Seon-Hyeok had only stopped by the royal capital to receive the rewards for his participation in the most recent war. He was simply a guest destined to leave after fulfilling his purpose.
However, these plans all changed when his engagement with the royal princess was decided.
Having become the prospective son-in-law to the king, he was no longer a nobody separated from the central politics of the kingdom, nor was he a visitor capable of leaving at any time.
The political situation was in turmoil following the wars between three major kingdoms, and whether he liked it or not, Seon-Hyeok was required to attend a series of strategic meetings as the future son-in-law of King Theodore.
“Ugh! I’m sick of it! So sick of it!”
He lacked both the ability to navigate the complicated political situation and any semblance of political insight. For him, the prestigious meetings reserved only for the highest-ranking of nobles was not a glorious occasion, but boring and irritating.
“So long as you’re a member of the royal family, you will need to have at least enough insight not to be politically exploited. You will have to get used to it.”
The princess reprimanded him when he complained that he would rather roll around for three days and nights on the battlefield.
Seon-Hyeok could not accept those words.
The spouses of the members of the royal family were prohibited from holding any political position. They were treated differently, but it did not come with any authority that could significantly impact a kingdom’s political situation.
“If I don’t have any knowledge whatsoever, they won’t be able to sway me. Those susceptible to such tricks are people who think they know more than they do.”
The princess’ eyes opened wide when she heard his complaints.
“Men should value power and honor more than riches. You are truly strange.”
“Well, I’m not…”
“Are you trying to say that it’s because you’re a foreigner?”
Given their numerous conversations, Ophelia was fully aware that his perspectives differed much from those of the nobles born and raised in this world. However, this time, she did not accept it as an excuse.
“If you’re suggesting that you’re disinterested in power because you’re a foreigner, then what about all of the other foreigners in the capital?”
She claimed that the other foreigners here were not much different from the nobles as she looked at him like he was a mysterious animal.
“Then let’s just say that I’m unique.”
His attitude was overly insincere considering he was addressing a royal princess, but she did not hold him accountable. Rather, she nodded as if to accept what he said.
“Excellent maids and servants, along with beds and sofas made by the greatest artisans. Despite all this, you speak as though you’re still uncomfortable.”
Ophelia was not incorrect. In fact, Seon-Hyeok was much more at ease sleeping on a field bed in a shabby barracks than he was in the luxurious beds painstakingly made by expert craftsmen. He was much happier exchanging shallow conversation with his comrades while on the dirt floor than he was sitting on a luxurious chair and gracefully sipping tea while discussing the kingdom’s politics.
Nonetheless, Seon-Hyeok did not yet depart because Julian’s condition had not been fully addressed.
“I don’t know anything about magic, but something is clearly wrong.”
He frowned at Julian, seemingly more and more haggard as the examinations progressed.
“How much blood do they need? And are they trying to make a wig with your hair? It’s ridiculous.”
From what he knew of mages, they would most certainly try to experiment given this unique opportunity. After all, it would be difficult to find other subjects suffering from the aftereffects of a sea dragon’s poison.
The young squire soothed him. She likely assumed that Seon-Hyeok’s impatience stemmed from guilt. But seeing this made him feel even more sorry.
“Do you want to get some fresh air?”
“If that fresh air involves riding Redvern, then I’ll pass.”
Julian panicked when Seon-Hyeok suggested a distraction from the ongoing examinations. It was clear she would never grow to like spending time in the air.
On the other hand, there was someone unable to ride Redvern despite desperately wanting to.
“I will be with Earl Drachen, so what is the problem? It is clear that the Royal Guard is full of people who worry too much.”
That person was Princess Ophelia.
She wanted to see the rumored red devil with her own eyes, and it was only after a thorough examination from Marquis Reinhardt that she was allowed to approach Redvern.
“It is amazing that there is such a beautiful and elegant creature in this world!”
