Chapter 284 - To grow the trees (1)

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The Devils had appeared.

Now, there was no one on the continent who didn’t know they existed.

It was unavoidable.

It was impossible to keep the rumors which had spread due to the activities of the subjugation squad, whose purpose was to kill demons and Devils, for the past two years, stifled.

People were terrified in the midst of the crisis which had come after 160 years of peace.

The amount of travel decreased, and trade between the western and central parts of the continents was also reduced.

Of course, things didn’t completely turn for the worse.

“No matter how terrible the demons are, the Paladins and Priests of the Holy Kingdom can deal with them!”

“Ah! It’s not just them. Besides, it isn’t just Avilius fighting the demons, right?”

“Yes! There is also the Runtel Kingdom and the five swordsman families of the west. Moreover, the swordsmen of the current era are a lot stronger than the past as well!”

“Right! It is said that currently on the continent, the number of Sword Masters is close to 200!”

This was what people talked about. The present human world was in a state of great power.

During the 160 years of peace, Avilius had grown stronger.

Although it was closed to the public, the Magic Kingdom of Runtel had accumulated much power under it.

And the Western Kingdom, with the five great swordsmanship families, also boasted a huge power.

It was worth it.

No, the nation was at an advantage. At least as long as the three famous swordsmen and the top 10 warriors were alive, they had hope.

Furthermore…

“Did you hear that?”

“What? Ah… the warrior’s festival?”

“Yes! The gladiator contest! I heard that around 20 Sword Masters are participating? Is it not? Was it more?”

“I heard it too. Besides the famous ones, there are a lot of other strong swordsmen.”

“Everyone said that the ones participating are young, so I am glad.”

“Right. Actually, I was a little worried. The Masters… especially the top three and top five ones too. Most of them are old as well… so this is a good thing. It must mean that there are a lot of promising youngsters who will support and might even surpass them too.”

“R-right.”

“Initially, I was confident in the skills of the participants, so I think that was the case. Well, rumor has it that the level of Count Crescentia already is…”

“They say that the Southern Sword Master is al…”

Even when the subjugation squad was busy taking down the demons, no one thought that this event was useless.

However, far more people expressed their displeasure.

For the sake of Ian and the paladins of the Holy Kingdom.

It was because they were worried about the life of these people who had to support the continent in the future.

Therefore, the event was announced with the maximum age of people being 60, regardless of whether they were masters, along with other experts who were strong.

It was an event to deliver HOPE.

As a result of this tournament, Avilius was planning on erasing the fear of the demons inside the hearts of the people.


“Is he going to participate?”

“Of course. There is no other person who suits this than the young lord.”

“Right! A place which represents the future of the continent, and Master Pareira cannot stop here since he’s such a young and talented man!”

“I wish he could win!”

“Haha, this person. Winning will be hard. Even if they are Young Sword Masters, there would be people in their 40s and 50s… those who have lived twice as long as them.”

“It will be hard. There is also Count Ignet Crescentia.”

“But, there are also rumors that the gladiator contest is to show the people the skills of the Black Knight commander… well, it’s something we can’t be sure about.”

“Well! Our Master is also a genius among geniuses!”

“Haha, it’s been a while since you said the right thing! Let’s have a drink!”

A festival of heroes, which was scheduled to be held in the Holy Kingdom, changed the somewhat gloomy air that was prevalent across the continent.

From the bustling city to the outskirts of the village, everyone talked about it, but there must have been very few places as busy and lively as the Pareira territory.

Along with Ignet, another one of the top three talents on the continent was Airn Pareira, so everyone was expectant.

They hoped that he would get a good spot in the tournament.

They wanted to let the world know of the place of the Pareira Family, and hoped that he would return as a hero.

So that the demons and devils could be taken down.

Right.

Everyone longed for that, and this was something natural. Gerald, a member of the Red Knights, who was grasping the public sentiment in the corner of an inn, thought the same.

But apart from that, it didn’t feel right.

He had a nervous expression on his face, as he thought of his teacher sleeping soundly in the room.

‘I know he’s an important person, but…’

He knew the purpose of the event was to showcase the future of the continent. And that was why he was here.

Because Airn Pareira was the only one who still hadn’t responded to their invitation.

The problem was that, for his answer, a sick person had come all the way to meet him.

