Hans, a servant of Baron Dmitry's family, could not hide his difficulties with the young master's abnormal behavior.
“So, you’re saying that I am the eldest son of the Dmitry family?”
“And this is the kingdom of Cairo on the Salamander Continent. The world of Murim doesn’t even exist.”
It was strange.
The young master wasn't someone who was usually called smart, but he wasn’t normally this stupid.
Hans wondered if he was high on drugs.
Recently, the deviance of the children of noble families has become a social issue, but it was a problem since it would be suspicious if it happened to Young Master Roman Dmitry.
While the younger brothers had already moved to the capital and grew up steadily, he could see the reality of Roman Dmitry just by watching him rot in the outskirts by the time he reached the age of 25.
Hans said calmly, "Young master, today is the day the esteemed daughter of the Lawrence family, who is promised to marry you, visits the estate of Dmitry. As you may have heard, the daughter of the Lawrence family is a person who values dignity and courtesy as a nobleman. So, it is better to prepare ahead of time. It's the first time you will see each other, so it would be great to make a good impression—”
“There is something more important than that.”
Roman cut him off while he was talking.
No matter how he looked at it, the young master, who seemed to not be in his right mind, spoke in a voice that had a different weight to it than usual.
“Take me to the eldest man here. It is more important for me to meet him and get to know the world in which I will be living in the future, than to meet this esteemed daughter, whom I do not know.”
It was bizarre.
The young master, who has lived in Dmitry's estate for 25 years, said it's important to know about the world for the future.
But what can I even do?
“I understand, young master.”
It was Hans' role to fulfill his duty as a servant.
The place Hans guided Dmitry to was a village outside the Dmitry Castle.
After the war, many of their permanent residents lost their homes; however, the castle could not accommodate all of them, so they formed a village outside of it.
At first, the village was made up of houses with quite plausible shapes, but the proportion of shacks gradually increased as they moved inside.
Hans frowned as he stepped on the muddy water.
At the stench creeping up from all directions, he glanced at Roman's eyes.
“Do you really want to meet the oldest man in Dmitry's estate? If it's related to the history of the territory you're talking about, it's better to use Dmitry's sage or the library. We can still head back.”
Roman didn't care about what was in his surroundings.
Like Hans, he stepped into the muddy water without hesitation, and the hem of his pants got wet in the splashing water.
‘Oh, his pants got wet.’
Hans was perplexed.
Of course, he expected Roman with wet pants to make a fuss, but Roman did not show any particular reaction.
It was a situation that Hans could not understand at all.
The Dmitry family was not very prestigious. Still, Roman was a person who was usually quite boasting about the fact that he was the son of a noble family.
The residents often gathered to gossip about the fact that Roman was a nobleman who threw fits wherever he went and had absolutely no talent.
But to see something like this.
He questioned whether he was the same person who said that he did not want to leave the castle even if he died despite the lord's orders.
‘...Did he get a head injury?’
As he walked frantically, he arrived at his destination.
He stopped in front of the shack that was slowly being demolished, and Hans looked at Roman cautiously.
“It’s here. He is an old man who followed the lord even before he was granted the Dmitry estate and worked as a blacksmith. He's already ninety years old, so it won’t be surprising if he dies anytime soon. The problem is… he’s a bit immobile, so you will have to go inside to talk to him.”
Slowly, he looked around.
The stench was so extreme that his nose was clogged, and the spider webs formed throughout the shack made the people, who were looking, frown.
This was no place for the children of noble families to enter.
So, Hans kept requesting him to head back on the way, but Roman kept moving on despite his words.
There was no hesitation to be found.
Reaching out his hand and clearing the web, Roman went inside and checked his surroundings.
“Are you the owner of this house?”
“Young master, you came to such a shabby place like this?”
The old man lying inside was startled.
He hurriedly got over the bulky blanket and tried to get up, but he couldn’t get up entirely because of an injury.
