Emperor of Steel

Chapter 654 - End of Hells Island 3

The moment Luke joined, the battle on the ground ended in a breeze.

Until then, the Undead and warlocks, which were sweeping the battle, began to flee the island.

“Your Majesty, we’ve caught all those who fled the forest.”

“However, those who hid inside the pyramid continue to resist. It is a situation where the sacrifice of the knights and soldiers is increasing because the Gigants can’t enter the building easily.”

At the reports from the commanders, Luke ordered a not so very tough option.

“Set the pyramid on fire or the entire island except for the place where we aren’t currently stationed. Let them choose whether they want to burn or crawl out from there.”

“Understood!”

Luke’s frightening order fell, and Thanatos Island got engulfed in red flames.

“Ahk! Fire, fire!”

“Hurry and run!”

“Damn it, where are we supposed to run to?”

Just as Luke said, it wasn’t long before the warlocks and the Undead, who were hiding in the pyramid, began to crawl out.

Luke’s Heatwave magic and Auster’s shelling poured on to them.

Riders were also diligently chasing after the remnants as if they were catching insects.

Three hours after the initial shelling, the battle was completely done.

‘It’s over. But what is this stuffy feeling?’

Something felt like it wasn’t right.

Luke looked over at the pyramid that was being used by the Veritas warlocks as their hideout.

It was the den of the warlocks, so dark energy flowed from it, and it was being purified by the fires the army set.

‘Is it because of Arsene? Or is there any other reason for that energy?’

As Luke thought, Count Reynard approached him and reported, “Your Majesty, all the elders have been taken captive, but they killed themselves.”

“What was that? They killed themselves?”

“Yes, it seemed like they had taken poison. They aimed for the gap when the surveillance was neglected and did that.”

The elders that were held captive were captured by Luke, and their black circle was destroyed, which meant that they were barely holding onto their lives.

Of course, they didn’t have any power to resist. All their weapons and artifacts were confiscated.

So, the knights and guards decided to take their eyes off the elders for a second.

“The fault of the subordinates reflects on the superiors. Your Majesty, please go ahead and punish us.”

Luke frowned at Count Reynard’s plea for punishment.

It was because the elders needed to be interrogated to know where Arsene’s Life Vessel was being kept hidden.

The only reason he went ahead and killed Nestar was because he knew that there would be other elders of the Veritas Magic Tower who would be able to give him the information, and now, everything went wrong!

‘Was this why I was feeling stuffy?’

Luke sighed and shook his head.

“That is enough. It is useless to regret something that has already happened. Interrogate the rest of them as far as possible.”

“Understood, Your Majesty.”

It was after Count Reynard, who went away after taking the orders…

Urrrng!

Suddenly, the ground shook.

“What is this? An earthquake?”

Luke flew around the island with Fly magic to see if there was an earthquake.

However, the intensity of the earthquake wasn’t that strong and it stopped right away. The sea seemed way too quiet for an earthquake.

‘I guess it was just a tremor.’

Thinking so, Luke flew over to help clear the battlefield.

The wounded knights and soldiers were being healed.

“Your Majesty, why don’t you leave this to us and take a rest?”

“Yes. I heard that Your Majesty had killed the enemy’s leader.”

At the words of Shirley and the other knights, Luke spoke with a smile, “If I directly help, things in the field can be cleared quickly. And there is an old saying that a king’s hand is a promising hand.”

“Huh? There was such a saying?”

“I heard that a mother’s hand is a promising hand, but…”

As the servants and Luke were talking, the soldier in charge of guarding duty ran over to report.

“Your Majesty, Sir Belfair and his party are returning!”

“Huh?”

Belfair went to set up a torpedo in the sea at the only exit point of the islands.

Having had his whale and three boats along with him, he returned. Luke asked, “You came later than I thought. Did something happen?”

Belfair responded to Luke’s question, “Well, when I went there, there was a fish that got caught in it. I was late because I had to clean it up.”

“Fish?”

At Luke’s question, he explained in detail.

Belfair, who installed the torpedo, was waiting outside the Hells Island.

