Most nobles attending the banquet had already experienced Roman’s true nature. He often appeared at banquets while hanging out with Anthony, and those who watched him always thought how pathetic he was while doing drunken acts with his face flushed red.
Therefore, the nobles naturally saw the scars and weaknesses of Roman. They didn’t know the reason for the breakup. So, they thought Flora had broken up due to seeing how he behaved at banquets and couldn’t see him positively anymore.
However, everyone held their breath when Roman appeared at the banquet today. He seemed to be truly representing Dmitry’s title, unlike in the past, and people saw a different person from the Roman they knew.
‘Is that seriously Roman Dmitry?’
‘How is he so different from before?’
In their memories, Roman was a man who wasn’t even good-looking. His not-so-tall stature made him look even smaller due to his small physique, and his dirty skin ultimately destroyed Roman’s image. Moreover, even his gait was terrible.
Knowing that Dmitry’s second son was different from Roman, rumors circulated that Roman was an illegitimate child and could not hide his vulgarity.
But now, Roman was utterly different from the past. His gait was calm, and his broad shoulders and muscles that could not be hidden even with clothes were visible to everyone. Moreover, his skin was as white as milk. In the past, his face had many problems, so his eyes didn’t show any charm, but now, his black eyes and red lips seemed to highlight his milk-white skin and make him look even more handsome. And finally, everyone noticed the gorgeous clothes, which exuded the aura of a dragon. The clothes having gold thread on a black background emphasized Roman’s charisma to the fullest.
“Did Roman really look like this?”
“…Absolutely not. In the past, he was definitely shorter than me, but now, even at a single glance, I can see the difference in our height.”
The nobles murmured.
In the past, Roman often tried hard to decorate himself and win people’s hearts, but he could not create an atmosphere remotely resembling the current one. It wasn’t just a difference in appearance; it was the difference in the atmosphere and aura that people have accumulated over the course of their lives. And the frivolity of the life of Roman, who could not achieve anything, was now changed—even fundamentally.
Roman and Baek Joong-hyuk—The two had lived completely different lives.
Baek Joong-hyuk, who stood at the apex of Murim and looked down on everyone else, had the power to catch others’ focus with his appearance alone.
A person’s appearance is an extremely important factor in their life. As proof of that, initially, everyone was planning to stay away from Roman, but seeing the change made people want to talk to him at least once.
Was that why? Some nobles started to approach Roman. The first noble to approach him was a woman. After asking other nobles about Roman and hearing the bad rumors, she couldn’t contain her curiosity given that he was so different from his reputation.
“It is an honor to meet you. I am Sophia of the Grisel family.”
Roman stopped walking. As his calm, sunken eyes turned to Sophia, Sophia said with a slightly blushed face, “You are probably not familiar with the Grisel family name. My father, Baron Grisel, followd in the footsteps of our ancestors that have dedicated themselves to the kingdom of Cairo from generation to generation. It’s not a great family, but it doesn’t have a bad history.”
Sophia was the daughter of a lower aristocrat. He had settled in a small land on the outskirts, and his position in the kingdom was so low that most people did not know that the family named Grisel had passed down the Baron title from generation to generation. Still, the reason she was able to attend the Barco family’s banquet was because Sophia was beautiful. Her beautiful appearance and the condition of being a noblewoman were enough for her to receive Anthony Barco’s invitation.
Was that why Sophia needed to describe her family? The fact that she came from a lower aristocracy lowered her self-esteem and status, so she needed to explain herself to whomever she met. On the contrary, Barco and Dmitry were different. There was no need for them to talk about their family history to whomever they met. Not knowing their names in the North-East area of the kingdom of Cairo was the same as not having the qualifications to be a noble.
Just then, Roman spoke, “I know the Grisel family well. As a nobleman of Cairo, there is no way for me to not know the name of a family with a history of more than 100 years.”
“…Do you really know about the Grisel family?”
Hearing Roman’s words, Sophia’s eyes widened. She initially just wanted to have a normal conversation with Roman, but she didn’t think that Roman would know about the Grisel family.
‘Is he just pretending to know?’ Doubts naturally arose in her mind.
Not recognizing a noble family was an act of rudeness, so occasionally, people would pretend to know even if they didn’t know.
She thought Roman was the same. Otherwise, how would he know the Grisel family, who had never made a name for themselves outside the outskirts?
“I once heard my father talk about the Grisel family. They are a family that has established their home in the North-East area for many years, and the wood they produce is famous for its excellent quality in the whole kingdom of Cairo. And, isn’t the pattern of the family also a giant tree with wide branches? I heard your brother recently succeeded in mana sensitivity, and I sincerely congratulate him on his achievement.”
’…Ah!’ Hearing those words, Sophia’s doubts were dispelled. Now, she was sure—Roman truly knew about the Grisel family, and she didn’t need to explain herself further to him.
He’s brilliant and knowledgeable.
The mere fact that Roman recognized the Grisel family made Sophia think so.
‘Maybe Roman Dmitry is a greater man than the rumors make him out to be.’
Hearing Roman’s first conversation at the banquet, people’s eyes widened as if they had seen something unbelievable.
Two weeks earlier.
Announcing his intention to attend the banquet, Roman made an unsual request to Hans.
