Those who were listening to the conversation between Hill and Airn couldn’t hide their strange expressions.
Their hearts were pounding.
What was the kid even saying?
It wasn’t absurd or anything, but people felt that it wasn’t something a young man should say. These were things that old priests were supposed to say.
‘Isn’t that just a fleeting answer?’
‘What is he talking about?’
Hill Burnett stroked his chin.
It wasn’t like he didn’t like the answer.
But there was still a ray of anticipation left in his heart.
So he asked again.
“It looks like additional explanations are needed now more than before. Can you elaborate a little more on why your heart isn’t in it?”
“I apologize. I didn’t say that because there was some meaning behind it.”
“It’s fine, so don’t be afraid.”
“… the reason I participated in the subjugation war is to subdue the demon. And in that process, I plan to enhance the honor of my family.”
An honest answer.
Not bad. It was natural for a young lord to work hard for the honor of his family.
The young man’s words continued.
“I was constantly thinking about what I should do to stay active. Sure… seeing the others wield their swords, I thought that I should do the same, but I decided that training on the day of subjugation wouldn’t be much help to the troops.”
“True effort is achieved when one follows their heart with detailed actions. My heart never gets involved right from the start… even if I practice swordsmanship, I won’t be able to categorize it as effort.”
Those around him, who heard Airn Pareira’s words, especially those who weren’t on good terms with his family, smiled.
Airn’s words started off strong, but in the end, it was just an excuse for not training.
Of course, it was true that training on the subjugation day wasn’t advisable, but it was better to do something than nothing.
‘Indeed, the Deadbeat Noble.’
‘All these excuses for laziness.’
‘His words are nothing special…’
Their gazes naturally focused on the vice-captain.
As usual, Hill Burnett had a strict expression that didn’t change.
His eyes were staring intently at Airn.
People around them trembled thinking of the consequences.
Those cold eyes of his, no one wanted to look at them for long. Naturally, they turned their heads.
However, not Airn Pareira.
There was no reason for that.
A tall young man maintaining his posture with his gaze slightly down.
The vice-captain, who had been watching him for a long time, kept watching.
At that point, the preparation for the march was completed.
He looked around and spoke in a loud voice.
“We will start the advance right away! And… you stay by my side. We need to talk a little more.”
People were shocked.
It wasn’t just the knights and soldiers who were shocked. Even Viscount Gairn and Ryan Gairn were shocked.
‘What does he see in him?’
The hot feeling of jealousy rose.
However, neither Hill nor Airn paid any attention to them.
The march, which had been stopped for a while, began again.
When talking to someone, Hill Burnett doesn’t just look at the content of the conversation.
That was especially true when evaluating people.
The mirror which reflects the person’s heart.
The eyes, which tell the other person what they are thinking, are just as important as the content.
At least, that was what Hill thought.
‘Even if the same content is said, the weight of the words change depending on whether you really mean it or not.’
Just like how there’s a huge difference between an 80-year-old man who had a rough life saying ‘life is fleeting’ and a five-year-old kid who picks it up and repeats it.
When Hill Burnett spoke, the most important thing was whether or not he could handle the weight of his words.
And what he felt…
‘Airn Pareira is the former.’
And it wasn’t a superficial level of ‘I think so.’
The eyes of those who have practiced what they speak, the experiences they have had, and their beliefs were different.
The moment he saw that Hill Burnett threw away all the negative rumors he heard about Airn.
An irresistible curiosity took their place.
He wanted to know more about the young man.
With that thought, he spoke to the young man next to him.
“Let’s continue talking. You said that you were thinking about what should be done in the demon subjugation, right?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“I think something can be made from those thoughts… can you tell me them?”
“It may not be to your liking because of my lack of experience… I focused on three areas.”
“Three? Go ahead.”
The vice-captain was interested, so he urged Airn to speak, who nodded and spoke.
\1. I’m an inexperienced person who has never seen blood. Therefore, it’s necessary to prepare in advance for the shock and confusion that will follow the first kill.
\2. I heard that there is nothing more dangerous than a sudden action of an inexperienced person. Calm down, follow the guidance of the superiors and be careful not to be a nuisance to the troops.
