Book 2: Chapter 190
(TL: It seems that by my mistake or perhaps an error during saving, the last part of the last chapter was not included, which caused the chapter to fall below the price range it was set at. I apologize for this error. The missing part has been added to the start of this chapter, but it will not be included in the final word count for this chapter. Sorry again.)
* * *
Time flew by in the blink of an eye. Perhaps it was because he couldn’t afford to waste even a single second.
After all, at the moment, he was shackled by his body which could only move properly after it had received a certain amount of rest and nutrition.
Lukas shook his head for a moment, denying this thought.
Even the other Absolutes wouldn’t consider this body of flesh and blood their bodies.
Then, he raised his head.
In front of him was a huge castle that reached up to the sky.
Most of the preparation had been completed, and it was time for the endgame.
Of course, if anyone were to see him now, they would see his actions as a way to commit suicide. But his plans were by no means hopeless.
“You there, halt!”
It was at that moment that a guard in front of the castle called out to Lukas in a cautious voice.
He was dressed in a robe to the extent that not even his hair was visible. So it was natural for them to feel suspicious.
“Who are you? And why have you come to the city lord’s castle?”
“Take off your hood so we can see your face.”
“…my name is Lukas.”
Lukas lowered his hood, revealing his face.
“And I’m here to see the Major City Lord.”
(TL: It was such a good cliffhanger too… *sigh*)
* * *
“Who is the last henchman?”
“No one knows.”
Bargan narrowed his eyes slightly as Aram shook his head with a confused expression on his face.
His attitude seemed to say that he didn’t know anything.
“It’s the truth. But I heard that they’re even more secretive than Hubi, who lives in the shadows. No one has ever seen them.”
“Your words don’t make sense. If that is true then you would call them the two henchmen, not three.”
It could certainly be called caution to sometimes add enemies whose existences you weren’t fully certain of, but in this case, it seemed more appropriate to call it a delusion.
Nevertheless, Aram didn’t back down, and instead spoke in a confident voice.
“No. There are several circumstances that prove that they do, indeed, exist. You don’t have to believe me, but at the very least, our organisation believes they exist.”
“The fact that they have never been exposed means a few things. One is that they might not be very good at direct battles.”
Otherwise, there would be no better time to reveal their existence than when two of the three henchmen were not around.
As Aram said, this was an opportunity that might not come again for several years, if not several decades.
He continued in a serious voice.
“Senior, we are staking our lives on the success of this plan. We will do our best to kill Kangki by any means necessary.”
“…will killing him make the darkness in Lirua disappear?”
“It won’t happen immediately. However, wouldn’t it be easier for us to declare war?”
His words were true.
It couldn’t be said that Kangki himself was the darkness in Lirua, but he was the leader who held absolute control. Killing him was enough to be considered half of a victory.
Aram then spoke in a cautious tone.
“By chance, are there any Fighters in Lirua that you are acquainted with?”
“No Fighters. Just ordinary citizens.”
Of course, there were some whose strength they could make use of, but Bargan shook his head decisively.
He didn’t intend to ask them for help.
Unlike him, who could easily give up his life if the plan failed, they were all people with families.
Aram scratched his cheek for a moment.
“Well is there anyone that you can ask to assist us? It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Fighter. Anyone with the capacity to help would be most welcome.”
Bargan said this while thinking about his lord.
“Are they strong?”
He didn’t say who it was.
He knew the kind of evaluation Dragon Hunter Lukas had in the city. He was certain that Aram had at least heard the negative rumors about him.
Fortunately, Aram didn’t ask him any more questions about his helper’s identity.
“If it’s someone that senior suggested then I’m sure they can be trusted. Where are they now?”
“I lost contact with him for a while. But I believe that we will meet again very soon.”
Lukas had told him that he would become the Champion of Lirua and that he would clear up the darkness in the city.
Bargan had firm belief in Lukas.
“I’ll look for him when I have time. When is the operation scheduled for?”
“Two weeks from now.”
There was plenty of time.
He was sure that Lukas would show up before then.
“In any case… Thank you so much for your help.”
“Don’t mention it.”
“Huhu, you don’t know how nice it is to have someone as strong as senior join us at such an important time.”
Aram smiled before rising to his feet.
“I will take my leave now. I will contact you again when it’s time.”
After saying those words, Aram left the room.
Bargan didn’t see him off and instead fell into deep thought as the door of the room closed.
He couldn’t trust Aram’s words right away.
If his story was true, then it certainly would be one of the best chances to kill Kangki, but the question was whether they would even be able to kill Kangki or not.
More importantly, Bargan didn’t actually know how strong the organisation behind Aram or this ‘Ountal’ was.