“Hans, when you’re free, bring me all the information we have about the families located in the North-East. It should definitely contain what kind of families there are in the North-East area of the kingdom of Cairo, what the pattern of that family is, and what has happened recently in their estates. To attend a banquet, I need to at least know the background of the people I will be meeting.”
It was an unexpected request. However, Hans did not ask questions, just as usual, and brought all avilable information from the surrounding area to Roman, as per Roman’s request.
Whenever he had the time, Roman read through the information Hans had brought him.
It was definitely annoying to learn the patterns of a family he hadn’t even heard of and to read information about people he had never met. Nevertheless, Roman knew that this was necessary.
‘I am not a commoner. I will be attending Barco’s banquet as the eldest son of Dmitry, on behalf of the family. So I need to have the minimum amount of courtesy. What kind of family the people I will meet will belong to, and how has that family been from older generations? As I am considered to be Dmitry’s Fool, it will take a lot of effort to win other people’s hearts.’
Before he reached the peak of the Demonic Cult, Baek Joong-hyuk studied the role of a ruler. In the world of survival of the fittest, strength was the number one value, but experience had shown him how important it was to remember names, not only initially but also when maintaining the realtionship.
Thousands, tens of thousands of servants—When he called out their names, even though he had never talked much with them, they gave their lives for Baek Joong-hyuk.
How funny. Just because he remembered their names, people shouted Baek Joong-hyuk’s name and said it was worth giving their life for him.
‘Relationships between people start with the smallest things. People who know me as Dmitry’s Fool will be prejudiced from the start, but if I remember and recognize their names, their attitude will definitely change. In order to get people’s attention, I need to give them attention first, and since I have decided to live as Roman Dmitry, I need to put a lot of effort into it.’
Sophia Grisel—Roman hadn’t ever seen her. However, when she spoke to him and identified herself as Grisel, Roman remembered everything about her.
‘The Grisel family…’ Their patterns, their history, and all the big things that happened in their estate recently—Roman remembered it all.
Eventually, seeing the friendly atmosphere between Roman and Sophia, nobles who had hesitated earlier began to flock to Roman.
The banquet suddenly got noisy. And at the center of it all was, of course, Roman.
“It’s lovely to meet the eldest son of the Bolt family. Of course, I know the Bolt family well. Didn’t Viscount Bolt go to the battlefield and make great contributions in the past? As I read the events of that time in a book, I thought that later on, I would have to prove myself on the battlefield just like Viscount Bolt.”
“Is your mother doing well? I recently heard rumors that she has a chronic illness, and the colder the weather, the more she needs to take care of her health.”
“Was it 10 years ago? The deal with the Heros family netted Dmitry a significant profit. My father always told me how caring the Heros family was, so I am also very grateful to the Heros family.”
Roman—He was the pinnacle of the Demonic Cult, and at one time, he had established undisputed control along with power. People often said that it was thanks to his mighty strength, but the wise ones knew that it wasn’t simply because of his strength.
Those who were in power also needed to follow social norms, and Roman knew the importance of socializing. Simply remembering the other person and creating an environment in which the other person can speak freely is often extremely hard, even for leaders. However, at Barco’s banquet, the situation was going differently than anyone would have thought.
At first, everyone thought that Dmitry’s Fool, as usual, would be bullied, but the nobles flocked to him once they saw his changed appearance and someone who knew of their achievements and praised them. Those who did not know Roman earlier now had a crush on him, and those who knew him earlier saw the fact that Roman had changed.
Roman’s reputation as Dmitry’s Fool had been solidified over decades. Nevertheless, today, he, who should have been ignored by others due to his breakup, melted the atmosphere with his few noble words.
A certain noble said, “It seems that I misjudged you all this time, Roman. You were always drunk, so I thought it would be hard to have a conversation without alcohol, but I didn’t expect it to be so much fun and hilarious! I hope that the Bolt family and Dmitry family will continue to maintain a good relationship in the future as well.”
The Bolt family—because Roman complimented his father once, he was in a good mood, and he smiled briskly with a blushing face. Ironically, the atmosphere was reversed and the complete opposite of what anyone had expected. Now, no one hated Roman. Moreover, the people who were recently bad-mouthing him were also now sneaking up to him and laughing and chatting together.
The Dmitry family—They were the absolute powerhouse in the North-East area. Nevertheless, people never treated Roman well, even though he was a Dmitry. The reason for that was that even though he was the eldest son, the chances of him inheriting the family were extremely slim, and the person himself was light and frivolous. That was why most people tried to avoid him.
However, now, it was different. Roman had not only changed in appearance, but he also knew how to deal with people while inducing a friendly atmosphere. All of this led to people finally realizing Roman’s position, although a bit late. Roman was Dmitry’s eldest son. If he was actually a decent guy, there was nothing wrong with being friendly to him.
Just then, passing through the crowd, Barco’s servant approached Roman and said, “Roman, the Barco family’s young master has invited you to his private room.”
The servant was talking about his young master. Of course, it had to be him—Anthony Barco. After getting the invitation for the meeting he had been waiting for, Roman asked the aristocrats around him for forgiveness and said to Barco’s servant, “Guide me to his room.”
From this point onwards, it was his turn to find out the truth about Roman, which he had been wondering about.
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