The princess offered all sorts of praise at the sight of Redvern, relatively sleek compared to the powerful drake. She even expressed her regret at missing the opportunity to name such a beautiful creature.
“Redvern? That is a good name. I wonder if I could have come up with a better one myself.”
The disappointment only lasted a moment. Before long, she showed appreciation for Seon-Hyeok’s naming sense. That said, Seon-Hyeok was not sure whether this was something to be happy about.
Unfortunately, the princess was unable to ride the wyvern she was so fond of. Both King Theodore and Marquis Reinhardt forbade her from doing so.
The knights vehemently opposed the princess being in the skies and out of their reach. The mages expressed the same concerns.
“I will make sure to ride Redvern someday.”
The princess was forced to stand down, but refused to give up on her dreams.
“I’m telling you in advance, but…”
“I won’t let her ride Redvern. Don’t worry.”
Seon-Hyeok cut Marquis Reinhardt off as he shook his head, seeing the royal princess act childish only during times like these.
Despite being able to ride the wyvern, the princess took great care of Redvern. She would ensure that the wyvern had the finest cows and pigs for food, and had servants in charge of bathing and maintenance manage Redvern’s scales and wings.
Of course, all of this was possible because Seon-Hyeok was at Redvern’s side.
“Redvern, aren’t you going to be a spoiled brat at this rate?”
It was not a baseless concern. Thanks to being offered three plentiful meals a day, Redvern had gained significant weight since arriving at the capital. Its sleek and capable appearance, the same qualities the princess once praised, was long gone.
By the time Seon-Hyeok finally noticed Redvern’s state, the red devil of the skies had already become a chunky pig.
“Redvern’s previous, slim figure was nice, but isn’t it also nice seeing the wyvern gain weight like this?”
Seon-Hyeok wondered whether he should stop the princess’ excessive affection and Redvern’s gluttony at this point to prevent a possible decline in the wyvern’s flying ability. However, he did not bother to intervene.
“Yeah, eat up while Goldie isn’t around.”
He figured that since Redvern could not eat properly at Rheinperle due to Goldrake’s imposing presence, this might be the wyvern’s only opportunity to enjoy such luxury.
And so, Redvern reveled in the extravagance and stomped around the royal castle as the kingdom’s most prestigious meetings continued.
Seon-Hyeok sighed to himself in the conference room. His head already hurt thinking about the complicated political conversation that would soon be exchanged.
“Let us put the Griffindor and Noctein provocations and countermeasures on hold for today and discuss a different matter.”
But to his surprise, King Theodore introduced a different topic.
“There is none who would deny that we are currently in a state of emergency, with the impending threat of enemy actions against us. It is at times like this that the central government needs to watch over the country and strengthen its foundation. As such, the royal family hopes to capture the hearts of the people and improve morale on the front lines through the engagement of Earl Drachen and Princess Ophelia.”
Seon-Hyeok tightly closed his eyes when he finally heard the words he had expected for so long.
“Should we call on the astrologists and determine an auspicious day…”
“That is not a bad idea, but it would take too long.”
King Theodore pressed on, determined to push through with his plans without giving the nobles any opportunity to object.
“Your Majesty, considering this is a significant event for the kingdom, we will need plenty of time to send word to the other kingdoms and have any envoys arrive.”
“I am sure those who won’t be able to make it in time will send their regards through magical means.”
The nobles desperately tried to buy time, but the adamant king refused to budge.
“The kingdoms unable to attend the engagement ceremony might be disappointed, but we can make the wedding that much grander to assuage their feelings. Your Majesty should do as he wishes.”
The nobles more loyal to the royal family, after being reserved with their opinions until now, actively stepped up to support the king’s decision.
Considering it was a royal marriage, there was little room for the self-interested nobles to intervene. They lacked both the justification and the power, and thus they were forced to helplessly watch the engagement proceed.
“I, King Theodore Tiberius Ro Adenstein, make this declaration as the head of House Adenstein and father of Princess Ophelia Laurel Ro Adenstein.”
