Charlotte and Victor were a famous duo that no mercenary wouldn’t know.
It wasn’t just about being socially good or giving a good impression.
The good deeds they had done over the past 40 years couldn’t be counted.
Subduing a goblin tribe for poor southern territories.
Dealing with monsters who threatened small towns without being paid.
There have been times where the two attacked a dungeon where a demon was lurking.
In the process, many had lost their lives.
Because they weren’t as strong as them.
However, Charlotte and Victor survived all their hardships and became two of the strongest mercenaries in the world.
And respected by swordsmen.
‘For them… to do this?’
That was why Kuvar was unable to believe the current situation.
Of course, their intentions were unknown.
And they could simply be trying to talk.
It would be more plausible for them to go separate ways after talking about each other’s well-being.
It can’t be that simple.
Even without the senses of sorcerers like Lulu and Airn, Kuvar could tell.
The expressions on Charlotte and Victor’s faces gave off dangerous vibes like they would do anything to get what they wanted.
And what they want is…
‘It has to be the Numbering Sword. I’m sure.’
Kuvar thought to himself.
Only they knew that the completion of the sword had been delayed.
It was natural for others to think that Airn already had the sword.
Which meant it was natural for a robber to appear.
And this happened because Kuvar didn’t think it through.
He let out a long sigh and asked.
“What do you want to talk about?”
“Let’s just talk. And aren’t you standing too far away… come closer to us.”
“I think this distance is appropriate.”
“Heh hehe, so upsetting. Didn’t we even share a drink in Derinku?”
“We did. But right now we are in a hurry, we don’t have time to talk. Let’s pick up the conversation later.”
“No, we need to talk now.”
“Right. We did a lot of hard work for you, really a whole lot of work.”
“What is that…. Euk!”
Even Airn and Lulu went stiff.
It was because Victor took out a man’s head from his backpack.
His wide eyes looked like he never thought he was going to die.
A man well known as ‘One strike Randel.’
“We worked hard to get rid of countless thieves like him. But we get treated so harshly…. This is so unfair. It’s really bad.”
Victor said with a nice man’s smile.
However, his eyes weren’t smiling. It was a cold gaze.
Lulu jumped off Kuvar’s shoulder and spoke angrily.
“So! What nonsense! Stop with the bullshit and tell us the truth!”
“Haha, our cute friend is also in a hurry. But we, too, are in a hurry. Our hearts are in a hurry too.”
“Give us the Numbering Sword.”
“Don’t have it! It wasn’t finished yet. It doesn’t even exist now!”
To what was now a voice full of evil intent rather than anger, but what Lulu said was the truth they had to believe.
Charlotte and Victor, who were greedy, didn’t accept that.
Their faces, which had an arrogant look, turned into bizarre expressions.
It was like a marble that had been in the fire for a long time, hot and raging. Lulu, could feel the hair on her body rise and took a step back.
Kuvar, too, did the same.
Only Airn remained still.
A force that couldn’t be ignored was flowing from his body.
When Victor saw that, he narrowed his eyes.
However, it was only for a short moment.
Returning to the eerie eyes, he said.
“Don’t play around with us. Give us the Numbering Sword and Pablo and Dwanson’s swords. Maybe you are hiding it with sorcery, but it’s of no use.”
“I won’t lie about sparing you all. Without pain, I’ll kill you all in one strike. But if we don’t get the sword, we won’t have a choice but to spend time tiring each other out.”
“Do you guys think you can get away with this? To covet a sword which was given to a specific person! At that, a sword made by Vulcanus, it will be wanted, and if you covet it from its owner, the entire continent will search for it!”
“Thank you for your concern. But we are fine. Because we aren’t the only ones aiming for the sword. As you can see, Randel and many more men want the sword. You will become victims because of the sword, and then slowly, the whereabouts of the Numbering Sword will disappear.”
“But no one will suspect us. Excluding this… we did a lot of good things for people.”
‘I was wrong. This can’t be solved with words.’
Hearing Victor’s words, Kuvar clenched his fists.
There was no way to avoid it. A fight was bound to happen.
However, their chance of winning was slim.
Charlotte and Victor were known to face Sword Masters and win.
Which meant that one of them was enough to overwhelm Airn.
Of course, there was Lulu and him, but they weren’t good at combat, and no matter how much they thought…
“I have a question.”
It was when Kuvar was in thought.
Airn, who had been silent till then, spoke.
Charlotte laughed dryly.
Just as he was about to tell Airn to not waste any more time, he saw Airn’s expression harden.
The strange feeling that he felt the first time he met Airn in the contest.
An unparalleled power.
Feeling a little uncomfortable, Charlotte said something through his eyes, and Victor respected his brother’s judgment.
At that, Airn asked.
“Were all the things that you said in Derinku lies?”
“The things about subjugating goblins for villagers in the southern jungle and fighting demons while putting your life on the line and never receiving proper compensation… was that all to manage your reputation?”
