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Chapter 228 – Final Chapter: In-gong
All the lights and sounds were violent. Then it suddenly became quiet. There was no screaming or crying. The demon king had succeeded in destroying the red dragon. He turned the soul of the one who craved destruction back to nothing.
The soul of the red dragon didn't disappear at once. The gigantic flame which had lost its essence burned gorgeously like the sun.
[Your level has risen.]
[Your level has risen.]
[Your level has risen.]
[Your level has risen.]
[Your level has ri….]
[The level of Heavenly Wine has risen.]
[The level of Heavenly Wine has risen.]
[The level of Divine Scent has risen.]
[The level of Divine Scent has risen.]
[Heavenly Wine has been promoted to Ultimate Heavenly Wine.]
[The level of Protagonist Body has risen.]
[The level of Conquest has risen.]
[The level of Pheromones has risen.]
[Pheromones has been promoted to Ruling Pheromones.]
[You have learnt Extreme Nothingness.]
The letters of white light and the voice of the woman came in succession. At a quick glance, he had gained more than 10 levels at once. The messages rose on top of each other, making them seem endless, while the woman's voice felt more difficult to hear than usual.
‘What is this Ruling Pheromones?'
In-gong breathed out as he thought about it. His exhausted stamina, magic power. and aura were immediately refreshed by the level-up effect. In-gong closed his eyes. Somehow, he felt like sleeping.
However, he couldn't sleep just yet. There were still things which needed to be cleaned up.
Three voices called out behind him at the same time. There was no need for him to open the mini-map. In-gong raised a fist again, then he turned around as he felt the sadness and pain of the white woman.
The Death Knight was rus.h.i.+ng away from Carack as his feelings were being conveyed through the blue aura around him. Resentment, rage, and hatred sought to choke the white woman's neck, and In-gong felt the Death Knight's own emotions amidst that vortex of emotion.
In-gong could see that the Death Knight was connected with the indigenous species. The Death Knight had been king of the indigenous species in the past, and the king had lived in deep regret and despair.
In-gong laughed, then he clashed with the Death Knight. In-gong's clenched fist reached the chest of the Death Knight, causing a deep dent.
The Death Knight then started crumbling slowly from his chest, like old wood crumbling after too much time pa.s.sed. It was natural. The Death Knight had to endure for too long. He had already been broken in the fight against the demon king.
Then Death rose up, and Conquest pushed against Death. The two powers collided before Death disappeared in red flames. This time, In-gong sighed with relief. At this moment, something seemed to tackle In-gong.
It was Caitlin. In-gong hugged her and laughed. Then he understood why had she run to him so urgently. He was able to keep standing in the air due to Conquest, but the flames filling the surroundings were disappearing, making her unable to maintain her position.
It was also true for Carack, who was falling.
In-gong called out the abbreviated version of Green Wind's name. It was a desperate call and Green Wind answered. White Eagle flew at maximum speed and caught the falling Carack.
In-gong felt like he had lost 10 years of his life. The final boss and intermediate bosses were now defeated, so it should be a happy ending. However, it would've been a bittersweet ending if Carack had died.
‘There is no happy ending without Carack.'
In-gong laughed at the thought. Then Caitlin got his attention from her spot within In-gong's arms. In-gong looked down with a questioning expression, only to see Caitlin's face draw nearer.
He felt a moist and soft texture. Caitlin had touched her lips to his. Moreover, Caitlin's eyes were wide open. He couldn't help smiling at the 'this isn't it?' expression on her face.
"What is it?"
In-gong asked as he withdrew. Caitlin pouted and said,
"I don't know if it is delicious or not."
In-gong laughed and kissed Caitlin again. Caitlin's eyes widened at the completely different kiss, then she closed them and hugged In-gong tightly.
However, this didn't last long because White Eagle had started to roam around In-gong while carrying Carack.
“This isn't the time for that."
Carack said with a halfhearted expression. In-gong released Caitlin as she stared at him with blank eyes. Although Carack's p.r.o.nunciation was messed up, he was able to understand the meaning.
The red flames had died down. Therefore, In-gong could see the battlefield. Despite the death of the red dragon, the black beasts were still fighting the soldiers.
