The two wagons were dashing steadily into the night.
Kieran, who was inside one of them, did not feel even the slightest tremble. He was in awe of the wagoner's skill and the uncommon wagons and horses.
Even with his Basic Level [Alchemy] and [Research of Mystical Beings], he could still tell that the wagons were leaving a magical trail behind them and the horses were of a special pedigree.
Although Kieran knew that this was a mere display of strength from the other side, this didn't stop him from resting inside the wagon.
What would follow would surely be an ugly battle.
Elli was sitting beside him, with a bag as tall as she was beside her. The stuffed bag and the box with [Arrogant Word] made the spacious wagon seem small.
"I made the wrong decision! I should have sat in Simones' wagon. At least it wouldn't have been this packed."
Schmidt, who was sitting across from Kieran, had to fit his body between the two big pieces of luggage, yet this was not what was causing him discomfort.
The sharp Chief Officer had noticed that Elli's eyes gave off a burning vibe that made her look embarrassed. When Kieran closed his eyes quietly to get some rest, the atmosphere got so stiff that Schmidt felt his muscles freeze.
"Elli, I think we should be thinking about what to do about the Shepherds and the East Coast mystics. You should not be thinking about other thi-"
Her sudden death glare made Schmidt shut up quickly. As Elli turned her sharp gaze on him, Schmidt raised his hand in apology.
"Sorry, my bad," he said before going silent.
After two minutes, he spoke up again.
"If the Shepherds can rent Morsenburg, their influence must be bigger than we imagined! The castle, which belonged to West Coast royalty before the Blood Moon War, has never been up for rent, even if one had the money to rent it! The Morsenburg Castle has a special symbolic meaning to it"
"A special symbolic meaning?" Elli asked curiously, not stopping Schmidt this time.
"The last king of the West Coast was killed inside Morsenburg. He was the only king to be killed in his own castle. After his death, a mysterious veil fell over the castle. It was nothing supernatural, but based on some historians' notes, the place became known as the King's Grave!" Schmidt emphasized with a nod.
"The King's Grave?" Elli turned to Kieran in shock.
"Assistant o' assistant, in the form of a raven, ominously befallen. The Bird of Death, with a body of chaos and a heart of light, he who will reign over the land with a kingly might..."
Nikorei's prophecy echoed in her ears.
According to Nikorei's prophecy, Kieran would reign over the land with a kingsly might. Was it a coincidence that the Shepherds had chosen the King's Grave as the venue of their meeting?
Elli's heart was buzzing with worry. The mystical realm might have been willing to believe the prophecy, but they also believed in certain omens, and some people were very superstitious.
"2567" Elli wanted to say something, but before she could, Kieran cut her off.
"You wouldn't want me to jump off the wagon now, right? This battle is inevitable. Unless we want to cause more unnecessary problems, we have to settle this tonight! I never believed Nikorei's prophecy anyway!"
Kieran opened his eyes and looked at the worried young lass. Then he shrugged and gave her a soft smile.
His words were not meant to comfort her. They were just a statement of facts.
The young lass stared at Kieran's fading smile quietly. Kieran tilted his head down. He seemed to be thinking about something.
Schmidt rolled his eyes and said, "You don't believe the prophecy because you are embarrassed by it, right?"
Kieran didn't object, This was one of the reasons why, but he had his ways of dealing with it.
"Schmidt, unless you want me to kick you off the wagon, you better shut up!" Kieran said.
Schmidt instantly pretended to zip his mouth shut.
The cabin was silent after that, but the wagon didn't stop. It was shuttling at an ever-accelerating speed, moving away from the West Coast city.
Finally, it stopped on the outskirts, right next to a river.
A modern arched stone bridge was built over an old hanging bridge of the olden royal days, connecting the walls with the tower of the stone castle. As they looked at the Morsenburg Castle from the bridge, they noticed that modern lighting equipment had replaced the old torches and braziers.
Under the cold night sky, the dazzling lights matched the majestic building, which radiated a royal, reverent aura.
As the gates of the castle wall opened, a group of armored soldiers walked out one after the other. Their metal grieves produced a clunking noise as they collided with the surface of the bridge. The group split into two and lined up on both sides of the bridge.
Four-meter long spears were raised up into the sky one after the other.
On the tip of the first two spears were a silver and a gray flag respectively.
The silver flag had a bronze shield on it, and runes were branded all over the shield, spelling the shaman's name. It was Nikorei.
The gray flag had splashes of red color that intertwined with the gray. The red color was the base, and the gray formed a gravestone in the middle of the flag. Beneath the gravestone were layers of gray earth and a skeleton with its hand sticking up, grabbing the gravestone tightly.
Below each flag were smaller swallowtail flags of the same color.
The chilling night breeze blew at the flags, causing them to rattle hard.
The wagoner got down and opened the door for them. Kieran got out of the wagon with firm steps. He could tell the meaning of both flags with just a glance.
The flag representing Nikorei was very familiar. It resembled the mark Nikorei had given him once.
As for the Shepherds of Death?
The picture on their flag said it all.
"It's been a while since I've experienced such a formal welcoming ceremony. Hold on, everyone!" Simones said, asking them to wait a while before going into the castle.
After 15 seconds, a bright red carpet was rolled out from the castle gate, as if that process had been practised a million times. The precision with which the carpet landed on the bridge was impeccable.
When it was rolled out completely, the spear-holding soldiers on both sides kneeled down and said loudly, "Welcome, Bird of Death!"
WELCOME TO THE CARNIVAL!
I don't know why I typed that but an announcement is coming soon after this dungeon and before the next.
Don't freak out cuz it's a good news.