SYS (Novel) Chapter 418

C418 - Treason (1)

What the hell just happened...

Everyone couldn't help but think it.

No one could have predicted that the home of Vermont's finest knight clan, which seemed unbreakable as long as there was no world war, would be destroyed so ruthlessly and unexpectedly.

And on top of that...

The attackers who had destroyed the Sword Emperor's Castle had already left using an unknown power.

Even the Dragon Knights had joined at the end of the battle.

But it wasn't as if the terrorists had suffered significant losses and retreated.

It was a complete defeat.

Only black smoke rose all over the Sword Emperor's Castle, which had almost become a ruin.

"...Brat."

"Brother Jin."

Murakan and Rinpa approached Jin.

Murakan seemed exhausted from the battle, and Rinpa seemed as calm as when she was first summoned.

Murakan had desperately defended against cannon attacks and the leader alongside Ron, while Rinpa had not had the chance to use all her power.

Rinpa held Jin as he staggered forward.

Jin felt sorry for Rinpa, just like when he summoned Garmund in the past.

He had a sense of guilt that came from the fact that she returned to Laprarosa without remembering anything.

Rinpa nodded as if she understood without Jin having to say anything.

"The outside world... has changed a lot. It's the first... time I've seen a toy causing so much trouble."

"I think brothers are the only ones who can describe Berakt Sidriker as a toy in the world."

"I... will return. You have a lot to do."

"Thank you, Sister Rinpa."

Rinpa tousled Jin's hair with a teasing smile.

Then, she spoke with a heavy expression,

"That demon... seems familiar."

"Are you referring to the leader of Kinzelo?"

Rinpa nodded.

"Clearly... I've met him before... with our... siblings."

Upon hearing those words, Jin exchanged a bewildered look with Rinpa.

"What does that mean? Has he fought against the siblings of the Legends Tribe before?"

"I'm not sure... to that extent. But... I'm sure. We have crossed paths..."

Rinpa tried to remember more about the leader, but she could only be sure that they had indeed met; everything else remained elusive.

-Do you mean that I had met the leader of the Kinzelo even a thousand years ago...? I thought he was just some random demon I had encountered somewhere. It seems that demon has some connection with me.

Suddenly, Jin remembered the moment when he had talked to Murakan about the leader after entering Temar's second tomb.

It was right after the disc he saw protected by the guardian Sarah.

'I simply thought Murakan had memory issues at that time and couldn't remember anything about the leader... but maybe...'

Maybe the records about the leader had been manipulated.

That thought crossed his mind.

Murakan had seemed to know the leader from a thousand years ago according to the records, and as soon as Rinpa saw him, she was sure she had seen him before but couldn't remember.

If the story and records about the commander were manipulated, it's natural for Zipple to be involved.

But why?

The exact reason is still unknown for now.

However, it was a problem that couldn't be simply dismissed.

Because it represents a threat.

The authority and strength shown by the leader were undoubtedly threatening even to Zipple from a thousand years ago.

Everyone clearly saw how the leader, without anyone's help, pressed the entire Sword Emperor's Castle, blocked Ron and Murakan, and continued to restore the strength of his allies in real-time despite not being in perfect condition.

Everyone had the intuition that if the leader of Kinzelo had been in "perfect" condition, the battle wouldn't have ended at this point.

"Be careful... Brother Jin. He's a... dangerous guy."

"Understood."

"See you later."

Rinpa's body slowly faded into particles of Shadow Energy.

Jin watched Rinpa's fading image with a bittersweet sigh.

He observed the situation.

The Dragon Knights and other Hairan swordsmen tended to the wounded and assessed the damage. The allied forces that had fought together were regrouping.

Beradin continued to receive support from Enya, and Shuri approached him to report on Dante's safety.

'The fact that they're unharmed means we've at least avoided the worst-case scenario.'

Jin was the first to move to rescue those two amid the chaos of battle.

Now, what remained was the cleanup and counterattack, which was not Jin's responsibility.

"Sir!"

The Commander of the Dragon Knights descended alongside Ron.

Blood dripped from Ron's lips, but he observed his surroundings while breathing heavily.

Again, Jin thought that even that was unreal.

Jin could feel Ron's heavy breathing despite there being quite a distance between them.

Ron still exuded a majestic aura despite his disheveled hair and numerous wounds all over his body.

Ron approached Jin with steady steps.

All the warriors who had been watching the scene blinked in surprise.

It was because Ron was approaching the flagbearer of Runcandel instead of the members of the Hairan clan right after the battle.

All eyes followed the two. Ron wiped the blood from the corner of his lips and suddenly grabbed Jin's right arm.

Bam!

Ron raised Jin's right arm in the air as if paying tribute to the winner of a competition.

It was as shocking as the recent terrorist attack for the warriors.

Some unconsciously covered their mouths with their hands and swallowed saliva.

The Sword Emperor, the patriarch of Hairan, praised the Twelfth Flagbearer of Runcandel immediately after the terrorist attack.

Jin was also inwardly surprised...

No, actually, he was as stunned as the warriors who held their breath.

