Chapter 243 – Edor (5)
Translated by : betterdays
Proofread and Edited by : Hogu
* * *
“You’ve all been keeping me waiting for a long time.”
The subjugative force finally left Edor.
Kim Jonghyun grumbled in a low voice when he heard the rumors. It had been almost a month since he had first come to this forest, and he didn’t expect the subjugative force to start embarking out to get him, so late.
“They’re so careful. Did they think that much of me?’
Or was it because of the Grimoire in his possession? Kim Jonghyun smiled and studied the Grimoire floating beside him.
The dark-colored mana surrounding it, gave off an ominous glow. Kim Jonghyun observed at the Grimoire with affectionate eyes and turned his head to glance down.
Five thousand hearts were piled up in the deep pit. Even though it had been a while since he had first picked them up, the flesh or the hearts hadn’t rotted at all.
The ceremony had not yet begun. The moment the subjugation force entered the forest would be the moment when the Grimoire’s true consciousness would wake up.
The chances of success were slim, but Kim Jonghyun was still looking forward to the possibility of being able to witness that moment for himself.
What if he failed? Kim Jonghyun thought that if he failed, it simply couldn’t be helped. If that happened, he would simply revert his body into a spirit form retreat. Then from there he would examine what went wrong and correct it for the future.
Kim Jonghyun had nothing to lose anyway. Black Tower Master? Public reputation? They meant nothing to him.
‘It’ll take about four days.’
The ritual was already ready. However, Kim Jonghyun was planning to inspect the forest once again for four days.
Dragging the hem of his robe, Kim Jonghyun smiled insidiously as he disappeared into the forest.
In the dark, the cries of an unknown animal rang.
* * *
The Murong Family’s numbers amounted to 50 warriors, and the Murim Alliance had brought 70 respectively. The magic corps were numbering 60 along with the Red, Green, White, and Gold Tower Masters. The Holy Knights and Priests of the Holy Church were numbering 100, and the Mad Dog mercenaries brought a total of 200.
The number of troops gathered to capture and kill Kim Jonghyun, had reached 500.
To punish a single Dark Wizard, many troops and forces had arrived. There was enough firepower within each and every individual, to make heads turn wherever they might have been in Eria prior to this.
Lee Sungmin rode atop a horse beside Scarlett’s. It would take four days to depart from Edor to reach the Forest that Kim Jonghyun was residing inside.
[It took a long time to just get going on this trip….], Heoju sighed.
A week after arriving in Edor, Lee Sungmin had finally departed.
Although the departure was later than he anticipated, Lee Sungmin was not particularly dissatisfied with the decision.
Now all his concentration was directed at Scarlett and her wellbeing.
Scarlett, who was riding her horse near Lee Sungmin, looked unhappy. She was still upset about the entire circumstances leading up to it, with her forced Oath with the Green Tower Master.
[So, did you find out something?]
[Don’t ask me, I have no way of knowing.]
Participating in this war was the Murim Alliance’s ‘Open Drunkard’, Chigweol.
Chigweol, who played the leading role of the subjugation force’s leader, sent a message to Tang Ah-Hui, while darting his eyes at Lee Sungmin, riding a horse in the back.
Tang Ah-Hui frowned and furrowed her brows, as she followed Chigweol’s gaze as it landed on Lee Sungmin.
[I even gave up my pride and ended up revealing more skin than I would have liked, but I didn’t get a sincere glance from him.]
[That means you didn’t find out anything then.]
[Are you seriously implying that it’s my fault right now? I did my best and that man is just weird. I don’t mean to boast, but I have confidence in my figure, yet he was completely stone-cold…….]
Tang Ah-Hui, who was not boastful about her appearance, but was confident in it, didn’t receive any glances or looks from Lee Sungmin the entire time she had openly flirted with him.
[Maybe he’s gay or a pedophile?] (T/N : Yea author seriously said this lmao)
[Why are you asking me that like I would know?]
[I didn’t ask for an answer. I’m only grumbling because my pride is hurt. So, Chigweol. If you’re being so critical of me, that must mean you’ve found out something?]
[We didn’t find anything….]
When asked by Tang Ah-Hui, Chigweol answered the question with a brazen face.
Tang Ah-Hui was speechless at that moment and looked at Chigweol. Chigweol gave a simple reply and shrugged at her gaze.
[ I don’t think you understand. I found out the fact that I didn’t find anything on him.]
[What are you talking about?]
[Lee Min-chul must be a fake name.]
Chigweol called out Lee Sungmin’s alias.
[27 years old. There are no papers or documentation of his identity, and we don’t know where we came from. It’s assumed that his martial arts level is at the Peak Realm, approaching Transcendence…. However, we estimate it to be even stronger since we couldn’t accurately grasp his strength.]
