TRAIGS (Novel) Chapter 594

N/T: Translation made by our friend 'Irving'. A big round of applause for him :)



Chapter 594

 

“What do you mean by that?”

Merlin tilted her head, her eyes narrowing.

‘Is he suspicious of me?’

As soon as Raon’s name was mentioned, the Fallen approached her. It meant that he was suspicious to some extent. Before saying that she had nothing to do with it, she had to ask what it meant first.

“Are you still interested in Raon Zieghart?”

The Fallen spoke in a calm tone, as if it didn't carry much significance.

“I’m asking what you know about him at the moment.”

“You think I’m interested in Raon Zieghart?”

Merlin lifted the end of her mask slightly and twisted her lips.

“Aren’t you?”

“Yes, I am.”

She nodded her head, chuckling.

‘It’s better to admit it.’

There’s no point in denying it, he’ll see through it.

She had interfered with the Five Demons' attacks more than once to help Raon. There was no way the Fallen could have been unaware of that.

"I swore to slit Raon Zieghart's throat after he consumed Loctar's soul, but when I actually saw him, he smelled like Loctar, so I couldn’t bring myself to do it.”

Merlin furrowed her brows, mixing truth and falsehood appropriately.

"So, did you intervene in the attacks orchestrated by the Holy Sword Union, the Black Tower, and the White Blood Religion because of him?"

As expected, The Fallen knew that Merlin had clashed with all three forces. Admitting it was the right answer.

“Yes. I couldn’t just leave him to die in front of me.”

“Is that all?”

“Yeah.”

Merlin folded her arms and leaned back against the sand, covering her red lips with the old woman’s mask.

“I understand to some extent.”

The Fallen nodded briefly, seeming to accept it.

“Then let me ask again. Do you know why Raon Zieghart moved so quickly in Seipia?”

“I don’t know.”

Merlin waved her hand firmly and leaned back against the sand again.

"I rescued Raon Zieghart because he was right in front of me. I didn't follow him around. Besides..."

She flicked her raised finger left and right.

"I'm here, how would I know his movements?"

"With your abilities, you could certainly cast a spell for that.”

“I told you, I just didn’t want him to die in front of me. I’m not going to do something so annoying.”

Merlin lowered her eyes, saying it was unlike her.

“......”

The Fallen stared at Merlin’s mask without saying a word.

“That’s definitely like you.”

He nodded lightly and turned his gaze away again.

“This time, the damage is quite extensive.”

Unlike his words about the damage being extensive, the Fallen’s tone was not at all dark.

“The death of the Red Demonic Snake is a gain, but Cassandra and the Red Flame Demon. No, leaving that aside, it's most serious that the Red Flame Demon died without gaining any power."

He tapped the desk lightly with his thin, long fingers.

“Looks like we’re going to be pressured by the Heavenly Demon.”

The man wearing the troll shaman mask clicked his tongue shortly.

“Damn it. If they come looking for me, I’ll twist their necks!”

The woman wearing the griffin mask already had veins throbbing in her neck as if she was already irritated.

“That’s not a big deal. I can cover it up.”

The Fallen lowered his head and looked up at the sky.

"The problem is there's someone who can change the heavenly energy." (heavenly sign changed to heavenly energy, 천기 = heaven-energy, it’s the same power as Ariel’s/Thespian Emperor’s) (Heukgeumje also changed to Thespian Emperor)

“If it’s the heavenly energy….”

“I read the heavenly energy before starting this. The World Tree burned, the spirit world collapsed, and the Red Flame Demon was seen to reach transcendence. However….”

A cold chill rose in his calm gaze.

“The result was the opposite. The World Tree survived, two spirit kings were born and the spirit world regained its stability, and the Red Flame Demon died. The heavenly energy I saw was completely reversed.”

The Fallen cupped his chin with his clasped hands and sank his eyes.

“Normally, there aren’t many people who can change the heavenly energy. Transcendence. Even among them, only those who have reached the top 10% can do it, and only after making many sacrifices.”

“T, then Raon Zieghart has reached Transcendence….”

“That’s not it.”

He shook his head.

“According to the information left by the Red Demon, no, the Blue Demon, he is still only at the beginning of Grandmaster. That’s why it’s more of a problem.”

