Chapter 53

“Oh yeah, your wife… Huhhh?”

Ian started to nod his head, then stopped as he repeated Raven’s words to himself.

“You are married? Without reporting to the imperial city? Without even inviting me?

“Do I need to report every single thing? It’s not even an official marriage.”

Raven’s response made Ian sighed with relief.

“Ah, so then she would soon become a baroness…”

He wasn’t sure why he became relieved at Raven’s words, which caused him to slur the end of his words. Then he looked at Ingrid.

‘Huh!’

She was someone whom he was closest to, someone whom he had seen for decades. He could tell what she was thinking just by her face and expression as she looked at the Pendragon brat.

Even though Ian had repeatedly insisted, his sister was…

Ian moved his burning gaze from Ingrid to the Pendragon brat. Ingrid had started to see the child as a man. He was somewhat irritated to have become relieved when the brat had said the big-breasted girl was only his concubine. Not to mention, the party responsible for all this madness was staying silent.

“Oh shit! I won’t admit it! Never!”

“What? What’s wrong with you all of a sudden?”

Raven frowned at Ian’s sudden outburst.

“Oh, I don’t know, you bastard!”

Ian realized he accidentally expressed his irritation and turned his head away from the brat. Then he met Irene’s eyes, which caused his expression to loosen…

“Anyways, brother, what kind of conversation did you guys have?”

Irene turned her head to Raven.

“Um, well…”

Raven hesitated.

The conversation he held with Ian was in regards to the ‘future’. It was something that could shake the whole empire.

Of course, Ian didn’t know as much as Raven did.

Raven had not explained to him about the matters of Geoffrey Aragon, and how the unassuming prince might claim the position of emperor. He had only told Ian to be cautious of the other crown prince candidates and to pay close attention to Geoffrey Aragon.

Raven had also suggested a thorough re-investigation of the incident in Sisak three years ago, and Ian, who showed deep concern and love for his older brother, agreed eagerly. Ian was somewhat grateful when the Pendragon family’s heir and the White Dragon said that they would personally lead the investigation in his stead. As an imperial prince, Ian could not freely leave the imperial castle.

But Ian did not know.

It was Raven Valt, not Alan Pendragon, who was so interested in the treason of the Sisak territory.

‘The Valt family… has only one son?’

That was it.

That must have been the reason why Raven was shocked beyond belief and wanted to immediately rush to the Sisak territory to confirm what he had heard.

In this timeline, where Raven had traveled back and was reborn as Alan Pendragon, there was no illegitimate child named Raven Valt from the now-extinct Valt family.

Ian informed Raven that the cause for the Valt family’s punishment was due to their involvement in the treason. Apparently, the Valt family had gotten involved in the ‘mistake’ of another family’s young man. Since the matter involved his older brother’s poisoning, Ian knew the details of the incident.

In other words, Raven’s past ‘mistake’ didn’t exist in this world. But the fact remained that his father and older brother were killed due to someone’s plan.

“Excuse me, brother? If it’s hard to talk about, you do not have to. I’m sorry.”

As Raven’s expression darkened, Irene spoke in a shrill voice that expressed worry for her brother.

Raven raised his head sharply.

“N, no. I was thinking about something else. We didn’t talk about anything speci..”

“Lady Irene, the Pendragon family is going on vacation to the villa in five days, right? We’ve decided to go together at that time.”

Ian looked rather disapprovingly at Raven, then took the chance to speak up.

“What?”

Irene’s originally big eyes grew even larger. Ian continued to speak while grinning from ear to ear.

“We still have about 15 days left on our vacation. There’s no place else that we wanted to visit particularly, and I don’t want to go anywhere else, so we decided to go with you.”

“B, b, brother? What does this mean?”

Even though Lindsay’s presence was unexpected, this vacation was a chance for Irene to spend some cozy time with her brother after a long time! Raven shrugged his shoulder at his younger sister’s blatant disappointment.

“Well, that’s what happened. How could I say no when His Highness says so? It wouldn’t hurt to have a few more people join us anyways.”

Raven didn’t want to have more company either.

However, since he said that he would go to his villa near Sisak to reinvestigate the attempted poisoning of Prince Shio, he could not stop the younger brother of the victim from accompanying him.

“What do you think, Ingrid? Good?”

“…Yes? Oh, yes. I’m fine with that.”

Ingrid seemed to be immersed in deep thought. She looked up and responded with a kind smile at her brother’s words.

‘I see right through you. And you said that you didn’t want to come before too… However, it won’t work out as you want it to.’

Ian had already predicted his cute sister’s thoughts and turned his head with a sly smile on his face.

“Now that you mention it, why don’t you join us too, Lady Seyrod? Pendragon and Seyrod are close relatives, so I don’t see a problem with it.”

“Me…. too?”

As usual, Luna answered in a calm voice, but her heart was on the verge of exploding. It was heart-wrenching to think that Alan Pendragon would be spending his vacation with his concubine as well as his ex-ex-fiancée. But now, she felt like a line of salvation had descended for her from heaven.

“Well, I don’t see a problem with it either. I will gladly accept your invitation, Your Highness.”

Unlike her inner thoughts, she responded in a cold voice. But she couldn’t hide her face from blushing slightly.

“Ah, ahh….”

Irene simply felt like crying.

His ex-fiancée as well as ex-ex-fiancée…

Her rosy future shattered.

However, Irene Pendragon was no ordinary girl either.

Irene’s eyes started to flare up like a knight on the verge of life and death. She turned her eyes towards Lindsay.

Despite being intimidated, Lindsay possessed her own ‘woman’s intuition.’ She met Irene’s gaze.

