Team: HH, Yahiko, thursdays (9/10)
“…..Iron Lion Clan.”
“…..Are you allies or enemies?”
Creutz could see a group of defeated soldiers while he and the Illusion Knightage soared through the sky of the 20th stage.
The group of soldiers was filled with injured people. All their armor was crushed, and the players were barely moving, leaning on each other.
He had already seen many like them, so he was just about to pass by when…..
Creutz saw a flag flailing lifelessly in the wind above them.
The greatest mercenary group, the Iron Lion Clan, looked like a mess.
It was hard, even for the Illusion Knightage, to fight against them. If their leader, Iron Lion, wasn’t a mercenary, they would have been considered one of the new emerging clans a long while ago.
But they were in such a pathetic state.
Considering how they brought along many of their players, it seemed that about 80% of them had disappeared. It was near-total destruction.
The Iron Lion Ivan looked at Creutz with sharp eyes. He acted as if he was about to raise his sword.
Creutz swallowed. It seemed that an injured beast was still a beast. Ivan’s murderous Aura wasn’t normal.
‘No. Is he just more sensitive because he’s that hurt?’
Then there was no need to touch him.
Ivan was a sunbae he admired, so Creutz replied politely.
“We would’ve met as enemies, but it seems there is no need to fight.”
Ivan curved a corner of his mouth.
“I did hear rumors that the Illusion Knightage is attempting to recruit the Hoarder. I guess they were true?”
“I don’t think there’s any reason for us to explain ourselves.”
Creutz replied firmly. It was the attitude of someone who was always polite.
“Alright. Then I don’t have anything to say either. However, keep this in mind.”
Looking at Creutz, Ivan growled with sharp eyes.
“Next time, you’ll be my prey too.”
A fierce fighting aura spread from him.
He had the eyes of a predator looking at something that invaded his territory.
However, Creutz also had experience on the battlefield although it might not have amounted to Ivan’s. That kind of threat was nothing. But there was something he was curious about.
“Don’t you feel cringy when you talk like that?”
“Anyways, I understand your stance. I’ll deliver what you said to our Regiment Leader.”
Ivan frowned, dissatisfied, and was about to shout something when…..
Far away on the mountains, there was a large explosion. The sky was turning yellow.
“Looks like something happened. I must be on my way. Goodbye.”
Creutz pulled the reins of his Flying Dragon and began to fly again. The Illusion Knightage followed right behind him.
The hundreds of wyverns flying together in the sky was a sight to see.
Ivan ground his teeth looking at them and urged his subordinates again.
“We….. shall also quickly return to base.”
* * *
When Creutz arrived at the Five Mountains of Penances, he was greeted with destroyed mountains that could hardly be called a place for training and Yeon-woo, who was fainting while exuding powerful holy power.
『Hey! Wake up!』
Victoria and the Ice King frantically ran towards Yeon-woo. Kahn didn’t know what to do while he was holding Doyle.
Creutz jumped down to the ground without landing his dragon.
『It’s dangerous if things go wrong. Please move aside for a moment.』
Victoria’s face stiffened at Creutz’s sudden interference.
The Ice King burst up and blocked Creutz. A cold aura swirled around him.
They were wary of Creutz and the knights he brought. They could be a party of the alliance that was after Kahn.
『What is the Illusion Knightage, no, the Fantasy Regiment doing here?』
『It seems like there’s a misunderstanding, but we’re not from the alliance. Our Regiment Leader is friends with the Hoarder. Haven’t you heard?』
『The Regiment Leader and Cain?』
Of course they hadn’t heard about it. Yeon-woo never spoke about his personal life to others. As the Ice King looked at Creutz with more suspicion, he became frustrated.
『I’ll explain the details later. However, time is of the essence right now. The sickness of the Hoarder seems to be a holy fever, and if it’s not treated right away, he’ll be in danger! Please step aside!』
Creutz’s face hardened when he saw Yeon-woo’s fever. The sparks flinging from Yeon-woo’s body became worse, and it was hard for even Victoria to approach him. The heat exuding from his body was so intense that his body turned red.
Not knowing what to do, Victoria shook her head. It was beyond her capabilities.
The Ice King recalled his aura and stepped aside.
Creutz quickly ran to Yeon-woo and began to examine him.
『Oh, dear. Has it already gone to his magic power source…..?!』
The price for accepting over 900 Authorities at once was too high.
Authorities weren’t simple like skills were. Accepting an Authority meant accepting the will of a god into your body.
It was difficult to have just one, but hundreds? It was something that a mere mortal should never do. It was a wonder how his soul wasn’t crushed.
If Yeon-woo hadn’t increased his potential by swallowing the Monkey King’s shedding, he would never have been able to attempt it.
He had succeeded in taking the Authorities, but some aftereffects still remained.
Something remained where the gods had touched him and left. All the remnants collided, and his body had overheated.
The holy fever from his body was reaching his internal organs and even his magic power organ.
If his fever wasn’t reduced soon, he could lose his magic power or worse.
Creutz pulled out his holy sword Zulfikar and planted it in the ground. Kissing the stone in the middle, he closed his eyes and recited a spell. The stone shined a yellow light and turned into amber.
Amber was a symbol of health. As divine power descended upon Yeon-woo’s body, the heat began to settle down.
The Ice King and Victoria looked on with surprised eyes.
『What…… did you do? His fever is subsiding.』
The Ice King had attempted to use his energy to cool Yeon-woo down, and Victoria had attempted healing magic as well.