King Theodore made his decision on the spot.
“The engagement will take place on the sixth day of the third week of the seventh month.”
Regardless of what they thought internally, the nobles rushed forward to outwardly celebrate the upcoming engagement.
“Congratulations, Earl Drachen.”
“Your fiancée is known throughout the kingdom for her beauty and wisdom. It is truly a time for celebration.”
They even reached out to Seon-Hyeok, silent until this point while seated at one corner of the room, and made a fuss. These were not the nobles reluctantly offering their congratulations to the king before slinking off, but rather the loyalists of the kingdom.
“Thank you. Thank you.”
Having been asked in advance by King Theodore to maintain a positive relationship with the loyal nobles, Seon-Hyeok bowed to each and every one as he thanked them for their kind words.
Ah, well there’s nothing I can do about it anymore.
Seon-Hyeok’s lips trembled as he forced himself to smile while hiding his innermost thoughts.
‘On the 6th day of the 3rd week of the 7th month this year, Princess Ophelia Laurel Ro Adenstein and Seon-Hyeok Rheinperle Kim Drachen will be engaged. You are invited to visit and offer your congratulations.’
The magical communications announcing the engagement of Princess Ophelia and Earl Drachen were sent to the influential people of the continent, whether they were hundreds or thousands of kilometers away, and despite the delay, word soon reached everyone involved.
“A foreigner and the heir to the throne? Insane. Looks like Theodore really went insane.”
“The Adenstein royal family openly spoke about their willingness to elevate even the humblest of servants if they possessed the ability. A crazy decision like this was destined to happen.”
“I feel sorry for the princess for having such a terrible father. Even from far away, she seemed like she’d grow up to be a beautiful woman someday.”
Those who long criticized the foolishness of Adenburg’s treatment towards its people mocked King Theodore’s decision to elevate a humble foreigner to a position of great power.
“Well, it’s worth giving up the princess to Drachen, considering he was capable of singlehandedly manhandling Noctein’s knights and mages, and even defeated the Knights of the Azure Sky.”
“The nobles of Adenburg are already powerless in front of the royal family, and it looks like they’ll be further suppressed in the future. Seems like King Theodore gained a pretty useful weapon.”
However, the majority praised the Adenburg royal family for its bravery and focused on the future of the kingdom, now that they were completely aligned with Knight Drachen, the powerful figure responsible for dominating their archrivals.
Regardless of whether they were from the north, south, east, or west, people spoke about this union of the century. Those who loved the legends of old enthusiastically mentioned their resemblance to the upcoming engagement.
Among them, the most fervent were the foreigners dropped off in this strange world and struggling to survive.
“If we can build up our accomplishments, we can be like him too.”
They were fired up by the news of the foreigner, Kim Seon-Hyeok. He was proof that even foreigners could succeed in this world if they proved their worth.
Unfortunately, some foreigners among them had not been given such an opportunity to succeed in the first place.
The foreigners in the Nordic Kingdom, located at the far northwestern end of the continent, were branded as slaves and forced to live like animals. For them, the story of another foreigner’s success might as well have been a tale from a different world.
“This world is hell.”
This world, which had provided a new opportunity to Seon-Hyeok, was nothing more than hell for them. Among these foreigners was an individual granted the ability to make this world a living hell.
- You have met the requirements for your 3rd class advancement.
- You may advance from the 2nd class Dark Corps Commander to the 3rd class Dark Lord. 
- Would you like to advance to the 3rd class?
In the Nordic Kingdom, Park Sang-Jin, a pitiful foreigner born lame and deprived of the opportunity to even have his new class evaluated upon arriving in this world, smiled brightly when this message appeared in his head.
“Of course, if it allows me to destroy this damned world.”
Not long after Park Sang-Jin accepted his 3rd class advancement, rumors of a civil war in the Nordic Kingdom began to spread across the continent.
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