It was not lighter than air, but it was a precious mineral that innately carried the magical properties of floating up into the sky.
It was the most important component in the creation of Airships and the foundation of the entire Floating Palace of La Grange was said to be made of such material.
But while the Float Stone was considered an important military asset across the world, it wasn’t necessarily all that rare.
It was difficult for Sungchul to grasp what was Taigon’s intentions from only being shown the Float Stone.
“What is it?”
Taigon grabbed the Float Stone once more before writing something down on a piece of paper before handing it over to Sungchul.
[It would be problematic if someone were to overhear us. I would like for us to make another arrangement to meet later so I can explain.]
He seemed concerned with safety.
Sungchul gave his reply.
“That won’t be necessary. There’s nothing here.”
In truth, this room was perfectly safe to speak in. There were no invisible Eye of the Observer nor any hidden magic formations.
There were servants outside not too far from the door that waited for them, but they were mere maids on duty, nothing more. They were not given a clandestine mission to eavesdrop on the conversations going on in the room nor did they have any abilities to help them do so.
It was probably an intentional decision on the part of Nimpas Kingdom, or Horneko who had the real power.
He would have known that petty tricks were potentially disasterous against someone like the Enemy of the World Sungchul Kim.
Sungchul already saw through all of it with his senses and the Legendary class Soul Contract the Eye of Truth.
“Please say your piece here.”
Sungchul made his demand.
A major figure called by the infamous title of the Enemy of the World widely believed to be the strongest man alive has spoken. Taigon found it unpleasant but thought it would be a good idea to listen to what he said. He, quite unlike his tough appearance, stood up timidly like a shy teenage girl and walked up to where Sungchul was lying.
“This was mined in the viscinity of the Tower of Recluse.”
Sungchul tilted his head.
There was no source of Float Stone in that area. The only place where the Float Stone could be mined on the continent was the largest pit mine in the possession of the Human Empire.
“There was an Airship battle in the vicinity. It must be a debris from one of the downed ships.”
Sungchul replied. Taigon shook his head without hesitation.
In Taigon’s eyes was a strong resolve befitting of a head inquisitor that had been temporarily dissipated by Marakia.
“This Float Stone originated from the area close to the Tower of Recluse.”
“If that’s true, then I suppose that the Empire will soon come to take possession of the Tower.”
“This is no laughing matter.”
Taigon said as he took out a small globe. It was an item commonly seen carried by higher members of the clergy.
‘What is he trying to do?’
Sungchul couldn’t figure out his intentions.
Taigon held the Float Stone in one hand and the globe in the other before he recited an indecipherable incantation.
Considering he could pick out some verses here and there, Sungchul surmised it was a form of condensed version of Mura Sect’s prayer.
Sungchul disliked such things.
“Marakia. Go chase away this petty salesman.”
Sungchul showed no mercy.
Marakia’s eyes glistened as he flapped his wings to fly towards and chase away this annoying human.
“Please give me a moment!”
Just when Marakia’s cute little fingers took a hold of Taigon’s clothes, the light from the Float Stone gave off a bright light that leaked through between Taigon’s fingers.
Sungchul showed no real interest in it and Marakia began to drag Taigon away.
“Please take a look!”
Taigon shouted like a cautious girl at the moment of peril.
He opened his right hand and a small miracle took place.
The Float Stone, the object that innately had the power to float in the air, lost the ability and fell to the ground like any other ordinary stone.
Sungchul’s Soul Contract the Eyes of Truth was activated.
There was no evidence of tempering or foul play.
“Marakia, it appears he is not some petty merchant afterall.”
Marakia let out a disappointed sneer before retreating.
Once the penguin of terror moved away, Taigon let out a sign of relief before picking up the Float Stone that no longer floated to Sungchul.
Sungchul shook his head. There was no point in further examination.
He instead looked into Taigon Bosborot’s eyes and asked with a much more serious voice.
“How did this happen?”
“I shall cut out all details and get straight to the point. The two cults you know well have secret duties unknown to the rest of the world.”
Sungchul pretended to be surprised but he was blatantly annoyed and didn’t want to listen.
Taigon felt sweat drip down his back as he racked his brain to try and figure out how to summerize as briefly as possible as he continued to speak.
“Horasan Sect’s hidden mission is the purification of life. To rid the world of life unpermittted by god is their divine duty. Recently the nearly…”
“And the Mura Sect?”
Sungchul cut Taigon off the moment he sensed that the explanation might drag on.
