Chapter 58

The young man’s demeanor was not that of an ordinary mercenary...

“Kuku! That’s funny. Aren’t your people better at doing those kinds of work?”

“Unfortunately, the flamingo doesn’t want to openly take on the cat.”

“Well, I guess even the ruler of Leus feels uncomfortable openly going against the imperial castle. Besides, a few years ago, he…”

“The flamingo hates when you talk carelessly, even more so in these dumps.”

The young man’s attitude became even colder.

“Hmm?”

The giant stopped playing at the young man’s defiant attitude. Few people dared to take that sort of audacity in front of him. But the giant grinned and sheathed his dagger.

“That’s exactly how the right arm of the flamingo should act. Okay, I accept the offer. The price is what I always ask for, right?”

“After the work is completed, the flamingo will no longer meddle in this dumpster any longer.”

The young man nodded lightly, then took something out of his coat. It was a letter with a red seal.

The giant opened the seal and slowly scanned through the letter. After he finished, he paused to check the seal once more, then folded it up and stuffed it into his pocket with a satisfied expression.

“We’ll take care of it. But when are you going to invite the cat and the little snake?”

“Four days after, to the home of the flamingo. If possible, he wanted it to be a place with lots of eyes. The cat from the glittering place likes to stand out, so he said a little poke would bring out an adequate reaction.”

“Keke! I’ve heard a lot about the cat too. He is known as the scoundrel? All right, I will make a huge stir.”

As the giant replied, the young man stood up from his place and gave a light salute before walking towards the stairs. Then suddenly, the young man stopped in his place and turned around.

“Excuse me, may I ask you a personal question?”

“As you please.”

The giant man grinned and nodded.

The young man hesitated for a moment and opened his mouth.

“You are… are you really human?”

“……”

The giant man didn’t respond right away. Instead, his smile dropped.

Flaming red pupils, a blunt, pressed nose, and a massive, sharp tooth protruded out at the end of his broad lips. Most importantly, a ferocious spirit emanated from his overwhelmingly large body…

‘This person is definitely…’

“You’ll get hurt if you try to find out too much. Take care.”

The giant’s voice was entirely different from before, and the solemn tone caused the young man to disregard his thoughts and turn around. The young man paused in front of the stairs for a brief moment, then proceeded to walk down.

On the second floor, only the giant man and the similar-sized orc warrior remained.

Buuuuurp!

The orc warrior had downed another beer and let out a loud burp.

But unlike before, the giant man wasn’t irritated.

“Paku, do you want to try some orc meat? It’s been a long time.”

“Are you serious? Paku can have orc meat?”

The face of the one-eyed orc warrior named Paku brightened.

“I’ll allow it this time. They’ve been well-aged in the forest for decades, so their meat should be tender.”

“Kukeke! Paku likes it! Paku will chew up even the bones of the orcs! I won’t leave anything, even the bone marrow!”

Paku happily thumped his chest, then suddenly took on a skeptical expression while looking at the giant man.

“And what will Toleo eat? Paku isn’t going to share the orcs.”

“I can eat snakes. I’ll kill the male and peel the females really, really nicely before eating them.”

The giant man was Toleo Arangis, who was known as the Dark King of Leus. A hint of insanity glimmered in his eyes.

***

Two more days of vacation passed.

Although there had been some issues and disturbances, Alan Pendragon had stepped up and calmed the minor problems. Overall, it was a fun and peaceful time.

Of course, the people responsible for causing these minor disturbances, Irene Pendragon and Ingrid Aragon, weren’t in the best mood. Both of them had been severely scolded by Alan Pendragon.

Just because Irene was his sister, did not mean that he was lenient towards her nor did he tolerate Ingrid because of her identity.

Elena and Ian stayed quiet during the incidents and didn’t interfere. The two ladies, who were already pushed onto the verge of tears, quickly went silent.

On the other hand, Lindsay and Luna, who were relatively quiet and gentle in character, would grow nervous because of the other two. But now, they were used to the fiery war of nerves between the princess and the lady.

They maintained their collected calmness because they realized they would fare and look better in Alan’s eyes by staying quiet. Moreover, the two ladies knew that the most powerful enemy wasn’t the other two ladies. Rather, it was Soldrake who was always by Alan’s side.

On top of that, Soldrake wasn’t human, and she was also the symbol of the Pendragon family.

There was nothing they could do.

It was easier for them to just let things be.

However, as the stalemate continued between the four ladies, an event would unfold that would become the turning point.

Count Sagunda, governor-general of Leus, had invited the prince, princess, and the Pendragon family to a banquet.

The invitation was on a different level from other nobles as the Sagunda County was considered one of the most prominent noble families in the entire empire, aside from the five duchies and the royal family. A party hosted by them would be held to great prominence.

