SYS (Novel) Chapter 443

C443 - To the Black King (4)

Thuk!

The thick handle of the axe-sword struck Zephyrin on the back of the head.

It wasn't done by someone else; it was an incident that occurred when she bowed before Murka.

"Ugh!"

Watching Zephyrin clutch her neck, Murka ended up hitting her chest with frustration.

It was not at all clear where these kinds of problems disrupting the discipline of the Third Division were coming from.

"Sorry, Captain!"

"If you're sorry, your mercenary career is over...."

"Oh, but you're Jin Runcandel-nim!"

Zephyrin looked at Jin with sparkling eyes.

To Jin and Murakan, it seemed strange that this foolish-looking girl could be a Demon Dragon.

However, Murakan carefully sniffed the scent emanating from her.

-Murakan, why are you so absent-minded? Oh, you've always been a carefree guy, haven't you?

-I don't expect to hear those kinds of words from you.

-Didn't you smell something off about that human?

A conversation between Murakan and Quikantel in the banquet hall of Sword Emperor Castle.

Zephyrin had a strong and dreadful dragon blood scent that human senses couldn't recognize.

And it was a dense and horrifying dragon blood scent.

It was an odor that came from various types of mixed blood.

Nyaa!

Suddenly, Murakan emitted a threatening sound and bristled his fur.

He had smelled something he didn't recognize in the banquet hall.

Therefore, Murakan was ready to scratch Zephyrin's face with his sharp claws at any moment.

"Wow!"

Zephyrin jumped back in surprise.

Murka understood that Murakan was showing his displeasure with Zephyrin's appearance.

"...I'm sorry, Jin-nim. Murakan-nim. The leader is still busy with the previous guest and his affairs. My subordinates will inform you when it's your turn."

Murka spoke and tried to suppress his boiling anger as much as possible.

Shortly after, he took Zephyrin and disappeared somewhere, leaving only the mercenaries, Jin, and Murakan in the empty hallway of the reception room.

"Why did you just do that? Did you smell what Quikantel-nim mentioned last time?"

"Nyaa!"

"Transform and speak like a person."

Puff!

"Yes, it was that scent. If Quikantel hadn't mentioned it, maybe I wouldn't have noticed it again because of the fragrance."

"What do you think?"

"I think that woman might be a Demon Dragon."

"Yes."

"Well, it could just be the scent of the weapon, as Quikantel suggested."

If Zephyrin was a Demon Dragon, then the two previous encounters might not have been mere coincidences.

In that case, Zephyrin's only reason for approaching might be the Rontelgius Magic Tome.

'I heard something like she wants to meet the First Flagbearer.'

According to Murka, the reason Zephyrin carried a battle-axe she couldn't even use properly was her admiration for Luna.

If she were a simple human, one might think she's a bit eccentric.

But suddenly, Jin remembered how Luna obtained the "Orgal Pendant."

'My sister said she got the pendant by defeating a demon in the past.'

A pendant obtained by defeating a demon, a magic tome obtained by killing a demon, and a Demon Dragon.

They were puzzle pieces that seemed to fit perfectly.

"If Zephyrin is a Demon Dragon, then the three encounters may not have been mere coincidences."

In that case, Jin thought that Zephyrin might intentionally approach them just to get the magic tome.

"Let's ask her directly if she's a Demon Dragon when we finish our business with the Black King Leader. I didn't ask her at the banquet because it would be awkward then."

"Yes, that's better. But she may not tell us directly."

"Don't worry, there's a way to confirm it. And if she turns out to be a Demon Dragon, we might also find out about your brother's connection to Rontelgius. We'll squeeze out all the information we can."

"And what if she's stronger than us?"

"There's no dragon stronger than this Murakan in the world... Well, yes. I haven't fully recovered my powers yet, so I guess it's possible. Anyway, if things end up like that, we'll escape."

Jin shrugged.

"By the way, the guy inside seems to be Runcandel. Considering what Zephyrin said about wanting to meet the First Flagbearer."

"He's probably one of the main flagbearers or his representative. I think he's from the Second Flagbearer."

Joshua needed a force to replenish what he lacked after the recent conflicts within the Elder Council.

He also needed to demonstrate his ability to recruit and unite neutral forces as the next patriarch.

But the Black King's mercenaries have maintained neutrality for a long time, so recruiting them without substantial compensation is almost impossible.

Regardless of who the person meeting with the Black King Leader was, if they had come not for a simple contract but for "recruitment," there was a possibility that they were well-prepared for negotiations.

The servants brought a simple refreshment and tea.

The two enjoyed it quietly while waiting for the meeting to begin.

The door to the reception room opened around three in the morning.

"We will meet again tomorrow morning, Black King Leader."

"Understood."

Voices of the Black King Leader and the guest were heard.

It seemed they planned to continue the conversation tomorrow.

The person who exited the reception room was wearing a robe and a hood that covered their entire body.

Jin immediately recognized it wasn't one of the Flagbearers but their representative.

The man also noticed Jin and Murakan.

