Chapter 256 - While He Was Away (3)

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“…”

Jovan, who became an escort for the Pareiras earlier this year, was distracted with the recent events.

Of course, he knew a few things.

Although the Pareira territory was just a Baron’s estate, in a small nation like the Hale Kingdom, the truth was that even such territories held greater importance than in other nations.

‘Miss Kirill, the promising sorcerer recognized by the Cesar Duchy, and Airn Pareira… in his early 20s, who had reached the Sword Master level.’

But it just never felt like it. And it was kind of unavoidable thinking that way.

No matter how great they were, it would only be felt if the siblings were seen in action in the eyes of Jovan, and he had only heard things about them and not once had he actually seen them.

But not long ago…

When the young lord returned home and fully demonstrated his swordsmanship through the class he had conducted, Jovan couldn’t help but shed tears at the intense emotions which overcame him.

“What now?”

“A spar?”

“Can we see Miss Lindsay’s swordsmanship now?”

“Huh! I am so glad that I am alive! I want to see it!”

Everything that had happened was extremely shocking.

Hearing the words of the knights and the soldiers around him, Jovan had a blank expression.

Young lord Pareira had shown his real skills… It was amazing what he saw a week back.

It was also shocking that the Young Lord Pareira’s contacts were coming in one after another.

The feelings he felt as he saw all this were even greater.

Ilya Lindsay, the genius swordsman who had reached the level of Master the fastest in the history of the continent!

Bratt Lloyd, the genius of the Gerbera Kingdom who had a higher influence than the king of the Hale Kingdom!

And such people were friends of his young lord?

It was when he was thinking about it.

Woong!

“….”

“Uh…”

“… aura?”

A blue energy came out from the sword of Lloyd.

It wasn’t the aura that an Expert could use. Anyone could see that this was a completely stable Aura Sword.

Shock appeared on everyone’s faces including Marcus, Jovan and others as they saw that.

Posing nicely, he spoke to Ilya.

“It has been a long time…should we go all out?”

“… since when?”

“It’s been a few months. How is it? Are you ready to do your best?”

“… okay.”

Ilya nodded her head.

Until before, she now regretted pulling out her Aura Sword. No matter how flustered she was, she shouldn’t have done it in front of an expert.

But if he was using an Aura Sword, then it didn’t matter anymore.

It wasn’t rude to use an Aura Sword anymore and she could show off her skills properly.

‘Right. Even if I move harshly… there will be no problem.’

Ilya nodded her head.

She couldn’t see Bratt as his older version anymore.

With cold eyes, and cold air, and a silver blade as cold as the winter wind.

The crowd who felt the situation was weird, gulped, but Bratt stayed calm the entire time.

“Should I start then?”

“Come.”

… no.

It was a bit more exciting.

Ilya was an old friend, and an existence he wanted to overcome.

The blue haired swordsman who remembered his trainee days clenched his hand.

Phat!

The floor of the hall broke.

Bratt’s body jumped out at a high speed with a strong reaction and the sword was swung even faster to cut Ilya’s movement, which would soon block him.

Whooo!

Phat!

Ilya took a step back and Bratt took three steps back.

The intention of those three steps he had moved backwards was to acknowledge his inferiority and was also an attempt to make room for correction, but his opponent didn’t give him a chance.

Wind blew from Ilya’s sword, and she narrowed the distance in an instant.

“…!”

“…!”

Unfortunately, those who had gathered there to see the sparring weren’t of a high enough level to notice it.

Neither the people of the western continent nor the people in that small baron estate could understand what had happened.

But still, everyone knew.

What kind of swordsmanship the Adan Kingdom’s genius used.

The Sky Sword!

The moment the most famous swordsmanship of the continent appeared, everyone’s hearts began to burn.

Thud!

Clank!

Clank!

“Kuak!”

Like a typhoon, Ilya’s strikes were fierce and powerful with no mercy!

In the midst of the attacks, Bratt groaned in pain over and over again.

No matter how hard he tried not to groan, he couldn’t suppress it. Enraged, he swung his sword at Ilya.

Woong!

Swish!

But it was in vain.

The opponent retreated with a light step and approached him like a gale of wind.

And then the storm came again.

Under the pressure, Bratt laughed instead of groaning.

“Uh. Hahahaha!”

Kwang!

“Kuak! haha!”

His entire body was in pain. It was the same with his throbbing arms every time he swung his sword. But the gap which existed between the two was what hurt him even more.

It was fine though.

He would just endure it.

What Bratt Lloyd acquired at 14 wasn’t talent or potential.

Rather, what he had was a heart which wouldn’t be shaken even if the wind continued to blow against him and despite that, he could still move ahead confidently.

It didn’t matter if it was a breeze or a typhoon.

‘I will move at my own pace.’

Bratt, who firmly made sure he understood it, swung his sword by using all his potential at once.

Phat!

Kwang! Kwang!

“…!”

The dam built inside his body burst. Three of them exploded in succession.

As a result, a huge wave…a tidal wave of power flowed in.

For the first time since the battle started, Ilya seemed surprised.

But that was all.

Kwaaaang!

She didn’t avoid it.

She could have avoided it if she wanted to, but she chose to face this head-on. The waves which were swept away by the storm, shattered, and even the owner of the waves couldn’t control it.

Her friend, Bratt Lloyd, flew back and lost consciousness.

Ilya watched him and gave something to Marcus.

“T-this is?”

“A potion. It is a family thing, so it would work pretty well. Please take care of Bratt and use this on him.”

“Ah! Yes! You two! Follow me!”

“Y-yes…”

Step!

At that moment, the blue haired swordsman who should have been unconscious was suddenly sitting.

Marcus and the soldiers who were approaching him backed away, clearly shocked.

It was because of Bratt’s eyes which looked terrifying.

