The day after Arsene’s disappearance, Zegal clan’s guards who had fled to the cave, came out again.
For a while, they were dismayed at the sight of their half burnt homes and buildings, but they soon began to sweat with the orders Zegal Moon had given them.
And there were those, who weren’t so easily out of the shock.
“Is this all because of me?”
“If I would just been in the Imperial palace, this would have never happened.”
When Jo Won-rak kept sighing out of guilt, Zegal Hui who was keeping his silence opened his mouth with a heavy voice.
“Even if you were in the Imperial palace, it would have been no different. Those who aim for the crown prince will use every means and methods possible.”
Zegal clan was a prominent clan in the Song Empire as well as in Angyang.
And it was clear that those raiders had a considerable power behind them when they decided to attack the clan home in a bright daylight.
According to the information gathered by Zegal Moon or Zegal Soha, the ones who attacked them were likely the faction pushing the 2nd crown prince Jo Won-gyun as the next Emperor.
It was because that was the only faction who would have received a greater benefit if the 3rd crown prince disappeared.
However, they were all still speculations, there was no clear evidence to follow, so they couldn’t just decide to do anything.
In addition to that, it was a matter which could lead to a conflict in the Imperial family.
“Prince, you need to hold your heart strong no matter what, you need to survive. All the victims of this incident were on the line with force and dedication to make you stay alive. If something happens to you, all of their sacrifices will go in vain.”
Zegal Hui’s eyes were wet when he was speaking.
The damage suffered by his family was too great, but the death of the soldiers in the Eorim troops, the ones whom he had brought up since children came to his mind.
It was unpleasant that the ones who were meant to be the future of the Empire were killed, even saddening was that a funeral couldn’t be held for them.
In order to soothe his heart, Jo Won-rak must be defended and he needs to be the one to sit on the throne.
“I understand what the general is saying. To be honest, I am still scared, but I promise to never turn into a coward and make extreme choices.”
“Well, you thought well, prince!”
While Zegal Hui was listening to Jo Won-rak’s words, Zegal Shin, Do, and Hwang Bo-sung were waiting for Luke’s condition report.
Together with them, Hwang Bo-sung approached Zegal Soha and talked.
“How is Marquis Luke?”
“He seems to be exhausted, and has taken some internal injuries, but they won’t be major. Saint Nanda has healed the man so he will wake up soon.”
“That is good. But… didn’t the Saint say anything else?”
At the question from Zegal Shin, Soha shook her head.
“Anything else? Is there another problem?”
“Well… first, let’s move to a place where no people are around.”
They moved over to a nearby vacant corner.
After checking for numeral times, Zegal Shin opened his mouth.
“What I meant wasn’t anything else, but it was just that some of the skills Marquis Luke had shown when fighting were similar to his opponent.”
“Hyung too was talking about it. Only the color or the power of the skills seemed to be different, but the essential properties of them seemed to be very similar. In addition, that technique where the black rope rises from the ground and wraps itself around the opponent.”
At the words of Soha, Zegal Shin and Do nodded their heads and agreed.
“Maybe both sides are related to the apostasy?”
“It can’t be!”
Zegal Soha who had a tilted heart for Luke jumped out at the words of Zegal Do.
And about that, Hwang Bo-sung explained the situation.
“Our master has nothing to do with the apostasy.”
“See now, he is saying it.”
“But it is true that he has learned dark magic.” Said Hwang Bo-sung.
“Dark Magic. Nothing to do with apostasy… what is that supposed to mean?”
Soha who was supporting Hwang Bo-sung was confused when he spoke about the dark magic.
It was the same with Zegal Shin and Zegal Do.
“H, hyung. Dark magic means…”
“Yeah, the forbidden magic of the northern continent. It is a very similar technique to the Apostasy, a relationship with the devils.”
Although in doubt, Zegal Shin didn’t believe the words right away.
When he heard the words from the man, saying that Luke had revived the Iron Core forest with his divine powers, he couldn’t just believe everything.
And the people of the mountain were calling him as the heavenly guardian and worshiped him.
But the same Marquis Luke had learned dark magic!
Astonished, they asked Hwang Bo-sung to give them the details.
“Don’t misunderstand this. My Master only deals with the dark magic, he hasn’t been eroded by them.”
Whether it was the dark magic or the Apostasy, the danger for using it was to get their souls eaten by evil powers, and eventually become the body for a demon.
And becoming a body for a demon was a sin for humans, and it usually ended with grave damage to the world.
“That is really true?”
“Yes. My Master has healed me, who was suffering from the curse afflicted by an Apostasy with the power of the dark magic. That too, when no divine power had helped in curing me.”
“I can’t believe it.”
There was a reason why both Zegal Shin and Do were shocked.
It was because the wounds and curses placed by the Apostasy were impossible to heal completely.
It was known that the curse of the Apostasy would only double as time went.
So, before the curse could spread over the body, the affected body part would be cut off, or the cursed part would be suppressed with zen healing.
Only a man with an awakening of Physical pain, Saint Nanda could cure it, but those who were in the stage of learning couldn’t learn about such healing even after 100 years of constant training.
“Believe it or now, it was freedom for me. He was acknowledged by Arch Duke Gregory of the Holy Empire that my Master hasn’t mastered the Dark magic in the evil terms. I told you my Master’s secret because I thought that you would understand this.”
