Chapter 104 - Chapter 17: Test #3
After In-gong, who had the highest priority, made his selection, it was Felicia’s turn.
"6th Princess, please make your selection.”
Isabella said with a gentle smile, but there was some pressure in it.
Telling them to make a choice with almost no time to think...
This was one of the ways of evaluating the demon king’s children, with regards to things like their judgment and determination.
After looking at the map for a moment, Felicia glanced at the pitiful-looking Silvan, then turned to In-gong. She sighed and made a decision,
"As you know, I’m more like a civil servant rather than a military officer. So, instead of taking an area directly, I will take on the role of supporting 9th Prince and go to Evian.”
Unlike her energetic personality, her voice was clear and calm.
Felicia finished speaking and glanced up at the demon king. The demon king didn’t speak directly but nodded to give permission to Felicia.
Felicia had never heard her name being called, but she was satisfied about that small exchange with the demon king. Stealthily, she pressed a hand against her chest to check her heart.
Chris looked at Felicia. She noticed Chris’ gaze and the two people exchanged glances that showed their intentions.
Silvan’s present condition wasn’t that good, so Felicia wanted to embrace and comfort him.
However, she couldn’t do so because this was the court gathering. While thinking about this, Felicia stepped back.
Silvan would recover soon. So, she should think about something else and not about sticking to Silvan.
Felicia didn’t follow In-gong because she wanted to work with him.
Of course, she wanted such a thing inside her heart, but that wasn’t the main reason.
Due to the return of the group and the sword duke’s intervention, In-gong hadn’t made a declaration, but he was recognized as the leader of the fourth faction.
In-gong needed support. Putting aside combat power, Felicia and Chris were the only ones able to assist In-gong in the political field.
However, Chris was a warrior. It was unnatural to say he would go with In-gong when he had a combat power comparable to Silvan’s. That would be an excessive waste of combat power and the Demon King’s Palace wouldn’t accept it.
She didn’t know why In-gong had picked Evian, but she would follow him. After all, they had been together since the Red Lightning Tribe.
After Felicia made her decision, knowing gazes were passed between the people gathered in the hall. It was widely known that Felicia had decided to help In-gong.
"From now on, the selection order will be decided based on the merits accumulated in the Merits Department. 2nd Prince, please make a selection.”
Isabella gazed at Zephyr with gentle eyes. Zephyr then gazed at Evian for a moment, then turned toward the north.
“I will go to Haragal.”
Many people nodded calmly at the 2nd Prince’s declaration.
Haragal was as close to the Northern Limit Line as possible and was regularly attacked by violent creatures. Haragal’s degree of difficulty was higher than Evian’s, never lower.
Of course, nobody could be sure that there would be an actual attack on the area predicted by the Demon King’s Palace or even about the scale of the enemies that would appear.
However, from the outset, Haragal was an important land. Haragal’s land itself wasn’t rich, but there were abundant resources underground including the papunil, that was called the vein of the Demon World.
Haragal was the shield that protected the papunil.
So, 2nd Prince’s choice was expected. If there truly was an attack, then it was the area where the greatest merits could be gained.
‘It is the next best thing since Zephyr was looking at Evian earlier.’
Since In-gong had first opened his eyes in Carack’s barracks, he had been good at reading things.
When In-gong selected Evian, Zephyr clearly had a different reaction from usual. It was difficult to explain, but In-gong was able to sense it.
Zephyr seemed to be pursuing Evian as well.
If so, why? When looked at objectively, Evian wasn’t a good choice.
The name surfaced reflexively, but In-gong was certain. So, it was good that he sensed it.
Zephyr also seemed to be looking to bring in General Vandal.
In Knight Saga, Zephyr had been able to defeat Vandal at the end of his second year, Year 514. However, that had been in Knight Saga.
It was estimated that this Zephyr was much stronger than the Zephyr of Knight Saga. So, it was possible for the current Zephyr to beat Vandal.
As an adult, Zephyr was able to move freely and choose his own missions just like Silvan and Felicia. However, it wasn’t possible for him to meet with military personnel any time he wanted.
So, maybe Zephyr thought about using this situation as an opportunity.
