Lantier wasn’t the name of a particular person. Instead, it was a title given to the leader of Eclipse, the strongest assassination group in the past, to keep them anonymous. However, once the 25th Lantier became a legend, a misconception took root in the world.
“The name of the night, who caused death just by speaking, started to be hailed as an object of awe. He unintentionally came out of the shadows and lost his essence. Since then, Eclipse’s position was shaken.”
King of Shadows, Kasim—he had been teaching Faker how to use Lantier’s techniques for the past few years and today, he was telling the story of Eclipse for the first time. As of today, he seemed to have opened his heart to Faker who had mastered Lantier’s techniques. Learning Lantier’s techniques meant one was qualified to become Lantier.
Faker now had to study and understand Eclipse. It was his new duty.
“Eclipse was brought out into the sun along with Lantier and soon became familiar to the public. It lost its mystique. Since it was constantly being mentioned and attracted attention, clients became reluctant to commission jobs.”
It was an assassination organization.
They had to do everything in secret so there was nothing good about the public’s attention. Due to the unexpected circumstances, there were various restrictions and people’s requests were noticeably reduced. The assassins of the organization who absolutely obeyed Lantier expressed their dissatisfaction with Lantier and little by little, the hierarchy of the organization invisibly collapsed.
“The 25th Lantier felt a sense of responsibility and retired, but nothing improved. The organization's forces were rapidly weakened and the information network that occupied the entire West Continent stopped operating. The strongest assassination group fell to an ordinary level.”
The real problem was something else—Eclipse’s system of kidnapping talented boys from all over the continent and training them as assassins collapsed, leaving no talents to succeed Lantier’s name. Gradually, Lantier’s techniques declined and by the time it reached the 32nd Lantier, the mentor of Kasim and Doran, most of the skills had been lost.
“You need to browse the records of the former Lantiers in order to explore Lantier’s true techniques. However, it has been a long time since I’ve lost contact with Eclipse. Their current location can’t be determined.”
“How did you lose contact?”
As the direct disciple of the 32nd Lantier, Kasim was Eclipse’s successor and thus, Faker was a bit puzzled about how Eclipse’s successor lost contact with Eclipse.
After hearing Faker’s question, Kasim explained, “There were signs of a civil war in Eclipse from the time that Master retired. The cause was Doran and I. As you know, we only each acquired half the techniques due to our lack of talent. Therefore, the members of the organization were anxious. Master was convinced that Doran and I could work together to become one Lantier, but... even Doran and I, the people involved, wondered if that was possible. This meant the distrust of the other members was even greater.”
“Did a rebellion eventually happen?”
“Yes, two men who had the support of the executives drove out my aging master. Master was greatly hurt in the process of escaping with us. He taught us in the mountains and died a few years later.”
“After he passed away, Doran chose to live a normal life, but it was different for me. I sharpened my weapons to get revenge on the empire and at the same time, I tracked Eclipse’s whereabouts. I wanted to regain the records of the previous Lantiers that only the legitimate heirs could read in order to gain more power. However, it was almost impossible for me to track down Eclipse’s whereabouts on my own.”
“It is just that recently, I found a very important trail. Eclipse remains in the empire’s underworld.”
Empress Basara had invited Irene and Lord to the empire. At that time, Kasim acted as escort and observed the interior of the empire he once wanted revenge on. He thought about what would’ve happened if he insisted on fighting the empire to the end. He imagined himself trapped in the Abyss so he visited it with a depressed heart. Then he saw traces of Eclipse.
“Are you saying that some of the prisoners have something to do with Eclipse?” Faker asked.
He was originally quiet. The fact that he was actively leading the conversation was proof of his desire to become Lantier. Kasim replied with a happy heart, “That’s right. It is reasonable to make that speculation.”
“I understand. I will ask to escort the queen and prince when they leave.”
He had a clue and only action remained. The empire was in a favorable relationship with the Overgeared Kingdom so there was a high possibility he could investigate the Abyss. Faker bowed to Kasim and left. His appearance that melted into the shadows and disappeared from view gave Kasim hope.
“Lantier... is he resurrected?”
The world was divided into three main categories—Hell, the ground, and Heaven.
The West Continent and East Continent might be completely separated, but they were ultimately bound to the category of ‘the ground.’ Dragon lairs were the exception. Dragon lairs were located on the ground, but they were considered a completely separate area from the ground.