“Uhm, Arch Duke Gregory is the representative of the Holy Empire, a paladin, and a stubborn one at that.”
“He is exactly as you say.”
Since becoming a retainer, Hwang Bo-sung had watched Luke and his circumstances very closely.
There were very few people around Luke, who knew about the secret, he and Philip were two of the few.
If the news went into the world, then everything his Master tired to build so far would collapse like a sandcastle.
He never spoke to Luke about it, but Hwang Bo-sung always thought that Luke was anxious and worried about it.
After hearing the words of Hwang Bo-sung, Zegal Shin nodded his head.
“Well, this isn’t something to publicize.”
The Zen of the Southern continent was rooted with the Yin and Yang five elements.
Just as darkness in the presence of light, they admitted to the principle of cosmology.
The problem was that the Apostasy related men were too horrible in the past and that unconditionally, led to negative views on everything related to the apostasy, just as dark magic in Rhodesia.
Which was why Zegal Shin was very concerned.
If rumors spread about Luke using magic similar to the Apostasy, he wouldn’t have the religious men going at him but the Imperial military too.
And the Zegal clan who had a relationship with him would get into huge trouble.
“Well, can’t we just shut our mouths?”
At the words of Zegal Do, Shin shook his head.
“The problem is Saint Nanda. Do you really think that the man who has reached awakening in terms of physical pain doesn’t need to know about the Marquis’s powers?”
“No matter what, I think that the Saint already is aware.”
When Zegal Shin and the others were concerned, Luke who was exhausted finally managed to regain consciousness.
“Are you awake?”
At a strange voice, Luke turned his head.
An old man with his hair tied tight and an old gray garment was standing by his bedside, looking down at him.
He seemed ordinary, and Luke couldn’t read any energy from him.
On the contrary, the man had a clear look at Luke.
“The battle ended, and the enemy is gone, so there is nothing you should be worried about.”
Luke had lost consciousness without winning over Arsene.
But instead of death, he disappeared?
Did the unknown person in front of him defeat Arsene?
Luke decided to put his thoughts away for a moment and talked to the person.
“Who might you be?”
“I am called Nanda. Just an old man who cured you.”
He answered with a smile seeing how Luke was still being cautious around him.
Luke slowly began to look at his condition.
The wounds he suffered while fighting Arsene were healed.
“Then I need to thank you first.”
Luke who got up, bowed his head.
Even though he was feeling suspicious about the man, he still had to thank him for saving his life.
Which was when Nanda shook his hand and said, “There is no need for that. I just came to see the man who returned after a long gap.”
Luke was shocked at what Nanda said and got up.
No one in the current world had noticed his true identity.
It was the same for Arsene who held great powers.
However, an unidentified monk who was standing in front of him, saw through Luke.
This time, Luke asked a little more vigilantly.
“How did you know? How are you even aware of that?”
“I just saw. Like looking at a picture on the book, the experience you have is that of an elderly man.”
“Then you might know that I am not a very good person.”
Luke, asked and began to gather Magi.
He was planning on getting rid of the old man in front of him.
Even then, Nanda’s expression didn’t change.
“A person is neither good or bad. Your evil deeds are the karma that built up by those who have been seized the opportunity to fulfill their desires.”
“And the wind of yours is to fix the world in which such people live and make the lives of people more peaceful. Isn’t that so?”
Luke’s Magi resided. Because the words of Nanda weren’t wrong at all.
He did feel unpleasant that his inner feelings had been seen through, but still, taking someone down who still hasn’t done anything bad to him was wrong.
And Nanda spoke again.
“I don’t want you, who had a chance to rebirth suffer, or suffer because of another one’s greed. Above all, I don’t see you as the one who has an excessive desire for ruling the world by abandoning the principles of life and death.”
“So, are you going to help me, the one who has come back from death?”
At the question from Luke, Nanda nodded his head and answered.
“Because this is something I need to do to save the world. And, I need to stop the evildoings of the man who was neither alive nor dead so that the karma can be cleared up.”
“The conclusion is to get rid of Arsene. Well, in what way can you be of help?”
Luke realized what he lacked in the fight with Arsene. He had always thought that he had developed a lot more since his rebirth, but it all turned out to be false.
The monster couldn’t be defeated unless Luke becomes a lot stronger than his current self.
“I have learned about the law (act) though not completely, I won’t be breaking any law for it, and there isn’t much time that I have. But I will be able to help you achieve the desired growth.”
“You do say. Specifically, growth about what?”
He smiled, looking at Luke all anxious and impatient.
“You haven’t been complete. And I can show you what has been lost in your family.”
“A, are you going to show me the second half of the Gold Sword?”
At the unbelievable question of Luke’s, Nanda nodded his head.
Listening to those words, Luke grabbed Nanda’s hands.
He never thought that the man would show the second half of the Gold Sword.
In fact, it could be the weapon that could defeat Arsene, since his demonic abilities or the dark magic had a little effect, but the Gold Sword contained divine power.
However, he couldn’t know the second half of the Gold Sword which got stolen by the Baroque Imperial, and such things can be showed off!
He thought that he could get unexpected results and his expectations and hope swelled.
“Please tell me right away!”
“I don’t think that showing you is a problem, but I am worried if you can understand it.”
“Don’t think so lightly of me. I survived the dark purgatory and got revived!”
Luke had a huge smile.
The cooperation between the Devil king had failed to change the world and began to realize the power of the God.