The village regained peace and order as Angel Ramiel had proclaimed.
Moreover, Sion wasn’t the only one to be cured of the disease. All the other infected residents were also cured.
However, since the epidemic was still prevalent throughout the Lydia kingdom, Woohyuk felt the need to meet King Philip II.
'I need his help to infiltrate the Norton kingdom anyways.'
Crossing the border without disguising his status would turn into a headache.
When they arrived in front of the royal palace, the guards blocked their path as Woohyuk and his party were hiding their faces with hoods.
“Who are you! Identify yourselves!”
“This is not a place where lowly peasants can enter!”
Their reaction was natural since they truly looked ragged and poor.
After stopping Reina from stepping forward, Woohyuk presented the token of Lydia’s Royal Family to the guards.
He had received it from King Philip II while they were still in the Dane Kingdom.
The guards immediately stepped to the side with wide eyes as soon as they saw it.
“M-my sincerest apologies for not recognizing you!”
“Prithee don’t punish us!”
All the guards were of common origins, so it would be difficult to make a living if they got fired from their current jobs.
After reassuring the men, Woohyuk entered the royal palace with his companions.
Once they reached the hall, they saw King Philip II discussing state affairs with his vassals.
Worried expressions were plastered on all their faces.
“King Philip II, I have a few things to talk about.”
“Cough… Have you come? Everyone, leave us alone.”
King Philip II immediately recognized Woohyuk, since he was holding the royal token in his hand.
Before long, the hall was empty and Woohyuk spoke aloud again.
“We created a cure for the disease.”
“Oooh, is that true?”
King Philip II was delighted as Woohyuk handed him a note.
“You won’t have a problem supplying all the medicinal ingredients, except for the mandragora.”
“Mandragora? It's my first time hearing of that medicinal herbs.”
“It looks like this. It lives mainly in caves on the west coast.”
Woohyuk took out a mandragora from his pocket and handed it over.
King Philip II observed the Mandragora with great interest.
“Incredible. I didn’t know herbs like this existed.”
“You should be careful when harvesting it. Despite its appearance, it's a plant-type monster.”
“It, it’s a monster?!”
"Don’t worry. It can't resist after it’s uprooted.”
“That’s a relief. I got the chills down my spine for a second there.”
King Philip II sighed as his surprise dissipated.
Woohyuk briefly explained to him how to collect mandragoras, and moved onto the main point.
“I have business in the Norton Kingdom. Can you help me forge a fake identity document?”
“That won't be a problem. Tell me everything you need. I am always on your side.”
King Philip II wanted to welcome Woohyuk as his son-in-law.
That was why he hadn’t objected when Joanna said she’d stay in Blackburn.
Woohyuk was a rising hero, and in this chaotic era, an existence like him would become a great powerhouse.
“Then can we go back to the Croa Principality? I want to show the mandragora to Lady Orphelia.”
“Don't rush yourselves. We still have no evidence that the Kazaks are vulnerable to mandragoras.”
If they returned now, there was a chance the mandragoras would be inefficient.
Allen and Reina looked embarrassed at Woohyuk’s words.
“Then we’ll have to do experiments before heading back…”
“It seems we’ll have to accompany you. You did mention that you’d head to the Enoa Kingdom after dealing with your business in the Norton Kingdom.”
From Allen and Reina’s point of view, it would be advantageous to follow Woohyuk.
Woohyuk was satisfied as he watched them discuss their plans for the future.
'I’ll use this opportunity to bring them both on my side for sure.'
He already knew Allen well, so he would pose no problem.
As Woohyuk recalled the characteristics of elves, Helena tilted her head from the side to stare at him.
“What are you thinking about? You suddenly stopped talking.”
“… It’s nothing."
He had no intention of revealing his plans to Helena before King Philip II.
Woohyuk coughed and looked at the king again.
“Is there any news from the Holy Aperian Empire? I heard that Rosenkreuz recently suffered a major injury, so things might get noisy, no?”
“I heard that rumor. But the Holy See probably manipulated the rumors and limited its spread. I don’t know anything about the details of his injuries. In terms of other news... There are just the stories about Princess Eleonora. Otherwise, most of the Paladins left for the Croa Principality.”
“Eleonora seems to be causing trouble wherever she goes.”
“It's her inborn nature. Well, it would be wrong to say that there was no influence from her surrounding environment as she grew up, but still...”
Eleonora had been experiencing severe training under the guidance of Swordmaster Granbert since her childhood.
She had been chosen by the Holy Sword Ertia, the emblem and heirloom of the imperial family.
Holy Sword Ertia was an S-class artifact that was said to have been granted by the God of Light after Emperor Anikius declared the Light Doctrine as the national religion and dedicated a politically purged county as a papacy.
'I used to struggle quite a bit when fighting against Eleonora because of that holy sword.'
S-class artifacts, especially weapons, had incredible power.
In addition, the Holy Sword Ertia would be a significant threat to Woohyuk since they were of opposite attributes.
Therefore, he had to prepare a countermeasure.
'There is one method, but...’
He could ‘tame’ Princess Eleonora by using the love potion he had obtained from the quest related to Kriemhild.
Then, he would be able to occupy the imperial throne without having to collide head-on with the Holy Aperian Empire.
However, the current situation was very different from the past, so he thought it would be better to keep watching for a while longer.
“Take this. Let me know as soon as you learn any useful information regarding the Holy Aperian Empire.”
