SYS (Novel) Chapter 358

C358 - Ozdock (5)

Jin, Murakan, Mary, and Tuben all simultaneously turned their heads and looked at Ozdock. Murakan, in particular, blinked his large eyes as if he were astonished.

"What? Seriously, are you still spewing nonsense to somehow prolong your pitiful life? Hey, hey! Are you out of your mind?"

"No, please, listen to me just once!"

Seeing this, Jin was reminded of someone.

"Is this Jet but in a Demon version...?"

Ozdock's gestures and actions strangely resembled Jet's.

Up until just before Tuben appeared, the legendary demonic creature that had displayed immense power was nowhere to be found.

Drip, drip!

Tears even rolled from Ozdock's eyes like small drops of chicken dung as he let out a sigh of despair.

Perhaps someone not immune to such dejection might involuntarily look away due to his appearance and spare him.

However, this did not apply to the mighty Black Dragon and the Swordmasters of Runcandel.

"Speak. I will at least try to listen for now."

Among them, Jin was the one with a sympathetic tone. Ozdock could only feel his voice as a lifeline.

"Boy, there's no need to hear more. A demonic creature like him will die as soon as he loses his core."

"If I determine that what he's saying is nonsense, there's no need to ask. Just kill him immediately."

It was a precarious lifeline that could be cut at any moment.

"Thank you!"

Ozdock cautiously observed the reactions of the four and began his explanation.

"This is really a secret... Actually, I have more than one core."

The concept of a demonic creature having more than one core had not yet been revealed to the world.

So, Murakan immediately raised his foot to crush him.

"C-calm down. If I were a single-core demonic creature, could I have survived after causing so much destruction?"

Both Murakan and the Great Warriors from a thousand years ago who had faced the formidable Ozdock at the height of his power.

They had found his immense strength somewhat strange. It was common to form a subjugation group to deal with Dragons even if their combat skills were average, but Ozdock was different.

However, people simply regarded Ozdock as an extraordinary demonic creature.

Just as occasionally among humans and Dragons, exceptional individuals emerged who surpassed common sense.

However, the source of Ozdock's power lay in his two cores.

Unlike other demonic creatures, Ozdock, who had embraced the very essence of "human greed," desired more even though the conditions to become a core demonic creature were already met, and as a result...

Without anyone knowing, he ended up with two cores.

"Well, let's say you have two cores. They should be inside you, right? Take them out right now."

"The other one isn't inside my body, it's in another place."

Snap!

Tuben lightly hit Ozdock's chin with his elbow, causing him to stagger before quickly straightening up.

"When the Dragon Guardian of Runcandel asks you, you won't just tell us the location, but you have to bring it here and show it to us."

"Yes..."

Originally, Ozdock had planned to lie, saying that his other core was buried far away from here. He had thought of using it to escape when there was an opportunity.

But once again, he realized that the situation was not in his favor. Helpless, he spat out his second core and allowed himself to be captured by Tuben. It was the only future left for Ozdock.

Swallowing a deep sigh, Ozdock took a step back to where he had awakened.

How did I end up in this situation... and why do I have to hand it over like this?

As he retrieved the core buried in that place, such thoughts crossed his mind. However, Ozdock wasn't just seeking gold and power; he was a demonic creature with an insatiable greed for survival, much like all living beings.

After a while of digging, Ozdock emerged from underground, holding the buried core.

"Huh, do you really have two?"

The core looked like a golden apple, emitting a vivid glow that clearly set it apart from common gold, even to the eyes of an ordinary person.

"It seems your second core is even better than the one you have inside. Why did you hide it? Was it some kind of insurance?"

Murakan instantly recognized the immense energy contained within the core. If Ozdock had held this core within him, he wouldn't have fallen so easily into Tuben's hands.

"At the moment, my body lacks the nutrients to contain it."

"I see. So you were planning to recover, use the second core, and then regain your full power? After causing quite a stir outside, I suppose."

"Yes."

"Give it to him. Not to me, to the kid. No, not that kid, this one!"

Ozdock, who had addressed Mary, extended the core to Jin. His trembling hand seemed reluctant to let it go, as if he didn't want it taken away.

"If you had recovered and used this second core, you could have reached around 60 or 70 percent of your full power. I wonder how much chaos you would have caused. It's quite a spectacle to imagine."

While Jin held the core, Ozdock managed to shake off his reluctance and said, "Please... use it for something good."

The words of a demonic creature like him seemed ironic. However, instead of laughing, Jin simply nodded. It wasn't too difficult to show such kindness.

"And you must not forget this, Ozdock. Someday, I hope to be of service to you..."

Indeed, Ozdock was a calculating demonic creature. He realized it was important to make a favorable impression on Jin, not Murakan, to hold onto a glimmer of hope for the future.

"You must not forget." By emphasizing this, he meant that he hoped Jin would rescue him from Tuben in the future.

