Chapter 136 - Hatch (2)

Yeon-woo, Phante, and Edora headed to the elders’ room in the center of the village. The elders were still taking care of the egg and didn’t let it out of their sight for a moment. They were too curious about what it would hatch into.

“Mm?”

“Why are the elders doing that?”

“I-I don’t know."

Yeon-woo cocked his head to one side, and Phante and Edora turned away like they were embarrassed. The elders had wrapped red bandanas around their heads and were all lying on the floor together holding each other’s hands.

“Don’t take the egg!”

“A new Legendary Beast might be born! We need more research, give us more time!”

“Yes, that’s right! It’s too soon to take the egg. You’ve already finished the trial of the eleventh floor, so allow us to keep looking into it a bit more!”

“Besides, you don’t even have the Seed of the Moon yet! How are you going to hatch it?”

“If you try to hatch it…you…will have to do it…over our dead bodies!”

No one could see Yeon-woo’s expression because of his mask, but he was extremely surprised at the moment. ‘Is this because I denied their request yesterday?’ The night before, Yeon-woo had told them that he would take the egg back and that he would try to hatch it soon.

The Council of Elders requested for more time. Even the Head Elder, who normally didn’t speak up, made a personal request, too, adding that they’d made more discoveries and needed to do more investigations. The truth was, Yeon-woo wasn’t too concerned because it had already been a while since he’d completed the trial of the eleventh floor, and it was more convenient to leave the egg with the tribe since he didn’t know when it would hatch.

However, Yeon-woo had managed to read some of the egg’s thoughts through their connection, and he learned that it wanted to hatch. ‘It seems like it wants to tell me something.’ He had a sense that the egg wanted to see things for itself. It seemed like a huge development since previously, the egg only ever woke up and cried when it was hungry. It had grown a lot. When did it start? ‘After getting the Neidan of the Mythical Dragon back.’

He looked at the elders still lying on the ground without moving. The egg had been a welcome diversion for them, and through their investigations and experiments, they’d discovered many things about Mythical Beast eggs that they hadn’t known before. Most importantly, they learned that Yeon-woo’s egg was a Legendary Beast’s egg. For these elders, who in the past could only amuse themselves by making new Mugong, it was a shame to have the egg taken away.

It’s said that as one got older, one’s mentality grew younger—and this was a classic example. It seemed as though it would take an eternity for them to get up. Yeon-woo stood and wondered what to do with them.

Edora glanced at Yeon-woo and tried to reason with the elders. However, Chirpy read Yeon-woo’s thoughts and perched on his shoulder. Master, should I blow these kids away?

After Yeon-woo awakened his Dragon Body, even Chirpy had grown a bit bigger.

“Oho! Isn’t that a bird?”

“I did hear the child of the Phoenix absorbed the soul of the Sabertoothed Tiger. I see! So that’s what a Legendary Beast looks like when it’s developed. But its appearance is definitely different from our records, perhaps it has been affected by his owner.”

“Black stripes! I must take note of this. We can use it to measure the progress of his growth in the future.”

“On this side...”

The elders rushed over with sparkling eyes, full of passion to investigate a new creature. Chirpy was startled and frightened. These guys are weird, can I blow them away?

Yeon-woo nodded. “Yeah. Go ahead.”

OK! Got it! Chirpy spread his wings, and the elders, who were exclaiming in delight, flew off like autumn leaves in the wind. Hmph! You thought you could act like this?

Yeon-woo smiled at Chirpy’s cute complaints and left the room. Phante and Edora followed him, shaking their heads. Edora was still too embarrassed to raise her head. They soon reached the location of Yeon-woo’s egg and flung the door open.

Inside, the Head Elder paused his writing, pushing up his glasses to look at them. “You’re here? The elders must’ve made quite a fuss.” The other elders looked in from the door with pained faces. However, the Head Elder’s sharp glare prevented them from entering. It was said that the Head Elder was second only to the Martial God and that everyone aside from the Martial God was afraid of him. It was clear this wasn’t only a rumor. “I’ll talk to them later.”

“It’s fine. It’s not that bad. Is this him?” Yeon-woo nodded at the egg next to the Head Elder. It had grown much bigger than when he’d last seen it. It was now over four meters tall and was almost as wide as the wall. The green and black patterns on the shell had grown clearer, and they resembled a crocodile’s skin. ‘Will it get angry if I say it looks like a watermelon?’ Yeon-woo was thinking random thoughts. Then, he asked the Head Elder. “If I hatch it, how big will it be?”

“Hm. If it’s curled up inside, depending on the thickness of the body, it’s easily five meters at least.”  

“I should wake it up outside.”

“I’d be grateful for that. And those useless people out there will get a look, too.”

Yeon-woo nodded and waved his hand in the air. A shadow extended and wrapped around the egg to lift it up.

“Oho?” The Head Elder’s eyes glittered at the appearance of the Guai, which were different from the Spirit Familiars. Its undead aura was different from an ordinary one, and he wanted to take a closer look.

Yeon-woo took the egg to the courtyard. The elders complained, but he ignored them and spoke to the Head Elder.

“While you were gone, I discovered more things about the egg. First, we’re sure that it’s a Legendary Beast. It’s strong and tough, and its dormant skills are quite developed, especially the anti-magic power ones.”

Yeon-woo’s eyes sparkled. Anti-magic power referred to its resistance to general magic power. It was definitely an advantage since it would be impervious to magic power, although that also meant that buffs or magic of that kind wouldn’t work on it. Still, if it was tough enough, those weren’t huge disadvantages.

