SYS (Novel) Chapter 270

C270 - Brother and Sister (1)

Glug, glug, glug...

The famous Mila liquor filled the glass, but Mary looked dazed, as if her soul had been sucked out. She appeared desolate.

In fact, the mental shock she was going through was as terrible as heartbreak.

"No. This can't be true. Do you have any idea how long I've waited? How could he reject me like this and leave? Does this make any sense? How am I supposed to accept this?"

"Don't bother." Dyfus, who was sitting across from her, simply shrugged.

Mary immediately glared at him. "Look, dear brother Dyfus. It seems like you think this is all very easy because it's not your problem, but you see, the amount of shock I'm going through right now is indescribable, okay?"

The two had been drinking in Mary's room since the flagbearers' meeting ended.

"Is it something to be so shocked about? The really shocking thing is that Father declared his return to the Dark Sea as soon as he arrived. Imagine how the martial arts clans of Hufester will complain again. They have been longing for his return. The flagbearers will be busy for some time as we'll have to console them."

As Dyfus said, the clans under Runcandel's control, especially the smaller ones, had been eagerly awaiting Cyron's return.

It was because of the Zipple clan.

Since the incident in the Holy Kingdom, the cold war between Runcandel and Zipple had intensified and was reaching a turning point.

Things were going better here in Kalon, where the Garden of Swords was located, or in other places with considerable forces, but the smaller factions and clans were suffocating under the pressures exerted on them by the cold war.

"They call it a cold war, but it's not really. These kinds of things don't get reported in the press, but there are clashes with the Lutero Magical Federation every day in various places. The smaller clans thought Father's return would give them a respite."

But finding out that Cyron was returning as soon as he arrived was extremely disappointing news for them. Therefore, the Runcandel clan's flagbearers would have to visit all of Hufester, starting tomorrow.

The role of the flagbearers was to alleviate the concerns of the smaller factions in place of Cyron and take necessary measures for their problems to satisfy their physical and mental needs.

"Argh! That ungrateful brat! How could you do this to me?" Mary cried out in sadness and clenched her fist. The glass, which had been carefully crafted by the master craftsmen of Cuirano, shattered and ended up on the floor. "Are you even listening to what I'm saying?"

Dyfus brought his hand to his forehead as he handed Mary a handkerchief.

"Listen to me, Dyfus. The clans under our control and the Lutero Magical Federation are always fighting. It's nothing new. It's the norm. How is it that the norm is more important than what I'm feeling right now?"

"Yes, let's forget about it."

Mary grabbed the bottle of liquor from Dyfus's hand and started gulping it down. It had been a while since she felt so agitated.

"By the way, Mary. About our younger brother."

"Yes?"

"He arrived riding on Murakan, the dark dragon guardian of the clan. So that must mean he's also Solderet's contractor. I'm sure he was involved in the West Sea battle between the Secret Palace and the Zipple."

"Whoa, you're right! The West Sea battle was a three-way battle between the ruler of the Secret Palace, the Zipple, and the dark dragon, right?"

"As I see it, the ruler of the Secret Palace was protecting Jin in the West Sea battle, which means he must have stayed in the Secret Palace since then."

"But the Zipple won that battle. How could Jin stay in the Secret Palace?"

"There must have been a negotiation. This is my theory. The winner of the West Sea battle was actually the Secret Palace, not the Zipple. And by declaring the battle as their defeat, the ruler of the Secret Palace negotiated with the Zipple to ensure Jin's safety for a year."

Mary nodded with great intrigue.

"Oh. That's a very convincing theory."

After Jin exposed their atrocities in the incident in the Holy Kingdom, the dignity of the Zipple was plummeting day by day.

It was no wonder, considering they were not waging all-out wars after being completely humiliated by Jin, a provisional flagbearer, and they still couldn't capture him even after putting a hundred million coins on his head.

"Not only Andrei, Miuron, and Karl died, the incident in the Holy Kingdom also happened. And now, they even lost to the Secret Palace? They can't afford that. The Zipple would have wanted to prevent their volatile dignity and reputation from further plummeting, even if it meant giving up on Jin."

"I was curious about how Jin managed to stay alive, away from the Zipple and our efforts to find him. But if the ruler of the Secret Palace was protecting him, that would make sense. But does she have a reason to protect Jin?"

"Don't you remember? The daughter of the Secret Palace kissed Jin at the banquet, remember?"

"Yes, I remember. But what about it?"

"The Secret Palace is very different from how things are in our clan. The ruler of the Secret Palace values her daughter more than her own life. I investigated it after the banquet and found out that the daughter of the Secret Palace had no romantic interests before. She's different from her mother. Jin was her first."

"So she helped Jin because her daughter would be saddened if Jin died, is that it?"

"That's right."

"If what you're saying is true, then the ruler of the Secret Palace must think of Jin as a potential son-in-law."

"Yes. And Father must also be behind some of this."

"What?"

"Don't you think Father accepted Jin as a flagbearer too easily?"

"Too easily? You also saw Jin withstand Father's sword strike with your own eyes, right?"

"Mary! Father must have known the moment he laid eyes on the boy that he had the ability to take the sword with all his mastery behind it. He was fully aware of it, but still did it in front of everyone watching, so that everyone would come to accept Jin, just like you do now."

Mary's eyes widened. Dyfus continued with great confidence in his theory.

"Therefore, Father must also be optimistic about Jin and the daughter of the Secret Palace's marriage, just like the ruler of the Secret Palace. There's no reason to reject building marriage alliances between the Runcandel and the Secret Palace in the current state."

