Chapter 149

Tourist city, Violuwin.

After a sudden monster attack, the city had fallen into a crisis. However, heroes who appeared like a comet had saved the city, and the city was regaining its original appearance. 

Although the Violuwin citizens couldn’t perfectly recover all their buildings and some of its famous sites were destroyed, they made up for them by selling stories. These stories were actually receiving more favorable reviews than the previous attractions.

Violuwin’s future was bright. Construction was still ongoing in a square with a large fountain that shot up sparkling water. The leaders of Violuwin planned to station the statues of the four heroes who saved the city. Once the statues were completed, they planned to move them to the square and spread the stories of these heroes even more widely. However, that was still in the future, and the atmosphere of the place was chaotic.

A carriage stood in a corner of the square. It looked luxurious as if it belonged to someone of high status or someone with great wealth. Furthermore, a curtain hung from the carriage’s window so that the inside was hidden from view.

Slid!

Pale fingers flipped the curtains upwards. Behind the curtain, a sharp pair of eyes glanced at the square.

“Tch!” The person clearly sounded displeased.

He let go of the curtain and as the fabric flowed back down, the inside of the carriage was covered again. There were two people sitting inside the carriage. One person wore a robe and had an appearance that would make Zich delightfully swing his Windur in a warm welcome. Of course, not everyone who wore robes was in an organization that opposed Zich, but the robed figure inside the carriage was. A man sat in front of this person.

The man stared at the robed figure for a bit and said, “…Since you’re here, I’m sure it’s not good news.”

“Sir, it seems as if we’ve failed to make a Demon Person in the Cronon Kingdom.”

“Those kinds of things are merely a matter of course. Even if we fail in some areas, the Demon People we make in other areas will make up for our failures. Is this something you really have to go out of your way to report?”

“Everything we’ve been working on has failed in recent days. We also lost contact with the teams carrying out those missions.”

“…Lost contact? Did you lose contact with all the teams who failed?”

“We concluded that they’ve been annihilated.”

The man sighed, “The Cronon Kingdom...Isn’t that the place where Evelyn Rouge is?”

“We failed that plan too, sir.”

“Why her of all people…?”

Evelyn Rouge was someone the organization had devoted a lot of effort into. So, how could they have failed? Wasn’t it the same for the case of Joachim Dracul?

‘Should I go back to work?’

Since so many things have completely changed, it was probably going to be difficult for them to get the results they wanted.

‘Rather than using up more resources for a dissatisfactory future, I should just let things go.’

However, he wouldn’t be able to avoid hearing a long nagging from ‘him.’

“And…”

“…Is there another problem?” The man expressed his displeasure. 

The robed figure’s shoulders shrunk back, but he needed to report it. “The general manager died in the Cronon Kingdom.”

The man’s face grew frighteningly stiff. This news was on a different level than the previous report of the failed missions.

“How?”

“He intruded the palace at the Cronon Kingdom’s King’s birthday and was captured, sir.”

“For what reason did he go to a place where monsters like Belri Weig would be present!” The man stomped his feet. The carriage vibrated, and the floor shifted. His heavy breathing pierced into the robed figure’s ears.

“He appears to have infiltrated the palace to see why they lost contact with the team that managed Evelyn Rouge’s case, especially since their accomplice, Albus Windpool, was perfectly fine.”

“Even if Evelyn Rouge is an important figure, how could he take such a risk?”

“Sir, as I mentioned before, many of the missions in the Cronon Kingdom and its surrounding areas failed. Moreover, they didn’t simply fail. They lost all contact with the teams in charge, so they moved to check if the reason for these failures was a mistake or not.”

“So, they infiltrated the palace to figure out Albus’ movements, got caught, and were wiped out.” The man tilted his head. He wanted to receive some of the sun’s rays, but the only thing he could see was the carriage’s dark roof.

“Won’t we need to investigate, sir? Although we expected to fail a few times, entire teams are getting annihilated.”

“There’ll be setbacks to making Demon People then. I’m sure ‘he' won’t like it.”

“Then why don’t we use people from our side, sir?”

“No. We lost too many guys when we attacked Violuwin, and the rest of you have to chase after the Core. Above all, our opponents are people whom even ‘he’ doesn’t know about. If we get found out, I’m not sure what will happen to us. We have to be careful and even more cautious.” The man gravely added, “Bear in mind, ‘that person’ controls time. The moment our identities are revealed, we might all disappear without being able to do a single thing.”

“Yes!” The robed figure hung his head.

‘I think we should at least do some investigation…’

The man was also aware that they needed more information. However, his unit was weak in collecting information. Although his unit was large in numbers, strong, and didn’t lack information—no, they actually had much more information than other units, such as ones about the ‘future’. But it was precisely because of their unique and special information system that they didn’t have a separate investigation team. They were best at planning using the vast information they had, so whenever an unknown variable popped up, they didn’t have the proper means to investigate it.

‘Even though I kept talking about leaving some members for an investigation squad…’

The man recalled how ‘he’ had become infuriated at his suggestion and commanded them to focus all their efforts into making Demon People since they had enough information. Thanks to that, they were unable to properly respond to these sudden happenings.

‘Maybe I should’ve really secretly set some people aside to investigate.’

Yet, the man shook his head. ‘That person’ was foolish, but he had the ability of a god. Right now, the man was precariously leading a separate group that even ‘he’ didn’t know about. If he had also secretly made an information unit, there was a high possibility ‘he’ would notice.

