SYS (Novel) Chapter 361

C361 - Trail (1)

It had been ten days since Jin acquired the new Bradamante.

Jin hadn't had the chance to properly use it yet. 

As a knight, he wanted to test the enhanced features of his sword as soon as possible, but there was another matter that concerned him.

'The Great Anz Plain, where Temar's Orimera Tomb is located. And the Schutzeron Kingdom, where Olmango-nim and his Contractor, Jogeobi, have been...'

Since Kinzelo came and informed him that "other factions are also searching for Temar's tomb."

Jin had been thinking about it all the time, and before going to capture Ozdock, he had asked Tikan's comrades to revisit the tombs they had been to before.

And today, Kashimir brought the news.

"Suspicious individuals associated with Zipple and Vermont have been seen near the Great Anz Plain and the beaches near the Schutzeron Kingdom."

Jin learned of the existence of Temar's Tombs in those regions through the instructions left by Solderet as his Contractor.

In other words, unless you're a Contractor, it's practically impossible to trace the tombs.

'They must have gone to the Great Anz Plain and the Schutzeron Beach because of my actions.'

Even after becoming a Flagbearer, Jin has always moved incognito when it came to matters related to Temar or other personal matters.

When he went to the Great Anz Plain, he deliberately crossed the Hola Mountains to create confusion in case someone was tracking him (at that time, only Joshua was aware of it), and when he went to the Schutzeron Beach, he pretended to be on vacation for a few days.

The third tomb was located in the Cat Tribe's hideout, and it was impossible to enter without their guide due to its unique characteristic. Nevertheless, the Specters Corps had tracked Jin and found him.

'My routes are being discovered.'

Jin wasn't directly followed by a pursuer.

If he had, it would be impossible not to notice. Unless it was someone like Yona or the Nameless King.

"Margiella mentioned that my movements were exposed to the Vermont Imperial Family. They probably tracked and deduced various important areas from the aliases I used and the revealed movements. That's why they sent people to the Great Anz Plain and the Schutzeron Beach."

Of course, the fact that Zipple and Vermont sent people to the Great Anz Plain and the Schutzeron Beach didn't mean they immediately discovered significant information.

Investigations in those places had already concluded, and Jin had taken the recording devices.

However, the fact that they were "following him" was important in itself.

He had thought that someday it would come to this. Major factions aren't foolish.

It was just a bit disappointing that he started getting exposed faster than expected.

Being the "Twelfth Flagbearer of Runcandel" was a position where he couldn't carry out covert actions. Not only the Garden of Swords but also enemies were naturally eager to scrutinize every move Jin made.

Furthermore, enemies were also searching for Temar's tombs like Jin.

Discovering three tombs by himself without any fatal mishaps so far was nothing short of a miracle.

'Part of it is because I did well, but over time, there will be a limit. And I was lucky to encounter the Specters Corps at the third tomb; it could have been a significant setback.'

Without Kinzelo's sudden intervention and the help of Dyfus and Mary, Jin could have suffered considerable losses.

'I need more allies.'

Not only Jin alone, not even Jin's companions and Tikan's together could stand against Vermont and Zipple.

Even Runcandel was filled with enemies, and Kinzelo would eventually participate in the 'tomb search competition.'

While he was contemplating, someone tapped Jin's shoulder.

"Hey, youngster!"

It was Mary.

"Big sister."

"What are you thinking so deeply about? Oh, are you pondering when you'll get a rematch with me?"

Mary sat down next to Jin.

Jin looked at her, slightly perturbed.

'If Big Sister Mary is a true ally, she might be genuinely trustworthy.'

Mary already considered Jin as one of her own.

Jin also felt a human fondness for her, akin to brotherly affection.

However, Jin hadn't informed her of the existence of Vin Branche and Picon Minche.

It was because Jin considered that, as the Seventh Flagbearer, she would most likely utilize them as the clan's blacksmiths.

But there was another reason Jin couldn't fully trust her.

'As long as my second older brother exists, Big Sister Mary can't be entirely on my side.'

Dyfus Runcandel, the Fourth Flagbearer of the clan.

To make Mary an ally, Dyfus had to be brought on board.

But of course, not only Dyfus, not even Mary had renounced patriarchy.

'I, the Fourth Older Brother, Big Sister Mary, and Joshua. The four of us haven't definitively renounced patriarchy.'

And then there was one person whose intentions were entirely uncertain, Luntia Runcandel.

If she, too, was aiming for patriarchy, there would be a total of five people competing.

Therefore, attempting to approach Dyfus to solve the immediate issue was a reckless gamble.

Trying to win over both Dyfus and Mary could easily end with just providing information and getting stabbed in the back.

