In the stillness of silence, the mage looked alternately between me and the Mad King.
There was an obvious tension on his face that wasn’t there just a moment ago.
Why the hell was the Fifth Lord here?
It seemed that he did not understand this situation as well. The doubts, tensions, and feelings of disappointment reflected on his face were clearly visible.
Why is she really here?
I sighed inwardly and looked at her.
I didn’t know how things were going, but the immediate crisis seemed to have passed.
Even if it’s just like a stranger, the Mad King was an ally of the same camp. Now it was the mage, not me, who was cornered.
“Are you going to fight, Fifth Lord?”
The man opened his mouth in a hoarse voice.
It was a tone that felt close to resignation rather than a warning or threat.
No matter how strong he may be as the chief mage of the Santea Imperial family, the Calderic Lord was a higher rank than that. Even a simple level difference was a whopping 4 levels.
If the Mad King was going to kill the mage, there was no way he could survive here.
But she shook her head.
“It’s the other way around, you idiot. You don’t even know how to express gratitude when I just saved you.”
“Do you know who the person you are facing right now is?”
The Mad King shook her head and asked me.
“By the way, what are you doing here in the First Lord’s territory, Seventh Lord? Did you come here to fish?”
At those words, the mage looked at me with astonished eyes.
I made eye contact with the Mad King answering nothing.
“···The new Seventh Lord? The one who killed the warrior?”
I heard him mumble.
Of, so they actually knew about that.
After all, the death of one of the Five Stars must have been a huge event in Santea.
At first, I was a prisoner of the convoy, and coincidentally, a new Lord appeared in Calderic when the convoy was attacked.
Unless you are an idiot, Santea’s side would have figured out who the culprit was, based on the circumstances and investigation.
Of course, even if they knew I was the culprit, it meant nothing.
Even if Santea and Calderic still formed a temporary alliance against a huge enemy called the Demons, that was only superficial. Behind the scenes, countless armed conflicts were still taking place.
It was impossible to pull me to a political conflict even if they had physical evidence, unless I did the killing openly.
And in the first place, it’s not something I should be concerned about right now.
···By the way, did she just say that she saved this guy?
I stared at the Mad King and fell in thought.
From what she said, she had no intention of fighting the mage, but I couldn’t figure out why.
In Calderic’s realm, she suddenly encountered a great power on the side of Santea.
Since she especially enjoyed fighting, wasn’t there no reason for her to let this guy go?
“That guy is the chief mage of the Imperial family of Santea, Seventh Lord. Are you planning to kill him?”
The Mad King asked me.
I wondered how I should answer.
It was difficult to affirm what her stand was because she seemed unwilling to join the battle. So, what could that mean?
In this case, the answer was to just hold on to remain silent. Then the other person would just interpret it for you.
The Mad King seemed to interpret my silence as a ‘yes’.
She scratched her hair and said with a curious expression.
“Hey, Seventh Lord. I don’t know what’s going on, but can you just spare him this one time?”
In the words that followed, I could see why she didn’t want to fight the chief mage.
“Because I owe that guy one favor. So if you want to kill him, I can’t just stand still.”
They seemed to know each other somehow, but was there such a relationship between them? It’s information that wasn’t even in the game.
I opened my mouth, narrowing my eyes.
“What if I refuse?”
To that, the Mad King replied with a chuckle.
“Didn’t I tell you? I’m not going to just stand still.”
I glanced back again.
I could see the chieftain lying on the floor with a pale complexion, and Anne crying, holding him.
His pulse, which I felt through super sensory, was weak, as if it would break at any moment.
To be honest, if she just did what he said and ran away, there wouldn’t be such a risk and the Seawater people had probably now escaped.
Although I felt saddened by what happened to the chieftain, there was nothing I could do to change his situation.
It was meaningless for me to hold on to the chief mage here. It would only make the situation even worse.
However, perhaps because of the [Soul of the King], after possessing this body, sometimes the reason and the mouth had different thoughts.
Now the mouth said something again that I didn’t mean to say.
“Then are you going to die together with him, Fifth Lord?”
At those words, the pupils of the Mad King were split vertically like that of a wild beast.
Then she twisted the corners of her mouth and slowly took her hand to the hilt of the great sword on her back.
At that moment, the chieftain’s dreary voice crushed the sharp atmosphere.
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The members of the tribe, who had been observing the situation with their breaths stopped, suddenly came to their senses and gathered around the chieftain.
I stared intently at the Mad King before turning around.
The chieftain coughed and barely spoke.
“Ron, I’m sorry, but can I ask you one last thing?”
As if foreshadowing the end, he seemed to want to leave his final will.
“I want you to prevent that human mage from harming the tribe… until everyone enters the lake. That’s all.”
Anyway, the mage had no choice but to step down as it was, so it’s easy to keep that promise.
I sighed and answered.
“···Thank you. And Anne.”
She was sobbing and shook her head helplessly.
“After all, this place has become my grave.”
“Don’t think about revenge. It was only a few days left, anyway. It’s a pity that I couldn’t return to my home sea in the end… but that’s okay too. There’s no need for everyone to be angry or sad.”
