Chapter 357.2

Upon reaching the street lined with lodging establishments, Aldrit halted his steps. An uneasy sensation sent shivers down his spine.

“That energy. There’s a knight nearby,” Mara’s voice echoed in his mind.

Having ingested the peculiar seed he had swallowed during his initial encounter with Mara in the cave, Aldrit had repeated the process two more times. The seed’s efficacy diminished over time, necessitating periodic consumption.

Initially apprehensive, Aldrit had feared Mara could delve into his thoughts in intricate detail, but that proved not to be the case. Mara clarified that he could track the location of those who consumed the seed, determining if they faced death or significant injuries. The ability to transmit thoughts to animals only functioned when the seed consumer was in close proximity.

Now, Aldrit could discern the presence of knights, thanks to the seed, enabling him to sense their proximity and evade them if necessary.

When expounding on this heightened sensing ability, Mara boasted with arrogance. “My range for detecting that energy is broader. That’s why you can discover knights before they find you.”

Mara had bestowed upon the core members of the cult an upgraded version of the seed. Ingesting this seed granted them the ability to perceive the energies of kings and warriors. However, he conveniently neglected to mention the enhanced seed’s side effect—eyes turning red.

“What’s wrong?” Sven inquired, taking a few steps before turning around, noticing Aldrit wasn’t following.

“Oh, no, nothing,” replied Aldrit.

A voice resonated in Aldrit’s mind as he resumed walking.

“Eat that,” Mara instructed.

Aldrit retrieved a small pouch from his pocket and swallowed the seed within. Mara had given it to him when they departed from the hideout, claiming it concealed Mara’s energy embedded in Aldrit’s body. Mara emphasized the importance of not losing it, stating that it was incredibly difficult to make.

“Here,” Sven gestured, leading Aldrit to a location in front of a five-story building adorned with a colossal golden key sculpture.

“The top floor is reserved for those seeking a peaceful stay; troublemakers aren’t welcome,” Sven explained. Aldrit acknowledged with a nod, discreetly scanning the area. Thanks to the seed he had ingested, Aldrit could now keenly sense the presence of knights, and indeed, there were several in proximity to the lodging.

Presenting the warrior’s emblem, Sven received a notably respectful reception from the employee who emerged. Soon after, the proprietor personally greeted them.

“I require a room on the top floor. Are there any available?” Sven inquired.

“Yes, certainly. Please follow me,” the owner replied, leading them to the door of the designated room before courteously bowing and departing.

Entering the room, Aldrit’s eyes widened at the opulent decor. It surpassed the luxury of the safe house he had previously occupied.

“I’ll come to retrieve you when His Majesty returns,” Sven assured. “In the meantime, it’s best if you stay indoors. If you require anything, I’ll ensure it’s brought to you when the time comes.”

“Understood,” Aldrit replied.

Handing Aldrit the warrior’s emblem on his wrist, Sven added, “If someone attempts to capture you, show them this.”

Aldrit examined the emblem in his palm and replied in a hushed tone, “Yes.”

As Sven prepared to leave, Aldrit stopped him.

“Something strange occurred on the way.”

“What is it?” Sven inquired.

“There were knights near this lodging establishment. I estimated about ten of them,” Aldrit disclosed.

“What? How do you know that?” 

“Ah… I’m sorry. I can’t disclose that information, but it’s the truth.”

“Alright, understood,” Sven acknowledged as he exited the room, prompting him in contemplation. The onset of the dry season might explain a few knights arriving to convey Sang-je’s greetings, but ten seemed excessive. Sven quickened his pace, realizing he needed to inform Her Highness the Queen about this unexpected development.

Once Sven departed, the lizard swiftly emerged from Aldrit’s pocket, scaling up to perch on his shoulder.

“Let’s head out. It’s strange that knights are gathering like that. We need to figure out what’s happening,” Mara urged.

“That’s the warrior’s concern. Do you really want to venture out with knights patrolling the area?” Aldrit questioned.

“You’ve already consumed the seed, so you won’t be detected,” Mara insisted.

“I won’t take a single step outside until His Majesty returns,” Aldrit firmly declared.

“Come on, let’s go!” Mara persisted.

Aldrit gazed down at the determined lizard on his shoulder. “Is that your way of showing remorse? Have you forgotten why we came to meet Her Highness and His Majesty?”

Aldrit had brought Mara along against his will, using the threat of annuling their tribe’s contract unless he apologized for the teleportation incident.

“That old coot. Even those half-crazy old folks are more adaptable than you,” Mara grumbled incessantly about coming along for no reason. Aldrit simply clicked his tongue and paid no attention to him.


Shortly before Aldrit and Sven arrived at the Golden Key Hotel, the commander-in-chief, acting on Eugene’s order, had preceded them. The purpose of his visit was to meet Flora, who was lodged on the top floor.

[Flora, I apologize. While I wish to assist you, I cannot visit you at this moment. His Majesty has left his post, and I must safeguard the capital during this uncertain start to the dry season.

The individual delivering this letter is someone I trust. They will offer any necessary support.]

Flora coldly snorted as she perused the commander-in-chief’s letter. “She won’t come?” she muttered, crumpling the letter impatiently and tossing it to the floor.

“I thought she’d rush to see the state I’m in, but it’s even worse than I expected, Jin,” Flora grumbled to herself. Fueled by anger, she paced around the room, unable to fathom the frustration she had poured into that desperate letter to Jin. She had anticipated his arrival, expecting feigned sympathy and reveling in her perceived superiority; that’s the kind of person she knew Jin to be.

It was disconcerting when things deviated from the plan. Waiting here was no longer an option. In reality, she had entered the capital a few days ago, biding her time until the king departed. If he returned, her carefully laid plans would unravel.

How often does everything align in this world? Flora pondered. Having a second plan for such contingencies, she steeled herself for whatever might come next.



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