<Free City #1>
Edited By: Sebas Tian
Riding a horse was harder than he imagined.
Since a horse had four legs, just walking made Yong-Ho move around alot.
On top of that, horses were a lot bigger than humans. So when they moved their body, the smallest movement felt big.
Because of that, it was the same as sitting on a chair that kept on moving from side to side and up and down.
And this movement was just the start.
When the horse started running, the movement became even bigger.
A horse wasn’t an inanimate object like a bicycle or a car. It couldn’t change directions or stop on its own.
A connection with the horse was needed.
Thanks to the advanced saddles that they were using, the difficulty level of riding a horse decreased, but it didn’t mean that it was easy to ride it.
In order to ride a horse, one needed strong stamina and extreme balance that allowed them to endure the rough movement, the ability to connect with the horse, have the driving force required and the ability to lead so that they’re able to rhythmically balance themselves.
There’s a reason why people create dieting machines based on horse riding or the rodeo culture that was created.
Riding a beast was that difficult.
Catalina sat on top of a flat rock and she opened her mouth while wagging her tail. Yong-Ho was sitting across from her and while he was writing on the ground with a stick, she spoke.
“You seem to learn everything very quickly, sir.”
When the previous owner was alive, it was true that the House of Mammon was on the verge of falling, but it didn’t completely fall.
As the guard, Catalina learned how to ride a horse from the previous guard. Because of that, she knew that it wasn’t easy for a beginner to ride one.
But Yong-Ho was able to ride a horse pretty well for his first time. He was even able to ride it while the horse was running.
Of course it wasn’t perfect, but for his first time, he was riding it pretty well.
Yong-Ho raised his head when he heard her admiring voice. He raised his shoulders as if to show that he was embarrassed by her compliment and then replied.
“Well, even though I never rode a real horse before, I rode a lot of horse-riding machines.”
It’s been several years since his father bought Yong-Ho a horse-riding machine while he was drunk and told him that he’ll have to ride a horse when he becomes a demon someday.
It was an intense night where his mother slapped his father’s back, but Yong-Ho couldn’t forget about that day.
It’s because it was the same day where he found out that the blood of a demon was flowing through his body.
‘I wonder if they’re doing well.’
Yong-Ho grew up to be a mature son that never ran away from home, so the fact that he left home one day by leaving just a letter was an issue.
Now that he thought about it, that wasn’t the only problem.
Since he hasn’t been attending class, he might’ve made the achievement of getting a F for all of his classes.
Yong-Ho chuckled without knowing.
Just a month ago, his home and school were his reality. His school was the third most scary place and there wasn’t anything else in the world that was more stressful than the computer major women that he saw in the freshman meeting.
But everything was different now.
“It’s nothing. I think you’re way prettier than Ye-Jin.”
Catalina was surprised by his sudden compliment, but it seemed like she liked it because her lips were going up.
Yong-Ho turned his eyes to the ground again. The reason why Yong-Ho used the word, “everything,” was in front of him.
The words that he wrote using the stick.
It looked like those runes that are seen in games.
Last night, Yong-Ho wasn’t able to read Kaiwan’s journal.
The reason was simple.
He couldn’t read the words.
An author named, the Evil Spirit of the Past, engraved a “World-Class Magic” into the demon world and because of that it was possible for everyone in this world to communicate despite the difference in race.
It’s all thanks to their magic that Yong-Ho was able to communicate with Catalina and Eligor without any issues when he first came here.
He noticed after realizing it, but after coming to this world, Yong-Ho didn’t use Korean. Even though he was thinking in Korean, the words coming out of his mouth were the demon world’s language.
It was possible to communicate.
In the dungeon Virtual Space, thanks to the magic, he was able to understand the meaning of the demon world words, even though it was his first time seeing it.
But Kaiwan’s journal was different. Since it was written without the use of magic, he couldn’t read it.
‘The white is the paper and the black are the words.’
That’s why, Yong-Ho has been learning the language from Catalina since last night. If he memorized the words of the language, then he’ll be able to somewhat interpret the journal.
Of course he couldn’t ask Catalina or Eligor to interpret it for him. That’s how they took care of the records that were left by the two previous owners.
But he couldn’t do that with the journal. Catalina read a bit of the front page last night and after reading it, she confirmed that it was close to a very personal journal.
