Richard’s territory was only a short distance from Twilight Castle, so a quick march soon brought them to the castle gates.
When they reported the reasons for their arrival, the guard had them wait outside as he informed the Baron. The officer’s strength was quite amazing for his role, he was already level 9. This would make sense in an Earl’s territory, but it was far too extravagant for a mere baron. A level 9 warrior could find good employment anywhere. It wasn’t like none of them were willing to guard gates, but most barons didn’t have the income to employ them.
Richard remained detached as he watched the officer enter the castle, realising that he had never seen this man in the previous battle. In that battle where they just piled soldier after soldier on the bearguard knights, a level 9 warrior would definitely be a central focus. Richard trusted his own memory; he wouldn’t forget any of Fontaine’s subordinates who had that much strength.
‘An outsider is guarding these gates,’ he pondered as he waited patiently, ‘It seems like they want to filter out unwanted people.’
Richard dismounted quite early into the wait, sitting peacefully on the road in front of the castle gates. A fair number of people in the castle were ordinary warriors or commoners, and a few of them seemed like they recognised the mage who had won the desperate battle for them. However, their expressions were slightly strange. They didn’t say a word when their gazes landed on him, only starting to discuss things amongst themselves once they got further away.
They were completely aware that Richard was unwelcome. However, they weren’t foolish enough to jump out and make a ruckus to gain some merit. Although he was merely a frontier knight with some noble background, he still wasn’t someone the commoners could humiliate as they wished. He could just have them killed in return, just offering Fontaine some compensation to settle everything.
The afternoon sunlight grew increasingly fierce, the shade of the tree Richard was resting under gradually fading away. A strong, murderous intent began to grow from behind Richard. Waterflower, Gangdor, Zendrall, and even the barbarians were all filling with bloodlust. The only constant was the desert warriors— however, that was merely because they were always violent and merciless. Only the throwers seemed to be rooted to the ground, not moving at all. They were mere drones with no minds of their own; only the elite had any form of intelligence.
The wait ended up lasting an entire hour. Just as Richard was about to get up and leave, the guard officer hastily walked out of the castle, “The Baron is free now; he is waiting for you.”
Richard nodded, standing up and heading towards the castle. However, the officer immediately barred his way again before pointing at Gangdor and the barbarians who formed his personal guard, “They can’t go in. You enter alone.”
Richard slowed his footsteps, looking at the officer and asking calmly, “My army’s already been left behind, but now I can’t even bring my own personal guard?”
The officer spat hard at the ground and said fiercely, “You’re just a tiny frontier knight! Just be thankful the Baron is willing to see you. What personal guard are you talking of?” The officer was originally indifferent towards Richard, but now he was sharp as an arrow.
Richard stared mutely at the officer for an entire thirty seconds before he laughed, motioning behind him as he instructed, “Gangdor. Half his teeth and a leg.”
Gangdor grunted an acknowledgement, his large hand grabbing the officer. The fellow was stunned, only able to feel a steely grip around him. His parrying arm was knocked aside with a thump, and he ended up raised by the neck. A dozen or so powerful slaps left his head spinning, sending bloodstained teeth flying everywhere. Gangdor then threw him down with force, crushing his knee under his feet. The steel armour deformed completely, sinking down into the flesh.
The officer wailed like a pig, his eyes rolling back as he quickly fainted from the pain. Even though he knew the man couldn’t hear him speak anymore, Richard still spoke coldly, “You’re not even a frontier knight, but you dare speak to me this way?”
The dozen guards who had originally been lined up by the statue in front of Twilight Castle, waiting silently, suddenly went into an uproar. They held their weapons tightly as a few swordsmen poked their heads out from the castle gates, drawing their swords and starting to flank around Richard.
Richard glanced at the guards and said coolly, “You’d best inform the Baron of this quickly. Also tell him this: if anyone waves a weapon at me, I’ll consider it a challenge from him!”
The guards looked at each other, many growing afraid as they slowly lowered the weapons that had been raised high in the air. The few swordsmen that had emerged from the gates looked fervently at the unconscious officer on the ground, swords tightly grasped, but nobody dared draw close.
Richard gazed icily at the people before him. There were a few familiar faces amongst the guards, but the swordsmen were all entirely foreign to him. However, he noticed two with swords that were quite similar to the late Baron’s.
A few of the older guards quickly bypassed the swordsmen, charging into the castle to send word to the Baron. Those that stayed behind took several steps back, eyes flickering as they avoided Richard’s gaze. They looked at the unconscious officer from time to time, and then at the people behind Richard. However, nobody had the guts to charge forth.
Most of the guards here had participated in that terrifying battle. They were very familiar with Richard’s party; those were all vicious monsters who could fight even Sinclair herself. All twelve of them wouldn’t even be a match for the one brute!
It was only then that they remembered how terrifying the power of this unremarkable frontier knight was.
This time, Richard only waited two minutes before the butler of the castle ran out. His forehead was beaded with sweat, evidence of his extreme anxiety. He gasped for breath once he caught sight of Richard, saying, “Lord Richard, the Baron welcomes you.”
“Then what about my people?” Richard asked, as if nothing had happened just now.
The butler took a look behind Richard, “The army has to be left outside the castle, but you can definitely bring your personal guard.”
“Alright, come in with me!” Richard pointed out to twenty people.
“That… seems a bit much…” The butler kept wiping away the surging sweat, but couldn’t muster the courage to stop him.
A short while later, Richard and the little Baron met in the drawing room of Twilight Castle. The boy still looked rather juvenile; the luxurious clothing did not increase his dignity, rather leaving him at a loss. Perhaps to reduce his fear, a row of tall and sturdy warriors was stood behind him. There were even two middle-aged nobles seated at one end of the room. One of them was the late Baron’s younger brother, while the other was someone Richard had never seen before.
Although Richard had brought twenty people into the castle, he suddenly grew very amicable once he entered and left most of them in the outer hall. Only he, Flowsand, Gangdor, and Olar headed in.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA