Vincent already knew that Alan Pendragon had contracted with the dragon. But establishing a contract and emitting a dragon’s energy were completely different matters. In the best-case scenario, they might possess some draconic energy due to their family’s heritage, although even that was improbable. How could someone emit Dragon Fear with a human’s body?
“Then when he avoided my spirit, he was…”
Vincent muttered in a hoarse voice, then his gaze, which was full of disbelief and shock, turned to Alan Pendragon. The young lord was slowly walking forward.
Raven stopped when he was around five or six steps from Toleo Arangis. Toleo was seven feet tall and possessed abnormally long limbs. He did not look human with his hideous appearance.
“There was a little mishap in the last fight just a while ago, so make sure to be careful this time around. The two of you are great nobles of the empire. If something were to happen then…”
“Nothing’s going to happen, so stop with the commentary.”
Raven cut off Count Sagunda’s words with a cold voice. Sagunda frowned deeply, but Toleo grinned.
“Well, that’s one thing I like about you. We’ll be fine, so stop interfering.”
“E, Ehem! Then…”
Count Sagunda stepped back.
“Have you had any children from those whores? I think today might be the day when the Pendragon family’s bloodline ends.”
Toleo twisted his neck from side to side and remarked while grinning.
But Raven responded to the lowly provocation with an indifferent attitude.
“Arangis family must be happy since there’s nothing to worry about even if you die. Ah, well, I guess it doesn’t even matter since you’re not born from the baroness.”
Toleo’s eyes shook. Could the brat possibly know his secrets…?
“Duke Arangis had a peculiar taste since he was young, right? Well, I guess it would be more proper to call it ‘personal preference’? He’s attracted to females that aren’t human. So, decades ago, he took a female orc from the Morte Islands and…”
Raven spoke in a quiet voice that only Toleo could hear. Toleo fell into shock. How did the brat in front of him know about the secret that only the direct children of Duke Arangis were entitled to? Toleo narrowed his eyes as he recovered from the initial shock. His killing intent grew even thicker.
“One neck, and one leg. I felt like I needed to take back what I’ve lost today. Great. Alan Pendragon, you’re going to die today no matter what.”
“There are no secrets in the world. Don’t you think it’s a fair price to pay for me to teach you how the world works? Or maybe it’s still not enough.”
“You only know how to blabber on and on, you little bastard…”
“That’s not the only thing I’m capable of.”
Raven casually swapped the weapons in his hand and replied. Arangis twisted his body slightly, then raised his large shield to cover himself. As he pulled back his cutlass, the weapon disappeared out of sight.
The edge of Raven’s mouth crept up as he observed the unique style of swordsmanship. A knight who was trained in the empire with an orthodox method of fighting would become confounded at Toleo’s swordsmanship.
Toleo knew this fact, and that was exactly what he aimed for. But it was a huge mistake. Toleo Arangis did not know that the young man in front of him had experienced battles with knights and mercenaries from all over the empire for a decade as Raven Valt.
‘He must have been raised among the Rachuan Orcs. Well, I guess that would be the best place to raise a monster born between a human and an orc.’
Rachuan was a city in the sea built by the ancient dwarves. Orcs had conquered it over a decade ago and built the largest orc kingdom in the empire. Most of the dwarves had relocated to the southern mountains inland, but a small number had remained under the control of the orcs. The weapons and armors produced by the dwarves were of excellent quality.
That was how the unique swordsmanship style combining the cutlass, which was the main weapon used by the island orcs, and the circular shield, which the dwarves took pride in, came to be. Toleo Arangis had mastered the unique style of fighting as he grew up in Rachuan.
With his two swords hanging loosely from his arms, Raven started to move sideways. In a tense silence, the two men moved in a circle, observing each other while maintaining their distance.
Everyone looked on at the two men in confusion.
In addition to the overwhelmingly contrasting physique, Toleo’s reputation as a fierce warrior was well-known throughout the land. Stories of him killing dozens of armed mercenaries were commonplace and wasn’t even considered the tip of the iceberg in regard to the numerous tales of his strength. The reason he had orcs by his side was also due to him defeating the leader of the orcs.
Someone like that was showing a cautious attitude in front of a young man who had neither the physique nor reputation of a fighter.
The nobles and the knights couldn’t understand the situation.
However, Toleo thought differently. Normally, or even if it were only an hour ago, he would have rushed in without thinking. But he changed his mind when he saw the two orcs get crushed.
Otherwise, they would not have responded to his provocation with their own provocations and accepted the duel as if they had been waiting. At first, Toleo had thought the duel was like taking candy from a baby, but no longer. He was convinced when his own spirit was pushed back by an unparalleled spirit he had never seen before.
‘This guy… is strong. He had to be dealt with today.’
If not, it was clear that in the next few years, the young man standing in front of him would lead the Pendragon family to become one of the most prominent forces in the entire empire.
It was for himself, and for his father’s ambition. Everyone thought that his father had thrown him away and treated him as a monster, but the truth was different. His father cared for him dearly, and now it was up to him to fight for his family.
Toleo took in a sharp breath, then kicked off on one leg. His large body gushed forward at an incredibly fast speed unbefitting his size.
