Chapter 19 - Blind Trust (1)

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Roman’s question to Hans was straightforward.

“Hans. Have you ever seen me taking drugs, or have there been any situations where it was presumed that I took drugs?”

“Huh?!”

Hans was startled.

What does he mean by taking drugs?

Hans thought he had been called to run an errand as usual, but he couldn’t hide his embarrassment at Roman’s sudden question.

And Roman was sure he would have that reaction.

Hans was close to the past Roman, so he would definitely know whether Roman was taking drugs or not.

Roman continued, “I don’t mean to punish you or anything. However, I just want to take some time to reflect on my past life and actions. I want to check how I lived my life through the eyes of a bystander, not my own memories.”

He didn’t add any excuses.

He didn’t know Roman’s memories due to his reincarnation.

Some would ask many questions and search for an explanation, but it wasn’t necessary for Roman.

He just asked his question straightforwardly.

The problem was with Hans.

Unlike usual, he showed some signs of hesitation, but then, he had a serious expression as if he had made his decision.

‘The young master I recently experienced is not someone who would ask things like this in vain. He really wants to check the circumstances and know if he was using drugs from another person’s perspective, so I should be honest about what I know.’

“…I’ve never seen the young master take drugs. However, there was a time when your behavior was a little strange.”

“When was that?”

“Hmm… I think it was a fortnight ago. The young master had gone to a banquet for the first time in a long time. Actually, the banquet wasn’t anything special, but after returning from it, the behavior of the young master was a bit strange. From that day onwards, you refrained from going out and stayed in your room while demanding excessive amounts of alcohol every night and looked lifeless. During that period, I suspected the young master might have taken some manner of drugs at the banquet.”

On the day Roman committed suicide, Hans looked at Roman, possessed by Baek Joong-hyuk, while being suspicious of drugs being used.

Recently, it had been a problem among the nobility, so he was considering the possibility that Dmitry’s Fool had taken drugs as well.

But.

“Other than that, I don’t think there were any other incidents. Honestly, now I know how foolish I was back then. There is no way the strong and intelligent young master would have ever touched drugs.”

Now it was clear that it was simply a matter of suspicion.

Hans trusted Roman would never take drugs.

The cleverness he had shown in the process of subjugating the Blood Fang was something that a drug addict could never show.

’It was at the banquet*.’*

Roman was deep in thought.

The Banquet…

It was a familiar word to Roman now.

Things had changed after Roman attended a banquet, and not long after that, he had made the drastic decision of suicide.

Even the rumors that Flora had heard had come from a banquet.

Then, he asked, “Who was in charge of the banquet I attended?”

The root of the problem.

It was essential for Roman to find it.

And then, Hans answered, “You had attended the Barco family’s banquet, young master.”

Barco.

It was that moment when things entered a new phase.

The explanation of Hans was simple.

“You had known the eldest son of the Barco family for a long time. After the marriage conversation with Lawrence, the relationship began to falter; however, none of the noble children got along with the young master as well as he did. So, it wasn’t too unusual for you to attend the Barco family’s banquet. I thought you would still have a good relationship with him because you knew each other even before the marriage conversation.”

Barco’s eldest son, Anthony Barco, was a man who had a bad reputation among the nobles, just like Roman.

That was how the two bonded.

Coming from two powerful families in the North-East region, the two men with bad reputations often played together.

‘The two of them probably weren’t close friends. Since they had a similar reputation, it must have been that they were simply hanging out together as friends for entertainment. However, the relationship then became entangled due to Flora. Anthony Barco wanted to marry Flora, and Roman was no different. And the winner of that battle was Roman. It’s because the Lawrence family, who ultimately rejected Barco, decided that Dmitry was better than Barco.’

The puzzle pieces were finally put into place.

Roman received Barco’s invitation and attended the banquet.

As Roman decided to resort to suicide after that, the cause was definitely in Barco.

‘The only reasonable conclusion I can reach in a situation like this is that Barco induced Roman’s suicide. If Dmitry became one with Lawrence, Barco would not be able to claim Flora or Lawrence’s fertile land. And the simplest way to solve that problem is to prevent the marriage from happening in the first place. From what Hans had heard, Barco had previously wished to marry Lawrence, so now the only way left for them to do so was to either induce a breakup or create a situation in which Dmitry and Lawrence could not get married.’

Roman saw the big picture.

The people who would benefit the most from Roman’s death were Barco.

I don’t know how they led Roman to commit suicide, but they must have tried various methods to achieve their goal.

Spreading obscene rumors and inducing a breakup were simply things they tried since it could have driven Roman to commit suicide.

‘There is trash everywhere.’

The truth was not great but disappointing.

Since he decided to live the life of Roman, the name Barco automatically touched Roman’s nerves now.

Just then, Hans said, “…In fact, a few days ago, Barco sent an invitation to a banquet. I couldn’t deliver it to the young master because you had gone into closed-door seclusion; how do we deal with this?”

“Did Barco invite me?”

“Yes.”

Pfft.

Roman started laughing.

They were blatantly ignoring him.

No matter what kind of harm Anthony did to Roman, he was bold enough to confidently send invitations to see him again.

