Normally, sneaking into the Imperial Palace would be quite difficult.
This was especially true for the Emperor’s Palace, the center and most important part of the Imperial Palace.
– Human, isn’t it too easy?
However, Cale’s steps were not stopping at all as he walked forward while surrounded by invisibility and soundproof barrier magic.
“…Cale-nim, is this really okay?”
Choi Han could ask normally because of the soundproof barrier magic, but his face underneath the mask was scowling.
“Why? What’s the issue?”
“…It seems too easy.”
“That is good.”
Cale responded to Choi Han as he walked past a knight.
The knight who was patrolling the hallway of the Emperor’s Palace did not notice Cale’s group at all.
‘Of course he didn’t.
This is Raon’s magic.’
Raon’s magic was something that even the ancient Dragon was shocked about. It would take at least a sword master to notice them.
‘And the only sword master in this world is Choi Han.’
The Imperial Palace knights would not notice them.
‘I’m sure some of the more talented ones might feel that something is off.’
But they would not be able to be certain.
They would not be able to recognize this magic.
– Human, the security here is so lax!
The security at the Imperial Palace truly was extremely terrible as Raon mentioned.
– They have prepared a bunch of things against black magic spells but nothing for magic spells at all!
The defenses were too lax when it came to magic.
‘The magic in this world is something only a few households learn to keep up their fame or hold up their traditions.’
Maybe it was different for the House of Huayans that created white magic, but most families treated magic like Cale described. As a result, magic was basically gone.
It was black magic that was all around, making the Imperial Palace prepare to defend against it.
‘There is a small amount of defenses against magic but nothing to defend against high-level magic.’
Raon mumbled as if he was shocked.
– There is a high-level defensive magic circle but I don’t think they know how to use it!
As the Empire had a long history, high-level magic circles from around 300 years ago when magic was active were all over the Imperial Palace, especially the Emperor’s Palace.
However, the people who would need to activate those magic circles were people of the current generation. Nobody was skilled enough to do so.
‘Maybe the Huayans patriarch can control them.’
Cale recalled what Eruhaben had said to him almost like a warning.
‘Cale, the Huayans patriarch is quite skilled. Even I cannot know for sure whether I can beat him or not. If it is someone like that, he is probably skilled in more things than just black magic. I’m sure he has mastered magic as well.’
White magic, the magic that uses dead mana but releases white light…
The House of Huayans was the ones who created it.
The Black Bloods household was one of the leaders of the Hunters.
“Cale-nim, I think that is the bedroom over there.”
Cale looked at the door Choi Han was pointing at. It was located in the innermost part of the Emperor’s Palace and still had many skilled knights standing guard.
“They are quite skilled.”
Cale listened to Choi Han before commenting.
“There are five of them.”
Take care of them.”
Choi Han placed the Blood Cultist on the ground and immediately started to move.
It started with one knight suddenly falling down, and then…
“Who are you?”
“What the hell? Did something, ugh!”
The knights were quickly knocked unconscious by Choi Han.
Cale was amazed.
‘It didn’t even take a minute.’
It was only possible because the five guards were gathered together in front of the door, but Choi Han had used the fact that he was invisible to easily suppress the knights.
Cale moved his foot and tapped the Blood Cultist on the side.
“Did you see that?”
The Blood Cultist had his eyes shut.
“You saw it, right? Don’t act up.”
The Blood Cultist silently kept his mouth shut.
Cale chuckled while looking at the Blood Cultist who was awake but pretending not to know anything.
“Hey, it is making you shake in fear, isn’t it?”
The Blood Cultist pretended to still be unconscious and as if he had not heard Cale until the end but Cale could feel the Blood Cultist flinch when he poked him on the side with his foot.
Cale turned toward Choi Han.
“Good job. It was clean.”
– You’re amazing, Choi Han! It is amazing to suppress them without hurting them!
The corners of Choi Han’s lips were twitching but Choi Han quickly hid it and grabbed the doorknob.
The Emperor’s bedroom door opened without a noise.
Cale calmly looked around as he walked into the bedroom.
“Human, let’s steal these things.”
Choi Han almost subconsciously nodded his head at what Raon said out loud and not in his mind. Choi Han was shocked at himself for that but could not help himself from looking around the bedroom.
The whole room was sparkling.
“Wow, I heard that there were a lot of mines in Xiaolen; did he decorate his bedroom with the things they mined from there?”