However, Yeon-woo’s heat just became worse. But it was shocking that he was getting better with such an interesting power.
『It seems like divine power.』
Victoria replied instead as she examined it.
『Yes. Divine power. It’s good for self-recovery and vitality. And it’s the direct opposite of demonic energy.』
『Is it like holy power?』
『It’s similar, but the concept is a bit different. Holy power is something that must be given by gods, but divine power is a radiating power. It’s like how demonic energy and monstrous energy seem similar but are different.』
The Ice King smiled bitterly.
『I’m even more confused.』
As a martial artist, the only power he knew well about was magic power. The fundamental strength that advanced martial arts.
『Details about power are what magicians or alchemists deal with. However, it’s rare to see an item with divine power….. how interesting.』
Victoria thought of the artifacts in Anastasia’s storage room. They had monstrous energy and could turn into monsters at any moment.
However, the holy sword Zulfikar was the direct opposite of them. What kind of face would Anastasia make if she saw his sword?
『I’ve extinguished the fire.』
Just then, Creutz took his hands off of Yeon-woo and turned back to where the Ice King and Victoria were.
『However, the holy fever hasn’t disappeared completely. He needs somewhere to rest and recover. Do you know any superior healers?』
Victoria thought of Yeon-woo’s subordinate, Boo, first. Since he wasn’t the owner but could use Adamantine Nova, wouldn’t he be able to do it? However, from some time ago, he wasn’t appearing. Was the damage he received from the head bishop too great?
Another person flashed through her mind. Anastasia. Wouldn’t her teacher, who had mastered all kinds of spells for a thousand years, be able to do something?
Kahn signaled that Doyle’s temporary treatment was finished. Doyle looked as if he was comfortably sleeping.
『Please follow me.』
Victoria took the lead.
* * *
“……If I read my fortune this year, I think it would have said ‘you’ll have trouble because of your disciple.’”
Anastasia wrinkled her forehead and breathed in from her pipe.
Wanting to relieve some stress, she had been spending some time with the beautiful children when her disciple suddenly burst in the room.
She urged her to heal the guy she didn’t even want to see anymore and some strange-looking bum.
Anastasia wanted to tell her to f*** off, but…..
Seeing her disciple kneeling, she couldn’t do that. Even though she was pathetic, she was still her disciple.
“Please do this favor for me.”
“What right do you have to…..?!”
“I’ll pay the price.”
Freesia, who was quietly watching the situation, spoke up. She was still lounging around Anastasia, not returning to By the Table.
Anastasia narrowed her eyes.
“Do you know what that means?”
“Trust is crucial to a merchant.”
“Hmph! I think you broke that rule once. But whatever.”
Anastasia snorted and held out her hand to Victoria.
“Hand it over.”
Victoria gave her the Adamantine Nova without any resistance.
Anastasia frowned, seeing the contract that was still engraved on the Adamantine Nova.
Normally, it would take months to release it, but…..
When she rubbed it with her hands, a layer of it was cut off, and the contract naturally disappeared with it. She had forced it off.
The Adamantine Nova shined with a blue light after receiving monstrous energy from Anastasia. A light incomparable to when Victoria used it flashed, and it began to rotate.
White light descended to the floor where Yeon-woo and Doyle were lying down.
Anastasia bit her pipe and watched what happened. Smoke filled the room.
Kahn bowed to Freesia.
“There’s no need to thank me. Like you, Cain is an important person we sponsor. If something goes wrong with him, we’ll suffer great losses. And we’ve been watching Foxy Tail for some time, so you can just think of it as an investment.”
Anastasia scoffed from next to her.
“Hmph. I’m doing all the work, but you’re taking all the rewards.”
“That’s why one’s popularity is important.”
Freesia shot back a lesson to Anastasia and smiled bitterly at Kahn.
“And we erred on some things too.”
Kahn looked at her with a questioning face, but Freesia didn’t say anything. She just smiled faintly.
Doyle began to rustle around.
Kahn quickly ran to him.
Anatasia added an explanation.
“I don’t know what happened, but his soul was in a state of suspended animation for quite a while, so he’s weak. I’ll look for a way for him to recover, so keep that in mind.”
“How long will it take for him to open his eyes?”
“Hmph. If I knew that, I’d be a god; do you think I’d be playing around here in the middle of nowhere?”
Victoria shouted with a red face. Anastasia replied with an annoyed voice.
“Five days at the most. Two days at the least.”
Then, she left the room.
Kahn thanked Anastasia as well and tightly held onto Doyle’s hand as if telling him to hang in there.
Victoria had said that it was a miracle Doyle was alive and that it was a wonder how his soul wasn’t crushed or kicked out of his body when the head bishop’s large soul was in it.
However, Kahn realized that was what Doyle had been aiming for.
Foxy Tail. Like a fox, Doyle was extremely smart from a young age. He might’ve been preparing for it since he was chosen to become the head bishop’s vessel. He must’ve believed that someday, someone would rescue him.
Wasn’t that an indicator of how much he trusted his brother?
‘Defeat it. No matter what.’
That was all Kahn could say to Doyle.
Then, he looked at Yeon-woo, who was laying down next to Doyle. Kahn’s eyes were shaking while he saw the heat around Yeon-woo.
“You wake up too. Then I’ll decide to be your servant or not.”
Like how I found my brother, you should find yours.’
That was what he wanted to say.