Emperor of Steel

Chapter 364 - The Zegal Clan 1

The clans were like the backwaters of blood relations.

In order to become a main warrior of the clan, one had to be considerably close with the members of the clan and the blood of the other clans.

Among them, the most closed clan was the Zegal clan in Angyong.

Zegal Myeong was an inventor and a genius writer of 100 years back.

The Zegal clan was proud to be of his blood and his descendants, and seldom invited outsiders into their homes.

A while ago, a group of men had entered their home without any prior notice.

“What? Hui got attacked and was helped by unknown people?”

The Zegal Clan’s head, Zegal Moon was a slightly old yet freshman of 57 years.

He had left the home for a while to check up on the business of the clan, and when he returned, he received a report about the general and was shocked.

“It was said that the assassins were aiming for the 3rd prince.”

“Hmm, what the hell is happening to the nation…?!”

At the words of the man in the report, Zegal Moon swallowed his saliva and stayed in silence.

Because he could guess why they were aiming for the life of the 3rd prince.

Currently, there were only two men who would benefit from the disappearance of Jo Won-rak, and the most possible one was Jo Won-gyun.

There was the prince Jo Won-ki, but he was involved in opium.

And there was no other person in competition of the succession, so no man would argue with the court and change the prince.

‘And so, Jo Won-gyun will have to work hard to get rid of his half brother.’

The problem was that Zegal Hui was one of the 5 skilled members of the Zegal clan.

In addition, he was trained by the head himself, and the Eorim troops were made by Hui, they could even take down the Kang Ho clans.

And knowing their skills, the head couldn’t help but wonder what drove them over the cliff of death.

From what he knew, there was no force behind Jo Won-gyun who had such an overwhelming force.

“For the 3rd crown prince, there were men from the northern continent and Hwang Bo clan’s.”

“What? Hwang Bo-sung?”

Zegal Moon asked with a shock.

Hwang Bo-sung was said to have gone to the North for a trade three years back and disappeared into the sea.

It was said that the ship had got caught in the typhoon.

However, Zegal Clan, who had the best information center than Kang Ho, had accurately identified the situation and the signs of the incident.

They had also found out that Hwang Bo-sung’s disappearance was due to Hwang Bo-kwang, the current head of Hwang Bo clan.

However, there was no clear evidence, and they didn’t give out the news since they would gain anything from a rivalry with the Hwang Bo clan.

And in such times, Hwang Bo-sung had appeared.

‘Is there going to be bloody winds in the nation which had been peaceful for too long?’

Either the two events will cause a tremendous impact, or everyone is going to get hurt.

Zegal Moon shook his head and went out to meet Zegal Hui and the 3rd prince’s party.

It was because he wanted to listen to the actual story about the incident and prepare for what is going to come in the future.

“Hyung, I am sorry.”

Zegal Moon met Zegal Hui in the halls of the guest house.

As soon as he saw the head, Hui bowed and apologized.

Even if everything went good, he ran away like a dog after getting beaten up and lost, so he couldn’t just show his face with pride.

“It is alright. When things get difficult, you need to live at all costs. And why are you making the relation between us so complicated?”

“Hyung…”

Zegal Hui was the cousin of the younger brother of Zegal Moon.

Zegal Moon had sisters, so he cherished Hui like a younger brother.

Which was why he took in Zegal Hui and helped him personally when he wanted to join the military.

It was all thanks to the cousin’s support that Zegal Hui was able to show his outstanding skills and become victorious, and became the general of Eorim troops by 50.

Zegal Moon was proud of him.

However, such a prideful younger brother was standing with his head down because of a defeat.

It was truly pathetic to see the guards of the 3rd prince standing with their sword down and bodies bandaged all over.

“Let’s greet the 3rd prince and talk.”

“Yes.”

Zegal Moon, who entered the room of the 3rd prince Jo Won-rak, bowed on his knee and greeted him.

“Zegal Moon, the guardian of Kang Ho region, greets the 3rd prince.”

“It is my pleasure, clan head. Because of my unsuccessful circumstances, I had to rely on your family for a while, so please keep this untidy man under you till help comes from the capital.”

“I will do as you say, your highness.”

To let Jo Won-rak who was shocked by the day’s turn out rest, Zegal Moon walked out of the room.

And had a conversation with Zegal Hui who was at the vacant administration office.

“You and your men have been raided in the past too, but you have never been back down. What the hell happened this time?”

“Honestly, the first group of men was taken care of by us. But then, suddenly, they appeared…”

When Zegal Hui began to talk about what happened later, Zegal Moon was surprised.

“Animate? So, you mean the work of the remnants of Apostate?”

“I am not so sure, they were wearing the clothes of the northern continent. According to the man’s words, in the north, they are called Death Knight and Lich.”

“Then…”

Zegal Moon’s expression hardened.

As the trade between the two continents had turned active, the culture had spread too.

When he was young, Zegal Moon used to read a lot of books with the legends of Rhodesia.