Cale could not hide his awe at the golden walls, bed pillar, and the whole bedroom that was decorated with jewels all around.
Even someone like Cale, who has looted all sorts of places until now, had never seen such a dazzling room before.
“Human, can we take this whole room later? Choi Han was very good at cutting off a wall last time! Let’s ask Choi Han to cleanly cut the walls off!”
Cale’s gaze headed toward Choi Han. Choi Han slowly avoided his gaze.
Tap. Tap. Cale tapped on Choi Han’s shoulder as he commented.
“Don’t worry. I won’t make you do that.”
Raon responded to that.
“Ah! Human, you must know where there are more sparkly things than this place! I was thinking it was weird that you were just looking around but it makes sense if that is the case!”
And then the Fire of Destruction that had been motionless, the cheapskate, reacted.
– …Wow, I feel like I could purify everything for you for free if you gave me everything here.
– Snap out of it.
The cheapskate continued to gasp in awe as if he didn’t even hear the Super Rock’s comment.
Cale completely ignored them.
“Let’s break the bed.”
Choi Han looked at the bed. The bed would be the most dazzling item in the bedroom. The bed pillars that went all the way to the ceiling were completely decorated in gold and jewels while they could tell that the bedding was soft and precious by just looking at it. The bedding seemed to have been embroidered with real gold as well. Furthermore, there were jewels dangling from the canopy.
Choi Han spoke solemnly before pulling his sword out.
The sword made an elegant arc.
That arc cleanly cut off one of the bed pillars. He did his best to avoid damaging the gold and jewels.
Choi Han urgently grabbed the bed pillar that was leaning to one side after being sliced.
It had been cut very well.
– You’re amazing, Choi Han!
Choi Han listened to Raon’s happy voice as he walked over to Cale and offered the pillar to him.
“…What are you doing?”
Cale looked at Choi Han with a baffled look on his now unmasked face.
Choi Han realized that something was wrong once he saw that look on Cale’s face.
Cale spoke as he put on the mask.
“The path to the basement is under the bed. Slice the bed in half. It will be difficult to move it.”
Choi Han blinked a few times before gently placing the pillar to one side and moving his sword again.
The sword with the black aura moved once to slice the bed in half.
A gust of wind caused by Cale’s Sound of the Wind pushed the sliced parts of the bed.
The bed moved and a door to the basement appeared.
“There is no magic on it as expected.”
The door to the basement was made of iron. However, there were no locks on it at all.
Cale recalled his conversation with First Imperial Prince Sanders.
‘There is an entrance to the basement underneath the bed in the Emperor’s bedroom?’
‘…That’s right. A large tomb in the basement appears if you walk through it.’
The First Imperial Prince’s face had been stoic while mentioning the tomb but his eyes had been shaking.
‘How do you know that?’
Sanders chuckled at Cale’s question.
‘When I was young, the Emperor was a good father, at least to us siblings.’
The First Imperial Prince did not look as if he was being nostalgic. In fact, he seemed to be sensing fear.
‘…At least that’s what I had wrongfully thought. If I had not played Hide and Seek with my younger brother…’
Sanders had been close enough to the Emperor that he played with his younger brother in the Emperor’s Palace when they were younger.
One day, when he was playing Hide and Seek with his younger brother, Fourth Imperial Prince Noi…
‘I thought that Noi would never look for me under Royal Father’s bed and crawled down there.’
It was only possible because he was young.
‘I found the door and entered out of curiosity. The door was made of wood at that time. Even a child could easily go through it.’
The First Imperial Prince closed his eyes. His eyelids were slightly shaking. It was as if he was trying to swallow his fear.
‘I saw the Huayans patriarch and my Royal Father there.’
All emotion was gone from the First Imperial Prince’s eyes when he opened them again.
‘The Huayans patriarch welcomed me and Royal Father showed me around the underground tomb. Every single place down there… that was the beginning. That was when Royal Father, that was when the way the Emperor looked at me changed.’
Only the corners of his lips curled up on his stoic face.
‘This is what the Emperor said. He told me not to tell anybody if I did not want to die.’
First Imperial Prince Sanders said the following about his father.
‘The Emperor is crazy.’
Cale snapped out of his thoughts and made eye contact with Choi Han.
“Should I pick it up?”
Choi Han picked up the door heading to the basement.
The door that was no longer made of wood like in Sanders’ memories and made of iron made a dull thud as it opened.