Even though they were already dead, he didn’t know what to say. Maybe it’s because he saw her in his dream, but if possible, he wanted to protect her privacy.
‘They even hid a teddy bear in their office, so who knows what kind of information is in here…’
Both Catalina and Eligor admired Kaiwan and there was a high chance that there was shocking and dreadful information in there.
That’s why Yong-Ho started learning the words of the demon world.
To say that the owner was illiterate didn’t make sense. He had to memorize them for the future.
Using his feet instead of the stick, Yong-Ho erased the words and stood up. The horses looked like they got enough rest, so it was time to start moving again.
After checking the condition of the horses, Rikum spoke.
“It would be best for Skull and Catalina to switch horses. I think the horse is exhausted because of the weight.”
Since Skull became a Rock Skeleton Warrior, their weight went way over 100kg. And since they were wearing armor, their weight was close to 200kg, so it was obvious that the horse would be exhausted.
Skull surprisingly became depressed when Rikum mentioned his weight and they mumbled to themselves. It could also be because they felt bad for the horse.
‘Now that I think about, Skull is good at riding a horse too. Were they a knight in their previous life?’
Yong-Ho was getting more and more curious about Skull’s life, but there wasn’t a way for him to find out.
It took about two days by horse to get to Nuremberg from the House of Mammon’s dungeon. Since they had to camp out for at least one day, they had to find a good spot before night came.
The sight of the demon world was a mess.
Like in the Western movies, there was a wasteland that stretched out, but a river and forest would suddenly pop out and then a dead zone suddenly appeared.
The group stopped at the wasteland and among them, they decided to camp out on a small rocky hill that was made up of rocks being stacked on top of each other.
“Since the living condition in the forest has been built, we’re not sure what kind of evil spirit is living there. It’s not entirely safe to be in the wasteland either, but it’s better than the forest.”
Rikum explained after lighting the wood on fire that he picked up while passing the forest. Just like when they’re in the dungeon, Skull rolled on the ground and became one with the rocky hill and Catalina took out food from her bag.
Rikum started explaining once they were done preparing for the night.
“Humans are able to live in the free city. Farming may be possible, there may be a water source or it may have some sort of value, like a mine. Since the demon world is a tough place to live, for a human to live here, it’s safe to say that the area is either owned by a demon or there’s a free city.”
The survival of the fittest and the law of the jungle.
The demon world’s atmosphere was barren and a mess, so it was hard to say what would happen next.
Those without power will be used no matter where they go. For weak spirits like the Goblins and the Imps, peace was something they had to give up.
“Even though a free city doesn’t belong to a specific demon, it doesn’t mean that no one is controlling the city. Those that control those cities can be called owners without a dungeon.”
Rikum used a stick to draw a picture on the ground. They must’ve had a talent for drawing because they created a pretty decent map.
“Nuremburg is interestingly balanced between the many dungeons. There are about three dungeons where it will take them a day or two to arrive at the city.”
With Nuremburg in the center, Rikum created a triangle and pointed at each of the dungeons.
“Foras’s dungeon, Angoladian’s dungeon and Shikniel’s dungeon.”
“Are those two dungeons targeting Foras’s dungeon?”
“There’s a high chance that they are. A couple of days ago, the owner brought their soldier and hasn’t returned yet. It may be difficult to get the exact details, but if they died during a battle, there’s a high chance that that news already spread to the pub. Everyone has become sensitive due to the owner that appeared in the northern region…they’ll most likely work harder than before to get more information.”
Rikum used the stick and pointed to Nuremburg again.
“A lot of different beings gather at the pub. The owners of the pub put together all the information they’ve gathered from different parts of the world and after they make a decent data, they sell it. And like I’ve mentioned before, it’s also a place to hire spirits. For the wandering spirits, a pub within a free city is a place they have to stop by.”
After hearing that, Yong-Ho briefly looked at Skull. Yong-Ho saw how Skull stayed still like a rock and then asked Rikum.
“Among the wandering spirits, are there Undead spirits as well? A Lich with magic abilities…no, a Lich is a high-class spirit, but anyways, an Undead below them that is able to use magic.”
A frown appeared on Rikum’s face and when he answered, it lacked confidence.
“From what I know, there’s barely any Undead among the wandering spirits. Most of them have already been registered. And like you’ve said, if there was one that was on the same level as the Lich, it wouldn’t be odd to control the Undead soldiers, but…hm, it will be difficult to meet one.”
