Chris’ victory was undoubtedly shocking. Gazing at Janson’s head roll on the ground, people accepted the possibility of it happening as Chris was considered one of the most talented swordsmen.
Isn’t Chris a disciple of Jonathan? It was impossible to understand with common sense, but it seemed possible when they thought about Jonathan’s teachings.
However, the true problem was the next match.
Chris and Janson’s match somehow made sense, but Homer’s build and appearance made people feel like victory would belong to the other side now. Homer wasn’t a being who could simply be referred to as ‘strong.’ He was a person who had been on the Rankings even before he achieved 4-Star, and now, the people of Cairo thought that he was worthy of being above the 30th Ranker. He was referred to as the hope of Cairo. However, today, he died. Without even being able to display his 4-Star Aura, which he was famous for now, Roman split his body and sword simultaneously.
“H-How did this happen?”
“Am I seeing an illusion right now?”
People were truly astonished. Obviously, they had thought Roman Dmitry would die in this battle. However, even though he knew his opponent was Homer, he did not step back from the fight and went in bravely. Honestly, the audience had thought there was not even a 1% chance that Roman would win. Thus, they could only keep their mouths closed as if someone had sewed them. Ignoring the fact that it was an important battle that would decide which side would win and which would lose, they could only blink their eyes several times to check the reality in front of them.
However, there was just one person who was indifferent—Roman. He took the reality in front of him for granted.
‘A brat who didn’t even reach the peak of his state was acting all arrogant.’
Homer’s Aura was strong. For Roman, he was the strongest among all those he had encountered in the Salamander continent; however, Roman’s fundamental evaluation wasn’t based on this world; it was based on his previous one.
The Murim he lived in was filled with masters. Unlike Murim, where Baek Joong-hyuk had decided to die despite being the Heavenly Demon, this place felt inefficient.
Homer’s attack—while people admired the Aura he displayed, Roman only sighed at it. Thus, the fight ended. Roman was sure of his victory. Homer wasn’t even a worthy opponent for Roman, and his burning desire to win the battle was soon extinguished.
Roman said, “Judge, please declare the results.”
And then, people acknowledged the reality. Roman’s victory after Chris’ meant that the Lawrence family had already secured the qualifications to win. The Battle of Great Warriors consisted of three battles, and whoever won the most was deemed as the winner of the Battle of Great Warriors.
Chris gulped seeing that. While he was watching the battle between Homer and Roman, his palms were drenched with sweat.
’…These are the true skills of my liege.’
Honestly, he hadn’t fully grasped the power of Roman yet. When the match started, he understood that Roman’s strength had obviously changed from when he first fought him. Back then, Roman wasn’t someone who could use Aura, but despite Chris using Aura, he suffered a defeat against Roman, who dealt with him purely using only sword techniques. After that, he realized the truth—Roman was dealing with mana in a different manner, and unlike his image as Dmitry’s Fool, he had already reached an unbelievable level. However, the problem wasn’t just him reaching an unbelievable level. Was his growth limited to the strength he used to defeat Chris? Or was there something else he had not revealed back then? Chris didn’t find answers back then.
However, a while back, Chris saw the true face of Roman Dmitry. Seeing dozens of soldiers get slaughtered by him single-handedly, he understood—If Roman was in front of him, anything was possible. Honestly, he was still a bit surprised when he saw the 2-Star mercenary, Berge, taken down with a single slash. However, when he saw Homer’s 3-Star Aura cut down, even if it wasn’t 4-Star Aura, he realized how overwhelming Roman and the current situation were. Even Chris, who thought he knew Roman, was shocked by the situation.
‘Did my liege have such skills when he fought me? Or did he achieve rapid growth after fighting me? I cannot even begin to understand this. In the former case, the lord was clearly not strong enough to overwhelm Homer, and for the latter, the time limit is too short for growth like this. Then, how the hell did this happen?’
His mind felt complicated. He didn’t even dare to try and guess it. In 2 months, most humans couldn’t even express a 1-Star Aura; however, in front of him, Roman had grown beyond that standard. Even after defeating Chris, he developed himself. It seemed as if he had gone through Body Reformation. And by showing off his brilliance, he stepped into a realm that Chris hadn’t even dared to enter. Honestly, his growth was so rapid that it couldn’t be found even in Murim. It was only possible because Baek Joong-hyuk, the strongest Heavenly Demon in the world of Murim, was in Roman’s body; thus, people not being able to understand Roman’s growth made sense.
“Hufffff…” Chris took a deep breath. After his victory against Janson, he thought maybe a day would come when he could overcome the wall known as Roman, as well. However, it was an illusion. Now that he had confirmed the true skills of Roman, Chris felt a sense of awe and suffocation.
‘I guess my thoughts were premature.’
He always thought of being loyal only until he surpassed his liege, but now he realized that his thoughts were too hasty.
Nevertheless, the fight was over. Obviously, it was Lawrence’s victory. There was nothing else to see, but as Count Ertes, who was in charge of this battle, was there, it was his duty to ensure the victory was announced and the matters were handled properly.
