SYS (Novel) Chapter 227

C227 - Murakan's Benefactor (3)

"A funny joke."

"Hurry up and come in here!" Lani pointed to an opening in the alleyway.

It was the path she and the other Holy Knights had used to chase after the group.

Jin and his group passed by Lani and headed in the direction she indicated. Kuzan's heel had just disappeared through the opening when the group of about twenty Holy Knights entered the alleyway.

"Lani Salome? Where are they?"

The captain of the Holy Knights glared at Lani angrily upon seeing the fallen Holy Knights around her.

Lani hadn't unsheathed her sword yet, and her captain was clearly displeased by it. The other Holy Knights also sighed and clicked their tongues at her.

They knew that Lani clung to her principle of never attacking anyone who wasn't a heretic.

Lani's definition was limited to someone clearly declared a heretic by a judgment presided over by the Holy King, Miklan, and those who openly declared themselves as such by wielding dark magic.

"I'm sorry. I lost them. I saw them head toward area one. You need to hurry and-"

"Hmph! They're nothing but rats in a trap. They'll be caught soon enough. But Lani Salome, I see you've kept your sword sheathed once again, even when your comrades were felled. Can you call yourself a Holy Knight of the Society of Creed Guardians while doing so?"

She looked down but gritted her teeth so loudly that the captain could hear it.

"If you're going to punish me for it, I'll gladly accept it later. For now, I believe I should go after the intruders, sir."

"You disappoint me time and time again. Do you truly think you can defend your actions forever? The heretics were right before your eyes too! Tsk!"

"Continue the pursuit! Fifth squadron captain, how can you be so sure they're truly heretics? For now, they're just intruders!" Lani sharply shouted aloud.

The captain looked at her for a while and then shook his head. "Third platoon, take Lani's platoon to the Saints and regroup with us in area one. As for you, Second Class Knight Lani Salome, you are on probation from this moment onward. Return to the barracks, hand in your weapon and armor, and wait. If you disobey this order, things will worsen for you. Understood?"

The Holy Knights passed by Lani and left the alleyway.

The knights tasked with supporting Lani's unconscious platoon kept badmouthing her as they carried out their duty.

"I wish I had a powerful father like you too. You disobeyed orders and challenged the captain's authority, and yet, all you get is probation."

"You know what? You're more of a heretic than the actual heretics. When we get back, request a transfer and leave. Stop tarnishing the reputation of the Creed Guardians."

Everyone left, and Lani was once again alone in the alleyway.

Jin's group had heard the entire conversation from the side opening of the alleyway.

'Lani Salome.'

The name sounded familiar.

'Now I remember. She's the adopted daughter of Miklan, the Holy King.'

He had read some stories about her in his past life's bulletins.

The articles focused on how she was criticized by the faithful people of the Holy Kingdom for being a prodigal daughter who spent her days soaked in alcohol, despite being the Holy King's daughter. It was a brief article hidden in a corner of the newspaper, but her title as the Holy King's daughter had remained in his memory.

Soon, Lani returned to the group at the opening after glancing at the alleyway. "At least we've overcome that moment. Let's go to a safe area and talk about this."

"Wait. Before anything else, Lani Salome, it seems like you want to help us. But why? And how did you find out that we're related to the Dark Dragon?" Jin looked Lani in the eyes and asked.

She couldn't answer for several seconds, but she seemed to be mulling over countless thoughts in her mind. "I am a Holy Knight of the Society of Creed Guardians."

"You've mentioned that before."

"But before the fact that I'm a Holy Knight, I am a loyal citizen of the Holy Kingdom of Vankela, another human being, and a fervent daughter of our Lord Ayula of infinite mercy."

She began a self-introduction that seemed out of context.

But for some reason, it was filled with spirit and determination. Jin didn't dare to stop her.

"As such, it is not my duty to cover the people's eyes, spread lies, paint evil as good, and fall into disgrace by colluding with the powers that be. Kadun the Fire Dragon. That is precisely the evil we should pursue instead. In fact, the Dark Dragon even tried to prevent him from setting the city ablaze."

Lani clenched her fists tightly and trembled with anger.

"Does this explain why I'm trying to help you?"

"The fool tried to prevent him from burning the city? Tell me more, Holy Knight. Where is he now?" Quikantel grabbed Lani's shoulder as she asked the question.

"First, follow me. We don't have much time."

They followed Lani to the city center.

However, the area was filled with half-ruined buildings still smoldering from Kadun's flames. The toxic fumes made the city center impossible to restore.

Even the Saints and Spellcasters gave up on extinguishing the fires in this area and didn't put up any controls due to the strong toxic fumes.

"Wait a moment. I'll cover you with a sacred barrier."

"This companion and I don't need it. You just have to do it for her," Jin said, pointing at Quikantel.

"The toxic vapors are extremely strong."

"It doesn't matter. Let's hurry with the barrier and get in."

"Alright."

Lani placed a barrier over Quikantel and herself.

"My companions won't enter this area, at least for the next thirty minutes."

"Where is the Dark Dragon?"

"He is here."

"He can't withstand such toxins in his current state."

"I protected him with my sacred powers, so don't worry about that. But before seeing him, let me ask you a question. Are you Jin Runcandel?"