“Mura sect’s sacred mission is the purification of the land.”
Taigon moved his gaze to the Float Stone that lost its ability he held in his right hand.
“I don’t know if you are aware, but this world was originally a place full of Float Stones. For creatures of the land, this was a cruel place to live. The God of order took pity upon the inhabitants of the world and granted an ability, to fell the Float Stones, and create the world as it is now.”
Sungchul did not deny this point. It was because what he said matched with what the first Dragon had said.
But Taigon misunderstood Sungchul’s silence to mean for him to continue so he hurried to continue his explanation.
“But as time passed by, the people’s piety waned and grew increasingly depraved. So the God’s gift likewise waned and the Float Stone occasionally regained its original properties. This was the cause behind the earthquakes. The great earthquake that shook up the Ancient Kingdom a hundred years ago was caused by this very reason. Anyway! All over the world are sealed Float Stone… No, it would be more correct to call them Floating Islands. They are embedded all over.”
“And so the duty of the Mura Sect?”
“To reseal the Float Stone that god had onced sealed. That’s the purification performed by our order.”
Taigon looked down at the stone in his hand before he let it fall out of his hands.
The once floating stone fell like any ordinary rock and rolled away.
“The reason why I have come in search of you is to verify one thing.”
The head inquisitor’s eyes glistened. Sungchul however didn’t take his gaze all that seriously and tilted his head before replying.
To this, Taigon finally said what he had been waiting to say.
“Are you the enemy of the Order of Extinction?”
Sungchul firmly believed that there was no need for dragging on a conversation. For the first time, Taigon said the core question he had come to ask of Sungchul without any pretenses. This was Sungchul’s favorite method of communication.
Sungchul shook his head.
“Not an enemy.”
Taigon’s face became rigid.
“But neither am I their friend. But one thing that’s become evident is…”
“They are after my life.”
Sungchul gave a small grin and pointed at the bandage around his chest that was dyed red with his blood.
A smile appeared on Taigon’s face for the first time.
“As I thought. My prediction was right.”
There was something here.
Sungchul felt that, despite the seemingly ordinary yet comic introduction to this Taigon man, he might become an important element to a major change that was to come in the future.
“What have you come to me in search of?”
Sungchul raised himself slightly as he asked.
To this, Taigon glanced at Marakia before replying in an ominous voice.
“Enemy of my enemies are friend, as the saying goes. Of course it’s strange to say that someone excommunicated like yourself can become friends with our order, but it speaks volumes about the gravity of the situation.”
“…Even more pressing than me, the Enemy of the World?”
Sungchul asked in reply.
Taigon stroked his graying beard as he collected his thoughts before opening his eyes wide and replying.
“I trust that you recall the Followers of Calamity. The swarm you used to go around and squash during your tenure as the Imperial Commander in Chief.”
“Now that is a name I have not heard of in a long time.”
“The majority of the fractured remnants of Followers of Calamities were absorbed by the Order of Extinction. It was a difficult thing to believe at first. Considering you were the one who had slain Grand Mage Balzark, the father of the Followers of Calamity, while the Order of Extinction were supposedly worshipping you as their savior.”
He was right. Sungchul and the Followers of Calamity were like water and oil. And the proof of that was laid bare in his status screen under the category of Curses.
The curse of Grand Mage Balzark, the leader of the Followers of Calamity.
Though he was a part of the Followers of Calamity, he also had connections to the inner workings of many countries across the world. Thus, he was a difficult man for Imperial Commander in Chief like Sungchul to deal with.
Sungchul tenaciously pursued him until he finally managed to kill him.
The Followers of Calamity scattered to the winds once the head was dead and had to continue their beliefs in the shadows in isolation.
“That was when I had a thought.”
Taigon continued to say.
“Of what if the Order of Extinction was only using you.”
Sungchul did not say much but he felt relieved. It was unthinkable, that among the Inquisitors who were only good at coming back to life like cockroaches was a man whose head still screwed on straight.
Taigon opened his mouth to break the silence once more.
“The true target of worship for the Order of Extinction is the Evil Gods.”
“The Evil Gods?”
Sungchul failed to contain his surprise.
“It is the name of the collection of savage beings chased to the edges of the world by the God of Order and the God of Neutrality. After being defeated by the God of Order, they became collectively trapped in the purgatory at the edge of Transcendent World.”
“How do you know this?”
Sungchul asked. To this, Taigon picked up the fallen former Float Stone before he replied.