‘Sigh’

Gerald Mouser sighed.

Until just last year, his teacher was someone who grew enough to be on the Purification team, but now he didn’t act like that.

The aging had changed him into less than an expert. Maybe he would die before the festival.

Still, he persisted.

He had to somehow get Airn to come to the tournament, even if he used his wretched physical condition as a token of sympathy.

That was the last thing he had to do before entering God’s arms.

That was why Gerald had come here.

So that he could take care of his teacher throughout the journey as well as to fulfill his teacher’s last wish.

However, the entire time, he had felt uncomfortable.

‘What I heard was correct.’

Gerald Mouser nodded.

The statement that the Holy Kingdom held the tournament for the sake of showing off Ignet Crescentia.

That was true. At least as a member of the Paladins of Avilius, he thought so.

Still, thinking about the battle between the White Knight and the Black Knight commanders, his heart swelled.

Just thinking about it made his heart swell in anticipation of the future which was coming.

Right.

He didn’t feel that the others were useless, but he felt that there was no reason to do this.

Count Crescentia was enough to change the flow of the world. While he thought that, his teacher came down.

“Teacher!”

“Uhuh, you, why are you so surprised?”

“No, why don’t you take a break…”

“I can’t. I can’t sleep. I’d rather go now.”

“But…”

Gerald Mouser seemed worried.

The teacher he looked up to, the man who had raised him when he was an orphan. Rather than being a teacher, he was more like a father.

Seeing that he did not care to rest his body and still worked hard for the continent, his eyes welled up.

His thoughts on Airn Pareira deepened.

“I understand. I will prepare.”

“Huhu, is there a reason he can’t compete for three days? I hope he isn’t in trouble…”

“… it won’t be much. Teacher will visit him, and I’m sure that he will participate.”

Looking at his teacher, Gerald nodded.

Actually, other than participating, the results didn’t matter much.

More importantly, had Airn grown enough to meet his teacher’s expectations, or had he not improved? That was the part.

‘Please.’

The two paladins mumbled and prepared to visit the lord.


Airn Pareira sat in the middle of the training hall and closed his eyes.

However, the scenery after he closed his eyes wasn’t darkness but rather, a world he had cultivated for 10 years.

It was the same scenery as always.

The same atmosphere as always.

It was as if he was looking at a scene from his dream.

However, it didn’t feel like it had changed and had stayed on the same time axis.

He looked up to the sky to see the tree which had grown taller.

No…looking at his beliefs, Airn thought.

‘It was unexpected luck that the tree grew so much.’

He could say that.

It was initially a journey that he set out on so that he could control the iron stake in his heart. That was all, and even that could only be done with the help of many people.

And without realizing it, a flame had broken out inside him.

And then, water was created to control the flame. And finally, the earth embraced it.

Right.

After the large, hard, land formed, and water seeped through it, the land was reborn as fertile.

Warm sunlight helped the trees grow…

It would have been right to view it as something that happened because of luck rather than effort.

‘Sure… it also doesn’t make sense to think of it as just luck.’

Airn, who sat there, looked up at the tree and got up. And turned to look at the iron stake next to him.

No, it was no longer an iron stake.

It was now in the shape of a huge sword that had been heated and forged in the shape of a weapon, a great sword.

He reached out to it and the sword shrunk to fit his hand.

Airn, who looked at it, smiled brightly and then swung it.

Swish!

Swish!

In order for the trees to grow right.

In order to cultivate a good belief, the environment was important, but constant effort also played a role.

That was the case with current day Airn.

The constantly flowing water, the fertile ground, and the warm sunlight were perfect for the tree to grow, but something had to be done to the branches which stretched out indiscriminately.

And that was Airn’s current role.

The role of the metal sword in his hand.

Swish!

Swish!

Swish!

Airn fell into a trance as he swung the sword and continued to prune the branches.

Now, he was no longer in the training hall mentally. Airn suddenly stood up, and in his hand was the sorcery greatsword resembling the sword in his heart.

… after about an hour.

“…”

“…”

Airn woke up.

The paladins in front of him caught his eyes.

One of the faces was familiar, and the other was not. However, both of them looked at him with almost similar expressions.

Red eyes brimming with tears.

The young lord of the Pareira family, who felt the change in their emotions, carefully suggested to his guests.

“… would you prefer a cup of tea?”

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