‘It is quite plausible. Then shouldn’t I hurry and get Nayatra and Sektum as well?’
They had been his three favourite subordinates in Knight Saga.
Succubus Knight Nayatra, the Worst Necromancer Sektum and the Ogre Warrior Vandal...
‘I have to hurry and visit the slave auction house where Nayatra is. It is necessary to secure Nayatra before securing Sektum.’
Caitlin’s birth secret had been the beginning of the lycanthrope subjugation.
The one who had obtained this information had been Nayatra. There was no guarantee that she would get the information, but he had to block Zephyr from acquiring her.
While In-gong was thinking, 1st Prince Baikal made his choice. Baikal also made a sensible choice.
Next, 4th Princess Anastasia made her decision. Her choice didn’t overlap with In-gong’s, Zephyr’s or Baikal’s.
3rd Prince Victor chose to support Anastasia and the demon king allowed it.
From In-gong to Anastasia, the leaders of each faction chose different areas and there were now only two areas left unselected.
"5th Prince, please make your selection.”
Silvan jumped at Isabella’s call and chose a place close to Evian. As there had been no abnormality when In-gong, Zephyr and the others made the selections, he had managed to restore most of his composure.
Now, there was only one area left and Chris and Caitlin, the siblings, had the opportunity to choose.
Everyone thought they knew what the lycanthrope siblings would choose, so they thought there would be nothing else worth seeing.
Chris would choose the remaining area and Caitlin would follow.
It wasn’t a bad thing. This was a good but reasonable choice.
However, Chris just laughed and exchanged glances with Caitlin who nodded.
“I will go to Kaltu.”
Chris said the name of the remaining area.
The selections were now as good as over. Isabella turned to Caitlin with a gentle expression.
"8th Princess, please make your selection.”
“I will go to Evian.”
"I understand. Evian... huh?”
Isabella cried out involuntarily. Gellahed, who was standing with the other captains, also looked at Caitlin with confused eyes.
Caitlin took a deep breath and spoke calmly,
“9th Prince Shutra is still young compared to the other princes and princesses. 6th Princess is helping, but 6th Princess is a scholar and not a warrior. I am inexperienced as well, but I am a warrior. So, I think I would make a decent balance with 9th Prince and 6th Princess.”
Her words were reasonable.
9th Prince had only started to stand out a few months ago.
Moreover, the Demon King’s Palace didn’t yet know In-gong’s real strength, so they didn’t think he would be stronger than Caitlin.
Isabella, who thought Caitlin was going to follow Chris, looked at the demon king with a puzzled faced. The demon king nodded again to express his permission.
It was a reasonable decision. From the beginning, the Demon King’s Palace had thought Caitlin would go with Chris. However, Chris was much stronger than In-gong. So, there was no reason to refuse to let her accompany In-gong when they would have allowed her to accompany Chris.
"You have completed your area selections. Princes and Princesses, five days from today, you will start moving to each area. The information regarding the purple aura enemies will be sent to your homes.”
Thus, the main agenda of the court gathering was over. As usual, there were a few ceremonial events to end the court gathering.
In-gong took a deep breath and looked around. The sword duke was smiling with an unknown expression while the demon king was as expressionless as always.
Gallehed was gazing at Caitlin with worry, while Yecaderina, the nightmares captain, was giving a lovely smile.
As for Richard...
The leader of the draconians and one of the strongest captains aside from Gallehed—
He had been In-gong’s strongest ally when In-gong played Zephyr. However, at this moment, Richard was looking down at In-gong with a ferocious smile. In-gong ignored Richard’s gaze and turned to Zephyr.
At that moment, Zephyr turned his gaze to In-gong as though he had been waiting for it and their gazes met in midair.
"I’m tired, tired, tired!”
As soon as they returned to the waiting room, Felicia threw herself onto a large sofa and screamed.
Although it was far from polite, the people in the waiting room were all close to Felicia, so there was no need for politeness.
Felicia waved her arms and legs and kept sighing.
"Ah, the sword duke is a fool. A person like that isn’t good for my heart. He should tell us in advance.”
It had been a few days since the group had arrived at the Demon King’s Palace. It would have been nice if he sent a simple message during that time. Despite that, he still insisted on surprising them today.