"Marriage, huh? That's right. The Runcandel clan won't lose anything by forgiving Jin and marrying him off to the Secret Palace. If the Zipple demand accountability in the future, we could deflect it to the Secret Palace, and Jin's deviation from the legitimacy of the clan won't be much of a problem if he also belongs to the Secret Palace."

"And even if we enter into a large-scale war against the Zipple clan, the Secret Palace will also stand by the Runcandel."

"Yes, that's right."

"Hmm, no wonder he didn't accept a battle against me. His life was spared for a year after the ruler of the Secret Palace faked the defeat. It wouldn't be good for him to show people that he doesn't value his life by fighting me on the day of his return. By the way, Dyfus?"

"What?"

"It's about mother. She said she will assign the capture of the Black Knight spy as Jin's first mission as a flagbearer, remember? According to your theory, father wants to hand Jin over to the Secret Palace, but mother sounded like she would push Jin to the limit from the beginning."

"I'm not sure about mother's intentions either. Maybe she just wants to get rid of him because he might harm Joshua in some way, as she also can't directly go against father's decision."

Dyfus continued after shrugging his shoulders.

"Or maybe my theory is completely wrong. Either way, we'll have to pay close attention to the state of things for a while."

"Talking about all these complicated things just made me more frustrated. Damn, this wasn't what I was supposed to worry about."

"Wasn't it?"

"Why should I worry about what our parents think? I was supposed to worry about how to arrange a fight against him as soon as possible. You changed the subject, Dyfus."

"Are you talking about that again? Come on!" Even Dyfus had to raise his voice at this point.

"Big brother, everything you just said made you sound quite smart. Why don't you offer some suggestions instead?"

Dyfus was about to raise his voice again but sighed instead.

Yes, again, that's Mary.

A straightforward girl who loved to fight and never accepted defeat.

Mary firmly believed that fighting against the powerful was the most valuable thing one could do in life.

Unlike the other siblings, she had no ulterior motives, was not blinded by jealousy, and was not engulfed in inferiority or ego.

That's why Dyfus liked Mary above all his siblings. In fact, she was the only person he liked among them all.

"Ugh, fine. You're impossible. Completely impossible. Although it doesn't sound entirely impossible. I'm talking about a way you could lure Jin into a fight."

"Oh! What is it? What is it?"

Mary grabbed Dyfus by the collar with shining eyes. Not many people could look so friendly while holding someone by the collar.

"First, let me go, and then go cut some fruits since we don't have anything to accompany the drinks."

"Okay, I'll cut them! But if your suggestion is stupid, I'll cut your neck along with them."


***
***

Cyron left the Garden of Swords at midnight.

There was a majestic formation to welcome his arrival, but by his order, no one was allowed to see him off. Instead, the knights gave him a silent sword salute as he left the Garden of Swords.

Jin stood by the window and waved to Cyron until he could no longer see his father.

"Jin?"

It was Luna. She was going to visit Hughester tomorrow to encourage the clans under her control for a month before heading to the Dark Sea.

"Yes, Luna?"

"There were so many things I wanted to do with you once you came back. I had no idea things would turn out like this. I can't imagine what kind of things you'll have to face while I'm not here. I can't even give you a pendant anymore."

"That's a strange thing to worry about. Do I still seem so weak to you, Luna?"

"No. But mother showed blatant hostilities toward you, and the elders don't seem like they'll teach you the latest moves either. And now, even I have to leave your side. I feel horrible inside."

"I hope you don't take it the wrong way, but everything that has happened after I became a flagbearer isn't as bad as I thought."

"Really?"

"In fact, it wouldn't have seemed strange to me even if I were captured and dragged to the underground cells as soon as I returned. But father gave me a chance before he left, and mother, well, she still seems to underestimate me."

"Underestimate you?"

"She's trying to fight me fairly. If I were her, I would have demanded my death as soon as I returned, even if it meant going against father's decision. She also had justification for it."

"Challenging the patriarch's authority in front of the clan's eyes is somewhat a more severe blow against the clan than treason."

"Do you think challenging father's authority once, compared to what I will start contributing to the clan, is more threatening to the Runcandels led by Joshua?"

Not to the current Runcandels, but to the Runcandels led by Joshua.

Luna didn't take long to decide. "The latter is more threatening."

"That's the point. Mother made a mistake from the beginning. She missed the best opportunity she will ever have, just like Joshua did."

At that moment, Luna felt chills around her neck.

Jin had never been a boy she had to worry about. In fact, she had to be careful not to cause him any worry.

"Even your journey to the Dark Sea is good news for me. The mission that father and the previous generation of Black Knights had been carrying out in the area, and the reason why our father has been so focused on the Dark Sea. Please investigate it thoroughly on this mission."

Not even Luna, the first flagbearer, understood why Cyron was so obsessed with the Dark Sea.

"The claim that it's for your training is probably only half of the truth," Jin said.

"I understand. It's the first time father has taken someone from our generation to the Dark Sea, so I'll try to bring you news that pleases you. In return, you'll have to drink with me all night and tell me the things you've experienced outside the clan."

"Luna?"

"Go on, my brother."

"The fact that we only have one day to freely talk to each other is probably more annoying for me than for you."

"Is this the same boy who struck me so strongly with the sword at the flagbearer appointment ceremony?"

"That was just a childish display of talent, in a way. Just to say that you'll have to be prepared as well if you want to challenge me from now on, or something like that."

"Haha, I suppose that makes sense. But I wonder when you'll be admired by everyone with nothing more than the sword, like your dear sister."

"It won't take long."

The siblings shared drinks throughout the night.

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