Book 2: Chapter 391
An eerie sound woke him from his thoughts.
Lukas turned around. Behind him, Pale had begun to eat the half cooked corpse of the large monster. It was more like predation than eating, and although the outside was burnt, the inside was still uncooked, which caused blood to drip from the flesh as it was ripped apart.
The taste, smell and texture must have been the worst, but Pale still ate enthusiastically as though she had found the most delicious food in the world.
Then, she suddenly got up and wiped her lips as if she felt Lukas’ gaze.
“I ate well! Thank you.”
He didn’t remember answering when she asked for permission, but in the end, he still nodded awkwardly.
Pale grinned. The soot and blood stains that covered her face made her smile rather creepy. Then, she buried her face in the half eaten corpse of the monster once again.
Crunch, crunch. He realised the source of the eerie sound. It was the monster’s scales. Pale was chewing on the scales, the hardness of which were unimaginable, as if they were flesh.
Twet. After spitting out a particularly hard scale, Pale opened her mouth again.
“My name is Pale. Ah, but you already knew my name.”
Hmm? She narrowed her eyes slightly.
“But how did you know my name?”
There were no signs of suspicion in her voice or in her expression. But there was no telling what she was thinking on the inside.
How should he explain it?
Lukas hesitated as he was unsure of what to do, but Pale shook her head.
“Well. It doesn’t matter.”
It doesn’t matter?
Did it not matter that someone you met for the first time knew your name?
Such a conclusion was completely incomprehensible to Lukas’ principle of thinking, but there was no need for him to pick up on that.
“Thank you for taking care of me.”
He decided to change the subject by thanking her.
It was clear that Pale had protected him while he was unconscious. The Imaginary World was a very dangerous place. Without her, he might have become a monster’s meal before he could even come to his senses.
Pale scratched her head while smiling bashfully.
Lukas couldn’t help but observe her for a moment.
‘Who is she?’
A strange presence, a mysterious personality, and a surprising understanding of this world.
His question didn’t arise because of that knowledge.
It was because Pale was, clearly, hiding something.
In fact, even before he’d died, he’d had that feeling since the first time he’d met Pale, but after meeting Yang In-hyun, he became certain.
-I’ve seen you once before. In the ‘War of Existence’ in the Western Region…
The War of Existence.
Yang In-hyun had spoken as though he’d met Pale there. Of course, Lukas didn’t know what the War of Existence was, and he didn’t know where the Western Region was. However, he didn’t think Yang In-hyun had been mistaken.
But Pale denied him immediately. Presumably, this was because she didn’t want to reveal the fact that she knew Yang In-hyun.
-…As Young Miss said, I must have been mistaken. Please forgive my rudeness.
-There is one more thing I would like to ask. I am going to kill that man now. Will Young Miss stop me?
-If Young Miss intends to stop me, I will back down immediately…
Yang In-hyun maintained an extremely cautious att.i.tude towards Pale.
To be precise, he seemed to be afraid of going against her.
That was why Lukas had no choice but to be more wary and even slightly afraid of Pale.
He knew how strong Yang In-hyun was. Since he’d personally fought him, he knew it well.
The sword path that he’d seen stretched to the very edge of what a being could reach. Each swing of his sword contained the essence of Yang In-hyun’s very being, and they represented the peak.
Even if Lukas had not only the power of 9-stars but also Endtongue and the external force of an Absolute, he could not guarantee victory in that fight. No, in all honesty, he felt like he would lose even with that.
…And yet, Pale was someone that Yang In-hyun feared.
“What is it? Is there something on my face?”
At Pale’s words, Lukas turned his eyes away.
“Blood, flesh, and soot.”
Pale wiped her face with her sleeve. Then, she turned to look at him as if to say ‘how about now?’.
…Her foolish appearance didn’t look dangerous at all, but that just made him warier.
Looking at the face that was not completely clean, Lukas nodded.
“But won’t you eat, uncle?”
Pale suggested that he eat food. They’d had a similar conversation last time.
At that time, he’d denied his hunger, but the next day, his body began to disappear from his toes.
The phenomenon of disappearing.
He’d eaten the rat pale gave him and was able to escape the phenomenon.
…He didn’t want to be more indebted to her. In addition, the only way to replenish his mana was to take in nutrients in some form.
With a sigh, Lukas approached his prey. Then, after cutting off a bit of flesh, roughly pulling the scales off of it, and cooking it as evenly as possible with a palm sized flame, he ate it.
To be precise, he bit a small piece of it and tasted it. It was somewhat edible. The first meal he’d had last time was a dirty rat. So, while it was a bit dry, the taste was much better. It was a small comfort.
* * *
He looked up at the sky. The colours mixed as if several paints were poured onto the same place. Last time, he’d taken the time to organise his thoughts while in the middle of the desert.
Lukas looked over at Pale. She was laying on the flat sand, staring up at the sky.
It didn’t seem like she wasn’t thinking about leaving him like earlier.
Various questions arose in his mind.
What exactly did she plan to do with him? What would happen if he tried to force her away? What was she thinking?
Suddenly, Pale turned to look over at him. Perhaps he had been staring at her too openly.
Deciding to take the lead before she opened her mouth, Lukas spoke.