“Is it a communication artifact? I understand.”
King Philip II fiddled with the apple-shaped artifact with great interest.
[Steve's Surprising Apple]
Type: Personal Item
Effect: Text and voice messages can be sent to people registered as friends (the other person must also have an apple). In addition, it is possible to check the other person's location in real time and has a recording function (range can be increased by using a separate accessory developed by magic engineer Steve).
He had found this item in the shipwreck where Allen and Reina were located.
Since the name of the creator was included, Steve must’ve been quite a famous magic engineer, just like Jake.
“You seem to like it.”
“Ah, it looks classy and elegant for some reason. If I get the chance, I would like to invite this man named Steve to the palace.”
He believed that Steve would be able to produce innovative artifacts far better than this one with enough investment.
When King Philip II's eyes lit up, Woohyuk nodded at him.
“If I end up meeting him, I will pass on that message. I am also quite interested in magic engineering.”
“Thank you. Make sure to ask him.”
As the conversation kept heading that way, Reina, the elven woman, tilted her head.
“Are apples precious amongst humans here? Although it was cold in the north, the weather seems quite mild here.”
“Hmm... Should I call it an instinctive attraction… Designs with apples were quite popular in the world where I originally was.”
Allen coughed and mentioned the Apple electronics.
He was a pretty emotional man, unlike his intelligent wizard-like appearance.
With the help of King Philip II, Woohyuk and his party were able to obtain a mercenary position in the Norton Kingdom.
Their destination is Baloa, a military city in the northeast.
Their task was to provide food for the soldiers.
“It's been a while since I've been to Norton. When I was young, my father and I explored the ruins along the northwest coast of this area.”
Helena spoke as she watched the snow fall.
She was escorting the wagon filled with food.
“Life must’ve been difficult for you since your parents passed away early in your childhood.”
“It would be a lie to deny that statement. But my relatives took good care of me, so there was no problem with my life.”
According to Helena, Solomon's descendants lived in small communities scattered around different regions.
Their reasons for not having too many children was to prevent their important secrets from being leaked.
Pronoia and the Golden Rose Society had been persistently seeking them for thousands of years, and Helena's parents were one of the victims of their schemes.
“Isn’t Pronoia just looking for Solomon's treasure? The last time I saw Rosenkreuz and his argument with Eteria Rodinus, he didn’t seem to know the truth.”
“Rosenkreuz is the head of Pronoia. There is no way he doesn’t know about us. There is another reason your lie detection ability wasn't triggered last time.”
Helena described Rosenkreuz's dissociative identity disorder.
His personality was divided into two after receiving severe brainwashing education from an early age.
A fanatic who only accepted the scriptures as the truth, and the original personality who knew the truth.
The fanatic personality indulged in finding and killing heretics, while the original personality focused on increasing their influence within the empire.
The timing at which the two personalities would switch was not known, but it seemed that they each had their own control method.
“So he really had a mental illness. No wonder I felt that he was a bit odd.”
“It’s best not to taunt him too much. It's too difficult for you to deal with Aleister already.”
Although it hadn't been revealed yet, Aleister had Masters belonging to the Golden Rose Society.
They had enormous financial power, technology, and human networks to control not only various small kingdoms but also empires behind them.
Woohyuk could not look down on them since they were behind the monster breeding substance and the Clipport's Fruit.
“Is it possible to mass-produce the Clipport's Fruit? Since those pirates had it, it seems to be getting distributed in the Enoa Kingdom.”
Reina intervened in the conversation with a worried expression.
They were afraid that the Kazak race would use the Clipport's Fruit to trample their own race.
“It looks like they can produce a decent amount, but have some limits. It requires special ingredients to make it.”
Woohyuk had already witnessed the Memory Garden where the memory flowers, which served as an ingredient, were produced.
While he wasn’t sure, there were probably at least dozens of such places on the Eeth Continent.
To prevent pronoia's scheme, it was important to develop a potion that could cure the side effects of the Clipport's fruit, but there was also a need to destroy the means of production and hinder their supply of materials.
“Hmm… I'll have to report it to Lady Orphelia later. Such dangerous substances should not be used by our people.”
Reina didn't have the means of contacting Orphelia right now.
They were worried that their people on the mainland would be harmed by the pirates by using them as hostages.
Therefore, when the pirates came aboard their ship, they threw all the items that could be used to contact their homeland to the sea, or tampered with them so that it wouldn’t connect to the Enoa Kingdom.
That was why Steve's Surprising Apple that Woohyuk had given King Philip II could not connect with Orphelia.
“Anyway, it looks like we've almost reached our destination. I can see the wall there.”
Allen, who had been silent, pointed forward with his staff while the party continued their conversation.
The military city of Baloa was standing in front of them.
“Wow, it’s bigger than I expected. Are humans fighting against each other in such a harsh climate?”
“Wars between humans are rare here. If we don't unite our forces, we’ll be beaten by the undead army.”
Norton Kingdom was originally a land of the dead.
Reina's facial expressions tensed upon Woohyuk's explanation.
“U-undead? Is there a being who rules them?”
"Of course there is. We better avoid him at our current strength.”
Lich Lord Nigel.
He was the ruler of the impregnable castle Dreadlore. The successor of Nakron, the King of Fallen Wizards.
Woohyuk turned his head and looked northwest towards Dreadlore.
A strong blizzard stormed continuously as it emanated a heavy, gloomy air.Previous Chapter Next Chapter