That’s why he needed Lukas’ help.
Of course, he wouldn’t just sit still and ask for help.
‘I will also do everything I can.’
Even if it meant risking his life.
* * *
It was about four days after investigating in earnest that Hubi, who was thoroughly searching the surroundings, finally felt that something was strange.
The scope of his investigation, which stemmed from the inn Lukas stayed at, continued to expand day by day until it had reached tens of blocks away.
Nevertheless, Hubi’s attitude towards the investigation had remained unchanged since the beginning.
He was calm, cautious, and above all, he maintained his focus.
In a way, he was the perfect example of a good assassin.
It was about time for the sun to start peaking from below the horizon. Although he was underground, Hubi instantly realised this fact.
This was because this was usually around the time when he would be preparing to go to work, but he couldn’t do that today.
Hubi was currently looking around a general store.
He’d heard that Lukas had been poking around this place a few weeks ago.
However, this general store was currently not in operation. And Hubi even knew where the owner of the general store was at that very moment.
That was the reason why Hubi felt strange.
This store had not received any customers for a long time. But now, someone had been seen coming and going even when the owner wasn’t around. That was more than enough to make him suspicious.
Because of that, Hubi had come to carry out a thorough search of this general store.
After searching almost every corner of the three-story building, the only place left was the underground warehouse. In fact, he had chosen this place for last on purpose.
In this dark, dank space filled with cobwebs, there were countless piles of dust-covered junk strewn everywhere.
Searching a place like this would require fairly high levels of concentration and patience. If he were to relax his focus even a little bit, it was possible for him to miss something without realising it.
It was thanks to this work ethic that Hubi was able to discover something.
It was a place where several boxes had been piled to form large towers.
But on the floor, there were traces of someone moving those box towers. There was a thinner layer of dust in the path of the box which allowed Hubi to notice it.
Hubi carefully moved the box tower aside.
What was revealed was the same floor that looked no different from the rest. If ten people were to look at it, at least 9 would have this thought.
Hubi’s gaze turned.
‘It’s said that he is a Sorcerer.’
This meant that it was possible for him to use strange or incomprehensible methods.
His dagger struck the ground like lightning.
It didn’t feel like stabbing the ground. Instead, it felt softer, like piercing flesh.
At the same time, the ‘soft thing that was disguised as the ground’, collapsed. In other words, the hidden space beneath it was revealed.
It took a while for the sound of it landing to reach his ears, followed by what sounded like flowing water.
This gave him an idea of the depth of the hidden passage.
Even so, Hubi wasn’t scared.
Instead, feeling joyful that he’d finally found some clues about Lukas, he threw himself into the hole without hesitation.
His body was quickly swallowed by the darkness.
A perfect landing. He immediately raised his five senses and scanned his surroundings. He was ankle-deep in what should be water.
It was a culvert. The secret passage below the general store led to a culvert.
The air in the tunnel was stale and humid, sticking to his skin in an uncomfortable way.
Nevertheless, Hubi didn’t pay any attention to the discomfort.
His pupils dilated and he was able to clearly see despite his dark surroundings. There were no signs of people nearby. It wasn’t until he was certain of this that Hubi began to slowly move forward.
For a while, only the sound of the flowing water could be heard.
But soon after, Hubi stopped walking.
This was because he found something piled in front of him.
It was a pile of corpses.
Finding a pile of corpses in a gloomy underground waterway was bizarre enough to shake even someone with nerves of steel, but Hubi only looked at it with curiosity and a bit of confusion.
Were these really corpses?
‘It doesn’t smell.’
He knew how horrible the stench of rotting corpses could be. And in such a warm and wet environment, it would be strange if they didn’t rot.
Nevertheless, the pile of corpses in front of him didn’t stink at all.
That wasn’t the only strange thing. Noticing that something wasn’t right, Hubi slowly approached in order to identify the corpses, but his face gradually grew pale.
There was a hint of fear in his stuttering voice.
This was because all of the corpses piled there had the same face.
More importantly, it was the face of the person Hubi had been looking for so intently.
In front of him were more than ten corpses with Lukas’ face.
‘Did I also kill a corpse like this?’
However, it… had really struggled like someone who was alive.
With a gulp, Hubi took a step backward.
—But he suddenly stopped moving.
His pupils shook violently. He felt as though his entire body had frozen into a block of ice.
It was an underground tunnel, so he was able to feel it immediately.
A moment ago, the airflow had suddenly changed.
Cold sweat slowly rolled down his cheek.
Someone was standing behind him.
Without moving the rest of his body, Hubi slowly turned his neck and looked behind him.
A man was standing there.
A man with the same face as the corpses in front of him.