A deep well was dug under The Fallen’s cheek.

“This means that Raon Zieghart can change the heavenly energy even without reaching Transcendence. I tried not to pay much attention to it….”

His eyes, radiating a sinister heat, fell on Merlin.

“I guess I’ll have to change my mind a bit.”

*   *   *

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“…That’s how it happened!”

The baby fox raised its hand as if to say it did a good job.

“…….”

Raon blinked at the baby fox possessed by Merlin.

“You’re under suspicion!”

Thinking about what the Fallen said, it was no different from saying that he would keep an eye on Merlin from now on.

No, if it was that guy, he might already be predicting the relationship between Merlin and me.

“Yeah, you’re right.”

“You know that, so why are you so calm?”

“I told you before.”

Merlin swayed her foreleg.

"I have no attachment to Eden. It was the same before, but now it really holds no value to me."

She shook her head, saying that she was only in Eden to extract information.

“That’s not the problem, it’s dangerous.”

“It’s always nice to hear you worry about me. I want to record it.”

Merlin blushed and wagged her hind legs.

Oh, she’s really crazy….

Wrath couldn't stand it anymore and escaped into the ice flower bracelet.

"Seriously, think about it. You're already in a dangerous situation."

"I know."

Merlin nodded calmly.

"But it was worth the risk."

"What?"

"I was suspected, but instead I was able to save you. I'm satisfied with that."

She smiled as if that was sufficient. Her smile lacked any pretense.

"Haah..."

Raon sighed, grabbing his head. There wasn't much to say after she said that, but he still had something he needed to say.

"You did save me, and I'm grateful for that."

"Oh my! Thank you, what's between us."

"Now, just think about yourself a bit."

Ignoring Merlin's words, he looked into her eyes.

"Don't come near me in your original form from now on. Even if I'm in danger, never."

"Uh, I'll try."

"It's not about trying, make sure. And..."

Raon raised his finger and booped the baby fox's nose.

"Be prepared to run away from there too."

Judging by the Fallen's reaction, he might have already started investigating. Creating an escape route was crucial.

"I've roughly prepared, but hearing you say that makes me think more firmly about it."

Merlin patted Raon's hand with her front paw, telling him not to worry.

"Then that's it."

Raon sighed and nodded.

"Ah, you've been so worried about me today that I'm overwhelmed."

The baby fox chuckled softly. It was annoying how cute it looked.

"Now that I've seen you're safe, I'll be off."

She said it was time to go, looking up at the sunlit ceiling.

"Hmm..."

Raon straightened his back and gulped.

'What is it this time?'

As he waited tensely for Merlin's words, she swiped her front paw in the air.

"This child needs grooming."

"Grooming?"

"Grooming is when an animal uses its tongue to groom its fur. Sometimes they build bonds by grooming each other."

"Tongue, tongue?"

Raon opened his mouth wide, looking at the baby fox.

"This little one lost its parents not long ago and became alone. It said it wanted grooming even from humans."

Merlin stroked herself, saying the baby was a poor child.

"Ah..."

After hearing the baby fox's story, he couldn't refuse. It was a situation where he had to groom with his heart, not just with his tongue.

Kkeuk!

Wrath sneaked out and covered his mouth.

Poor thing...

He said it was pitiful, but it seemed like he would be smiling if he opened his hand that was covering his mouth.

“Then I’ll ask you!”

Merlin waved her hand and left. The baby fox’s black eyes met his eyes.

“Ah….”

Raon gulped as he looked at the baby fox. He couldn’t refuse any more once he met its eyes.

“Just give me a moment to prepare mentally.”

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

‘Let’s just do it ten times. My tongue will feel a little weird, but….’

When he opened his eyes after making up his mind, the baby fox was smiling like a human.

“Hehe.”

“Merlin!”

It was Merlin’s voice, so he immediately pushed the baby fox away.

"You're indeed different from other people."

Merlin chuckled, as if she had expected that.

“You don’t have to use your tongue to groom. You can just stroke it with your hand.”

She smiled mischievously.

“Then I’ll really go now.”

As she finished speaking, the baby fox’s eyes sparkled with a light brown color. It seemed like she really left this time.

Kyaaang.

The baby fox came to his lap and rubbed its face against him.

“Alright. I’ll do it as much as you want.”

