SYS (Novel) Chapter 221

C221 - News Heard, News to Find (2)

Meeting Prince Laika was quite easy.

The place where the prince had taken Jin for treatment was known only to his acquaintances or verified figures.

The gatekeepers opened the door for Jin without asking any questions.

Fortunately, Prince Laika was on vacation at his summer house, which was a relief for Jin, who had expected to wait at least several hours before being able to see the prince.

"Oh, what a pleasant surprise. Welcome, Lord Jin."

Laika dismissed the guards. This was the level of trust one received for bearing the Runcandel name within Hufester.

"Long time no see, Prince Laika."

"Your companions seem to be the ones who searched for you in the east of Delki last time."

"Please excuse our previous intrusion."

Kashimir silently bowed, to which Laika waved his hand.

"Please, don't mention it. None of ours were injured anyway. In any case, it seems you have an urgent matter to discuss, Lord Jin. You have sought me out without prior notice."

"Yes. I must locate a man very urgently."

"Please tell me more about it."

"I need the man who has recently been distributing deadly poisons to Delki's mercenaries. I must find him alive."

Laika's eyes sparkled.

Jin saw the glimmer in his eyes and naturally expected him to negotiate, as he did when he acquired the rights to the gold mine and was promised Guardian Knights after saving Jin's life.

Jin was open to bargaining. Undoubtedly, finding Kuzan before Joshua deserved the effort.

I suppose I could assign several more Guardian Knights.

Jin was thinking about that when Laika broke into a big smile.

"That's not too difficult then. I'll tell you his whereabouts. We have been searching for him as well and have already secured his location."

To Jin's surprise, Laika didn't demand anything. He even drew him a map.

Laika was a man who knew how to maintain valuable contacts.

"I won't ask what it's about, Lord Jin. And if you need anything, I am at your service. Ah, and perhaps this might help you." Laika handed him the mark of the Delki Royal Family.

Though it was nothing compared to the shield of the Runcandel Family's Black Sword, Laika remembered that Jin was currently a Provisional Flagbearer.

He gave Jin the shield so he could overcome any tricky situations he might encounter while in Delki. It was a very considerate gesture.

"I won't forget this favor."

After a brief farewell, they left the mansion.

"Heavens, it seems like I'm always pressed for time."

The map pointed to a small town south of Delki. Jin and his companions entered a portal to the south and immediately rented horses to ride to the town.

----------------------

Jin's group arrived in the south.

At the same time, another group of people arrived at Prince Laika's mansion. They were Runcandel Execution Knights.

"Prince Laika, there's someone we urgently need to locate."

"Who could that be?"

"A man has been circulating deadly poisons among the mercenaries recently. The Second Flagbearer of the Runcandel Family has ordered his capture."

"Oh. I have also recently ordered his arrest. His location will be found within a day or two, so rest assured."

---------------------

"If Kuzan is selling the poison, he must be in a desperate situation."

Jin pondered what that meant throughout the journey to the town. Kuzan was naively exposing himself, considering all his training as a hound. It was as if he was begging to be found.

Is this the smell of blood?

They arrived at the house marked on the map. It reeked of blood from the entrance.

Upon opening the door, the group encountered Kuzan.

His hair was disheveled, and a beard covered his tired face. It was almost difficult to recognize him at first glance, even though he wasn't wearing any disguises.

He seemed to have been waiting for Jin and didn't startle at their arrival.

"What a spectacle. I thought you'd be rich selling all those poisons. And here I am, glad to see you."

Kuzan didn't reply and silently stared at Jin. But Jin sensed an unspoken desperation in his gaze.

"You must have been truly desperate to expose your location so easily. Let's go to a safe place and talk. I suppose you wanted me to find you before Joshua. Or am I mistaken?"

"You're correct."

"Where's Beris?"

"In the back room."

Entering the room revealed the source of the blood smell at the entrance. It had come from there. Beris was tied to the bed due to Kuzan's desperate attempt to stabilize her from her convulsions.

Beris was unconscious and coughing up blood. Jin understood that it was the final symptom of mana reflux. If Beris wasn't treated immediately, she would die.

"I see. So, you revealed your location because you had no way to treat Beris."

It wasn't something that could be treated simply with money.

This was particularly grave in the Allied Realms of Hufester because there were less than five Healers who could treat the late stages of mana reflux in the region. And as Kuzan was practically being hunted for capture, he had no way of meeting those people.

They couldn't leave Hufester to reach the Lutero Magical Federation. Although Kuzan and Beris had dozens of fake passes, each and every one of them was from Joshua.

It was impossible to pass through Hufester's portals with those passes. Similarly, they couldn't smuggle themselves out without someone trustworthy.