‘You know, right?”

‘Yes, my lady! I will do my best!”

The alliance between the two ladies became even more solid.

As everyone bathed in their daydreams, Raven stared in confusion, wondering what was wrong with these women…

Unfortunately, the ladies had forgotten about one thing.

There existed the one most powerful enemy -- the one who was a great opponent, an equivalent of a ‘demon king’ for them…

Like the wind, a beautiful, winged woman flew down from the air onto the ground. The ladies simultaneously opened their eyes in shock as if they had been hit in the back of their heads.

Soldrake naturally walked towards Raven and casually stroked his cheeks.

[Ray, can I come?]

“Why do you even ask? It’s obvious, isn’t it? Originally I was planning to go with you alone. You’re the only one who knows my identity as Raven Valt.”

[Thank you. I missed not seeing the ocean for a long time.]

“Nothing to thank me for. We are companions of the soul, aren’t we?”

Soldrake gave a rare, dazzling smile, to which Raven responded in kind.

He would go to the Great Territory of Sisak and find the key to the secrets of the past and to a new future. There was nothing to be afraid of if Soldrake was going to be with him.

“……”

No one could understand the conversation between the dragon and the man, but everyone instinctively knew just by looking.

The Pendragon family’s summer vacation was going to be a blood-splitting war in many ways.

***

Five days later, the Pendragon family, Luna Seyrod, and the two royalties headed out from Conrad Castle.

The Merlade region was famous for its beautiful view of the sea and was located near the Sisak territory. White Dragon’s Villa was one of Pendragon’s most luxurious and largest piece of estate.

The guards and the personnel that accompanied the two royalties returned to the imperial capital with the exception of six royal knights and two maids for each of the two royalties.

The captain of the guards, who insisted that ‘the return of the troops is impossible’, closed his mouth and sent the troops back to the imperial city as soon as he saw the ‘guards’ that would be accompanying the party to their destination.

Twenty orc warriors and twenty griffons. Also, a dragon was accompanying them.

He couldn’t find any words to say.

As a result, the party, which consisted of around 60 members, left in four large, colorful carriages drawn by six horses, and set off towards the coast.

They had to travel for five more days after crossing Ronan Bridge to arrive at their final destination.

On their way to Merlade, the presence of royalty aggravated the nearby nobles into sending them invitations of all sorts, but one word from Ian promptly discouraged them.

“Those who send any invitations shouldn’t even think to step into the imperial capital for ten years. If you come, I’ll personally pour shit on you.”

Ian was known as the scoundrel who always stayed true to his words. Even though Raven wasn’t particularly fond of Ian, he welcomed Ian’s self-depreciated title at this moment.

Well, it seemed that they did have one commonality in that they didn’t like being bothered.

In that matter, the group arrived comfortably on the famous Silvertian coast in the Merlade region in exactly five days. The Silvertian coast was renowned for its astounding beauty.

However, even though they hadn’t sent any invitations, the eyes and ears of all the nobles were focused on the party’s every move.

The heir of the Pendragon Duchy, which had shaken off its past years and was now regaining its past glory at a frightening pace, was accompanying the prince who might one day become the next emperor.

The two people’s decisions could change the empire’s future.

Moreover, some noble families, who were quite quick-witted, focused their attention on the great territory of Sisak. Three years ago, there had been a small, but treasonous incident.

There must have been some reason for the prince’s movement towards that region.

Also, the coast of Silvertian was right by Leus, one of the three largest coastal cities of the empire.

The current governor-general of Leus, who ruled on behalf of the emperor, was Count Sagunda.

Count Sagunda was the uncle of the fourth prince, Edel Aragon, who was one of the three strongest candidates other than Ian to be counted for the position of the crown prince.

Moreover, Count Sagunda had a bad history with the Pendragon Duchy more than two decades ago.

It was regarding the duchess of the Pendragon family, Elena. He had ‘lost’ Elena Pendragon to Duke Gordon Pendragon.

Of course, ‘lost’ was the expression that Count Sagunda used. The truth of the matter was that Elena had begged the previous emperor to not let her be married to Count Sagunda. Even though he belonged to a prestigious family and had enormous influence and wealth, Count Sagunda was known for his cruelty. In the end, she married into the Pendragon family instead.

However, Count Sagunda believed that Duke Gordon Pendragon forcibly took his woman, and since then, the Pendragon Duchy and Count Sagunda became mortal enemies.

If the two families had been located closer or Duke Gordon Pendragon had frequently visited the imperial city, then a large incident might have taken place.

Fortunately, the two territories were separated by nearly 200 miles, and Gordon Pendragon had little reason to visit the imperial capital as he despised the chaotic high society.

But just because you couldn’t see something didn’t mean it wasn’t there any longer.

As the years passed, Count Sagunda’s resentment deepened and rumors had it that Count Sagunda celebrated in his office when Duke Gordon Pendragon died.

Therefore, when the Pendragon family headed for their villa, which was located right next to Leus where Count Sagunda was, people’s concerns and curiosity started to grow for the first time in over ten years.

Count Sagunda hated both the Pendragon family and Prince Ian, and he would try to pick a fight in any way possible. Leus was essentially the count’s backyard, and being in Leus meant that there was a high possibility that even Prince Ian would be humiliated.

However, some brainy nobles didn’t necessarily agree with the consensus…

If the recent rumors spreading throughout the empire were true…

Some intuitively felt that Alan Pendragon, the heir of Pendragon Duchy, would be the great variable in the story, and not Ian.

So the man named Alan Pendragon and Raven Valt became the center of attention in the entire Aragon Empire. For the first time, Alan Pendragon left his territory.

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