SYS (Novel) Chapter 233

C233 - Lani Salome (2)

On December 14, 1797, Jin and Murakan went to the Holy Kingdom to meet Lani Salome.

Vankela's Holy Kingdom was celebrating the Manifestation Festival, a festival to commemorate Ayula's first manifestation there.

The week-long festivity was the biggest celebration in the kingdom.

The streets were filled with flags of all colors, with Ayula's symbol - dormant volcanoes - depicted on them.

"Dormant volcanoes? Every time I see that, I think about how appropriate the symbol they chose for him is."

Ayula, the God of Peace, was the deity that the Holy Kingdom of Ayula served as the supreme god. From what Murakan remembered of the God, he was the most benevolent on most occasions. But when he got angry, the God tended to burn everything in front of him.

"Any God that caused too much chaos in the Human World was brought to Ayula for a little meeting, which was actually a threat. I was told that he once denied the existence of a God before I was born. I think it was the God of Blessings that he wiped out."

"Really?"

"For a while, there were rumors among the Dragons that it might have been Ayula who also killed Numerus, the God of Hope. Anyway, he's an extreme guy."

The streets were filled with pleasant melodies, laughter, and cheers here and there. People from the Holy Kingdom, tourists who came to enjoy the festivities, and a multitude of journalists crowded the streets.

And in the center of the busiest area, a burly old man stepped onto a stage in the middle of the capital's grand square and greeted the people.

A golden staff, a crown shaped like a dormant volcano, sacred yellow mana gently enveloping his entire body, a kind smile showing a bright and orderly set of teeth.

This remarkable old man was Miklan, the Holy King.

The love that the holy citizens felt for Miklan was absolute.

It was no wonder, as no other Holy King had divided the privileges of the ruling class and distributed them among the people in the entire history of the Holy Kingdom.

Most kings had only increased the privileges of the pontiffs who enthroned them as Holy Kings.

Jin and Murakan also watched him in the square for some time.

"So that's the Holy King Miklan, Lani's father."

He had never seen Miklan up close in his past life.

"So that brat is the current Holy King, huh?"

"Lower your voice, Murakan. You could get into trouble for saying those things."

"Hmph, he doesn't feel as extraordinary as I thought."

"Really? No?"

But Jin also had the same impression.

"I don't know how to say it. All the Holy Kings I've seen so far had an impressive presence, despite being humans. It's not that they were powerful, but there was something about their holiness that made you take them seriously. But that guy? I don't know. He almost seems to have an aura, and then it seems like he doesn't."

Lani's trial had been postponed by the Holy King.

He didn't use his power to prevent her disciplinary action, but it was for the sake of the Manifestation Festival.

The Holy Kingdom had a tradition of not initiating sentences against sinners during the Manifestation Festival. But more importantly, Lani played a crucial role in the festival every year.

The Holy King's Consecration Ceremony.

Like its namesake, the Holy King consecrated and blessed each of his subjects in the ceremony. It was the highlight of the Manifestation Festival, and Lani had been reading the consecration message on behalf of the Holy King since she was fifteen, without missing a single year.

Kashimir had given Jin some information about it before heading to the Holy Kingdom.

"It wouldn't look good if Lani Salome suddenly disappeared. That's probably why the disciplinary body of the Creed Guardians temporarily released her. I think you'll be able to meet Lani before the trial concludes."

It was a relief for Jin and Murakan. If the trial didn't go in their favor, meeting her could have been quite a challenge.

"Hm, but I can't understand it."

Jin stared at the Holy King as he nibbled on the volcano-shaped candies he had just bought from a stall. The two had dyed their hair red with the golden mice's hair products and pretended to be tourists.

"Understand what?"

"Lani caused trouble recently at a temple where the Holy King was performing a blessing. But it doesn't make sense for them to include Lani in such an important ritual as the Holy King's Consecration Ceremony."

"Maybe it's just for show. You said that woman has been reading the consecration message every year, right?"

"But if you think about it that way, something doesn't add up. If Lani were to cause trouble in the middle of the Consecration Ceremony, it would be a major calamity. It's not something they can hide, like last time."

Since no foreigners were involved in the previous incident, Lani's commotion at the temple wasn't covered by any foreign media outlets.

The incident wasn't something outsiders could find out unless they had elite agents stationed in the Kingdom, like Kashimir.

But in this case, there were countless tourists watching. If Lani caused trouble here, the reputation of the Holy King and his Kingdom was sure to plummet.

"You're right. They must have done something about it. If not, maybe Lani suddenly went crazy for that brief moment and now maintains a good relationship with the Holy King."

"We'll find out for sure when we see her."

Lani's home was a small house near the grand temple of Ayula in the capital of the Holy Kingdom. But because there were too many admirers of Miklan and Lani who came to that house, she actually didn't use the property at all.

Lani mainly lived in the eastern temple of Ayula, east of the capital. The building was under restoration, and entry was prohibited to anyone outside.

Of course, Jin and Murakan couldn't care less about those things.