‘It’s annoying.’

I don’t like it.

It was now clear as day that the enemy was Barco.

In order to continue living peacefully as Roman in the future, it was necessary to quickly clean up the annoying parts of his life.

“Tell them that I will be attending the banquet.”

Face the problems head-on.

That was the way Roman would live in the future.


The banquet was scheduled to be held two weeks later.

Roman, who had time to spare, went to visit Kevin, who had been waiting for him since he entered closed-door seclusion.

“What should I do now, young master?”

Kevin lowered his head.

He had accepted Roman’s offer back then, but the problem was that there was nothing he could do for Roman.

He was just a teenage boy.

He was born with a talent as ordinary as a pebble on the side of the road. He could not come up with an answer about his role, no matter how much he had thought about it for the past week or so.

So he decided to ask about his own role in Roman’s life.

Why did he accept someone like him?

Roman said, “I want to use you as my sword. However, the use of a person is not determined by the will of others. So, from now on, I will tell you three ways so that you can choose for yourself.”

It was surprising.

He wanted to use Kevin as his sword, even though Kevin had never touched a sword in his life.

It was a remark that could not be understood with common sense, but Kevin did not raise any objection to Roman’s words.

“The first is to give up your use as a sword. If you are afraid to hold the sword and don’t want to bleed, then be my hands and feet, not my sword. You can do your part by following Hans, learning what he does, and doing the non-dangerous tasks I order you to.”

That was a safe option.

Roman did not force him to risk his life for him.

Forcing others to risk their lives created variables, and Roman did not want to keep a weak human being by his side as his sword.

“The second is to protect me as a sword. However, in your mid-teens, there is no way for you to become strong quickly, as you have never touched a sword or trained till now. The world is not a beautiful fairy tale. It takes a lot of willpower to become strong, even if you train for a long time. I will test your will myself if you choose the second option. It will be a method in which you will suffer pain as if your muscles and bones were being torn apart at the same time. It won’t be an easy decision, but it will show me a result that will prove your will.”

Just hearing those words made Kevin anxious and his mouth dry.

Honestly, when Roman accepted Kevin, he thought maybe Kevin could handle his final ordeal.

“The third…”

He drew his sword.

And then.

Clank.

“Cut off your hand with this sword. If you can endure the pain of cutting yourself, you will be able to grow faster than anyone else.”

He threw the sword in front of him.

For the first time, a feeling of fear erupted on Kevin’s face, who had shown his willpower until recently.

The Crazy Demon.

When I first met him, the crazy demon was just a little boy, like Kevin, who didn’t know the M of martial arts.

However.

How was he able to grow and become one of the Four Heavenly Kings?

Thanks to his natural talent?

No.

His growth came solely from his strong will.

‘There are numerous ancient martial arts in the Demonic Cult Treasury. Among them, the Demonic Spirit Art turned several members who pursued strength into lunatics with powerful demonic energy. The Crazy Demon learned how to become a sword that could be useful to me. By overcoming the ordeal of learning the Demonic Spirit Art, he became a sword I could trust.’

Demonic Spirit Art.

It’s a dangerous martial art.

When one uses that martial art, their mind is inevitably eaten away by demonic energy. In exchange, it allows them to exert explosive power while feeling pain as if their body was being torn apart.

In fact, the pain is so terrible that ordinary people cannot even think of facing it.

Roman gave the last suggestion because the Demonic Spirit Art can be learned by one who can handle the pain of cutting off their own arm.

However, no one with an ordinary will can even dream of learning it.

That’s precisely why I chose the Demonic Spirit Art.

I don’t think Kevin can really handle the Demonic Spirit Art, but I want to give him a choice at least.

Roman said, “In order for an ordinary person to transcend the limits of their talents, it takes a lot of sacrifice and willpower. You are already mine. Whatever choice you make, I will make sure to use you as well as I can. So, you should decide how you will be useful to me.”

The ball was in his court.

Kevin swallowed dry saliva.

His eyes looking down at his sword trembled with terror, and his mouth was so dry that there was no saliva to swallow.

Cutting off one’s own arm was brutal.

How could Roman suggest such a thing?

“Pant, Pant.”

His breath became heavy.

He wasn’t sure if this was the right thing to do, but at least he had faith in Roman, who was looking at him.

He completely believed in Roman.

Just like when Roman had saved him from the Blood Fang, he believed that Roman would save his life this time as well.

“I’ll do it.”

He clenched his teeth.

In fact, he clenched them so hard that he could almost feel his teeth grind.

Clack!

Kevin grabbed the sword.

Just when Kevin was about to cut off his arm, Roman’s eyes lit up.

‘Demonic Art of Hallucination.’

At the same time, mana began to swirl.

Kevin’s eyes turned hazy as soon as Roman used the Demonic Cult’s martial arts. The Demonic Art of Hallucination, known to have deceived many people’s souls in Murim, was displayed by him.

Then, Kevin fell to the floor.

In the real world, his face is buried dead on the floor, but in his hallucination, it’s not much different from when he was about to cut off his hand with the sword.

Now, Roman focused on the hallucination.

And finally,

Slash!

Kevin’s face contorted in pain.

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