Would my father and the ancient Black Knights forgive Ozdock?

It was natural for Tuben to try to capture Ozdock alive. He was unique enough to be reported to Cyron.

Furthermore, Ozdock possessed memories from a thousand years ago.

"Based on Murakan's reaction, he may not know all the details of that time, but if we dig a little deeper, there might be useful information for Runcandel or my father."

Ozdock looked at Tuben with a sullen expression. It was a look that begged to be left alone.

It was because he thought the situation would become more troublesome if that human named Mary attacked again, claiming that Ozdock was her prey.

"Lord Murakan, may I withdraw now?"

Murakan nodded.

In fact, he had grown fond of Tuben for some time. The way Tuben treated him without excessive arrogance, as an ancient Black Knight, was quite commendable in his eyes.

"Yes, go ahead."

Tuben offered a gesture of respect. After a while, he made eye contact with Mary.

"You've grown stronger, Seventh Flagbearer. Impressive. However... you've changed too."

"Have I changed?"

"The previous Seventh Flagbearer didn't resort to lies to achieve her goals."

"What are you talking about, Uncle?"

"The moment I said I would take the demonic creature with me, you would have drawn your sword without hesitation. If you were the girl I remember, that would be certain."

Lies to achieve the goal.

Not only Jin but Tuben also knew Mary's bluff to help the younger one.

"If you want, we can fight for real right now. Until one of us dies or is left disabled."

Tuben laughed as if he were in front of an adorable niece.

"I didn't mean that in a negative sense when I said that."

"You've aged quite a bit too, Uncle. It's been a long time since you officially retired."

"If the Flagbearers had done better, I might have retired for real."

Tuben slung the enormous curved sword onto his back.

Though his words were true, Mary showed no signs of irritation. In fact, she believed what he was saying was true.

"Twelfth Flagbearer."

"Yes, Sir Tuben."

"I sense that you're curious about something."

Of course, she was.

She hadn't managed to find an opportunity to ask a question, so it was a relief that Tuben had brought up the topic first.

"He'll probably ask about Lady Luna. Since Lady Luna holds the Twelfth Flagbearer in high esteem. Or maybe he'll inquire about the mission in the Black Sea."

Since Cyron had taken Luna on this mission to the Black Sea, Tuben had naturally had numerous conversations with her.

Apart from mission-related conversations, Luna had talked mostly about her younger brother. To Tuben, who had observed her for a long time, he didn't look the least bit familiar.

Moreover, he remembered how another former Black Knight, Vanessa Olsen, had mentioned Jin several times.

"Since when have you been on the battlefield?"

Jin posed a completely different question than what Tuben had anticipated.

"Until you revealed yourself, I couldn't sense any presence at all. I'm an expert in reading auras, and I felt completely dominated."

"Dominated?"

"If you had wanted to kill me, it wouldn't have been difficult. To conceal your presence to such an extent, I'm curious about what kind of enlightenment is required for that."

Tuben's eyes deepened within his black hood.

"Have I asked something foolish?"

"...No. It's just that it's a completely unexpected question. Honestly, I thought the Twelfth Flagbearer would ask about the mission in the Black Sea or inquire about Lady Luna's well-being."

"As for the Black Sea, I will naturally find out once my father deems it necessary for me to know. And though I'm curious about the well-being of older sister Luna, I believe there must be a reason why she hasn't told me anything yet."

For a few seconds, Tuben didn't reply and simply stared at Jin. Then he responded:

"Twelfth Flagbearer, you are impressive."

"You flatter me."

"I was able to conceal my presence not because I have a natural talent like Lady Yona or some advanced stealth ability like the Nameless King. It's as simple as this."

Tuben waved his hand lightly in the air.

In that instant, Jin could feel an invisible energy extending through the air, distorting strangely along his touch.

"Huh?"

The sensation conveyed through the air that Tuben had dispersed felt peculiar. Like the path was blocked, he couldn't sense anything from that direction, no matter how much he focused his attention.

It was as if not even the wind passed through there.

"It was a slight deception. Using my Aura, I created a kind of barrier in the air. But both the Seventh and Twelfth Flagbearers were so focused on the battle that neither of you noticed. You couldn't perceive the unusual hidden space."

Calling it a "slight deception" hardly did it justice.

It was something that demanded an extraordinary level of skill.

'He can twist the sense of space in such a small area using Aura. However, even that would cause a significant amount of fatigue.'

Nevertheless, Tuben had filled most of the battlefield with that Aura to deceive them. And even with that, the fact that he could handle Ozdock as if dealing with alleyway thugs was astonishing.

"It seems you're intrigued."

"Yes, Sir Tuben."

"I will inform my Lord that the Twelfth Flagbearer was the first to discover this demonic creature. If my Lord deems the demonic creature valuable, you will receive a reward befitting it."

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