Kuzan and Quikantel's eyes widened as she abruptly mentioned Jin's name.

But Jin nodded without a hint of surprise. "It seems like he has talked to you about me."

"Yes. Murakan asked me to protect him for a brief time because Jin Runcandel will soon come to find him. Please show me a sign that proves you are Jin Runcandel. I hope you understand. From my perspective, you could always be Kadun's subordinates."

For the moment, he didn't have anything that could prove his identity. Although Bradamante was a Runcandel Blade, no one outside the clan or the martial artists of Hufester would recognize it.

"Don't you have anything?"

Kuzan growled with a serious tone after aiming his dagger at her throat.

"Look, stop trying to test the lord. If we were subordinates of that Fire Dragon, we wouldn't have needed to go through so much trouble to infiltrate the city."

"Do you think I fear threats? If that were the case, I wouldn't have brought you here in the first place. You'd do well to remember that Murakan will undoubtedly die if they kill me."

"Lower your sword, Kuzan," Jin said.

Kuzan immediately bowed his head and took a step back.

Lani's eyes showed determination. If Jin couldn't prove his identity, she wouldn't allow him to see Murakhan.

"I don't have any object to prove it. But instead, let me prove that Murakan is my Guardian Dragon with this."

Whoooosh.

Jin gathered Shadow Energy in his palm and looked at Lani. "This is Shadow Energy, the power of Solderet. Whether I am Jin Runcandel or not, I am the sole Shadow Contractor. I hope I won't need any more proof."

It wasn't the time to hide his identity as a Contractor.

"No, this will be enough."

"Is he safe?"

"Honestly? The truth is, he's quite injured. And..."

"First, let's see him. Right now." Jin demanded, struggling to suppress the wild panic he felt in his heart.

It felt like liquid metal was boiling in his heart. The whirlwind of various emotions almost made everything appear in a yellowish tone.

'Kadun, the Fire Dragon. I swear you will meet a lamentable end...'

Lani tore a wooden plank from the ground.

The ashes covering the plank scattered all around.

An amber-colored light emanated through the ashes.

It was the same color as the barrier covering Lani's body. It was sacred energy.

The energy formed a barrier over a black cat that was curled up.

"Murakan!"

He was Solderet's representative and his close friend, the last descendant of the first-born being of the Shadows, and Jin's only Guardian Dragon.

It was him.

Lani had hidden him all this time in his cat form, under this building filled with toxic fumes. It would have been impossible without her exceptional sacred powers and steadfast faith.

Jin carefully picked up Murakhan in his arms. Quikantel's eyes filled with tears. Kuzan also let out a sigh of relief upon seeing him.

"Let me explain what happened." Lani began describing the circumstances of Murakan's rescue.

The Holy Knights and Lani were sent to Santelle by order of the pontiffs.

Their orders were to assist Kadun, the Fire Dragon, in capturing the demonic creature and purifying the city of Santelle, as it was at risk of becoming a city of heretics.

But what Lani witnessed was neither a demonic creature nor heretics.

All she saw was innocent people dying from the Fire Dragon's ruthless breath and a Dark Dragon doing everything in its power to protect the city for some reason.

Lani was the only one among the Holy Knights detachment who felt that something was wrong with what was happening in the city.

In fact, the Saints incited the people, and the Holy Knights closed off the city to purify it.

"It was Kadun who killed the people, but it didn't even take two hours for the massacre to be attributed to Murakan."

The battle between Kadun and Murakan was reaching its end when Lani arrived.

Kadun had set the city ablaze only to prevent Murakan from escaping. On the other hand, Murakan was cornered by his efforts to save the people and his own fatigue.

However, Murakan finally managed to escape. Or at least, it seemed so. Murakan broke through Kadun's curtain of fire and flew into the sky.

"But he probably didn't have the strength to go very far. Kadun immediately started pursuing him, and Murakan must have played his luck. When Kadun left his own curtain of fire and started flying, Murakan reentered the city."

Right before their eyes. Murakan reentered through the curtain of fire and hovered in the air above Santelle. Then he transformed into his human form and fell to the ground.

Kadun was too busy chasing the shadow of him that Murakan had placed in the sky with Shadow Energy to notice his fall.

It was undoubtedly a miracle that only Lani saw him fall.

She immediately located him, but the problem was the other Holy Knights.

"His life was in danger without immediate treatment. But I couldn't send him to the Saints as if he were one of the many refugees of the city. His transformation was unstable, and he had black scales in different parts of his body."

Lani desperately unleashed Holy Magic to save the Dark Dragon, but it wasn't enough.

With his consciousness growing increasingly blurry, Murakan realized that the Human was trying to tend to him for some reason and managed to leave a message: that Jin Runcandel would come to find him.

"After saying that, he transformed into this form and passed out. Then I used my Sacred Powers to hide Murakan here."

"Jin, he didn't transform. He was forcefully transformed into this state. I'll tell you the details later. First, let's get out of here," Quikantel said.

"I'll show you the best escape route. Exit through that way," Lani added.

Jin said, "Lani Salome. For the honor of Solderet and the Runcandel clan, I swear to repay this debt. I will visit you in the Holy Kingdom as soon as your probation ends."

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Publication of up to 6 weekly chapters, thanks.
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