The soldiers’ jaws dropped in shock.
“No, you can go to hell!”
Clang, clang! Boom!
The battle between the two knights was almost over. They were yelling out ridiculous shouts as they each swung a longsword and axes. The bearded knight’s nose was broken when it was hit by Killian’s sword handle, and his ankle was also in poor shape. It had been a while since he was knocked to the ground and unable to fight.
The axe-wielding bald knight was holding on with sheer power, but Killian was also renowned for his incredible strength.
As time went by, Killian held the clear lead. It seemed that his overwhelming virility was also reflected in his strength. Losing one egg might have affected his potency, but it didn’t change his power.
But the soldiers’ gazes were not headed towards the fight between Killian and the two knights.
Rather, they were hypnotized by the confrontation between two men who were rather slender and lean to be called knights.
However, the swordsmanship and body movements of the two were extraordinary.
The blades moved at speeds invisible to the naked eye, metallic rings resounding every time the two weapons met.
Block, stab, slash…
The series of movements flowed smoothly like water. Their actions were so fluid and fast that even watching it was suffocating. Moreover, the two weren’t just sharing in flashy swordsmanship. Whenever there was a chance, they threw out punches, elbows, and even knees and kicks.
They went even as far as to spray dirt and gravel on the opponent’s face after pretending to fall.
More accurately, ‘they’ referred to Alan Pendragon. It was more surprising that he was resorting to such methods. A great noble who was considered one of the most important people in the entire empire was resorting to tactics that lowly mercenaries might use. But the soldiers didn’t belittle or criticize his actions.
They had already experienced life-or-death situations on the expedition. The battle between Alan Pendragon and the knight reminded the soldiers of their past experiences.
There was no mercy on the battlefield.
You had to survive regardless of the method.
That was the truth that the soldiers from Bellint Gate realized on their most recent expedition. And now, their lord was personally reminding them of that very truth through an intense duel.
It was a dangerous battle that could result in the death of Alan Pendragon, but the soldiers looked on with anxious eyes and didn’t take any action. The reason was simple.
Since the beginning of the battle, the young knight and Alan Pendragon were smiling. The two were attacking each other’s vital points with an expression of boundless joy.
The sound of iron and a heavy blow resounded consecutively, and someone’s scream rang out. The bald knight had been dealt a blow by Killian’s headbutt and stumbled backward.
Killian didn’t miss his chance and thrust his longsword at the bald knight.
The chest area of the bald knight’s armor was crushed like a piece of paper, and he stumbled backward onto the ground. It was sure to have broken at least a few ribs.
Killian breathed heavily as he watched the two knights who were lying on the ground.
“Hoo! I knew that two would look better than just one! It looks much more stable too.”
The soldiers confirmed Killian’s victory and all of their gazes turned back to one place. The battle between Alan Pendragon and the Knight of Valvas was nearing its end as well.
The dagger that shakily blocked the scimitar had finally broken. The knight unhesitatingly threw his broken dagger at his opponent before thrusting his long, thin rapier forward.
The knight stabbed at Alan’s chest, sides, and lower abdomen in rapid succession, but Alan dodged all of the attacks by simply moving his upper body.
The soldiers hurled shouts of awe at the perfect movement which seemed like it was prearranged. Then, Alan Pendragon took a large step forward and slashed down with his scimitar at the knight’s shoulder.
The scimitar allowed fast, strong attacks with small movements. The knight attempted to block the slash by lifting his rapier, but at that moment the scimitar curved at a strange angle like a snake.
The knight reflexively moved his arms at the sound of air bending.
A sound of grinding iron was heard, and red blood sprinkled into the air.
Everyone held their breath and opened their eyes wide. Everyone stopped in their place including the soldiers, Killian, and even the two men that were duelling. The young knight’s sword was held above Alan Pendragon’s shoulders with blood dripping down from it. But the soldiers’ gazes were on something else. The scimitar, which was bent like a crescent moon, was held precisely against the knight’s neck.
The young Knight of Valvas laughed no more. He stared into the face of his opponent, who was still showing his teeth in the tense silence.
The knight weakly lowered the hand that was holding onto the blade and backed away. He had been cut slightly on the neck by the scimitar, but he disregarded it and knelt on one knee after sticking his sword in the ground.
“Cavalier Elkin Isla of Valvas. I accept my defeat. Do with me as you wish.”
The young man’s eyes once again regained their ocean-like calm. Raven stared deep into the knight’s eyes. Now that he had conceded and accepted his defeat, the Knight of Valvas would accept whatever fate awaited him. All the warriors of Valvas Raven saw on the battlefields acted the same.
“Yes, I won. But if I… W, wait, what did you say your name was?”
Raven nodded, then suddenly raised his eyes and approached the young knight.
“Isla. Elkin Isla.”
The young man was a little apprehensive about Raven’s actions, but he still answered once more.
Raven repeated Isla’s name and stared at the young knight’s face with a bewitched expression. Killian and the soldiers looked at each other in confusion.
“Is he famous? Sir Killian, have you heard of him?”
“No, it’s the first time I’ve heard of that name…”
Killian knew of many famous knights, but he hadn’t heard of this name before. But it seemed Alan Pendragon already knew of the Valvas Knight named Elkin Isla.
