SYS (Novel) Chapter 419

C419 - Treason (2)

"Kugh, damn it. This won't work. Just hit me, Dante."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means you hit me until you feel better."

He seemed sincere.

Jin and Dante looked at each other as Beradin held his jaw.

"My damn family and the imperial family have conspired and screwed over Hairan. So hit me until you feel better."

"Say something that makes sense, Beradin. If Dante hits you with even the slightest sincerity, you won't end up with just a bruise. Can your frail body handle that?"

"Sh*t, I know."

"Why does someone who knows that say foolish things?"

"Sorry, but I'm dying inside from frustration, and I'm going crazy, so I have to say something... I guess it's a way to make myself feel better in the end."

"The way you put it, it doesn't sound so bad to hit you."

"Beradin, it's not your fault."

Beradin sighed in response to Jin and Dante's words.

"I was hoping you'd say that. Dante, if there's anything I can do to help, tell me... I'll take responsibility for my family and do whatever is necessary."

Jin and Dante weren't entirely at ease after seeing Beradin look around with an expression of helplessness.

If Beradin is guilty of anything, it's only of being born into the Zipple family and being used by his father.

"No need to use such strong words as 'responsibility.' I haven't called you to ask for accountability, but to request your help as a friend. The situation on Zipple's side is probably far from ordinary, so the fact that you've come to us is something I should be grateful for."

"Uf... Dante, you're like a completely different person!"

Beradin exaggeratedly reddened his eyes and hugged Dante, and Jin clicked his tongue after seeing this.

In any case, as Dante had said, Beradin's visit to the Sword Emperor's Castle without his family's knowledge was a risky move.

Zipple continues to insist firmly that they are not responsible for the current situation.

If Beradin's covert operation came to light, that argument would lose strength.

A faint smile appeared on Dante's lips as he rubbed his shirt, shocked by tears or fake tears.

It was the first time Jin had seen Dante smile since the incident.

That's how serious the situation was within Hairan.

Not only was the imperial family engaged in dirty backroom dealings with terrorist forces, but traitors were also emerging one after another from within.

Moreover, the main figures behind the betrayal were Dante's brothers and relatives.

They had always been treated as "non-existent" by Ron Hairan.

They had never dreamed of betrayal.

Instead of unnecessarily provoking Dante and suffering a miserable death at the hands of Ron, they placed a faint hope in the generation after Dante.

Ron had controlled Hairan completely for a long time, and Dante was inheriting that power smoothly.

In the midst of all this, a unique opportunity in life had been presented to them.

If it had been a situation involving only significant damage due to terrorism, they wouldn't even have dreamed of betrayal, as usual.

But the imperial family had offered their support.

Up to this point, things were fine.

Ron and his Hairan could easily clean up and rise against the traitors without anyone's help.

However, the problem arose from the fact that there were too many "victims besides Hairan" due to terrorism.

It wasn't just about compensating royalty and aristocrats but also important warlords.

Sir Ron, in a way, expected the situation to unfold this way.

So, he gave priority to me as a precautionary measure.

Jin had foreseen it.

However, there was something else that Jin hadn't imagined at all.

The reason the imperial family is pressing Hairan so aggressively, even making deals with Kinzelo, is to obtain a certain 'object' that Hairan has protected for generations.

To be precise, it should be expressed as the 'object protected by the patriarch of Hairan,' not just by Hairan himself.

Originally...

Only the patriarch could know the existence of the object.

However, from the moment Ron designated Dante as the next patriarch, he revealed the existence of that object to him and recently broke the taboo of a secret that should be transmitted to the patriarchs of Hairan.

He also informed Jin of the existence of the object.

-...White stone, ominous pebble, pointed wedge, and more.

-The previous patriarchs called that stone by various names.

-The fact that there are so many names might suggest that no one knows the true name of the stone.

-That's right. My grandfather defined the stone as the greatest nemesis of the Hairan family when he first informed me of its existence.

-The greatest nemesis of your family?

-The meaning of the stone that passed only from patriarch to patriarch lies in cutting it. Only a patriarch who has truly cut the stone can carve his name in the highest places of Hairan's history.

-It doesn't seem like the imperial family is so eager just for an object like that.

-You're right.

-In broad strokes, I understand. The stone must be an incredibly dangerous object that no one in the world should know about. Therefore, Hairan's first patriarch who acquired the item probably tried to destroy it but must have failed. So, he only left the order to destroy the object without revealing its true nature to prevent future patriarchs from becoming greedy.

-Did you figure all that out from my brief explanation? Impressive.

-All the previous patriarchs of Hairan, as well as Ron-nim himself, couldn't cut the stone, which is even more surprising. What does the stone look like?

