Chapter 527 The Town Outside The Palace Walls, Viselo
Izroth read over the remaining data provided by Dreamer's Knowledge and found five pictures with names written underneath them. These pictures and names belonged to the characters introduced in the Tale of The Snow That Falls In Summer.
There was also a stand-alone image with the role "Dreamer Viselo" labeled next to it.
'Is this my present appearance?'
The picture showed a man with good-looking facial features, spring green eyes, and white hair, who seemed to be in his early twenties. He wore a mixture of cloth and leather protective gear that did not stand out too much.
'Knowing everyone's physical appearance beforehand is a huge advantage. However, changing the story—this part is where the trouble lies.'
As the Dreamer, Izroth could be labeled as an external force with no place in the story itself. In other words, he was an anomaly. Any action he took could drastically alter the original tale; however, this was not the issue since he ultimately needed to change the ending. The problem started with making sure that the wrong individuals were not negatively affected.
Izroth had no clue as to who was given what role within the Dream Domain. For all he knew, Aurie could be the King, or Essirie the Queen.
Who were friends, and who were foes? This is what Izroth needed to know more than anything; otherwise, there was a high possibility that he may end up helping or hurting the wrong person!
Of course, this was just the beginning of Izroth's obstacles. Even if he met his allies, there was no guarantee that they would trust him. Izroth learned that unlike him, who possessed the Eyes of Knowledge and could differentiate between ally and foe if they were face to face, the others did not have a similar ability.
Therefore, he had to come up with a way to reveal himself without "revealing" himself and shift the story to a favorable outcome where his allies survived.
'If the tale stays true to itself, then Queen Nixpera should be within the palace. However, if she made contact with Hunter Venare, then that means Mistress Asi noticed them. If that is the case, one of the major turning points has already passed.'
With Dreamer's Knowledge, Izroth had a good grasp of the story's timeline based on the data he obtained. The fact that one major event slipped by was unfortunate; however, it was not all bad news.
Since the tale was starting from the point where Nixpera and Venare met in the palace's back garden, Izroth had an idea of who he would meet with first.
Izroth understood that out of the five roles, getting close enough to King Sonamus, Queen Nixpera, or Mistress Asi was practically futile. If he could utilize his skills, then infiltrating the palace would be a simple matter. But, with those three behind the well-guarded palace walls, it would be an unwise attempt in his current state.
'That leaves the Hunter Venare or Nobleman Fraun. As long as I find one of them, I find the other.'
With that in mind, Izroth made his way towards the town. His goal? To locate Hunter Venare or Nobleman Fraun before the next major event occurred.
A few moments later, Izroth arrived at the town and strolled in without a problem. There were no guards on patrol and no one to verify a person's identity upon entering the town.
The first thing that hit Izroth when he walked through the rundown streets was the putrid smell. There was a rotten stench that filled his nostrils and caused him to furrow his brows.
'It's worse than I thought.'
People were lying motionless on the sides of the road. Wherever Izroth's gaze landed, it was on someone who had tattered and dirty clothing. The outline of the townsmen's bones could be seen as their stomach sunk into their bodies, which was clear signs of starvation.
The tale failed to discuss this kind of town environment, but at a glance, it appeared that this place was amid a great famine.
Izroth felt a small tug on his lower right leg. Although his senses had been vastly reduced due to the Dream Domain's restrictions, he still had his natural awareness and experience. Therefore, not only sneak up on him but make contact as well was no easy feat.
When Izroth turned to see what had touched him, he noticed a tiny hand that resembled that of a child's—and that was because this hand did, indeed, belong to a child!
A small girl no older than four or five years old, whose height did not reach Izroth's waist, stood at his back. She was covered from head to toe with grime, possessed cloudy lifeless eyes, and messy hair riddled with filth. Even though the dirt on her face somewhat hid it, one could discern faint signs of bruises and cuts.
There was barely any sensation of life coming from the small girl. That, along with a lack of any hostile intent, explained why Izroth could not detect her despite the girl being so close.
The small girl held out her free hand; however, she did not utter a single word. She merely stood there with one of her tiny hands lightly gripping Izroth's lower pants leg and the other forming an open palm.
Izroth could guess her intent. Food, money—when one had nothing or the means to acquire it, the only option left was to either steal, beg, or starve to death. Given the young girl's weak stature, even if this town's marketplace were active and lively, it would be impossible for her to resort to stealing. No one wanted to starve to death willingly, which left her with one option.
"Where are your parents? Are they not with you?" Izroth asked. However, the girl did not respond and continued to stand there.
He then continued, "I have no food or anything of worth to give you."
Since Izroth was incapable of opening his inventory and had no type of currency to use in this Dream Domain, right now, the only thing he had was the clothes on his back and the sword at his side.
"Ha... It's no use; that girl can't understand a word you're saying. Kekeke!" One of the people nearby commented. The one who spoke was a bald man. He was practically nothing but skin and bones with a broad grin on his face accompanied by a cackle. A series of violent coughs soon followed as the man spat out a mouthful of blood that was several shades darker than usual.
He then continued, "Who do you think you're fooling? One look at you, and I can tell you're freakin' loaded. If you don't want to give her anything, do you need to make such a sorry excuse for us lowly commoners?"
"Damn nobles... Living comfortably behind their walls...!" The man muttered under his breath as he glared at Izroth. There was an aspect of anger and hatred in his eyes. But, from the look of things, this man did not have that long to live, and there was an old saying, "Braver is no man than one who awaits death's everlasting embrace."
If the man suspected that Izroth was a nobleman, how would he dare have the courage to speak those words without being on the verge of death?
"Parents? What a joke. That girl is just another orphan in this cursed town. She's an idiot who can't even speak. Just knock her away, and she'll get the message. She's used to it, after all. Come on, noble, give us lowly commoners one of your great shows..! Your display of power! Keke-" The bald man erupted into another fit of severe coughs.
"If you believe me to be a noble from this kingdom, then you are mistaken. I have traveled from a faraway land after hearing of this kingdom's prosperity. But, it appears I've been fed false rumors. I do not know what sort of animosity you have towards the nobles here, but it is misplaced at a simple traveler like myself." Izroth responded calmly.
He then continued, "As for your advice on how to handle things—I will have to decline."
"Prosperity..? Kekeke... Kekeke! The day will come where this kingdom is trampled on. In the same way that it trampled on its people!" The man exclaimed. A couple of seconds later, the man fell silent as his lifeless body slumped over. Just like that, the man had perished.