The vice-captain of Hale Kingdom’s Twilight Knights, Hill Burnett.
Strong and young.
That meant he was talented, and some say that Hill could become a swordmaster in the future.
For the small-scale Hale Kingdom, he was a treasure.
And he was someone who supported his own family, so his influence within the kingdom was immense.
He was in a position that cannot be compared to the nobles of the six southern families.
“This subjugation will be carried out with the troops that I have brought.”
Even for such a man, it was too mean to say those words in the midst of such a happy time. He crossed a line.
Even the nobles thought so.
No matter how famous he is, this was a plain reckless and ignorant attitude!
They couldn’t let him go like that.
The moment the nobles were thinking, aura erupted from Hill’s body.
The air around them became heavy.
The faces of everyone in the banquet hall hardened. But they couldn’t keep quiet.
However, Hill Burnett, the Vice-captain of Twilight Knights, didn’t allow it.
In the silence of the hall, he continued his speech.
“Demons are different from monsters. Much more terrifying, more vicious, and stronger. It’s something even kids know.”
“But it seems like the southern nobles who know everything are unaware of this fact.”
“But it’s fine. My troops and I have been mentally trained and with our solid devotion and loyalty to the nation and the Gairn estate. We are fully prepared to destroy that evil demon. But!”
“To be with you, who prioritizes individual honor over the kingdom’s well-being and peace… I don’t like that.”
“Is there anything you want to say?”
They wanted to speak. The hearts of the nobles looking at the man were raging.
But they couldn’t speak.
Time passed, and the aura gradually grew stronger, and Hill Burnett scanned the crowd.
After 5 seconds, the vice-captain left out a weak sigh.
It was the moment he was about to leave the banquet hall, going away from the nobles.
The sound of something being hit.
No, it was the sound of something crashing that surprised everyone.
It came from Ryan Gairn.
With a strong gaze, he knelt on one knee.
Naturally, Hill’s eyes moved towards him.
“The eldest son of the Gairn family, Ryan Gairn.”
“What do you have to say?”
“I won’t make excuses. I apologize.”
After a brief pause, he bowed his head.
He was already sweating.
But Ryan Gairn didn’t back down and continued.
“I cannot speak for others, but for me, this isn’t acceptable. It was immature. In the face of a demon, the opponent should never be too confident and have a clear mind. And I won’t make excuses for how you see me.”
“But, it won’t be like that anymore. I will not make that mistake. Using the words that the vice-captain of the Twilight Knights just spoke, I have made up my mind to not act ignorant. Give me a chance!”
It was right after the eloquent speech was done.
The aura of Hill Burnett, which was spreading throughout the hall, gathered in one place.
The faces of those who had been feeling suffocated eased.
But not Ryan Gairn.
It was because Hill concentrated all his aura onto one person.
It was more than just pressuring the other person. It was inducing shock.
The expression on Ryan’s face soon contorted.
However, he didn’t collapse.
Ryan bit his lip.
Blood began to drip down his mouth to his chin, but his mind became clear thanks to that.
He lifted his head to look ahead.
Hill Burnett didn’t avoid the gaze.
For a moment, a confrontation happened.
The aura around Ryan was gone.
It wasn’t just that. A small smile appeared on the face of the vice-captain.
It was relatively relaxed.
In a softer voice, Hill Burnett spoke.
“I apologize. It was a bit too much for a joke.”
“I can never do such a crazy thing as not letting you participate. Only when the heads of the noble families show during the demon subjugation will the minds of the nobles gain some peace.”
Hill was helpful in terms of power, but to conduct a subjugation, he would need the aid of all the nobles.
However, not a single noble spoke.
The aftermath of his act was still present.
And before the mood faded, Hill Burnett spoke again.
“It’s obvious that we shouldn’t be ignorant when dealing with a demon. I hope everyone will be in top condition until the subjugation is over.”
No one in the banquet hall could stop the vice-captain who was moving away.
They just stared until his back disappeared. The tension he created stayed for long.
Only one person has had the same attitude since the beginning.
It was Airn Pareira, the person who was forgotten by the public.
Hill Burnett went straight back to his room.
It felt weird.
He didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
‘Ryan Gairn is surely great. He’s talented!’
He heard the rumors.
He held a record in the southern part of the kingdom for graduating from the Royal Knights Academy with excellent grades.
And over the past few years, the young man was rumored to have further improved.
Definitely not bad.
He also thought that if Ryan continued to grow, he would become an influential person in charge of the kingdom’s future.
‘But, the problem is he’s the only one.’
Hill wasn’t interested in the old noble heads.
But he looked forward to seeing their knights, the young children.
