Chapter 8: Black Dragon Murakan (2)
During the past 2 months he had spent transcribing the books underground, the only sounds that resounded down there were that of his pencil scribbling on paper and the occasional wind blowing.
Therefore, despite being separated by the sliding door, Jin instinctively knew that Murakan’s glass coffin was opening. Anyone else in Jin’s situation would’ve come to the same conclusion.
‘Goddammit. Why is Murakan waking up now of all times?!’
His heart accelerated like crazy as if it had lost complete control over itself.
The calm and safe Storm Castle’s underground area had suddenly become menacing and hazardous. A chill ran up his spine as cold sweat slid down his face.
‘Could it be… that I misheard it?’
As silence ensued, Jin began to doubt his ears. The previous sound could’ve been something else, or Jin might’ve imagined it from the beginning.
However, his hopes were destroyed, as another click rang beyond the sliding door.
As a matter of fact, that wasn’t the only noise this time. He could hear clothes brushing against the glass coffin, along with the sound of someone’s feet touching the ground.
There was no way the dragon who had been sleeping for 1000 years was suddenly sleepwalking. It could only have woken up for a clear reason and purpose.
Or it could be that its slumber was finally over, and that the timing was a complete coincidence.
‘Calm down, calm down. I’ve never offended Murakan before. It shouldn’t be hostile towards me…’
He didn’t remember Murakan waking up in his past life.
There’s no way Jin couldn’t have heard of the news of Murakan’s awakening, especially since he was still living in the Storm Castle back then as well.
‘In that case, this incident is because of my return in time. My guess is that Murakan woke up because of my constant appearance here.’
There was a famous story around the continent. It said that one shouldn’t disturb a sleeping dragon. Otherwise, one’s life would be forfeited.
Needless to say, despite being a famous story, people rarely came across dragons in real life.
In any case, the moral of the story was that…
Dragons have terrible personalities.
A low and deep voice reached Jin from behind the door. Jin was still pondering on how to survive this situation.
A few chaotic seconds went by. He made up his mind on how to behave towards Murakan.
‘Be respectful yet brazen. Even if Murakan tries to attack me… I just need to buy time until the knights arrive.’
But that was only for the worst case scenario.
And even if the worst case scenario were to occur, Jin was confident that he could survive with his life intact at the very least. He could easily buy time with Solderet’s spiritual power, his own magic, and his silver tongue.
It was unlikely that he would die.
As soon as he reached that conclusion, the stress weighing down on his shoulders eased up. Murakan could also be different from what he imagined. The dragon could be friendly with him instead of being hostile.
Jin stood up and slid the door open to face Murakan.
The black-haired handsome young man he saw every day in the coffin was now standing straight before him. The dragon’s human body was toned, and one would never believe that he had been asleep for over 1000 years.
“R-Runcandel’s descendent… greets the clan’s guardian.”
Jin deliberately stuttered and spoke nervously.
He believed that he should act like a child who was afraid of the thousand-year-old dragon. Moreover, the Runcandels used to call Murakan their ‘guardian’, so Jin decided to emphasize that word.
“Guardiannnn? Guardian? Did you just say ‘guardian’? Huh?”
All he had done was speak out loud, but the mana inside the room began to tremble and spin around like a vortex.
“Say that again, you shitty brat. Did you just say that I’m your clan’s guardian?”
Murakan’s body disappeared into a handful of black smoke, only to materialize right before his eyes.
“Are you not Lord Murakan? I’ve been told that the Black Dragon Murakan is the Runcandel Clan’s guardian.”
When Jin answered properly, Murakan stared at him and blinked several times. He felt like there was no need to stutter and act scared anymore.
“Sigh, I see. Those damned Runcandel bastards… So that’s what you told your descendants. Haha! And it’s not like I can take out my anger on this chestnut-sized kid. This is driving me crazy!”
Jin was relieved after hearing the dragon’s reply.
‘Looks like he’s not completely merciless against children.’
Nevertheless, the murderous intent within the dragon’s black irides were an indication of his character.
If Jin were in his original 28-year-old body, Murakan would’ve broken a limb or two without hesitation before continuing the conversation.
‘But why on earth did the black dragon wake up now? It doesn’t seem to be because I’ve been coming down here every day. Could there be some other reason…? Ah, maybe it’s because of Solderet’s power?’
The power of shadows.
That was the only thing Jin could think of as the reason behind Murakan’s awakening from his thousand-year slumber.
Jin didn’t use spiritual power outside of special circumstances. But there was always a subtle amount of spiritual energy swirling around him, an amount that humans wouldn’t be able to detect.
‘Come to think of it, the contractors of gods generally have a guardian dragon by their sides, other than certain exceptional cases…’
Contractors of the God of Flames Sheenu received the favour of fire dragons, while contractors of the God of Wind Melzeyer are favoured by wind dragons.
That was the reason why the Zipfel Clan was slightly more advanced than the Runcandel Clan. Officially speaking, the Zipfel Clan has more than 100 dragons under their command. Who knows how many more they have behind the scenes?
While this was just Jin’s hypothesis, depending on the outcome, this encounter between Jin and Murakan may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
‘The only problem is that my theory may be wrong. Moreover, I’ve never heard of a dragon whose attribute is similar to ‘shadows’…’
The current patriarch of the Zipfel Clan is Kelliark Zipfel, the contractor of the God of Flames Sheenu. They say that he is very close with the fire dragon ‘Kadun’.