A path with a ladder that looked as if only one person could go at a time appeared.
“I will go down first, Cale-nim.”
“Okay. There are no dangerous devices until the bottom of the ladder so just climb down.”
Choi Han climbed the ladder down.
Raon created a bundle of light with magic and had it float next to Choi Han to light up the path.
“I’m ready, Cale-nim.”
Choi Han went down about 5 meters before arriving at the bottom, looked up and commented, before Cale nodded his head and kicked. He kicked the side of the Blood Cultist next to him.
“Hey. Wake up.”
“If you pretend to be unconscious, I’m just going to throw you down the path.”
The Blood Cultist slowly got up. He didn’t look like he would try to run away despite Choi Han not being there.
Crackle. Crackle. It was because he saw the rose gold currents crackling around Cale and the now visible black Dragon’s dark blue vertical eyes.
The Blood Cultist silently climbed down the ladder.
He saw Choi Han with his sword out. The Blood Cultist wanted to sigh but held back and climbed all the way down.
Cale and Raon climbed down after him.
“Hmm. So it is like this.”
They saw a large area in front of them unlike the narrow ladder path.
The long single path started at 3 meters high but slowly became taller. Furthermore, it was a couple meters wide as well.
The only thing was that it was dark.
Choi Han groaned and then started to speak.
“…If it is something this big, the basement seems quite large.”
“It is probably as wide as the Imperial Palace.”
Choi Han was slightly shocked. This Empire’s Imperial Palace was quite large.
But a basement that was the size of the entire Imperial Palace…
‘There might be more than just treasures and jiangshis.’
Choi Han’s eyes became filled with suspicions. He looked at Cale. Although he couldn’t see because Cale’s face was covered by a mask, Cale had noticed the suspicion in Choi Han’s eyes and chuckled.
“This is what the First Imperial Prince told me. He said this was an underground tomb.”
An underground tomb.
Choi Han’s face stiffened after hearing that term and Cale continued to speak.
“No matter what is in here, I’m sure it will be quite big.”
Choi Han nodded his head.
“Human, let’s hurry!”
Cale nodded his head at Raon and Choi Han clenched his scabbard while looking at the path that was full of darkness.
‘I’m certain that it will be dangerous in there.’
Choi Han was even tenser because there had been no locks on the door at all.
He had a feeling that although it was easy to get in, it would be difficult to survive and get out of here.
‘I’m sure there are numerous traps and obstacles.’
It made no sense to allow outsiders to enter such a location without any devices getting in their way.
‘I will take the lead.’
Raon will cast a shield on them but Choi Han thought that he needed to be the vanguard.
He took a step forward.
It was at that moment.
He heard Cale’s skewed voice. It was the voice he used every so often when he was trying to pick a fight with someone. Choi Han turned his head.
Cale was leaning on one leg with a hand on the Blood Cultist’s shoulder.
“Hey, you’ve been here before, right?”
The Blood Cultist had quietly been standing there since earlier.
“I’m sure you know about it. The jiangshis. Those things are here.”
The Blood Cultist’s pupils shook. The Blood Cultist had been here a couple times as Cale had mentioned. Cale didn’t even look at the Blood Cultist’s reaction and just said what he needed to say.
“I heard that there are a lot of traps here. I heard that you will die if you just walk through this path without doing anything.”
Sanders said that the Emperor told him that while showing him around. However, he did not remember how to disarm the trap as it had happened when he was young.
The Blood Cultist clenched his eyes shut.
Cale didn’t care and placed his arm around the Blood Cultist.
“Hey. You know how to get past here, right? Well, you better know.”
The Blood Cultist got chills at the voice that was lighthearted but bleak.
Cale’s eyes curled up as he spoke.
“Because you’ll be leading the way. Disarm the traps along the way if you don’t want to die. Do you understand?”
“Don’t make things complicated and don’t risk your life. Okay? Don’t you need to go back to the Central Plains? I’ll take you there with me. Hmm?”
The Blood Cultist just wanted Cale to knock him unconscious again.
“By the way, we are not going to knock you out. I plan on keeping you awake all day as we go through here.”
“Hmm? What did you just say? Did you say fuck to me?”
Cale warmly patted the once again silent Blood Cultist’s shoulder again.
“Alright then, lead the way!”
Cale’s group started to investigate the basement with the Blood Cultist in the lead.
Tour guide has arrived.
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