-I haven't seen it. My grandfather has it kept.

-Anyway, the reason the imperial family covets the stone is probably that they want to take hold of the danger that the old patriarchs of Hairan kept at bay.

A conversation Dante had with Jin a few days ago.

The imperial family seemed to have been waiting for an opportunity like this to snatch the "stone" from Hairan.

It wouldn't be surprising even if it turned out that the imperial family had orchestrated terrorism to get the stone.

It was a fact.

Dante had informed Jin about the stone because he thought Jin's help could be useful in protecting it.

Naturally, it was Dante's opinion, but surprisingly, Ron agreed.

He had suffered severe injuries, the clan's prestige had fallen, traitors had emerged, restoration works on the castle had not yet begun, and there were no allies.

Even the Dragon Knights had returned to the Imperial Palace.

In other words...

Ron was a person who prioritized his grandson's safety over the trivial secrets of the clan, given the current situation where a minor incident could leave him isolated.

Above all, Ron was sure that Jin did not belong to the category of people who coveted the stone.

Jin cleared his throat and separated Beradin from Dante.

His way of dealing with Beradin seemed like that of a child having a tantrum.

"Beradin, listen."

Dante wiped away his smile and made eye contact with Beradin.

Jin and Dante had not yet shared the information about the "stone" with Beradin.

It was natural since they couldn't be sure of Beradin's mental state.

However, not knowing that information didn't pose a problem for Beradin in helping Jin and Dante.

"Yes, go ahead. Dante, what's your request?"

"Please encourage Zipple to directly pressure Hairan."

"What...?"

"Right now, Zipple has only been indirectly pressuring Hairan through the imperial family. Instead, I want Zipple to take a more direct approach to attack Hairan."

"Why the hell? Eh, Jin. What is our friend talking about?"

"Why are you asking me?"

"Dante would never come up with a plan like this! Explain, why do we need to do that?"

"To make the distinction between friend and foe even clearer."

"What?"

"We need to find out whom the Imperial family values more. Even if you push Hairan to the limit and the imperial family doesn't change its stance, then Hairan may no longer need to be part of the empire."

It was precisely about determining what the Imperial family considered more important among Zipple, Hairan, and the "stone."

"I understand what you're getting at. But what if the imperial family definitively chooses Zipple and decides to end Hairan with my family's help?"

"You'll have to deal with that."

"I'm not the patriarch of Zipple, but the next patriarch. Do I have the authority to do that?"

"It's a joke, and by then, Runcandel will ally with Hairan."

"In the same way, you're not the patriarch of Runcandel but the next patriarch, right?"

"I have that authority. More precisely, I have the confidence to manipulate the situation, and after forming an alliance with Hairan. I'll have my family follow suit."

Beradin's eyes lit up as if Jin's words and attitude were cool, and he awkwardly cleared his throat.

Now wasn't the time for Beradin to praise Jin and have fun as usual.

"I understand, but aren't there too many variables? And what if the imperial family definitely chooses Zipple and abandons Hairan? Everyone knows that."

"That's something we don't know."

"...If the main family intervenes, Hairan could be destroyed to the point of no recovery."

"Aren't you underestimating Hairan too much? With Dante in front of you."

"Mm. I'm fine."

"Sorry, but there are so many variables... And I'm not in the best mood right now. What if I try to guide this plan to make sure it turns out most favorably for my family?"

"That's the worst-case scenario, but don't worry, there are security measures."

"Oh? Security measures! What are they?"

"Do you think I'm going to tell you?"

Upon Jin's words, Beradin showed a bitter smile.

"Well..."

"Beradin, be careful until your mind stabilizes. We'll also watch out for you."

Beradin nodded.

"Let's identify our enemies, the objectives and priorities of the imperial family, if possible, find out what backstage deals the imperial family made with Kinzelo and Zipple."

These clandestine tasks were the responsibility of Jin, Dante, and Beradin.

It was Ron and his knights' responsibility to keep Hairan safe from internal and external pressures.

"All three of us must be solid allies even if our clans become archenemies externally. Then, we can also restore external relations when each secures the supremacy of their family."

"That's right."

"Oh, yes."

While the three were talking, a knight arrived at the basement chamber.

He was one of the knights who had initially escorted Beradin here.

"Young patriarch."

"What's going on?"

"Well..."

The knight briefly glanced at Beradin to gauge his reaction before continuing.

"His Majesty the Emperor is looking for Jin-nim."

"Jin?"

Why?

"I can't be sure, but there are rumors among the eunuchs... It seems they want to reward him for this recent incident."

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