He was a little expectant to see if there were any hidden pearls stuck in the mud.
However, there was no one of that sort.
No one except for Ryan stood up.
He had no choice but to think that the future of the kingdom looked bleak.
It was when he was thinking that.
A soldier outside the door reported that someone was there to visit him.
It was because he wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone.
However, as soon as he heard who the guest was, his thoughts washed away.
Moments later, Hill Burnett jumped to his feet when he saw someone coming in.
“Mr. Miller! Long time no see!”
“Haha, I don’t even remember how long it’s been. How have you been?”
“Completely fine. But, why are you here…”
“Ahh! I didn’t come here with some hidden purpose. I just happened to pass by after work. I knew you came, so I couldn’t just leave… do you have time?”
“I do. Sit!”
A tall, old man with a face full of scars.
It’s such a harsh impression that it would make anyone nauseous.
However, Hill Burnett respected this wandering knight from the Gerbera Kingdom more than his seniors.
Skills, character, and a true model.
And the heroic figure he showed in the subjugation battle with the Gerbera Kingdom.
‘He’s truly a model knight.’
Hill Burnett smiled as he recalled the past.
Tom Miller, who saw that, frowned.
“Put away that face.”
“Uh? What do you mean? Something wrong with my face?”
“The best jerk in the Hale Kingdom shows such a silly face. Wouldn’t that be insulting?”
“Calling me a jerk…”
With a smile, Hill Burnett continued the conversation.
A completely different attitude from the one shown in the banquet hall.
However, this was closer to his true self.
He’s strict and cold-hearted at work, but he showed a human side when he was with others.
Around 30 minutes passed.
Sometimes he listened, and sometimes he spoke.
While talking about various topics, the story of Tom Miller’s disciple came up.
Hill Burnett spoke.
“Ah, I heard this rumor. The new talent?”
“That’s the least… well, I can say that it’s a talent that I can use.”
“Aren’t you being too humble? Doesn’t Mr. Miller’s disciple stand out amongst the monstrous people of Krono?”
“Ahh, he isn’t someone who left without passing the official admission… of course, I don’t think that he’ll be overshadowed by those who take the exam right now, but… hmm.”
Tom Miller was humble.
However, he didn’t deny Hill’s words.
It was because his disciple was indeed talented and a lot lovelier even by his standards.
‘Well, it isn’t just my disciple. The 27th Krono… there wasn’t a single person who wasn’t a genius.’
The 27th batch of Krono.
In other words, it was called the golden generation of Krono, the hottest topic on the continent.
It was because the talented ones who returned after training for a year showed tremendous growth.
It caused a huge wind that shook the five western kingdoms, and even the famous swordsmanship schools had to check out the kids.
The most important point was that the golden generation had outstanding performances, not by the ‘official trainees’ but by the ‘dropouts.’
For that reason, the wind didn’t die down.
The fact that Krono, which is known to find talents, had missed the real gems was a topic of discussion despite those who passed having far superior skills to those who were eliminated.
However, the wind died down.
A genius of the Adan Kingdom who took the top spot in the final evaluation yet refused an official admission.
Ilya Lindsay was the one who did that.
‘To become an honorary knight of the Moonlight Knights, the strongest knights of the Adan Kingdom at 14 years… it’s no understatement to say I was shocked.’
Hill Burnett, who remembered that, turned stiff.
When did he get to that point?
30 years old? More?
He couldn’t remember.
‘A monster as absurd as Ignet appeared.’
Thinking that he shook his head.
He didn’t want to think of that. If he did, he would only feel more depressed.
What was important was that Tom Miller’s disciple excelled among the Krono trainees.
He changed his expression and continued to praise.
“Yes. It’s a natural thing. Except for Ilya Lindsay, who is beyond our level, Miller’s disciple is not inferior to anyone.”
“Huhu, I’m embarrassed. But it isn’t a bad thing, right?”
“I can say that hundreds of times. Ha, I am really envious. Why is there no talent in our Hale Kingdom…”
Ryan Gairn looked good, but he was nothing compared to Tom Miller’s disciple.
There wasn’t a talented person who could follow him, and the gloomy feeling in his heart didn’t go away.
However, within a moment, he tried to calm himself.
As a loyal servant who cared for his kingdom, it was natural for such a concern to come, but he didn’t want to bring something like that and destroy the pleasant atmosphere he had created while talking to Tom Miller.
It was the time to talk about bright things.
It was when he thought so and tried to change the subject.
Tom Miller asked something with a puzzled expression.
“Eh? What do you mean? No talent?”
“I heard from my disciple, I heard that a huge monster as dangerous as Ilya Lindsay is from the Hale Kingdom.”
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