SYS (Novel) Chapter 258

C258 - Beradin's Memory

A single person emerged from the portal. But the person wore a hood and a mask, making it difficult to distinguish a face.

"I don't think it's Beradin."

"I thought the same."

Jin and Dante spoke.

Though they couldn't see the face, the build was too different. The person coming out of the portal had the physique of someone who had trained in martial arts for a long time.

In fact, the person carried a long sword at their waist. It couldn't be Beradin. Jin recalled what Beradin had said when they made the pact to use the property as a safehouse.

"This is the address of my private vacation home. My clan never watches over me or interferes with anything that happens here," Beradin had said. "I'll give your names to my stewards so you can visit me whenever you want without much trouble."

"Oh, maybe it's the steward. There was no one here when we arrived."

As Dante said, they hadn't met the steward yet. There was no one when they arrived. The door was locked, so they kicked it open and had been waiting for Beradin for three days.

"The person seems too strong to be a steward, though."

"I agree."

The masked figure's gaze fell on the broken door.

The masked figure stood still amid the roaring sounds of the waves and stared at the broken door for some time. It was clear that something displeased them. For some reason, both their hearts sank.

Shing!

The masked figure drew their long sword.

"They must think there's an intruder."

"Yes, maybe we should step forward and tell them honestly?"

"If that masked figure isn't on Beradin's side, we should kill or subdue that person. I don't know about you, but I can't afford to get caught now."

They had to consider the possibility that the masked figure was there on the Zipple clan's orders.

Jin unsheathed Bradamante and activated the Myulta rune. Dante was lost for a moment but soon tore his robe to cover his face and followed Jin.

Silently, they stepped out into the hallway. They concealed their energies and took their positions. They hid on either side of the hallway, in the left corridor and the right room.

Soon, they felt the masked figure moving. Unlike the two who had concealed their energies, the person walked down the hallway emitting a force that clearly revealed a killing intent.

The masked figure passed by the room where Jin was hiding.

Jin emerged and attacked the person. He easily approached from behind and pointed his sword at their throat. Dante leaped at the same time and disarmed the person.

"Don't scream. If you answer my questions, I'll let you live."

They perfectly subdued the person.

But Jin felt something was off. The masked figure seemed completely calm, even with a sword at their throat.

"Who are you?"

The person didn't respond.

"Don't make me ask twice. This is your last chance. Who are you...?"

Jin was about to continue his threat.

Splash!

The person's body disappeared.

Rather, what had composed their body turned into water. Jin, who had been pressing his sword against the person's throat, lost balance, and Dante looked around in horror.

It's a dragon!

Jin's instinct told him. The masked figure was a dragon, and a water dragon at that, a dragon of Itelmion, the water god.

More than eighty percent of the active dragons in the human world belonged to the Zipple clan. So, the water dragon they had just encountered would likely be under the Zipple's control as well.

The water dragon that had turned into water now flowed toward the end of the hallway.

Jin and Dante hurried to chase after it. Jin didn't need to explain to Dante why they couldn't let the dragon escape.

But their worries were unnecessary.

"I've never seen such audacious brats. No wonder Beradin is interested in you."

The water dragon transformed back into human form at the end of the hallway and shrugged.

"Stop trying to attack me. I only tried to kill you because I thought you were intruders."

Jin and Dante exchanged looks with each other.

"With all due respect, may I ask what brings you here? Was it Beradin who sent you?" Jin sheathed his sword and bowed.

The water dragon returned the gesture with a nod. "Well, you could say it was him. I am the steward here. Don't look at me with that confused face. Who said dragons can't be stewards?"

"I didn't say anything or give a glance."

"Really? Well then."

The water dragon took off their mask.

They had delicate features on their face, which seemed out of place for their muscular build. The blue hair that reached their shoulders made them almost look like a lady, as long as one only looked at their face.

Does this mean Beradin is a contractor of Itelmion?

Thoughts immediately rushed into Jin's head. He had never considered the possibility of Beradin being a divine contractor. Even in his past life, Beradin was known to be a nine-star Magician, but there was no information about him being a contractor.

In fact, there were no Itelmion contractors in my past life.

Of course, Jin couldn't know everything that had happened in his past life. He didn't have access to intelligence organizations like the Seven-Colored Peacocks, so he had serious limitations in accessing information that wasn't revealed to the public.

On the other hand, Beradin being a contractor wasn't surprising at all. The Zipple clan had the highest number of contractors among their ranks, and divine contracts were usually decided based on talent and potential.

As Beradin was the most gifted among the young generation of the Zipples, he would obviously be a contractor.

"My name is Tuyan. I would say you two are Jin Runcandel and Dante Hairan. Pleased to meet you."

"Tuyan, I think we have intruders!" Before Jin could respond, another dragon appeared outside the vacation home.

The dragoness, who casually called the water dragon by their name, lowered her long neck and placed her head in the hallway to look at the two boys.

"Oh, aren't those the boys Beradin mentioned?"

"Yes, Phinia."

"He said their names are Jin Runcandel and Dante Hairan? Nice to see you, boys. I've always wanted to see you." Phinia transformed back into her human form and grinned widely.

She was an earth dragon of Richta, the earth god.

Even Jin was confused at this point. Dante was overwhelmed, and he couldn't stop casting glances from Jin to the dragons.

"Have you come to see Beradin?" Phinia asked, walking toward them with a light step.