“This stone is an undeniable proof.”
The land tamed by god.
There was only one faction that would seek to disrupt the order of things. The group so called Evil Gods.
It would be right to say that for Mura sect, who carried with them the sacred duty of the purification of the land, the Evil Gods were their nemesis.
“From the perspective of the Mura Sect, the Order of Extinction, they are the true enemy of the world.”
There was no room for doubt or uncertain in his eyes. And seeing this, Sungchul became interested in this Taigon man.
Enemies on one hand but still able to cooperate. Perhaps this was for the best.
It was much preferrable to be in a mutually cautious relationship than to be showered with flowery words of love and friendship only to be stabbed in the back.
Taigon’s demeanor changed as he continued to speak.
“For that reason, we would like to offer our cooperation. For the info we have…”
It was then that Sungchul detected a familiar malicious energy beyond the wall.
It was but a wall away.
Sungchul immediately rose from the bed and shouted out loud.
He threw himself onto Bertelgia to protect her.
In the next moment, something penetrated through the wall and came flying into the room.
Taigon fell while coughing up blood.
The invasive object that flew into the room was a sword.
It was the blade of the Imperial Commander in Chief that Sungchul had given King Deheter as present.
Sungchul glanced at where Taigon lay without much interest. His eyes were rolled back and he lay motionless. Instant death.
Sungchul’s gaze turned freezing cold as he turned to look beyond the wall through the gap.
There was a man standing in the distance.
Past several layers of walls was standing a man who was enveloped in black flames.
Sungchul didn’t recognize him right away, but his new ability Transcendent Senses activated.
[Deheter. King of Nimpas.]
His most recognizable divine artifact, Fal Garaz appeared in his hands.
Through the Transcendent Senses, a name hidden underneath Deheter was revealed.
[Immortal, Executor Pikton]
[Troimea’s lucky soldier]
Sungchul calmly examined Deheter past the many holes between them.
A red light burst forth from the black flames. They were Deheter’s eyes.
“I will kill you here.”
Deheter’s voice rang out.
This was not the Lesser God’s will. This was Deheter’s own desire. The Transcendent Senses informed him of this.
“Bertelgia. Go into the storage.”
“No. It’s cold and lonely there. If I go in there with this hole in my body…”
Bertelgia did not continue from there, because Sungchul grabbed Bertelgia and stuffed her in his pocket.
“I will never let you get hurt again.”
Something flickered from deep within Sungchul’s eyes.
This was no ordinary light of vengeance or wrath.
It was something he had forgotten for a long time. He was burning with passion.
Bertelgia shook from inside her nest-like spot in the pocket.
“Ok. Protect me properly this time. And if you can’t, then at least die with me!”
“Of course. But I have no plans on dying to someone like him.”
Sungchul nodded and turned his attention to Marakia.
“Marakia. I entrust Sylphid to you.”
Even a troublemaker like Marakia understood what his role was very clearly.
He nodded and moved his small wings as he responded.
It was before Marakia was about to depart. Something reached out and grabbed his feet.
Marakia looked down in surprise.
It was a hand. The hand of the dead Taigon Bosborot.
“W… What is this guy?”
Right before Marakia was going to focus his strength into his feet, Taigon’s entire body became enveloped in golden light.
A grin formed on Sunghcul’s face.
A must-have Soul Contract carried by all Inquisitors, the ability to resurrect activated.
“W…What happened? Just now? Was it you, you penguin?”
Taigon held onto Marakia who was looking very dour.
“Release me, you bug of a human!”
Sungchul stood before the two in the middle of their shenanigans to put an end to it with a serious look.
“Marakia. Take this man with you to Sylphid.”
“Mmm… I guess it can’t be helped. Oy, Human. Let’s get going.”
A magic formation appeared on Marakia’s body before he floated into the air. He flew out of the window as if sliding smoothly through the air.
“Quickly, please get going as well.”
Sungchul said as he looked forward into the distance.
Taigon noticed King Deheter who was surrounded in nefarious energies and nodded. He too threw himself out the window.
The only ones remaining were Sungchul and the king.
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4 thoughts on “Chapter 253 – Greed (2)”
“Once the penguin of terror moved away, Taigon let out a sign of relief before picking up the Float Stone that no longer floated to Sungchul.”
You’re missing a verb at the end there ‘to … Sungchul’. Something like ‘hand over to’.
I highkey 4got they could resurrect