In addition to all these things, Beris was dying.

Kuzan's hand was forced.

The last move he could make was to reveal his location and hope that Jin would be the first to reach him.

If it weren't for Beris's condition, Kuzan would have lived hidden for years, waiting for an opportunity to meet Jin.

Kuzan knelt down.

"Save her. No, I beg you, sir, please save her. I will do whatever you ask. I will pay for my past sins for the rest of my life."

Kashimir and Alisa looked at each other in surprise at Kuzan's actions. They had thought that Kuzan and Beris were villains who had no sense of loyalty or faithfulness.

Quikantel, on the other hand, maintained a cold gaze.

"I will decide whether to take you in or not after you prove your worth. But we will discuss that after saving your friend," Jin responded, after which he checked on Veris' condition.

"This is worse than I thought. She won't survive without the Vankela Priests."

Beris was now nothing more than a shattered piece of crystal.

The opportunity for first aid had long passed, and there was nothing they could do.

The biggest problem was that moving her was not going to be easy.

"You might not realize this because you're not a sorcerer, but in her current state, putting her on a horse carriage could shatter her entire body. She's in such a condition that even the slightest impact would damage her bones and internal organs. It's too late," Jin said.

Kuzan couldn't respond. He could only hang his head. Jin felt a little bit of compassion for him.

After all, they had nearly killed him when they first met in Delki.

But if one thought about it carefully, Kuzan and Beris had only been manipulated and harmed by people associated with the Runcandels from the beginning.

They were recruited for the Sacrifice of the Moon before they could even walk.

Then they obeyed Taimyun Marius as if she were their mother or someone even greater than her, stopping at nothing to carry out her orders.

After Taimyun's death, they became Joshua's hounds without realizing that he was their true enemy, and they only learned the truth when they met Jin.

In fact, Taimyun didn't leave them even the briefest of messages in her death. Taimyun's love and concern belonged only to Luna Runcandel, Jin's sister, until the very end.

What was the result of all that?

Beris was on the verge of death, and Kuzan was now pleading for his enemy's help at his feet. If Jin neglected them, they would be at Joshua's mercy.

"We'll try to transport her. But if we encounter Joshua's forces in the process, we may have to abandon her. Understood?"

Jin saw that Kuzan's eyes were bloodshot as he nodded. It seemed like he might start shedding tears of blood at any moment.

"Thank you."

Alisa immediately removed her robe after Jin made his decision. She then wrapped Beris in her robe and tied it with a rope to keep her from moving.

A couple of bones in her limbs broke in the process, but Jin thought it was the most appropriate measure given the circumstances.

"I've experienced something like this on joint missions with the magic squadron when I was in the special group. This is what the magic squadron leader taught me, that it's better to tie them up to extract them."

Jin and Quikantel were also aware of it.

The pressure from the ropes would undoubtedly hurt her bones, but broken bones were much better than suffering damage to her organs from movement.

Bound with multiple rolls of rope around her, Beris looked like a corpse ready to be incinerated. Even if they managed to keep her alive, she would never be the same again.

Jin wanted to take Beris to Tikan. Then he would bring Healers for the initial round of treatments and head to Vankela to negotiate with the Priests there. Only then could Beris survive.

"We just have to reach the south portal gate. Hopefully, your friend can hold on until then."

"Our two passes have been listed for arrest."

"It won't matter because I have the mark of the Delki Royal Family with me. It will leave a trail of movement, but Joshua can't set foot in Tikan anyway."

Due to the circumstances, they couldn't make Beris travel on horseback. Jin's group had to carry Beris in their arms and walk carefully until they reached the portal gate.

"It will take us about three hours if we walk fast enough. Lord Jin, there will be too many eyes on us."

Since the portals were the central institutions of every city, they were located right at the heart of it, connected to its major avenues and boulevards.

It was noon, which meant the streets were bustling with people.

It was also a terrible time to be walking around carrying something in a robe that was dripping with blood.

"We can always have the defense guards or security guards accompany us with the royal mark, but I'm concerned that the news might reach Joshua's forces, given the peculiar circumstances."

As long as Joshua's subordinates didn't take the form of Guardian Knights or Execution Knights, the group would never fall prey to a threat.

But it was highly likely that Beris would die in battle.

All eyes turned toward them as they stepped onto the street.

Many civilians screamed or covered their mouths upon seeing the blood-stained robe that clearly contained a person inside.

They soon encountered defense guards and security forces as well. But fortunately, either they left after a greeting or volunteered to watch over them as soon as they saw the royal mark.

Of course, Jin declined all their services.

"I knew it. This was never going to be easy. Sir Kashimir, we have company."

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