Barco’s knight, Benson, could not accept reality even after feeling the tingling shock on his cheek. ’…Did I just get slapped across the face?’ His cheek was hurting.
As an escort of the Barco family, who had a huge reputation in the surrounding area, it wasn’t the pain that he could not accept, it was the act of being slapped. He confirmed the other person’s face—Roman Dmitry. He understood why Roman Dmitry hit him, but due to his reputation as a fool, Benson could not contain his wrath.
“How dare this bast—Keuk!”
Once again, his head spun. Embarrassed, Benson grabbed his cheek and tried to stop Roman, but Roman’s hand slapped his cheek again.
Once, twice, and even thrice—Each time Roman attacked him, Benson couldn’t even counter his slaps. Nevertheless, Roman did not stop hitting Benson’s face even when his face had not returned to its original position, and Benson, who was initially both confident and angry at Roman, withdrew. His head was spinning as if he had rolled down from a cliff. Consecutively, the pain outweighed his poor self-esteem, and while staggering, Benson waved his arms and begged earnestly.
His cheek was hurting. It was hurting so much one would think someone had poured molten lava over it. Although he had lived a life accustomed to suffering, Roman’s touch had the power to make people powerless. At that moment, he understood—he had made a huge mistake.
Regardless, Roman neither gave him a chance to apologize nor did he allow him to make any excuses. Even though aristocrats from the banquet began to gather while seeing the commotion outside, he slapped Benson’s face countless times with a cold expression.
Benson’s blood splashed on the floor, and even his teeth came out. He was staggering even while he was on his knees, and before he knew it, he was holding onto Roman’s legs.
Clearly, the situation had gotten dire. Belatedly, Kevin and Chris tried to stop him.
“This is enough punishment, my liege! The opponent is Barco’s knight. Even considering your relationship with them, it isn’t good to go this far!”
They were correct. However, even though they uttered advice, Roman glanced at them with a blood-splattered face and said, “I will be the one to decide the standard of sufficient punishment. Chris, Kevin, what kind of punishment do you think is appropriate for a knight who bad-mouths me, Dmitry’s eldest son? Even if this guy dies by my hands today, it’s only the price he needs to pay for the words he uttered. Even with that, I won’t be going beyond any boundaries.”
Roman—Right now, he wasn’t a benevolent lord. Benson had crossed the line set by Roman, resulting in a little bit of the cruelty of the Heavenly Demon being revealed to others.
Good sociability and kindness towards his subordinates—They were the necessary elements to maintain power. However, in the end, there are certain things that must also be done in order to rule well and maintain one’s throne. One such thing was punishing miscreants to set an example for others.
There was a clear standard of punishment. In front of everyone, Roman was showing how he would deal with those who crossed the line.
And once again, he pulled his hand back to slap Benson. However, at the moment he grabbed his head and was about to slap him,
“What the hell is this?!”
Anthony Barco appeared.
He couldn’t believe it. Roman Dmitry dared to punish the Barco family’s knights in front of everyone even though it was Barco’s banquet. Certainly, it was beyond his authority. And, with a face so blisteringly red as if it would explode at any given moment, Anthony Barco shouted, “Roman! Even though you are the eldest son of the Dmitry family, it is absolutely unacceptable to meddle with the Barco family’s knights. So, stop that right now and apologize for your behavior!”
The recent conversation in the private room-He had totally forgotten about it. Back then, he bowed his head for peace and mutual interest, but being openly ignored in front of everyone was something he could not tolerate.
Alternately looking at Anthony and Roman, a look of interest appeared on the faces of the nobles who were holding their breath. Now, Anthony Barco put even more strength into his voice. He had thought Roman had obviously crossed the line. Thus, he truly deserved his anger.
“Why should I apologize?”
Roman was not agitated even a little bit. Still holding Benson’s head, he said coldly while looking at Anthony Barco, “As I was leaving the banquet, I heard a Barco knight bad-mouthing me. Moreover, as he continued bad-mouthing me, he even made demeaning remarks to the Dmitry family. And in front of me, he dared to touch the face of someone from Dmitry. Anthony Barco, do you still think what I did was wrong?”
“…Even so, this has crossed the line!”
Anthony, of course, also knew that this was Benson’s responsibility. Still, the reason he could not back down was not because he wanted to protect Benson but because of the gazes of the people around him. He was desperately asking Roman to back down just once. Nevertheless, despite Anthony Barco’s gaze asking to save face, Roman did not follow his intentions in the slightest.
“Did you already forget what I said back in the private room? I don’t know how the relationship between the two of us, and furthermore, the relationship between our families, will change due to my personal resentment. From now on, you should be clear about your attitude towards me, Anthony. Will we continue to maintain our current relationship, or will we devour each other every time we meet? My patience is not as great as you think. So, decide your attitude right now.”
People who were gathered there were perplexed. Initially, they had thought that it was a simple dispute, but they didn’t know that it would turn into a problem that would bring up the relationship between their families.
Moreover, the current situation was also Roman’s intention. During his lifetime, the original Roman Dmitry had lived like an idiot—An idiot who was not treated properly outside, even though the Dmitry family was the powerhouse of the North-East region of Cairo. It couldn’t even be said that it was anybody else’s fault. Truthfully, it was Roman Dmitry’s fault for not taking advantage of his own strengths, and the current Roman wanted to rectify that fact as he began his new life.
‘My name is Roman Dmitry.’