Thinking that if there really was someone who was smart enough to escape from the island, they would get caught.

However, the battle ended with no such lucky men.

As a response, Belfair returned and found a ship sunk by a torpedo at the entrance of the other side.

It was too late to get the assets out from the ship.

“There were classified documents that were retrieved from the sunken ship, and if you look closely, we can see where the Grain merchants have sent their cargo from this island.”

“Oh! That is good work!”

In the stamped documents of Grain, the letters, which were all written in ink, were smeared, but it could be made out that the words were supposed to be encrypted.

However, if magic could be used, Luke might be able to restore it.

Still, the elders had all committed suicide, and he was feeling upset that the Veritas men had managed to keep secrets, but this was good news for Luke.

“But, Your Majesty, there is something else I have got.”

“Apart from the papers?”

“Yes, Master.”

As Belfair clapped his hands, the sailors, who were out with him, dragged back a young man in a robe.

The young man with a magic power seal on his hands was soaked wet as if he had drowned.

In addition, seeing that his eyes were closed and he didn’t manage to move, it was like he lost consciousness.

Seeing the young man’s face, Luke frowned. Something changed his entire mood.

‘Arsene, he looks very similar to him!’

The young man resembled Arsene’s youthful appearance before he became a Lich.

‘A bloodline?’

He could be a descendant.

It would be very strange for the Veritas Magic Tower, which had flourished for the past 500 years, to have no descendant of Arsene.

When Luke was full of displeasure, Beflair explained why he brought in the guy.

“I looked through as I found something floating on the broken ship when the torpedo exploded. He seemed to be a high ranking person because of the documents he had in his hands.”

“Ho, really?”

Maybe there was no need for Luke to restore those confidential documents.

Excited, Luke flicked his finger.

Snap!

With a small noise, a small amount of Divine power flowed into the young man.

It was his intention so that the light would seep into the young man’s body, and soon, black smoke came up, and then everyone saw his body burn.

The young man opened his eyes in an instant and began to struggle and scream.

“Ack! H-hot, it is hot!”

‘I knew it, this one is a warlock too.’

If he was just a normal merchant, his injuries would have been healed by the Divine power, but seeing the man struggle, he must have learned dark magic.

Luke had already guessed it as he resembled Arsene a lot.

However, he wasn’t sure if he would believe it, but the results made Luke smile.

“Ugh… this is?”

The young man got up and looked around.

The pyramid on the other side was on fire. Armed knights were all staring at him with a grim expression on their faces.

And he found Luke, who seemed to be the one in power, and was shocked.

“Y-you are?!”

It was a face he could never know, especially if he was someone belonging to Veritas Magic Tower because he was considered to be the greatest obstacle to their ancestor and their growth.

“Wow! Huhu, you know me? Then I guess talking to you would be easier.”

Unlike Luke, who laughed, the young man was nervous.

“What is your name?”

“My name, well, Zehart.”

Zehart answered right away. It was because he knew that if he kept silent, he would be tortured.

Even if he wasn’t killed right away, the men around him would surely torture him.

“Okay then, Zehart. Where is Arsene, the founder of your tower?”

Zehart, who became silent upon hearing Luke’s question, shook his head.

“I-I don’t know.”

“Really?”

“I-I am not lying. I am not very talented when it comes to magic, so I was always pushed out of the meeting and ran errands as their merchant. My grandfather and father would always give me instructions, but I don’t know where my ancestor is, really.”

Actually, he knew it.

He knew that he would spill something out of his clumsy mouth, or they could find out that he was lying. His neck would snap right away if they did, but he had a reason to hide it.

As long as he was being held captive, he knew that Luke would never spare him, a warlock, even if he cooperated.

Luke, a descendant of Rakan, a warrior who defeated Devil King Saymon, and Luke had always stopped Veritas’s attempts to change the world.

‘I can’t just die like this!’

How much money would have Nestar and Arsene secretly save?

The young one didn’t want to die on a gloomy island considering his option to create a family and see beautiful lands.

