Chapter 172 - Slave Liberation 5
They found a certain document in the stone building where Melena was residing.
Most of its content was about myths.
Among them, there were many parts concerning artificial life.
After examining them carefully, Woohyuk came to a temporary conclusion.
'There is a high possibility that the secret weapon Melena mentioned is the Homunculus.'
Perhaps Aleister, who is well versed in alchemy, was in charge of the project.
Melena was most likely responsible only for collecting information or securing materials.
'If they abuse the Homunculus, the Eeth Continent will fall into great chaos.'
In the past, Woohyuk had restored the Nag Hammadi Chronicles, which recorded the secret knowledge of the gods.
It mentioned that the Homunculus was the fruit of alchemy and magic engineering.
The detailed manufacturing process was not described within it, but the dangers were clearly stated.
'I can see why they’re prioritizing the Edda Chronicles.'
If they analyzed the myths in the Edda Chronicles, they’d be able to locate the location of the abandoned Homunculus.
Woohyuk had also explored the location in the past, but the ruins were already empty.
Considering the information he just learned, it must have been Aleister who had taken it.
Back then, the Edda Chronicles must’ve already been in his hands.
As Woohyuk recalled his past memories, Catsy waved her tail as she emerged from the air.
“Master, I’m back!”
“What did Ganiev say?”
“He said he’d ask the other beastmen clan chiefs to find out.”
Woohyuk had asked Ganiev to find Cerberus' Flame Heart.
It was one of the necessary materials to create the Seven Color Rainbow Ring.
Previous investigations suggested that it was in some ancient ruins in the tropics.
However, the name of the site was unknown.
It seemed that it would take some time to find it, so Woohyuk needed help from people he trusted.
Ganiev valued loyalty and honor, and would not neglect this task nor try to deceive Woohyuk.
The beastmen’s autonomy had been recognized and they now occupied more than half of the Talis Kingdom’s territory.
This is all thanks to Woohyuk's compassionate decision after killing Ivanov.
Considering the treatment they were receiving before their liberation, it would be difficult to repay this grace even if they offered the heart of the Phoenix that would grant Woohyuk eternal life.
'But there is a high possibility that Ganiev won’t find it either.'
Judging from the information he had collected so far, the Lich King's Dark Crystal and Argos' Ice Heart were located in the eastern Eeth Continent.
It was most likely to be the same for Cerberus' Flame Heart.
The eastern continent’s tropical lands were about twice as large as those in the western continent.
Woohyuk spoke to her again while looking at the world map spread out on the desk.
“What’s the current status of the Izuna Kingdom’s Army?”
“The ground forces are preparing to return to their home country. The fleet is still blocking the shoreline.”
The King of Izuna did not claim any rights over the Talis Kingdom.
Thanks to Woohyuk, he was informed about Ivanov's plans in advance and did not have to suffer a lot of damage from an unexpected invasion from the Talis Kingdom.
In addition, Woohyuk had made all the important decisions and decisive actions.
'The Talis kingdom is almost fully organized now.'
With the support of the beastmen tribes, Hong Yuri became the new ruler, and the ruin exploration with Eteria Rodinus was completed.
All that remained was the liberation of the slaves.
Even though all the renowned slave traders had their properties confiscated, the root of the problem had not been resolved yet.
In truth, the Talis Kingdom was quite corrupt internally.
Catsy asked a question as Woohyuk flipped through the list of slave trader names in the report.
“But am I really immortal? I still can't feel that I’ve become an undying being.”
“… Watch carefully.”
Woohyuk pulled out the Vampiric Dagger and stabbed Catsy in the throat.
His moves were so fast that she couldn’t even react.
However, the Vampiric Dagger passed through her without injuring her body.
“Wow, that’s amazing! It feels like I’m a ghost!”
“If someone tries to harm you, don't be scared. Schrdinger's Cat will continue to exist in this world as long as I am alive.”
If Woohyuk died, the Schrdinger's Cat class would naturally disappear.
In other words, Catsy would return to being an ordinary cat beastwoman.
"Please don’t worry! I'll be a good spy so that Master doesn't die! Should I go see Cynthia now?”
“No, that’s not necessary. She's coming to us already.”
He felt the presence of someone approaching from a distance.
The movements were that of a well-trained female assassin.
Woohyuk knew that it was Cynthia.
Soon enough, they heard a knock on the door,
“May I enter?”
Cynthia's soft voice resounded behind the door.
As Catsy ran on all fours and opened the door, she stepped in and politely addressed to Woohyuk.
“I have carried out the task, Master.”
“I am not your master.”
“You are my benefactor and hero. You punished Antonius and Clyantes, who sexually harassed me every time he could while practising plays.”
“Did he use you in his plays?”
“Yes, I once appeared on stage as a beautiful but empty-headed woman who only knew how to spread her legs to men. Even though I was a slave, it was a humiliation worse than death.”
“I didn't know that happened. Anyway, he's dead now, so there’s no need to feel ashamed anymore.”
“… I am afraid. Afraid of everything in the world, including this kingdom. Since my body has already been imprinted with a slave’s seal, I feel like I cannot survive without relying on someone stronger than me. So please allow me to serve you as my master, despite my lack of qualities.”
Cynthia knelt and kissed Woohyuk's hand as she begged him.