'Trying to recruit Dyfus and Mary immediately might be an exaggeration. But it's possible to use them.'

Dyfus and Mary always prioritized options for the clan as Flagbearers, regardless of the matter.

Jin inwardly smiled, suddenly recalling that proposition.

"A rematch, you say? It would be better to conclude this match with your victory, Big Sister."

"Eh? Why would that be? Since Uncle Tuben barged in, it's only fair to declare it invalid and have a rematch!"

"The match was already decided even before Tuben-nim arrived. Your big move caused Ozdock to transform."

"No, do you really think so?"

"Yes."

Of course, Mary knew it.

That's why she had been thinking about having another match, but when Jin admitted his defeat so easily, it was a completely unexpected turn of events.

"But this can't be, right? I'd have to wait another three months for a rematch with the youngest."

Thinking that, Mary let out a sigh.

She knew that the youngest was as fiercely competitive as her, so she had anticipated that he would gladly accept the rematch.

"I don't think that way. Let's fight again."

"Don't be so stubborn with someone who has admitted defeat."

"Then I'll use the winner's command. My order is a rematch. There's no problem with that, right?"

"...Didn't you bother to read the contract I sent you when we agreed to the match in the first place?"

-In each match, victory or defeat is based on knocking someone out. The first one to fall is the loser, and the loser must obey a command from the winner. Of course, we will ensure that there are no unfortunate events and draft the contract accordingly.

-That sounds appealing. However, the contract is a bit burdensome.

A conversation they had during their first battle. At that time, Jin had drafted a contract and obtained Mary's signature.

As she remembered it, Mary tilted her head.

"I think I've read it."

"The contract includes clauses about the limits of the winner's command. It states that you cannot demand the loser's suicide, expulsion from the clan, property confiscation, etc. And it also mentions that you cannot order a rematch."

"Alright, with suicide and expulsion from the family, I guess. But why the rematch?"

"...Do you really think I need to explain that?"

"Then let's say I accept my victory. Nullify the entire battle that used that demonic creature and let's talk about a rematch from scratch."

"I believe the winner was decided from the moment you mentioned the right of command, Big Sister."

Mary had nothing more to say.

"You cunning little fox!"

"A flattering compliment."

"Fine. Alright. You win. So, I'll really use my command. Hand over that cat."

"If you're referring to Butterfly Runcandel, you can take her all you want."

"Butterfly, no. Not Lord Murakan. I mean Shuri, your ruby cat."

"If you read the contract, there's a clause that says the winner can't give a command the opponent can't fulfill. Shuri is already contracted to me, and I can't release her."

"This, this is just unfair."

"Big sister, please give a more realistic command. It's not that difficult, is it?"

Mary nearly grabbed Jin's head in frustration.

But it wasn't Jin's fault. 

She was the fool for not reading the contract properly... and she had been trying to take advantage of the youngest once again. 

So, she had no right to feel aggrieved. However, she couldn't help but feel anger welling up within her.

Jin looked at Mary, who was pouting.

"For example... you could order me to bring you a delicious liquor."

"I don't need those things!"

"Or maybe ask for some limited edition magazines that Murakan has?"

"Right... the last time I checked, he had an even more amazing collection... ugh, no. Wait. Who do you think you're fooling?"

"If you don't like that, you could inquire about the information Kinzelo brought me this time. How many practical commands like this do you have?"

Mary's pupils suddenly widened.

Ah, why had she forgotten about that? Her expression seemed to say.

When Kinzelo visited the clan, it was she herself who had prevented Gilly from making a mistake.

"It's a bit frustrating that it's the youngest who gets it... Well, it's not bad to know. Big Brother Dyfus would also be curious about what was discussed between Mother, Jin, and Kinzelo at that time."

Since Kinzelo's visit, Rosa had not disclosed any information about it to the Flagbearers.

"Alright, then. What information did Kinzelo give you?"

"They told me that several factions, including Zipple and Vermont, are tracking the legacy of the First Patriarch."

"What? The legacy of the First Patriarch?"

"It's about the Tomb of Temar Runcandel."

"...The Tomb of the First Patriarch, what about it?"

"In the tomb are the long-guarded powers and secrets of the ancient Runcandel. I was searching for the tomb independently of the clan, and Kinzelo found out."

Mary's eyes widened.

"You were searching for the Tomb of the First Patriarch independently of the clan? Are you saying Mother knew and kept quiet about it?"

Mary's sudden anger wasn't directed at Jin.

Rosa Runcandel.

Her anger stemmed from the fact that her own mother hadn't revealed such a crucial matter to the Flagbearers until now.

"Surely, you didn't expect Mother-nim to spill the truth about Temar's tomb to the other Flagbearers."

Jin nodded, concealing his smile.

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