However, he maintained a serene expression.

Of course, in addition to the surprise, Jin quickly understood why Ron had positioned him in the forefront.

It's to stop Runcandel.

After the terrorist attack and the severe injuries suffered by the Sword Emperor, Hairan was in a desperate situation.

The optimal moment for one predator to attack another is when the prey is wounded.

In other words, external forces seeking to restrain Hairan would have the best opportunity after today.

Among them, Runcandel was undoubtedly the most problematic force.

If Runcandel realized the situation and decided to make a move, Hairan would have no means to stop them.

Their only support was the imperial family and Zipple, but the former had always been cautious with Hairan, even going so far as to confine the Dragon Knights.

Zipple, on the other hand, was more dangerous than the imperial family if approached carelessly.

In such a situation, what if he attended first to Jin, who was actually attending the banquet as a "representative" of Runcandel?

No matter how powerful and dominant Runcandel is, it would be challenging to attack Hairan immediately after the emotional atmosphere (witnessed by all attending factions) of the banquet.

'Well, Runcandel probably wouldn't attack Hairan even if Ron-nim didn't do this, but there wasn't a safer and more efficient option available to Hairan.'

In a way, Jin got goosebumps.

The fact that Ron made such a keen judgment immediately after the chaotic incident had ended...

That's what makes it even more remarkable.

The world's best knight, who, to begin with, has an arrogant attitude.

"Jin Runcandel, I, the lord of the Sword Emperor's Castle, will never forget your dedication and valor in this incident."

However, there was one thing Jin hadn't considered.

That statement was not like the empty words of a politician but was filled with genuine gratitude.
Ron genuinely appreciated Jin for his role in this incident.

Instead of responding, Jin simply nodded silently.

"I am also deeply grateful to those who fought alongside the Hairan clan against the terrorist attack. Too many have sacrificed their lives... I express my condolences. I promise to take responsibility in any form."

As Ron lowered his head, the other warriors who had been observing the situation had no choice but to follow suit.

When they raised their heads again, their gazes naturally turned towards Jin.

It was burdensome to continue looking at Ron, and it was natural to feel awkward in front of the twelfth flagbearer of Runcandel, who had recently shaken the Garden of Swords and excelled in the Sword Emperor's Castle.

Jin shifted his gaze away from the especially bright eyes of Lata Proch and looked at Zephyrin, who was receiving a scolding in a corner.

'Demon Dragon.'

Of course, there was still no confirmation that Zephyrin was a Demon Dragon, but he thought it was time to meet with the leader of the Black King's Mercenaries once the situation calmed down.

For now, everyone here would stay in Hairan for the investigation anyway.

------------------

November 10, 1799.

Approximately two weeks had passed since the incident of the 'Terrorist Attack on the Sword Emperor's Castle.'

Not only Hairan but the entire Vermont Empire had not yet recovered from the shock of that day.

Even people from distant lands who only received the news by word of mouth found themselves in a similar state.

The Sword Emperor's Castle remained in ruins.

Restoration had not yet begun.

Most officials had set up tents near the castle, giving the impression that only the Sword Emperor's Castle was at war within Vermont's territory.

In reality, the Sword Emperor's Castle was waging a war.

Against those who believed they were its allies.

The imperial family of Vermont had not helped Hairan at all.

Not helping would be one thing, but they had gone so far as to defend Kinzelo.

Despite clear evidence pointing to Kinzelo and the tremendous damage they had inflicted on Hairan, the imperial family refrained from labeling Kinzelo as a terrorist.

They used vague expressions like 'an unfortunate accident.'

Furthermore, the imperial family had declared that they couldn't be sure if the giant monsters and living golems used in the attack were really from Kinzelo.

Not many expected the imperial family to handle the situation with such lukewarmness.

However, everyone who observed the current attitude could deduce the same conclusion...

After the incident, there must have been some kind of deal or understanding between the imperial family, Kinzelo, and Zipple.

Not only Kinzelo but also Zipple denied any involvement in terrorism after taking Beradin, and the Imperial Family turned a blind eye to these actions.

Initially, since there was evidence that Kinzelo had attacked Beradin, Zipple should have had to pay some kind of price to Hairan.

But the imperial family intended to tame or hunt Hairan.

In a way, Hairan had been betrayed by the imperial family.

"Huhh..."

Dante let out a tired sigh in the basement of the Sword Emperor's Castle, and his face showed signs of fatigue.

The basement of the Sword Emperor's Castle was in relatively good condition compared to the surface.

Jin placed his hand on Dante's shoulder.

"Dante, are you nervous about meeting him?"

"If I weren't, I'd be lying."

"Let's hope his diary remains intact."

Step~

Footsteps were heard from the darkness.

Soon, a figure in a robe and the knights accompanying him appeared.

It was Beradin.

The knights stepped back as Dante signaled them, and Beradin lowered his hood, revealing his face.

In the dimness of the basement, the three figures cast deep shadows.

Dante did not greet the newcomer with the usual warmth and politeness, and Beradin remained silent with a determined expression.

There was a heavy silence for a while, but it was Beradin who spoke first.

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