“The Battle of Great Warriors usually has to go through three battles for it to end. Since the winning and losing sides have already been decided with this match, both sides may send out a new warrior under them, if they want to.”
It was leeway for the loser. Since there was no reason to waste his manpower in a battle the other side was sure to win, he gave Barco a chance to keep their pride.
However, Viscount Barco couldn’t come to his senses despite those words. From the moment Homer’s body fell and began to bleed out, Viscount Barco felt like the sky had fallen on him1.
‘It’s over.’ His mind went blank. For his dispute with Lawrence, he did his best. He deliberately tampered with documents to induce a fight with the Lawrence family, and he spent huge amounts of money in the process and used his connections in the Central Government to summon Count Ertes here. And what was worse was that all that money wasn’t even Barco’s. Unlike Lawrence, who had fertile lands, Dmitry, who collected money due to their mines, Barco wasn’t a wealthy family, and all the money was borrowed from the Golden Bank with collateral.
Barco’s legs trembled. He couldn’t comprehend what had just happened. Even if he ignored the collateral, he knew the interest he would have to pay would be astronomical.
‘How the hell was Homer defeated? Homer is a 4-Star swordsman. Unlike the rumors around the North-East, he is a real swordsman with good skills who wandered around fighting with stronger people. Him losing the battle doesn’t make sense! This is clearly a conspiracy of the mercenary guild! They must have sent someone disguised as Homer, and that fake guy was killed by that Dmitry’s Fool!’
Barco ignored the reality in front of him. He didn’t want to believe it because he knew the price he had to pay would be huge. Viscount Barco’s eyes trembled anxiously despite seeing Homer’s face.
“…Lord. We need to send a warrior out there.” A knight spoke carefully. According to the plan, a 2-Star knight would go third. However, now that Barco’s two best warriors got killed, they couldn’t sacrifice another knight. Nevertheless, Viscount Barco didn’t bother about his pride and honor.
“We cannot lose our last hope. Send Benson out now. As he is the one who dishonored Barco at the banquet, we will give him a chance to make up for it right now.”
The knight withdrew with a stiff expression. He knew this act was nothing but throwing his men to the wolves. Benson was being asked to go out and die. Still, no one would talk back. At the last banquet, Benson, who was a knight, had argued with Kevin. It was fine that he was laughing at Dmitry, but the problem was that after that, he was unilaterally beaten by Roman in front of everyone. And that turned into a gossip topic for other nobles. It was a situation that showed the difference between Dmitry and Barco. Naturally, Benson was punished.
And today was his last chance to redeem his mistakes. To continue living as a knight of Barco, despite knowing that he might lose his hand or even his life, he had no choice but to walk onto the stage.
“I am Benson, representing Barco.”
It was the last battle. As Benson stepped ahead, there was a bit of a commotion at Lawrence’s side. Benson was a knight who wasn’t much strong. Lawrence’s knight was scheduled to go in third, and they were sure of this victory. However, suddenly, an unknown figure stepped out.
“I will deal with him.”
He was small. Wearing a helmet that didn’t suit him, he looked up at Roman with a determined expression. Yes, it was Kevin.
Lawrence’s knight spoke sternly at the sudden interruption, “What kind of role does this ordinary soldier want to take? Even if the opponent is a man who isn’t much strong, he isn’t someone you can deal with. The Battle of Great Warriors is a sacred place for the honor of Lawrence. As you are one of Sir Roman’s soldiers, I will let your words slide. Thus, step back.”
Kevin’s actions were too sudden. According to military law, he could be punished, as well. Lawrence’s knight was right in his own sense; however, Lawrence’s lord, observing the situation, just watched it happen silently.
Viscount Lawrence, Flora, as well as everyone else—They all knew that Roman Dmitry, who led them to victory, had the authority to accept the request of Kevin.
Roman looked at Kevin. ‘He’s truly foolish.’ Indeed, his actions were foolish. Although Kevin was developing quite rapidly, fighting against a sturdy opponent in the Battle of Great Warriors was a risky choice. Nevertheless, Kevin said he wanted to fight. Whether it was a choice to repay Benson for what he had gone through at the banquet, or if he was risking his life to prove his worth to Roman, it didn’t matter to him.
There was only one thing Roman was sure of,
Despite how foolish it was, he liked Kevin’s choice. In the world of survival of the fittest, no rights were granted to those who suffered defeat. At the banquet, people were speaking about Roman giving back a perfect reply to Janson’s actions, but behind the scenes, they didn’t take Kevin, a knight who had to be protected by his lord, seriously.
Moreover, Kevin was different from Chris. Thus, the people didn’t think Kevin could do anything for his liege. Therefore, he had to take a step forward. And after standing by Roman’s side, he understood what Roman valued.
Kevin said, “I will be back soon.”
Seeing Kevin move toward the stage with a ferocious face, the people of Lawrence couldn’t stop him.
Sky has fallen: A groundless or absurd conviction that some catastrophic consequence is imminent or underway. ↩️
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