“Sit down and listen.”
Roman sat down in front of him.
The old man didn't know what to do as he sat down on the dirty ground, so he only looked at Roman's eyes.
“I want to know everything about Dmitry's estate. What kind of land is this place and what kind of history does it have? It's probably going to be a long story, so why don't we talk slowly while enjoying the alcohol I brought?"
Roman showed a bottle of wine hanging from his waist.
Seeing the stunned old man with wide-open eyes, Roman made a smile that melted away his vigilance.
At the rock bottom of life.
Roman chose to adapt to this world in his own way.
At first, the old man could not speak properly.
However, as he was getting tipsy and Roman showed a serious listening attitude, his vigilance was gone.
“Lord Dmitry was originally a famous blacksmith. He was running a profit-making business by selling iron pieces he made himself; however, he suddenly got the opportunity to supply weapons to the kingdom of Cairo. There was a war going on for a while, so it was a great opportunity to transcend the limits of one's status. After the war, the lord who received the rank of baron at the award ceremony...”
The talk was extremely long.
Most of what he said was what the eldest son of the Dmitry family should know, but the unbridled old man narrated all the stories he knew at length.
Roman's judgment was correct.
He asked Hans what the old man liked, and he replied that he couldn’t keep a secret while he was drunk, so he purposely prepared a drink to suit his taste.
Thanks to him, he was able to get all the information he wanted.
He, who was not yet accustomed to the person named Roman, gradually built up new information in his head.
No, his real name was Baek Joong-hyuk.
Baek Joong-hyuk had lived most of his life as the head of the Heavenly Demon Cult, which unified Murim.
He was someone who had lived a fierce life as a martial artist.
Having accomplished everything he wanted to, he calmly accepted his death.
It was a great blessing to conquer all the heavenly beasts1 and die, but when I opened my eyes, I was in Roman Dmitry's body.
It was absurd.
In fact, at the moment of his death, Baek Joong-hyuk had entered the realm of ascension2.
Although divine energy enveloped his soul, Baek Joong-hyuk did not want a life where he could not live as a human being.
So, he refused to climb.
Most warriors ultimately want to achieve ascension, but Baek Joong-hyuk wanted to die as a human.
And now, at the crossroads of new choices, Baek Joong-hyuk quickly accepted the reality he faced.
‘Is this a gift from heaven, or is it God’s punishment for refusing ascension?’
It didn’t matter.
A new life.
A new environment.
For Baek Joong-hyuk, that was important.
His last years as the Heavenly Demon were boring, but the scenery around him gave meaning to his life.
‘People must live with a purpose. Having accomplished everything I wanted to, I could not live like a human being even though I could do everything. Rather, it's a good thing. Roman Dmitry, the kingdom of Cairo; this world full of unknowns will be a new challenge for me.’
His heart raced.
Baek Joong-hyuk lived a life that will remain in the history of Murim. However, looking back at it now, his life before that, when his life was at risk and fierce every day, made him live as a person rather than in his last peaceful years.
He is someone who cannot live normally.
That’s the kind of person Baek Joong-hyuk was.
“…This is all I know.”
The talk was now over.
Maybe because it had been a long time, the old man he had seen for the first time felt familiar now.
“Thank you, it was a big help to me. We will compensate for this separately later.”
“No, young master. Just having a conversation with someone as precious as the young master was a great blessing for me.”
Baek Joong-hyuk, no, Roman laughed.
It was now time to go back.
But, at that moment.
Loud noises were coming from outside.
It seemed like something was going on near him.
It was just as he expected.
When he went out, he saw a group of men beating a boy who was not an adult yet.
“You damn bastard.”
The boy did not make a single sound despite the intense beating.
Perhaps that fueled the men's anger even more, and the men indiscriminately beat the boy intending to kill him.
The boy's body shook with each punch.
The skin exposed outside his clothes was already stained red with bruises, his face was also messed up, and his nose was dripping blood.