Death Knight and Lich were mentioned in those books and described to be the most powerful monsters.

In particular, the Lich was termed to be immortal.

And such a legendary monster has appeared in the Song Empire!

“So, they don’t belong to the apostasy?”

“Well, it wouldn’t be too weird if an evicted apostasy has come back from the north.”

The Apostasy was pushed out of Moorim more than 200 years back when they did all kinds of evil to the southern continent.

At that time, the apostasy was so strong that not just the local clans, but the leading clans had to join in.

Even the masters of the foreign nations such as Yemaek and Barat had joined to get rid of apostasy.

After 10 years, the organized coalition forces were able to subdue the apostasy.

And the apostasy disappeared from Kang ho region.

And the thoughts of such Apostasy coming back to the area made the body of Zegal Moon tremble.

“That is huge. Considering the mess caused by the apostasy and witchcraft 200 years back…”

At that time, the Zegal clan played a huge role in subduing the apostasy.

So, they knew how evil and chaotic the apostasy was.

They made a strong power.

If such apostasy had come back and that too with the dark magic from the northern side, it would cause chaos which no one could stop.

The region of Kang Ho had enjoyed peace for a long time, and for 200 years there was no hero.

‘Besides, the royal family will be in a mess with the next throne succession coming on…’

“We need to tell the other clans of Kang Ho too. Shouldn’t we be preparing for the subjugation army or something?”

At the words of Zegal Hui, Zegal Moon nodded.

“Well, that is the work that I need to do. By the way, if the monsters were so powerful as you said and are capable of wiping out Eorim, then how did you escape to this place?”

“That is because of the men. Hwang Bo-sung and Marquis Luke who appeared at the time of crisis.”

“Master Hwang Bo-sung and Marquis Luke?”

“Yes, on our way here, I heard that Marquis Luke had helped out Hwang Bo-sung who was wandering in their place with grave injuries on his body. I asked if that is the truth and it turned out to be.”

Zegal Moon was very knowledgeable about the culture and systems of the northern continent.

So he knew that the title of Marquis meant huge power, and was a strong noble.

But why would such a person take only one retainer and come all the way to the southern continent to defeat the so-called cursed monsters?

The words of Zegal Hui answered a few of his questions.

“Hwang Bo clan’s man had defeated one of the three, and the Marquis defeated two.”

Hwang Bo-sung was a prodigy who made a name for himself in Kang Ho until he turned up missing.

From a very young age, there were rumors saying that he would rise to peaks and become the second king of Moorim.

In fact, the clan too believed and supported the kid.

As a result, Zegal Moon wasn’t shocked to know that he managed to take down one of the three monsters.

However, what was surprising was Hwang Bo-sung who knew martial skills only took down one, while his Lord had taken down two of them.

“Is he that strong?”

“Yes, I only watched for a moment, but he is a very powerful man. His magic and sword skills have reached the highest level.”

As Zegal Hui was speaking about Luke, he once again played the scene of Luke defeating the monsters.

If he was about to fight Luke, he would barely last 10 seconds.

How could such an amazing leveled man in two different spheres be of such a young age?

Couldn’t he be comparable to the highest level of martial arts which only two managed to achieve in the Kang Ho Moorim arts?

Hearing the explanation from the younger brother, Zegal Moon was rather amazed.

‘I need to see him myself.’

Thinking so, he reached Marquis Luke and Hwang Bo-sung’s resting area.

Luke and Hwang Bo-sung were resting in a close-by quarters to Jo Won-rak.

“It is much comfortable than I thought. The ventilation to my body is so good.”

Luke, who had changed into the southern continent attire which was brought in by a servant, smiled after wearing them.

Luke and Hwang Bo-sung dressed in new clothes, opened his mouth after having some home tea.

“Lord, how long are you planning on staying in Zegal clan?”

“I think I will stay here until the end of my work.”

Even after Luke had taken down the 3rd member party, he remained in the Zegal clan because of the Iron core.

“I am sure that since I saved the 3rd prince and their family member, wouldn’t they be more than willing to give me the iron core?”

“I am not too sure about it. The members of the Zegal clan are so unique that the normal public finds it too hard to understand them.”

“That so? Then maybe we should use another method.”

When Luke shrugged his shoulders, Hwang Bo-sung asked him the question he had been holding back.

“But Master. Who were those gangster-like ones?”

It had been two years since Hwang Bo-sung had settled in the Rhodesia continent, but he had never heard of such beings.

He had to hit them so hard using his zen skills, and they wore the clothes of the knights and wizards of the Rhodesia continent.

“Death Knight and Lich.”

“Death Knight and Lich?”

“Yeah, they are considered to be the strongest type of undead monsters, made from the bodies of Sword Master knights and 7 or more magic circle wizards.”

Luke frowned thinking of the undead.

‘No matter how much I think about it. My mind always says that the one who made those monsters was Arsene.’

Luke was convinced and he had a reason for it.