Toleo narrowed the distance at once and stretched out the shield on his left arm to obscure Raven’s vision completely for a moment. However, Raven maintained his calm and quickly dropped his gaze from the shield to Toleo’s legs. The shadows created by the torchlight shimmered.
Raven unhesitatingly raised his longsword.
As the impact was about to envelop his arm along with an earth-shattering sound, Raven rotated his body to disperse the tremendous shock. Then he used his rotating motion to aim for Toleo’s leg with his scimitar.
A reverberation echoed in the air as Toleo blocked the attack with his shield, as Raven anticipated. In the same moment, Toleo’s cutlass cut down from behind the shield and mercilessly slashed down multiple times.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
The powerful attacks continued like a storm. But Raven dodged and parried all the attacks by watching the shadows and Toleo’s footwork. As iron and iron collided, sparks flew into the air and caught the eyes of the audience.
Ordinary aristocrats let out astonishments at the fierce sight they had never experienced before. However, those who had experience in duels and in battlefields watched the dance unfold with a silent shock.
Toleo Arangis was already well-known throughout the southern part of the empire as being unparalleled in power, but now it seemed the rumors didn’t do him justice.
Even more surprising was his opponent, Alan Pendragon. He was going toe-to-toe with his slender frame against Toleo Arangis, who was easily twice his size. Moreover, he was utilizing two different weapons with completely different styles to repel Toleo’s attacks.
But experienced knights were convinced that the duel would soon be over.
All kinds of fights were usually decided by two most basic factors – strength and stamina. Anyone could see that Toleo Arangis was overwhelmingly greater than Alan Pendragon in both strength and stamina. The one who was unilaterally attacking in this situation was Toleo, and it was clear that the other side would soon become exhausted from blocking the flurry of heavy attacks.
With a loud clash, Alan Pendragon’s longsword flew into the air.
People became wide-eyed. The flying sword was headed straight towards where Count Sagunda was.
In that instant, someone walked in front of Count Sagunda. He pulled out a sword and deflected Alan Pendragon’s weapon sideways. But he hadn’t completely blocked the weapon, which caused his clothes to rip and expose his shoulder. Blood started to drip from his exposed shoulder. Vincent Ron stepped back while frowning.
“Sir Ron. Are you okay?”
“It’s just a graze.”
The two men momentarily stopped their duel and glanced towards Sagunda and Vincent.
Vincent met the gaze of Alan Pendragon and his face hardened. But it was literally for an instant, and the two continued their fight.
Vincent became sure as the dizzying sparks flew and blades cut through the air. It wasn’t a mere coincidence that Alan Pendragon lost control of his weapon and it flew towards Count Sagunda. It was all intentional.
Vincent’s eyes regained composure.
‘Alan Pendragon… He had planned everything.’
What happened a little while ago was a warning to Count Sagunda as well as a test for himself. He shuddered as he felt a chill run down his back.
‘Did you… know about this as well?’
Vincent looked down at his shoulder that he was covering with his hand. On his bloodied shoulder, there was a tattoo of two towers facing each other with a staff in the middle.
Raven felt that his heart was about to burst as he responded to Toleo’s powerful blows that continued without rest. But it wasn’t because of Toleo’s attacks.
Instead, it was due to a tattoo that was inscribed on the shoulder of Vincent Ron that became visible when he blocked the flying longsword.
‘It’s the Twilight Tower. So, he’s Vincent of the Gray Sunset…!’
The name Vincent was common, so Raven hadn’t even considered the possibility. In only a few years, the monster would create a coalition of small merchants that would account for 30 percent of the commerce in the entire empire.
Raven pushed aside his thoughts as he dodged Toleo’s cutlass by rolling around. Right now, he had to deal with the monster in front of him, not the monster of commerce.
Toleo was strong. It was certainly more difficult to deal with Toleo with a scimitar that was lighter than what Raven was used to. Furthermore, Toleo was a master of his shield as well as his cutlass. Even without his cutlass, he could probably decimate regular soldiers.
“You little rat…!”
Toleo’s attacks intensified as he became enraged at Raven’s quick movements in dodging his attacks.
The shield swirled as soon as he dodged the cutlass, and Raven distanced himself from his opponent. Even though he had an orc’s blood, Toleo was still human. After consecutively attacking over nine times, Toleo’s breathing was ragged.
Raven examined the condition of the scimitar. It was a precious blade that was part of the count’s collection, but it was already ragged everywhere. In a few more exchanges, it would definitely break. Toleo knew that as well.
Raven made up his mind.
Toleo had already grasped what Raven was capable of, but Raven had a hidden ace up his sleeve. Toleo Arangis calmed his breathing, then once again ran towards Raven. This time, his cutlass cut down, then sliced.
Raven deflected the cut and avoided the slice. Toleo followed up with his shield as if he had been anticipating Raven’s move.
‘I’ll give my flesh and take your bones.’
Raven clenched his teeth in anticipation of imminent pain as the shield flew towards his body.
As the suffocating pain erupted, Raven stomped his foot. Two or three ribs seemed to be broken, but Raven used the momentum to grab onto Toleo’s shield and crouched his body. Immediately, he used the force of the swing to throw Toleo’s gigantic body into the air.Previous Chapter Next Chapter