Shock passed by Kha’nes’ eyes.
‘What’s this? My great self was caught so simply by a mere human only at the Superhuman level?!’
The sensation of the blade that touched her skin was not normal. It was an assassin dagger of Legend grade at the very least. Soon, Kha’nes could recall the dagger’s name.
‘Is this the Thorn of the Usurper?’
It was the most powerful assassin’s blade and had been in the possession of the Holy Kingdom of Rutheginea at one point. If this was that weapon, it could easily slice through the sinews of the delicate neck of Kha’nes’ human form. This meant that she could possibly die even with her half dragon physique.
Kha’nes’ entire body tingled with tension, but at the next moment, Sujin withdrew her blade and walked before Kha’nes and lowered her head.
“I apologize for overstepping my bounds, but I couldn’t avoid committing this action as there was no other way to convince you otherwise.”
She apologized as such before raising her head to verify Kha’nes’ expression. Kha’nes quelled the surging displeasure as she replied with a restrained voice.
“I have come here not by the whims of a Lesser God, but through the will of man.”
“The will of man?”
Kha’nes rubbed her neck that had just been threatened while inquiring further.
“Are you saying that mere humans are capable of manipulating time?”
It was not feasible as this was a task beyond human capabilities, but Sujin spoke on nonchalantly to explain this impossibility.
“The transgression I have just committed is an undeniable proof. You of all people should know, but have you ever witnessed any Regressor possessing powers that they had before their return?”
Kha’nes felt shock pass through her mind like a giant ringing bell at Sujin’s words.
“Could it be… that was…?”
Sujin nodded at her question as she answered in a silvery voice.
“Mythic grade Soul Contract: Disappearance.”
Even Sungchul’s eyes lit up with astonishment as he listened to the conversation from outside.
‘A Mythic grade Soul Contract? Could it be because of this that I couldn’t detect this woman’s presence till now…?!’
Sujin had repeatedly evaded Sungchul’s guard and approached him before. Sungchul had simply passed it off as an indeterminate natural-born talent of Sujin’s, but now that the true nature of her ability was revealed, he couldn’t help but be shocked as it was something that even he couldn’t manage to get a hold of- a Mythic grade Soul Contract.
“This is exactly the ability that I carried over from the future in order to kill the Enemy of the World.”
Sujin took a step back after calmly speaking her piece, and Aquiroa stepped forward as though she had been waiting for her cue.
“This person cannot be seen as strong yet. She may possess a Soul Contract with great potential, but she had lost a significant portion of her power during the regressing process and was only able to salvage a single Soul Contract as she returned to the present world.”
Kha’nes still appeared to distrust Sujin, but she seemed to have slackened her opposition and gave her some attention as her life had been threatened in actuality. There was a night and day difference between threatening with words and actually carrying them out.
Aquiroa, having felt that they had gained the upper hand, continued to speak.
“That is why we’re asking for your aid. You, the inheritor of the blessed dragons of old of whom I am unworthy to utter the name of, are the only one capable of standing up against the Enemy of the World and his vile schemes.”
“…What are you hoping I would do for you?” replied Kha’nes.
“The Enemy of the World will appear here in a day or two. No, it could be that he’s already arrived at the region of the Tower of Recluse.”
Kha’nes’ eyebrows furrowed at those words because the Enemy of the World had already arrived. Not only that, they had a dinner date to boot. Kha’nes who was preoccupied with these thoughts was brought to her senses as she looked out the window. The sun had long since set over the western mountain and pitch black darkness filled the sky.
‘Ah! The dinner date!’
Aquiroa who couldn’t have been aware of her circumstance continued speaking.
“Support us in eliminating the Enemy of the World, who is soon to arrive, with your strength. If it is you, the fight will be somewhat evenly matched. If you’re disinclined, then it is also sufficient enough if you choose to remain neutral and don’t provide him with aid. We will be able to inflict on him the karmic retribution of the vast amounts of atrocities he has committed.
Kha’nes didn’t reply. She appeared to be deep in thought on the outside, and she raised her head after quite a deal of time had passed.
Aquiroa waited with bated breath for her words.
