Chapter 371.2

Understanding Riner’s intention belatedly, Pered let out a dry laugh.

“While attempting to initiate a pure martial arts match challenges the warriors, none of mine step forward. They stand there, mouths shut, silently mouthing, ‘Please kill someone, else.’ Tsk. Who asked them to die? Let’s just settle it with a fistfight.”

Pered regarded Riner with a look as if he were an odd creature, simultaneously understanding that this guy was inherently strange. Who would provoke such a bizarre proposal?

Riner, interpreting Pered’s gaze as a refusal, chuckled and remarked, “Let’s stop if you don’t like it. Come to think of it, older people should be respected.”

Despite Pered being older than Riner, he was still in his mid-thirties now; it wasn’t the time to be receiving respect as an old man. Pered narrowed his eyes, staring at Riner. While he had laughed off more provocative challenges before, this one subtly got under his skin. Standing up, he spoke, “It wouldn’t hurt to use my body after a long time.”

“Really going to do it?” Riner hesitated, seemingly bored for the past few days. Even though he confronted Kasser daily, he received no noteworthy response.

“Just so you know, I don’t care about the other person’s dignity,” Pered warned.

At Pered’s words, Riner pursed his lips stubbornly. “Well, that’s a welcome statement. Even if there are bruises under your eyes, don’t blame me.”

A while later, Kasser heard that two kings were brawling in the desert, and he instinctively grasped the back of his neck.


For several days, Aldrit had traversed the desert atop a lizard. Initially, he believed it would only venture into perilous areas. When the lark first mentioned descending, he considered it a signal to dismount. However, after Aldrit had a simple meal, tended to his needs, and returned, the lark extended its back once more.

“Is it trying to take me to the front of the kingdom?” Aldrit pondered but decided to suppress the question. Aware of the unpredictable temperament of the lark, he refrained from asking, fearing a response like, “Are you crazy?” He chose to remain silent until the lark’s mood changed.

Hanging on the lizard throughout the day made the journey challenging. Moreover, the lark only accommodated Aldrit to the extent he could endure, providing minimal time for meals, rest, and sleep. Despite the difficulties, Aldrit showed no signs of distress. It was still a preferable alternative to walking through the desert with sinking feet under the scorching sun, and it was significantly faster.

As the sun completely set, the lizard came to a stop. Aldrit dismounted, sighed, and involuntarily trembled. Breaking its silence of several days, the lark spoke, “You endure well. Quite admirable. Even though you’re not a king.”

Aldrit smiled wryly. “You’ve probably ridden across the desert with a king before, haven’t you?”

“Why do you ask?” the lark responded. Aldrit lit a small fire, had dinner, and, while sitting by the fire, turned his head slightly to see the gigantic lizard lying on the ground, resting its chin on the floor. It looked surreal.

“Hey, can I ask you something?” Aldrit carefully used a suitable title instead of the lark’s name, recalling the incident when he had referred to it as ‘Abu’ during the journey, and it seemed displeased. “There is no one in this world who can call me by that name,” the lark had asserted, prompting Aldrit to be cautious with his words.

“What is it?” the lark responded.

“Can larks create something like a seed when they get old enough to speak like you?” Aldrit inquired, meeting the red eyes of the lark.

“It’s not a seed. It’s a concentrated form of energy. You could call it a kind of spare life. When I’m in danger of being eaten by something stronger than me, I create that energy form, pretend to be dead, and lure the stronger one away.”

“Ah… So, you can’t just create it recklessly.”

“I’m creating it by deducting my own life. Why would I do such a thing?”

“By any chance… What if a human were to eat that condensed form?”

“Hmm?” The lark blinked its large eyes several times before responding. “That would be interesting. If a human eats it… I haven’t tried it, so I don’t know. But why bother with such useless things?”

Aldrit couldn’t help but wonder about the Hwansu’s reaction if it heard about Mara, who used to grumble while offering him seeds.

“Well, let’s say hypothetically. What if a king were to eat it?” Aldrit asked.

The Hwansu revealed its teeth, appearing very unpleasant. Although Aldrit didn’t believe the lark would harm him, he shivered unintentionally. Despite not considering it a threat, the lark exuded an intimidating presence, making him feel the helplessness of humans in front of larks.

The lizard soon reverted to its usual expressionless demeanor. Aldrit had initially thought that if the lark didn’t respond, he wouldn’t ask any further questions, fearing unpredictable behavior. However, to his surprise, the lark spoke.

“It would reveal a hidden weakness.”

After that, the conversation ceased, and Aldrit went to sleep, preparing to endure another day.


“This is simply unacceptable!” Middle-aged Anika exclaimed, tossing a towel at the priest’s face. “How am I supposed to use such a rough towel?”

The priest, suppressing his frustration, managed a forced smile as he collected the scattered towel and placed it in the basket. “I apologize. I’ll prepare another one.”

As the priest departed, a chorus of complaints erupted from various corners of the room. “How much longer do we have to endure this?” one woman questioned. “His Holiness gathers us here, and he doesn’t say a word. He’d better instruct us to go to our separate quarters. There’s nothing decent inside the palace.”

“The bed is unbearably hard. My back is killing me,” another chimed in.

In the midst of the turmoil, black-haired women of various ages congregated in the hall, which served as a group prayer room. Amidst the discontent, Anika Katie, who didn’t exactly get along with anyone, sat alone in a corner, reflecting on the words she had heard during her last encounter with Eugene.

“You should be cautious with Sang-je.”



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