The knights' training ground.
The knights, who had been training for a long time, bowed to show respect to the people who visited them.
“We greet the lord.”
“We greet the lord.”
The Dmitry family.
In terms of the entire kingdom of Cairo, it was only a small estate on the outskirts, but the status of the Dmitry family within the estate was tremendous.
In particular, the respect received from the Dmitry Knights was the highest in the area.
The respect for Baron Romero in their hearts could be understood just by looking at the knights who formed the ranks in perfect harmony.
The Knights’ Commander, Jonathan, came forward and announced, “Today, we are going to conduct a swordsmanship battle with Young Master Roman. Those who wish to duel with him should come forward.”
There were no volunteers.
Jonathan's words were so sudden that the knights glanced at each other with puzzled expressions.
It was, of course, natural.
The opponent was Roman Dmitry.
They wouldn’t gain anything even if they won, and if they lost, they would need to worry about being kicked out from the Dmitry Knights.
Aside from their respect for Baron Romero, they didn't want to be a puppet in Roman’s banter.
“If there are no volunteers, I will choose Young Master Roman’s opponent myself.”
Jonathan's eyes scanned through the knights.
Excluding Jonathan, the Dmitry Knights consisted of 15 people.
They were called knights, but including Jonathan, only two people had actually received a knighthood.
The remaining 14 were, on paper, commoners. Of course, they all hoped for a knighthood, but their skills were still lacking in many areas.
The problem was the current situation.
If it were the old Roman, it would be okay to call anyone and get it over with. However, now that Roman had changed, he could not be evaluated easily.
‘I can’t let the lord see the Dmitry Knights being easily defeated by the young master. Therefore, the young master's opponent must be a strong person who can completely subdue him. Only then will we be able to preserve the prestige of the Dmitry Knights and prove the true skill of Young Master Roman, who subjugated the Blood Fang.’
In fact, he wanted to go out and test his skills himself.
However, the Knights' Commander, Jonathan, was not in a position to draw a sword recklessly. Therefore, he had no choice but to swallow his regret.
He made his decision.
From the time he accepted Baron Romero's proposal, he had already decided who Roman's opponent would be.
“Chris, come forward.”
Chris was called.
The blond, handsome man distorted his expression at Jonathan's call.
He doubted his ears.
He's not just any ordinary knight; to think the commander would call on the vice leader of the knights.
“I don’t think it’s something I should do.”
Insubordination was an extremely serious issue.
Normally, he would have obeyed the commander’s orders without any complaints, but he couldn’t accept them this time.
The reason was simple.
It was because the opponent was Roman.
Even Chris, who truly loved Dmitry's people, hated him.
‘Only if he wasn’t Lord Dmitry’s son.’
A long time ago, Chris had gotten into an incident involving Roman.
A violent incident broke out in the night-time, and the cause of it was Roman Dmitry.
Roman was making a fuss while drunk, and being Dmitry's eldest son meant no one could touch him.
When other people were waiting idly, Chris, who was on patrol with the guards, discovered the scene. He needed to solve the problem of the territory, and while he was courting Roman with a respectful attitude, he suddenly got a hot shock on his cheek.
He had been slapped suddenly.
Seeing Roman screaming at him while asking how he dared to touch his body, he genuinely felt the urge to kill him.
However, he had to suppress it.
He was, without a doubt, an asshole; however, he was also a man who had the surname of Dmitry.
Chris showed utmost patience and solved the case safely, but from then on, he hated Roman Dmitry enough to get goosebumps whenever someone talked about him.
Moreover, even the Knights’ Commander, Jonathan, didn't know about it.
Intrinsically, he thought he would be excluded from the competition, but a voice of protest inevitably came out when the commander chose him.
Jonathan said, “Young Master Roman is a person who is strong enough to defeat the Blood Fang by himself. In order to compete on an equal footing, a competent person must come forward, and the person who can represent the Dmitry Knights is you, Chris.”
“This Blood Fang incident—”
Jonathan's expression hardened.
Chris understood that it meant he would not take no for an answer.
He bowed his head.
With the Blood Fang incident, Roman's actions became famous even among the knights.
There was even a debate about whether Roman possessed such great strength that he could have dealt with Blood Fang alone; however, Chris adamantly rejected that.
Didn't he know from his own experience?
I was slapped in the face by Roman just two years ago. Back then, I realized that was the strength of an ordinary person who had never trained with a sword.
Win or lose?
I am not worried about that.
However, I want to teach him a proper lesson since I got the opportunity.
“I have some conditions.”
“What are they?”
“I was taught to always fight as if my life was on the line. No matter who my opponent is, I have no intention of going easy on them, even if it’s just a spar. If you allow this, I will accept the honor of sparring with Young Master Roman Dmitry.”
Jonathan’s gaze shifted toward Baron Romero.
As he nodded, Jonathan confirmed his will.
Roman just laughed.
It was obvious that it meant he was fine with those conditions.
His reaction made Chris even more angry.
Chris wasn’t dumb.
He knew Roman was Lord Dmitry’s son.
He had no intention of destroying him horribly in front of the lord he served.
Seeing him laugh, he forgot all reason.
A blonde, handsome man.
Contrary to his appearance that looked like he couldn't even wield a sword properly, he was called Dmitry's fighting dog.