“When I die, bury my body in the ground, and release the crystals in the lake. So that I can ride the river and flow to the sea…”
His voice, which had been sparsely speaking with open eyes, gradually faded. And there were no more words.
The members of the tribe who had listened to his will closed their eyes one by one as if mourning his death. Anne was weeping endlessly with empty eyes.
Not long after, the chieftain’s chest ripped open, revealing a blue jewel from within.
Anne reached out and slowly picked it up.
The wizard, who was watching the scene, widened his eyes.
A crystal formed by the fusion of the magical powers accumulated over a lifetime. The essence of pure magic.
A treasure from the heavens that mages could not artificially create.
Anne turned her head and looked at the mage as if to kill him.
“Only because of this one stone!”
She cried out in a shriveled voice.
“Half of this world already belongs to you humans! You conquered and took possession of the land, resources, and everything in abundance!”
“But when are you going to be satisfied?! How much more do you have to take to be satisfied?”
“It is a treasure of no use to you.”
The mage opened his mouth, furrowing his brows.
“And you’re talking really foolishly, Seawater tribe. We humans are the ones who have finally saved this continent during the long war. The hero beheaded the demon king and finally stopped the invasion of the evil demons. The peace of this land so far. Whose power do you think it is that’s keeping it intact?”
I jumped in to stop him from talking.
“Shut up when I’m still giving you a chance to live.”
He turned silently and looked at me.
My tone was more sarcastic than normal because the other just made me feel dirty.
“And it’s not just humans who stopped the demon invasion. What brazen voice are you talking about?”
“…That the one who finally sealed the Demon King.”
“Yeah, that was done by the hero. But was that what you guys did? It’s just the achievement of the hero alone, not the whole Empire.”
“That hero is the guardian of our Santea.”
“A guardian of an empire who hunts and slaughters innocent races. You know it too, don’t you? The hero despises your emperor and the imperial family.”
There was only one reason the hero had left the imperial family’s secret evil deeds until now. No, she had no choice but to leave them alone.
Because she was a hero who truly cared about the peace of the continent.
And the mouse-like emperor used that very well as a shield.
I stopped the guy who was about to react with an angry look and said.
“Stop it now. If you run into me again, I will kill you no matter what the circumstances are.”
The Mad King, who had her arms crossed with a sullen face, gestured with her chin.
“Go. I paid off the debt with this, so I’ll kill you if you appear in Calderic again.”
He flew into the air, biting his lips, and in an instant, he crossed the air and disappeared to the other side.
So the situation was settled.
The Mad King, who was looking at the sky, shifted her gaze to me. Then she asked, making a slicing movement across her throat.
“Are you really going to kill me?”
“If we kill each other, don’t you know how the Overlord will react? Well, it seems like you’re like me who doesn’t even care about that…”
“What were you doing here?”
She answered my question by tapping her sword.
“I’m not doing anything in particular. I was just on my way back after leaving a few swords with Agor.”
···The First Lord?
Apparently, she appeared here by coincidence.
“So, what were you doing in this lake? What are those other things?”
“I don’t know.”
The Mad King giggled and turned around.
“It’s terribly chilly. There’s nothing else to do, so I’m leaving. See you at the next meeting.”
Seeing her back disappearing through the bushes again, I let out a small sigh, as it exhausted me for nothing.
Anne, who was holding the crystal blankly, looked at me and called my name.
There were no words to follow.
Several members of the tribe stood up and wrapped their arms around her shoulders.
I looked down at the chieftain’s corpse and briefly prayed for his repose inwardly.
Although he died, everyone else survived, so his death would not have been meaningless.
I stayed by their side until dawn.
They buried the chieftain in the back of the cave where they were staying and held a ceremony for a long time. It looked like a tribal funeral.
They left the cave only after dawn and lined up in front of the lake.
Anne stepped forward and released the crystal in her hand into the lake.
The crystal then emitted a bright light and slowly dissolved in the water and disappeared.
The magical crystals of the Seawater tribe would dissolve and disappear when they came in contact with water. It was a fact I already knew.
And, as one could see, it was also the way the Seawater people honored the dead.
When the crystal was completely dissolved in the water, Anne stood up and said,
“Grandpa said. This crystal is made with the magic we’ve absorbed from the water all our lives. We have to release it back into the water to keep the cycle going.”
“Thanks, Ron. Thanks to you, at least the last funeral was done properly.”
I asked her as she looked at the lake with a little blank eyes.
“Are you planning to leave right away?”
“It should be. Now I’m going to the sea without stopping.”
A river that originated in Gaitan Lake and ran to the North Sea of the continent.
They seemed to plan to ride it straight to their home.
They thanked me and said goodbye, and one by one they started jumping towards the lake.
I said to Anne, who remained until the last to make sure that no one was left behind.
“Someday, after I’ve finished all the things I have to do, I’ll visit your home.”
“When we meet again, I hope I can see you with a smile. Goodbye.”
She glanced at me blankly, raised the corners of her lips, and jumped straight into the lake.
I stood still for a while, staring at the surface of the lake, then turned around.