“Don’t you think that this is not enough people?”
Queen Litana could not help but be anxious after looking at this list of names. However, Alberu responded calmly, without any hesitation.
“As I explained earlier, there is no need for a lot of people to go into the temple, your Majesty.”
Toonka, who had been quietly listening, frowned and mumbled to himself.
“…Emotions? Damn it. It’s so much easier to fight.”
Sword master Hannah, who was next to him, was sighing.
“My mind is a mess.”
Toonka agreed with Hannah, who frowned and looked away. Saint Jack patted Hannah’s shoulders as he started speaking.
“To summarize, there is a key to close the temple doors at the end of the temple. However, there are tests that people need to pass in order to get there?”
“That is correct, Saint-nim.”
According to Ahn Roh Man, there would be a white key once they got to the end of the temple.
The temple would disappear if they brought that key out and closed the temple door with it.
“That test changes based on the color of the orb above the temple.”
Entry into the temple became possible once a large orb floated above the temple.
Furthermore, the contents of the test within the temple changed based on the color of the orb.
“And the tests show illusions based on emotions?”
Ahn Roh Man had also said the following.
Tens of thousands of people had to be sacrificed.
That sacrifice did not mean that they were physically injured or that they died.
‘A lot of people suffered mentally after coming back from there. In some aspects, the aftershock of this test was even greater than from the battle with the Lion Dragon.’
People who enter the temple are individually shown different illusions. These illusions are so realistic that they are frightening.
“Illusions based on emotions…”
Caro Kingdom’s crown prince Valentino looked down at his notes and read them off one by one.
“Sadness when the orb is blue. Sloth when it is yellow. Failure when it is green. Indignity when it is purple. Wrath when it is black.”
Ahn Roh Man said that they figured out the orb has five different colors after one year of studying it.
“Once a group enters the temple, others are not allowed to enter for 24 hours and the orb changes colors five times during that time. That means that those who enter will have to see illusions related to all five emotions.”
“It is not easy.”
Dragon Mila was the one who responded.
She shook her head.
“If these illusions are almost the same as reality, these tests will be extremely difficult unless a person has an extremely strong will. We need to be even more careful as this is the test of a god.”
Alberu nodded his head.
“That is right. That is why I must say this.”
“It is possible to give up. It is also possible to challenge it multiple times.”
Ahn Roh Man had also said the following.
‘If you feel like you can’t handle the test in the temple, you must give up right away. You get thrown out of the temple if you shout that you are giving up. We didn’t know that at first-’
His voice sounded bitter.
‘Many people died at first. They died by their own hands.’
A lot of people had killed themselves after being unable to handle the illusions inside the temple. Others were so submerged in the illusions that they would kill other people after giving up and being cast out of the temple.
This test was so similar to reality that it shook people’s hearts.
“Will the illusions change when someone attempts it again?”
“No, they do not. They will apparently see the same illusion from the first time.”
Saint Jack quietly commented on Alberu’s response.
“It truly seems like the test of a god. It is not there to destroy those who intrude into the temple. It is as if those who pass his test are given the key as a reward. That seems to be the case to me.”
Alberu was silent for a moment before he opened his mouth again.
“Anyway, those who have been chosen to enter should not overdo it.”
“That is right.”
Everybody turned toward the person who had spoken up in shock.
Choi Han, who had been quiet until now, was standing behind the crown prince as he spoke.
“Little by little. If we face the tests that are shaking our hearts and persist, we will reach the end. There is no need to hurry.”
Someone who usually does not speak speaking calmly like this made it seem like a fact. Hannah scoffed before nodding her head.
“Yes, let’s do it.”
“Hannah. You’re not part of the team going in.”
“…Ah, you’re right.”
Hannah turned toward the dispatched team, and one of those people caught her attention.
‘Why is that bastard?’
Clopeh Sekka was quietly sitting there with a holy-looking smile on his face.
‘…His will does not seem firm.’
She could not understand it. However, Clopeh had volunteered, and the crown prince had thought about it for a bit before nodding his head after Clopeh whispered something in his ear.
Clopeh was mumbling to himself right now. His quiet mumbling could only be heard by the crown prince and Choi Han.
