The group that came out of the palace headed toward the Alchemists’ Bell Tower. They looked confident, majestic, and as if nothing would be able to stop them.
People couldn’t stop their shock after seeing the person to the right of the Tower Master who was confidently riding on a horse. The citizens who were trying to escape couldn’t help but shudder.
“…The Guardian Sword……!”
Duke Huten was the person who was known as the Mogoru Empire's Sword of the Empire.
Although he was defeated in the Whipper Kingdom battle and was currently being held captive at Maple Castle, he was still the Empire’s pride and source of strength.
However, this old knight who was here right now held a different kind of position in the people's hearts.
The Guardian Sword.
This was a title given to the knight who has guarded both the former Emperor and the current Emperor.
He was always warm to the people, but he was also someone with an upright personality who has been loyal to the royal family for generations.
He was a highest-grade expert who was extremely weak compared to Duke Huten.
However, the citizens still called Sir Bernard the Guardian Sword.
His loyalty and upright personality that he had built up and maintained for many years made him the Empire’s pride.
“I, I don't know anymore.”
One of the citizens who was escaping put his bag down on the ground.
Seeing the gentle and upright Guardian Sword, seeing Sir Bernard here, made him unable to tell what was the truth and what was a lie.
Sir Bernard started to speak at that moment.
It was a deep voice that echoed throughout the area.
He was shouting with disappointment while wearing a full set of armor even though he was in his seventies.
“I received his majesty's order to leave his side and come here today.”
All of the citizens focused their gazes on Bernard.
It was a famous story.
The Emperor always kept Bernard by his side. He treasured this knight the most even though he was so old. The story about how the ill Emperor could not sleep properly if Bernard was not standing guard outside his bedroom door was famous.
“The reason for it is simple. His majesty is concerned about his citizens!”
The Emperor sent out his most trusted knight.
“Do not be fooled by that footage. Think about it for a bit.”
There were no emotions visible in the old knight’s voice as he continued to speak.
“Did the Empire point its sword toward you?”
That was why it was easier to hear him.
The citizens looked around.
They could see the destroyed walls.
They could also see the airship in the sky.
Furthermore, there were also the people from the slums that were telling them to escape.
They looked toward the airship and started to think.
‘Is that footage really real? What if it is fake?’
Uncertainty and chaos filled their minds as they could not figure out what to believe.
Rex started to frown.
He also knew of Sir Bernard, the Guardian Sword.
Bernard was also one of the few good people he knew about in the royal court.
He was the veteran knight who had given Rex some good memories during his rookie year when he was hell-bent on getting revenge.
All new knights received Sir Bernard’s warm care and teachings at least once.
‘…It is bad if Sir Bernard gets involved.’
People might really believe the Empire’s story if he joined in.
Sir Bernard’s stern voice continued on.
“In fact, who was it that destroyed the city walls during the night? Who was it that destroyed your peaceful bedtime?”
The citizens who had been tense started to lose their strength.
They flinched once more at that moment.
Dang- dang- dang-
They heard the bell again.
It happened as Sir Bernard and the Tower Master's group entered the plaza with the Alchemists’ Bell Tower.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
People looked toward the roofs of the buildings surrounding the Alchemists’ Bell Tower.
These people were standing calmly on top of these triangular roofs.
People wearing white robes with the crest of a golden sun were looking down at the plaza.
The Cat Knight Sir Rex turned his head after feeling someone tap on his armor.
“Umm, you’re the people from the footage, right?”
It was one of the citizens who had been escaping.
There was a reason that the people were still hesitant even after the respected Sir Bernard showed up.
“…You’re the people from the Church of the Sun God who had been fighting against the golems, right?”
The Guardian Knight Clopeh. He had footage of everything that happened in the Whipper Kingdom battle. The quality of this footage was extremely clear as well.
“The white skeleton birds and the Holy Knight-nims. Those were your people, right?”
The citizens could not forget about the Holy Knight and the white skeleton birds that were shouting the tenets of the Church of the Sun God while fighting against the golems in the footage.
‘We will head toward the light!’
‘We will obliterate the darkness in the name of our lord!’
The words they had shouted reverberated through their ears.
They could not help but be sensitive to black magic after hearing the term, ‘darkness.’
Sir Rex looked into the desperate eyes of the person who was holding onto him and asking him that question.
It was someone who had run out in his pajamas with only his important items and some simple clothes.
Sir Rex was about to respond when he had to turn his head.
Someone had called his name.
Rex turned his head.
The old knight’s incorruptible eyes were looking at Rex.
Rex bit down on his lips at the old knight who was still addressing him as, ‘sir,’ unlike the rest of the Empire’s knights.
“Are you the one in charge?”
Bernard's eyes that were as deep as a lake of unknown dept headed toward Rex.
“I have no plans to fight. I do not want anyone to get hurt.”
Rex could see the person wearing the Tower Master’s robe, the alchemist next to him, and the rest of the people on the Empire's side all flinch. This was especially true for the knights behind Sir Bernard.
“Bernard-nim, you cannot do-”
However, Bernard's next actions made it so everybody had to stop speaking.
“Can we chat?”
Sir Bernard moved his hand as he said that.
Before people could say anything else…
A sword had fallen to the ground.
The old knight had dropped his sword onto the ground.
He then alighted from his horse and slowly started to walk toward the center of the Alchemists’ Bell Tower plaza.
The old knight looked around at the citizens nearby, the people wearing white robes while standing on the roofs, the airship, and even the people on top of the Bell Tower before finally looking back toward Rex.
“Are you the one in charge?”
Rex felt suffocated by the pressure Bernard was giving off.
