Chapter 150 – Twist (2)
[You’ve found a hint of the Server Story: ‘Heaven’s Encroachment’!]
– But who was that Heavens’ Knight at the Core?
Hyun checked out the quest window.
There was one that said ‘Main Quest.’ And now, that server story had been added.
Judging by the details given from the message window, it seemed like he really was a Holy Knight of the Heavens.
‘Who was he?’
He knew the names of countless Holy Knights, but he couldn’t think of anyone.
There weren’t one or two Holy Knights that were above level 350… Checking the information on the interloop would also take quite some time.
‘Should I ask him…?’
Hyun thought of the most comfortable way.
Wouldn’t Robert, a developer, know what was going on?
He asked him just in case, but the reply was as expected.
「Hmm, I’m sorry. I cannot give you information about a specific user, the world, or NPCs. I hope you understand.」
After Ain, Robert was probably the person who liked Hyun the most, but he was someone who knew how to differentiate between public and private matters.
Hyun was expecting him to refuse, so he thought he should check out the interloop later.
‘First, should I go check on Louise?’
Louise had almost died at the core.
Even if he knew she wouldn’t die, he still couldn’t calm down. If that’s how he felt, what would Louise be feeling…?
“A friend of ours ended up returning. Could I bring her back…?”
Just as Hyun asked, TarrTarr asked Bahmir.
“What? Did she use a return scroll? Hahaha. It seems like she didn’t mind using it despite the fact that she can’t die!”
Since he’d been able to recover the castle without making any effort, the Duke was in a great mood.
“Yes, bring her back.”
He didn’t question it too much and accepted it.
Since there were some traces of Demonic Energy left, the Duke opened a portal that led to the private room.
After leaving TarrTarr and Ain behind, Hyun went in search of Louise.
‘Where is she?’
Hyun felt his heart suddenly sink because he couldn’t find Louise anywhere.
He calmed down after using the guild master’s authority and checking the map.
He looked at the location indicated in the minimap.
She was sitting on the roof along with some birds.
‘Why is she there…?’
After sighing in relief, Hyun used «Assimilation» and entered Louise’s body.
She lay down on the roof when she felt his presence.
It was a few moments later when he heard her soul’s voice.
「So this is what it feels like to have someone.」
「What do you mean…?」
Hyun felt confused.
He thought she would be feeling mixed emotions, but she seemed calmer than him.
Suddenly, he felt hot blood going around his body.
He felt something different from when he used «Assimilation» on Ain.
He could sense how Louise was feeling.
She was hungry for basic human emotions. That’s why, rather than fearing death, she felt other emotions with more intensity.
The two of them looked silently at the night sky while they let the emotions flow.
Louise opened her mouth after a while.
「That man… I saw him on Illuna years ago.」
「I remember he was a Knight of the Holy Kingdom.」
There was silence again.
Louise had calmed down, so he thought it would be better if he took her to a place with a brighter atmosphere.
“Let’s go to the banquet.”
“Can I… Go out now?”
Hyun understood Louise’s question and sighed.
He took a return scroll from his inventory and gave it to her.
“This is the last one I have left, so use it carefully.”
“Hmm…? I thought it was really expensive. It seems like it isn’t.”
He usually would’ve said something, but instead, he just said, ‘it’s really expensive,’ and let it slip.
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
[You’ve obtained 1,000,000 gold!]
Hyun didn’t forget to contact Salon.
They exchanged a short conversation; Hyun promised he would get his reward.
Later on, at the ceremony…
“Hahaha, so there was such a way!”
The Duke and his followers laughed while hearing the group’s stories.
How were they able to reach the core?
Mablen hadn’t been able to see anything from the midway point, so Hyun invented some stuff to tell the Duke.
The main topic was TarrTarr’s incredible role!
Even though TarrTarr was sweating, Hyun kept inventing stuff.
“I’m telling you! The moment this guy reached ten thousand combos, all the opponents were killed in—!”
「Hyeong, I’m not a combo thief anymore!」
Hyun quickly realized his mistake.
“Hmm… I mean… he attacked with a damage output that was even comparable to a Combo Thief at ten thousand combos… Although I’m the leader, this guy is really something!”
“Haha, I also know that. After all, my eyes are more precise than anyone else’s!”
But the protagonist himself just said things like “Yes…” Or “Ah, that’s right.” Surprisingly, TarrTarr-related conversation kept going on for a while.
Ain and Louise were distracted by the fancy foods on the table, so there was a reason why there weren’t other topics of conversation.
Hyun mentioned the topic of the ‘Runes of Darkness’ after talking highly about TarrTarr for a while.
“So, Mr. Bahmir… do you remember I asked you for information on the Runes of Darkness?”
The Duke seemed confused at Hyun’s question.
“Hmm? Didn’t my Knight, TarrTarr ask me that?”
Hyun realized his mistake and corrected himself.
“That’s… I’m in charge of his agenda, so there isn’t any other particular reason.”
“Ah, so you’re similar to Bahmir.”
Hyun suddenly became TarrTarr’s assistant, but he didn’t care about that.