"Let's make our way to the eastern temple."

The two stepped into the portal and headed east.

"Ughhh!"

"Aren't you used to it yet?"

Murakan started vomiting as soon as they finished the portal jump. He still had trouble with portals.

"Damn it, I've regained forty percent of my powers and yet I can't even fly as I want."

"Hang on a little longer. Once I become a Flagbearer, you won't have any problems flying over the skies of Hufester, at least."

Finding the eastern temple of Ayula was fairly easy. The tallest building they saw upon exiting the portal was the eastern temple.

In contrast to the central part of the city, where the festivities were taking place, the eastern section was quite calm. It was to be expected since all the merchants had gone to the central region to set up their stalls there.

The two climbed a hill and reached the temple. It was guarded by ordinary soldiers who were yawning, unlike the Holy Knights dressed in heavy armor who had imprisoned Santelle.

They didn't see any workers restoring the temple because everyone had gone to the center to enjoy the festivities.

No one in the Holy Kingdom dared to enter without permission, and tourists had nothing to do with the eastern temple. Since all the sacred relics had been moved to the central temple, there was no need for much security.

Jin took out a small glass vial from his inner pockets and opened it. Inside the vial was a sleep-inducing poison prepared by Kuzan.
Sorry, but it's not dangerous.

Jin looked at Murakan

Murakan returned the look as if asking, "Do I really have to do these things?" but then sighed and transformed into a cat anyway.

"Meow."

Murakan took the glass vial into his mouth and approached the guards.

Naturally, the guards' attention focused on the vial he carried in his mouth. And before they could check the vial, Murakan sprayed it in front of them, spreading the sleep-inducing poison.

"What is this? Wait, my body..."

"Sorry." Jin deposited a gold coin for each of them.
He and Murakan passed through the main gate and entered the temple. Lani's room was at the end of the hallway, on the third floor.

The smell of alcohol grew stronger as they approached the room.

Fortunately, there were no soldiers inside. The two had no trouble meeting Lani.
"Lani Salome. I had no idea you enjoyed drinking so much." Jin spoke after quietly closing the door behind him, causing Lani to finally turn her head. They had deliberately approached her room making noise, but she didn't pay any attention to the noise at all.
It was as if she had given up on everything.

"Jin Runcandel?"

The dignified eyes that had once boasted of their beliefs in Santelle were nowhere to be found. They were now filled with sorrow.

Lani looked at Jin with bewildered eyes for a while, as if she couldn't believe what she was seeing. She couldn't comprehend that he had come to find her so quickly.

"How?"

"I made you a promise, remember? I'm here to repay my debts," Jin said.

Puff!

Murakan turned into his human form and stood beside Lani. She dropped the bottle and widened her eyes, surprised to see that Murakhn was already fine.

"Long time no see. Thanks to you, I survived and now I'm here. It seems like you have some problems. Let me, Murakan the great Dark Dragon, solve all your problems now. That being said, why don't you give me a drink?"

Murakan smiled and gently took the glass from her, preventing her from drinking more.

Lani could only blink as if she couldn't believe what was happening. Soon, she burst into tears, clenching her teeth so that the sound of her crying wouldn't echo in the hallway.

Jin and Murakan waited for her to stop.

"Come on, stop crying and tell us what's going on."

"My father is..."

"Your father? You mean Miklan, the Holy King?"

"My father was captured."

Jin and Murakan looked at each other and at Lani.

"What do you mean by that? We just saw the Holy King in the central square when we were coming here. He was standing there and..."

"I don't know what they did, but it's an imposter. It's a fake double with an identical face to my father's. My real father was captured."

"What?"

"The Holy King? He was captured?"

A fake.

Obviously, the word could only conjure up a man in their memory.

The sculptor of the Kinzelo, Bouvard Gaston.

Jin finally understood why Lani still played a part in the consecration message in the Holy King's Consecration Ceremony.

She was being threatened.

The faction that currently held Miklan, the Holy King, captive was threatening Lani to act as if everything was fine, or else she would see her father die.

She couldn't bear her frustrations and ended up causing trouble at the temple where the fake double was performing a blessing. That's how she ended up awaiting trial.

"Lani Salome, do you know who captured the Holy King?"

Kinzelo.

Obviously, he hoped that would be the answer because they were using Bouvard's transfiguration.

But Lani responded differently.

"The Zipples. They kidnapped my father."

"The Zipples? Are you sure?"

"Yes, I am. I think other factions are involved as well, but I'm not so sure. There was little I could do." Lani grabbed her head and trembled.

"Take it easy, Lani. Why don't you have some water? You should calm down and tell us everything, so we can start thinking about this matter."

The alliance between the Zipples and the Kinzelo had been broken.

Had they joined forces again? The idea briefly crossed Jin's mind.

Soon, they began to hear heavy footsteps on the other side of the door. Someone must have noticed Jin and Murakan's intrusion. That being was approaching them, but for some reason, the sound was certainly not that of a human's footsteps.

-Publication of up to 6 weekly chapters, thanks.
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