Raven and Ian had already been expecting such an invitation, so they casually accepted it.

The four ladies were excited, although they displayed it in different ways.

Lindsay was dumbfounded, and her emotions were a mix of excitement and anxiety.

Irene felt that this was an opportunity to honor the Pendragon family at her first social gathering.

Ingrid considered it a good chance for her to make up for her lost points and rehearse her future role as the Duchess of Pendragon.

Luna quietly agreed to the invitation as usual. She was quietly hoping for an opportunity to improve her standing as well.

It was difficult for Luna to achieve the goal of apologizing to the Pendragon family and show the sincerity of the Seyrod family during the vacation itself. She couldn’t hold a private conversation with Alan because of Irene’s blatant interference. Even Ingrid seemed to be keeping Luna in check.

But it would be different at Count Sagunda’s banquet.

They were both ladies of exalted status. They wouldn’t be able to stay by Alan’s side the entire time.

So the four ladies immersed themselves in preparations and dolling up for the banquet.

The preparation for the two men, on the other hand, was of a completely different kind.

***

Inside the Pendragon carriage headed for the city of Leus.

“…..”

The inside of the carriage would usually be roaring with chatter, but today it was quiet.

The four girls, each dressed up to embellish their beauty, stared at the quiet man.

But the recipient of the combined attention gave no attention to the ladies and quietly stared out the window.

“Hehe…”

Ian observed the atmosphere with a smile on his face that was unbefitting the situation. The only thing that would bother him was when Alan would blatantly ignore his sister, Ingrid.

Recently, he wasn’t bothered as much. Rather, he felt thrilled whenever Alan gave Ingrid a hard time. For the first time in his life, he had seen his self-respecting sister floundering around, not knowing what to do.

Ian knew as a fellow man.

Regardless of how his sister felt, Alan Pendragon did not see her as a woman.

Additionally, the daughter of the Seyrod family didn’t even seem to be among the candidates, and Alan didn’t seem to have a very deep relationship with his large-breasted concubine either.

‘He’s pretty good for his age…’

Ian nodded his head with a satisfied expression.

Judging from what he had seen so far, Alan Pendragon was not someone that could be shaken by women. He was a monarch who quietly tread his path, not becoming sidetracked by other matters.

It was something that he had never seen in the young noblemen of the Royal Batallium.

However, Ian still didn’t fully trust Alan Pendragon.

‘It’s hard to figure out exactly what his real purpose is…’

Although Alan had stated that his pursuit was to stabilize the Pendragon Duchy and to establish his family’s dignity throughout the empire, Ian sensed that there was something more to it.

But for now, he didn’t know what it was.

And whatever Alan’s other purpose might be, he had already sworn an oath under his family name and the dragon to the royal family, so he was not seeking to usurp the throne either.

‘Well, I guess that’s enough for now…’

Ian removed his gaze from Alan and nodded. He felt satisfied with his reasoning.

The most important fact was that Alan Pendragon was on the side of the royal family and himself. The Royal Batallium was full of sneaky bastards sneaking in the shadows and aiming for the position of the crown prince.

And the duchies also had their agendas, starting with the Arangis family.

So for now, it was enough that the Pendragon Duchy, who had a dragon with them, stood behind the royal family.

And tonight was the first chance to properly imprint that fact on the noblemen who came for their own purposes.

‘I’ll let you know why lions and dragons are called kings of the beasts.’

Ian Aragon coldly glared at the light of Leus, which was drawing closer every minute.

***

“We’ve arrived, lord.”

Isla, dressed in a white suit, opened the carriage doors, and the group stepped outside one by one.

“We greet the exalted ones.”

The dozens of people waiting at the base of the stairs bowed deeply at the group. Soldiers were wearing white suits with a blue epaulet, and the servants and maids also wore matching black-colored uniforms.

The nobles were waiting on the stairs as soon as they recognized the passengers of the carriage. They also bowed their heads.

“Levin of Viscount Ziglan’s family greets Prince Ian and Princess Ingrid.”

“I greet the Pendragon Duchy.”

The nobles were already aware that the royal family and the Pendragon Duchy would be present. This was no surprise, but their faces still showed excitement as it wasn’t an everyday affair that they got to meet the official heir of a duchy and the royal family.

“Nice to meet you all.”

Ian nodded silently with a stern look, and Ingrid greeted all of the nobles with a calm smile on her face. Everyone's faces brightened after seeing the smile on the beautiful princess’ face.

Suddenly, everyone took several steps back in surprise.

Another stepped out from the carriage of the Pendragon family…

“Damned land and sea will split. Do I have to come to such a place?”

Karuta, who was as big as the stone statues that decorated the mansion, was clothed in a red cape and plain armor as he stepped outside of the carriage. He grumbled as he started to walk.

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