He hadn’t approached the Duke to be recognized by him, he had done so to get information about Darkness.
“Darkness… Sadly, I can’t talk about that here.”
Bahmir looked around as if he were worried about the ears of his subordinates and told him to ask again later.
Hyun interpreted that as the Duke saying that it was something important that he couldn’t even mention to his subordinates.
“For the moment, enjoy the celebration. For having recovered my castle and my knight’s role in it!”
The Duke raised his cup.
Hyun subconsciously also raised his cup.
He didn’t have much real-life experience, but he at least knew he had to do that.
The moment he raised the cup and took a sip from it…
The moment he took a sip of the liquid inside the glass, he felt a thrilling sensation.
‘Why is this so delicious?!’
The sensory synchronization could replicate taste buds almost perfectly…
But Hyun had never tasted alcohol like that in real life.
He was so shocked by its flavor that he looked at it, dumbfounded.
Showing great interest, Ain took a sip of it.
“U-ugh…! What’s this…?!”
Ain reacted as if she’d drunk something that wasn’t good for your body. After seeing her reaction, TarrTarr and Louise’s hands tightened.
Bahmir laughed out loud after looking at the group.
“Hahaha, who drank the ‘Frenzy Immersed in Darkness’? For someone without Demonic Energy, that should taste like absolute trash!”
Bahmir drank the entire cup that was in front of him.
“But for someone that has Demonic Energy, there’s nothing like this. The closer the person is to the Abyss, the more delicious it will taste.”
“Demonic Energy…? W-woah…!”
After hearing the words ‘Demonic Energy’, TarrTarr took a sip of it and let out an exclamation in surprise.
After all, the Death Knight was a job that controlled Demonic Energy—although he didn’t have that much.
「Hyun, «Assimilate» to me!」
As Hyun turned around, he saw Ain looking at the ‘Frenzy Immersed in Darkness’ intensely.
「If you «Assimilate» to me, I’ll be able to drink it, right?」
「Don’t say nonsense! The Duke is right in front of us.」
「Don’t worry. I’ll make sure you can drink it later on. After all, I know where to buy it.」
* * *
In the end, Hyun asked one of Bahmir’s servants and obtained a few bottles of the ‘Frenzy Immersed in Darkness.’
Rublen frowned a bit since it was something that went against a noble’s way of acting, but Hyun didn’t care about things like that.
When the Duke left the place for a bit, Ain pulled on Hyun’s clothes.
Did that alcohol produce some chemical effect when it interacted with Demonic Energy?
The taste of the beverage went from being trash to heavenly.
If he let Ain be, she would probably drink the entire bottle, so Hyun quickly stopped her.
“Woah… It became more delicious! Is this because Hyeong has more magi than me?”
TarrTarr also couldn’t stop exclaiming in surprise.
It seemed like Bahmir wasn’t lying when he said that the beverage’s taste varied depending on the amount of Demonic Energy you had.
“I… I also want to drink it…!”
Hyun «Assimilated» to Louise and let her taste it as well.
Something unexpected happened when it touched Louise’s tongue.
Hyun felt his eyes becoming blurry, and lightning hit his mind.
He couldn’t think of anything.
He’d never done drugs, but the effect of the drink was so huge that he thought it would probably be like that.
[Your mental stimulation has reached the limit!]
[Parts of your senses have been forcibly blocked!]
After he received some system notifications, Hyun’s consciousness returned to normal.
Only after a while did he notice that the other group members were looking at him in confusion.
「Is there something wrong, Hyun?」
「No, just now…」
Hyun quickly «Disassimilated».
After doing so, a good-enough delicious flavor spread through his mouth because his senses weren’t locked anymore.
Hyun looked at the beverage.
‘Don’t tell me…?’
Hyun turned his head to Louise.
Louise was staring blankly at the air like he had just been.
* * *
That incident made Hyun fall into thoughts.
Who was Louise?
She was clearly a Transcendent.
Every time Hyun prayed to Louise, he could feel his emotions fluctuating. That was something that happened when you ’empathized’ with an Angel or a Demon.
Here was the problem…
Louise had been able to ‘taste’ that.
Maybe it was because she had a seed of darkness inside her… but there were too many things that made no sense.
If Louise had so much Demonic Energy that it could affect her taste buds, shouldn’t she have fallen into it already? Or shouldn’t she be struggling at least due to the darkness’s erosion?
Louise should’ve shown one of those two symptoms if she was an Angel.
This was something that broke a hypothesis he had thought was true.
Maybe Louise wasn’t an Angel, but a…
“What are you doing?”
Hyun was surprised after hearing Ain’s voice.
“Hmm…? Did something happen?”
Even after she called him, he couldn’t easily return to his senses.
—That’s how shocking what he just realized could be.
“It seems like something happened.”
“No, I’m still thinking…”
Hyun decided to leave those thoughts behind for the moment.
He needed some time to think alone.
Maybe he would have to go through everything that had happened up to that point.
Yes. Hyun decided that he would go through everything that had happened since the moment he met Louise for the first time.