Silvan sat down next to Felicia and clutched his chest. Felicia felt sorry for Silvan and hugged him tightly.
"My poor Silvan.”
He really wanted to become the sword duke’s disciple.
As Felicia patted Silvan’s back with gentle eyes, Chris turned his gaze to In-gong and said in a lively voice,
"Anyway, his actions were helpful. At today’s court gathering, the sword duke practically announced that he is supporting Shutra. By the way, it is strange. How did you manage to catch the sword duke’s heart? What is the secret? I want to learn how to do it.”
Silvan’s eyes flashed as he also wanted to learn the secret. In-gong just grinned awkwardly and replied,
"I don’t know.”
The sword duke’s favor derived from In-gong’s uniqueness and the demon king’s interest. So, the other princes wouldn’t be able to apply to this.
Felicia, who was still hugging Silvan, asked Chris suddenly,
"Chris, is it okay for Caitlin to not go with you?”
Felicia was also surprised when Caitlin said she would go with In-gong instead of Chris.
Chris replied with a shrug,
"It is bittersweet, but it will be more helpful than if she stays with me. It seems like the performance of the Moonlight Core and Starlight Core is better than expected.”
It had only been about 10 days or so, but In-gong and Caitlin had shown a huge growth in their aura over the last 10 days. The synergy between the Moonlight Core and Starlight Core was truly amazing.
Chris patted Caitlin’s head and asked,
"Caitlin, unlike Spider Forest, this might be a moderately long mission. Is that okay?”
"Yes, it is okay.”
Unlike the time at the lycanthrope house, Caitlin answered with a bright smile. There was no unease at all.
Chris complained with slumped shoulders and Felicia laughed. She was still holding onto Silvan when she said,
"Well, today’s work is over. The enemies with the purple aura, the sword duke... There are many things to talk about, but I want to rest for a while. Isn’t that right, Silvan?”
“Hu... Sword Duke.”
Silvan nodded reflexively. At that moment...
"Huh? Did you call me?”
The sword duke’s voice was heard from behind them. Startled, Felicia jumped up from her seat and looked back.
It truly was the sword duke. He laughed from the door of the waiting room, then he pinched Felicia’s cheeks.
"This princess is still a baby. Aigoo, so cute.”
Felicia’s face was red while Silvan was stunned. The sword duke laughed and moved on.
“Ohh, 8th Princess. You are much bigger up close. I have to try it once.”
There was no time to reply. Just like he had done to Felicia at Thunderdoom Fortress, he placed his hands between Caitlin’s arms and raised her up high.
As if he was playing with a little child, he kept spinning Caitlin.
At Thunderdoom Fortress, Felicia had screamed to be put down, but Caitlin was different. At first, she was panicked, but then she started to enjoy it. If she was to speak, she would say how amazing it was.
"Well, this is still fun. So adorable.”
The word truly fit Caitlin who had red cheeks and sparkling eyes.
After greeting Felicia and Caitlin, the sword duke turned toward In-gong. In-gong regained his composure and spoke calmly,
“I greet the sword duke.”
"I greet you as well. 5th Prince and 7th Prince too, it is a pleasure.”
Chris and Silvan greeted him as well. Chris was a little wary of the sword duke, while Silvan seemed eager to talk to him.
However, the first one to say something wasn’t a prince or princess.
“Look, what happened all of a sudden?”
It was Carack who asked.
Silvan was astonished while Chris flinched.
Carack had just casually asked the sword duke a question.
However, Felicia had already adapted to Carack, while Delia, Seira and Sepira just admired Carack’s boldness.
The sword duke just laughed pleasantly like he had at Thunderdoom Fortress and said to In-gong,
"I came to ask 9th Prince something. There is a story I would like to share, but I also have a request.”
"Yes. I can only ask Prince."
The sword duke said with a laugh. There was mischief in his eyes, similar to when he played with Felicia and Caitlin.
"Can Prince invite me to your mansion? I want to see that person.”
"Ya, ya! Stay away! Don’t tease me! Why the hell did you bring this brat? I decided we’re to keep it a secret! This is a breach of contract!”