People gathered around the noisy situation.
However, when they saw the fang tattoos on the men's bodies, they looked away in fear.
“What’s going on?”
Roman stood next to Hans.
Hans was watching the scene, and he said in a cautious voice when Roman appeared.
“They seem to be a part of the Blood Fang gang. It is a usury group that is active not only in the Dmitry estate but also in the neighboring estates and seeing them do that, it seems that the boy owes a great debt to Blood Fang. You should just pretend you don't know. There is nothing good about being tangled up with them.”
Roman's gaze looked at the Blood Fang crew.
Because of the high-interest rates, people can’t pay it back, leading to violence.
‘The problem is that the punishment is not to be carried out by the citizens of this land.’
This was the land of Dmitry.
As explained by the old man, they were obliged to judge and solve any problem by taking it to the lord.
I still haven't quite figured out how to act as Roman.
What is certain is that Roman is dead.
When he woke up, the first things he found were a suicide note, believed to have been written by Roman, and drugs scattered on the floor.
The contents of the will showed him how weak Roman was.
The kingdom of Cairo is a kingdom that is always under the threat of war, so there is a law that requires each family to select a certain number of troops and one person to represent the family and forcibly perform their national defense duties for two years.
Roman was included in it.
Since it was impossible to force the two younger brothers with bright futures to death, Dmitry's Lord decided to send Roman to the battlefield.
So, Roman chose his death.
Trembling at all the vicious rumors about the battlefield, he chose to end his life on the day he got severely drunk.
‘From now on, I am Roman Dmitry.’
The previous life was omitted.
No matter what kind of life Roman has led, he will believe and follow the ‘values of Baek Joong-hyuk’ from now on.
“Young… young master!”
Hans was startled at Roman's abrupt move forward and tried to stop Roman.
However, it was already too late.
Roman's voice was loud, and the Blood Fang gang, who had stopped beating the boy, looked at him with puzzled eyes.
It was a sight to behold.
The problem was that Roman's reputation had reached them as well.
The man with a vicious face, who seemed to be the gang leader, spoke out with a smirk.
"Don't mind this, Young Master Dmitry. We will take care of this.”
“Tsk, trying to show off because he’s a son of a noble.”
“Stop it, he says. Kekeke, retarded bastard.”
The gang whispered from behind and laughed.
Hans said in a quiet voice as the others might hear as well.
“Young Master Roman, we have to return. The Blood Fang gang members are violent people. If a problem arises outside the castle, not even the Dmitry family can do anything about it. So, please calm down...”
Roman looked at Hans.
The robust and low-pitched voice immediately caught the attention of Hans, who was trembling in fear.
“I don’t know the laws of this place very well yet. So, please explain. Who has broken Dmitry's decrees here? And for breaking the law, what kind of punishment is appropriate?”
Hans was stunned.
He felt like he was being sucked into Roman's eyes.
The unsightly man who lived in pleasure every day caught him with a powerful force that he could not escape now.
In the current situation, it was suitable to run away.
However, Hans unwittingly told the 'truth.'
“The boy was guilty of not paying the debt on time. It certainly deserves punishment, but the Blood Fang gang has no right to punish it directly. Above all, they dared to speak insulting words against the eldest son of the Dmitry family in Dmitry's land. It is a felony that cannot be forgiven even with their lives. According to the law, it is not at all strange that they receive the death penalty.”
Hans bowed his head.
His heart was pounding, and his legs were trembling, but now he felt like he had to reply truthfully to show respect to Roman.
The onlookers held their breath, and a smirk appeared on the faces of the Blood Fang gang.
Let’s go with that.
“You have violated Dmitry’s law…”
Roman stepped forward.
While everyone was watching, he picked up a branch from the ground and pointed it like a sword at the Blood Fang gang.
“From now on, as the eldest son of the Dmitry family, I will execute the sentence for you all who have broken the law.”
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