Chapter 179

“But Sir Isla, since then, Sir Killian has become an even more outstanding and brilliant knight. Thanks to that, the knight order is coming along nicely as well.”

Irene spoke with a gentle smile in an attempt to change the atmosphere, and Mia nodded her head in agreement, all the while eagerly chewing her food.

The image of the two sisters’ actions put a smile on everyone’s faces regardless of their status and gender. The presence of two beautiful ladies in the official residence was like a spring breeze. Otherwise, it would be a den full of expressionless soldiers and knights.

“The lady is right. It is all thanks to the lord that Sir Killian was able to break his big ego.”

“Yes, yes! Of course, that goes without saying!”

Irene blushed and agreed wholeheartedly with compliments about her brother. However, Raven shook his head lightly.

“It is all because Sir Killian is a truly loyal knight to the Pendragon Duchy. Would he have been able to become such a man if he had possessed an untrue heart?”

Raven spoke in a gentle voice. However, it contained profound meaning.

Raven saw many knights.

Most of them were from noble backgrounds and tended to be arrogant and selfish.

The imperial knights were a little better. It was truly difficult to become a knight of an imperial regiment, and all of them were bold warriors who were hardened in the battlefield. They pledged their allegiance to the empire and the emperor.

They deserved to be proud.

However, ordinary knights, those commonly referred to as ‘territorial knights’, were different.

They were handed their titles on a silver platter from generation to generation, and they held absolute power over the people of the territory they oversaw. Inside their land, they were no different from kings. Moreover, they hardly experienced any proper battles, so they were ignorant to the fact that there were many people much stronger than them.

They were truly frogs in a well.

So even though they were knights, they evaluated everyone else based on status and ranking instead of strength.

When Raven first met Killian in Conrad Castle, he thought Killian to be just like the rest – A shameless man who boasted his status even though he was incompetent. Raven thought him to be a third-rate knight of a fallen duchy.

Such judgement led to Raven breaking one of Killian’s eggs. It was a strong countermeasure. If Killian had collapsed, it would have proven his incompetence and Raven would have thrown him away.

It was a fallen duchy anyways, and one less knight was not going to make a significant difference anyways.

But Killian did not collapse. He was a completely different person from most of the territorial knights Raven had seen.

After suffering such a large humiliation as a man, Mark Killian abandoned his pride and stuck to his duties and responsibilities as a knight of the Pendragon Duchy. He accepted the results like a man, and once again swore allegiance to his lord and to his land as a faithful knight.

He was a pure, loyal man who was truly a diamond in the rough. That was the Mark Killian Raven saw, the knight of the Pendragon Duchy.

“You should know after seeing many knights over the different territories, but a figure like Sir Killian is very rare.”

Raven looked around at the quietened banquet hall before slowly continuing.

“He does not covet wealth. He swears his loyalty to the duchy and I as a knight. It was not because I enlightened him that he made a large leap. He was such a person from the very beginning.”

The atmosphere became solemn at Raven’s words, and Isla nodded softly. Isla had also figured  out Killian’s character after being punished together, although he would die before holding hands again.

“So it is not Sir Killian who should be thankful to me, but rather, I who should be thankful to Sir Killian. I am grateful that he has stayed with me as my knight and a knight of the Pendragon Duchy. I am grateful that he pushes himself.”

Raven would have been embarrassed to say such words before, but it wasn’t so anymore. If it were not for Killian, he would never be able to leave the duchy behind and be in Leus.

In the past, Raven Valt was a man who fought alone to survive, but the Raven Valt of now knew that he was not alone.

Raven now knew. Killian, as well as everyone else here, was the foundation that allowed him to exist, as both Alan Pendragon and Raven Valt.

“My lord.”

Isla stood up from his seat.

He bowed his head while receiving everyone’s gaze.

“My thoughts fell short. I was the one who was conceited. Sir Killian is a true knight of the lord and the Pendragon Duchy.”

“No. Sir Killian, Sir Isla, and Leon… Every knight of mine is precious. So do not say such words.”

“…..”

