“That’s fine. I don’t want to hear about such worthless trash existences…”
The Master was deep in thought. The messenger was awaiting further word. He wouldn’t dare move without the Master’s permission. Nowadays, his Master’s interest was focused on one thing… the one and only thing that awakened this very cynical and boring existence in many years.
“The two of them haven’t mutated yet, right?”
“According to Diana’s information, that is correct. They haven’t mutated.”
“What about the nectar?”
“We are sending them the most recently refined version of nectar through Dite. The purity is 99.99%.”
Master closed the window. It became quiet within the room.
“They defeated Gapael and Linuel?”
“That’s correct. Their Awakening speed is amazing. They’re achieving it through the typical co-evolution model. It’s the first time this model has been discovered in those at the Awakening level.”
Master smiled bitterly.
“Well… we’ll have to wait and see.”
“But… when do you plan on recollecting them?” the messenger asked carefully.
Master turned to him for the first time. The messenger couldn’t look away. Master was staring into his eyes.
“Pian was a laboratory. It was also a very well-supplied laboratory.”
“Products made in that lab were valuable… especially because we didn’t hold back on supplies and material… our data collection and analysis were very elaborate as well… the products were like a work of art. Isn’t that right?”
“That’s correct,” the messenger answered while wiping sweat off his brow.
“But the lab’s work has a fatal flaw. Do you know what that is?”
The messenger held his tongue. Master smoothed his gaze and looked out the window again. His answer flowed out as if he was speaking to himself, “There is no reproducibility. In simple terms, it was infertile grounds.”
“Many variables, unpredictable conditions, unpredictable environments… that’s the real world. Surviving and prospering in these conditions allows for fertility. That’s what I want to possess.”
“But… if the resurrected Satan and Sage King Nakun make their moves, then recollecting them will be beyond our reach. Is there an alternative that you’re relying on, sir?” the messenger asked.
“They will definitely move. Nakun, a dragon who chose to mutate into a magical dragon. Satan must have had his own reasons for resurrecting. However, their actions are all in my calculations. There’s no need to rush. Make sure that everything runs on schedule.”
The messenger withdrew. Master was still looking at the world through the window.
“Magic Dragon Siluone… overseeing the death and transformation of intelligent species… that was your task, right? A dragon that has evolved to have a giant biological laboratory complex within her own body. That’s why you were the most curious and closest to human beings… I’m curious about your choice.”
The air was cold.
Since cold air is heavier, it always sinks low to the ground and digs into the smallest of places. On the other hand, hot air is light. When cold air rushes in, as it is doing now, it rushes downward. Moisture condenses as the cold air strikes flat surfaces, forming water droplets. This form of sudden cold air rapidly ascends through a current and creates a cloud that rises vertically over a vast area. This form of cloud is called cumulonimbus.
It was evening. The dark clouds menacingly poured down rain. Citizens who foresaw the rain were rushing back home. Lanterns were starting to appear at every window. Light was leaking out of the many buildings, all of which had wide walls and narrow windows.
The streets were dark, and people were scattered. It was a dark, foreboding atmosphere. However, there needed to be people who exhibited the opposite quality for this world to be balanced.
“I miss hot cocoa,” Biyeon murmured. White steam leaked out of her mouth.
“On a day like this, soju and Korean pancakes are the best…” San added on.
Unlike their relaxed conversation, their faces were hardened. In their pockets, a familiar vibration from a machine was constantly calling for their attention.
The Count’s household members, who didn’t know what the two were talking about, tilted their heads. They were strolling down the streets near the hotel. The other crew members would probably enjoy their own free time. They had been stuck together for almost a month, so they probably would have refused to come out even if the captains asked.
The two walked slowly as they took in the city’s atmosphere and sights. The city’s evening scenery was very unfamiliar yet familiar to them.
On one side, merchants were busily sorting out the leftover goods before darkness fell. On the other side, a robber in an alley was eyeing everyone passing by, aiming for his day’s share. Wealthy citizens slowly drove their noisy wagons to banquet halls. After a hard day’s work, the commoners searched for their colleagues at the local bars and restaurants. The savory smell of food, baked goods, and alcohol that resembled beer convincingly conveyed to them that it was dinner time.