Chigweol spoke and looked at his hand. When he first met Lee Sungmin, he had shaken hands with him.
[And, this was merely my findings, but he’s not a bare-handed fighter. I’m almost sure of it, but he must use a weapon for his martial arts.]
[I’ve easily seen just how perceptive he is as well.]
Added Tang Ah-Hui, remembering just how easily her clan’s stealth arts had been seen through by Lee Sungmin.
[I don’t understand how a master of that level of skill is not known at all throughout Eria. Lee Min-chul… I used an information network known to be even better than the Beggar’s Sect…… but there’s nothing on him. The only thing we obtained is that he’d been last seen in the South before suddenly appearing even farther north from here out of the blue.]
[Even farther north than Edor?]
[The exact location was not known. But the place I’m guessing… is Travia.]
Chigweol frowned as he sent the message. Even the Beggars Sect could not touch Travia easily as their agents died several times when they went up there. And that was precisely where they had lost contact with ‘Lee Min-Chul’s’ exact whereabouts.
What worried Chigweol even more was that Travia was ruled by the Vampire Queen, Geniella. Nobody from the Murim Alliance, Wizard Mercenary or Merchant Guilds, as well as the 5 Great Families could touch Travia with her influence so widespread there.
After the fall of the Bloody Heavenly Demon, the security and peace that had been kept in Travia had been flipped on its head in the span of one night. Shortly after the Bloody Heavenly Demon had lost his arm to the Minor Heavenly Demon, Geniella, who had disappeared for decades, suddenly reappeared and turned Travia into a lawless area.
Vampires following her orders attacked and slaughtered all of the remaining members of the beggar’s sect and information networks, so that nobody could find out anything further about the happenings in Travia.
Vampires were not the only ones who killed the warriors and informants of the Beggar’s Sect, however. The crazy city was crawling with all kinds of evil men and criminals, and so the informants and other aligned forces with the Murim alliance, fell prey.
Ever since, the Beggar Sect had long left Travia.
[It’s very strange, isn’t it? A Peak-Realm Master at the threshold of Transcendence, who nobody has ever heard of, came to this city from Travia. An area ruled by the Vampire Queen and joined the subjugation force. And it just so happens that Kim Jonghyun might have some manner of connection with the Vampire Queen, seeing how she’s staying silent on this matter.]
[……that means…. Are you saying that Lee Min-chul might betray us?]
[I don’t think that’s not a possibility. Lee Min-chul, that man could be the one sent by Vampire Queen to help Kim Jonghyun with attacking us.]
[Then shouldn’t he be killed right now?]
[I’m not sure yet. It’s too hasty to kill him with so little evidence.]
[Are you sure you want to just dismiss it like that? He could be incredibly dangerous if you’re correct. Have you told anyone else about your theories?]
[I haven’t told anyone yet either, because as I said, I’m not sure if I’m even right.]
[You’re being too soft……! We have to let other people know right away. Lee Min-chul may be the assassin sent by the Vampire Queen herself!]
Tang Ah-Hui glared daggers at Chigweol.
Chigweol was lost in thought for a moment. Tang Ah-Hui was right. Even if he had doubts, he should take such action.
Nevertheless, he still did not start drinking his alcohol, which was something that helped him intake poison within his body, giving him the name ‘Open Drunkard’. Whenever Chigweol started drinking the poison alcohol, he started to increase his strength tremendously, and was the reason he had still not quit with his life ever since he lost his arm in the dungeon.
[Lee Min-chul is close to the Red Tower Master]
[You’re saying the Red Tower Master might be a spy as well?]
[Well… I don’t think it’s going to be impossible.]
[How about the Holy Church?]
Tang Ah-Hui asked with her eyes narrowed. The Holy Church was the best option for when dealing or noticing the presence of the undead or other monsters. They would be the best ones to seek out for their trouble.
And it just so happened, there were Holy knights and Priests of the Holy Church that had joined them for the subjugation.
[I’ll be back.]
Tang Ah-Hui hastily moved from her position. After her grave situation that nearly spelled her death in the Forest of Temptation, Tang Ah-Hui could almost be said to be paranoid about her safety.
Chigweol dragged the horse and looked at Tang Ah-Hui’s back who was heading toward the forces sent by the Holy Church.
Chigweol was not sure of anything. It was just a vague possibility as he had mentioned earlier.
That was all. However, he wouldn’t stop the foolish lady of the Tang Family from going and making a fool of herself, he thought.
After coming to visit the Holy Knights of the Holy Church at the end of the day, Tang Ah-Hui met with the leader of the Holy Knights and explained what she had heard from Chigweol to the leader.