So, he decided to make a deal with Luke.

He believed that Luke, who seemed very eager to find his ancestor, would surely go ahead with the condition.

“But, if you decide to save me, I will find out where my ancestor is, well, Arsene, and I will make sure to inform Your Majesty right away.”

“So what you mean is, you will betray Arsene and stand by my side?”

“Y-yes! I was forced to follow him because we are blood relatives, but who would want to follow a monster who never dies!?”

He wasn’t just spitting out words to live.

Zehart was speaking out what he really meant.

He was more interested in riches and making money than magic, and he was never pleased with the madness around Arsene or the Veritas men, who wanted to conquer the world and change it into the Undead.

There was a proverb in the Southern Continent, ‘It is better to win even if it means to roll in sh*t.’, and Zehart considered it to be true.

“I see.”

“It is true. If I had any intention of following Arsene, I wouldn’t have run away from here and would have been dead like those idiots over there.”

“Hm, sounds plausible…”

Luke nodded with a smile.

Seeing that, Zehart felt that his words managed to do the work.

However, it was an obvious misjudgment.

“Zehart, even though I might not be sure, there is one thing I know for certain. Do you know what that is?”

“Well, I can’t guess it, but…”

As he was in thought, Luke gave out the answer in a cold manner.

“That is, there is no one to believe in the Veritas Magic Tower or the Baroque Imperial family.”

“Th-that can’t be!”

Luke stretched out his hand towards Zehart, who was sulking.

“It doesn’t matter if you are being honest or not. I’ll find out everything by myself.”

The moment his eyes shone, Zehart’s eyes turned hazy.

It felt like his entire mind had been overpowered.

Luke placed his right hand on the head and forced the memories to be extracted.

“Kuakk!”

The method of forcibly searching through the memories had serious after-effects.

Most of the people, who are subjected to such methods, end up turning into mental patients.

So, in the magical world, it was taboo as the dark magic, but Luke had no intention of Luke treating Zehart with time and patience, especially after seeing that he was a blood relative of Arsene.

Besides, the man learned dark magic, which means he would have committed all kinds of sins.

He knew all that by looking into the man’s memories.

It was true that he had been pushed out of the magic tower, but it was also true that he received preferential treatment as the Meister’s son.

‘Huh, he really did a lot of things.’

The wealth Arsene and Nestar had stolen was enormous, and the evils committed while Zehart was expanding the business.

Using warlocks and mercenaries to get rid of the competitors or to take down the powerless people through money loaning.

In addition, Luke was eager to find the main person.

‘Huh, Arsene is surely bad, but he is… huh?’

Luke was shocked as he kept on reading through the memories.

‘This can’t be! No way Arsene would be there!’

Luke knew that Arsene was hiding in some remote place where people would be scarce to build up his strength.

However, he seemed to be in the most unexpected place, he turned into the most unexpected person.

Shaikan of the Libiya Kingdom!

What was even more surprising was that he wasn’t simply disguising himself as Shaikan, but he took over his body.

This was one hell of a scary thing to happen especially if Zehart wasn’t imagining stuff.

‘Shaikan is a dragonian, a hybrid between a human and a dragon. And Arsene managed to take over the body of the dragonian?’

Luke had faced Shaikan in the past.

He, who possessed the ability of dragon magic, wasn’t a person who could be won over so easily.

But Arsene took away his body!

‘Arsene is a guy who can’t be underestimated at all!’

Currently, the Libiya Kingdom and the Symphonia Kingdom were in an alliance.

However, when Shaikan spread the Vers virus in the capital, Nemesis, of the Baroque Empire, Luke began to turn wary about him.

However, compared to other nations, the military of Libiya was loose, and it wouldn’t be a huge deal to attack them.

‘Wait a little more, Arsene! Dragonian or not, I will kill you!’

Grr.

Luke began to look for information about Arsene’s Life Vessel.

However, no matter how much he searched through Zehart’s memories, he couldn’t find the location.

Perhaps, Arsene seemed to have hidden it in a place where even his own people weren’t informed.