“Is it that important?” said Kha’nes unexpectedly and her single sentence blew away the heavy atmosphere that hung inside of the room.
“Is this something important to me?”
“Of course it is important. The future of the world depends upon this matter, what could be more important than this?”
Aquiroa spoke in a soft voice, but she could feel that Kha’nes’ mood had shifted.
“Really? Then what benefit does your proposal bring me?”
Kha’nes asked further. She was asking about the benefits in exchange for her help.
Aquiroa was overwhelmed with embarrassment.
‘What a crude dragon?’
She had known that the dragon was quite willful, but she couldn’t imagine that one called the Guardian of the Tower of Recluse would be so obtuse. At the very least, this wasn’t behavior suitable for someone that lived more than a thousand years.
Aquiroa pulled herself together as she spoke with a tone of protest.
“Are you saying that you’ll simply watch as the world falls apart?”
And when she did, Kha’nes retorted readily as if she had been waiting.
“And what have you all done to resolve the Calamity?”
Aquiroa was quite proud of her eloquence, but she was struck dumb when faced with the blunt truth.
“We are simply seeking a different method…”
Kha’nes spoke bright-eyed.
“We can’t reveal that. We are preparing something, but we can’t reveal it at this stage.”
Aquiroa’s answers grew increasingly muddled, and the conversation became set to Kha’nes’ pace. She snickered at Aquiroa and let out a shallow sigh.
“Fine. Let’s just leave it at that then.”
“I am grateful for your magnanimity.
Aquiroa believed that she had managed to put out the urgent blaze and breathed a sigh of relief internally, but Kha’nes’ interrogation didn’t stop there. She asked again in her characteristically easygoing and cheerful voice.
“So, if I do as you say, will it put food in my belly?”
Her reptilian like yellow pupils emitted a strange light.
Aquiroa nodded her head as she spoke.
“I can most certainly provide a meal for you… Procrustes’ cafeteria has an excellent head chef…”
“What if I want a High-class Chef?”
“A High-class Chef?!”
“Yep, a High-class Chef.”
There might be a lot of chefs in the world, but a High-class Chef was difficult to find.
‘Is this dragon playing around again?’
Aquiroa was at a loss for words once again. As the situation continued to flow in this strange manner, she looked toward Sujin. Sujin nodded and took the opportunity to speak.
“That man will kill you. He’ll kill you and all of your illustrious bloodline along with you. Will you stand by idly even then?”
Kha’nes looked toward Sujin with a different expression than last time and asked her in an accusatory tone.
“Let’s consider that you’re correct, Regressor. If we say that I met this man today, are you saying that the man will kill me on sight?”
Sujin could feel the venom in her words, but Kha’nes didn’t give her the time she needed to think.
“Will the man kill me the moment I meet him or not?”
“I cannot know that.”
“Is that right?”
“But I can say one thing for sure. In the future I’ve seen, you’ll be killed by the Enemy of the World in three years time.”
Kha’nes snickered at those words
“Three years! Three years, she says!”
Sujin didn’t understand the intentions behind her words, but she could discern that the situation was flowing in a different direction than they had intended, and soon, Kha’nes’ next remark came out like a bolt out of the blue, resounding in the room.
“I am sorry, but I will refuse both of your requests.”
Kha’nes stretched and walked forward away from Aquiroa and Sujin.
“You will come to regret this.”
Aquiroa spoke to her back, and when she did, Kha’nes stopped and turned before speaking with a smirk spread across her face.
“An ancient dragon left behind these words. Don’t trust the words of those that walk on two feet. Their promise is as empty and meaningless as their brief lives.”
Aquiroa who heard these words realized that their attempt at persuasion had gone awry.
‘As Ahmuge had said, this dragon will side with the Enemy of the World.’
Within the future Sujin had seen, Kha’nes was one of the few who stood beside the Enemy of the World. It was not known why she had joined the Calamity, but for one reason or another the Enemy of the World was supported by her, and ultimately Kha’nes helped in bringing about the destruction of the world.
