Episode 48. Goldrake (1)

After the king and his daughter left, Seon-Hyeok was forced to remain and humor the nobles for a long time. Some offered him their daughters, while others tempted him with wealth and power.

However, he already had too much exposure to the media in the other world to be lured by the women in this world. At the same time, he had been promised wealth by the king, so he did not need any more. From the outset, he had no interest in power, so none of the nobles’ proposals held any sway over him.

Ultimately, the nobles acknowledged that their preparation had been too lax, and on the third day of the victory banquet, they finally gave up their attempts to draw in the stubborn foreigner.

Because of this, he was finally able to enjoy the celebration on the last day of the banquet, speaking and laughing with his comrades. It was an enjoyable experience. The food and drinks provided by the royal family were unlike anything he had during his time in this world.

Time flew by as a result of his busy schedule. The day of his title ceremony finally arrived.

“Foreigner from a far-off land, speak your name.”

The king, dressed in a pure white outfit, asked solemnly, and Seon-Hyeok answered with his head down.

“Foreigner Kim Seon-Hyeok. What values will you keep for the rest of your life?”

“I will answer kindness with trust, and ill-will with justice.”

Compared to the knights who went before him, who spoke grandly about justice, devotion, and service, Seon-Hyeok’s answer was short. However, it was the right response for him.

Knights devoted their entire lives to reaching their position, but he did not share the same strong belief. Seon-Hyeok simply had the ordinary mindset of paying back as much as he received, whether positive or negative.

“Do you have anything else to say?”

“No.”

He quickly responded, knowing that speaking more would just expose his shallow thoughts. The king carefully packaged the foreigner’s response.

“So you will repay kindness with gratitude, and evil with righteous justice.”

“Yes.”

Fortunately, the king was quite skilled at interpreting his words. It sounded like Seon-Hyeok was agreeing to prioritize repaying the royal family’s kindness, but he paid it no mind.

As long as he got through this ceremony, he would be able to leave this stuffy capital, with its royal family and nobles, behind.

“Swear it. Swear that you will always keep the promise you made today.”

“I swear it.”

The king drew his sword and tapped the kneeling foreigner’s shoulders and head.

“Adenstein’s first knight, I, Theodore Tiberius Ro Adenstein, declare you a knight. I charge you to be brave, courteous, and loyal.”

With the solemn declaration, the citizens of the capital watching the sacred ceremony cheered.

“With my authority as the sole, rightful ruler of the kingdom, I give you the title of viscount and the surname Drachen. I charge you to be prudent, considerate, and fair in your actions so that your name is never besmirched.”

“Yes. I will keep that in mind.”

Seon-Hyeok answered with a steady voice.

“Long live His Majesty!”

“Long live Viscount Drachen!”

The capital’s citizens cheered even more enthusiastically as they witnessed the birth of a new noble whose name was derived from the dragons.

“I hope you do well.”

As the ceremony ended, the king reassumed his usual calm expression and offered his congratulations. With this, Seon-Hyeok finally became a proud noble after his long and arduous journey.

***

Though the title ceremony was over, his obligations did not end there. His reward for his achievements was not limited to his title, and there was still much left to be received.

A number of other events occurred during this brief subsequent stay at the capital as he waited for the remaining obligations to be fulfilled. Company Commander Frederick was officially elevated to senior knight, and Clark, Hansen, and the other riders were given the title of honorary knight.

“It’s really a meaningless title. Nobody would recognize someone who’s only a knight in name.”

Depending on the situation, an honorary knight could be treated as lower than an apprentice knight. However, Clark and the others did not complain. They were already all children of the nobility, so they weren’t missing out on much.

“Do we need to treat you like a viscount now?”

The only potential problem was that there was now a status gap between Seon-Hyeok and the cavalry, whereas they had previously treated each other casually.

“Just act as you always have. How embarrassing.”

“I will oblige if that’s what the viscount wishes.”

Fortunately, the riders quickly agreed to Seon-Hyeok’s request. They might not be able to act as they always had in official settings, but the same relationship could be maintained in private.

“I wonder what will happen going forward. The company commander’s a senior knight now, so he’ll be given charge of a regiment at least. Won’t his position become vacant then?”

“We’re a named unit now, so I’m sure the position won’t be filled by someone useless, but it’s still worrying.”

The riders were naturally concerned about who would fill the soon-to-be-vacant position of company commander.

“Wait. I don’t think Seon-Hyeok will be allowed to stay a rank-and-file member of the military anymore either.”

“It can’t be…”

As they spoke, the riders looked at Seon-Hyeok all at once, realizing that his spot might soon be empty as well.

“You haven’t heard anything yet?”

The commander had offered to keep him with his comrades if he wished, but Seon-Hyeok feigned ignorance. Then again, it wasn’t as though he was blatantly lying, since he hadn’t yet been offered a commanding position either.

“Well, it’s not a big deal. Isn’t it better than having a random swordsman who can’t even properly ride a horse as our leader?”

“That’s true. Definitely.”

The atmosphere began to change. At first, the cavalry just wondered about their future, but at a certain point, the questions became hopeful.

“To put it plainly, we couldn’t have beaten the Sasteins without Seon-Hyeok. It feels empty riding without him these days.”

“It’s not good to be overly dependent, but it’s true that our Drake Cavalry is at its best when we’re all together.”

“Hear, hear.”

Seon-Hyeok panicked as he looked at his comrades. They seemed ready to immediately visit the commander and demand that he be named the replacement company commander.

“Please, let’s not make matters worse here. Let’s just get back home first. I’m sick and tired of the capital.”