“Well, then there’s nothing I can do about it.”
He answered as if he was okay with it, but he did feel disappointed.
He couldn’t confirm it since he only had one, but there was a high chance that he would be able to unify two Undead spirits.
In that case, what would happen if he unified Skull with an Undead magician?
Items like Mithril or Orichalcum – of course he didn’t know whether those metals existed in the demon world yet – if he could unify the Orichalcum Death Knight Skull, who has already been evolved with a metal, with a Lich, what would happen?
In that case, wouldn’t a unique and amazing Undead Magic Knight be created?
It seemed like it would happen in the distant future after seeing them roll around with that blank expression, but it was definitely far-off. It wasn’t that it was impossible.
Rikum carefully spoke after observing Yong-Ho’s expression.
“If you’re looking for a magician or a magic book, then you’ll be able to find them at the pub. Finding an Undead Magician may be difficult, but there are a lot of spirits that are able to use magic. If you’re lucky, you may be able to learn a simple, yet special ability or magic.”
The more he heard about it, the more it sounded like an all-powerful store rather than a pub.
After giving a simple reply, Yong-Ho raised his head. Night filled the demon world.
Blue and purple covered the red and yellow light. And then black covered those two colors.
Yong-Ho was watching the flow of mana that was whirlpooling and after eating some food, he went to sleep.
The night air was cold.
As soon as the sun came up, Yong-Ho quickly rode on the horse. Two days or Nuremburg only applied when they were constantly on the move. When thinking about giving the horses a break in between, there wasn’t any time to waste.
Like Rikum explained, once they got closer to a land that had decent living conditions, he saw more wild animals, no, the number of wild evil spirits increased. There was a large wolf that was curled up and was glaring his way and even though there was a decent distance between them, weak spirits were following behind them.
‘Should I try raising my level?’
Yong-Ho recalled the quest that he had to do in a classic game he enjoyed playing and glared at the weak spirits that were glancing at him.
Even though they were weak, if he took them down, then his development rate may increase a little and he may obtain items.
Even though it was small, it adds up.
They were short on money anyways, so if they were to take them down, it might help. Even in the game, fighting rather than doing part-time jobs was more effective when trying to make money.
‘Stop it. This isn’t some kind of game.’
Even though they were weak, it was an actual battle. An unexpected situation can occur. It was best to avoid unnecessary problems.
Yong-Ho nodded his head when Skull said their name as if they agreed. Skull used their thick, boney finger to point somewhere far instead of saying that they were near the free city.
It was an extremely large bone. Seeing as how he could make out the form from afar, it was probably over 10 meters long.
“It’s the remains of a Land Worm. It’s been a while since I’ve seen one that big.”
But Yong-Ho couldn’t hear anything.
Even though he encountered large ants and Orcs after arriving to the demon world, it was shocking for him to see an evil spirit with a body that large.
Catalina started talking when the shocked expression was displayed on Yong-Ho’s face.
“Large, evil spirits like the Land Worm tend to avoid places where there’s a lot of people. The free city is just up ahead, so you don’t have to worry.”
She even displayed a friendly smile at the end.
Like she had stated, the free city that was surrounded by a low fortress was not too far from them.
Yong-Ho coughed to hide his embarrassment and then nodded his head.
The ground started shaking. It was weak at first, but a few seconds later, it got stronger that they were able to really feel it!
Skull released a shocked voice. The horses flinched as they released a worried cry and Rikum quickly looked around.
The vibration was getting near. Since it was approaching from a distance, it couldn’t be an earthquake.
There was something that popped into Yong-Ho’s head.
He didn’t even think it was impossible anymore.
Gullible-lina, no, Clumsy-lina spoke because she was surprised. During that time, the vibration was getting closer and they heard a commotion coming from the free city. They saw them quickly closing the gates.
But it was too late. Before they could calm down the horses that were filled with fear, there was a boom. It burst out as if the ground exploded.
A loud roar was released between the dust and the rocks that were falling down. Their body was over 10 meters long as they stood up straight.
The horses were paralyzed so they couldn’t move. The large, evil spirit – Land Worm, was shaking their head while roaring and looked at one particular spot.
The Land Worm opened its large mouth.
That moment felt like an eternity.
It was a horrendous eye contact.
The ground exploded again.
The Land Worm was rushing towards Yong-Ho.
<Free City #1> End.