Chapter 87

“If you have any questions, you should ask. It will be a problem if you keep just siding with me on everything.”

Raven smirked and continued his words while drinking his tea, which had long gone cold.

“They’re not bad. They have some skill, and they are faithful. It’s hard to find such people among mercenaries.”

“With all due respect, I think they are loyal amongst themselves.”

“Well, you are not wrong. But Jody, their leader, clearly showed trust in me when he did not know of my true identity. He did so in a situation that was dangerous and potentially endangered his own life.”

“You mean the incident at Elma’s main road.”

Isla also felt that Jody’s actions in Elma were quite surprising, especially facing someone as renowned as Filmore. He had never seen a mercenary who showed quite as much loyalty and responsibility as Jody ever since he left Valvas to wander from place to place.

“Do not get me wrong. I’m not taking the three in because I was touched by that. I’m thinking of placing them under Vincent Ron.”

“Hmm…!”

Isla’s eyes showed a bit of shock.

He was already aware of the fact that Raven had taken the man named Vincent Ron from under Count Sagunda in Leus, and that the man had headed to Pendragon territory.

But since then, this was the first time Raven brought up the subject regarding the man.

“Sir Melborn will oversee the overall operations of the Conrad Castle. There’s just no one better suited to take care of our family’s internal matters. But since Ian and I joined hands, we must also pay attention to the things that are happening outside of our territory. It’s obvious that things will go down outside of our reach, regardless of my will.”

“…..”

Isla’s eyes became focused.

Although Isla was specialized in wielding his swords, he could also guess that things would proceed just as Raven had just said.

“But General Melborn is a little lacking in knowledge about the outside world, regarding the situation in the imperial capital and the other territories. There’s a limit to dealing with it by myself as well.”

“Then Vincent Ron…”

“Yes, Vincent Ron is the person who is best suited to take on that role in the Pendragon territory. Moreover, he works for the balance in the empire instead of his personal gains. That’s why he chose to work under Sagunda in Leus. He wanted to take control of the money and materials that saw their way in and out of Leus after surveying the situation.”

“Hm!”

“But what do you think is required most to take control of the flow of money and supplies? Something that is needed to take over the financial world of the empire. Something that we lack, as the territory located on the outskirts of the empire.”

Isla dropped his head in confusion. He did not know the answer. Raven smiled indifferently and solved Isla’s curiosity.

“Information. It’s information. Our most vulnerable spot is that we do not have a proper intelligence organization.”

“…..!”

Isla’s eyes quivered in admiration.

Raven continued while pouring tea into his empty teacup.

“I’m thinking of letting Vincent Ron create an information organization. Jody and his companions have also wandered all over the empire for a long time as mercenaries. Also, Jody is faithful to me, and the other two are faithful to Jody. I believe they will do the job quite well.”

“…I am once again greatly impressed by my lord’s insight.”

Isla bowed down deeply.

“Haha, you do not have to give me so much credit. I have also been pretty surprised that my head’s been working this well lately.”

“It is impossible to think like you, my lord, with just a good head.”

“Haha, I don’t know what to say. Anyway, I am going to appoint Vincent Ron to the affairs outside of the Pendragon territory and leave the three people under his command as well. Since we obtained the Ramelda family as our allies, Vincent Ron should get busy soon. I have made the plans, but nothing’s been put into action yet. There’s a lot of work to get done.”

“You have made great gains in Sisak. Congratulations, my lord.”

“Is that so…”

Raven smiled bitterly. Isla’s words were true.

He had gotten a portion of his revenge, and he made a trustworthy ally and gained reliable subordinates.

More than anything else, he found the clues to the conspiracy, which was also somehow related to the Pendragon family. He found a lead to follow regarding the attempted assassination of Crown Prince Shio.

The sequence of events was more complicated than he had originally thought. There were far stronger players involved in the issue, and it was very intricate.

Raven had a strong intuition that the Arangis family, Count Saguda, and Toleo Arangis only represented a single thread in a far greater scheme.

But Raven did not become impatient.

Revenge was a dish best served cold, and hurrying things would not bring about any results.

‘I’ll get my revenge.. thoroughly, and properly. Even if I must chase you to the ends of the earth and the sea, I’ll decimate you in the name of the Valt family and the Pendragon family.’

A flash of light glimmered in Raven’s eyes.

Today, he had another important matter that was waiting for him.

“Why don’t you go out and get some breakfast. You’ll have to have enough energy to properly greet the precious guest.”

“Hmm. Yes, my lord.”

Isla tilted his head briefly before showing courtesy to Raven and exiting the room.

Today, Count Bresia, the High Lord of Sisak, would probably be arriving, and that represented a possible reenactment of yesterday’s bloodbath.

***

“Bwahh! What should I do… Bwahhh...!”

Despite Sophia’s never-ending tears, Filmore said nothing in response. He had been up all night the day before thinking, but he could not think of any possible solutions.

The man who was holding onto the napes of their necks was the heir to the Pendragon Duchy, and he had a powerful dragon by his side. But that was not the main issue.

It was problematic because the truth behind the treason incident three years ago had been unveiled, and it had been revealed that there was a clear connection between the incident and the High Lord of Sisak.

Besides, the two immature brats had openly persecuted and insulted His Grace Pendragon, who was investigating the treason case, while using their family’s names…

The great territory of Sisak was facing its most difficult trial in history.

“Please say something! What am I going to do now! Bwahhh!”

And still, the immature little girl was only worried about herself. Filmore felt like his head was going to explode.

