SYS (Novel) Chapter 246

C246 - Villain (3)

The prayer initiated by Lani ended at midnight.

Everyone gathered in the city square joined the prayer without anyone deviating from it. Meanwhile, all nations sent delegations to express their condolences for the news of the holy king's death, and the press immediately printed bulletins reporting on the tragedy of the holy kingdom.

People would remember this prayer as an offering for the Holy King. But Lani, Jin, and Murakan would mourn the death of a great Sacred Knight on this day in the years to come.

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The traitors of the Holy Kingdom who had sided with the Kinzelo decided to take the Kinzelo leader as their new god instead of Ayula. And the group that sided with the Zipple replaced Ayula with their reverence for the power and order of Zipple.

The Runcandels had long known about the control of the two factions over the holy kingdom, but they had no reason or justification to intervene.

If they brought down the leaders, it would be seen as an invasion. If they attacked the Zipple and the Kinzelo, it was highly likely that a large-scale war would break out.

The Runcandels didn't fear war itself. But if a war ever broke out, the people of the holy kingdom would see the Zipple as the just clan aiding the kingdom, while the Runcandels would become the crazy invaders.

In such a scenario, all they could gain by striking at the Holy Kingdom would be several saints. They wouldn't win any favor from the Holy Kingdom subjects, who would end up becoming Healers.

Therefore, the holy kingdom had been a headache for the Runcandels lately.

But now an opportunity presented itself.

"Little brother." It was Luna.

The Runcandel Clan had also sent a delegation to express their condolences, just like the rest of the world.

As it was the death of the Holy King, the clan sent their First, Second, and Third Flagbearers to the Holy Kingdom, which meant Luna, Joshua, and Luntia Runcandel, respectively.

Luna had received news from Kashimir and had briefly stepped away from the delegation to meet Jin.

"It's been a while, dear sister."

"You've become strong."

She noticed Jin's growth at a glance. She didn't need to face him or understand the powers of the Sword of Legends or the Shadow Blade to realize it.

The eyes of the strong were enough to inform the other.

The last time they had seen each other, Luna had cried like a child when she was with Jin. The impact of Taimyun's death felt like an entire part of her world had been erased.

But now, Luna wore her imperturbable expression again.

Jin knew she had fought against the pain and sense of loss to regain that expression. "You've also grown stronger, dear sister."

The siblings smiled at each other.

"I was about to complain about how much I missed you when I heard that you accomplished another tremendous feat. Sir Kashimir briefed me briefly. Well, how can I assist you?"

Jin pointed to a carriage parked nearby. "Please take care of them."

Vitura Veltor's family was in the carriage, disguised as battle casualties from yesterday.

"I'll take care of it." Luna promptly responded. She didn't need to ask further because she had already been informed about Vitura. Her family would now join the delegation returning to Hufester. "Anything else?"

"Please stay in the holy kingdom until the trial for the murder of the Holy King is over, so that Joshua doesn't take the glory for my actions."

Jin knew that the Zipple's reputation in the holy kingdom would plummet immediately once the trial began.

The holy kingdom subjects were already furious, thanks to Vitura's sacrifice. Some even demanded an official apology from the Zipple before the Holy King's funeral even began.

And it wasn't just the Holy King. The whole world would learn about the atrocities of the Zipple.

The fact that the Runcandel Clan's delegation stayed in the Holy Kingdom after paying their respects served as a symbol.

It signaled that the Runcandels were watching the Zipple. The only clan that could deter the Zipple had its eyes on their immense strength.

Since Jin was a Reserve Flagbearer, he couldn't serve as a symbol.

Of course, Cyron (who would learn about it in a future letter) and any infiltrators would recognize Jin's work here, but someone else from the Runcandel Clan had to claim the glory in the eyes of the public.

And naturally, Jin wanted it to be Luna. If she stepped back to avoid any unnecessary attention, as she often did, the honor would fall to the Second Flagbearer, Joshua.

"I was planning on doing it, of course. We can't let him take all the glory for something you've worked so hard for. No."

"Are you aware that Joshua also has many copies of himself?"

"What do you mean by that?"

Jin began to explain Joshua's secret to her. Luna's eyes widened in surprise.

She knew nothing about the Seer.

"I knew something was off. Joshua volunteered for extremely risky missions without much thought. He could have been using his copies every time."

"Father must be aware of it, right?"

"Most likely. Father knows everything that goes on within the Clan."

"Then there must be a reason why he didn't stop it."

"Probably for the same reason he also overlooked your Shadow Energy. There isn't much to read into it. If he overlooked something that goes against principles, it can only mean he saw it as beneficial for the clan."

Luna placed her hand on Jin's shoulder, as if to convey that she understood the effort it took. "However, I may have to investigate it. I'll start looking into it more seriously from now on. You focus on finishing things here in the holy kingdom."

"Agreed, Luna."


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***

Until the last knight of the Creed Guardians Society was detained in the underground cells the next day.

The Zipple tried by all means to prevent them all from being imprisoned, but the murder of the holy king turned out to be too decisive.

It wasn't just the testimonies of the biological golem experiment survivors. The list revealed by Vitura that Lani exposed was impossible to cover up.

Jin had requested the list of names from Vitura before heading to Old Oterium.

"Please make a list of the traitors who sided with the Kinzelo and the Zipple so that we can expose them as soon as I return. Lastly, gather the remaining faithful. There may be a confrontation in the process," Jin had said.

