“It looks like that.”
“The vice-captain? Really?”
“Yes. I heard it as I passed by. He must be wondering what his real skills are like.”
The vice-captain of the Twilight Knights and Airn walked to an empty spot that was next to the camp.
The 6 southern families who saw that were curious.
Among the most exciting spectacles in the world, one is to watch someone else fight, and the other is to watch a fight.
This time too, their target was to ridicule the young man.
A knight who will be the future of the Kingdom, Hill Burnett.
And Airn Pareira, who showed a mind-blowing performance that no one expected.
If these two faced off, it would be much more interesting than any other majestic scene.
Of course, the emotions in the eyes of the 6 families wasn’t just curiosity.
‘It can’t be denied anymore. Airn Pareira has fully established a connection with Hill Burnett.’
‘Well, if he is at the level of what his performance today showed, it’s natural for anyone to show interest.’
‘Ha… how good it would be to have my son in that position.’
‘If I had the opportunity to battle with the vice-captain…’
Their jealousy couldn’t be hidden.
Seeing the others’ expressions, Baron Pareira smiled happily, especially while looking at Viscount Gairn.
And the knights of the Twilight Knights, seated far away from them…
“Battle with the vice-captain? Ohh…”
“I hate to even think about it.”
“Terrible, terrible thing.”
They were showing a completely different reaction than the 6 southern families.
There were no feelings of envy or jealousy.
The gaze of Airn looked like a young animal being led to a slaughterhouse.
One of the youngest knights listening to the conversation asked.
“Excuse me, is it that tough to fight the vice-captain?”
“Uh? Ah, it hasn’t been long since you joined, right?”
“Yes, as soon as I entered the Knights Templar, I was dispatched here… so, what does that even mean? The things about the vice-captain? Of course, I know the vice-captain’s personality, but the kid will gain a lot from fighting a master…”
Upon hearing those words, the knights around the young one burst into laughter.
He didn’t know what happened, and he couldn’t understand them.
When one of them said,
“Gain huh… of course, that happens. After fighting the vice-captain, a monster or a demon doesn’t feel that scary. Maybe you’ll know once you try it.”
“It wouldn’t make sense to see someone else battling, so try it yourself and understand. Hahaha!”
“Right. Be sure to try it! Even if you don’t want to, just try it. Hahaha!”
At the knights’ words, the young knight’s gaze turned towards the vice-captain, with an unknown feeling of insecurity.
Of course, Hill Burnett didn’t care.
There was only one thing running through his mind, Airn Pareira.
And he spoke.
“It isn’t that dark, right? There is moonlight and fire right here.”
“Yes. It’s fine.”
“Well, if you are as skilled as you showed, the darkness shouldn’t matter. Because you have already reached the Expert Level.”
“That’s an exaggeration.”
“Your modesty is one charm, but keep in mind that overdoing modesty is disrespectful to others. There is probably no one better than you in the Twilight Knights, apart from the captain and me. If you are going to act humble, what would they look like?”
“I will keep that in mind.”
“Nice. Talking ends here…”
Hill Burnett pulled out his sword. The sword which was shining in the moonlight felt dangerous.
However, there was something more worrisome.
Airn Pareira looked into the opponent’s eyes.
A look different from before.
The feeling was different from a simple gaze.
The air around felt ferocious and raw.
Airn could feel the goosebumps that stood on his back as if he was on the edge of a cliff.
“The major events in my knighthood were demon subjugations.”
Hill Burnett said while swinging his sword.
It wasn’t a serious look like a neighborhood alley leader playing with a kid.
However, Airn couldn’t relax. He picked up the great sword which he had summoned from the world of sorcery.
“You might have seen today, those beings are terrible. They are uglier than the monsters and even more disgusting than them.”
“At first, I hated them. Like everyone else, I was bad at it.”
“Because of my swordsmanship style, I need to face them at a much closer distance than others.”
The vice-captain’s swordsmanship was special.
Strictly speaking, it wasn’t swordsmanship. He was someone who utilized his body more than weapons, such as his hands, feet, shoulders, and head.
As he enjoyed using crude fighting methods, Hill Burnett had no choice but to make eye contact with the monsters more than anyone else.
He had no choice but to face the horrifying demons.
There was a time when he was terrified that his sword would break.
However, after overcoming the ordeal.
His eyes were filled with energy so strong that even demons would tremble in fear.
“Don’t drag this out. The purpose of this battle is to test your skills till the very end. Even if no one else knows, I think you should know your skills properly. And you seem quite stronger than I thought.”
“So, the best sword. Just show it to me clearly. No need to get hurt while overdoing this… just enough for me to grasp your abilities. Do you get that?”
Airn, who nodded his head, immediately took his stance.
The median line. A greatsword that is positioned precisely in the center without leaning to the left or right.