Raon carefully stroked the baby fox from head to tail, sitting it on his lap again.

Properly groom it! Every single strand of fur!

‘I got it. Just be quiet.’

Swish.

The baby fox seemed to be in a good mood, wagging its tail while smiling with its eyes.

‘This little guy isn’t the only one who’s having a good time.’

Strangely enough, his mind felt at ease as he groomed the baby fox.

Grooming seemed to bring peace to my mind as well.

While he was grooming the fox for a while, the door opened, Rimmer, Dorian, and Yua came in.

“Young master Raon! You’re up!”

Dorian ran over and knelt down, bowing his head.

“Are you hurt anywhere?”

He said he was worried and sobbed.

“See. I told you there was no need to worry. This guy’s body is made of steel.”

Rimmer grinned and patted Raon’s shoulder.

“Young master!”

Yua ran to Raon with a tray held in both hands.

“Be careful.”

Raon grabbed Yua with the hand that was grooming the baby fox.

Creak.

The baby fox opened its eyes thinly, wondering what was going on.

“Huh? What’s that fox?”

“It was next to me when I woke up.”

Unable to say that Merlin was possessing it, Raon pointed to the hole where the baby fox had popped out.

“Wow….”

Yua looked at the fox with sparkling eyes.

“Can I pet it?”

“Yes!”

Raon nodded and lifted the baby fox, handing it over to Yua.

“Be good.”

Yua held the baby fox carefully and stroked it.

Raon looked at Yua and the fox, then turned his gaze to Rimmer.

"Is everything settled?"

"Why are you asking me? You handled everything."

Rimmer laughed, saying that everything was over when the Red Flame Demon collapsed.

"I just wanted to make sure."

“It ended well. Grandfather survived, and the World Tree survived too. Although some of our kin died, that was inevitable.”

He muttered in a lonely voice not to worry.

“You must be hungry, so eat first.”

Dorian held out a yellow soup with steam rising from it from the tray that Yua had brought.

It looked like corn soup with small pieces of bread, but strangely, it had no smell.

Ooh!

Wrath licked his lips at the sight of the soup.

I'm starving, where's the soup! Hurry up and eat!

‘Yeah, I am hungry.’

Raon nodded and took a sip of the soup. Unlike the fact that it didn’t smell like anything, as soon as he ate the soup, the scent of rubber spread throughout his mouth.

Keueueok….

“This is….”

“It’s soup made with Nadine bread.”

Rimmer smiled as he pointed to the soup.

"Since you're not feeling well, you probably won't have much of an appetite. I've prepared it so that just one bite should be enough."

“I see….”

Raon answered briefly and looked at Wrath. The guy’s chubby body started to glow red.

Eden guys! Don’t worry!

Wrath clenched his fists and gritted his teeth.

I'll wipe out every last one of the shitty-ears!

‘Is that so?’

Ignoring Wrath’s anger, Raon took another sip of the Nadine bread soup.

Kuueeek….

As soon as the rubber taste touched his tongue, Wrath’s anger naturally evolved.

This damn land! I’ll never come again!

*   *   *

“Haah….”

Sterin slowly lifted his eyelids. Deep fatigue and pain spread from his sunken eyes.

“Protector!”

“You’re awake!”

The Guardians who were guarding the World Tree rushed to him.

“I am awake, but it seems I’m too late.”

Sterin sighed, looking at the blackened roots and base of the World Tree.

“Do you know what happened?”

The Great Elder, who was operating the temporary barrier, approached Sterin and bowed his head.

“I don’t know exactly because I was resonating, but I could sense that the World Tree was suffering greatly."

Sterin furrowed his brows, feeling a burning pain within the World Tree.

“Then let me explain.”

The Great Elder sighed briefly and sat down next to Sterin.

"It began with Raon Zieghart. He mentioned having a bad feeling and decided to patrol the Great Forest..."

He explained everything that had happened to Sterin.

“I see. So the Spirit King….”

Sterin seemed to have somewhat predicted the situation, so he wasn’t too surprised to hear that Raon and Siyan had formed a contract with the Spirit King.

“I owe that child a great debt.”

“Yes. Considering Lady Siyan’s awakening as well, it’s a debt that will be difficult to repay.”

The Great Elder nodded in agreement.