But Filmore took a deep breath before speaking calmly.

“You are not the problem right now, my lady. His excellency Bresia… No, the whole territory of Sisak is at the crossroad of survival right now.”

“Hngh…”

Sophia felt the severity of the situation from Filmore’s tone, and she wiped the tears off her face.

“Insulting His Grace Pendragon was just a light mistake. The important thing is that you implicated the entire Bresia family in the dispute. Now, the Bresia family has interfered in the investigation conducted by Prince Ian, in the matter of the treasonous attempted assassination of the crown prince. If this matter reaches the imperial city, our great territory might just disappear entirely.”

“T, that’s… I, I just…”

Sophia’s face turned ghostly pale.

Filmore continued after another sigh.

“We have to listen to all of Pendragon’s demands in this situation. If that keeps our territory from disappearing, then it would be the most desirable outcome.”

“T, that means… E, even if His Grace asks for me…”

Filmore wanted nothing more than to smack her across the face. Even now, she was only worried about herself, and furthermore, there was a strange expectation in her eyes as she spoke.

Did she not know the predicament they were in? How could she still be thinking of Alan Pendragon as a man?

But he suppressed his anger as he was dealing with the Count’s youngest daughter, and his face trembled in response.

“They might ask my lady as a servant… or even a slave, and we will have to accept their demands if it means the resolution of the issue. But I do not think His Grace Pendragon would ask for such a petty demand.”

“W, what do you mean petty! I do not…!”

“Lady Sophia!”

“Hick!”

Sophia shrank back immediately. Filmore was scary even when he was not angry, but now, his face and voice looked to be almost suffocating from trying to contain his anger.

“How many times did I tell you that you should not be worrying about yourself? This is a problem that could destroy the entire family of Count Bresia. Please refrain yourself.”

“Sob…”

Sophia started to shed tears ago with a closed mouth in fear and sorrow.

At that sight, Filmore thought he had been too harsh on her. After all, she was still a young girl. He spoke in a calm voice.

“I have already sent a letter to your father carefully explaining the situation, so do not worry too much. Although His Grace, Alan Pendragon, is a man of extraordinary abilities despite his age, your father became the High Lord of Sisak through his own powers. The only thing we can do now is wait and trust in him.”

“I, I see. Okay…”

Sophia calmed down as she thought of her father, and she nodded her head up and down.

But Filmore, who had assured Sophia, still had a solemn expression.

The formidable spirit shown by Alan Pendragon yesterday was something Filmore had never experienced before. In terms of spirit, Alan Pendragon had completely overwhelmed Filmore.

And the bigger problem was…

‘The White Dragon… huh!’

When he came into contact with the unrealistic sight of the White Dragon, his mind went completely blank. He had been absolutely, completely overpowered.

He could not even think of running away, let alone fighting.

What if such a creature had attacked them?

Then flown straight to Bresia Castle?

‘Complete… extermination…’

The mere thought made his hair stand on its end. He finally realized why no forces ever dared to invade Pendragon territory. Unless they had a dragon of their own, or hundreds of griffons, ogres, and trolls, not even the slightest possibility of victory existed.

Obviously, the White Dragon could not carelessly ignore the imperial law and attack humans in the empire’s territory.

But this was an exception. This matter was related to the treason case in which Prince Ian personally asked Alan Pendragon to investigate.

Who would dispute in the matter regarding the reinvestigation of an attempted assassination of the crown prince?

As soon as anyone questioned the issue, regardless of their status, they would be suspected of being involved in treason and standing up for the traitor.

‘So that’s why he only brought the dragon and his most reliable knight…’

Filmore shuddered again at Alan Pendragon’s carefully laid-out plans.

It was hard to believe that he was just around 20 years old by the way he lured Enzo Nobira and Sophia Bresia to make an impulse declaration that implicated their families. Alan Pendragon was truly bold and cool-headed in his judgments.

‘We should not have made an enemy out of him, but it’s too late now…’

The more he thought about it, the more Filmore’s worries deepened. Nevertheless, he did not give up hope yet.

Count Bresia was someone that was disregarded by many other High Lords and other nobles, but he had ultimately garnered control over the entire great territory of Sisak by himself. Count Bresia was, in essence, the great territory of Sisak itself.

***

Bbooooooo!

It was afternoon when the sun was well out of the sky. A mercenary shouted in an urgent voice from the top of the monastery bell tower along with a sound of longhorns.

“Around a hundred horsemen! It’s the symbol of High Lord Count Bresia’s family!”

At the mercenary’s cry, the atmosphere of the monastery instantly turned busy.

Soon, Raven and Isla, as well as Soldrake walked out from the monastery’s building amid a row of nervous mercenaries and cavalrymen.

Everyone’s eyes once again filled with fear as they saw Soldrake.

It was hard to believe that such a beautiful and mysterious woman was a ‘dragon’. She was so gorgeous that just looking at her made the legs of the men go weak.

Some trembled and sweated even though their gazes did not turn towards Soldrake. As Raven and Soldrake sat down in chairs that were already prepared in the tent, Isla took his place facing Filmore, who was standing upright.

Filmore became startled at Isla’s gaze, but he did not show it and turned his gaze to the side.

Baron Nobira, Enzo, and Sophia were all trembling, and Ruv Tylen was tied up and kneeling on the ground with a hopeless expression.

‘Please don’t cause any accidents today…”

A single mistake could destroy the entire family of the Bresia County, so Filmore turned his head towards the place where his lord was coming from with an expression that was full of anxiety and worry.

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