The party entered a nearby restaurant. The restaurant was large and quite colorful, as tourists frequented the place. Next to the restaurant were several luxury buildings with a salon-like atmosphere. They were places where high-end nobles enjoyed entertainment and discussion.
The restaurant was like a German pub, with a chattering and pleasant atmosphere. Reflecting the cheerful and impatient temperament of the northern warriors here, loud laughter and swearing could be heard everywhere as well.
While looking around the restaurant, Biyeon suddenly tilted her head. She glanced over several places inside the restaurant. San’s face grew dark. He bit into one side of his sturdy-looking lips… his hands were fiddling with something behind him. A short, slim-looking girl with freckles and a gray apron soon greeted them.
“Are there five in your party?”
“Please lead us to a quiet place,” Yekin said.
“It’s not an atmosphere where men and women can talk affectionately…” San muttered as he looked at the large hall.
Biyeon thought that his short words were an apt expression for this restaurant.
“Outside of warriors or merchants who can protect themselves, people don’t usually frequent these types of establishments. Besides, most of the customers are foreign travelers, so quarrels often break out,” Yeria replied mindlessly.
She didn’t recognize the fierce flames swaying deep in her captains’ eyes.
The party followed the waitress’ instructions and took a seat at the side of the hall. The table and chairs were made of wood. The chairs had cushions woven from wild grass. Although the restaurant was neat, the knife marks and rough cuts on the table showed how harshly the table was treated as well as the types of people who used it. The table was large enough to seat four. The five connected another table and sat leisurely together.
When everyone sat down, a kettle of boiled water came out with porcelain glasses. The porcelain cups contained dried petals.
“They make tea with petals. Is the scent okay?”
“It’s called Sarong Tea. It’s the most enjoyed tea here,” the youngest Yesil replied, trying to be of help. She held her glass tightly with both hands. It was very cute seeing her blow off the rising steam and drink with both hands. It would be hard to believe that she was a girl who fought so fiercely on the trip here.
“By the way…” Yeria carefully spoke.
She was intently watching San and Biyeon’s eyes. The three Essen children looked at the two.
“What?” asked Biyeon.
“You seem to have a reason for calling the three of us.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Because there’s always a reason for every action?”
There was anxiety in Yeria’s tone. Yekin and Yesil’s expressions hardened, understanding that something was unusual.
“Okay…” San said.
“It’s not what you think, so relax,” Biyeon said as she swirled her teacup and laughed.
“We keep our promises. Whether you believe it or not, you’re free, but… we have something to request of you three,” San said. He looked at the three people alternately. The three gulped.
“Something unexpected happened to both of us. So, we might have to stay in the city a little longer than planned. We changed courses and took a shortcut because we may need additional time here. That’s why we arrived 5 days earlier than expected.”
“How long are we going to stay here?”
“If it is short, it’ll be 10 days, and if it’s long, it’ll be about a month. I’m not sure about the exact time either. No matter what happens in the future, don’t panic or rush to judge. This is a request.”
“Can you tell us what’s going on?”
“We don’t know for sure either. However, if you’re not sure what to do in the future, take the crew and go to the Temple of Diana in the city.”
Yekin looked at the two’s expressions. One was strong and firm, and one the other was stylish and relaxed. However, he felt something a little different about them today. He had no evidence, but Yekin felt a sense of sadness from them.
The food came out. It was a pretty hearty meal, but the heavy conversation from before seemed to dampen the mood. However, the two captains quickly smiled, as if nothing had happened. The Count’s three children were also feeling relaxed as the alcohol started going around. Their hearts, trained by experiencing many deaths on a rough and dangerous journey, didn’t easily succumb to the slightest fear…
“Yeria, did you say you knew the geography of this place?” San asked while looking at Yeria.
“Yes, a little…” she answered. She waited for his next words with an anticipated expression.
“Have you ever heard of Sirid Square?”
“Sirid Square is a very famous place. It’s a bit far away. It’s on the western outskirts of the city…”
“Can you draw me a rough map?”
“Of course! I’ll draw it right away when we get back to the hotel,” Yeria answered. Her voice was like that of a little girl. Biyeon smiled silently. She suddenly envied Yeria. Such innocence…
‘To feel such ordinary joy… How exciting life must be…’
Biyeon’s gaze again turned to every corner of the restaurant. She suddenly thought of a word. ‘Ubiquitous!’