Chapter 362.1

The two-day pursuit ultimately proved futile for Sven as he tracked a knight. Witnessing the knight suddenly grasp his chest in pain, vomit blood, and collapse, Sven initially hesitated, suspecting a possible trick. However, recognizing the knight’s extraordinary skills gained through firsthand experience, capable of instantly dispatching opponents with a single lethal strike, Sven became more cautious.

Despite his initial hesitation, Sven eventually approached when the motionless knight showed no signs of life. To his surprise, the knight was already dead. The abrupt and peculiar demise of the once energetic knight, who had been soaring just moments earlier, raised alarms. Sven reached out to scattered tracking units to confirm if the situation was similar elsewhere. Unfortunately, it was. No survivors were found; only eleven lifeless bodies remained.

Efforts to handle and transport the corpses were hindered as they started decomposing at an unusually rapid pace. Presenting the report to Kasser, Sven observed a furrowed brow on Kasser’s face. Despite the kingdom’s hot and dry climate, which typically slowed down decay, the bodies were deteriorating quickly. Although the desert climate characteristics lessened as one moved away from the capital, the knights hadn’t ventured far.

“How rapidly did the decay occur?” Kasser asked.

“It was noticeable without any aid. It was as though the bodies were dissolving. Despite recommending immediate embalming and providing instructions for transport, there’s a chance they had completely decomposed by the time we reached the capital,” Sven replied.

This is highly unusual.

Eugene, who had been nearby, drew upon knowledge from another world. Thoughts of bacteria hastening decay or a war employing viruses crossed her mind, but such scenarios didn’t seem plausible in this world.

“What about the skills of the knight who matched the warrior? Any distinctions from the other fighters?” Kasser expressed concern that Sang-je might have discovered a method to create an entity capable of challenging a warrior, potentially leading to human conflict with larks lurking in the background. Attempting to capture larks could result in more casualties.

“There was something peculiar. It felt more like an intoxication with power than exceptional skills. The reflexes were unusually swift, almost as if they had eyes on their back. The movements were remarkably agile,” Sven recalled from his encounter with the knight, suddenly sharing a revelation.

“He kept uttering phrases like ‘may God protect me.’ Additionally, it might be my imagination, but his pupils seemed to momentarily turn red.”


Simultaneously, the expressions of Eugene and Kasser subtly shifted. Both were aware of the peculiar power possessed by Sang-je and Mara, the two larks. Whether it was a power acquired over a long lifespan or borrowed through sorcery remained uncertain.

Kasser pressed for more details, asking, “What symptoms did they exhibit when they died?”

“The accounts from other warriors were consistent,” Sven replied. “They appeared to suffer and then vomited blood.”

After Sven completed his report and left, complying with the king’s order to confront the knights in front of the warehouse, Kasser gathered the testimonies of everyone present. While reviewing the report, he noticed a significant detail.

―The knight consumed food before fleeing.

This scene had gone unnoticed, with the assumption that they ate something similar to emergency rations since they wouldn’t have a proper meal once the full escape commenced. Such experiences were common among soldiers in the capital. During extended confrontations with larks over several days, intermittent eating was necessary to replenish energy.

Upon hearing Kasser share this information from the report, Eugene spoke with a confident expression.

“No doubt about it. Sang-je provided something to the knights.”

“If you ingest it, your potential likely skyrockets momentarily,” Kasser explained.

“But it’s a fleeting effect, and the repercussions are severe. The body can’t withstand forcibly extracting such power. If they can contend with a warrior, it means they’ve tapped into abilities beyond their natural limits.”

Eugene fell into a brief silence before pondering, “Do you suppose… the knights were aware of these side effects?”

Kasser affirmed. According to Sven’s account, those knights exhibited ecstasy each time they thwarted the warrior’s attacks. They appeared astonished by their newfound strength, reveling in it. Someone on the brink of death wouldn’t display such emotions.

“Sang-je intended to eliminate them from the start. They exploded and perished just two days after taking it. Two days isn’t nearly enough time to escape from the kingdom,” Eugene concluded.

“He didn’t want any witnesses. Yet, there are numerous onlookers. Is there anyone unaware that the knights are acting solely on Sang-je’s orders?”

“Perhaps… they might have been stripped of their knighthood when they left the capital. If it becomes an issue later, Sang-je could simply argue that they were no longer knights.”

However, Kasser swiftly identified a flaw. “This is a very imprudent strategy,” he muttered. “Rushing toward the goal without looking back… In other words, Sang-je’s objective was solely to take you.”

Eugene, almost swayed by Sang-je, felt a shiver down his spine. It struck him as peculiar that Sang-je was so eager to adopt a reckless strategy. Just a few months earlier, when Eugene had hesitated to embrace priesthood and wanted to prolong the decision by pretending, Sang-je had shown lenient tolerance, permitting him to enjoy his time as he pleased. If Sang-je’s mindset had changed, undoubtedly, more changes would follow in the future. Suddenly, thoughts of his parents in the Holy City crossed Eugene’s mind.



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