Book 2: Chapter 157
Lukas tilted his head to the side as he heard the unfamiliar term.
“Subjugation team’s mission?”
Bargan naturally realised that he didn’t understand, so he explained in a calm tone.
“In addition to Dragonmen, there are many Dragonlings here on Combat Island.”
This was a generic term used for the monsters found in the Heavenly Realm.
Most of the monsters on these floating islands all had some characteristics that were reminiscent of Dragons, so they were given that name.
“It might be hard to see them near the cities, but they are quite common in the wilderness untouched by civilization.”
“That sounds like a large threat.”
“Right. That’s why there are subjugation teams. These groups receive money from the royal family to travel around the island at regular intervals. And based on eyewitness accounts and other reports, they subdue the Dragonlings living in the wilderness.”
Now that he had some understanding of it, Lukas realised what Bargan was suggesting.
“So you’re saying I should move with the subjugation team?”
“Yes. This is usually the method used by people who don’t have enough money. It might take a bit longer than using the Sky Carriage, but there is little risk involved.”
Then he added that it would take about two weeks to get there if he went with the subjugation team.
That was about twice as long as the carriage.
“How much does it cost?”
“500 eru, but the meals cost extra.”
One-tenth of the price was a noticeable difference.
Lukas pondered for a moment.
In any case, there were still about two months to go before the Championship began. And even if there was a delay, he didn’t think it would take more than a month for him to obtain a spot.
‘The first thing I should do is unlock more of my strength.’
In a large city like Lirua, it was likely that he would find strong individuals that he couldn’t defeat with just 7-star magic. If he wanted to defeat them, and subsequently win the Championship, he would need to become stronger than he was now.
These things were more likely to be hidden in the wilderness than in busy cities. Min Ha-rin had been able to experience tremendous growth in the past five years due to the numerous items she found during the time she spent on Untamed Island.
With that in mind, he thought about the explanation he’d just received from Bargan.
In truth, although they were called a subjugation team, what they did seemed to be more similar to that of a reconnaissance team. He said that there was a very small chance to encounter Dragonlings, and even if they did, the ‘passengers’ usually didn’t have to do anything.
This system was designed because the cost of running this subjugation team was incredibly high.
Although this mode of travel wasn’t as safe as the Sky Carriage, the Dragonmen were a race who welcomed adversity, dangers, and unknown adventures. So no one really had a problem with it.
Of course, the biggest reason why people chose this method was because they were short on cash.
After thinking about it for a while, Lukas nodded.
“I’ll go with that then.”
“Understood. Then… I’ll inform the subjugation team in advance. My Lord, please head to the ‘Flame of Herui’ on the northwest side of the city tomorrow morning.”
The subjugation team had a base in every city, and Herui was no exception to this.
The Flame of Herui.
While thinking of this strange name, Lukas nodded to himself. It would be a short two-week trip, but there were still a few things he had to prepare first.
The first place he headed to was an old bookstore. It was pretty easy to find since he had received directions from Min Ha-rin before he left.
When he arrived, he opened a book and briefly glanced over it.
Perhaps it was because most of the participants this time were from Earth.
Nevertheless, it was a good thing for Lukas. After all, even if he was quick, if it was a new language, it would take him at least two days to learn it.
After confirming that he could read them, he picked several books in the store. His plan was to study the culture and history of the Heavenly Realm. He could always ask Bargan about the things he didn’t know, but it would be much less of a hassle if he built up his foundation of knowledge before doing so.
Next, he headed to a weapon store. He wondered if there were any staff-like weapons for sale.
In the end, his search was fruitless.
Not to mention staff, there wasn’t even a single magic related piece of equipment in the store. All of the shiny weapons displayed in the store seemed to be perfect for stabbing, slashing or, smashing, but none of them had any special qualities.
‘Bargan called my magic sorcery.’
The Dragonmen might tend to despise those who fought with other abilities instead of using their bodies.
Nevertheless, he didn’t seem shocked by Lukas’ display of magical abilities. In the first place, Min Ha-rin used both magic and swordsmanship in order to secure the title of Champion.
For a moment, he couldn’t help but wonder if this concept was only limited to those on Combat Island, or if it was a sentiment shared by the entirety of the Heavenly Realm.
Lukas found an inn to spend the night.
