Of course, Lady Skadi.”

“Phew…”

Skadi sighed in relief. Her pride as a woman was about to be crushed, so how could she not?

“Then… if my appearance isn’t a problem… I really don’t know why he’s rejected my offer. The Esmerelda territory is a strategic point that any Lord would covet. And if it’s someone as ambitious as Lord Kang Chul-In…”

“Of course, Milord does have interest in the Esmerelda territory. Just as you say, Milord has great ambitions; he lives to conquer the entirety of Pangaea. There’s no way he doesn’t have interest.”

“Then… what’s the reason for not accepting the offer?”

“Well… Though there might be a lot of reasons, Milord also doesn’t have an official wife yet. We cannot put Lady Skadi in that position, as this is just a political marriage.”

“T-That’s true.”

“And since Milord also doesn’t have a very positive attitude towards marriage in general…”

“D-Don’t tell me… Is the fearsome Overlord Kang Chul-In a romanticist, who only marries who he truly loves?”

“...I doubt it.”

Alfred couldn’t help but reveal an awkward smile.

Kang Chul-In a romanticist?

Ha, as if that made sense. Alfred himself couldn’t imagine a romantic Kang Chul-In.

“...Anyway, since it’s like this, Lady Skadi should just keep patient.”

“Stay patient?”

“They say that the first time is difficult, so it won’t be bad the second time. Once Milord finally takes in an official wife, I’m sure Lady Skadi’s turn will come soon after.

“Is that so?”

Skadi had hope written over her face.

No matter what, she really wanted to save the citizens of her Esmerelda territory. No matter how long it took, she wanted her territory to be under solid control, and finally escape the fate of having to be in constant war.

Since Skadi was originally a gypsy on Earth, she knew better than anyone how painful and terrifying it was to live a life traveling around.

How many gypsies in Europe were mistreated and socially outcasted?

Since she had lost almost 80% of her magical powers and her foretelling abilities after throwing away her position as Overlord, the only hope she had remaining was Kang Chul-In.

Why?

Because the Kang Chul-In she had seen was a powerful Overlord who didn’t lose out to either Albrecht Vilhelm, or Alex Rothschild.

“Huhu, one day that day will come, so please cheer up Lady Skadi.”

Alfred cheered for Skadi.

I’ll definitely make Milord get married!

Inwardly, Alfred was making his own mastermind plans on how to get Kang Chul-In married. 

So what if it was a political marriage?

Since marriage was going to happen a lot of times during this life, what did it matter if there were a few political marriages? If it was regarding Kang Chul-In’s marriages, Alfred could only say OK.

Milord, this Alfred will become the greatest matchmaker in Pangaea in order to allow you to have lots of wives and children!

Alfred clenched his fists.

-------

Hwaak-!

A terrifying aura emanated around Kang Chul-In, due the rippling of mana around him.

“......!”

“......”

At the sudden change of Kang Chul-In, the rangers didn’t know what to say.

The Kang Chul-In that they had seen was just a traveling adventurer. It was because of Kang Chul-In’s current state, as it was in a complete mess.

But just because someone’s outward appearance wasn’t good didn’t mean that the person themselves was also poor.

Wasn’t Kang Chul-In, whom the fox-human rangers thought was just a wanderer, actually a powerful Overlord who controlled the Pandemonium region?

Kang Chul-In had tried his best to remain civil and have a conversation with the fox-humans, but it was them who ended up being the aggressors. Kang Chul-In was ready to give these demi-humans proper ‘mental training’ so that they wouldn’t repeat the same mistake again.

You reap what you sow.

It didn’t take very long for Kang Chul-In to finish beating up these fox-humans.

Flash!

Sparks seemed to appear and disappear in a rapid fashion. 

“You dare touch… my meat!”

Kang Chul-In appeared in front of the fox-human that had shot his rabbit meat. It was a movement that would make a ghost cry in shame.

Pow!

Kang Chul-In’s fist landed on the stomach of the foolish ranger that had shot his meat.

“Kuhuk…”

And that fox-human’s body fell to the ground…

“Urghh….”

And he started to throw up crazily. It was a terrifying blow.

“T-That man is strong!”

The leader of the ranger group was astonished. That was how powerful and swift Kang Chul-In was.

“Everyone, we can talk again once I’ve finished my beatings.”

Kang Chul-In spoke.

“Shoot! Shoot!”

“It’s an enemy! Shoot!”

Regaining their senses, the rangers split up into different directions; ready to shoot at Kang Chul-In.

But the mental training that was already initiated didn’t show any signs of stopping.

Pow!

Papow!

Kang Chul-In seemed to flash through the fox-human rangers like lightning, appearing somewhere before knocking the rangers down on the ground with terrifying blows.

10 minutes later…

“Kuhuk… I’m sorry.”

“I’m really sorry for misunderstanding…”

“I’m sorry, rabbit meat. Sorry, rabbit…”

The 12 rangers were now groveling and kneeling before Kang Chul-In’s feet.

