Chapter 49

“Your Grace.”

As soon as Raven walked into his residence, Lindsay, who was waiting with the maids, quickly came forward. Raven gave a firm nod and spoke.

“Yes, is everything fine?”

It had already been more than 15 days since the announcement, so Raven had gotten used to the whole situation. He took off his thin summer cape and naturally handed it to Lindsay.

“Yes.”

Lindsay shyly lowered her eyes and accepted the cape.

Letting out a deep breath, Raven walked to the table by the windows and sat down on the chair, as was his usual routine. An ice-cold beverage was served and the fanning started.

“Hmm?”

Raven raised his face with a curious expression.

Today, it wasn’t the maids who brought the drinks or fanned him.

“I, it’s cold. Go ahead and drink it, Your Grace.”

The maids had disappeared somewhere, and only Lindsay was left in the room, gently fanning him.

Moreover, the drink wasn’t the usual cold beer.

It was wine with honey. It was a drink that was stronger than beer if taken in the same quantities. Raven suddenly felt a rush of anxiety, and carefully examined Lindsay while drinking the wine.

“Here, let me wipe your sweat…”

Raven thought she would only fan him, but now she had put down the fan and came closer to him with a cold, damp towel.

“Um…”

Even though it was summer, Raven was still troubled by the dress that revealed a lot of skin. Her cleavage seemed even more visible today. He was afraid.

Perfume? No, the fragrance was too soft for it to be perfume.”

This was certainly…

‘I can’t believe she’s using musk..’

It was used by women to outright seduce men.

Musk, wine that was good to get drunk off, revealing clothes, and no maids.

Soldrake was away as well to help Isla train the griffons.

“Um, Your Grace…”

Lindsay’s provocative eyes grew closer and closer as she spoke with a fluttering breath. Unless one was a fool, anyone could see that Lindsay was resolved today.

Gulp…

Raven finally understood his current situation.

It was a crisis. But at the same time, it was an opportunity. Raven Valt was as inexperienced with women as Karuta. Raven’s hand started to reach out to Lindsay.

Lindsay flinched, then slowly closed her eyes, prepared for what was to come.

As Raven’s hand reached Lindsay’s blushing cheeks…

“Brother Alan!”

Woosh!

Raven took his hand off Lindsay and stood up at a speed he had never displayed before, even in all of his battles. He was literally a lightning bolt.

“Hmm? Why are you standing?”

“I, it’s nothing. I opened the window because it was too hot. Whoo! I feel better now.”

Raven slowly sat down on his chair while fanning his face.

“Ah. Is that sooo…?”

Irene Pendragon was the quickest in the entire castle to pick up on things. Her eyes narrowed to a squint and her eyes started to sweep across the whole room.

The smell of sweet wine.

Her brother was awkwardly fanning himself with his hands when there was a fan right next to him. Lindsay was also acting awkward with her heads down.

It should have been Lindsay who was opening the windows, and Lindsay who was fanning her brother. Something was fishy.

Besides, why were their necks burning red?

It was obvious what was about to happen.

But even so, under broad daylight…

She felt irritated, but she put on her trademark smile and walked to the table. She didn’t forget to sit in the chair between Raven and Lindsay, despite there being many other empty seats.

“Ehem! So, what brings you here?”

“Oh! Look at me, brother, is it true that Princess Ingrid is coming to our territory? Did you know about this as well?”

Recalling her reason for visit, Irene spoke in a slightly excited tone.

“Well, apparently so. Prince Ian’s supposed to come along.”

“What? Do you not care about it?”

Irene’s eyes opened wide at her brother’s unexpected reaction.

“Hmm? Well, I don’t particularly care…”

“W, what…! You can’t say that. Your ex-ex-fiancée and the deliverer of the news are coming together. What reason would they have to come to visit our duchy now?”

Raven answered with a shrug.

“Well, it’s probably because we’ve been doing quite well lately.”

“Ah…”

Raven had answered so naturally that Irene forgot to continue her words.

Raven took a sip of wine before he continued to respond to his sister. She was a little strange and wild, but always nice and warm to family.

“We don’t have to concern ourselves with matters of the past. It’s not like our Pendragon family suffered a lot of damage because of the break-off.”

“B, but what would the other noble families think of us…”

“Since when did Pendragon care about other people’s gazes? Regardless of the situation, Pendragon is Pendragon.”

Raven repeated the words that Attia Pendragon spoke to him before she returned to the mausoleum.

“Ah…”

Irene’s eyes trembled. She couldn’t believe how confident and relaxed her brother looked.

She wanted nothing more than to run up to him and rub her cheeks on him like she did when she was younger. Then, her nice brother would pat her head while gently smiling.

But…

Irene glanced at Lindsay and pressed down on her bursting heart.

“Irene is a good sister, so I will do as you say, Brother Alan. Then, I have to take my leave.”

“Hm? Ah, well, alright.”

Raven was surprised by her unusual response. She usually ran out of the room with a look of tears on her face every time she held a conversation with him, but this time she had not done so.

Either way, he rather preferred not to see his strange sister too often.

“Ah, by the way.”

Irene turned her head as she was heading out with soft steps. Her gaze was not on Raven, but Lindsay who had not spoken thus far.

“I have something to talk to you about. Can I see you for a bit, L.a.d.y Lindsay?”

Although she had now become a concubine to Alan Pendragon, Irene Pendragon was still a scary existence. Or rather, Irene Pendragon was an even scarier existence now.

“…so Lady Lindsay has to be ‘good’.”