For the people who regarded the dragons as gods of the ground, it was a sacred and inviolable field. For the people who regarded dragons as a threat to humanity, it was no different from hell. In other words, it was both heaven and hell. There were few idiots who dared to enter a dragon’s lair on their own. Now one idiot was by Grid’s side.
[You are the first player to enter Fire Dragon Trauka’s nest!]
[Your feat of breaking through the high level magic traps and horde of monsters defending the dragon’s lair will become a legend.]
[The transcendent status will be opened as a first entry reward.]
[Transcendence has already been opened.]
[The change in the reward will increase the level of transcendence by one stage.]
[The probability of attacking a weak point is slightly increased.]
[The probability of blocking attacks to your weak points is slightly increased.]
“A dragon’s barrier? Bah. This body has surpassed it a long time ago.”
The dragon’s lair was an important space. The reward for visiting it first was to become a transcendent. It was equivalent to the reward for writing an epic. Visiting a lair was a great feat. It was an unexpected reward for Grid, but he wasn’t happy at all.
“First of all, put that down.” Grid calmed Braham who was holding onto the necks of the elemental kings. He had experienced Braham’s trolling many times and was anxious and afraid. It was difficult to think that the fire dragon wouldn’t be prepared after Braham stole from him once.
“What if there is tracking magic? Won’t we be caught by the fire dragon if there is such a thing? I will be pursued and I won’t be the only one destroyed. It is the Overgeared Kingdom as well.”
Grid’s concerns were valid, but Braham just scoffed. “You don’t understand the character of a dragon at all.”
“What countermeasures should be taken to prevent the occurrence of a thief? Bah, he has to be aware of thieves first. You have no idea how high a dragon’s position is. A dragon doesn’t pay attention to any creature except itself, not even the gods.”
‘You know that you’re a thief.’
Grid clicked his tongue and demanded a clear answer. “So there will be no traces of us left even if you steal everything here?”
“...Is this a true story?”
Braham's confident expression gave Grid confidence. Grid’s gaze turned to a corner of the lair. Dragons truly did like shiny things. All types of gold coins and gemstones formed mountains.
‘How much is all of this?’
Grid’s eyes filled with greed. He gradually approached the mountains of treasure while preparing to send a whisper to the 10 meritorious retainers to get ready as many sacks as possible.
-Intruder. Alert, intruders.
-Step back or we will make you do so with force.
The four elemental kings, who were caught by the neck by Braham, started to talk all at once. It seemed an anti-theft system was installed in them.
‘Is this the reason why Trauka took the elemental kings from the dwarves?’
Contrary to Braham’s speculation, the fire dragon seemed to be wary of thieves. His pride was just too high to set a trap openly so he built a defense using the elemental kings that were ‘snatched from the dwarves by chance.’ Braham noticed this and laughed. “Kukuk! Kuhahahat! The lizard jerks are no different!”
“Why are you laughing now?”
The disgusted Grid released the elemental kings who were being held by Braham. He was really afraid of future trouble if he crossed a line. Braham didn’t seem to like Grid’s attitude, but he immediately controlled his expression.
Grid told Braham, “...The survival of the kingdom is at stake.”
“Che. I understand.”
He had no choice but to be convinced. If the fire dragon was stimulated more than necessary, the entire continent might perish. Braham could only yield.
“Let’s go back... Huh?”Grid was rushing Braham to leave only to stop in place. His gaze was focused on a stone wall of the treasure warehouse. “T-This?”
A fire stone with the dragon’s breath—it was a mineral recorded in his dictionary of minerals that had been rapidly filled with information thanks to Antrino. It was described as a mineral with a very low probability of growing on stone walls that had been exposed to a dragon breath for at least 200 years. The attributes of the mineral could change depending on the attributes of the dragons.
“......?” Braham shook his head as he was grumbling and preparing the Teleport magic. The sight of Grid with bloodshot eyes and a runny nose made Braham a bit uneasy.
Grid requested, “These guys... can you quietly take care of them?”
Grid was pointing to the elemental kings. Braham sighed as his gaze alternated between the elemental kings and Grid. “What happened to all the things you were worried about a little while ago? It is better to neutralize them rather than destroy them and provoke the fire dragon.”
Braham’s mental world was manifested. Braham locked the elemental kings up in there and warned Grid, “Five minutes. If you don’t do it in five minutes, the fire dragon will sense the anomaly and come back.”
The manifestation of the mental world had a very strong ripple effect. Fire Dragon Trauka would soon notice that something strange had invaded his place. Grid received Braham’s warning and pulled out his pickaxe.