He tried to pass by them without a word, but Jin called out to him.

"Hey."

The hooded man stopped and turned to look at Jin.

"You're the guy from earlier, right?

The guy from earlier.

The Black Knight who had tried to kidnap Dante at the Emperor Sword Banquet.

Jin was sure the person in the robe was the same.

"I was a bit confused, but now that you're approaching, I'm sure. Claw users usually have a distinctive way of walking. Should I say they have a unique posture?"

Claws were not commonly used weapons, but Jin had spent a lot of time with Gilly and was familiar with their characteristics.

"It seems like the Second Flagbearer had something very important to discuss if he sent a Black Knight. Tell me what happened inside. I also need to meet the Black King Leader."

"...You're still as bold as ever. You're not afraid, probably because you have a Black Dragon by your side."

"Well, I think I'm the same whether I'm alone or accompanied. Could you have come here alive if things had gone like back then?"

The man turned away without answering.

He judged that he might get involved with Murakan if he kept talking to Jin.

"Tell that to the Black Knights. I'm always open."

"The Black Helmets will never become your sword."

"Keep that in mind."

After the Black Knight left, the mercenaries signaled Jin to enter the Black King Leader's reception room.

"Please, come in."

"Just in case, Murakan."

"What's wrong?"

"Even if the Black King Leader isn't as courteous as you expect, don't scowl at him or try to hit him."

"...Am I a fool?"

"I'm just concerned."

"Tch."

The fact that such a grand space unfolded at the end of a not-so-wide hallway was astonishing.

The reception room was impressively grand, with large windows letting in moonlight and starlight from the imposing ceiling.

It was a surreal sight that didn't seem to fit with the dark profession of mercenaries.

Below it, the Black King Leader, "Valkas Krahn," sat at his desk, welcoming the two men.

Amela, the great mercenary from the Gaifa Islands, Valkas Krahn, the Black King Leader, and Lata Proch, the Leader of the Phantom Legion.

Among the three top mercenaries in the world, Amela and Valkas competed for the top spot.

Certainly, he emits a much more powerful vibe compared to Lata-nim.

The first impression Jin had of Valkas was that he seemed taller even when sitting.

Jin didn't know much about him beyond the fact that he had achieved some legendary feats before becoming the leader and had built an impressive reputation as a mercenary.

He had a rough idea of his personality, but that was about it.

Both in his past life and the current one, Jin had never encountered Valkas, so he didn't have much information about him.

Valkas wasn't a public figure with much known information.

-Valkas Krahn. Hmm, it's more romantic than I thought.

-Really?

-Should I say he cares a lot about his family? That's why the Black King's Mercenaries are generally friendly, despite being the best mercenaries in the world.

-I see.

-The problem is that, aside from his family, he treats the rest of humans as clients who only serve to pay money or living meatballs.

Before reaching Black King Mountain, Talaris had said that about Valkas.

'Although Zephyrin makes those mistakes, it usually ends with a sermon. Is it because he values his subordinates so much?'

Or maybe Valkas also has suspicions about Zephyrin and ordered to keep a close watch on her.

The latter seemed more likely.

As much as he valued his subordinates, the Black King's Mercenaries were known for being a disciplined and sharp organization.

Valkas raised his hand and began to speak.

"Welcome, Twelfth Flagbearer of Runcandel."

"It's an honor to meet you, Valkas-nim. Thank you for the hospitality."

"Hospitality might be an exaggeration. And the one beside you, is that the great Black Dragon?"

Murakan nodded, despite his somewhat disrespectful tone.

Fortunately, Valkas didn't go beyond that level of rudeness.

"My subordinates have been talking quite a bit about you. It seems escorting you when you were young is still a fond memory for the Third Division."

"Is that so?"

"And the Twelfth Flagbearer of Runcandel is probably the hottest topic in the world right now, not only for my subordinates. It's impossible for stories not to circulate everywhere. I was also curious and wanted to meet you at least once."

Jin and Valkas smiled, and their gazes met.

Somehow, Jin felt as if Valkas was looking through him, trying to figure out why he had come and what kind of request he might have.

And that feeling turned out to be true in a few seconds.

"You've come to me most likely to entrust me with the task of protecting the Tikan Free City, haven't you? Or am I wrong?"

Jin was internally surprised but nodded without showing it.

"It seems I accidentally sent a letter with the details of the request in advance. Yes, you're right, Valkas-nim."

The need for "Tikan Protection Measures" was a matter that most powerful figures in the world knew to some extent.

Valkas couldn't ignore it either.

Above all...

Valkas was currently more aware of the matter, given that Joshua's representative had just visited him.

"Unfortunately, it seems difficult to accept that request."

"But you haven't even heard the conditions."

"It's true, but I mean to say you came a step too late."

Joshua hadn't sent the Black Knight to hire the Black King's Mercenaries for a mission, etc.

He had sent the Black Knight to "prevent" the Black King's Mercenaries from accepting Jin's request.

-

(Up to '120' more ch4pt3rs)
Publication of up to 6 w33kly ch4pters, thanks.

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