Chapter 26 - What Happened At The Banquet (4)

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Anthony Barco was speechless. He was not at all concerned about something like this when he was told that Roman would be attending the banquet. It was, of course, natural. Back then, Roman’s breakup was just announced. It meant that his threat worked, and he was holding the sword—Or at least, that’s what he believed.

“Roman, from now on, it will be better if you think carefully about each word before saying anything. You didn’t just have a promiscuous time with other women ahead of your arranged marriage; you touched Barco’s woman. That means you have to join the Barco family. I allowed you to marry not just anyone but a direct descendant rather than using them as collateral; that was my last consideration because of my relationship with you. But just now, did you dare say ‘for that petty reason’ in front of me?”

His voice noticeably swelled with anger. As if his anger could never naturally subside, he drank wine from a bottle and spoke savagely, “Hey. I am different from you. You are Dmitry’s disgrace who was pushed out of the succession, but I am the heir who will inherit everything from Barco. Taking Lawrence’s flower that I wanted wasn’t enough for you? Do you think you’ll be fine after touching Barco’s woman? You are making an irreversible mistake right now.”

His attitude had changed. His close friend vanished, and Anthony Barco, the successor of Barco, pushed the sword he was holding to Roman’s throat. He thought that as he had said this much, if it was the Roman he remembered, he would bow down with his eyes closed and ask for mercy.

However, Roman smiled rather coldly and said, “Do whatever you feel like.”

The opponent’s weapon was not a real ‘sword.’ Roman did not waver at his words, which was something that Anthony couldn’t have imagined even in his wildest dreams.

“I’m known as Dmitry’s Fool anyway. As I am already treated like garbage, even if you add the rumors of touching several women even though I accepted the arranged marriage, it won’t change anything. Alas, as you said, Dmitry’s honor will be tarnished. But, it was originally like that, wasn’t it?”

“This bastard…!”

“Anthony, you should act in moderation.”

The Barco family had a misunderstanding—Although they were a powerhouse in the North-East region, their power didn’t come from their own authority; it was solely due to their connections with the central government.

Nevertheless, power from connections could never allow them to succeed Dmitry in terms of influence in the North-East region of Cairo.

Roman continued, “You should also know that the reason I chose to break up is not because of your threats. I myself decided that the marriage with Lawrence was not necessary, so I made the decision to cancel the wedding despite the criticism from those around me. This enabled you to achieve what you wanted as well. Now that Dmitry has turned their back on Lawrence, Barco’s plans for the future will surely be much easier. But now, as you, Barco’s eldest son, show your teeth to me, I wonder—what should I do? Wouldn’t it be possible for me to help Lawrence and interfere with Barco, even if that’s just for settling my personal resentment?”

At that moment, Anthony Barco felt his heart simmer down as if it had been plunged into an ice bath.

After eliminating Anthony’s threat, Roman had thrust a knife into his enemy’s neck instead.

’…Was Roman originally someone like this?’

No, he wasn’t. Roman was originally a weak person. Despite being the eldest son of Dmitry, he had good reason for being ignored by others.

However, just then, a rumor he had recently been hearing came to his mind.

- Roman Dmitry subjugated the Blood Fang by himself. Dmitry’s Fool was, in fact, a sleeping dragon with hidden power.“

That rumor—I thought it was bullshit!

Knowing what kind of guy Roman was, Anthony didn’t think he had the power to subdue Blood Fang by himself.

However, now, it was different.

The way Roman looked at him and the pressure he exuded made Anthony’s mouth dry. It eventually forced him to correct his assessment of Roman.

‘I’m sure of it. Roman has changed.’

The person known as Dmitry’s Fool was no longer there.

The silence went on for quite some time.

And at the look of Anthony Barco in trouble, Roman’s eyes became cold.

‘You don’t have a choice anyway. If you had been in a position to choose from in the first place, the cumbersome process of feeding me alcohol and making traps would not have been necessary.’

The current situation was simple—Despite Dmitry overtly denying Barco the goal he had hoped for, Barco never officially raised his voice of protest. Why? It was because Dmitry’s power was absolute. Anthony couldn’t do anything while knowing what would happen if he was hostile to Dmitry. Roman had simply made him face reality. And Anthony Barco had no choice but to accept this reality, even though his self-esteem was hurt and his face blushed.

“…Okay. If I forget this matter, you won’t meddle with Barco and Lawrence’s matters in the future, right?”

“That’s right.”

“Then let’s end this here.”

Anthony Barco saw a compromise and accepted that. However, even while seeing Anthony Barco bowing his head, Roman hid his true intentions.

‘If I am to live as Roman Dmitry and have a peaceful future, I must destroy the Barcos, who threatened me.’

It was obvious now that the Barcos were enemies who would stand against Roman. And Roman was gracious to his people, but he showed no mercy to his enemies. The situation wasn’t much different right now. The reason he offered Anthony Barco a temporary peace was not because he wanted peace for himself but because he knew there was no reason for Dmitry to bleed.

‘There is no need for Dmitry to be the ones to oppose Barco. When Barco and Lawrence go to war, clawing at each other’s throats in a desperate bid for survival, I will strike Barco and become the final nail in their coffin.’

Until reaching the peak of the Demonic Cult, Baek Joong-hyuk had many experiences of being threatened by women and also defeated his enemies with the same strategy.

Showing an angry face and asking to fight means you’re a fool who is ready to cut off your own head. Sometimes, you need to wear a mask; Sometimes, you need to do what they don’t expect you to.

Ironically, because Roman recognized the Barcos as an enemy, he offered Anthony Barco a brief moment of peace.

