Raven gave a long sigh as soon as Irene Pendragon’s back could no longer be seen. He had solved one troublesome problem…
A pair of pure innocent eyes stared up at him. Because of how light she was, he had forgotten that he had another sister who always accompanied Irene Pendragon.
Raven looked down at Mia Pendragon with an uneasy and tense expression.
“W, well, Lady Mia, it’s time to go back to your residence.”
Lindsay spoke up, noticing Raven’s discomfort.
But Mia Pendragon continued to stare up at Raven with clear, open eyes. It was hard to guess what she was thinking.
In the end, Raven couldn’t take the silence anymore and spoke first.
“…Do you have something to say?”
Mia still did not say anything.
“I have some work to do, so if you have nothing to say I think it might be best for you to lea...”
Raven stopped speaking. Mia still remained mute, but she had a subtle change in expression.
She took the doll that she always carried in her hand and stood up from Raven’s lap, her head lowered all the while. Mia bowed her head towards Raven and started to walk towards the doorway.
Looking at her small figure, Raven realized that Mia had never spoken a single word to him the whole time he knew her. Nevertheless, she always bowed to him in greeting every time she came and went.
Suddenly, he could feel the warmth disappearing from his lap that Mia sat on, and unfamiliar feelings emerged from his chest.
He felt sorry for her.
Raven called her impetuously. She slowly turned her head towards him.
“That… Y, yes. Do you like old stories?”
‘This crazy bastard, what kind of stories for little girls do you know!?’
He belatedly regretted his words, but it was already too late. As soon as he had spoken, Mia nodded two times and pitter-pattered her way back to Raven. She jumped up onto his lap and once again returned to staring at him with glittering eyes. Raven met her gaze and spoke with an awkward expression.
“Uh, that… M, monsters. What do you think about monster stories?”
Telling a ten-year-old girl monster stories…
Inside, he self-destructed. Despair and anguish overtook him, and he felt the urge to punch himself in the mouth. But surprisingly, Mia nodded her head.
“Uh… L, long, long time ago, there was a troll king in a place called the Valley of Agolan…”
The reaper of the battlefield desperately recalled his past adventures and reiterated them to be appropriate for a little girl. Mia stared at Raven with her mouth open through his storytelling with an expression that was neither laughing nor crying.
Time passed quickly. Killian recovered faster than expected, and the day of expedition to reopen the mausoleum drew near. Nothing special happened except that Luna Seyrod and her knights decided to leave together with Alan Pendragon and his entourage.
White armor was placed onto his body, the overlapping pieces letting off metallic sounds. With the last finishing touches, the servants adorned him with a red cape. Raven put on a helmet ornamented with a pair of dragon wings.
“We will set out soon. You may all leave.”
“Yes, Your Grace.”
At Raven’s words, the attendants left the room with their heads bowed low. He was left alone in the room. Raven looked at the mirror. The person staring back was the exact same person he had seen at the Robstein Plains.
He felt a little uncomfortable and bitter. Alan Pendragon was someone he had never thought to have run into again after the battle. But now, Alan was already dead, and Raven was living as Alan.
What would Alan say if he saw this situation? Would he get angry and demand his life back? Or would he ask Raven to help him with his family’s tragedy? Raven slowly shook his head. It did not matter.
“I am Alan Pendragon, and I am Raven Valt…”
He muttered in a quiet voice and pressed his helmet down.
“Good. Very good.”
Attia spoke from behind his back. She really was a ghost. Her reflection could not be seen in the mirror.
Attia spoke with a pleased expression and stroked Raven’s armor. She was proud of him.
“My father, my brother, they all campaigned in that exact armor. Dozens of knights and thousands of troops all kneeled in front of it and paid homage to them and Soldrake. I can still see it so clearly…”
Raven turned solemn at the gaze of the old lady who was reliving the glories of the past.
“It is as you say, Raven Valt. Whatever anyone says, you are a Pendragon. You must reclaim the mausoleum as a Pendragon. Please give this old lady who wanders without her body peace. My soul won’t be able to rest until then, so I ask of you.”
She grabbed onto his clothes, knowing well it could not be grabbed, and spoke in a damp voice. Raven felt emotional watching the old lady asking him for help. Asking him, he, who was just an illegitimate child of a small family. He could feel her desperation.
“Alright. For you, for the Pendragon family, and for myself… I will reclaim the mausoleum.”
Attia’s eyes finally started to tear up. The dragon knight and the old lady shared a sympathy that transcended time.
“You must return safely.”
“Yes, my lady.”
“You must… You must…”
Raven looked at Elena as she repeated her words for the fifth time, hot tears flowing down her face. Attia had asked him to reclaim the family honor, and in contrast, Elena never once spoke of the family honor.
She only asked her son to come back, to come back safely. His memory brought him back to how she protected him by standing in front of Soldrake.
