Chapter 25

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Joshua suppressed a smile when he saw the centurions’ bewildered looks. Even Cain was wide-eyed—he’d never imagined that Joshua would try to take on all the centurions at once.

“Are… Are you serious, Young Master?”

“You may get hurt. We are the elite, the centurions of Duke Agnus!”

“Right! No matter how great your blood is, this is an insult to all of us!”

Joshua smiled menacingly at the centurions. They looked like they were about to run away with their tails between their legs.

“Do you think so too?” Joshua fixed his gaze on one face.

Rols immediately had the attention of everyone around him.

“Y-young Master—” Cold sweat beaded on his forehead.

“Oh, it seems you never told your dear colleagues about our conversation earlier.” Joshua’s words turned the air frigid. Only a cold gust of wind stirred in the deafening silence.

“That— that—” Rols wanted to make an excuse, be he couldn’t even form a proper sentence.

I watched two of my colleagues die before my eyes. How was I supposed to tell them I was humiliated by a dung shoveler? None of the Duke’s soldiers, certainly not the centurions, would have believed it; they would have thought Rols and his friends were just trying to monopolize Lucia.

“I’m really sorry!”

“One chance is enough. Two would be too much.”

Rols trembled like a reed in the wind and collapsed onto the floor.

The centurions watching on noticed a pole protruding from behind Joshua’s back.

“...Spear?” A soldier quickly identified the identity of the object. A spear, a common implement of soldiers. At the very least, it wasn’t just some metal stuck to the end of a stick; it was an iron spear that anyone present could have taken on a whim.

Joshua twirled the spear, sending a gust of air whistling past the centurions. The sight of a child swinging a spear so easily was quite strange—even as an adult, it was not easy to adjust to the weight of a weapon like that.

The centurions could only watch in silence as Joshua paced forward and slammed his spear in the ground before Rols.

“You will die here. You should have died when you insulted my mother, but you squandered that chance. So now you die… Just like your colleagues did.”

The other centurions were not entirely surprised. Rumors abounded about Roid and Gort’s absence; from stories about retiring to their hometowns, to secret missions, every sort of story was tossed about but nothing was proven.

If Joshua was believed, then Roid and Gort were not spared the Young master’s wrath.

“One more chance, Young master! All I need is one more chance!” Rols desperately smashed his head against the ground.

I don’t want to die like this. Rols had only just become a centurion; he didn’t want to die without enjoying the privileges of his rank.

“Please—”

“As I said before: I won’t give you a second chance.” Joshua glared down at Rols.

“Young Master!”

“However…” Joshua hefted his spear. “I have no desire to trample on the pride of a Duke’s centurion.”

Rols nervously met Joshua’s eyes.

“Take up your weapon. As a centurion of Duke Agnus, defend what little pride you have left.”

“What do you mean—”

“If you beat me…” Joshua huffed and whipped his spear around. “...Then I will spare your life.”

“Try your best to kill me. You die, you lose. I die, well… Imagine the fame!”

If this is how I die, I’ll go out with a bang.

Rols had thought the feeling of fear he had felt last time was because of Cain’s overwhelming presence, but now, looking at Joshua, his nerves ran cold and his muscles were stiff as stone.

But he sighed and stood. He had to fight and fight well.

The sword he unsheathed was surprisingly sharp and well maintained.

“That sword does not suit its master.”

Joshua pointed the tip of his spear at Rols. He wanted to use Lugia—rod or not—but in this kind of place, using the same weapons as a soldier would maximize the intimidation factor. From his previous battles, he knew there would be no problem using his power for a time even when he was separated from Lugia.

Everything was calculated.

“Come.”

Rols bit his lip hard enough to make it bleed, staring at the boy in front of him—was it just an illusion, or had the small boy gotten bigger?

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” Rols rushed in with a mad scream; the shining tip of his sword threatened to skewer Joshua’s small body at any moment. Joshua merely smiled and raised his spear high.

“Uh, what do you think?” The surrounding soldiers began to murmur.

“Have you ever heard of using a spear in that position?”

“Ugh, I can’t see them anymore.

Joshua fully displayed the dignity of a Duke’s son, but he was shovelling horse shit out of the stables not long ago. Rols, on the other hand, was a powerful man who was promoted to centurion at a relatively young age. No one doubted he would be run through by Rols’s sword any moment now.

Furthermore, the spear is a weapon specialized in stabbing attacks to maximize its long reach; raising your spear left you vulnerable below, and only a fool would attempt a slash—compared to the long shaft, the spearhead was only about as long as two adult fists.

Easy target! Rols’s sword cut sharply towards Joshua. Some of the centurions shut their eyes, believing they were about to witness the death of the Duke’s own blood.

But then, Joshua brought his spear down. It was a relatively slow movement, but it had a ponderous weight to it.

The first method: Thundering Strike. 1

The first stage of the spear technique contained only two methods, including Thundering Strike.

Just like the second method, it was a very simple movement – up and down – but it contained the power of a mountain.

Mana gathered at the pinpoint tip of the spear, resonating faintly.

“Hahh.” For a moment, the swish of the spear sounded like thunder.

Time seemed to freeze—

—Rols’s sword was split down its length, and fell to the floor.

—Dark red blood splattered forth, staining Joshua.

And with a thump, Rols fell to the ground.

In two pieces.

Joshua slammed the butt of his spear back onto the floor. You could hear a pin drop in the resulting silence.

“I am the blood of Duke Agnus. I am Joshua von Agnus. If you have mastered the sword, speak with your skill not your mouth. On the battlefield, judging your opponents by their appearance alone will cost you your life.”

A middle-aged man, probably a senior centurion, knelt on the ground.

“May glory follow wherever you walk! I greet Prince Joshua, blood of the Grand Duke!”

Was this the trigger? All of the centurions, without exception, dropped to their knees.

“We greet you!”

Before them stood only Joshua.

Also… Cain had stepped back with a faint smile. His senses were not wrong. With this, Young Master Joshua has gained the honor of his mother and the trust of the soldiers in one fell swoop.

It may be a temporary trust, gained through fear, but there was no surer method for their first meeting.

Maybe, really… It felt like that little boy—nay, his master—could really make his dream come true.

I will do my best to serve you... Cain’s smile deepened as he gazed upon Joshua’s proud back.

...Master.

  1. Originally “Its momentum will be like thunder”. Manhwa went with “Lightning Strike”, but that doesn’t make sense with the extra context in the novel. ↩️

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