He had originally been planning to leave on that very day, but now, he would end up staying in Herui one day longer than intended. If he went to Min Ha-rin’s mansion he would certainly be able to stay for free. But it would be a bit strange to meet again after they already said their goodbyes to each other.
Just as he took out a book to read, Lukas felt his eyelids become heavy.
This unfamiliar sensation shocked him for a moment.
Then he realised that he was even a bit hungry.
Now that his body had basically returned to a human state, it seemed he would have to eat and sleep regularly again.
It was a bit frustrating because he would not have as much time as he was used to, but it felt somewhat nostalgic to have physiological needs once again.
Lukas went down to the first floor and received a few pieces of smoked meat as well as some cold soup from the inn’s owner before returning to his room. While eating, he decided to take out his book once again and read it.
As he gnawed on the slightly chewy and salty smoked meat, Lukas’ eyes rolled back and forth as he read quickly.
‘The Lightning God said that this world would be interesting.’
Lukas thought that there was some kind of hidden meaning in those words.
He thought of everything that made up this world, its very old culture and long history, races with self-awareness and high intelligence, and size much greater than most planets.
Right. This was literally a huge world, but it was highly likely that this world didn’t exist before.
No. It wasn’t just highly likely. Lukas was certain.
This incredibly vast world was, in the end, an improvised stage created by the Rulers in preparation for the Great Game.
He flipped through the pages.
What Lukas was looking for were hints that might have been left behind by the Rulers.
And as he expected, he did manage to find some clues in the book.
Especially since it was a book about mythology.
‘All of the Dragon tribes in the Heavenly Realm came from one source.’
The Heavenly Realm was not a mass that had been separated from the lower world, and the Seven Islands had been divided since the beginning of time. This was proven by the fact that the characteristics of each region were distinctly different.
What intrigued Lukas the most was the information about the other regions.
This world consisted of the Heavenly Realm, Thunder Gorge, Black Earth, and Giant Field, with a large supercontinent in the middle.
However, it was a bit awkward to call these places regions. This was because each one of them was so large, it wouldn’t be strange if one referred to them as individual worlds.
Nevertheless, they weren’t separated like the different worlds in Lukas’ universe. Each ‘world’ basically coexisted on one planet.
‘Though it is difficult to go to other regions.’
One couldn’t just enter the Heavenly Realm by flying into the sky.
In the Thunder Gorge, a seemingly never-ending thunderstorm constantly sent down lightning bolts, irrespective of day and night.
The Black Earth was a place where thick miasma corroded the ground and air. A land of death where most beings couldn’t survive for a second.
And regardless of their race, no being with even the slightest shred of intelligence dared to get close to the Giant Field.
From their descriptions, Lukas was able to realise one thing.
It was basically an affirmation of the conjecture he’d formulated when he first learned about the Dragon God.
‘Each region is associated with a Ruler.’
The Lightning Gorge was associated with the Lightning God, the Black Earth with the Black Horned Demon King, the Giant Field with the Sun God, and finally, the Heavenly Realm with the Seven Fanged Dragon God.
Each region seemed to have a distinct connection to the respective Rulers.
‘Then did each of the four Rulers create a region?’
That shouldn’t be the case.
It was said that the Seven Fanged Dragon God, the final Ruler, didn’t agree with the others’ idea for the ‘Great Game’.
‘Except for the supercontinent, Gaia, there are four ‘worlds’.”
In simple terms, there was a high possibility that one statue was located in every world. After all, it wouldn’t be balanced if all of the statues were located in one world.
Taking out a small notebook, Lukas began to take notes.
For a while, the sound of a pen scratch paper was the only sound in the room.
Time went by, and the sky gradually became dark. Not much time had passed. After all, it had already been halfway through the afternoon when he found the inn.
Lukas lit a candle, illuminated the table in front of him. There sat a notebook filled with his handwritten notes.
Suddenly, he turned to look out the window.
There, he was greeted by the sight of the beautiful night sky. Perhaps it was because this world sat in the clouds, but he had a slight feeling that the stars were so close, all he needed to do was reach out and grab them.
This reminded him of when he used to study magic in the past.
It was a sentimental memory that filled him with longing. Perhaps with a glass of alcohol, he would be able to have a comfortable night’s sleep as he reminisced about those times.
But he didn’t.
It was not yet time to dwell on the past.