Hill Burnett stopped talking.
Because he couldn’t understand what he just heard.
What? Was there a talent comparable to Ilya Lindsay in Hale?
He shook his head and laughed out loud.
“Haha, what are you talking about?”
“Huh? You think I’m joking?”
“Ugh, you don’t know?”
“Huh. Unbelievable. I can understand if others didn’t know, but you are a person of the Hale Kingdom.”
Tom Miller shook his head.
Hill Burnett’s heart began to pound a lot faster at those words.
Was the man in front of him trying to joke till the end?
If the man wasn’t Tom but someone else, he would’ve grabbed them by their neck.
Maybe Tom realized that.
So he opened his lips without hesitation.
“You really seem to know nothing, so I’ll start from the beginning. Five years back, you know that Krono recruited prospective trainees? Maybe not, 6 years maybe…”
The story of Krono’s monster started.
His rise in the mid-term evaluation.
The final evaluation ending with him in second place.
Overwhelming results in all kinds of tests.
With skills different from the golden generation who are currently performing tremendous things on the continent.
“I don’t know about others, but Bratt Lloyd and Judith, who are now known to be unrivaled among the trainees of Krono, said that person’s skills are incomparable. Even…”
“In the final evaluation, that person was on par with Ilya Lindsay. The difference was as thin as a paper, as the instructors had to give out the positions.”
He couldn’t believe that.
On par with Ilya Lindsay?
In current times, she is considered the best of the geniuses on the continent, a child known to have talent comparable with ‘Ignet.’
A person who is expected to take the title of Swordmaster, which was the aim for every knight.
‘It doesn’t matter if Ilya Lindsay becomes stronger. What matters is when she reaches the title.’
But, a person of the same skills as her is in the Hale Kingdom?
“Why did such a great guy give up formal admission into Krono? No, why would he give up the position? Maybe you heard it wrong, Mr. Miller. Maybe he is in Krono?”
“No. From what I heard from my disciple, it was clear that he returned to his estate. But I don’t know why… by the way, did you know this?”
“I don’t know how to say it…”
“Please! Just say it already! I feel like my heart is about to burst!”
“Ah, I see, I’ll say it! So the thing is… that monstrous young man, from what I know, comes from the south of the Hale Kingdom…”
“What? From the south?”
“Y-Yes. Wait! Calm down…”
Even as Miller said that Hill couldn’t calm himself.
South of the Hale Kingdom, that’s the place he was in right now!
All the sons of the southern nobles were staying here, and he had already seen them.
It hasn’t even been a few hours since he saw them.
Even then, there wasn’t a single one who stood out to him…
“… maybe he doesn’t participate in the subjugation?”
“What? He isn’t here?”
At Hill’s words, Tom Miller sounded disappointed.
He had come to pick a disciple and to see that mysterious genius that everyone spoke of.
No matter how quiet the kid had been for the past 5 years, he thought that the kid would come out when the news of a demon lurking around the estates came out.
But looking at Hill’s words, maybe his judgment was wrong.
Clicking his tongue, he drank his drink.
He wasn’t as disappointed as Hill, but he still felt regretful.
“… do you know the name?”
“Name. Didn’t your disciple give a name?”
“Ahh. Right. Come to think of it, he did give me the name. Airn, Airn Pareira, I think.”
Hill Burnett kept repeating the word Pareira several times.
He completely forgot that Tom Miller was in front of him.
Tom Miller shook his head.
“This, I can’t stay here much longer.”
“Ah! I’m sorry! I was thinking about something else…”
“No, it’s fine. I just stopped by. I don’t have much time anyway.”
“I’ll come back some other time, and if you come to know anything before that, send me a letter.”
With that, Tom Miller left.
As silence came, Hill fell deep into thought.
‘The only one I know of in the Pareira family is Kirill…’
Although Hill was born and raised in the Hale Kingdom, he didn’t know much about the south of Hale.
Because he spent most of his life in the capital.
Kirill was a promising sorcerer, and Ryan Gairn is a graduate of the Royal Knights Academy.
He didn’t know anyone else except for those two.
Well, he didn’t care about the others. Not even about the head of the Pareira family.
But not anymore.
‘Airn Pareira… I need to look into it.’
Thinking that Hill Burnett called for his subordinate and ordered them.
And tried to get information.
Getting information wasn’t that difficult.
However, the content of the information was different from what he expected.
The information he got about Airn Pareira, a genius at the same level as Ilya Lindsay, was worse than he expected.
‘The best slacker of the Hale Kingdom.’
‘A fool who does nothing.’
It wasn’t even normal. Everything about the person was negative.
Hill Burnett burst into laughter as he saw the report.
“What is this?”
He thought that it was a different person, but he was wrong.
Airn Pareira actually entered Krono Swordsmanship School and went back to his estate a year later.
And was caught up in sorcery for 5 years.
‘The one who was notorious throughout the south of the kingdom and called a sloth…’
Was it possible?
Krono is known to be the best.