It was a simple question, but it could be called a stupid question too, depending on the way the listener took it.
A question that had nothing to do with the current situation and why the person asked the question could make the person uncomfortable depending on the person.
However, it was important for Airn.
He remembered what happened in Derinku.
Charlotte and Victor met them by chance.
Kuvar knew about their good deeds, and the duo explained them in a bar with shy faces, and even Lulu applauded them.
At that time, the twins looked really happy.
Back then, it seemed like there was no way they would act like they are now.
So he was curious.
Why were such strong people doing this to get the swords?
“So, with such expressions… you who spoke about your past good deeds, explain why you are doing this now.”
“If you don’t answer me, you won’t get the Numbering Sword even if you kill me. Never.”
After speaking, Airn summoned his sword and put it on the ground.
The crude and hard-looking greatsword seemed to represent his heart. Charlotte and Victor exchanged glances.
Airn meant what he said.
Charlotte nodded as if it meant to answer.
Looking down for a moment as if to choose his words, he then raised his head.
And he confided his thoughts.
“Because we did all that. Vulcanus’s Numbering Sword is more important.”
“Why aren’t you talking?”
“That, is that all?”
“Yes. That’s all. Why? Did you think something was up?”
His eyes seemed to ask what Airn was expecting from them.
However, Airn couldn’t speak.
It was because he couldn’t understand.
Managing to come to his senses, he said.
“Just because of that?”
“Yes. Just. Just for that sword… it’s more precious than the way you’ve lived your life so far, so precious that it doesn’t matter if you betray all those who you saved with your own hands?”
“The Numbering Sword is not just a sword!”
Cutting into Charlotte and Airn’s conversation, Victor shouted.
Kuvar and Lulu covered their ears. It was full of energy, and the sound was loud, but the emotion in the voice hurt their hearts.
And he went on.
“It’s been 20 years since we faced that wall. To be an Expert even now. It has been over 30 years. There is nothing I didn’t challenge to break down the wall, and there is nothing that I didn’t encounter. Still, the wall never broke. Me and my brother are still locked in hell.”
“It isn’t just us. Countless swordsmen struggled for decades because they couldn’t cross the last wall to reach the Sword Master Level, risking their lives, risking their lives for one thing. The weight we carry, the pain we endure… you don’t know. A young kid like you who has never seen anything will never know.”
Victor drew his sword. His eyes were red like blood, and vicious energy emanated from his body.
So did Charlotte.
Their faces changed. They didn’t look like humans anymore.
The same went for their eyes.
The flames around them were hotter than those in Airn’s heart.
He knew. It wasn’t a lie when they said they would risk their lives to get the sword.
However, that fire. Airn wasn’t jealous of it.
His classmates, including Ilya, Bratt, and Judith, whom he had worked with five years ago, and Lance Peterson, who he met again a few months ago.
The light of his friends was much warmer and more dazzling than the flames burning in front of him now.
Theirs were healthy and beautiful flames that warmed the hearts of onlookers and beholders.
The ones in front of him were different.
The appearance of them burning themselves with desire and obsession looked no different from demons.
‘It’s not that I can’t understand.’
He recalled the past again.
After the final evaluation, Bratt Lloyd, the sight of his gloomy appearance and burdens which kept piling up unresolved, but he came back and was now ahead of Airn.
Bratt never made any excuse for his situation.
Airn drew his sword.
The energy he had been controlling until now vibrated around his body.
Charlotte and Victor’s eyes widened.
Their opponent’s power seemed much greater than they thought.
The power that Airn was borrowing now was the power that came from someone who had endured pain much longer than the twins.
The man’s will, which was not corrupted even though he had the most miserable time compared to any swordsman.
Listening to the quiet sound of the sword, Airn released everything he had been holding back.
He couldn’t help it.
He didn’t desire to be swept away by the man in his dreams, but in order to break through the current crisis, he couldn’t find any other way.
Airn chose the lesser evil.
The aura of steel spread out.
Charlotte and Victor looked tense at the force, which was heavy, like metal pouring onto them.
Airn, as well as Kuvar and Lulu, who were next to him, were getting ready for the fight that would soon begin.
Tension as if everyone was walking on glass shards.
But the sound which came wasn’t that of swords colliding.
Clap! Clap! Clap!
“Georg, look here! Did you see it? It’s even better now! It’s a lot stronger!”
“… be quiet.”
The applause came from somewhere, followed by the voice of a girl and a man.
Startled, Charlotte and Victor turned their heads.
So did Airn’s party.
All five pairs of eyes focused in one direction.
What caught their eyes was a cute girl in dark makeup and a black dress and a grey-haired swordsman with strong air around him.
A woman in a black uniform slowly walked out of a golden portal.
Kuvar, who figured out her identity, was shocked.
From a member of Krono to a captain of mercenaries.
A person who went from being a mercenary leader to an honorary knight and then given the position of the commander of knights, only three people did that in the kingdom.
She moved her long jet-black hair and pulled out her sword.
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