“W, well my lady, I…”

“Do you want to lose my brother to another woman? Especially to a woman who is his ex ex-fiancée?”

“But… if such an exalted person really wants His Grace back… Then how dare would I…”

Lindsay lowered her head. She was already content with what she had, and wanting any more seemed to be greedy.

“So I’ll take care of it, and you, I, I mean Lady Lindsay just has to stay still. Okay?”

Lindsay was once a maid, but now a concubine of the duchy. Hence, Irene tried to be considerate of Lindsay. Seemingly touched by Irene, Lindsay kept sniffling while nodding her head.

“Yes, yes. I’ll do as you say, my lady.”

“Good! Hmph! It’s obvious that Sister Luna will be coming as well. They’re both so shameless. An ex-fiancée and an ex-ex-fiancée were the ones to propose the breaking of the engagement. And now they come crawling back and what are they trying to achieve? I’m already so bothered that Soldrake turned into a woman... Hmph! Isn’t that right?”

“What? Oh, yes, yes…”

Lindsay hurriedly bowed her head and murmured in agreement. But inwardly, she could understand Irene.

When the duchy was going through hardship or when Alan was in a bad condition, they had ignored them, but now they came back and…

“How detestable… Ah!”

She had unconsciously spat out the words that she was harbouring inside her. Lindsay hurriedly covered her mouth in shock.

“Hmm…”

Irene’s expression changed strangely.

“Good. Anyway, the only one that I approve of as my brother’s partner is Miss Lindsay so far. Let’s do our best.”

“Yes, yes…”

The two ladies stared at each other with eyes of firm determination.

***

Two days later, news of an ‘imperial delegation’ including Princess Ingrid, Prince Ian, and Luna Seyrod, crossing Ronan Bridge and heading towards Bellint Gate was delivered to Conrad Castle. The number of envoys, including the guards and maids, was 300.

In the wake of visitation from the highest-ranking figures, composed of the largest group of people since Alan Pendragon’s reawakening, the Pendragon Duchy prepared to greet them from Bellint Gate which was still undergoing fortifications.

A large number of troops led by fortress commander Sir Jade, Sir Killian and 10 knights as well as 50 griffons and Sir Isla were dispatched hurriedly to welcome the royal envoys to Conrad Castle.

The Pendragon family’s griffon army boasted as much prestige as the griffon unit of the royal guard which consisted of 500 mountain griffons and their riders. The knights from the imperial city were quite impressed by their appearance.

Furthermore, unlike the royal guard griffons who failed to follow their riders’ orders several times a year and made mistakes, the Pendragon’s griffons strictly adhered to the words of just one person, which was shocking.

But the most surprising thing happened after they arrived at Lowpool, the town located directly under the castle.

Whooooosh…

The White Dragon made its appearance, standing on top of the walls surrounding the village with its giant wings spread. It put everyone in awe. The 300 envoys were all struck by fear and respect for the most powerful creature.

But one person…

He, who had not shown his face even once since coming from the Seyrod territory, he was different.

The carriage door opened, and the frightened servant standing next to the carriage came to his senses and fell on the ground with fear.

A young man with blond hair and unusually long limbs stepped on the back of the servant and got off the carriage.

“Hmm…”

The young man looked up indifferently, where no one else dared to look. The eyes of the young man and the White Dragon met in the air.

“Haha…”

The young man’s lips curled up. A human had smiled at a dragon.

The dragon’s eyes shone with a conspicuous gleam, and the young man started to emit energy that rose from his shoulders. It was the Spirit of the Emperor, a manifestation that could only be produced by blood descendants of the first emperor, Byron Aragon.

Bluish energy shot up towards the White Dragon.

At that moment, someone started walking out from inside the wide-open gates. The beam of light that was headed for the dragon changed direction rapidly.

But before it reached the body of the man who walked out of the gate, it scattered in the air as if an invisible shield blocked it.

“Hmm….?”

Prince Ian frowned as he was half-forced to withdraw his power. A rather slender young man wearing casual clothes with light silver-blonde hair approached.

The man stood before Ian.

Without saying anything, the two briefly stared at each other. Ian started to raise the Spirit of the Emperor slowly and opened his mouth first.

“You’ve grown up quite a bit, huh? Pendragon brat. But your head seems a little stiff?”

The second prince of the empire had the power to demand respect from anyone in the empire, even from the 10 strongest noble families. He could one day become the owner of the vast empire.

But the young man, Raven, had already experienced unparalleled power before, which was perhaps even greater than the Spirit of the Emperor.

Raven silently stared at Ian who was staring back with arrogant eyes.

‘I wouldn’t have dared to look at him in the past…’

Perhaps the man standing in front of him had something to do with the tragic history of the Valt family that fell under the stigma of treason.

Whoooosh…

Raven had finally gained full control over the White Dragon’s energy. He exerted it and it climbed up his body before facing Ian’s Spirit of the Emperor. Amid the violent encounter of spirit that was invisible to the average man, Raven replied with a smile on his face.

“Do I need to bow my head to someone who is not the crown prince? And...”

Whooooosh!

The spirit of the dragon stretched out like a blade, pushing the Spirit of the Emperor away.

“Argh!”

For the first time in his life, Ian took a half step back in front of someone that wasn’t the emperor or the crown prince. He could see the smile on the brat’s face grow even deeper.

“Since when did I say you could speak to me so informally?”

“…...!”

Ian Aragon, the man who could become the next crown prince, took on a shocked expression as he faced Alan Pendragon, the one who would definitely become the Duke of Pendragon.

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