“Yeah, even if there’s nothing good to eat or see there, our garrison’s the best. This doesn’t feel like a place meant for human residence.”

“I agree.”

Clark and Hansen responded. However, Jonasson suddenly smacked Hansen on the back of his head and scolded him.

“For someone who says that, you’ve been out and about a lot, saying that there are a lot of pretty girls here. You bastard, you didn’t even come back to our accommodations yesterday, did you?”

Panicked, Seon-Hyeok tried to stop Jonasson.

After all, I’m the one responsible for the potentially permanent damage to Hansen’s manhood.

“Don’t talk about what you don’t know. He took all the money he had and got treated by a good priest. Look. He has new teeth now too. I’m sure he blew through all the money he saved until now.”

Only after hearing Jonasson’s words did Seon-Hyeok realize that Hansen’s missing front teeth had been restored.

“Is that true? Hansen?”

Seon-Hyeok had felt responsible for both the broken part(?) and front teeth, so he grinned as he asked Hansen. Hansen nodded, showing off his fake teeth that had been awkwardly put into place.

“Ah, that’s a relief. I guess they weren’t permanently ruined.”

It was an amazing miracle made possible through the collaboration of priests and mages.

“Ahem. If you trust and follow me, I’ll show you why this is the capital. I happened to find an amazing hole in the wall yesterday.”

Hansen suggested that since they had come all the way here, they should at least look around.

“Really? Where is it? There’s some free time in our schedule…”

Clark and the others quickly got ready to follow Hansen.

***

Led by the unreliable Hansen, their trip into the city ended in failure. The bar he spoke so highly of was a dumpster of a place with nothing of note.

Furthermore, the frustrated riders got to the point of almost starting a brawl with the locals. The disturbance was barely resolved after the capital’s guards were dispatched, and the riders nearly got locked up in prison.

However, it was fortunate for them that average guards were incapable of detaining a viscount and a group of honorary knights, and that the bar belonged to a troublesome gang.

“I’m never trusting Hansen again.”

“What’s the use of becoming whole again? Your standards are still terrible.”

It was a strange conversation to be having after inadvertently neutralizing a shady organization within the capital. For Seon-Hyeok, however, he finally felt at ease.

Hm. Yeah. This is what normal people are like.

Having been around his comrades for too long, it seemed as though Seon-Hyeok had come to be like them as well.

They killed time going about the capital, and eventually, they were able to receive the financial rewards for their wartime contributions. The money was about as much as a year’s salary for the expensive cavalry.

“Why is it so much?”

“Apparently there was an additional reward for capturing the enemy knight and mage alive.”

Nobody complained, however. After all, they were getting much more than they expected.

***

Ahn Yoo-Jung visited two more times during his stay in the royal capital, as did another group of foreigners who he had never met before. Their purpose, as expected, was to draw in the foreigner who even the king had shown interest in. Of course, Seon-Hyeok flatly rejected their proposal.

He would finally be able to leave the capital if he held out a bit longer. He didn’t want to join a faction and become involved in any power struggles.

Ugh. I’m really not suited for the capital.

Seon-Hyeok, having become so annoyed by these repeated visits by unexpected guests, accidentally sighed when the royal princess, Ophelia, came to see him.

“Viscount Drachen, don’t feel too uncomfortable with my visit. I just came out of my own curiosity.”

Having endured an unpleasant situation once before when escorting her to the banquet, the royal princess’ visit wasn’t welcome, regardless of whether it was personal or formal.

“Could you show me your drake?”

However, he felt sorry for the princess, who struggled to suppress her childish side as she made her solemn request, and he obliged. After all, he would be leaving the capital soon, so it would be a parting gift for the child princess.

“Oh! Compared to last time, he’s so much more imposing from up close. I can’t help but admire him – even though he lacks the elegance of a horse, he looks that much more ferocious and powerful.”

Seon-Hyeok relaxed and smiled as the princess looked up at the drake from a few steps away, too scared to approach any closer.

“Can you tell me the name of this valiant beast?”

“He hasn’t been fully trained, so I haven’t named him yet.”

It was only after hearing the princess’ question that Seon-Hyeok remembered he had not yet named the drake.

“Oh, is that so? In that case, will you give me the chance to name this brave and powerful creature?”

No. Never.

If he could, he wanted to refuse. However, Seon-Hyeok failed to overcome the royal princess’ lovable nature and left the fate of the poor drake to her, the person with the worst naming sense in the kingdom.

“Maybe Victory, as my way of hoping for your success in battle? Chaos Fear, to represent the fear and confusion he causes his prey? No, maybe Lightning Thunder…”

In an instant, a number of dreadful potential names poured out of the royal princess’ mouth. Even though he had steeled himself to the possibility, he couldn’t bring himself to accept those terrible names. Seeing him desperately refusing each name, she continued thinking with a happy expression.

“Dark Phantom… oh! Wait. The scales are like gold, so how about Gold Drake, or Goldrake for short? His nickname could be Goldie.”

Seon-Hyeok felt a sense of desperation, worried how much worse the names could get if he left her to her own devices.

“Goldrake…”

“Oh. I thought you’d like it too. Doesn’t it match his golden scales?”

The royal princess blushed and gave a rare smile. Seon-Hyeok couldn’t deprive her of her happiness and decided to accept her will.

“Your name will be Goldrake.”

With a dejected voice, he gave Goldrake his new name. The drake’s eyes opened wide.

-          The drake’s obedience has surpassed its soft limit and reached 100.

-          A new category has been added under the attribute section.

-          The ‘earth’ attribute has been added.

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