It meant he was a man who always finished the fights he started.
People were worried about Roman fighting against such a powerful opponent.
Two men faced each other at the training ground, holding wooden swords.
Finally, I will get to teach him a lesson.
The spar began.
Chris, who had been waiting for the signal with his hands and legs twitching, immediately slammed them into the ground at Jonathan's signal.
‘I’ll show you the difference in our level.’
It was at an incredible speed.
Chris closed the distance with Roman in an instant, and in the blink of an eye of the onlookers, he swung his sword toward Roman's forearm.
Fortunately, it was an attack that avoided a vital point.
Thinking that Roman would not be able to stop such a sudden and quick attack, he made a rational decision to choose a part that would not cause a problem even if he was injured.
He suddenly felt an opposing force in his hands.
Roman and Chris' gazes intertwined in the air.
At the sight of Roman, who did not even blink despite the surprise attack, Chris got goosebumps for a moment.
Chris made a quick recovery and consequently made an attack that swung toward Roman horizontally; however, Roman calmly blocked the attack this time as well.
The block this time was certainly not a coincidence.
From the force transmitted through his hand, he understood the defense posture of Roman was quite stable.
‘What is this?’
It was unexpected.
I didn't know that Roman knew the basics of swordsmanship.
I never believed it was Roman who actually subjugated Blood Fang.
Chris knew that if that was true, it would mean Roman was as powerful as Jonathan. However, now that he faced him in a fight, it didn't matter anymore.
The spar had already begun.
Chris felt that his anger would only be relieved by defeating Roman.
Tap tap tap!
While taking aggressive steps, he continuously swung down attacks from above. Those who were watching the fast and powerful combo attack burst into an exclamation, and Roman stepped back while urgently blocking the attacks. His defense was undoubtedly good. However, the moment Roman took the fifth step back, Chris' eyes suddenly lit up.
The final blow.
He attacked the gap Roman showed for an instant.
He was sure the attack would work this time; however, the wooden sword only slashed through Roman's hair.
His hair blew in the wind.
Aside from that, only Roman's cold eyes could be seen.
Chris didn’t know why but even though he could properly grasp Roman's movements with the naked eye, he instinctively swung his sword to block him.
Suddenly, Roman was right in front of him.
Roman's sword quickly swung toward Chris' head. It was a powerful attack that would have ended the match if it had not been blocked. Chris now understood that Roman was not only good at defense. His attacking basics were excellent, too, and as soon as the attack was blocked, he disappeared from Chris' view. He sidestepped out of Chris’ sight as if he was flowing water. Then, he swung his wooden sword from bottom to top. Chris caught his breath at the abnormal attack.
He was stunned.
Is this Roman's skill?
He couldn't believe it even though he saw it with his own eyes.
‘This feels like shit.’
He clenched his teeth.
He didn't want to lose.
It was unacceptable to be defeated by none other than Dmitry's Fool in front of other people.
I will wait for the perfect time.
While counterattacking, Roman always aimed at Chris’ gaps.
It was then.
A wide-open chest.
Roman's actions were large.
Chris took his first step to counter him, thinking now was the right time.
Chris instinctively knew.
This is a trap.
This is dangerous.
Seeing Roman casually dodging his attack and immediately counterattacking, Chris instinctively released his suppressed power.
Explosions occured inside his body.
It was the manifestation of the aura.
What differentiated Chris from ordinary knights was his 1-star aura.
It was the power that made humans superhuman.
As Chris released his aura, Jonathan, who was watching, widened his eyes.
"Don’t do it!"
It was too dangerous.
The clash of aura and wooden swords.
The result is obvious.
Not only will the wooden sword be shattered, but also, you don't know what injuries Roman will face in the aftermath of that power.
The fact that it's not an actual sword doesn't matter. The power of aura enables the user to cut through people with just a wooden sword.
His heart was pounding.
This was a mistake.
If he had known that Roman was no match for Chris, he would have given up and dueled with Roman himself.
However, just then.
Roman leaped toward Chris.
Even in the face of a blow aimed at his life, he did not hesitate to move forward.
Just one step caused a miracle.
Roman's face was slightly cut, some blood splattered, and he attacked Chris, who was stained with embarrassment and astonishment.
The fight was over.
He had disarmed Chris.
Chris would have fought back if he still held his sword, but he couldn’t make any excuses now. His defeat was as clear as crystal.
However, Roman didn’t let things pass just like that.
“Those who show hostility must be eliminated.”
It was the rule of Baek Joong-hyuk, the Heavenly Demon.
Even if he didn't kill him, he had to pay the price for making Roman fight with his life on the line.
The wooden sword exploded in his face.
Chris, who was hit with the sudden blow, rose to his feet. He noticed his face was splattered with warm blood, and a few teeth were scattered on the ground.
Many people often said that Chris, who was a disciple of Jonathan, a three-star knight, was Dmitry's greatest genius since he developed the two-star aura at a young age.
He was later evaluated as a talent who would rise beyond Dmitry to earn fame in the kingdom of Cairo. Even in Dmitry, it was clearly visible that there was no one who could match him other than Jonathan.
And someone like that suddenly fell backward.
The dilated pupil clearly showed that he had lost consciousness.
Chris had been knocked out.
“…What in the world?”
Jonathan's expression was stained with astonishment.
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