“Forty-five? How do you know exactly?”
“Know. When handsome Kazzal sees, he knows.”
Kazzal lifted his head up high as if he was very proud. Raven looked up.
“Your Grace, this is a goblin. Don’t tell me you’re going to believe what he says?”
Killian approached Raven and spoke in a low voice. Raven shook his head.
“Goblins have very good eyesight. They can see things in the far distance and are good at throwing rocks at it. I saw before tha… I mean, I’ve read in a book that there was a monarch in the south who tamed goblins and sent them out with reconnaissance teams.”
The real truth was that the southern monarch was a traitor that the demonic army took care of, but Raven made up an excuse.
“Hoh. I see…”
Raven moved his gaze from Killian, who was convinced, then stared at Kazzal once more.
Raven took on an intimidating expression.
“Do you know who I am?”
“H, handsome Kazzal doesn’t know. Kieee..”
Raven spoke in a very slow voice, making sure to emphasize each word to the frightened Kazzal.
“I am the owner of this land, Alan Pendragon.”
Kazzal and the other goblins all panicked and became frightened. The goblins, who had been residing in the land for several years, had heard of Pendragon. But the reason the goblins became frightened were the words that were said afterward…
“If you don’t listen to me in the future, I’m going to make sure you serve as a treat for a dragon’s food.”
Raven purposely touched the dragon-wing-shaped helmet while speaking. The goblins all hurried to respond.
“Listen! Will listen! Handsome Kazzal listens to Pendragon! Uglier than me for sure, but I listen anyway!”
“…If you say the word ugly, you’re going to become dragon food.”
“No! Never say ugly!”
Kazzal begged. Only then did Raven nod with a satisfied smile on his face.
Luna, Killian, and the rest of the soldiers watched as the situation unfolded, with dumbfounded expressions on their faces. They found the whole situation ridiculous and absurd.
The heir to a duchy that was one of the five pillars of the empire, threatening a little goblin…
They were starting to doubt the nature of Alan Pendragon.
With the help of Kazzal and the goblins, Raven and his troops were able to arrive at a forest near the village of Southstone in a relatively quick time.
“Set up camp here. Make sure to avoid any campfires, and have black bread and raisins for your meals.”
“Yes, Your Grace. What shall we do with the captured monsters?”
Killian asked politely.
Raven pondered for a moment, then stood up from his makeshift chair.
“Let me see them for myself first.”
Raven walked towards a big tree at the edge of the camp.
The four soldiers who were stationed under the tree greeted Raven and respectfully retreated to one side. Raven nodded at the soldiers and turned his gaze towards beneath the tree. On one side was Kazzal and the goblins, treating their wounds with chains tied around their limbs. On the other side, there were other monsters with chains tied around their necks.
Their faces and bodies were that of a woman, but they had wings instead of arms and sharp talons protruding at the end of their wings. They were harpies.
Like the goblins, they were captured by the soldiers on their way to Southstone. The soldiers moved through a safe path that the goblins knew of, but since it had not been maintained for such a long time, there were monsters in their path.
Of course, the monsters ran with their tail between their legs upon seeing the soldiers. They had been running rampant after the decline of the Pendragon family, but they weren’t as foolish as to rush into a large group of armed soldiers.
But Raven had no intentions of letting them get away, as they even dared to encroach on human territory, and took care of them all. There was also a need to raise the morale of the army, so Raven pursued the monsters and defeated them as they appeared.
The result was the death of a dozen wolves and two harpies, as well as the capture of three harpies. Raven walked towards the harpy with the most colorful feathers and the biggest body. Upon seeing the Widow’s Scream and the helmet on top of his head, the harpy cowered and lowered its head.
‘So it’s the same with this one as well.’
“You, do you know how to talk?”
“Kieek! K, know how to talk!?”
It was as Raven thought. The harpies weren’t as smart as the goblins, but the ones who lived near humans knew how to speak and understood simple words.
“It looks like you lot are wandering around with a tribe, are there more of you?”
“N, no. Died earlier. Now, me, you, you, just three.”
The harpy pointed toward its companions who were quivering in fear.
“I see. Anyway, you.”
Raven lightly nodded his head and took a step forward with his hand on Widow’s Scream. The harpy shook with fear even more and dug its head into the ground. Raven spoke in a soft voice.
“Have you eaten human meat before?”
Raven had once seen a harpy who lived high in the mountains ambush and devour a human before. He couldn’t forget the sight and the sounds of talons ripping into the organs and flesh.
The harpy who was shaking its head with all its might didn’t seem to be lying. Harpies weren’t smart enough to lie anyway, unlike goblins. It must have been due to their nature as half birds and half-humans. They were literally bird-brained.
“Good. I believe you.”
“Kieeek! T, Thank…”
“But I still can’t forgive you for stealing my subject’s sheep. What should I do with you?”
Raven once again brought his hand to Widow’s Scream in a threatening manner.
“They steal handsome Kazzal’s food too! That guy, bad guy!”
Kazzal pointed his finger and shouted. But as soon as Raven frowned, he went silent and took a step back. Raven spoke once more, turning his head towards the harpy.
“So that’s the case. What are you going to do?”
The harpy, who was relieved for a moment, lowered her head again.
“Master, serve! Tata, you, and you, everyone master, serve!”
The other harpies all shouted in unison at their leader’s declaration.
“Tata? You even have a name. Alright then. From today onwards I am your master. Got it?”
“Master! You are master!”
The harpies all bowed down at Raven’s words. It seemed that the harpies understood that the only way they could live right now was to listen to Raven’s words.
“Yes, I, Alan Pendragon, am your master. Alan Pendragon. Got it? If you disobey me, you will all become dragon food.”
