Chapter 377.2

With each word, she gleaned insights into the formidable personalities of the six kings. While Kasser lamented their unwavering adherence to their own opinions, Eugene couldn’t help but detect shades of contradiction in his narrative. You’re not exactly bending either, she mused silently.

Yet, she understood the toll such negotiations took on him. The mere act of corralling proud and haughty kings, each accustomed to unquestioned authority, and attempting to find common ground would undoubtedly drain one’s mental reserves, akin to enduring the labor pains of diplomacy in the dead of night.

Ah… it’s different, Eugene suddenly realized, the revelation hitting her with the force of a revelation. The future she had glimpsed was now painted with entirely new hues.

In that vision, it was King Richard who stood as the mediator among the kings, not Kasser. In that alternate reality, Kasser remained a solitary and unyielding figure, keeping his own counsel amidst his fellow expedition companions. But in this world, that lonely and mistrustful persona had no place. Touched by the realization, Eugene yearned to anchor herself in the authenticity of this moment, reaching out to touch Kasser’s face with her fingertips.

Kasser responded with a soft chuckle, his tone laced with affection. “Here I am, pouring out my grievances, and you’re just here, holding me. How dull.”

“Not at all,” Eugene countered gently. “I relish these moments when you share your thoughts and emotions. Please, continue to do so. Let me into your world.”

A smile graced Kasser’s lips as he clasped Eugene’s hand, bringing it tenderly to his lips. “The kings are eager to meet you before my departure tomorrow. They’re rather curious about your knack for making friends with larks. Fire King Riner, in particular, seems to be boasting loudly about it… I wonder why he finds such pride in your ability.”

Starting with a hint of pomposity, Kasser’s tone softened unexpectedly, a hint of vulnerability creeping in as he cleared his throat to steady his emotions.

“In any case, are you prepared for tomorrow? If the prospect weighs too heavily on you, I’ll handle it.”

“I’m more than fine,” Eugene assured him with quiet confidence. “In fact, I’m rather looking forward to meeting the kings, those whom I’ve yet to encounter. And there’s something else I need to share with you. I’ve arranged something quite significant.”

With a glint of determination in her eyes, Eugene was certain that the contents of that note would leave all the kings pleasantly surprised.


“Hey, Krak.”

The call fell on deaf ears as the majestic eagle remained indifferent to its master’s summons.


With a dismissive glance at Riner, Krak turned his gaze back to Eugene, his loyalty unwavering. Observing his Hwansu’s unwavering devotion, Riner couldn’t help but release a resigned sigh.

“That creature couldn’t care less about its master anymore,” he remarked.

Richard chuckled, lifting his teacup with a casual air. His own Hwansu, a vibrant red fox, lounged comfortably beside Eugene, seemingly oblivious to its master’s presence. Richard, however, appeared unperturbed by the display.

To him, his Hwansu was little more than a cherished pet, chosen through a cursory selection process during his princely days. Hunting held little allure for him beyond the traditional rite of passage; otherwise, he might not have bothered with the endeavor at all.

“But, Fourth King, that famous Hwansu seems rather different from what I’ve heard,” Riner interjected, gesturing towards the sleek black leopard nestled contentedly in Eugene’s lap, its purring a soothing melody in the room.

Kasser responded with a subtle cough, a faint flicker of discomfort crossing his features. Though his composure remained steadfast in Eugene’s presence, his resolve to maintain his position by her side intensified in the face of competition.

As the door to the reception room swung open, King Nicholas made his entrance. His gaze faltered momentarily at the unexpected tableau before him, momentarily concerned before realizing his apprehension was unwarranted.

With a subtle signal, the king beckoned forth a warrior who trailed behind him, bearing a cage cradled carefully in his grasp.

Within the confines of the cage resided two remarkable creatures. One, a rare species of white-furred squirrel with a tail as long as its body, hailed from the distant realms of the Flake Kingdom.

Seated kings observed with keen interest as King Nicholas presented his notable Hwansus, creatures that had garnered acclaim for their uncommon companionship. Unlike their counterparts, Nicholas’s Hwansus defied convention by cohabiting.

Anxious glances flitted between Nicholas and the restless heirs confined within the cage. With a touch of apprehension, Nicholas sought Eugene’s approval. “May I release them now?”

Eugene nodded in affirmation. “Yes, go ahead.”

As the cage door swung open, the two squirrels bounded forth, their eager movements halted as they encountered the protective barrier of established heirs surrounding Eugene. Abu emitted a low growl, Krak unfurled his wings in a defensive stance, while the diminutive figure perched on Eugene’s shoulder pressed closer to her.

Riner clicked his tongue and muttered under his breath, his disbelief evident. “How the hell.”

“Hey, now, none of that. Come here,” Eugene intervened, her voice firm but gentle.

At her command, the other Hwansus begrudgingly yielded, allowing the two squirrels to approach Eugene side by side. With a warm smile, she caressed their heads affectionately. “Aren’t they adorable?”

“Your Majesty, what are their names?” Though Eugene already knew their names, she posed the question to confirm. Nicholas faltered momentarily, grappling with uncertainty. Under the weight of all eyes trained on him, he finally stammered out his response.

“Um… one is Gwiyeomi… and the other one is Doongi…”

“Gwiyeomi,  Doongi?” Riner echoed, seeking clarification, while Richard struggled to contain his amusement. Unsettled by the attention, Nicholas quickly sought refuge in his seat, hoping to evade further scrutiny.

But the room’s attention swiftly shifted as King Aquil made his grand entrance, accompanied by an awe-inspiring sight. A sturdy leather leash tethered a wolf with a striking coat of silver and black fur, eliciting murmurs of admiration from the assembled kings.


“Respects to Dark King.”

As Aldrit entered, his demeanor instantly shifted to one of reverence as he prostrated himself upon the floor. Despite previous encounters with Dark King Pered, the young man couldn’t quell the nerves that accompanied each audience with the king.

“Rise and take a seat,” Pered commanded with a gesture of his hand.

“Yes, Your Majesty,” Aldrit replied, scrambling to his feet before settling into the offered chair.

Dark King Pered had requested this meeting between Aldrit and Kasser, the leader of the wanderers. There were pressing matters to discuss, and Pered wasted no time in broaching the subject.

“As chief, you must be intimately acquainted with the members of your tribe,” Pered began, cutting straight to the heart of the matter.

“Indeed, Your Majesty, but keeping track of the entire tribe’s current status can be challenging,” Aldrit admitted.

“I’m not interested in the current state. Can you recognize someone simply by hearing their name?” Pered pressed on.

Aldrit nodded in affirmation. “Yes, I can.”

Pered leaned forward, his gaze intense. “Have you ever heard the name Taon?”

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