Chapter 325

“What…?”

Count Louvre muttered a response. His eyes widened as he remembered a strange rumor that had been floating around the mainland while the southern expedition had been in progress. Rumor had it that a mysterious black wizard was behind every incident that ultimately led to Duke Arangis’ rebellion.

Count Louvre wasn’t sure why thoughts of the rumor were resurfacing right now, but the moment the figure responded, saying that he had no name, Count Louvre’s instincts told him that the person in front of him could be the black wizard.

“All right, you without a name. Why did you come to see me and why did you call me foolish?”

Regardless of who the figure was, he himself was the monarch of the Great Territory of Alice, which had been around for hundreds of years. Count Louvre straightened his back to overcome a strange feeling of fear that was creeping up on him.

The one without a name slowly approached him with his dark gray robe fluttering.

“I have come to lend my strength to fulfil your wishes. However, your current plan is foolish and reckless. My help will not amount to much if you wish to proceed with the foolish plan.”

“What did you say?”

Count Louvre frowned. The figure was daring to call himself, the great monarch and high lord of a great territory, foolish and reckless.

But the nameless one continued without caring.

“Was it not your plan to muster an army to strike Duke Pendragon? Do you really think it will go as planned?”

“Naturally. My army is strong. A dragon cub and a prince without any additional troops will…”

“The White Dragon is by the side of Pendragon.”

“…..!”

Count Louvre had been beaming with confidence, but his eyes filled with shock at the figure’s words.

“Soldrake, the Queen of All Dragons. Do you think your great army can handle her?”

“B, but the dragon has never been able to start a war outside the Pendragon Duchy! It would be a…”

“It will be different if the one contracted to her, Duke Pendragon, is threatened. The emperor, or even other dragons will not be able to dispute the Queen’s legitimate use of force.”

“…..”

“The Queen will vent her flames of anger to save her companion, and you and your knights will melt away into nothingness without even leaving any ashes. The world will once again pay tribute to Duke Pendragon and the White Dragon Soldrake. Is that what you want?”

“Keugh…”

Count Louvre groaned while tightly clenching his fist. 

He had already heard the story. White Dragon Soldrake had emitted a Dragon Breath towards the sea griffons of the Arangis Duchy in the sea of El Pasa. Dozens of sea griffons were literally wiped out in an instant by the dragon’s breath.

A dragon’s breath was no different from the materialization of a god’s wrath. What would happen if a Dragon Breath was fired to the ground?

There was no need to explain.

Annihilation.

Nevertheless, Count Louvre spoke while gritting his teeth.

“Then I will hire all the wizards in the world. I will stand up to the dragon, even if it costs me my entire fortune.”

“I admit that you have courage and determination, but it is mere foolhardiness. You are unable to grasp the right path.”

“What do you mean by that? Are you saying that there is another way?”

As soon as the mysterious figure appeared in front of him, Count Louvre had his assumptions. He knew as a high lord. So far, no one had ever appeared in front of him without purpose.

“The greatest power of Pendragon comes from the Dragon Queen, Soldrake. As such, no one can move rashly against the one she protects, Pendragon. That is why the Queen remains by his side. However, she only has one body.”

“What are… Hmm?”

Count Louvre’s bloodshot eyes glistened with a light as he uttered a stunned response.

She did not have two bodies.

Perhaps…?

“Your army cannot deal with Duke Pendragon and the Queen. However, you have a chance against them if the Dragon Queen is absent.”

“…..!”

Count Louvre’s eyes were filled with shock. However, his eyes quickly regained their cool, and an eerie laugh similar to a crow’s cry began flowing from his mouth.

“Kekeu… Keugh! Keuhahahahaha!”

His eyes were overflowing with killing intent and vengeance. The father who lost his son laughed joyfully as if he were vomiting blood.

*** 

“That must be the place.”

Raven nodded at Ian’s words.

As soon as they passed through the dense forest, they came to face a stone wall piled up along a wide stream. In the far distance, they could see a fairly large building with the mark of Goddess Illeyna.

“It is quite decent. Quiet and peaceful.”

“Hmm.”

Raven agreed with Ian, who was usually stingy with praise. A flock of sheep was grazing leisurely on top of the low hill, and dozens of women wearing headbands were working in the fields. It really was quite peaceful.

“Temperament is often created by the environment. I am sure that a lady who grew up in such a beautiful and peaceful place would reflect that in her personality. Just perfect for a cold man I know of.”

“Well, I could not agree more.”

The two turned their heads at the same time while speaking. Although he was expressionless as usual, Isla’s eyebrows were twitching ever-so-slightly. It was obvious that he felt uncomfortable as he turned his head away from the two people’s gaze.

“Hooh? Even the famous Knight King, whom only a few can match in the world, seems to be nervous.”

“He may be up against a strong opponent this time. It’s no wonder, since he may never meet another of this level.”

“How could you call her a strong opponent? She may be his lifelong companion. I think you may be going too far, Duke Pendragon. Don’t you agree?”