The eldest son of the Dmitry family, Roman Dmitry.
Even though he was up against Barco, he showed everyone that he was a man who could utter such rude remarks to them. Benson—He was just an excuse. From the moment Roman entered Barco’s banquet, he was looking for an opportunity to prove his worth even after he had won the favor of the surrounding nobles through conversation. That was his intention when he had accepted to go to the banquet.
And, in a situation that arose from his opponent’s mistakes, Roman chuckled and attacked Benson like a predator who had finally cornered his prey. His sharp white teeth were exposed to Benson. Seeing Roman’s predator-like attitude, Anthony Barco could not hide his embarrassment.
Roman’s enmity and the gazes around him; in his heart, he wanted to fight. However, he knew that if he did, his mistake could not be undone through any means. After experiencing it firsthand in the private room, he could not deny that Roman had changed, and he could not risk their family relations being disrupted due to Roman’s personal resentment.
What if that happens? One-sidedly, it is definitely Barco’s loss.
With a bit of patience and perseverance, he could get his hands on Lawrence’s fertile lands and Flora Lawrence. Thus, he didn’t think it was necessary to upset Dmitry and ruin his grand plans. Little by little, Anthony Barco fell into self-rationalization. Nevertheless, he struggled to ignore the gazes around him, thinking that he had no choice but to choose one option.
Eventually, he said, “…Thinking about it, you are correct. If Dmitry’s knight had insulted me in front of others and touched a member of the Barco family, I would have punished him similarly. This is absolutely our fault.”
He took a step back. After bending his pride, he struggled to add meaningless excuses, saying he would have punished him similarly if he had been in the same situation. And that was the end of it. Roman smiled and pulled Benson’s head forward, “You think so?”
And when Benson’s eyes, tinged with fear, turned to him, Roman forced his head to the floor and said, “Show some respect.”
At those words, Benson squeezed his eyes shut. In the end, he was carried away on a stretcher. He was beaten so severely that his face had become bloody, and fragments of his teeth were left where he initially was, swimming in blood.
With that, Roman’s aim of coming to the banquet had been achieved. He wiped the blood off his hands with his handkerchief and left the party with Chris and Kevin.
On the way back to Dmitry, Kevin, who was silently following Roman, said with a face as if he had committed treason, “…Sorry. Because of me, my liege had to suffer embarrassment.” He truly felt miserable. If only he had been a knight like Chris, Barco’s knights would not have dared to argue with him, and Roman would not have been involved in useless things.
Chris also added, “I’m sorry as well. Even while seeing Kevin being beaten, and them insulting Dmitry, I did not respond. If I am to be punished for this, I will accept that punishment and never allow this to happen again in the future.”
Chris had power. Still, he remained calm for Roman. If he had known that Roman would be angry enough to be hostile to Barco, he would have drawn his sword and fought from the beginning.
Roman stopped walking. Then, he turned to his men and spoke calmly, “You guys made the best choice for me. It must have been difficult to be patient but thank you for being calm.”
Today, neither of them was responsible. From anyone’s perspective, the Barco family had power, and Roman Dmitry had no power or authority to treat them badly. If Roman was unprepared and had an argument with the Barco family, he might have faced trouble in front of everyone. Chris and Kevin knew that. They acknowledged Roman’s strength, but his position as Dmitry’s successor and authority was unstable, so his situation could have taken a turn for the worse if they had taken any different actions. However, that didn’t mean their response was perfect either.
“Being mistreated, of course, leads to anger. Your choice did avoid the worst outcome, but it isn’t the choice I wanted you to make. In the future, remember how to behave when someone spits in your face. If you do that, nothing like today will ever happen again. At least in the region of North-East in the kingdom of Cairo, there will be no one who will dare to disrespect the Dmitry family.”
While living at the bottom of the cave in his original life, Baek Joong-hyuk was powerless. So, he used his tools and smashed everyone’s boss’s head with a stone, making him the new king of the 12 children of the Heavenly Demon.
However, the situation right now was different from back then.
You can do anything when you don’t have power, but when you take on power, you risk the life of your comrades as well. And for that, I knew what actions to take at what time.
When it was not the right time, he smiled, and when the time was right, even if others judged him to be reckless, he cut off his opponent’s head without hesitation. In that process, he crossed numerous life-or-death situations.
Chris and Kevin were trying to act in his best interests, but if they had known “what actions to take at what time,” they wouldn’t have stood still today.
Just like the situation with the Barco family and even the Blood Fang, if Dmitry’s strength was accurately grasped, even if they crossed the line, there would be no problem.
“Even if it is something you have to endure, keep your opponent’s face clearly in your eyes. There is a difference between simply being patient and bowing helplessly. Your eyes must not lose the intent to crush your opponent when the time is right. I’m not the type of person who can tolerate someone being higher than me. You will have to get used to it—if you want to follow me, you need to place everyone else in this world under your feet.”
At that moment, Chris and Kevin thought—Roman Dmitry is a man who will lead a reigning life. And in order to become a person suitable for him, they must strive not to remain in the realm of everyone else’s common sense and thoughts.
Roman walked ahead; Chris and Kevin followed him. Looking at Roman’s reliable back, the two men’s footsteps were more firm, and they felt a stronger trust in him than they had ever felt.
The Heavenly Demon—The power that dominated all of Murim was now, little by little, taking shape here in the kingdom of Cairo.
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