“With absolute faith. I will follow the path of someone who is even greater than the gods.”
The crown prince could not help but accept Clopeh after hearing that. This bastard would easily kick apart a god’s test with his faith in Cale, his hero.
‘…He has the best chances.’
Clopeh Sekka might be the one who could deal with this test better than anybody else. Even the gods could not do anything about crazy bastards.
“Anyway, don’t we have the option to not send anybody in there?”
Valentino asked with a resolute expression on his face.
“Apparently it randomly drags people in if a party is not sent in at certain intervals, so we must avoid that at all costs.”
Alberu had asked this question during his chat with Ahn Roh Man.
‘There are no monsters coming out of the temple and the temple does not attack. Wouldn’t things have slowly progressed if you waited and observed? You wouldn’t have had to send tens of thousands of people into the temple.’
‘That doesn’t work. A maximum of three days. The temple randomly summons about a hundred people inside if you don’t send at least one person inside within that time. It can summon people from anywhere in the world you are in.’
Alberu had decided that they needed to prevent that random summoning at all costs.
‘It is not easy.’
They needed to be careful and even more careful as it was a test that messed with a person’s emotions and their mind.
That was why Alberu was planning on having Saint Jack, mages, and healers at the ready.
Alberu reinforced the thing he had emphasized from the beginning.
“During the first entry, within five minutes we will shout that we give up and come back out. Anything longer than that is not possible.”
One by one.
It might be boring, but they needed to do it in that way in order to get the least amount of people hurt as possible. Alberu was making up his mind to engage in a long battle. He touched his necklace out of habit.
The first party to be dispatched.
One of the members was Alberu Crossman, who had forced his way into it despite everybody else being against it. He would go in as well.
He heard the sounds of chairs being pushed back as multiple people pointed out the window.
Alberu also looked out the window toward the temple.
A round sphere was ripping through the sky and appearing above the temple.
His eyes opened wide.
He sounded confused.
* * *
On the other hand, Cale was staring at the man in front of him without knowing that the first party to be dispatched had been decided.
“You really were someone from the Thames family.”
Cale’s eyes were slowly observing the other person.
“But why did you only change your hair color?”
The fake Hilsman’s face remained the same while his hair had turned red.
“I can’t reveal my full appearance.”
The fake Hilsman shook his now red hair to push it back.
“I already told you. It’s a bit complicated for me to reveal myself. That is why you can ask Deruth Henituse about my identity later.”
Raon looked back and forth between Cale and the fake Hilsman’s red hair before clapping his front paws together.
“Your hair colors are the same!”
They truly were exactly the same color. The fake Hilsman smiled with joy.
“The Thames family hair used to be famous for its redness.”
“And that famous Thames family perished. No, it completely disappeared from the world without a trace.”
Cale observed fake Hilsman’s smile getting thicker as he leaned on the chair again.
The Thames family had perished. The Thames family had completely disappeared with Drew Thames’s death.
That was what everybody believed to be true until now.
However, the truth was…
“It looks like the Thames are alive somewhere.”
Cale pointed toward the fake Hilsman.
“And it is not just you, but a lot more people.”
He was certain that there were other Thames survivors aside from this man.
“Why do you think that?”
“Why make things complicated? The information you have is not something you can find out on your own. You must have people working with you. That could be the Thames people or it could be others.”
“Mm. It’s nice that he’s smart.”
The fake Hilsman mumbled and nodded his head. He then heard another comment.
“You also do not look like someone who has lived alone.”
The fake Hilsman looked at Cale, wondering what he meant by that. He then flinched.
A pair of eyes that seemed unfathomably deep were looking right at him.
‘…This bastard’s gaze is definitely not like those his age. Something is different. Is it because he is Drew’s kid?’
The fake Hilsman thought about Drew Thames for a moment. However, he did not realize that Cale was able to say this because he had lived all alone before.
Cale was certain while looking at him.
‘I guess he doesn’t know about the transmigration.’
The person in Cale’s body was someone named Kim Rok Soo from a different world.
The fake Hilsman did not seem to know about that. That was why he kept talking about his bloodline.
‘At least I can tell what kind of status this man has in the Thames family.’
