His mind turned white.
Colton tried to understand this baffling situation.
Laika was lying face down with his head bowed on the floor beside him, motionless.
What the hell did he just say?
Who the hell was that guy?
He wanted to believe that he had heard it wrong, but the situation unfolding in front of him clearly denied it.
The Seventh Lord sat in a chair, crossed his legs, and looked around at the people in the hall.
The knights who had brought him and stood proudly were also frozen and unable to breathe.
In time, Colton also gradually became contemplative.
In the suffocating silence, it didn’t take long for him to come to terms with what he had done.
The new owner of the seat of the Seventh Lord, who had been talked about all over Calderic recently.
…The Seventh Lord was the man in front of him.
Baros carefully looked at the Seventh Lord and asked.
“By the way, why are you here with the mayor of Wilpeck, administrator?”
It was a tone full of pressure, as if he wanted Laika to prove his innocence.
If you couldn’t do that, it wouldn’t be strange if your neck fell off right here.
Laika felt fear and dread creeping through his body, swallowed his saliva in one gulp, and stuttered his mouth open.
“I was visiting the cities of the Fifth Lord one after the other for a related administrative matter. The reason I stayed with the mayor was because I had a personal relationship with him… He said he would bring those who insulted his daughter back to the mansion to resolve the situation. I followed him out of curiosity to observe. I never dared to imagine that you would be in this city. I am sorry.”
In fact, Laika felt really unfair. The situation was equally confusing.
For him, who was enjoying a brief retreat in Wilpeck, the situation came as a whirlwind. No, it wasn’t even a lightning bolt; it was a disaster.
It was only because he knew the face of the Seventh Lord that he could act quickly with his survival instinct as soon as he saw them.
How could he have imagined that the Seventh Lord had left his territory and were in this city out of nowhere, and that he was the one who had a quarrel with the daughter of the mayor?
Of course, he couldn’t ask the Seventh Lord, so there was only one thing Laika could do. He prostrated himself so that sparks would not fly to him.
Baros said, frowning.
“Anyway, didn’t you just watch the situation and try to enjoy it as a game?”
Cold sweat broke out on Laika’s back.
“No… is this… uh…?”
Meanwhile, Denbri, who was still muttering with a puzzled expression, turned to Colton.
Baros’ gaze turned to those two this time.
Because the Lord had decided to just mercifully do nothing, he had no choice but to watch that stupid girl walked away scathe free from the restaurant.
But she even dared to call the knights to this place even though the Lord had already given her one leniency?
“Mayor, will you continue to stand like that?”
Colton, who suddenly came to his senses, grabbed Denbri by the shoulders and knelt on the floor.
The biggest crisis came to the mayor’s life, which had suffered little for over 20 years.
Denbri, who was forced to kneel with him, reflexively frowned. She had never been on her knees since she was born.
She was completely taken aback, and when she saw Colton’s expression, she shut her mouth.
“My apologies… Seventh Lord.”
The Seventh Lord tilted his head to the side.
“I thought you called me here to tell me something, but what are you doing on your knees?”
“I’m sorry. I dared not know the great One and committed great disrespect.”
The voice of the Seventh Lord grew even colder.
“I told you to tell me why you called me. Are you going to keep doing that like a parrot?”
Colton bit his lip hard.
What could he say? Could he say that he was going to make the arrogant guy who dared to scorn her daughter pay for his crimes?
The other already knew everything, but the Lord was making him spit it out of his mouth himself.
He’s really dead.
The family could perish right here and now. Even if the Seventh Lord tried to do so, no one could stop him.
What about the Fifth Lord when she heard about this later? Would she be furious that he had wreaked havoc in her territory and killed the mayor?
No, even if she heard the circumstances, she wouldn’t care.
In Calderic, a Lord was such a being.
No one but the same Lord dared to look at them at eye level, and if you tried to climb, they would trample you to death like an insect, no matter how high of a position you might hold.
Colton slammed his head on the floor instead of answering. Not just once, but repeatedly.
“I have committed a mortal sin!”
Looking at Colton, who was constantly banging his head with his forehead shattered and blood flowing from it, Denbri, who was next to him, shuddered.
It was because it was only then that she realized the seriousness of the situation when she saw her father, who did not differ from an emperor in Wilpeck, act like this.