“You. You seem to have changed.”

Sterin narrowed his eyes at the Elder.

“I had to, after seeing what I saw.”

“Is that so.”

Sterin smiled faintly and stood up. He almost collapsed weakly, but the Great Elder grabbed his shoulder.

“What is Siyan doing?”

"In your stead, she's roaming around Seipia, regenerating the barriers of the World Tree."

"I wanted to tell her about that personally."

He clicked his tongue briefly, genuinely disappointed.

"Would you like to go see her?"

"I would like to, but aren't there things to do before that?"

“You’re right.”

The Great Elder nodded, smiling calmly as if he knew what Sterin meant.

“That’s the priority above all else.”

*   *   *

Raon heard that Sterin had woken up and left his lodging.

"Is the Protector all right?"

"Wouldn’t it be surprising if he was perfectly fine?"

Rimmer chuckled and nodded.

“That old man. I don’t know how long he’s going to keep being a Protector.”

He said sarcastically, clicked his tongue. He must have been worrying all night despite saying that.

“Hmm….”

Raon frowned as he walked the path leading to the World Tree.

‘It’s been burned a lot.’

The path from Seipia to the World Tree was filled with black ash.

Even though they were elves, it would take quite some time and effort to restore the forest.

“Don’t worry.”

Rimmer seemed to read his thoughts and waved his hand.

"As long as the elves remain, the forest can be revived easily. This much won't be difficult."

He smiled, saying that he was confident about that.

“You should worry about yourself. Have you tried using the Sword and Soul Unification again?”

“I did, but it didn’t work. It seems like it was just a coincidence.”

"Thank goodness. If it had worked, I would have given up the sword and opened a casino."

“Isn’t that already the case? You're there every week."

“It’s not to that extent!”

As they joked around, they arrived at the World Tree without realizing it.

However, not only Sterin, but most of the elves staying in Seipia were gathered there.

‘What is it?’

He thought it was strange and stopped walking.

“Not yet.”

Rimmer grabbed Raon’s wrist and dragged him to the center of the World Tree.

“I brought him. No, I escorted him here.”

He stood next to Sterin and grinned.

“You’re awake. That’s a relief.”

Raon bowed his head to Sterin, still bewildered.

"Thanks to someone."

Sterin smiled faintly and looked up at the World Tree. Even though more than half of the trunk was burned, the giant tree still stood unmoving.

“When I became one with the World Tree, I felt the pain of being burned. I knew it was an external attack, but breaking the resonance was impossible."

He clicked his tongue briefly, touching the burnt part.

"I thought it was all over when the World Tree was under attack, but I could feel pure fire and water energy, even to the point where I, who had achieved resonance, could notice it. Thanks to that, I was able to hold onto a small hope.”

Sterin’s gaze turned to him again. It was different from before.

The eyes that had been filled with admiration, as if looking at a grandson, now held respect, as if looking at someone who stood on an equal footing.

It wasn’t just him. The eyes of all the elves, including the Great Elder and Erian, were the same.

“I’ll start first.”

Rimmer walked in front of Raon. He grabbed his right shoulder with his left hand and knelt on one knee.

“The Silver Branch Tribe greets the benefactor.”

“Di, division leader?”

Before he could even ask a question, Erian, who was on the left, stepped forward and took the same position as Rimmer.

"The Cotton Branch Tribe greets the benefactor.”

"The Flower Branch Tribe greets the benefactor.”

"The Maran Flower Tribe greets the benefactor.”

"The Karan Stem Tribe greets the benefactor.”

The Elders didn’t just say it with words. Their sincerity and determination tickled his heart.

“The Protector of Seipia greets the benefactor of the tribe.”

Finally, Sterin stepped forward. He too knelt and bowed respectfully. There was a solemnity in his posture, as if facing the World Tree.

The Great Elder and the elders standing behind Sterin, and all the elves present here, knelt down with their right hands on their left shoulders.

This is the etiquette that the elves only show when they are sincere. They have always conveyed their sincerity with a posture that reveals themselves straight like a tree trunk.

At this moment, the spirits of all the elves resonate. The World Tree spread its branches like wings and scattered transparent leaves.

Under the shining sunlight, hundreds of elves raised their voices.

"We greet our benefactor!"


-

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