He had thought the situation would be fixed after their creator, the red dragon, died. At that moment, both In-gong and Caitlin thought the same thing. They looked at each other and cried out in panicked voices.
Felicia had crashed into the ground after pus.h.i.+ng In-gong and Caitlin forward. If the black beasts were still attacking, then her safety couldn't be guaranteed.
In-gong shouted again quickly. It was the same Call he had used to summon Carack. A crack opened in the air and Felicia appeared. She was exhausted and sweaty, but she didn't seem to have any big injuries.
In-gong reached out and embraced Felicia hurriedly. Felicia sighed with relief once she was in In-gong's arms and whispered in a small voice,
Silvan had protected Felicia as always. From the sky, they watched the army fight against the black beasts.
Carack glanced at In-gong, who took a deep breath. He held Felicia and Caitlin with each arm, but he didn't put them down. In-gong rose up higher and pa.s.sed down a command as the demon king.
'Retreat. Move away from the center of the battlefield.'
In-gong was just like the previous demon king. Sylvia felt pained at the memories, but everyone followed In-gong's words without any resistance. Elaine just laughed comfortably. As Silvan and the others moved away from the center, In-gong looked at the mini-map. The black beasts were gathered at the center of the battlefield. It was really a panorama of red dots.
In-gong took in a deep breath. As Caitlin and Felicia leaned their heads against In-gong's chest, he declared,
“I'll do it in one blow.”
He was talking more to Caitlin than Felicia. Caitlin read In-gong's intentions and nodded.
In-gong stared at the air. As the new demon king, he built up a ma.s.sive ball by adding magic power and aura, and Caitlin's aura transmitted to the Moonlight Core.
Of course, it wasn't exactly like Shutenberg's. If the destructive power was the same, then he wouldn't be able to use it. He would vaporize the army as well as the beasts.
This was a smaller version at Level one, but this was good enough. Caitlin hugged In-gong tighter as she looked at the ma.s.s of aura and magic power. Then he dropped the black sun to the ground.
A great silence swept the ground, and the army of black beasts was instantly gone.
[Your level has risen.]
The level up was as expected since he had also defeated the Death Knight. A white light appeared around In-gong as his magic power and aura were restored. However, unlike In-gong, Caitlin's aura and stamina were still exhausted, so she couldn't help grumbling.
"Shutra is too much."
Then she leaned her head forward cutely like she was sleeping.
"Well, you are the same as always."
Carack nodded at the exhausted Felicia and Caitlin on both sides of In-gong. It really was a common sight.
“Prince, don't you care about the princesses?"
Carack clicked his tongue at In-gong's shameless answer while Green Wind appeared with a pout. In-gong wanted to pat Green Wind's head but both his hands were full. He felt sorry as he used Telekinesis to do it, but Green Wind still smiled happily.
‘My master, look at the sky.'
The white woman's voice was heard. In-gong suddenly looked up at the sky. The last flames had disappeared and the blue sky could now be seen. The darkness was scattering and the red moon created by the red dragon's power had also disappeared.
As a Drakon Kechatulla, he was able to know this. However, it wasn't just that. The same phenomenon was happening throughout the Demon World, and In-gong could hear the giants and lizardmen.
In-gong's gaze moved to a place far away. He looked at the sky, but what he actually saw was the white woman deep in his soul. She was smiling with both joy and sorrow. Setting aside the red dragon, Death, War, and Famine were her lovers, friends, and siblings.
'I'm okay, my master. You have conquered me.'
The white woman said jokingly. In-gong smiled and looked down at the ground. Familiar faces appeared. Everyone was looking this way, except for Anastasia who was desperate to hear news about Baikal in the north. Sylvia and Elaine had strange smiles on their faces.
In-gong exchanged looks with the sword duke before finally locking eyes with Locke and Zephyr. They were far away, but he could see both their expressions. Locke was smiling with satisfaction, while Zephyr nodded slowly before hugging Altesia, who was exhausted from her miracles.
It seemed like there was no need to worry. In-gong hugged Felicia and Caitlin tightly again. Despite it being on the verge of s.e.xual hara.s.sment, Felicia didn't say anything while Caitlin complained about the pain.
In-gong descended slowly like he was walking on stairs. Despite defeating the red dragon and the Death Knight, not everything was over yet.