\3. The demon and the magi that demons use always keep an eye on the energy they emanate and try to understand the enemy in advance.
Hearing that, Hill nodded with satisfaction.
“You’re a lot more realistic than I thought. Not bad.”
“The first one is really important. For any person, the first battle is bound to be terrifying. Controlling your mind in advance is a good habit. However, that shouldn’t affect your movements. Keep that in mind.”
“The second one isn’t bad. Likewise, it’s a common mistake made by the people participating for the first time. I think I’ve seen more than a hundred idiots who can’t even follow the instructions of their superiors and then run out to battle.”
“I’ll be careful of that.”
“Ah, I’m not saying that you’ll do that. This current calm look is nice. As long as you continue with this mindset right now, I don’t think there will be any problems. And the third…”
The vice-captain burst into laughter.
It was because he felt that the young man next to him certainly lacked experience.
With his age, and his calm appearance, for a second, he thought, ‘is he really a starter?’ but it was sure. And he felt pity.
‘However, he can grow. With great time he can be reborn too.’
He isn’t trying to show off or make himself look good in front of others.
Without any of that, he was moving ahead with a pure heart.
How could he help with the subjugation?
Hill was pleased with his demeanor.
So pleased that he wanted to teach Airn.
With those thoughts, he continued to speak with a smile on his face.
“You don’t need to worry about that.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. Because the priests were brought for that reason.”
If filthy demons pollute the underworld, then there is a holy God who watches over the land from the sky.
And there are the priests who can use some of that great being’s power, and some were in the subjugation squad.
“Priests can detect demons and the terrible magi that demons release.”
“Of course, there are those times when the energy is so gloomy that even holy energy cannot detect it, but we have sacred relics from the church as well. So, you don’t need to worry about that part of the battle… hmm.”
Hill Burnett’s expression stiffened as he spoke.
It was because of Airn Pareira.
Airn had been listening to him, but all of a sudden, he changed.
Even though the conversation wasn’t over, he turned his head and looked behind him.
The vice-captain didn’t get angry immediately.
It was their first meeting, and thanks to the time they spent talking, he was able to understand the other person.
Hill knew that Airn wouldn’t have acted like that without reason.
There had to be a reason. What was it?
When he was thinking.
Suddenly, a chill ran down his spine.
A disgusting, dirty, and terrifying feeling touched everything.
Truly terrifying monsters appeared from behind the subjugation squad.
It happened in an instant as if someone placed them there.
“Are they monsters?”
People were confused.
It wasn’t just one or two.
Just a glance, and there were dozens of them, and the number kept increasing.
Seeing those black creatures rising from the shadows of the trees and stones, the vice-captain shouted.
“Everyone! Get ready for battle! Knights move to the front! The 6 families will fall behind and protect the magicians and priests!”
‘I need to figure something out!’
Hill Burnett, who gave the orders, was worried.
Why didn’t the priests detect this? But he didn’t have time to worry about such things.
He had to focus on what he had to do. He didn’t even have time to scan the area around them.
No, there was no need for that.
He looked at a 5-meter tall giant which was soaring high in the sky.
‘I need to take care of that one!’
Why did he join the subjugation troops?
It was to take down the strongest enemy that the nobles couldn’t handle.
He did give out the orders, but he could reduce the damage to a minimum while dealing with the powerful monsters alone.
But the situation at hand was bad.
He should have prepared in advance and prepared ahead of time, which he didn’t.
Even if they moved, he had to stop the monsters from crossing them.
Damn, he should have moved right away without wasting time thinking.
He shouldn’t have noticed late!
It was then.
He saw a blonde young man approaching.
It was Airn. Who said that he would follow the superiors’ words but was acting abruptly.
The vice-captain’s expression turned stiff.
He didn’t even have the time to say no.
A leap that rumbled the ground.
And a sword which fell down into a downward slash.
As sharp as lightning.
The 5-meter tall monster, which had landed, couldn’t even resist when it got split into two.
Hill Burnett’s body, which was drawing his sword, hardened as if he was under a petrification spell.
‘What is he?’
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