He was someone who was able to say Cale’s biological mother, Drew Thames’s name without any hesitation, was someone in a position to hear a lot of information, and was someone who could make the decision to reveal his true appearance.
He was also someone who could personally come to see Duke Deruth.
‘He is either one of Drew Thames’s siblings or someone of the older generation.’
He was most likely Drew Thames’s older or younger brother.
“Me! I have a question!”
The black Dragon burst in between the two people.
“Hey, fake Hilsman! What is going to happen to chubby Billos?!”
“I heard that he was imprisoned in an underground prison for revealing information to a competing merchant guild.”
The fake Hilsman stopped for a moment before continuing on.
“But then he ran away.”
The fake Hilsman calmly explained the situation at Cale’s question.
“There was an explosion at the main branch of the Flynn Merchant Guild two days ago. There was a fire in the kitchen, but the explosion seems to have started from the underground prison-”
“That must have been Billos running away.”
Billos wouldn’t go down without a fight.
“His current whereabouts are unknown. The Flynn Merchant Guild is going crazy trying to find him while the kingdom’s attention is focused on Puzzle City.”
Where would Billos Flynn have run away to?
‘For some reason-’
Cale and Raon made eye contact. Raon gulped and kept his mouth shut. He seemed to have the same thought as Cale.
‘I feel like he is going to come find me.’
If The Orsena Duchy and the Flynn Merchant Guild had some kind of relationship as the fake Hilsman mentioned, the Henituse Duchy was a place that could shield him from them, especially since Cale and Billos had a close relationship.
‘Ah. It’s coming.’
Cale could tell.
‘A big incident is headed my way.’
He clenched his eyes shut.
The fake Hilsman watched curiously before speaking.
“I guess you know Billos Flynn pretty well?”
“…He helped me quite a bit when I was getting a lot of things started.”
Cale had borrowed numerous magic devices from Billos and received a lot of help when he first ended up in Cale Henituse’s body and left the Henituse territory for the capital, Huiss City.
The fake Hilsman watched Cale, who was closing his eyes as if he was in pain, with a bitter gaze before it quickly disappeared. He then asked in a slightly more gentle voice.
“Will you help him?”
This was obvious.
Cale scowled at the fake Hilsman for asking such an obvious question.
The fake Hilsman suddenly burst into laughter and shook his head side to side. Cale wondered why he was laughing like this, and an expression that Alberu would call extremely disrespectful if he saw it was slowly appearing on his face.
Hilsman didn’t care as he continued to laugh.
“A portion of the Thames bloodline receives one of three kinds of responsibilities each generation. This is what we call those three kinds of people.”
“Someone who researches time.”
“Someone who guards the family.”
“Someone who hunts the Hunters.”
The fake Hilsman said those three and then slyly asked.
“Which of the three do you think I am? Hmm? Aren’t you curious?”
Cale calmly responded.
“I just have to ask my father.”
“Didn’t you say that my father would know who you are? I just need to ask him. Why should I wrack my brain for no reason? Isn’t that right, sir?”
“…That is true?”
“Yes, sir. So, please quietly wait here and go see my father later.”
“Wait, you really aren’t curiou-”
Knock knock knock.
They heard someone urgently knock on the door. Cale got up and moved as soon as he heard the noise.
The fake Hilsman looked at him with confusion.
“Why are you headed to the window instead of the door?”
Cale was heading toward the window after hearing the knock.
He heard Lock, On, and Hong’s voices outside the door, but Cale focused his gaze out the window. The fake Hilsman gasped after also looking in that direction.
“Ho-, what is that?”
On top of the Temple of the sealed god… They could see a red orb.
“…Red wasn’t one of the colors?”
Ahn Roh Man did not mention a red orb.
Cale suddenly flinched.
‘It’s looking at me?’
He knew that wasn’t possible, but Cale felt as if there was something inside the red orb above the temple that was moving.
It looked almost like a pupil. The moment Cale felt as if he made eye contact with that red thing… (PR: Eye of Sauron moment)
The red orb flashed. It was then replaced by a blue orb.
Unlike the something that Cale had seen inside the red orb, the blue orb was so beautifully blue and transparent like the ocean.
The first test was blue.
It was sadness.
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