Of course, his gaze didn’t fall on them. Having found Ilya, the person who had just defeated him, he paused for a moment and said,

“I heard Airn isn’t here…”

“…”

“Are you going to stay until he comes back?”

“…why are you so curious about that?”

“Is it such a strange question? It isn’t. It isn’t unusual for a friend to come see another friend either. I am here to meet a friend too. It is good to see friends after a long time, so I plan on staying longer here… I was asking because I wanted to know what you were going to do. What about you, friend? Why are you looking at me wide-eyed lik…”

“Shut up.”

“Right.”

Plop.

With that Bratt Lloyd collapsed and didn’t get back up a second time.

Once it was confirmed that he was truly down, Marcus and the others took him to another room.

“… Lulu.”

“… what is it Ilya?”

“Airn…when will he be back?”

“Uh… I don’t know for sure.”

“I see.”

Ilya nodded her head with a gloomy expression.

Airn Pareira…she wanted to see him a lot more now.


A few days before Ilya and Bratt arrived at the estate.

Airn Pareira and his party were moving slowly towards the capital.

They didn’t have a busy schedule.

And they didn’t have anything to do until the banquet, so the family moved slowly.

Not surprisingly, it was the first time in their lives that they were going out of the territory together.

“Dad! There seems to be something happening in the town. Shall we take a look?”

“Uh. We are on our way to see the King, but…”

“It is fine. There is plenty of time for such things, so I think we can enjoy it. I heard that there is a festival going on in the village. They say it’s fun and interesting, so I am intrigued too.”

“You are coming right? Father?”

“Hm, well… let’s go?”

Baron Pareira was gentle, polite and usually blunt too.

But he wasn’t the kind to turn away from the present moments he had with his son and daughter.

A deep sense of happiness and pride which he hadn’t felt in 20 years filled him.

It felt like he would cry at any moment. Even more so when he thought of his wife alone in the estate.

‘Next time, Amelia should also come…’

Swallowing the regret, he looked at his kids and responded to them with a brighter smile.

A gentle smile which even pleased the Twilight Knights commander.

“Father, a light drink at night…”

And the interaction wasn’t confined to daytime.

Every night, when their journey would halt so that they could rest, Airn would go to his father and so did Kirill.

And Oswaldo would move away.

He knew that this family had only recently found this feeling and he didn’t want to interrupt it.

‘Outsiders shouldn’t intervene in such situations. Maybe I should have a drink by myself?’

Because of that, the soldiers would have their drinks by themselves.

And a day before arriving at the castle.

As a result of accepting all of Kirill’s wishes, the party had finished preparing for a camp outside.

It wasn’t comfortable like an inn in a town or a city, but it had its own charm, and no one felt out of place.

Airn Pareira, who could be called as the centre of the party, continued to have dreary thoughts as he thought about the banquet which kept getting close.

‘Recently, around me… there are only good people.’

It was true.

Like Ilya Lindsay whom he liked and Bratt Lloyd along with Judith.

Kuvar, whom he had seen over a year ago and Lulu as well.

And not just them.

Ian, Quincy Myers, Joshua Lindsay. Khun, Ignet, Karakum, Tarakan…

Besides them, so many other people had helped and guided him.

So many wonderful people and good people were the reason he was able to get where he was.

‘But the people I will meet at the banquet will be different from them.’

Airn remembered the six southern families, especially Viscount Gairn.

Maybe the people of the four kingdoms were similar to that.

He couldn’t help but think that way.

It felt like he was experiencing a last stretch of comfort before the greed, envy and the dirty politics would unfold.

What was comforting was that the commander would occasionally come and help him out with his concerns.

“Worried?”

“Ah… yes.”

“Feel free to speak about them then. Although my swordsmanship is lacking compared to Young Lord Pareira, there are other things I am experienced in.”

“Is that so?”

Airn wasn’t the same as in the past. It wasn’t just swordsmanship anymore. And what’s more, he didn’t feel like he had to carry the burden alone anymore.

The story which started like a question for Oswaldo Odone continued till late into the autumn night.

After a while, he laughed and said,

“I don’t think you need to worry so much.”

“You think so?”

“Of course. To be honest, just with your ability and connections… people from the other kingdoms will have no choice but to be polite with you.”

“Ahh…”

“Of course, I am not only talking about what you possess. The important thing is that you are a really nice, upright and good man.”

The commander said with a smile.

They were sincere words.

This was something he felt clearly from the moment he met Airn. Airn wasn’t someone with just overflowing talent in the sword but he was also a man with a nice way of living life… he was a much deeper character than he thought.

‘He isn’t someone to be treated lightly. And the more I know him, the more admirable he seems.’

Who would dare disrespect Airn who was good inside and out?

“Right. It is natural for my brother to be treated nicely!”

Kirill cheerfully agreed and Baron Pareira smiled as well.

Although they didn’t involve themselves too much into the conversation, the rest of the party agreed to it. From what they had seen, Airn was a good man with no flaws.

Airn smiled at it.

He remained still, but it wasn’t a bad feeling.

“… I am a bit tired. I will go to bed first then.”

A swordsman who was a Master couldn’t be tired, but no one spoke about it.

As he left, the others too went to bed and woke up with fresh thoughts.

And they all proceeded to the royal castle at a faster pace than before. All smiling.

But.

“… that one?”

A huge carriage passed through the gates of the capital ahead of them.

No.

The commander of the twilight knights who confirmed the background of the moving carriage which had 64 people surrounding it, he went stiff.

It was something that belonged to a truly strong person, sometimes considered to be primitive in the human world.

Yet, it was authoritative and noble.

The moment he saw the Slick family symbol painted on the carriage, he couldn’t help but worry.

‘Why is the…. Runtel Kingdom here?’

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