Hill Burnett exclaimed.
‘He doesn’t falter at all.’
It was unusual for knights, especially those of Airn’s level, to show an unstable appearance.
Even his subordinate knights, who are far below Airn, could do that.
However, if one was in a situation where they were making eye contact with an opponent like Hill, it was a different story.
One wouldn’t be able to resist the aura and step back.
Hill had seen the ones who shivered. Not only that, the amount of aura he was giving out now was scary.
Airn was maintaining himself despite facing such an aura. It was not something that could be overlooked with just a compliment.
‘He’s stronger than I thought.’
It was the time when he was evaluating the other person.
The vice-captain, who was staring at Airn, frowned slightly at the feeling that something had changed.
He looked different.
The other person, who is a young man at 21 years old, felt different from before.
Like a sturdy rock.
No, stronger than that.
Right. Similar to that.
It wasn’t the feeling of simply showing off his guts. It was a completed aura of steel as if he kept hitting the limit.
Under that pressure, Hill Burnett felt his mouth run dry.
It wasn’t done.
The image behind Airn continued to grow. Without knowing the end, it grew.
From a medium-sized human to a monster, and then from a monster to something bigger.
And even bigger!
Hill Burnett raised his energy even more.
There was no way he could relax after seeing that. Conversely, if he made a mistake, he would be devoured by the opponent’s force.
The vice-captain completely abandoned the idea of looking after the young man.
His gaze changed to the sharp eyes which he would have when encountering a demon.
The overheated air. The atmosphere kept getting tenser and tenser.
It wasn’t them who broke the air.
“So-Sorry, I apologize. I really am!”
A soldier of the Russell family, who was staring at their confrontation, dropped the tableware he was holding.
As he ended up receiving attention from everyone around, he trembled in fear.
He was on the verge of tears.
When Airn asked.
“Would you like to continue?”
“… no. This is enough.”
Sad sighs erupted from the mouths of those watching the battle. The eyes on the man who dropped the tableware grew even more in number.
Fortunately, that didn’t last long. It was thanks to the vice-captain.
As the situation ended with a slight disappointment, Hill said.
“Airn Pareira, you may move forward independently without my guidance.”
“With your skills, it would be much more helpful to the subjugation troops to let you move freely. Not just the demonic monsters, but even when we come across the demon.”
Saying that the vice-captain went towards his seat.
The Twilight Knights, who were bound by a trust to their superior, nodded their heads. While the members of the 6 noble families looked at Airn with an expression of ‘What was that?’
Hill Burnett, who went back to his seat, sat down.
‘With this level of skill…’
He was seriously considering what he had said.
How good was Airn?
Did he know his skills?
No, it wasn’t that. Hill was unable to know if Airn was above him or below him.
It was a huge shock to Hill Burnett.
‘The third one. Such a shock…’
The first was when he heard the story about the greatest genius on the continent, Ignet, who attained the status of Sword Master at the age of 20.
It was an obvious thing.
No one was surprised to see that girl attaining great heights at the youngest age in history.
The second was when a similar genius, Ilya Lindsay, became an honorary member of the Moonlight Knights at 14.
That was amazing.
If anyone could break Ignet’s records, that would be Ilya Lindsay.
Compared to the previous two, Airn’s achievements were inferior.
Of course, being on the same level as Hill at 21 was a huge deal, but if the entire continent was searched, it wasn’t like he was the only one on the continent.
Being on the level of the vice-captain of the knights in this small country was one thing.
‘It feels like there is something that cannot be explained by a simple comparison.’
He couldn’t put his finger on it. No, he hadn’t figured it out yet.
Hill Burnett felt his stomach churn.
But it was fine.
Airn Pareira belonged to the Hale Kingdom.
Which meant that his connection with Airn could be continued.
With that, Hill’s expression brightened.
He nodded his head with a smile.
On the other hand, Airn Pareira’s face was more serious than usual.
He had just felt the sensation of facing two huge demonic monsters at once.
To be precise, he felt that from the moment the vice-captain’s gaze turned ferocious.
‘Such great pressure. It felt like I was standing in front of a monster and not a human.’
Of course, that didn’t mean that Hill Burnett had been corrupted. It just meant that his energy was strong enough to make a person think like that.
Being exposed to that, his sword became stronger.
And sharper. Since it was the third time, he could understand it better.
How should he accept the fact?
As he was trying to think, Airn felt a surge of extreme suffocation.
It wasn’t like he lacked stamina.
Although many things have happened in one day, it was nothing compared to what he did in Krono or the world of sorcery.
Was he finally feeling the fatigue from his first killings?
Maybe it was that.
Airn, who thought to himself, slowly closed his eyes and fell asleep.
And the next morning.
After a long time, the dream changed.
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