"Yes, we have."

"He'll arrive in an hour. We have to prepare some things before he comes, so why don't you take a rest in the reception? By the way, were you the ones who broke the door?"

Both of them nodded, to which Phinia sighed. "The key is under the huge rock next to the entrance, so if Beradin or we aren't here next time, use the key to open the door. It's quite a hassle to bring materials here when things break."

Jin and Dante nodded, still confused by everything.

Tuyan and Phinia headed to the storage shed next to the house without saying anything more.

Surprisingly, what they brought from the shed were cleaning supplies.

"Well then? I thought I told you to go to the reception."

Are they trying to clean the house before Beradin arrives?

Jin felt puzzled. Dante must have felt the same because he spoke quickly. "Let us help too."

"Nonsense. We can't let our guests do the chores. Beradin would be angry if you did."

Tuyan formed water and spread it on the floor to start mopping. Then, Phinia ushered the two boys away.

Jin and Dante had no choice but to sit in the reception. For some reason, they felt very uncomfortable.

"Those dragons were really cleaning, weren't they?"

The two dragons, who were the stewards, were cleaning the vacation house before Beradin arrived.

"I think so. Well, I'm glad they're not under the orders of other Zipples. But it's been quite a surprise."

They sat and waited for the dragons to finish cleaning.

Dante seemed to be on pins and needles. He couldn't hide his anxiety. Meanwhile, Jin pondered which of the two could be Beradin's guardian dragon.

The water one? The earth one? Which one could it be?

Jin's curiosity was immediately answered when Beradin arrived at the vacation house an hour later.

"My friends! Haha, what joy to see you again. I thought the last time would be the last time we saw each other. I hope my guardian dragons weren't too harsh on you, right?"

Guardian dragons.

That's how Beradin referred to the two dragons who courteously bowed when Beradin arrived. It was quite a shocking scene, but Jin decided to stop being surprised.

Whether he was contracted by two gods at the same time or hiding something else, that didn't change the fact that he had rebelled against the Zipple clan with his own life.

Similarly, Jin was hiding many things from them as well.

"By the way, Dante is one thing, but I didn't expect Jin to be here too. Were you so worried about me that you risked your arrest warrant? I'm so moved that I'm about to cry. Look into my eyes. They're moist, you see?"

"Have you calmed down?"

"Yes, thanks to you. I must have been crazy back then. I would have died if it weren't for you, and at the hands of my father, too. In fact, I was close to death myself. The mana reflux was so severe that I still have migraines," Beradin responded casually.

The three of them silently looked at each other for a while. The dragons brought them tea.

"Jin?"

"Yes?"

"You have a plan, don't you?" There was bitterness in Beradin's eyes as he spoke.

He asked if Jin had plans because he knew he couldn't do much to help. It wasn't like the last time he set fire to the gold. Even if he rebelled without much consideration, there wasn't much he could change.

That made Beradin feel awful about himself. Jin had saved his life, but he couldn't help Jin in any way.

Jin was practically a dead man when his clan decided to capture him, and now even the Runcandels were after him. Beradin couldn't find a way for Jin to survive.

"That serious look doesn't suit you, Beradin. Unlike you, I'm someone who plans before rushing in. I have ways to survive."

"Really?"

"So don't worry about that. Instead, I have something I'd like to propose to you."

"What is it?"

"Abandon your surname."

Fwoop!

Dante spat out the tea he was drinking. In fact, he even dropped the teacup he was holding, spilling hot tea on his thighs. But he was so shocked that he barely registered the pain.

That's how impactful Jin's words were.

"I will eliminate the entire Zipple clan in the future, and that name doesn't suit you either. Each of your brothers and your uncle who died at my hands were all involved in terrible acts, including biological experiments."

"I knew it. So, you were the one who killed my uncle too."

The fact that Miuron Zipple had died at the hands of Bamel, who was Jin, was now known to everyone. Deano reminded people of the tragedies of Kollon when writing columns about the incident in the Holy Kingdom.

"How much do you know?"

"About what?"

"About what the Zipples, your clan, are preparing," Jin said.

Beradin gave a bitter smile. "Well, I'm not sure how much I know."

"I'm asking you a serious question."

"And I'm answering you with complete seriousness, Jin Runcandel. Have you ever experienced something like this? Like trying to write your diary, but yesterday's entry is completely different from what I remember from the day."

"What?"

"My memory is being manipulated by someone. I thought my uncle was behind it because it didn't happen again after his death. But take a look at this."

Beradin took out a notebook from his inner pockets.

It was the entry for December 25, 1797, the day after Jin revealed his identity.

December 25, 1797.

I would have died yesterday if it weren't for him. I felt bad for the clan's decision, but to think I would lose all rationality like that. My chin still hurts from his punch. But thanks to him, I survived. His decision was right.

If I had ever harmed the Magicians of the clan, my father could have killed me too.

It might well have been my last encounter with them. I hope both of them are safe.

Although their names weren't mentioned, it was clear that it referred to Dante and Jin.

"This is the entry I wrote right after my mana reflux treatment. But after the follow-up treatment, I lost all memory of what happened that day. In fact, I don't even remember setting fire to the gold. I told you I didn't expect you to arrive because I acted accordingly after reading my diary and the bulletins."

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Publication of up to 6 weekly chapters, thanks.
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