Chapter 332

The wide and vibrant hall was already packed with countless people. Six tables, each capable of seating around ten people, were packed with people dressed to their best, and all kinds of delicious foods were placed on top of the tables.

“Hahaha!”

Around a dozen musicians were playing the traditional hymns of the Miles region, and some men and women came to dance in the middle of the hall with excitement. Everyone seated at the tables was glancing towards a specific place, regardless of their age or gender.

A group of people was seated at a table located at the end of the hall, which also included a throne, while chatting with each other. Even Wullian, who was the high lord of Miles and a count of the empire, had to act respectfully toward the people seated around him. They were none other than Prince Ian and Duke Pendragon.

“As the rumors have it, they are truly handsome.”

“I cannot believe they achieved such great things at such a young age. It seems truly impossible.”

“I heard that all enemies within 10 yards become terrified once Duke Pendragon unleashes the Spirit of the Dragon.”

“Is that all? His swordsmanship is truly great. He cut over 30 enemy soldiers by himself in an instant.”

“And what about His Highness Ian? He personally led the royal family’s griffons and drove away the forces of the Arangis Duchy, just as they were about to take over El Pasa too.”

Both the noble men and women of Miles chatted busily while glancing at Raven and Ian.

“By the way, who is that knight standing behind His Highness Ian and His Excellency Pendragon?”

A nobleman asked. Unlike the others, he had been late to the banquet. As such, he was not able to greet the two glorified people. Everyone sitting at the table turned their heads at the same time and spoke.

“Naturally, it is Lord Elkin Isla, the Knight King of Valvas.”

“Can you not tell by the spear on his back?”

“Ah, I see.”

The nobleman became embarrassed and scratched his head.

“He is on his way to the imperial castle in order to find a bride, right?”

“I hear all the candidates are from tremendous families.”

“Would you not agree that he looks so reliable and cool just standing there?”

Prince Ian and Duke Pendragon already had predetermined partners. On the other hand, Isla was a free man. He quickly became the talk of the town among women.

To add fuel to the fire, his appearance was enough to appeal to any woman, regardless of their age. He was dressed in black leather armor and had folded arms as he looked around, standing behind the two highest-ranking people in the banquet. 

“Oh my goodness! He looked this way!”

He continued to glance over the hall as if carefully observing the situation. But wherever his cold and indifferent eyes skimmed over, the cheeks of the girls turned bright red.

“Which lady do you think he will choose as his bride?”

“Who knows? Maybe we have a chance as well.”

Some of the ladies whispered while imagining thrilling outcomes. But the following words of a woman crushed the hopes and dreams of the chattering girls.

“As far as I know, he has already decided on a bride. She is the daughter of an imperial official living in a monastery near Leus…”

“What? Is that true, Miss Olsen?”

“The Reiner family. They have a connection with the royal family. I heard it from a relative who lives in the neighborhood, so I am sure of it.”

“Ah…”

“That is…”

Disappointed sighs could be heard from all over the place. But disregarding the chatter of the nobles in the hall, Isla continued to examine the hall with a sharp gaze while Raven and Ian chatted with Count Wullian.

“An excellent banquet. The music and the food are great as well.”

“Haha! But how could it compare to the splendors of the Royal Batallium? I hear that several banquets are hosted every night by the nobles.”

“Banquets…? I would not call it such. The crazy bastards will call high-end prostitutes and play dirty. That is not fit to be called a banquet. But this, this is what I would call a real banquet. Would you not agree?”

“I am humbled by your words, Your Highness.”

Count Wullian lowered his head with a humble smile and shifted his gaze to Ian’s side.

“But Your Excellency Pendragon does not seem to be enjoying the banquet as much. Is it the food that is not to your liking? Or…”

“The food is fine. It is just that…”

“Just that…?”

Raven took a small sip of wine, then continued while making direct eye contact with Count Wullian.

“I do not know if it is because I have been on edge lately, but there seem to be an unusually large number of guards for a banquet.”

“.....”

Count Wullian flinched and shut up at Raven’s words.

“Hmm? Come to think of it, that is true. There seem to be about a hundred guards at first glance… I saw a hundred Royal Knights in the past when His Majesty was hosting a banquet for the imperial castle’s nobles, but this is a bit of a surprise. It’s almost like some kind of show of force.”

Ian added in as well, and Count Wullian hastily replied.

“I, it is because my heart for Your Highness Ian and Your Excellency Pendragon is the same as my loyalty towards His Majesty the Emperor. Besides…”

He paused for a moment. After stealing glances at the two, he continued immediately as if he had made up his mind.

“It would be devastating if something were to happen to either of you in this place. Including the imperial castle, of course, everyone would hold me accountable, would you not agree? And of course, I would take responsibility and…”

“.....”

Ian’s expression distorted at his words, and Raven’s sunken gaze headed towards Count Wullian.

At first glance, Count Wullian appeared to be worrying for Ian and Raven’s safety. However, his words contained a deeper meaning.

He was referring to the death of Duke Arangis. It was clear that he was indirectly talking about the incident of Duke Arangis’ death. He was saying that he would take responsibility for anything that occurred in the castle of Miles, which meant he was also asking for them to be accountable for the death of Duke Arangis, which happened in the governor-general’s residence in Leus.

“Those are pretty interesting words, High Lord of Miles.”

Ian spoke with some emotion in his voice, and Count Wullian bowed his head.

“I apologize if I made you feel uncomfortable, Your Highness. But my opinion remains the same. Taking responsibility for one’s actions. Would you not agree that this principle has sustained our great empire and the noble society thus far?”