“Hmm, that is true. But I am only going off of something that the involved party told me a while ago. It went something along the lines of… needing to have an iron will when dealing with a woman and charging towards her?”

Isla was eventually forced to turn his head. It seemed like the two of them could continue the conversation without stopping for an eternity.

“I never told you to charge, my lord.”

“Ah, is that so? I must have been a little confused since you told me to have a mindset of a battle when dealing with women. Anyways, since you told me so, it is only natural for you to do the same, right?”

“Naturally! A knight must stay true to his words, not to mention the King of Knights.”

“…..”

Isla shut his mouth.

But what could he do?

One was the future emperor, and the other was his lord.

“As expected from a prince, you are truly well spoken. Amazing.”

“Haha! You flatter me. How could I be as good as Pendragon? The House of Pendragon is truly united in acting out the will of the lord.”

“I am flattered.”

The knights surrounding the three held back their laughter at the two people’s comical(?) chat and looked elsewhere while attempting to whistle. It was rather whimsical that two men with the most prestigious status in the world were jesting with a knight like that.

“I will take my leave first.”

In the end, Isla rode away with a long sigh. The two demons followed behind with smiles on their faces.

“Sir Isla, what is this rush?”

“Are you in such a hurry to meet your bride?”

“…..”

Elkin Isla, the King of the Cavaliers, was eventually forced to grasp his fists.

A bell sounded from the faraway monastery.

Dung! Dung! Dung!

As soon as a group of armed men appeared at the mouth of the forest, a person on the monastery spire had hurriedly rung the bell.

“Someone is coming! They are all armed!”

The person on top of the wooden tower shouted urgently while ringing the bell. People’s eyes quickly turned to Raven’s group. A huge commotion arose as the group of armed men neared. 

“A, are they bandits?”

“How could that be? We haven’t had any bandits for the last ten years…”

The people of the monastery were mostly children and women. They quickly barred the entrance with iron bars with frightened expressions. They gathered near the garden and looked at the hill with anxious expressions.

“What should we do, principal? They could be tough mercenaries…”

Everyone’s gaze shifted at someone’s worried words. A gentle-faced woman in her mid-40s responded while drawing a holy symbol in the air.

“I do not think they are bandits, brothers and sisters. The Baillon region is just around the corner of Leus and the imperial army. There is no need to worry.”

“But if they are mercenaries…”

Mercenaries would be better than bandits, but only by a little. They were rough, rude, and reckless. In addition, they believed anything could be bought with money. In particular, as a monastery serving Goddess Illeyna, the proportion of women residing in this place was overwhelmingly high. Some mercenaries would openly flirt with the residents, regardless of their identity.

“Huh? Look over there!”

“Hmm?”

A young maiden with freckles shouted while pointing. The people shifted their gaze with wonder.

“Look! They have a flag! Two of them, actually!”

“Oh, my. You are right.”

The people felt a little relieved.

Mercenaries with flags were on duty. They would not behave recklessly in consideration of their group’s reputation.

“That is…”

Some of the monastery’s members stemmed from noble families. They squinted and observed the nearing flags.

“Ahh!”

Someone burst into an exclamation, drawing the eyes of everyone around her. She was the wife of a nearby village lord. She had come down to pray with her daughter-in-law, since they had no children to continue the family. She was quite knowledgeable since she came from a medium-sized noble family.

“What is it? Do you know who those mercenaries are, Mistress Olby?”

“T, t, t, that’s…”

She stuttered with a pale expression, her fingers shaking as she pointed towards the group of men who were finally arriving at the barred doors.

“Why is she acting like that?”

“Well…”

The women were confused. The principal nun, who had been silent thus far, slowly stepped forward through the crowd of people. She spoke while desperately trying to calm her trembling voice.

“Everyone, please take off your headbands and show respect.”

“…yes?”

Something felt strange, but they did as they were told while looking at each other. They could not disobey the words of the principal nun of the Baillon Monastery.

“Hans, Rooney. Please open the door.”

“Yes, sister.”

Two middle-aged men hurriedly opened the iron doors. They usually performed chores at the monastery.

Kieeeek!

When the old iron doors opened, those on large, sturdy horses slowly entered the monastery. It was evident that the steeds were warhorses. It was a frightening sight for women to see dozens of fully armed knights enter the compound. After all, they had led peaceful lives in the monastery their entire lives. All of them started trembling and bowed their heads.

However, the principal nun and the old wife, who first noticed the identity of the two flags, looked at the two young knights heading towards them with various emotions.

Neiggh!

Soon, the young knights dismounted their horses. The principal nun got on one knee and bowed deeply.

“I greet the blood of Aragon, the Great Golden Lion who rules the Two Seas and the Nine Lands with good wisdom and valor.”

“Ahhhk!”

“Hieek!”

The women gasped loudly after hearing the principal nun’s words. Their shoulders trembled uncontrollably with shock. Although they lived in the countryside, there was no way they were ignorant of the principal nun’s words.

One of the knights standing before them was royalty.

“W, we greet your royal presence!”

“Your royal presence!”

Everyone kowtowed on the spot.

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