27 of their trainees are known to be the strongest.
But to reach the number 1 or 2 spot among such kids, was it possible?
He mercilessly crumpled the paper he was holding.
Throwing it away, he turned off the light and laid on his bed. He had to sleep early.
Since tomorrow is the subjugation day, he needed some good quality sleep.
However, Hill Burnett couldn’t sleep.
It was because Tom Miller’s words kept ringing in his ears.
‘He’s said to be a genius on another level!’
‘My disciple is quite prideful, but he compliments that one very much…’
‘I don’t know why the hell he’s been silent till now, but if he shows up, the world will be shocked.’
‘Isn’t he a blessing to the Hale Kingdom?’
“… stop, stop thinking.”
It wasn’t like the story was false.
And Airn Pareira is a member of subjugation, so tomorrow, he would be able to see his skills with his own eyes.
Despite knowing all that, Hill Burnett’s curiosity about Airn didn’t die down.
After a long time, he managed to fall asleep.
Some day in mid-May.
Finally, the troops to subdue the demon moved.
50 knights, magicians, and priests from the capital.
50 members of the heads of the southern nobles.
This was smaller than the usual monster subjugations, probably because quality was more important for this mission.
The number was less than a thousand, but the power couldn’t be compared with last year.
“I hope this goes well.”
“Demon… a fearful enemy, but with this power, it’s unlikely to turn into a disaster for us.”
The nobles smiled as they saw the Twilight Knights and royal magicians advancing ahead.
The support from the capital was so great that they didn’t have to worry.
Rather, they were concerned if their families could take an active role in the subjugation.
‘The knights of my family need to look good!’
‘It would be amazing if my son could do great and catch the eyes of the vice-captain.’
Except for Harun Pareira, the other nobles’ minds were filled with those thoughts.
It wasn’t just them.
Their kids too wanted to be noticed by Hill Burnett more than anything else.
For the nobles’ kids, who are at an optimal age for growth, the present subjugation seemed like the most important opportunity in their lives.
That was why.
At lunchtime, after a long march and no monsters, they wielded their swords.
Ryan Gairn, the eldest son of the Gairn family, was training.
It’s simple sword practice.
Well, it was to show off and let the others know just how hard-working he is.
The Twilight Knights laughed at it.
It was because they saw that as something cute.
“Well. It’s better than doing nothing.”
“That’s right. And is he at a better level than you thought?”
“Well, that one… was it Ryan Gairn?”
“Right. That… that one is good.”
The knights all looked at Ryan Gairn.
It was natural.
Although all of the other kids had good skills through the years of subjugation, none of them could match the eldest son of the Gairn family.
Everyone knew that.
But they didn’t stop him from training despite knowing that.
Just as people who do things when no one else does stand out, people who don’t do anything stand out too.
Not many would like to be branded as lazy by the knights from the capital.
And one could never know.
The others couldn’t be compared with Ryan, but they could still get a positive evaluation.
Something good could happen to them!
With those thoughts, the other kids swung their swords too.
That passion continued until the soldiers finished their chores.
It was then.
Hill Burnett, who had been silent till then, rose from his seat.
And walked around.
Phill Gairn, who saw that gulped.
It was because where Hill was heading was towards his son, Ryan Gairn.
‘Is he going to give him a chance to prove himself?’
Teaching was always welcomed.
However, he was nervous as the one who was going towards his son could one day be a core power of the Hale Kingdom.
Phill Gairn, who was losing his mind with those thoughts, stared at Hill Burnett.
Unlike usual, he couldn’t hide his excitement.
That was why.
Hill passed by his son.
And then went towards Airn, who was sitting quietly with his eyes closed.
He could hide his distorted expression.
It wasn’t just Gairn’s thoughts.
Everyone thought the same.
Why the hell was the vice-captain going towards Airn instead of Ryan?
To someone who was doing nothing while the others were practicing?
Was it to scold him?
Amidst all that, Hill Burnett spoke to Airn, who opened his eyes.
“Call me subjugation commander. Since I’m leading the subjugation troops right now.”
“Yes, subjugation commander.”
“I’ll ask you outright. All the young ones here, except for you, are practicing their swordsmanship during their lunch break. They are working hard. But you’re enjoying yourself.”
“Give me the reason why you’re staying still while the others are training so hard?”
The others were intently listening.
He was there to question Airn.
But considering the character of the vice-captain, his tone was much softer.
Scolding? Or was it out of curiosity?
It was when they were thinking.
An unexpected answer came out of Airn’s mouth.
“Plain swordsmanship training can’t be called true effort.”
“… wouldn’t it be effort to swing the sword?”
“Sorry. I should rephrase it. I mean… regardless of other people, I meant that swordsmanship training wouldn’t be pure effort for me right now.”
Hill Burnett asked again.
He didn’t expect a great answer. He got an unexpected answer, so he reflexively asked why.
However, Airn’s answer to why was much deeper than expected.
“Because I won’t be putting my heart into it now.”
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