“Sob… Sob… I-I’m a woman…”

The leader of the ranger's eyes had been bruised black and blue, making her cry.

Kang Chul-In’s mental training didn’t differentiate between male and female. 

In Kang Chul-In’s mind, there was no need for mercy for those who had shot an arrow at his food.

They should instead be feeling thankful that Kang Chul-In had been ‘merciful’ in his beatings, and that none of them had died.

“I’ll speak again.”

With all of the rangers kneeling down in front of him, Kang Chul-In spoke once more.

“I’m the Overlord Kang Chul-In, who controls the Pandemonium region. Do you trust me now?”

Kang Chul-In asked.

“Yes!”

“W-We believe you!”

“We believe! We believe… sob…”

The rangers all agreed instantly.

They had to.

No ordinary person would be able to defeat 12 rangers of the fox-human tribe that easily, especially bare-handed. And since this had been such a one-sided beating with none dying, it made sense that Kang Chul-In claimed he was a powerful Overlord now.

And if they said no, that would be a problem. If they denied what Kang Chul-In said, who knew if that crazy beating would come again?

“Ehem…”

Coughing, Kang Chul-In spoke once more.

“Though it’s true that my current appearance is somewhat ‘un-lordly’, you have to understand it's because I’ve ran all the way here for 10 days without rest.”

The rangers felt like they would get beaten once more if they asked why Kang Chul-In had come here without a single subordinate, so they refrained from doing so.

“You.”

Kang Chul-In pointed at the leader of the rangers.

“Yes?”

“Name.”

“A-Amy, sir.”

“Amy. Can you lead me to where the Ninetails is?”

“T-That…”

“This is an extremely urgent matter. The reason why I have ran here so urgently without rest is to have an extremely serious talk with your queen.”

Kang Chul-In thought of a suitable excuse.

“B-But… just because we believe you doesn’t mean that our queen would also…”

“That’s something that your queen can decide herself.”

“Lead the way.”

“Everyone’s anxious right now. If we go to the city entrance right now you might be captured… Is that alright?”

“Oh, why is everyone anxious?”

Kang Chul-In’s curiosity was piqued. Aleister shouldn’t have acted this early.

“Well… We’re currently in war.”

“War? Who are you fighting against?”

“Currently we’re fighting against a lycanthrope tribe. That’s the reason why we’re prohibiting entrance to the city to outsiders.”

“Hmm… Well, it doesn’t matter. I don’t care if they try to capture me at the entrance.”

Kang Chul-In nodded his head. 

Hmph, I can just beat them up if they try that on me.

Kang Chul-In was confident that he’d be able to escape any sort of ‘capturing’ they tried on him.

“F-Fine. I’ll lead the way. But there might be a group of Lycanthropes that attack us during the way, and just because we arrive at the city doesn’t mean that’d you’re guaranteed audience with the queen.”

“It doesn’t matter. Just lead the way.”

Even still, Kang Chul-In didn’t care.

If he wasn’t allowed to meet with the Ninetails, there were other ways to force this meeting to happen. 

-----

Under the lead of the fox-human rangers, Kang Chul-In entered the inner Foggy Forest.

“This way.”

It seemed as if Amy was leading the way very carefully.

I think that they might try to betray me once.

Of course, Kang Chul-In didn’t trust Amy.

The fox-human race had the DNA of foxes, and they were incredibly cunning and sly. Once Kang Chul-In put his guard down, he might be tricked.

Hmph! You dare to try to meet our queen?

As expected, Amy was thinking of something.

I get that you’re strong, but can you really beat a pack of Smoggers?

Smoggers were local monsters to the Foggy Forest and were ‘dokkaebi’ [1] that shot fog out of their mouths relentlessly. Amy was planning on pushing Kang Chul-In into a pack of these ‘dokkaebi’ and running away. 

“Hmm…”

At that moment, Kang Chul-In’s face stiffened.

“Around 20, and they’re fast. This smell… They’re lycanthropes.”

“Sorry?”

At Kang Chul-In’s muttering, Amy was astonished. Did this mean that a human’s senses were more powerful than theirs, a demi-humans? She could not believe this.

“I-Is that really true?”

“Around 400m in front of us. There is a pack of Lycanthropes there.”

Kang Chul-In nodded.

This disgusting smell of Lycanthropes wasn’t something that could be masked. It was very easy to tell for Kang Chul-In.

“Hey, stop lying.”

Though Amy shook her head…

“Huk!”

Soon after, she was also able to spot the presence of the Lycanthropes that were coming at them. Around 20 of them? With their current numbers and state, it seemed hard to survive this encounter.

“G-Get ready for battle!”

Amy shouted.

At that moment.

“I-I’m really sorry!!!”

Through the fog, a man with blonde hair came out, and apologized, before starting to rain blows at them.

“.......”

Kang Chul-In froze.

[1] These are legendary creatures in Korea, known for their mischief. Also known as "Korean goblins." Check out this Wikipedia page for more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dokkaebi

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