Richard and Warren walked out together from the Teleportation Temple, heading along the shady boulevard to the church at the peak of the mountain. The journey was several kilometres long, but there was enough scenery along the way to make it feel shorter.
Richard had come alone, but Warren brought along four guards each with a striking Archeron emblem on their chest. There was a lot of traffic here, with lavishly armoured rune knights, extravagant carriages and a horde of pedestrians littering the streets. The Church of the Eternal Dragon, being sacred in Faust as it was, had a large mass of followers. That the church could not be rebuilt only strengthened its status in the hearts of its believers. Once they got within a kilometre of the church, even the Alliance’s emperor, Bloodthirsty Philip, would get off his carriage and head the rest of the way on foot to show his sincerity towards the Eternal Dragon.
Richard conversed with Warren as they made their way to the church. Having spent more time in the city, the boy knew much more about it than Richard did, and talk of the secrets of the fourteen families and the imperial household would be enough to keep them occupied the entire journey.
Just as they turned a corner, about to take the road leading to the church, a group of people appeared in their path. It was a handful of giggling aristocratic youths, alongside five to six guards. The one that stood out amongst them seemed to be protected and escorted by the rest, dressed in a refined and luxurious outfit that projected his status and deep background. Most importantly, the emblem of the three longswords on his chest indicated that he was a blood descendant of the Joseph Family.
Richard was about as clueless as one could get with regards to the grudges between the Archerons and the Josephs. However, Warren didn’t look so well as he scoffed and took a few big steps, blocking the path of those in front of him.
The teens were initially shocked by the sudden action, before showing signs of annoyance. This was very provocative, causing the guards from the opposing side to roll their sleeves as they stepped forwards, all ready to fight.
Although Warren’s own guards were inferior in terms of numbers and strength, they showed no signs of fear. Nonetheless, not being afraid didn’t equate to not having a brain, as one of them had already run off to report back to the castle. It seemed like this conflict would be difficult to handle now.
“Seems like your days have been well, Faulk,” Warren spat through gritted teeth.
The youth whose name had been called laughed out loud, noticing that Warren was speaking before answering dramatically, “Hey! Isn’t this little Master Warren of the Archerons? I indeed am living my life, thank Thor. I earned a good sum at the casino, and even won something that’s said to be the family heirloom of an ancient elven tribe! I also heard something very shocking today, are you guys interested to find out?”
The teens surrounding Faulk talked over each other at once, acting like they were eagerly awaiting an oracle from the gods. Warren’s expression didn’t look good at all, because he was the one who’d lost that heirloom. As for Faulk’s shocking news, he had no idea what the boy was babbling about but he was certain that it would be nothing good.
Richard was standing behind Warren, looking at Faulk and his gang with squinted eyes. Countless numbers bounced about before stabilising to clarify many critical statistics. He could speculate the approximate power of the opposing party from the changes in their movements, the method similar to how he would calculate the mana pool of a mage from their aura.
Faulk seemed to be a melee class between level 10 and 12, while his guards were all between level 8 and level 10. As for the remaining teens who were flocking around Faulk, they either had little power or were weak; the strongest amongst them was only around Warren’s standard.
Richard quickly patted Warren on the shoulder and said, “Let’s go, we still have to make our way to the church.”
If they were to make a move in that situation, it would only end up with the two of them beat up. Richard wouldn’t be able to go up against six strong guards and Faulk even with his underworld techniques; he wasn’t a warrior to begin with. He likely needed a blessing from the Eternal Dragon before he would be able to fight such a large group of melee fighters, what with there being no space to cast magic at such close range even if he had tools to do so instantly— which he didn’t.
Additionally, Warren was the one who started this. According to aristocratic custom this would be a pointless fight, likely even making them the joke of the city. Richard didn’t like to get beaten up for no reason, and moreover he wasn’t all that close to Warren. He would barely be an acquaintance if not for the shared bloodline.
Warren turned and shouted at Richard, “What do you know about this? This fellow is from the Joseph Family! He’s the third son of Duke Joseph, and the most annoying one!”
Richard didn’t look too well after being yelled at, withdrawing his hand from Warren’s shoulder and taking a step back. He’d never been interested in the fights and grudges of the family, and it was obvious that Warren was trying to create a scene here. Faulk’s tone implied that the incident between him and Warren had little relation to the hostility between their families, being more of a childish fight between youngsters.
And Richard wasn’t fond of being used, even if it by was his own family member.
Just then, Faulk spoke up, “I heard someone went to fool around at the Enchanting Garden after he lost to me. Guess what that slut Nancy told me afterwards? She said that certain someone couldn’t last more than 5 minutes! And his appendage was smaller than that of ground elves, hah!”
The teens surrounding Faulk bursted out in laughter. To them, the bedroom was a battlefield that was sometimes more important than the planar wars. Warren’s face was burning with embarrassment, and he shouted in a twisted voice, “Faulk! Who are you talking about?”
Faulk’s eyes turned icy cold, and he said, “I’m talking about the bastard of a slut. Why, any comments?”
Warren screamed furiously in response, before charging towards Faulk and landing a punch on his face. His movements were quick owing to his training as an archer, so Richard didn’t even have the time to react.
*Wham!* A low sound resonated from Faulk’s cheekbone where Warren had landed his fist, and the boy’s upper body leaned backwards from the impact. Faulk hadn’t avoided the attack, instead standing his ground and allowing Warren to slam into his face. As a level 10 warrior, he barely budged from the attack. Still, even if strength wasn’t Warren’s forte the punch was strong enough to cause Faulk’s face to swell and paint a purplish bruise on his eye.
Faulk winced as he looked at Warren, and smiled sinisterly, “Bastard! I’ve been waiting for this!”
Fear gripped Richard’s heart as he sensed danger. He saw murderous vibes in Faulk’s eyes! However, it was already too late for him to prepare any sort of magic, and he quickly reached into his pocket but found nothing dagger-like. The dagger Naya had given him for self-defense had long been thrown into the volcano by Gaton.
The situation he dreaded finally played out, as Faulk pointed an accusing finger at Warren and exclaimed, “Kill these Archeron motherfuckers!”
The six guards of the Joseph Family charged forward and enveloped them. The several teens that were following Faulk also followed; although their individual strengths were mediocre they still had an advantage in numbers that was quite effective in gang fights like this one.
As for his part, Faulk remained where he was for a while before he stretched his hands and walked forward.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Gem
Edited By: Theo
TLCed By: OMA