Eugene disposed of the majority of monsters near the lake and the forest within half a day.
In fact, he could have easily annihilated all the monsters, but he killed them in moderation due to Juseppel’s request.
“In any case, please leave some of the monsters alive.
This lake… It should not be home to only spirits.
I will try to stay in harmony with them.
To kill monsters due to a spirit’s mistake and a spirit’s desire to live… I don’t want to do such a thing.”
Eugene was dumbfounded by the pointlessly poignant words.
“What kind of nonsense are you…” he muttered.
“Although you may be incompetent, you know exactly how I feel as my senior.”
The two spirits had started to get along well.
Eugene was at a loss for words.
“Ah, truth to be told, it’s because the ecosystem of the forest would be disturbed if you kill all the monsters.
The food chain will only be maintained when a certain number of monsters are left alive.
If all the monsters disappeared, the number of predatory beasts and herbivores will increase exponentially, which could cause damage to nearby villages,” Juseppel explained.
“Hmm. I see,” Eugene nodded.
Juseppel was a smart spirit, unlike someone else he knew, so Eugene simply accepted it.
“Then are you going to continue staying here and protect this place” Eugene asked.
“That is correct.
More monsters could come for the passage in the future,” Juseppel answered.
“This isn’t the only passage to the Spirit World, is it” Eugene asked.
I can’t tell you the exact number and their locations…” Juseppel hesitated.
Even though Eugene had helped him, he couldn’t simply reveal the secret of the Spirit World.
Eugene thought for a moment before speaking again, “Is there a way for you to acquire information about the other passages Or even news about the Spirit World”
Juseppel responded, “That will be difficult.
Only the king will intervene with the passages, and it only happens when there is a problem with the guardian assigned to protect a passage.
You can’t even enter and exit through the passage without the king’s permission.”
“If it’s impossible to enter without the king’s permission, why are you even guarding it” Eugene asked.
“Because although it’s impossible to enter, it’s possible to block it,” Juseppel said.
“Hmm. Block it” Eugene stroked his chin while thinking.
Who would benefit the most if a passage to the Spirit World was blocked In the first place, spirits didn’t have much influence on the world.
It was evidenced by the fact that most people only considered spirits as mysterious beings.
Spirits never had much contact with the world, they weren’t visible to ordinary people, and they usually didn’t do much of either good or bad deeds.
“What happens if the passage is blocked Is it as simple as spirits not being able to come and go” Eugene asked.
Mirian interjected while fussing, “Kieeeeeh! It will be a big deal if the passage is blocked! If my lake disappears or the monsters gulp it down, the neighborhood will be harpooned.
Neither humans nor monsters will be able to live here any longer.”
“Wait,” Eugene said as a thought flashed through his mind.
He asked, “Do you know where the water in this lake comes from”
Mirian answered, “It’s groundwater.
And I purified it before I filled it up.”
“I also did the same thing.
One of the important tasks of the passage’s protector is to keep the water from drying up,” Juseppel chimed in.
So the water from the lake must also flow elsewhere, right Like a tributary or a stream that flows further down,” Eugene said.
“Yeap! There is!”
The two spirits answered.
“Where is it Let’s go,” Eugene answered.
He then explored the water downstream of the lake under Mirian and Juseppel’s guide.
There were a total of six small streams, and they all flowed down the mountain.
‘Everything leads to the river.
Does the entirety of the Tywin territory rely on the river originating from this lake Perhaps… the nearby territories as well No, it’s possible that…’
It was possible that the river flowing throughout the dukedom originated from this very lake.
Even if that were not the case, it was highly likely that the Tywin territory and the nearby areas would suffer catastrophic damage if the lake malfunctioned.
‘Come to think of it, the reason for Broadwin’s development was…’
During Eugene’s time in Broadwin, the villagers depended equally on farming and hunting.
They had been forced to hunt to maintain their livelihood because they simply didn’t have enough farmland, which meant they couldn’t sustain everyone with farming alone.
However, when Eugene visited the village again, there were wider plots of arable land, and the number of villagers solely reliant on farming was greater than before.
Come to think of it, he vaguely recalled seeing a common well in the village as well.
‘They didn’t expand cultivated land because the population had increased.
Rather, people flocked to the village after it transformed into an environment convenient for farming.’
And the change would have come after Juseppel had taken over Mirian’s task and started properly managing the lake.
Although Eugene didn’t know anything about farming, he knew exactly how important water was for farming.
As such, if the lake, the passage to the Spirit World, were destroyed or crippled, it would affect not only the village of Broadwin but almost all the farmers in the region.
“I finally understand,” Eugene said with cold, glowing eyes.
“Huh What You understand what” Mirian asked.
Eugene answered, “It’s nothing for you to worry about. Oi, junior spirit.”
“Kieee. My name is Jus…”
“Tell me what you know about the other passages into the Spirit World,” Eugene said.
“W-well, as I said a moment ago, that’s confidential information of the Spirit World—” Juseppel answered.
“Similar things that happened to this lake should be happening to the other passages as well.
Is that fine for you” Eugene interrupted.
“Kieeeek!” The two spirits squealed simultaneously.
“W-what do you mean” Juseppel asked.
“What else You punk, I’m saying that monsters more powerful than before should be flocking over to the other passages to make a mess.
I was here at the right time to take care of it, but do you really think the other passages will be as lucky You said that all of them are in deserted places,” Eugene said.
“That is correct, but… I need the king’s permission to disclose any information regarding the passages…”
Eugene decided to hammer the final nail in the coffin.
“I will take care of the problems the other passages will experience.
Afterward, you will be recognized as the competent spirit who presented a solution to a problem that threatened the entirety of the Spirit World.
A recognized spirit, unlike someone else.”
“The nearest passage to the spirit world is…” the spirit didn’t even contemplate for a second.
Eugene became certain.
Mirian was obsessed with gold, silver, and treasures, while this spirit was completely obsessed with fame, reputation, and promotions.
After obtaining information regarding the other passages from Juseppel, Eugene left the lake along with Mirian.
“I will make sure to tell the king that although you were incompetent and erratic, you weren’t irresponsible.
Goodbye!” Juseppel shouted.
“Kieeeeh! I’m not incompetent!”
The two spirits argued until the very end, but Mirian seemed rather satisfied to have alleviated some of the misunderstandings.
“Ki-hoho! In any case, it means that my legend has spread even in the Spirit World.
Those seniors who had always bragged about this and that whenever they had the chance… Now, they won’t be able to keep their heads up in front of me. Kihehe~”
A legend… Well, a humongous accident would still be passed down the generations as a sort of legend.
“Well, as long as you’re happy.” Eugene stopped himself from correcting her.
After all, he had his own conscience, and he felt a sense of responsibility to do so as well.
Truly, he was glad that she was kind-hearted, even though she was lacking.
‘Anyway, the harvest was good.’
He had made the right decision to visit Broadwin once again.
If he hadn’t met Juseppel and heard about the passages to the Spirit World, he would have only focused on the matters related to Christian.
However, from his meeting with Juseppel, he discovered that the added threats to the passages weren’t simply a coincidence born from the increasing number of strengthened monsters.
The way he saw it, there was either a causal effect between the two events, or both results were the desired outcomes of the mastermind behind all these.
‘I will need to check it out, but the two issues are definitely not separate matters.
There are too many suspicious aspects to simply call it a coincidence.’
And he had to head to the other passages to the Spirit World to confirm his theory.
‘If someone’s playing tricks there like they did here…’
Then whoever was behind all these was someone who wanted to watch the world burn.
“But sir,” Mirian called out.
Eugene gave up on his thoughts.
Mirian continued,” Why are you trying to help the other passages Is it because of the deep, loyal bond you share with me Is that why you are trying to help the Spirit World”
As if that were true.
However, Eugene felt a small sense of responsibility.
After all, there was a possibility that he had caused her to revert to her ‘lacking, but kind-hearted’ self.
“You could say that…” Eugene murmured.
“Just what I expected. Kihehehehehehe!” Mirian exclaimed before bursting out into a peal of laughter with her clear, innocent eyes shining.
Her carefree attitude made her seem even more pitiful.
“The important thing is that if all the passages become blocked, then everyone, including humans, will be faced with a difficult situation.
You should know better than anyone else.
Humans cannot survive without water,” Eugene explained.
“Kehem! You have finally realized the truth.
You finally know how precious I am,” Mirian scoffed.
Eugene wanted to humble the arrogant spirit, but he endured it, knowing she had a point.
‘I don’t know who planned this, but they’re truly a piece of work.’
The term ‘demon king’ was used to refer to such beings.
The world did not end simply just because one killed some enemies on the battlefield or brutally murdered someone.
However, if everything continued according to the intricate plan, it would inevitably lead to catastrophic, incomparable destruction.
“As you know, there’s no point in eating well and living well if you’re alone,” Eugene said.
“Why are you so obsessed with wealth It’s not like you’re able to take the gold and the treasures back to the Spirit World,” Eugene said.
Mirian answered, “Well, it’s because others look up to you if you have a lot of money!”
It was exactly what Eugene had expected.
“Right But what if there isn’t anyone left to look up to your collection of gold and treasures What if there isn’t anyone left to make food for you to devour” Eugene asked.
Mirian raged at Eugene’s question.
“Kieeeeeh! That can’t happen! Never!”
“Right It’s the same for me.
There are many people that I would be troubled without,” Eugene stated.
Romari, Lanslo, Luke, Princess Lilisain, and many others—the collapse of the world meant they wouldn’t be able to lead proper lives.
Such things didn’t matter.
Eugene simply didn’t want his ‘colleagues’ to be troubled by the future.
Silion suddenly stopped in his tracks as if recognizing his master’s feelings.
“Kiehh Sir What’s wrong” Mirian asked.
It’s nothing,” Eugene answered while shaking off the unfamiliar, awkward sensation.
He tapped Silion’s side.
‘I will not admit it.’
However, he could not help but admit that his mood wasn’t so bad, though he felt rather embarrassed.
“Oooh! Sir Eugene, welcome back!” The chief warmly greeted Eugene when he returned toward the end of the afternoon.
“What’s going on I don’t see many of the residents here.” Eugene asked.
“Well, everyone should be busy working and… they’re worried and all,” the chief answered.
“Worried” Eugene asked.
Well, the sir elves…” the chief continued while anxiously glancing at Eugene.
“…So, the bottom line is that you can’t trust Princess Lilisain and the elven knights” Eugene said.
“Ah! No, it’s not that! Absolutely not true! We only have grateful hearts for Sir Eugene and the elf knights! I-It’s just that us ignorant country folks have never seen a case like this,” the chief hurriedly answered while sweating profusely and groveling.
‘Well, it’s natural for him to be worried, as there are less than ten of them.’
It wasn’t anything to blame the chief and the residents for.
“Just wait a few hours.
They should be back by sunset.”
“Ah, yes…” The chief bowed while wiping his sweat.
He had been worried about offending Eugene—worried that the knight would get angry and just leave.
Three hours later…
Broadwin fell into shock when Princess Lilisain and the elven knights returned against the deep, orange sunset.
However, it wasn’t just because their armors were caked with blood and flesh, which made it hard to believe that they were the same noble, elegant elves from before.
Each of the three leather bags they had tossed was the size of an adult man, and all three were filled to the brim with the noses of all kinds of monsters.