It wasn’t clear how the Enemy of the World, who was thoroughly isolated from the rest of the world, had managed to get on such good terms with the most powerful of the hermits, but Sujin deduced that there must have been some kind of understanding between them and there was even a believable circumstantial evidence to back it up.
During the autumn of the year the Demon King had fallen, the Enemy of the World had once again made his appearance at the Tower of Recluse. Sujin and Aquiroa had come to this place in order to stop this, but Kha’nes had made a choice that was no different than the past.
Aquiroa looked at Sujin, and she was already exuding a murderous glare as cold as the moonlight with her eyes.
The Thorn of the Usurper dark shadow-like blade revealed itself from the darkness. One by one blue-ish creatures that had been hidden within the darkness of the room appeared as well, and Executor Aquiroa pulled out a lengthy staff from her Soul Storage as she stood in the center.
A strange smile formed on Kha’nes’ lips.
“My my. Is this what you called me here for?”
Kha’nes was always prepared to take her dragon form, and of course, Aquiroa’s group was prepared for that as well. When Aquiroa pulled out a blue crystal from her Soul Storage, a dark shadow-like aura erupted from the blue-ish creatures’ bodies. Kha’nes had already instinctively discerned that those crystals contained an extraordinary energy and strong suspicion filled her eyes.
‘Is that perhaps the energy of Calamity? How could that be? How could mere humans manipulate that power?”
As the creatures were drawing power from the crystal, Sujin’s figure disappeared into the darkness. Kha’nes had perceived that it was going to be a difficult fight and tried to unseal the binding that restricted her.
‘There is no other way, but to face this with full strength from the get-go.’
Dragon versus Aquiroa. It was as this explosive battle that was about to begin that a series of explosions could be heard from the entrance of the room, and thick black smoke began to push into the room.
Silence followed the sudden noises, and everyone’s eyes turned toward the entrance.
And finally, the silhouette of a man appeared from beyond the black smoke. Everyone in the room saw him. Pitiful attire of a worn coat and faded jeans. However, the shabby appearance was offset by the single weapon held in the man’s hands.
The wielder of Fal Garaz; Sungchul had entered the stage. Sungchul slowly made his way forward under everyone’s gaze, and he looked toward Kha’nes before scolding her.
“What are you doing? The food is getting cold!”
“The Enemy of the World!”
A bright smile formed on Kha’nes’ lips. Sunghul stood in front of Kha’nes and pointed toward Aquiroa and Sujin, who was hidden in the shadows, while lifting Fal Garaz into the air.
“Is this all the scheming that the one called the Second Champion of the Continent can muster? It’s not even worth getting excited for.”
God-like strength flowed through Sungchul’s body in moments, and his entire body exuded a shapeless and unapproachable battle aura that enveloped the entire hull of the ship.
‘This human… just how strong is he?’
Sujin could feel the same terror while she was hidden in the darkness. She undid her stealth and appeared behind Aquiroa as she gasped for air.
“The old woman that shares your name already died by my hands.”
Fal Garaz mightily crashed onto the floor in the next moment. A sizable hole was punched through the floor of the bottom of the airship with an immense shockwave. Sungchul turned to speak to Kha’nes again.
“Just leave this to me and go eat. It’s a bit cold, but I’ll stake my name on its taste.”
“Would that be ok?”
“I have something I want to ask these nice ladies.”
Kha’nes nodded at his words and threw her body through the hole Sungchul had punctured.
When Aquiroa commanded the blue-ish creatures with a sharp voice, they pursued after her with incredible speed, but their pursuit was cut short with a single swing.
“Why would you stop such a rare guest from leaving?”
Unidentifiable blue mucus splattered all around Sungchul’s feet. Aquiroa didn’t hesitate to shout another command.
“Order every crew member. Immediately assemble on the bridge and eliminate the source of this accursed Calamity!”
Unfortunately, her commands fell on deaf ears. Every crew member that could carry out her orders had already been killed by Sungchul’s hands. When there was no response after waiting for some time, Aquiroa gave another emergency order, albeit in a meeker voice than before.
Sungchul looked at the disheveled figure of Aquiroa with indifference before slowly opening his mouth to speak.
“What a pity.”