Isla looked up.

His eyes were full of passion and loyalty towards his trusting master.

“Hmm…!”

Feeling a little embarrassed, Raven glanced away. But another pair of burning eyes were waiting for him as well.

“My lord! I, I will live as your knight until I die! N, no, actually, even in death, I will live on as a knight of the Pendragon Duchy!”

Leon cried out in a loud voice. It seemed like he was on the verge of crying.

It seemed that Leon was touched when he was mentioned by Raven as well, even though he fell way short of Killian and Isla.

“Ehem! I, I got it! Well, should we go out now? Our friend is waiting for us.”

Raven spoke in a confident tone, but inwardly felt a little embarrassed. He rose from his seat and moved his steps.

Thud!

All of the 7th regiment knights and soldiers from other tables stood up simultaneously as well.

“Let us escort you.”

The men of the 7th regiment moved to the sides of Raven. From the looks on their faces, it seemed that all of them had been moved just as much as Leon and Isla.

Hm, well… do as you please.”

Raven hurriedly walked out while receiving burdensome gazes from dozens of men. Those who remained behind looked at the back of the group with blank expressions.

“This is my first time seeing grown-up men acting like that…”

Marilyn whispered in a low voice, and the women standing next to her whispered in unison.

“I know, right? But somehow, don’t you feel a little riled up as well?”

“You are right. I feel a little jealous too…”

But all the whispering women had gentle smiles on their lips.

***

“Keung! Why don’t you hurry up a little.”

“I had some things going on.”

Karuta spoke in a sulky tone while standing amongst a group of orcs, and Raven replied with a grin.

“Let’s get started now. I can finally warm up. It’s been too long. Keuheung!”

Boom!

Karuta breathed out a gust of air as his steel club hit the floor. Orc Fear began to rise from his whole body.

“Hm…!”

The expressions of the 7th regiment soldiers and knights changed at the sight.

They were considered an elite force and they frequently encountered the island orcs, but they had never faced such a strong Orc Fear before. In addition, Karuta was two or three heads taller than other orcs, which magnified his intense presence by several times.

“Isla.”

“Yes, my lord.”

At Raven’s words, Isla approached and politely held out two swords. Raven took the two blades and started walking forward in a leisurely manner. He held Widow’s Cry, the Pendragon family’s heirloom, in one hand and a crescent-shaped scimitar in the other.

He stopped when he neared Karuta. Someone gulped at the sight of the two warriors’ standoff. It was reminiscent of David facing goliath. There was a huge disparity between the two’s physique.

Everyone could not help but wonder if the two small blades in Raven’s hands could stop the gigantic steel rod.

“Hey, Pendragon scarecrow. This time, just like the old days…”

“First of all, thank you.”

“Ke, keung?”

Karuta’s face distorted at the sudden remark.

“Your whole body must have been itching to fight properly, so I sincerely appreciate that you have trusted me and waited thus far. The Ancona Orcs are true friends of the Pendragon.”

After speaking, Raven gave a light bow to Karuta.

“Huh…!”

Everyone observing the two were quite surprised to see an imperial duke and the governor of Leus bowing to a mere orc. But Karuta’s reaction was even more surprising.

“Keu, Ehem! E, even if you say such words, I will not go easy on you! Orcs try their best in every fight!”

He raised his voice, but he was obviously embarrassed.

“…..”

A shy orc warrior with such hideous appearance…

Among the shocked silence, Raven broke into a sly grin.

“I know. It is the orc’s virtue and law to fight any opponent to their heart’s extent.”

“…Yes, I am glad you know.”

Karuta’s smiling fangs flashed in the morning sun. Then, his spirit, which had momentarily stalled, began to cover his body more intensely than before.

“Anyways, since you said thank you, I, Karuta, am going to have a good time today!”

Fwoosh!

Orc Fear of the strongest Ancona warrior pushed back the winter air and heated up the entire yard. The flippant spirit quickly formed into a sharp fang and ferociously thrust towards its target.