It was a gentle pressure that somehow still gave off an aura of invincibility.
Rex clenched his fists.
No. I am not the one in charge.
There is someone else who is in charge.
It was not Cale, but they had planned for someone to claim that role.
It was at that moment.
- Rex! Can you hear me? It’s me, the great and mighty Raon Miru!
He could hear the Dragon's voice.
- Cale told me to tell you this.
Rex stopped clenching his fists after Raon delivered Cale's message.
His friends who had gathered around him were showing him their concern.
They were looking at him with gazes that seemed to be asking what they should do, as well as telling him not to go because they were sure that it was a trap.
At that moment.
They heard another sound of something dropping.
Some of the people who were watching could not help but gasp.
An iron shield had fallen to the floor.
His friend reached toward Rex’s shoulder.
However, all that his hand grabbed was the air.
Step. Step. Step.
Rex also headed toward the plaza in front of the Alchemists’ Bell Tower unarmed. He was then face to face with Sir Bernard.
“Sir Bernard, I am the one in charge.”
Someone let out a gasp.
One of the knights behind Bernard shouted at the same time.
“A criminal like you dares to come face to face with Bernard-nim?! Kneel-”
Bernard stopped the knight from saying anything else. He then headed toward Rex with a gentle smile on his face.
The red-haired young knight and the white-haired old knight.
The old knight calmly started to speak.
“I will conduct an investigation regarding the contents of the footage.”
People in the plaza started to quickly whisper to each other.
“Furthermore, the Tower Master has allowed us to do a full investigation of the Alchemists’ Bell Tower.”
The Tower Master removed his hood at that moment. The alchemist to his left removed his hood as well. The alchemist was an average-looking middle-aged man. The middle-aged alchemist looked toward the Tower Master who had removed his hood.
The Tower Master had an aged and stubborn-looking face.
It was indeed the face of the Tower Master that people knew about.
“I will allow the investigation. I will personally take part as my disciple Honte's honor is on the line. I wish to remove any misunderstandings.”
The whispers started to get louder.
The real Tower Master was saying that he was willing to resolve all the misundestandings.
People started to look toward Rex with questioning gazes.
“So how about we take care of this peacefully now?”
Taking care of this peacefully.
That phrase made the expressions on the faces of the Empire’s citizens loosen up a bit.
The expressions on the faces of the people from the slums darkened at the same time. They looked toward the top of the Bell Tower. They were certain that Cale was in the Bell Tower.
‘Why is he not doing anything?’
They could not allow the flow to shift to the Empire like this.
It was at that moment.
“That sounds great. We can take care of this peacefully.”
Rex's friends’ eyes opened wide.
Rex had accepted Bernard's request.
“We will withdraw the airship. All of us will withdraw as well.”
There was a voice speaking in Rex’s mind at that moment.
It was the voice of a six-year-old, but it held the will of the person who had planned all of this.
- Just one thing.
Rex started to speak.
“Just one thing.”
Cale slowly started to walk from the top of the Bell Tower.
- We have one request.
“We have one request.”
Cale, who was hidden in the shadows of the large bell, looked forward.
Rex looked forward as well.
- We wish to shake hands with the Tower Master.
“We wish to shake hands with the Tower Master.”
Cale’s gaze headed toward someone else.
That person was standing in front of the bell. It was someone who had revealed himself in front of everyone.
He could see that person's white robe.
Cale approached that person and put his hand on that person’s shoulder.
Sir Rex continued to speak.
“Is that possible?”
One of the Empire’s knights shouted at that moment.
“You punk! Who would trust the words of the person who tried to assassinate the Vice Tower Master?!”
The Tower Master raised his hand.
The stubborn face looked around before looking at the alchemist to his left and nodding his head.
“Fine. I will shake your hand if it means everything can be peacefully handled.”
Cale started to speak at that moment.
Rex then stepped back.
People gasped at that moment.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
The people in white robes who had been standing on the roofs all jumped down to the plaza and knelt down on one knee.
But the people were not gasping about this action.
The top of the Bell Tower.
They could see someone slowly descending from there.
It was as if the wind was carefully lowering him down.
The person's hood was removed the moment he landed on the ground.
“M, my goodness!”
The citizens who were in shock could hear the people in white robes start to shout.
“We greet the Saint-nim!”
The Saint Jack.
He started to walk.
The unique divine healing powers of the Saint of the Sun God started to come out of his body.
Some of the citizens subconsciously clasped their hands together.
They could feel the warm power surrounding them. It helped loosen their muscles that had been tense with anxiety and uncertainty.
It was a bright and holy light that was different than the torches that were lighting up the dark night. It was the healing power that they had forgotten about.
The expressions on the faces of the Empire’s citizens changed.
Sir Rex started to speak again.
“It is the Saint-nim who will be shaking hands with the Tower Master-nim.”
The citizens looked at Jack and the Tower Master even after hearing this unexpected development.
The Tower Master and Jack had shaken hands a couple of times during different ceremonies in the past.
The eyes of the Empire’s citizens opened wide as they recalled those memories.
Jack stopped walking.
The Saint Jack.
There was a flame inside his innocent gaze.
- Little Saint! Do you remember what Cale said?
He could hear Raon's voice delivering Cale’s message in his mind.
- Tower Master-nim.
Jack reached his hand out.
“Can I shake your hand?”
The Saint Jack.
He was looking at Sir Bernard, the Empire's Guardian Sword.
“Aren't you the real Tower Master?”
The smile disappeared from the gentle old knight’s face.
On the other hand, Saint Jack had a pure smile on his face.