“You…”

Ian was about to erupt into anger when Raven pulled his shirt under the table and stopped him. Ian reluctantly closed his mouth, his face dyed red with anger.

“Excuse us for a moment.”

Raven stood up and led him away from the seat.

“Yes.”

Raven and Ian glanced at Count Wullian, then walked away along with Isla. The High Lord of Miles was looking at them solemnly as if he had made his perspective known.

“Do you not care? He dares to…”

“That is not the problem. You were the one who said so, were you not? The High Lord of Miles is a person who is able to read the times well. Such a man is revealing his true thoughts in front of us. Why do you think he is acting as such?”

“Hmm…”

Ian took on a serious expression.

“It is because he is confident. There is something he is relying on… Unless he is a fool, Miles would not openly criticize us here unless he had an ally, someone he could rely on.”

“Who could it… Perhaps?”

Ian pondered for a moment, then widened his eyes with shock.

Raven nodded somberly.

“Probably. We took Miles’ High Lord too lightly. I have overlooked the fact that his greed would be proportionately large as his ability to read the times. It is clear that he wants to become the right-hand man of the one we are thinking of.”

“That crazy bastard called over the High Lord of Roxan…?”

“I would rather that than…”

Raven was about to respond when the music suddenly stopped and the doors to the hall were opened wide.

“The knight of the great emperor and our immortal empire, High Lord of Easton, His Excellency Everdeen! High Lord of Rockefeller, His Excellency Rockefeller! And High Lord of Roxan, His Excellency Count Jamie Roxan!”

A dozen people walked into the hall alongside the cry of the chief servant.

“Oohhh…!”

The crowd of nobles exclaimed while rising from their seats to clear the way for the newcomers.

Tap. Tap!

Jamie Roxan walked forward with bold strides alongside the two other high lords under the escort of knights. His shiny blonde hair fluttered and glimmered under the brilliant knight. Soon, he reached the seat of Count Wullian.

“Oh! Lord Jamie Roxan! It must have been hard coming all this way.”

Count Wullian ran down the stairs and greeted him joyfully.

“My apologies for disturbing the atmosphere. I am a little late.”

Jamie Roxan spoke with a smile, and Count Wullian shook his head.

“No, not at all. Haha! Lord Everdeen and Lord Rockefeller! How long has it been? Now, now. Please, come on up.”

He greeted the other two high lords, who were of similar age to him, then led the three to the top of the stairs to the table.

The gazes of Raven and Ian hardened at the sight.

It was as expected.

Count Wullian had spoken such bolds words a moment ago because he had the backings of Roxan’s high lord, as well as the two other allied high lords.

“.....”

Jamie Roxan stood in front of the table, and his gaze turned to Ian and Raven. He approached the two with a big smile on his face.

“Your Highness Ian, it has been too long.”

Jamie Roxan greeted Ian politely in a knightly manner. Ian responded in a cold voice.

“Nice to see you.”

“It is the first time I am seeing Your Excellency Pendragon since the imperial castle. The heroic stories of Your Excellency have spread all across my territory as well.”

“.....”

Raven nodded silently. 

The other two lords greeted Ian and Raven in turn as well. Although they were just as polite as Jamie Roxan, their greetings felt insincere.

“Come on, everyone. Let us sit down.”

Count Wullian gestured towards everyone with a bright smile, and the table was soon filled with the great nobles who stood at the apex of the empire.

“What are you all doing?”

At the words of Count Wullian, the musicians resumed playing hastily.

The music echoed throughout the hall.

But all of the banquet’s participants remained silent while gazing at the head table.

“.....”

Contrary to the bright and cheerful music, a heavy silence filled the table. Raven and Ian observed Jamie Roxan and the high lords without speaking a word. While they were engaged in a silent battle, the knights standing at the backs of the high lords also stared at Isla.

‘That is…’

‘Elkin Isla…’

‘The Knight King of Valvas?’

The gazes of the knights were fierce. However, Isla remained unchanged. His eyes were as still as water, and he stood in place with his arms crossed.

His appearance stirred something inside the knights.

Regardless of whether he was the Knight King of Valvas, they were burning with an urge to battle with Isla. But this was not the place nor the time. Four high lords, including their respective masters, a duke, and even a royal prince were seated in front of them.

“What a surprise.”

Ian spoke with a distorted expression after quietly looking over the high lords.

“I cannot believe that the high lords, who are usually so busy and occupied, could make time to attend this banquet. At the same time.”

“How could we not? Your Highness Ian and Your Excellency Pendragon are heroes who defeated the traitors and got them to surrender. How could we just sit on our bums and not pay our respects? It is only natural for us to come as a knight of the emperor and a citizen of our great empire.”

Jamie Roxan spoke with a relaxed smile. He had been known for his brilliance and eloquent speech since childhood. Count Wullian and the other two lords nodded in agreement.

“Hoohoo! I did not know the full extent of my subjects’ loyalty. But we would see each other in the imperial castle soon. Was there a need to hurry our meeting?”

Jamie Roxan remained unwavering even in the face of Ian’s fiery gaze. He replied.

“I already told you, did I not? The other lords and I are here as knights of His Majesty and subjects of the empire. As a man burdened with heavy duties and responsibilities, I had something I wanted to ask Your Highness as soon as possible.”

Ian’s face eventually turned crimson.

“What are you…”

Raven interjected and spoke on behalf of Ian, who was about to burst out of his seat.

“Stop sugarcoating your words and speak your mind, High Lord Roxan.”

“.....!”

Jamie Roxan’s gaze crumpled slightly. He had never been spoken to in such a tone as someone born with noble veins.


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