Vitura made separate lists for the Kinzelo and the Zipple. Lani kept the list of Kinzelo traitors while revealing the list of Zeifl to the world.

She exposed the truth about the Zipple clan.

And yet, the Zipple couldn't release a statement saying that the dead Holy King was a fake and that it was the Kinzelo who carried out the biological golem experiments.

"I can't reveal the name of the hero who rescued the survivors, but he says that the biological golem experiments were conducted in the fourth magical tower of the Zipple clan. We demand an official statement from the Zipple clan regarding the matter."

Lani and the people were still in the city square.

Although all pawns of the Zipple clan were detained, the people refused to let Lani and the body of the false Holy King enter the castle until everything about the incident was revealed.

Apart from the Creed Guardians Society, everyone else on Vitura's list was still inside the castle, preparing for the funeral of the Holy King.

It wasn't reasonable.

But given the power held by the leaders of the Holy Kingdom, such as Pontiff Montiano, it was certainly feasible. Unlike the Creed Guardians, they could only be brought down if there was undeniable proof that they had sided with the Zipple.

Unfortunately, Vitura's list was not decisive enough for that purpose.

But, of course, Jin had expected it.

"We will not proceed with my father's funeral until we have an official statement from the Zipple clan. They will have to confess before we console the aggrieved spirit of my father."

"Master of the Fourth Tower, explain yourself!"

"Explain!"

They could have easily ignored the cries of Lani and the people if they were the only ones present in the square.

But delegations from around the world and countless journalists had joined them.

The Zipple had to quickly come to an agreement with the Kinzelo about their secret negotiation. They had to retrieve Karl in exchange for taking the blame for all the accusations.

Everything was going as Jin had predicted.

They preferred taking the blame over admitting the truth that they had kidnapped Karl through a third-rate terrorist group like the Kinzelo.

Both the reputation of justice and power were difficult to regain once lost. But the former could be mitigated to some extent with money. On the other hand, the latter required unimaginable sacrifices to regain.

In the end, the Zipple clan had to issue a public statement before noon.

"The Zipple clan admits to getting involved in the politics of the Holy Kingdom, which led to the biological golem experiments being carried out on the kingdom's population with the assistance of officials who operated with the clan.

However, we wish to inform you that the biological golem experiments are unrelated to the clan's political involvement. The experiments were conducted as an individual crime by Karl Zipple, the fourth tower master. Starting today, Karl Zipple will be sent to the Holy Kingdom under magical restraints to apologize in person, after which Karl Zipple and any related personnel will be severely punished under clan law.

We express our deepest condolences for the departure of the Holy King and promise the full extent of any applicable compensation.

However, we will also refer to clan laws in addressing the spread of unconfirmed rumors and malicious slander.

The clan's political involvement has always been limited to cases requested by officials of the Holy Kingdom and was not driven by the clan's political ambitions. We wish to inform you that...".

The statement had an assertive tone, quite different from the usual Zipple clan style. The words themselves were polite but clearly stated that all punishments would be carried out within their own clan.

Naturally, the fury of the holy kingdom subjects skyrocketed a moment after the journalists delivered the statement.

'They are intentionally trying to enrage the holy kingdom subjects so that Karl Zipple gets stoned to death when he arrives here to atone for his crimes.'

It didn't matter how or why. If Karl Zipple were to die on these lands, the Zipple could reverse the situation and hold the Holy Kingdom accountable for everything.

An objective evaluation based on the common perspective of the world would never value the life of the Holy King above that of the fourth tower master of the Zipple clan. If a war ever broke out between the entire Holy Kingdom and the fourth magical tower of the Zipple, the tower forces would always win.

So that's how much they wanted to get out of this situation, enough to give up Karl Zipple, whom they had just snatched back from the Kinzelo. And I wonder how much they paid to have Karl back.

The Zipple still favored the scapegoat.

But it wasn't an ordinary sacrifice. The scapegoat was a pure-blooded Zipple. Unlike Miuron, who was already dead when the Kollon incident became known to the world, this time the Zipple blamed one of their own.

If Karl died, the holy kingdom could no longer demand further accountability from the Zipple for the biological golem incident. The world would continue to criticize their political involvement, but time and money could resolve those matters eventually.

Jin thought it was a pretty shrewd decision.

Except for the fact that their desperation made them commit too early, especially when they didn't know who they were dealing with.

The Zipple still hadn't realized that Jin was behind Lani's movements. They could only assume that a Runcandel or Vermont Flagbearer was behind her.

Kinzelo would never share with the Zipple the information that it was Bamel who single-handedly razed the Dark Magic Guild headquarters and that Bamel was actually Jin Runcandel.

"Deano?"

"Yes, Lord Jin?"

"When Karl Zipple arrives in the Holy Kingdom, publish all the articles related to the Kinzelo. That Karl was actually a hostage of the Kinzelo because of Bamel until a few days ago, and that Bamel actually rescued the survivors from Old Oterium, not from the fourth magical tower. Inform them that Karl is not involved in this incident."

"The Zipple will have to do everything possible to deny the claim. It will be quite a spectacle to see."

If the Zipple didn't deny the accusation, Keliac would be seen as a cold and ruthless man who sold his own son to rid himself of blame.

Jin wasn't going to help the Zipple choose between their reputation for power or justice.

He was going to make them lose both.

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Publication of up to 6 weekly chapters, thanks.
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