At the same time, a threadlike blue spirit slowly began to rise against the Orc Fear from the shoulders of Raven. However, the whole scene was reminiscent of a small ship about to face an oncoming typhoon. It was so fragile that it looked like the Orc Fear would completely dominate and swallow it up.

“Hm…!”

The eyes of the onlookers were filled with tension. However, their expressions slowly changed and the eyes filled with wonder. The weak and precarious looking spirit had begun to slowly push back the Orc Fear.

CraaaackI

The sound of glass cracking seemed to resound, but no one could tell if it was real or just an auditory hallucination.

As the sound exploded…

“Kukuukkat!”

Karuta burst into laughter that seemed to shake the sky and the earth, then he jumped while leaving behind a trail of red glow from his eyes.

“Hmph!”

At the same time, Raven let out a short, sharp breath between his lips, then sprang towards Karuta as well.

The Widow’s Cry, containing the Spirit of the White Dragon, clashed with the huge steel club.

Boom!

As the spirits clashed, strong winds rose in the yard as if a typhoon had descended. Such an enormous reaction was caused from one clash.

“Ugh!”

Everyone except Isla stumbled back and clenched their eyes unknowingly. Some of the soldiers even fell backwards.

The shockwave created by the clash was not something an ordinary human could handle. On one side was Karuta, an orc warrior transcending physical limits. On the other side, Raven charged with the Spirit of the White Dragon.

But the two figures’ fight was only beginning.

Whoosh! Ssshhh!

The sounds were enough to cause goosebumps to rise on the skins of the bystanders, and their eyes struggled to keep up with the collision of the red and blue lights.

Shiiing! Boom!

Raven parried and dodged the flurry of attacks. He could feel a cold shock on the wrist. Orcs truly lived up to their reputation for possessing great power.

If his sword was not bearing the Spirit of the White Dragon, his wrist would have been broken instantly. Above all, Karuta was very swift, unbefitting of his large frame.

It was not solely due to their power that orc warriors could beat up large bears and lions with their bare hands. It was because they had instinctive reflexes equal to predators.

In addition, they possessed superhuman strength and speed. Humans would be no match for orcs unless they were experienced and could utilize spirit.

Kakang! Klang!

Iron clashed shouted joyfully. But for those who were watching, they could only make out sounds of death that caused their hairs to stand on end

Boom!

Along with another shockwave, the two fighters separated from each other.

“Krrr….!”

Karuta’s large eyes were glowing bright red. Raven was not his enemy, but Karuta was still in a frenzy. He had attacked with power that would have dominated the knights of Conrad Castle. He was confident that even Isla or Killian would have struggled under the barrage. But even so, he had not been able to deal any damage.

It wasn’t solely due to the White Dragon’s Spirit.

This was a training session.

Therefore, he knew that Raven had not shown the full extent of the Spirit of the White Dragon, just as he had not roused his Orc Fear to the extreme.

Then in the end…

‘Krrrrrukk! As expected of Pendragon scarecrow. You are probably the strongest of all the baby-toothed scarecrows.’

In anger, Karuta found joy.

He would be able to travel through the sea and beat up other orcs with such a strong friend by his side. He would be able to declare the Ancona tribe as the strongest orcs. Moreover, Karuta realized why Rave agreed to the battle.

Orcs were beasts of blood, and they had to continuously battle.

The struggle was an instinct for the orcs.

But after months of suppressing such urges, all of the Ancona Orcs, including Karuta, were on the verge of exploding. At such a moment, the master of Pendragon accepted a fight with him, the one who accepted the orcs as his friends.

As a friend of the orcs, it was the greatest courtesy and consideration.

“Keuuuuuhuehehehahaha…!”

Karuta burst out into laughter at the unbearable joy.

“Hey, Pendragon scarecrow. You thanked Karuta earlier, didn’t you?”

“I did.”

Realizing that Karuta was enjoying the fight, Raven replied with a grin.

“Keururuk! Karuta thanks you too! The earth god will bless you forever!”

As if to beat such a grateful friend to death, Karuta’s giant frame once again leaped towards Raven.

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