Raven glared at the harpies and pushed his helmet forward. Any other thoughts that the harpies might have had disappeared at that moment and their complexions turned blue. They spoke while shuddering.
“D, Dragon! S, scary, dragon! I know. Now, P, Pendragon. Tata Master!”
As Raven had suspected, these guys were the same as the goblins.
‘Soldrake is quite helpful in this matter.’
He hadn’t contracted with the dragon yet, but everyone in the duchy was terrified of Soldrake, and he used that to his advantage. Most of the monsters probably saw Soldrake when the dragon flew to Conrad Castle on the day of Raven’s reawakening. To all the monsters that existed, a dragon was truly the supreme predator. In his days as Raven Valt, if Soldrake hadn’t suddenly stopped fighting in the last battle, the dragon alone would have been able to slaughter the entirety of the monster army.
The dragon was incredibly powerful and a being to be feared.
Meanwhile, the soldiers watched the situation unfold with their mouths wide open. First, it had been goblins, and now, Alan Pendragon had even subdued the harpies. It was unthinkable to form a master-slave relationship by threatening monsters. Monsters, beings that were generally detested and thought of as enemies to be killed.
The soldiers didn’t know, but Raven had seen a wizard tame a harpy and use it as their contractual beast. If the harpies originated from a place with no humans, it would surely be much harder to subdue them as they didn’t speak nor understand the human language. However, these harpies from the Pendragon Duchy were different.
In the first place, it was strange that these harpies casually wandered about in a land ruled by humans, but Raven thought that maybe he could use that to his advantage. If they could understand his words, maybe he could threaten them like he did with the goblins.
He was spot on.
For now, he couldn’t be sure how effective it was until some time passed, but it was good so far.
“Oi, get some food for these guys.”
“Y, yes, Your Grace!”
“Give it to the handsome Kazzal! Handsome Kazzal helped Pendragon!”
The other goblins drooled and kowtowed at the words of Kazzal, who held his nose up high pridefully.
“Throw them some bread.”
They were beyond shameless even though they were captives. Raven started to walk back to his tent, but then remembered something and turned around.
The excited harpies, thinking about their food, immediately cowered once again. Raven took out Widow’s Scream from its sheath and started to walk towards the group. The harpies went nuts as anxiety levels shot up through the ceiling.
Even the soldiers were nervous, thinking that Alan Pendragon changed his mind and decided to kill the harpies. But Raven walked up to the harpy named Tata, grabbed her by the head, and whispered something into her ear for a while.
“…okay? If you don’t listen, I’ll feed you to the dragon.”
“W, will do! Will listen to master!”
Tata nodded her head frantically.
Raven nodded with a satisfied face and sheathed Widow’s Scream before turning around.
“You can all go about your business now.”
The soldiers stared with blank expressions as Alan Pendragon casually walked by while waving his hand. The harpies were in a panic, and the goblins were eager to eat their food.
“Is everyone gathered?”
“Yes, Your Grace.”
At Raven’s words, Killian and around a dozen seasoned warriors nodded their heads.
“Why don’t you come closer, Sir Breeden. Don’t stand there by yourself so far from the group.”
Breeden, who had his arms crossed, walked forward with a fishy smile from the entrance of the tent. Killian turned a furious gaze on him but receded it upon Raven’s glance, snorted, and then turned his head.
“As I already mentioned, the vanguard will leave with ten spearmen and ten archers in the morning. The rest will follow under Sir Killian’s command behind the vanguard. You will always maintain a distance of one mile.”
“As you command, Your Grace.”
The soldiers replied in unison.
“What should we do?”
Breeden puffed his chest and asked.
“What do you want to do?”
Breeden sank into thought at Raven’s reply for a moment then spoke with a serious expression.
“I think we should accompany Your Grace since you have smaller numbers.”
‘Look at this guy?’
Something felt odd. Breeden wasn’t one to offer his help. Nevertheless, Raven nodded his head.
“Good. Let’s do that then. But since Lady Seyrod might be in danger, she will be in the second party…”
“No. The lady will be with us. I am the red wolf of the Seyrod family, my soldiers and I are not so weak to not be able to defend our lady.”
Breeden cut off Raven’s words and spoke out. Everyone’s gazes headed towards him. The confident face of a brave knight. There didn’t seem to be a speck of lie in his appearance.
Even Killian nodded in agreement at Breeden’s words.
But Raven felt differently.
Everyone else was entranced by Breeden’s display, but Raven focused on the man’s first words. Trust. That dog Breeden was putting on a show to win over people’s trust. Something was hidden in his words. Initially, it was off-putting that Breeden wanted to accompany Raven, but now the strangeness became clear more than ever.
‘You’re pretty clever aren’t you... All right, keep at it.’
Raven tried his best to hide the mischievous smile that came and put forth an emotional expression.
“How reassuring! It’s all thanks to the brave knights such as yourself, Sir Breeden, that I no longer have to worry about the Seyrod family. Please do your best for our Pendragon family tomorrow.”
“I will do my best, Your Grace!”
Breeden pounded his chest reassuringly.
“Good! Then make sure to remind the guards on night shifts to keep watch over the monsters. Everyone, please go and rest.”
Killian and the soldiers belonging to the Pendragon family answered with vigor. But Breeden’s gaze was still fixated on Raven.
‘It’s tomorrow. Tomorrow, you will come begging me to save you, you brat, with tears pouring down that pretty face of yours… Hehehe…’
‘Tomorrow I will beat some sense into a dog who doesn’t know their owner, as well as a dog that doesn’t know its place.’
Raven hid his thoughts behind a beautiful smile.
Breeden didn’t know Raven Valt’s true nature yet.Previous Chapter Next Chapter