In-gong gazed at the pillar of light in the center of the Sanctuary. Then the white woman whispered in In-gong's ears,
‘You can only talk to it once. Perhaps now is the only time. Do you want to talk?'
There was no reason to resist. No, this was a conversation that he needed to have, even if it was through force. It was at the Sanctuary's pillar of light, where the people of the indigenous species were located.
In-gong closed his eyes, and their minds were connected.
Chapter 229 – Final Chapter: In-gong #2
It was a familiar darkness. This was the s.p.a.ce where the white woman usually was. Everything was dark, but he could still see clearly.
In front of him stood the golden-crowned, white woman. However, she wasn't Conquest, and In-gong knew that instantly.
The woman said. Then she closed her eyes, and In-gong wondered about what he should call her.
“Indigenous species… should I call you that?"
“Yes, if you want. It wouldn't be bad to have a name that represents all of us."
They borrowed both this s.p.a.ce and this form. In-gong let out a breath. The white woman smiled slightly like she sensed some of his fatigue. The two people sat facing each other on sofas.
"Is this your will? A sense of self."
In-gong asked with surprise. If they had an ego, then why hadn't they given any information until now? The indigenous species frowned like she was embarra.s.sed and replied to In-gong's question in a soft voice,
"Normally, we just exist and have little will. It was difficult to talk to you without Conquest's help, so I borrowed her image and voice. This is just a temporary change to talk to you. After what we did to you… this is the least we can do."
The indigenous species had a wry smile on her face, but it didn't last long. She fixed her expression and opened her mouth again.
“I will answer your questions. Ask me anything you like."
Finally, it was time to get some answers to his questions. There were many questions running through his head, but the one that popped out first was unexpected.
"Is the red dragon completely dead?"
It was a little strange since he had definitely felt it. After he used Extreme Nothingness, he had sensed the disappearance of the red dragon. However, the red dragon had come back once already. So, In-gong couldn't afford to be careless.
The indigenous species smiled at In-gong's question. She probably hadn't expected In-gong to ask such a question. Her eyes were still closed, but she seemed to gaze into the distance. Then she turned to face In-gong again and said,
"He was destroyed. One day a similar presence might appear, but for now, the threat has disappeared."
The red dragon was the embodiment of destruction, so there was a possibility that a similar existence would appear again after a long time. However, not right now. It would clearly occur in a much longer time after In-gong was dead.
In-gong sighed with relief and stretched a little bit. He gazed at the indigenous species. Once again, an unexpected question popped out of his mouth.
"Were you the ones who called me?"
“That’s right. But it wasn't just me. I want to explain a little to help you understand. Is that okay?"
It seemed like it would be a long story. In-gong pointed to his head.
"Can't you shoot it directly into my head like the sword duke?"
“Your spirit would be destroyed. We don't show it off, but we are vast."
He understood. The person in front of him was made up of many souls.
“Then please explain."
The indigenous species took a deep breath. Then as Conquest, she started to explain in a slightly stiff tone,
“10,000 years ago, all of the indigenous species became one. Just like the dark G.o.d Erebos, we became one of the pillars supporting this world. But unlike them, the indigenous species have willpower. Although it was weakened after we all became one, it still remained thousands of years later. The will to stop the destruction and protect this world, that is."
The indigenous species' hands on her lap slowly formed fists, then her face turned away again.
"The crisis was detected. Perhaps we sensed that the red dragon was alive outside the world. The former demon king, Mitra, also sensed this ominous feeling. He didn't know for certain what it was, but he sensed it was the end."
The demon king had been able to see the flow of fate, but that didn't mean he had known exactly what the flow meant.
“We wanted someone to become one with Conquest and fight the red dragon. It was also aimed at helping Conquest escape from the fate of the end of the world. We came to the conclusion, along with Recorder Torres, that someone from outside this world was needed. A person who wasn't touched in some way by the red dragon, the incarnation of destruction, or Conquest. Anybody who had been touched by the destruction wouldn't be able to conquer Conquest perfectly."
The elder dragons were divine beings. Even though the body was broken and the soul fragmented, Ainkel still sometimes expressed her will to In-gong. So, it wasn't strange for a piece of Torres' broken soul to unite with the indigenous species.