If there was a difference, Tang Ah-Hui was full of conviction that it should not be a rumor, unlike how Chigweol had stated that it was merely a possibility. She completely omitted that fact and spat out her words.
Sung Ki-Jang, who had a rather plain face that looked like it had come right out of a sculpture, did not dismiss Tang Ah-Hui’s words as nonsense.
After hearing all the stories, Sung Ki-Jang led the High Priests and elite Holy Knights himself, rode a horse and approached Lee Sungmin.
[Huh? What do these ‘holy’ fuckers want?]
Heoju grumbled when he looked at the incoming High Priests and Elite Holy Knights behind Sung Ki-Jang that were approaching Lee Sungmin.
Lee Sungmin tilted his head in confusion with a rather subdued and confused look as to what they’d want, but Scarlett, who was upset still, opened her mouth.
“What’s going on?”
“I need a moment just to check something.”
Sung Ki-Jang answered Scarlett as he turned his words and loud voice with mana to the entire forces gathered on the subjugation. The sudden words stopped the movement of the entire subjugative force. Scarlett frowned, narrowing her eyes and asked again.
“What are you going to check?”
“There is information that the man may be the assassin sent by the Vampire Queen.”
Sung Ki-Jang did not reveal that it was Tang Ah-Hui who informed him of it.
In his own way, he was trying to be considerate of Tang Ah-Hui. Scarlett uttered, expressing her bewilderment at Sung Ki-Jang’s words.
“What the hell are you talking about? The Vampire Queen’s spy? Are you saying that Lee Min-chul might be a vampire?”
“If he is, then we will do our best to find out the truth.”
Replied Sung Ki-Jang, the leader of the team. He glanced at Lee Sungmin and spoke.
“However, not being a vampire doesn’t guarantee you’re not the spy of the Vampire Queen. The powerful enchantment of the Vampire Queen is enough to destroy even the strongest spells from our believers, and no matter how strong you may be, there is no guarantee that you can notice the spell that might be placed on him.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“If you’re truly innocent, there’s no problem for us to check it. If there was a mistake with our end, I will bow my head and apologize.”
Sung Ki-Jang said. Lee Sungmin was silent as he listened to the story. After a brief silence, Lee Sungmin opened his mouth.
“What’s the rationale for this?”
“You’re a man who’s never been heard of before. Of course that’s not all the reasoning for my doubt. The reason I’m suspicious……because you’ve been heading south from Travia.”
The words made Lee Sungmin’s eyebrows wriggle.
“I am not even remotely friendly with the Vampire Queen.”
“Anyone can say that.”
Sung Ki-Jang, the leader of the Holy Church, immediately refuted.
[It’s getting quite annoying.]
Heoju mumbled. Sung Ki-Jang and the High Priests behind him were looking at Lee Sungmin and waiting for his response. Lee Sungmin nodded slowly.
“How will you confirm?”
“It’s a magical procedure.”
“Then please try it.”
Lee Sungmin knew he couldn’t refuse here. Lee Sungmin nodded in agreement first.
Then one of the High Priests stepped forward and raised his hand. His hands were bright white.
[You’ll get caught]
[It’s a dispel magic. It’s a sacred magic that invalidates any type of magic spell lower than it. The skin mask you are wearing is also enchanted, so if the dispel touches your body, the mask’s magic will be lifted and your real face will be revealed.]
‘It’s okay, I kind of figured it would happen eventually’
Lee Sungmin was not agitated. He always believed that identity might be discovered at one point, and decided he wouldn’t hide it if it was discovered.
Lee Sungmin glanced at Scarlett standing beside him. Scarlett’s eyes were trembling. She also knew well what class of magic the High Priest’s dispel was and what would inevitably happen, leading to his identity getting revealed.
“I can’t help it.”
Lee Sungmin murmured in a soft voice. It was the moment when the dispel was about to unfold.
Lee Sungmin’s body moved quickly.
He went right behind Scarlett’s back and struck her in the back of her neck without mercy.
No matter how excellent and talented Scarlett was, she would never have imagined that Lee Sung-min would attack her.
Lee Sungmin made her faint and held Scarlett’s drooping body, as he pulled up her robe and covered her well.
The sudden action of Lee Sungmin hardened everyone’s faces, including the leader of the Holy Church, Sung Ki-Jang.
Lee Sungmin’s behavior was tantamount to proving that he was the spy of the Vampire Queen, even if he had not said it himself.
“As expected…you are the Vampire Queen’s….!”
Lee Sungmin raised his hand, speaking in a commanding and authoritative tone. The mask covering Lee Sungmin’s face slowly came off.
Tang Ah-Hui was the first to recognize Lee Sungmin’s face.
“You’re the Ghost Spear!”
The cry distorted the face of Murong Dae so far that he looked like he was ready to kill the devil himself at that very moment.