The contractor of the God of Wind Melzeyer is the current second-in-command of the Zipfel Clan, and is famous for handling a wind dragon.
According to these two examples, dragons try to look for contractors who have a similar attribute as them.
However, Jin had never heard of a story associating Solderet with a dragon.
Even during his conversations with Solderet in his first life, the topic of Murakan was never brought up.
‘Let’s test it out for now. Thankfully, this isn’t the worst case scenario.’
If Murakan had truly woken up due to Jin’s spiritual energy, then there was nothing for him to be afraid of.
Murakan suddenly took in a deep breath, just like a dog who got a whiff of something delicious, or a heavy smoker who finally managed to light a cigarette.
“Ha… Anyways. This child isn’t to blame for any of that. Hmm… This energy smells nice. For some reason, it makes me feel great! What’s your name, kid?”
“It’s Jin Runcandel, Lord Murakan.”
“Good, good. Jin, you say? Honestly, I couldn’t care less about your name. You’re a Runcandel, right? Then lead me to Solderet’s contractor right away.”
“That’s right! This deep energy… Only the contractor could have such strong spiritual energy. I just hope this contractor isn’t as rude as Temar, that son of a bitch.”
The name of the first patriarch.
Jin almost accidentally cried out in joy.
It seemed his second life was going to be smooth sailing. To think that his earlier questions and concerns would be answered and resolved so quickly!
‘It’s certain now. He woke up because of the spiritual energy! Moreover, his reaction… It means that I’m the one in power in this relationship!’
Sniff, sniff. Sniff!
Murakan was now completely ignoring Jin. He closed his eyes and focused on sensing the energy.
Meanwhile, Jin pondered for a moment.
‘Should I tell him I’m the contractor? Or should I say that I don’t know what he’s talking about?’
The first option would be preferable. With the first option, Jin would be able to order Murakan around like a servant in the future.
The second option would be a lot more troublesome. If Jin acted ignorant, the dragon would tell him to bring an adult of the clan. And if Jin did bring an adult down here, he would have to explain how this situation occurred in the first place.
In that scenario, he would have to kiss these peaceful days goodbye. He wouldn’t be able to transcribe any more books. Moreover, his fateful encounter with Murakan would have amounted to nothing.
A small ball of energy that danced like flames appeared on Jin’s palm.
“Sniff! Hm! Oooh! It’s like my mind is getting clearer… Huh?”
Murakan savoured the energy’s scent before opening his eyes. Immediately, he couldn’t hide his surprise.
“It seems that I’m the contractor you’re looking for, Lord Murakan.”
“Y-Y-Y-Y-You? Impossible. This is madness! Solderet made a contract with a kid like you?”
Murakan began to retreat in fear. He almost fell down from tripping on his own feet, as the panic in him began to grow.
“This is crazy. Unacceptable. Oi, Solderet! You’re listening, right? Did you finally go batshit? Explain yourself!”
While Murakan was freaking out, Jin created a second cluster of shadows on his other hand.
“My father told me that this power was given to me by the being who brought shadows into this world.”
Murakan fell on his behind and looked up at Jin.
Silence ensued. Jin wanted to continue their conversation, but the mood wasn’t right. He couldn’t bring himself to do so when he saw Murakan’s composure fall apart in real time.
Denial. Anger. Doubt. Fear. Surrender.
His expressions were changing in that exact order.
“Oi… Solderet. This is a joke, right? This isn’t right. Say something. Why is the promised contractor of a thousand years this kid……?”
Solderet never showed himself.
His silence was also one of Jin’s concerns.
Back when they had made their contract, the two used to chat like good friends. But ever since right before his death, Solderet never spoke to Jin again to this day.
In any case, it seemed Murakan needed some time to accept this reality.
However, he was a dragon.
Despite his short temper and wicked personality, he was still a dragon who had lived for thousands of years. He had a keen insight, along with an indomitable spirit that wouldn’t despair at unexpected situations.
Murakan soon ended up accepting this absurd situation. That was the most he could do right now.
“It seems that you’re the individual with whom I must adjust my breath, as according to my promise with Solderet.”
A dragon’s breath!
A dragon had personally declared as such to Jin. And it was Murakan, the black dragon the first patriarch had defeated, to boot!
Back when he was a magician, his heart used to beat so loudly whenever he heard rumours of magicians fighting side by side with a dragon.
Jin’s nose began to itch as his emotions intensified. He couldn’t control the heat rising to his face in excitement, so he ended up lowering his head.
“Um, by adjusting your breath, you mean…?”
“Sigh… You’re still too young to understand the details. And I’m not in the right mind to explain it to you right now.”
Jin silently nodded at his answer.
“First and foremost, as a friend of Solderet’s, allow me to formally introduce myself to Solderet’s contractor.”
A heavy wind blew in the room. A dark energy began to form in the air and swirled around Murakan’s body.
He was transforming into his dragon form. The dark energy covering Murakan expanded like a cloud, and a huge black dragon that completely filled up the underground room entered Jin’s vision.
[I am Murakan. Solderet’s proxy as well as his friend. The last descendant of the first being to be created from shadows. Following the thousand-year promise, I shall be your life-long partner from today onwards. State your name.]
A grandiose voice shook the room. The hot-tempered attitude from earlier was nowhere to be found.
“I am Jin Runcandel. Thirteenth and final child of the Runcandels.”
Jin answered as he barely repressed his trembling heart.