“Things started to lock together like the parts of a sophisticated machine. The son of the demon king who was born without a soul but had the potential to be reborn as a divine being, along with the soul from another world who could save Conquest from the fate of the end… Everything lined up."
In-gong was convinced. It was because In-gong's soul was added to Shutra's body that he could become like this. However, he suddenly had a question. Why had they picked In-gong? Why did it have to be him?
"You are a man who is really suited to become the Conquest Knight."
The indigenous species said, and her smile comforted In-gong. This hadn't been just a coincidence but because he was suitable. Maybe he was the only one. It felt a bit strange, but it wasn't bad.
"In the end, it wasn't a game?"
After coming here, it didn't make sense that it was just a game. He had already heard a few stories about this world, and it was a completely different world from the game. The indigenous species nodded.
“It isn't clear what game you are talking about, but this is a different world from where you lived. I can only guess that there are peepers."
"Recorder Torres shot out the records of our world in order to find you. One of them touched someone in your world, and he might have created a game that is similar to our world. And that story reached you. The moment you were summoned seemed to be a coincidence."
That made sense. The difference he saw between the game and what he experienced in this world was probably due to such an error.
“Wait, then is time different between the worlds?"
Knight Saga had already come out 10 years before. However, In-gong had arrived at Knight Saga when the storyline of the game hadn't even occurred yet. Then time must be different if it was based on Torres' records. In order for there to be a story, there needed to be a time lag between the worlds.
“It does exist. However, it isn't that simple. For a while, our time was slower than your world, but now, it will be the opposite."
In-gong was once again convinced. He immediately asked another question,
“If it isn't a game system or a game world… what is Protagonist Correction?"
"You are the chosen saviour of our world. You can be called the protagonist of our world. It was just occasionally pus.h.i.+ng your back, but is it strange that the world is helping you?"
In-gong nodded involuntarily. The world had helped him, literally making the Protagonist Correction.
“And for what you called the game system… It was the easiest way for you to understand your growth. It is more correct to say that your subconscious created the system, rather than us. Moreover, you had the power of Conquest. You might have already guessed, but it was due to the power of Conquest that you learnt the skills so quickly."
He nodded again. It was certainly a convincing story. However, he then thought of something suddenly.
“Are you the voice I hear every time I level up?"
“Normally, it is impossible to talk to you like this. It is Conquest who delivered the voice to you.”
At that moment, In-gong imagined the white woman repeated reading 'Your level has risen' from a script in the darkness. He didn't know if it actually happened, but he couldn't help laughing.
“Why is Zephyr like that?"
“I don't know what you are asking."
In-gong then explained specifically. He told her about Zephyr's awful actions in Knight Saga. The indigenous species frowned like she was sorting her thoughts before speaking.
“It is a story based on the records of our world, but it isn't exactly the same. And maybe… the Zephyr in that story might be a Zephyr who was influenced by the four riders. Death and War were aiming for Zephyr. But thanks to your intervention, Zephyr was able to avoid that first contact. Small changes piled up to cause big changes."
In-gong thought about Gerard who had become the Famine Knight. Maybe Death and War really had caused Zephyr's actions.
“Then there won't be something like the Day of Ma.s.sacre? Zephyr won't cause a rebellion?"
"That is all up to Zephyr. A predetermined future doesn't exist."
The Zephyr right now was a rational and good prince of the Demon World, but there was no guarantee that he would submit quietly to In-gong. Although Zephyr wasn't a brutal murderer like in Knight Saga, he was still a powerful man with great ambitions and strength.
However, In-gong wasn't greatly troubled. It was only a short period of time, but the Zephyr he'd encountered wasn't a match for him.
“Are all your questions answered now?"
In-gong nodded before suddenly standing up. He had almost forgotten to ask the most important thing.
"Can I return to my original world?"
Return… Just as the beings in this world were precious to him, the people in his previous world were as well, such as his parents and his friends.
The indigenous species shrugged slightly and said,
"It is hard at the moment. But it might be possible one day. The most difficult thing about moving through worlds is lining up the coordinates of your world and this world. Moving across worlds also requires a tremendous amount of magic power."
In-gong had already secured the most important thing. His eyes shone while the indigenous species had a sorry expression on her face.
“I can give you the coordinates right now. I’m sorry but I will have to leave everything else to you. Once I go to sleep this time, I probably won't be able to wake up again. I should do as much as I can for you while I'm awake."