‘I’m thirsty.’ Roman grabbed the glass. Then, while looking at Anthony Barco, who could not lift his face due to his shattered pride, he drank.

Gulp.

His throat was parched.

After drinking water, Roman left the private room. Now that he had learned the veiled truth, he had no reason to stay at the banquet anymore.

‘I’m going to be a lot busier in the future.’ Indeed, there was a lot of work for him to do. After half a year, he had to perform his national defense duties, but before that, he was thinking of resolving his grudge against the Barcos by himself. He had no intention of using the power of the Dmitry family. In the first place, this problem had originated because of Roman, and it was necessary for him to rely on his own abilities to see how much he would be capable of in the future as well.

How timely. Roman had recently been granted some authority from his father. ‘My father gave me the authority to recruit a regiment of troops. I have to use that to create my own army.’

Roman had started a new life. He didn’t yet have a clear goal of what to do, but there was one thing that Roman could be sure of—that he should rule. That was the life the Heavenly Demon needed to live. As he couldn’t live a normal life, Roman knew that from now on, he had to prepare and complete his goals one by one.

The war between Lawrence and Barco would be an excellent stage to gain experience, and furthermore, Roman would also use his time serving in the national defense as a stepping stone for growth.

On his way out, many nobles spoke to him. Roman had quickly become the main character of the banquet, and when he said he was leaving, certain nobles were truly sad about it.

However, just then, as he was greeting others and leaving the banquet, Roman suddenly heard a loud noise.

‘Kevin?’

The cause of the noise—At the center of it was Kevin, surrounded by a group of knights.

He was now an escort. He was someone who needed to protect his liege. Kevin, who followed Roman to the banquet, could hardly hide his excitement.

‘I became the escort of a nobleman.’

And it isn’t for any ordinary nobleman either. I became the escort of Roman Dmitry.

With the fact that he had become an escort for someone he admired, Kevin wanted to do his job better than ever before. Naturally, he got greedy and asked Hans for a suit of armor. Then, he came out wearing a nice armor that barely fit him, and put on a helmet that didn’t fit his head and showed a serious expression.

Roman Dmitry’s escort, Kevin—following Chris’ advice to be careful with his words and actions, he tried his best to make himself look like the right person for the role. However, the perspective of others was different. No matter how hard Kevin tried, he couldn’t help but look like a boy in his mid-teens.

“Who is he?”

“I heard he’s Roman Dmitry’s escort.”

Pfft, stop joking. I’ve heard rumors that Roman Dmitry is the eldest son who is abandoned by Dmitry, but why is his escort a young kid who can’t even wield a sword?”

“That’s Dmitry’s level, I guess?”

In front of the banquet’s door, in a situation where each noble’s escorts guarded their positions, the knights engraved with Barco’s pattern were mocking Kevin. Nevertheless, Kevin tried to stay calm and listen. However, at the sight of them not lowering their voices at all, Kevin blushed in anger.

“Hold it in.” It was Chris who said that. Of course, he was also listening to the knights, but he knew it was not good to argue with the knights of Barco.

“They are knights of the Barco family. If we react hastily in a situation where we don’t know what kind of relationship the young master has with the Barco family, then he may get in trouble because of us. I already told you before we left for the banquet—we are Dmitry’s face, and our lord’s reputation depends on our words and actions. So, no matter what they say, keep your composure and show your dignity as an escort.”

“…I understand.” He nodded his head. He knew he would be disrespected. However, that was nothing unusual for him. Instead, it was normal for Kevin, who lived in a slum, so he tried to ignore the gossip of the knights. However, as time went on, it got progressively worse. They approached Kevin and looked at him.

“Wow. How could someone seriously think of bringing a kid like this as an escort?”

“Look at this. The helmet doesn’t even fit properly. What an escort. He seems to have picked up a matching suit of armor from the smithy, but still, he’s deficient. I guess that’s why your lord is called Dmitry’s Fool.”

Kevin raised his eyes. He had tolerated them swearing at him; however, the moment they mentioned Dmitry’s Fool and disrespected his lord, he retorted, “Watch your mouth.”

“What?”

“Young Master Roman isn’t someone who is going to listen to that. So, be careful now.”

“This bastard!”

The knights’ expressions suddenly became harsh.

Barco and Dmitry—The relationship between the two families was strained due to Lawrence. Moreover, since Anthony Barco usually ignored Roman Dmitry, his knights did not feel the need to treat the people of the Dmitry family well. Their background was their strength. Even so, a knight who was incensed by Kevin swung his large hand toward the young Dmitry knight’s face.

Slap!

“Say that again, you bastard.”

Kevin’s head turned. Seeing blood gushing from Kevin’s face, Chris put his hand on his sword. However, he couldn’t unsheathe it. Of course, it was right to defend Kevin, but he was worried that his liege would be the one who would need to take responsibility for their actions. And Kevin understood that. In the ghetto, he was taught to pay back for what he suffered, but the moment his eyes met Chris, he suppressed his anger.

‘I am the young master’s sword.’

Roman’s escort and his sword—Having decided to become a useful person to Roman, Kevin turned his gaze away from the knights with a stiff face. It was him expressing he didn’t want to deal with them anymore.

Seeing that, the knights of Barco spoke angrily, “Come on, let’s see how long you can keep your pride.”

Once again, the knight raised his arm. And, the moment he was about to slap Kevin’s cheek,

Slap!

A satisfying sound rang out.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t Kevin who was slapped. Roman, who had suddenly appeared at the scene, had slapped the hell out of Barco’s knight.

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