‘If we just had the Core, we could have at least gotten some useful information…’

The man was very regretful that they weren’t able to capture Lyla.

“What about the Core?”

“We are still investigating that matter, but there is a high possibility that the Core was involved with the recent incident in the Cronon Kingdom.”

The ends of the man’s eyes went up.

“Explain more about this in detail.”

“Sir, one of the people who ruined this plan is said to be an eye-turning beauty. Rumors about her are quickly spreading in the aristocratic society.”

“Is that all?”

“There are four people in total. One woman who might be the Core, one man who uses a Holy Sword, one man who carries around an animal, and one man who uses a sword that looks like a tree branch.”

The man lifted up the curtain in the carriage once again. The construction to make the four statues of the heroes that saved Violuwin was still ongoing, and he lowered the curtain. With a serious expression, he said to the robed figure, “Do you think the Core got her memories back and she’s hampering our plans?”

“I don’t know.” The man tapped his knees in anxiety.

‘No, that can’t be it. Even though the memories are inside her mind, it’s a whole different thing to take them out. Unless the system functions, there’s no way the Core can freely take out her memories.’

However, anxiety filled his heart, because it was true that the information the Core had inside her mind paralleled the amount of information that 'he’ had.

“…We have to retrieve the Core as soon as possible.”

If the man had the Core, then he would have the same amount of information as 'him'. Moreover, if ‘that person’ knew about the Core’s existence, the man’s collaboration with ‘him’ could end.

‘I can’t ever let that person find out about the Core’s existence.’

“Is the Core still in the Cronon Kingdom?”

“No, I was informed that she left.”

“Did anyone follow her?”

“It was impossible to follow them to the outskirts of the city, because the Saint and Belri Weig accompanied them, and after that, the group didn’t follow any known paths. They headed straight into the mountains.”

“Nothing’s going right.”

The man’s anguish deepened at the robed figure’s words.

“You mentioned that one of the people in that group has Estellade?”

“Yes, we can safely assume that the man with the Holy Sword is in possession of Estellade.”

“We also have to quickly retrieve that.”

If they didn’t, then ‘he’, the hero wannabe, was definitely going to throw a tantrum. On the other hand, the man couldn’t see a viable path in front of him. His anguish increased further.

*    *    *

After finishing breakfast, Zich and his group began walking on the road. His group was still the same—the large man took the lead and silently walked on. The ill-tempered, old magician and a feisty, female elf continued their verbal fight, and Aine and Zich walked a foot behind them while watching them fight.

“Will there ever be a day when their relationship gets better?” Aine asked this question, and Zich looked up at the sky. 

“Even though I’m an advocate for never losing hope in whatever situation, I also think that some things are beyond saving.”

“You’re saying that it will never happen, ” Aine sighed.

“I have no idea how the hell I’m in the same party as an ill-mannered child like you.”

The old magician complained, and the elf was not going to be pushed back.

“You joined the party after me, and I should be the one saying that instead of you.”

“Zich why did you accept this gangster-like elf? Were you guys having that hard of a time?”

The fight was passed to Zich, who was quietly watching the fight. Without saying anything, Zich just awkwardly smiled. 

“Hmph! You don’t know how much the party progressed since I joined. There’s a long line of parties begging me to join and will bow down and shout thank you if I say I’ll join them.”

“Then why don’t you join one of those parties?”

At the old magician’s words, she firmly shook her head. “I don’t want to. I have a debt to repay to Zich. Unless I finish paying that debt, I’m not going anywhere.”

“Don’t you think that the greatest favor you can do for Zich is to leave this party!”

“You should say that about yourself!”

Then they began fighting about who was making the greater contribution to this party. Aine made a slight smile while watching them. 

“Thinking back, when we first met her, there was a large commotion.”

“Yeah. I mean, she caused havoc, saying that she needed to retrieve back her tribe’s treasure.”

Recalling these memories, Zich also smiled and replied, “But it was still a good meeting, wasn’t it?”

“Of course. That’s how the strongest archer joined our party.”

Zich looked at the elf, Leona Pearl in Droud, and agreed with Aine’s words.

*   *   *

Swish!

Zich jolted up from the ground, and his blanket slipped down. He turned his head around and quickly scanned his surroundings. He saw Hans, Snoc, and Lyla. There was no trace of the shy and large man, the ill-mannered magician, or the Saint: Aine Primel Lubella. Moreover, there wasn’t the feisty elf woman—Leona Pearl in Droud.

‘Ah, damn that blasted dream.’

Zich fiercely scratched his head. He knew who Leona Pearl in Droud was. She used to be one of the Sun Hero, Glen Zenard’s party members. In the final battle with Zich and the party of heroes, every single one of her arrows boasted lethal killing power.

‘Why the hell is she appearing as my companion in my dream?’

Since he built up a relationship with Lubella after his regression, it was not that surprising to see her as his companion, but he could not understand why that elf appeared in his dreams. Zich let out a sigh, and then he recalled an item that was mentioned in his dream.

‘The treasure of an elf tribe.” Zich had heard of it before. That treasure was the reason why Glen Zenard was able to have Leona Pearl in Droud in his party.

‘Now that I think about it, wasn’t her tribe’s treasure being sold around this time?’

Even though Zenard found the treasure for Leona Pearl in Droud much later on, Zich recalled that it was around this time that humans were auctioning off an elf tribe’s treasure.

Zich looked up at the sky. ‘…Should I just check it out?’

The next destination for Zich and his companions was decided.

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