“Do you know the Twelve Imaginary Lords?”
He received a plain answer.
“What are they like?”
“They are amazing!”
Although he’d expected a similar answer, her response didn’t help him at all.
G.o.d told Lukas to become one of the Twelve Imaginary Lords and go to the throne. But Lukas didn’t even know who the Twelve Imaginary Lords were.
Just from the name, he a.s.sumed that they were the twelve beings who ruled over the Imaginary World…
Lukas wanted to ask a few more details, but he soon changed his mind. Instead, someone who would communicate more than her appeared in his mind.
He claimed to be an intellectual, and after having a conversation with him, Lukas could tell that he wasn’t bluffing.
He had a feeling that Michael would definitely know about the Twelve Imaginary Lords.
Since Lukas wouldn’t forget the location of places he’d been to before, he knew the location of the underground city.
He could head there now, but that would be no different from recklessly invading the territory instead of being invited. In the worst case scenario, he might even have to fight Michael.
‘If I wait for a while, the [Miglings] will come.’
After all, they were the ones who’d come to him last time.
—Lukas’ prediction wasn’t wrong. When the colour of the sky changed for the fifth time, figures seemed to approach them from a distance.
Pale exclaimed, her eyes sparkling.
“Wow! These are natives! I think they’re here to invite you!”
Ignoring Pale’s excitement, Lukas looked at the miglings. In the underground city, it seemed like they could speak, but now, they kept their mouths closed as though they didn’t have any vocal chords.
…Could they not talk in the desert?
Hiding his doubts, he obediently allowed them to pull him by his hands and clothes.
After walking in the desert for a while, they arrived in front of a small ant hill. The miglings threw themselves in one after the other.
And this time, Lukas jumped in before Pale. He heard her startled ‘uh’ as he went in.
He fell down the rapid stream of sand to the underground city and was tossed around by the miglings who went down first.
Lukas went down with an expressionless face, waiting for their little carnival ride to end.
After a while, the miglings walked up to him and spoke.
This time, he followed them without asking questions like last time.
As they walked, he slowly looked around the city. Last time, he hadn’t been able to do this because he wasn’t in such a relaxed mood.
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‘It’s much larger than I thought.’
[That won’t work. That far exceeds the capacity of one question.]
Although he’d said it in such a complex way, that was only a trick to take control of the first round. Naturally, Lukas hadn’t expected it to be that easy either.
“Then, tell me what kind of beings are the Twelve Imaginary Lords.”
[…good. I can tell you that.]
Michael nodded and opened his mouth.
[There are many ways to describe the Twelve Imaginary Lords, but the expression that is closest to the essence would be ‘the strongest and most qualified candidates’.]
“Candidates? For what?”
[To enter the King’s Castle.]
At that moment, Lukas suddenly recalled a conversation with Kasajin.
-We’re here. Do you see that castle?
-I guess you can’t see it.
The s.p.a.ce that appeared empty in his eyes.
And Kasajin who was pointing towards it.
-It seems it still isn’t enough.
-I already told you. I’ve been watching everything from here. Anyway, I guess you’re still lacking the qualifications.
…Lacking the qualifications?
Did Kasajin also want him to become one of the Twelve Imaginary Lords?
Lukas’ expression hardened slightly.
If that was true, then it meant both G.o.d and Kasajin wanted the same thing for Lukas.
[It’s my turn. Your name. No, I want to know your last name.]
[Hoh. So you’re a Trowman… Indeed.]
Michael spoke as if he was convinced.
Lukas asked his next question.
“What do I need to do to become one of the Twelve Imaginary Lords?”
[There are two ways to do that. Either you appear in this world like that in the first place, or you defeat one of the Twelve Imaginary Lords and occupy their seat. The former is simple, the latter is a bit more complicated.]
Lukas took it the other way around.
Compared to the latter, which simply meant defeating one of the Twelve Imaginary Lords, the former was much harder to understand.
What did it mean to appear in this world ‘like that’? Did that mean they become one of the Twelve Imaginary Lords from the moment they were born? Like the Rulers?
His eyebrows furrowed slightly, but he didn’t ask any more.
Because Lukas’ turn had ended.
[Are you an Absolute?]
Michael looked pleased, but Lukas couldn’t help but feel that he was cheating him. Of course, it wasn’t enough for him to get a guilty conscience. This was probably because Michael looked like Lord.
Instead, he wondered how he could extract more knowledge.
‘Because the information I can give Michael is limited.’
On the other hand, there were a mountain of things that Lukas wanted to ask Michael.
This meant that he would have to be careful with his questions from now on.
After thinking about it for a while, Lukas realised what he should be asking the most.
“How strong are the Twelve Imaginary Lords?”
Michael didn’t answer right away.
Was it because it was a difficult question to answer? Or was there another reason?
Lukas looked at the blank white face nervously.
Then, after a while, he spoke.
[That’s right. To give an answer that you could understand…]
When he heard the words Michael said next, Lukas’ eyes went wide.
[The Ruler who entered this world, the Seven Fanged Dragon G.o.d, was defeated by one of the Twelve Imaginary Lords.]
(TL: So one needs to be Ruler level to be ‘qualified’?)
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