Raven, whose mother had passed on early, had always been treated coldly and with indifference. He felt touched at Elena’s words. It was the first time he had received such overflowing care. Of course, he knew her love was directed at Alan Pendragon, and not Raven Valt. But it did not matter. All motherly love in the world needed to be respected.
“I will return safely, m, m, mother…”
Raven said, enduring the awkwardness.
With a bright, tearful smile, Elena embraced Raven. Feeling the protective love with her scent, Raven’s face reddened slightly. After a short while, Elena let Raven go.
Raven bowed lightly, then tried to turn. But his body stopped at the sight of a small hand grabbing onto his leg. It was Mia Pendragon. Mia Pendragon held her doll in one hand, and his leg with the other. Tears hung on her eyes, small and delicate water droplets. Raven looked down at her for a moment, then slowly raised his hand to stroke her head.
“I will come back… and tell you more stories about monsters.”
Her face eagerly moved up and down several times before her hand released its grip on Raven’s leg.
Raven moved towards the wide-open doors of the palace. Everyone from Conrad Castle was gathered in the courtyard. A hundred spearmen, and a hundred crossbowmen. But he could not even take half of them.
Raven did not despair.
The beginning was always the hardest.
Raven bashed Widow’s Scream, the Pendragon family’s treasured sword, onto the ground and shouted out.
“We leave today! From today onwards, the Pendragon family will be reborn!”
The shouts echoed throughout Conrad Castle. It had finally regained its true owner after ten years of absence.
The cheeks of someone turned bright as a rose as they watched the events unfold from inside the palace. The maids gazed at the person who breathed heavily with a complicated gaze.
“I want to run to you, grab you and rub my face all over you! The coolest brother in the whole world… brother Alan…”
Irene showed her desperate yearning on her face as she watched her brother, but she quickly turned her head.
“But, but I shouldn’t. Bashful Irene is hoping for her brother’s safe returns. Ah, ah! If I watch any longer I think I’m going to go insane!”
Irene, the protagonist of misery, shed tears as she hurried into the palace.
The maids sighed simultaneously in their thoughts and ran after the protagonist with shaking heads.
The door of Conrad Castle opened and the drawbridge descended over the moat. The ornate crest of the Pendragon family, embroidered with golden thread, flew high above the soldiers on a flag.
Raven, armed with the white armor and Widow’s Scream, crossed the drawbridge along with a group of soldiers.
Raven rode on a black stallion. It was dressed in coordination with him -- clad with white armor. Raven looked to his side and saw a knight drooping his shoulders while holding his horse’s reins. The doctor had tried his best, but in the end, one egg was permanently lost.
Killian rode alongside Raven with a dejected and depressed expression.
In addition, Killian had started to wear lower-body armor, a lesson from before where he grotesquely displayed his lower body. He was unaccustomed to having armor on his lower body and had trouble riding the horse. The chafing was so uncomfortable.
“Y, yes, Your Grace.”
Killian raised his head at the unexpected call.
“Why don’t you stand tall? It’s quite frustrating for me to see you like this.”
Killian straightened his posture, feeling the cold sweat dripping down his back. But perhaps due to the armor that he was not used to, his body kept leaning to one side.
‘Was it the one on the right that I broke…?’
Seeing the unsightly appearance of the once confident knight, correcting his posture every few meters, was slightly regretful. He felt a very tiny bit of sympathy for Killian.
But Raven quickly shook such thoughts away. He had heard about Killian’s predatory engagement with the woman in the castle and his insatiable sexual desire. He had been trying to seduce any maid he came across. Even after five years passed since he was finally engaged, the marriage had to be postponed countlessly.
Then one of his precious eggs broke.
Not only had his sexual urges been repressed, he had been too embarrassed to show his face in front of any women in the castle. In the end, he could only visit his fiancée.
The only unhappy one was Killian.
His fiancée was happy, the castle’s maids were relieved, and the young soldiers who had the maids in their hearts felt encouraged.
Everyone praised Alan Pendragon, the man who had made this possible.
‘Well, at least there won’t be any issues with having a child…’
At the sacrifice of one man, peace and happiness was returned to the castle. It was worth it.
The soldiers finished crossing the bridge, and the bridge slowly ascended once more. Raven led with his horse, and after a while, he finally turned his head to look back at the castle. The outline of the white castle and its dragon statue disappeared with the horizon as he marched on.
‘I will return, with a power that no one can look down on.’
Raven’s mind snapped back to the disgraceful memory of his family being executed and himself being dragged out of the count’s castle like a dog...
He was dragged out with a chain around his neck, and now he was voluntarily stepping out.
Raven paused and looked at Conrad Castle with stiff eyes. He turned his gaze to the front.
‘I will succeed… no matter what it takes… I will see it done.”
Alan Pendragon was Raven Valt.
His eyes shone with determination as he continued forward into the unknown.Previous Chapter Next Chapter