She seemed to considerably like him.
Woohyuk nodded without much of a choice.
“If you really want to follow me, I will allow it. But if you don’t serve me, you will never return to being a slave.”
"Thank you. You are truly merciful. And this is a letter from Slave King Arminius.”
Cynthia smiled brightly as she took out a scroll and handed it to Woohyuk.
After receiving it, Woohyuk glanced over the poorly written sentences.
“The Slave King must be learning how to write these days.”
“Since he is in a position of leadership, he will have a lot of paperwork to do, while sending and receiving letters. Especially with nobles.”
Slave King Arminius was a hero who was originally a gladiator.
He reigned as the Champion for three long years at the gladiator arena in the capital city of Cordoba.
He later had no more enemies to fight, and when Ivanov died, he escaped the arena during the confusion.
Later, Arminius gathered slaves in a similar situation as him and trained them into an army.
They called themselves the Liberation Army and were gradually growing in power.
“There was once a similar heroic figure in the Holy Aperian Empire.”
“Then his revolution must have failed, considering the fact that the Holy Aperian Empire is still standing today.”
Cynthia didn't know that Woohyuk was talking about the future since she wasn’t aware of his regression.
However, Woohyuk did not point out that point.
The members of Eteria Rodinus were the only ones who knew of his regression, and he didn’t intend to let that number grow.
“It was a man named Maximilian. He was publicly crucified and died a painful death alongside his comrades.”
“… That's horrible. What will you do if the negotiations with Arminius break down?”
"Who knows. It depends on how he behaves.”
He had only heard about Arminius through rumors, and had never met him in the past either.
Ivanov had captured him and burned him in public with Carnelian's flames.
So all his decisions from now on had to be made after evaluating Arminius disposition and qualities.
Woohyuk stood up from his seat as he glanced over the scroll again.
“Will you leave now?”
“There's nothing wrong with getting there early.”
The negotiations were planned for later in the evening.
The location was in a stone building in the workshop district.
There were few people at night in the workshop district and there were many secret passages, so it would be easy to escape even if you were surrounded by enemies.
'At least he’s not a fool.'
Although he was the King of Slaves, a King was still a King.
It was a position that could only be reached by people with the proper qualities and abilities.
So Woohyuk wanted to become allies with Arminius as much as possible.
'I hope we won’t talk only about difficult topics such as overthrowing the current status system…’
The abolition of slavery was still feasible, but if they tried to remove the current system and status quo, the people of the kingdom would not accept it.
While it would be possible if they pushed their ideals forward and continued to fight for their cause, there would be a long-term resistance.
Eventually, the Talis Kingdom would descend into chaos and it would do more harm than good.
'Well, even if the negotiations break down, brainwashing him will solve the problem.'
However, Woohyuk wished Arminius to stand by his side with a conscious and sane mind.
Unlike his previous life, there were ridiculously strong enemies showing up one by one during this lifetime.
When he arrived at his destination, shabbily-dressed men surrounded Woohyuk.
“Are you the Hero King?”
In various regions of the Western continent, Woohyuk was being called the Hero King.
He was hunting and defeating every type of evil beings, whether they be demon kings, witches or other humans.
Moreover, it was partly due to Rosenkreuz. He had returned to the Holy See and proclaimed Woohyuk as a warrior sent by the God of Light.
Perhaps that was the reason behind people showing amazed expressions whenever they saw him.
'This man is the savior of the world!'
'Is it true that he can use all the powers of the God of Light?'
‘To think that I would meet the true successor of Solomon here…!’
And even if they were civilians from enemy countries or forces, they still admired him as he was a respectable person.
“Right this way.”
The brown-haired man who was facing Woohyuk took the lead and started walking.
He was Tacitus, the second-in-command of the Liberation Army.
He was a warrior who was once a slave gladiator within the same arena as Arminius.
'He seems to have a favorable impression of me.'
It was normal to search for dangerous weapons before letting him inside the negotiation room.
However, not doing so meant that Woohyuk was being respected and they were keeping his position in mind.
Even though the surrounding security was tight, Woohyuk also had a favorable impression of them.
“Welcome, Hero King. I am Arminius. I lead the people who are being persecuted in this kingdom.”
Upon entering the conference hall, a strong-looking brown-haired man stood from his chair and reached out his hand.
Woohyuk shook hands with him and immediately spoke.
“I heard that you are preparing to attack the capital.”
“That was the original plan, but… I've begun to reconsider it ever since I found out my opponent was you. And while I was hesitating, that beautiful woman came to me.”
Arminius glanced at Cynthia standing next to Woohyuk.
He seemed to quite like her.
Woohyuk sat down on a chair.
“I have a suggestion. The position of lord of the Bayen County is currently empty. The former lord was Ivanov’s aide, therefore he was purged. But we have yet to find a suitable successor.”
“Your point is?”
“Become the Count of Bayen, I will free the slaves under your control. Moreover, the Bayen County is currently going through a civil war, so the population is small. You could take all your current troops with you and settle down over there.”
Woohyuk put out the best possible choice for Arminius.
Everyone could become a citizen of the kingdom and live a normal life, and Arminius himself would become a noble.
However, Arminius immediately rejected the proposal.
“… I refuse.”