In-gong was disappointed for a moment at the thought that returning was impossible. He didn't hide his expression, which caused the indigenous species to laugh awkwardly.
"Don't make such an expression. Although my words are somewhat shameless, aren't you glad that you came to this world?"
“You met Felicia and Caitlin. Carack and Green Wind as well. You met them and changed their fates. Perhaps if you didn't appear in this world, there would be more events before the red dragon returned. You might have blocked a terrible future for them."
The Day of Ma.s.sacre and subjugation of the lycanthropes were things that could've happened. In-gong remembered the last he'd seen of Felicia and Caitlin in Knight Saga. He shuddered at the thought.
“I hate to admit it, but I am glad."
In fact, it wasn't just the two of them. It included Zephyr and all the children of the demon king. Sylvia and Elaine as well. If a future such as Knight Saga really unfolded, then it would've been disastrous for the Demon World. The war with the Human World would have been really devastating and truly like the end of the world.
The indigenous species smiled.
"Right? You also met beauties like Felicia and Caitlin. Moreover, you are now a king. Isn't it like winning the lottery?"
“Who knows how my life would've turned out?”
How many times had In-gong struggled? The indigenous species shrugged at In-gong's sharp words.
“I’m sorry. It is almost time for me to disappear."
The indigenous species apologized. It seemed like she couldn't say anything more using the white woman's appearance. In-gong folded his arms while the indigenous species restored her expression again. She then spoke with an affectionate tone,
“Coincidence and inevitability meet to create fate."
In-gong's meeting with this world… the branches of all his bonds started from there.
“Thank you. Thank you for saving our world."
The indigenous species got up from her seat and approached In-gong. Then she kissed In-gong's forehead gently. It was a blessing from this world.
“May your destiny always be full of blessings."
The indigenous species smiled. Then white light filled darkness.
In-gong opened his eyes. It was still the battlefield. Felicia was dozing off on In-gong's chest, while Caitlin was sipping from an elixir In-gong had given her before.
Caitlin asked as In-gong suddenly raised his head. In-gong glanced back at her before turning his head.
“What is it?"
“I'm here because of you."
"What does that mean?"
Carack looked confused, but In-gong didn't answer. Instead, he turned to Felicia and Caitlin within his arms. He pulled the two of them close to him again.
Caitlin asked with surprise while Felicia muttered about the pain. However, In-gong didn't release the strength in his arms.
“It’s a good thing.”
“Just… all of it."
He had changed the ending so that this would be the future and not that terrible one he'd seen. In-gong smiled and kissed Caitlin. Then he also kissed Felicia's forehead several times. It was a sudden affection but the black beasts were cleared out, so Carack couldn't criticize him.
Carack clicked his tongue and said,
“Prince, do it moderately. 6th Princess can't stand properly.”
It was certain that Felicia and Caitlin needed to rest. Moreover, there was one more thing that In-gong had to take care of.
“Master, are you going to praise me? I have been waiting for a long time."
Green Wind appeared with a pout before In-gong. In-gong stretched out the arm holding Caitlin and stroked Green Wind's head.
Green Wind hugged In-gong's neck, and Carack started laughing again.
In-gong's gaze moved to a place far away. He saw those heading in this direction. They were all welcome faces, yet it would still take them some time to arrive. In-gong waited for them and asked,
“The Demon King's Palace, should I build it again?"
The new demon king needed to be crowned. Felicia nodded with a gloomy face as she was reminded of the demon king. In-gong held Felicia's waist a little tighter and whispered,
“Then we will get married."
Felicia hurriedly opened her fan, but it was useless. Caitlin hit In-gong's chest on behalf of the blus.h.i.+ng Felicia.
“Let's go back first. After we rest, I'll tell you everything."
Felicia blinked with confusion while Caitlin shook her head. Green Wind didn't care about anything as she closed her eyes and clung to In-gong.
Carack called out to In-gong. The one who In-gong had first seen when he opened his eyes in this world said to him,
"You did your best."
“Yes, you too."
What more was needed to be said? In-gong looked at the pillar of light where the indigenous species was located, then he looked back in the direction of the Demon King's Palace.
A pleasant wind hit In-gong's cheeks.