“However, I can’t tell its element or what it looks like, for the life of me. I know that something sturdy is inside, but it’s hard to see more than that. Every time I try to check, I get swept out because of the anti-magic power.” The Head Elder said it was the first time this ever happened to him.

There were only Four Legendary Beasts that everyone was aware of, and they all had their own special properties and powers. It made sense that the Legendary Beast would also have these properties. “Actually, that’s the reason why the elders are telling you not to hatch the egg yet. If it’s not ready, that means it’s been forced to hatch, and that’s not good.” The elders following behind him all nodded. It was clear in their eyes that they hoped Yeon-woo would change his mind.

“It’s time to hatch it because it’s crying out that it wants to leave now.” Yeon-woo dashed their hopes instantly.

The elders despaired at his words, but the Head Elder just nodded without any emotion. “If that’s what its master says, he must be right. But how are you going to hatch it? You don’t have the Seed of the Moon.”

“I’ve thought of a way.”

“Mm, that’s fine. Just in case, take this.”

The Head Elder dug around his pocket and tossed something to Yeon-woo. He caught it and was surprised.  

[You have successfully completed the Sudden Quest (Participation in War).]

[You have acquired 5,000 karma.]

[Affinity with the One-horned tribe has increased by 150 points with the reward. You have earned enough trust to be considered a member of the tribe.]

[You have acquired the Seed of the Moon as a reward.]

[You have acquired the qualification to receive the ‘Legendary Beast's Gratitude’ as an additional reward. Please request it from the Martial King.]

[Seed of the Moon]
[Classification: Miscellaneous Item]
[Rank: A++]
[Description: A holy seed that has grown in a cave after receiving the energy of the moon for a long time. After it is prepared, it can be consumed as an outstanding supplement.]

“This?” Yeon-woo’s eyes widened at receiving the Seed of the Moon even though he had participated in the war on Red Dragon’s side.

“Phante and Edora are a part of the same tribe.”

“Pardon?” Yeon-woo asked

The Head Elder laughed, amused. “Those two are One-horned tribe members, not to mention royalty. Since they were with you, you didn’t fail the quest.”

Yeon-woo understood what he was saying and smiled ironically. He had used a loophole in the system. If the result of the quest wasn’t clear, the person who gave it could determine if it was successful or not.

“Just think of it as a present for taking good care of Phante and Edora. With my authority, giving away a root is nothing, so don’t worry. Of course, if the King finds out, he’ll throw a tantrum and say that he wants one too, so let’s just keep it a secret.”

The Head Elder waved his hand and glared at the other elders as if making it clear that they would have to watch out if they snitched. The surprised-looking elders all shut up. “Personally, as a scholar, I’m curious to see how a Legendary Beast hatches.”

“Thank you.” Yeon-woo was genuinely grateful and bowed his head slightly. He was just as curious about the Legendary Beast's Gratitude. From the name alone, it seemed to be a healthy supplement for a Mythical Beast or a Legendary Beast.

The Head Elder waved his hand again. But his eyes flashed behind his glasses, as though he were extremely curious to see what would happen in the future.

***

Chirpy said,I want to see my friend soon! Yeon-woo stroked Chirpy under the chin and looked around. The news about his egg hatching had already spread, and the elders were now surrounded by tribe members. Yeon-woo’s egg was the biggest object of curiosity for the tribe. They had never seen an egg like it before, and a few of them even placed bets on the kind of creature that would hatch from it. The Martial King also appeared at some point and nodded with his arms crossed, as if telling them to begin.

Yeon-woo shook his head like it couldn’t be helped. He turned back to the egg and focused on when he’d first met it. The egg’s thoughts grew clearer to him. Yeon-woo knew why its thoughts and feelings had been fragmented before and why it had resisted hatching. It wasn’t because it hadn’t been able to eat Yeon-woo’s dreams. It simply hadn’t been time for it to hatch.

In fact, the fellow wasn’t waiting to hatch but to resurrect. It had been waiting for its lost piece to return, trusting that Yeon-woo would find it—the Neidan of the Mythical Dragon. Yeon-woo held it in his right hand and clenched the Seed of the Moon in his other, inserting the power of the Four Legendary Beasts into it.

The Seed of the Moon absorbed the Holy Fire first, and the Void and Abyss surrounded it, followed by the White Earth. The seed hardened and when Yeon-woo opened his hand, the Seed of the Moon floated into the air.

Next, Yeon-woo spread out his left hand. Golden energy swirled around like a spiderweb, turning into a round bead. It was the Neidan of the Mythical Dragon. There was only less than half of it left because Leonte had activated Gungnir.

The Neidan floated into the air as well, combining with the Seed of the Moon. As the white substance and golden energy mixed, they created a strange, rainbow-colored substance that entered the egg. The egg trembled as if it had been waiting for this moment and began to sparkle.

Crack. The shell started to crack. Little lines ran into each other and pieces of the shell fell off. A head with rough orange scales and golden eyes popped out of the top of the egg. It looked like the Summer Queen’s true form at first, but when Yeon-woo looked closer, he realized that it was different from her and the Void Dragon. It looked more like the dragons of the East back on Earth.

“Mythical Dragon?” Edora muttered as if she couldn’t believe her eyes. The other One-horned tribe members looked on with wide eyes.

Yeon-woo silently looked at the golden-eyed dragon whose eyes shifted like waves.

I’ve been waiting for you to call my name again.

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