In order to make a Lich and Death Knight, rare materials such as the bodies of Sword Masters and high ranking wizards and a place which was soaked with Magi were needed.

And these weren’t the materials which could be easily secured by a single working warlock.

The Death Knight and Lich hadn’t appeared in the Rhodesia continent and it was because of the eyes of the denominations which were always around.

‘Only a group of warlocks who have secured a great deal of power will be able to escape from their eyes.’

From what Luke knew, there were two such groups.

The Dark Moon magic tower and the Veritas magic tower.

The Dark Moon magic tower wouldn’t make an undead because they followed the teachings of Saymon, and they wouldn’t do anything harmful for the humans.

But what about Arsene and his Veritas Magic tower?

‘They are men who had to move away because of the mess. And they have been around since the ancient times.’

Death Knight and Lich were the ones that could be called out by the Devil King from the Devildom.

And it wasn’t long since Luke had actually met one on the borders of the Holy Empire.

Even though the body of Saymon had died 500 years back, the body of Saymon came back to combat that night.

He had attacked the Veritas’s opponent magic tower during the battle.

Perhaps the materials needed to make the Death Knight and Lich were taken long back.

Well, most definitely they were.

‘Arsene. After fighting Erenes, it was said that no one could even sense him, but here he was in the Southern Continent making undead.’

And it couldn’t be just the three.

There were many wizards and knights who died during the battle of the magic towers.

If he did steal all their bodies during that time, and if he kept on stealing the corpses of the knights from the past 500 years, the legion of the undead under his grasp was huge.

‘Dammit, the more I think about him, the angrier I get!’

It was when Luke was thinking back.

Stopping his feelings midway, the door opened and the servant came in.

“What is it?” Asked Luke.

“The chief of the Zegal clan is said to be coming. He seems to indicate master and me.”

At the translation of Hwang Bo-sung, Luke smiled.

“Really? I was thinking about finding him, but this is good too.”

After a while, two people had entered their room.

A middle-aged man who seemed quite an intellectual and Zegal Hui.

“It is a pleasure to meet you. I am Zegal Moon, the one in charge of Zegal clan.”

Hwang Bo-sung took that as a greeting and bowed his head down.

“Hwang Bo-sung. It is an honor to see the Kang Ho sage.”

Zegal Moon was a ‘Heaven’s Sage’, which meant that he was the best in Kang Ho. However, Zegal Moon ignored such names.

“Haha. Those words…”

Hwang Bo-sung introduced Luke to Zegal Moon, who clasped the hand with a shy face.

“I am not sure if you heard it from General Hui, but this man is my master.”

“Luke de Rakan.”

Luke reached out and greeted the elderly man and gave his hand, however, Zegal Moon didn’t reach out.

It wasn’t because he was unaware of the customs of the northern continent, but it was because he was surprised to hear Luke’s name.

‘Rakan?! Marquis Luke, a member of the Rakan family?’

Zegal Moon had heard about Rakan, the man who was worshipped by knights in the northern continent.

But he never assumed that a member of the Rakan family would come to him.

It was because Zegal Hui didn’t give out the family name of Luke.

Rhodesian Warrior Rakan.

In the past, he was the hero who had defeated the frightening dark magic wielding Devil King.

His status as a Sword Emperor was comparable to the legendary masters of Kang Ho, who were the Martial King, Sword King, and Archery King.

‘That is right. He might have the unique ability for being the descendant of the hero.’

Maybe he was much stronger than what Zegal Hui had told him about.

The strong eyes which weren’t suitable for his age, the unprecedented energy which was flowing in his entire body were things which were hard to see even in the Masters of Moorim.

Zegal Moon, who was giving out the expression without realizing, later apologized for his rudeness.

“I am sorry. I was shocked to know that you were the descendant of a famous hero…”

Luke was shocked to see the language of Rhodesia come out of the man’s mouth.

“No, it is alright. But you speak quite well.”

“I was a curious kid in my younger days, and learned it then.”

After the causal greetings, they moved over to the table in the room.

The servant left the refreshments on the table and Zegal Moon formally thanked Luke.

“Thank you for returning the 3rd crown prince and my brother very safely back to us. I swear on my ancestors to repay your grace.”

‘Should I make him payback? Whoo Woo! I look forward to it.’

Luke, who was thinking about how much to rob off them, smiled to himself.

“But, why did you have to come all the way to the southern continent?”

“That… we were in an unexpected accident.”

“Accident?”

“You can believe us, an axe we believed had come out of the bag and stamped on our foot.”

Seeing Luke’s expression stiffen, Zegal Moon didn’t ask what kind of an accident that was.

It was because he could roughly guess what happened to Luke, and asking him right after meeting seemed too rude.

“Anyway, in a confusing situation, the subspace got opened and we were sucked into it. After waking up, we found ourselves in the Song Empire.” Said Luke.

“Sucked into a subspace… I remember hearing a similar story in the past.”

“A similar story?”

When Luke seemed interested, Zegal Moon began to give out the story.