Killian’s predictions were right.
Of course, the Elkin Isla that Raven knew of existed in the future, as Elkin Isla was someone who would spread their name throughout the entire empire in a few years.
‘E, Elkin Isla…! Why is the Stormbringer of the Great Archipelago here?’
Unlike his dazed expression, Raven’s heart was pounding madly.
Nicknamed Stormbringer, the strongest Valvas Knight of his time.
He was an elite knight of the Arangis Duchy, located in the far southern sea. The Arangis Duchy was one of the five duchies of the empire, and the duke held the title of “Ocean King.” Elkin Isla contributed greatly to the conquest of the Morte Islands, which made him famous throughout the southern region and the empire.
He was regarded as one of the top ten swords of the empire, but that wasn’t what made him famous. His swordsmanship was superb, but his archery skills were even beyond that. The reason he received the nickname ‘Stormbringer’ was because…
Raven calmed his rapidly beating heart and approached Isla.
The soldiers became lost for words at the sight that unfolded before them.
The master of Pendragon had kneeled on one knee in front of the unknown knight and met his gaze.
Raven looked directly into the confused, blue eyes of Isla and ordered.
“Elkin Isla, become my knight.”
“…Please kill me. The Cavaliers of Valvas…”
Cutting off Isla’s words, Raven continued calmly.
“No, I spoke wrongly. I’ll make your dream come true. Griffon rider, isn’t that what you want?”
Originally, he should go on to become the captain of the Ocean Griffon Knights who would command one hundred griffons and knights. He was ‘Stormbringer,’ the strongest griffon rider. Isla’s eyes shook uncontrollably.
“Give your greetings. This is the guardian of the Pendr… No, this is my companion, Soldrake.”
Isla was surprised at the appearance of Soldrake, who was clearly not human. Killian snorted inwardly at the sight. No human being with the exception of Alan Pendragon dared to even stare at Soldrake directly.
Moreover, a young brat who chanced upon a lucky encounter and became a knight of the duchy couldn’t possibly…
Killian’s eyes widened in shock.
Isla had slowly approached Soldrake before kneeling in front of her. That wasn’t the end.
Soldrake had given him her hand, and he had kissed the back of her hand. The entire scene was so natural that Killian doubted his eyes. Raven was also quite surprised.
Unlike other humans who feared Soldrake, Isla didn’t seem to show any signs of repulsion in approaching Soldrake. Soldrake also acted naturally in front of Isla, which was another surprise.
“Elkin Isla greets the great White Dragon. As a knight of Pendragon, I swear eternal loyalty to you, my master’s soul companion.”
Soldrake nodded lightly at his words. They couldn’t communicate with words, but the intentions were conveyed through his eyes and actions.
“What’s going on? Do you know this child?”
[No. But I feel the energy of griffons from this human. Griffons are the creation of the Dragon God; they are the dragon’s familiar. That’s why he can withstand my spirit and stand before me.]
Raven nodded and turned his gaze towards Isla. Isla couldn’t understand the conversation between Soldrake and Raven, just like everyone else. Raven asked a question.
“Does your family have a relationship with griffons?”
“…We served for generations as griffons riders for the Eraran County, but…”
Isla hesitated to speak and had a disheveled expression. Raven sensed that Isla had a backstory. There had to be a reason that a young man from a family of griffon knights was roaming around the world as a free knight. But whatever the reason, it wasn’t important to Raven right now.
It was significant that Elkin Isla, the man titled Stormbringer, became a knight of the Pendragon family.
“I see. Well, you will be in command of the Pendragon family’s griffon army.”
“Yes. Pardon my disrespect, but I would like to ask a question.”
“Shouldn’t it be called griffon knights? Not griffon army.”
Isla knew that the Pendragon family had a history with the white dragon, but he had never heard of anything relating to griffons. There was no reason a prestigious young master of the Pendragon family would lie to him, so it was likely that there might be a few griffons that were kept as pets or for showing off.
Or maybe they might have as many as twenty griffons with the help of the white dragon.
“Griffon Knights? I don’t really care too much about the name, but I have no intention of creating a knight order with griffons.”
Isla’s eyes narrowed. Why was this person changing his words? He had said previously that he would make him a griffon rider.
Raven smiled at Isla’s change of expression.
“Don’t worry, I have no reason to fool you. I want you, as my knight, to… Ah, just in time.”
Raven stopped his words and turned his head, to which Isla followed along.
However, nothing was out of the ordinary in the fields or the road that leads up to Bellint Gate. Isla’s face turned even grimmer. Raven’s smile grew deeper, and he pointed towards the sky.
“Where are you looking? Look at the sky.”
Isla slowly raised his gaze.
His eyes slowly grew larger in astonishment.
An uncountable number of griffons were descending through the clouds from the sky.
“What do you think? We could create an army, right? Command of all griffons, training of griffon riders. I leave it all up to you. I will give you six months; give me a useful army.”
Isla clenched both of his fists and looked at the griffons that numbered over three hundred. He turned his head.
“Elkin Isla will follow the orders of my lord. I will form the greatest griffon regiment in the entire empire.”
The young knight’s eyes shone with determination. Now, he would no longer be a knight of Arangis, but the Stormbringer of the Pendragon Duchy.Previous Chapter Next Chapter