No matter how much she lived like no one could stop her, she knew what the status of a Lord meant in Calderic.
“Mayor, please stop. You dare in front of the Lord…”
Baros narrowed his eyes. He immediately cut off the mayor’s words and stepped back.
“This is the third time. Explain why you called me here.”
As if this was their last chance, the voice of the Seventh Lord was both indifferent and scary.
Only then did Colton realize.
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He knew that no matter what he did, he couldn’t get any sympathy from this monster. The best thing to do was just do what he was told, and pray that he would die a comfortable death.
“…I heard that someone had insulted my daughter, so I intended to bring him back here and make him pay for it.”
The Seventh Lord said.
“Did you get all the details on why that happened?”
“A waiter spilled a drink on my daughter’s dress, so while my daughter was educating the waiter…”
“Education. Is that what it’s called when you wield violence so ruthlessly over something like a stain on your clothes?”
“She even tried to slit the wrists of the person who stopped her. If that’s education, then what do you think is appropriate education for me in this situation? Here, the mayor of a border city ordered his knights to bring the Lord to him by force.”
The eyes of the Seventh Lord turned to Denbri.
“Did you say that you would make me unable to walk on my two legs without me crawling between yours?
The complexion of Colton and Laika, who were lying down, became more swarthy. Did you even say such a thing?
Denbri couldn’t hold back the fear and said with tears dripping down her face.
“Now, I made a mistake. Lord. Help me. Help me…”
The Seventh Lord shook his head.
“I was planning to just let you off since I didn’t want to make a fuss in another Lord’s territory.”
“We’ve committed a mortal sin…”
“I still have the same thoughts. I’m too lazy to make a fuss over such a ridiculous thing.”
However, at the words that followed, Colton’s face turned pale.
“Since it happened in her territory, the Fifth Lord will take care of it later.”
…That too was tantamount to a death sentence.
What would happen if this news reached the ears of the Fifth Lord?
It didn’t matter what the relationship between the Seventh Lord and the Fifth Lord was.
It was unacceptable that the likes of a mayor dared to insult a Lord in the slightest.
Even if the Seventh Lord didn’t use his hands right away, it was a predetermined future that the Fifth Lord would directly punish them herself.
The Seventh Lord rose from his seat.
As if everything he had to say was finished, he turned to the entrance of the hall.
When Baros glanced around, the knights standing around him hurriedly knelt one by one.
The Seventh Lords stopped walking for a moment and looked back.
“If you’ve lived trampling on others with such unreasonable power, you should have been prepared to be trampled on like this someday, don’t you think?”
There was nothing Colton could answer to the words of the Seventh Lords.
The figures of the Seventh Lords and his two attendants slowly moved away from the hall toward the exit.
By leaving the mansion, I completely turned my attention away from the mayor.
I had no intention of punishing them or anything like that in the first place.
It’s not that I was showing mercy, it’s just that I felt embarrassed to have my hands stained with blood for something like this.
And anyway, even if I did nothing, if this incident reached the ears of the Fifth Lord, the mayor and Denbri would… whatever it was, it would be a terrible end.
It was late at night.
Returning to the inn, I looked at the map I received from Tair again.
Also, I compared and matched the map with the map of the Fifth Lord’s territory to identify the location of the map in more detail. With the help of Baros, of course.
“There’s a forest on the northwestern border of the Fifth and Fourth Lords. That seems to be the point marked on this map.”
A slight detour from the path, but it didn’t matter as long as the mystery could be obtained.
I stroked my chin and looked back at Tair’s map.
But what is this letter?
Unknown strange characters written on one side of the map. Was it a password?
This also seemed to have something to do with the destination, but I couldn’t figure out what it meant.
Oh, Tair could have known, so he should have asked. I was so distracted by the map that I couldn’t even pay attention.
As I stared at the text, Baros spoke again.
“The forest, the greatest tree, when even the twilight completely subsides, it is written that lifeless branches will guide adventurers.”
I looked back at him in amazement.
“Can you read this?”
“Yes. One of the ancient cipher characters.”
I looked at him with eyes asking how he knew that, and the answer came back.
“I know a little about ancient letters because I was interested in exploring ruins while working as an adventurer in the past.”
There’s really nothing he couldn’t do.
The reason he was so good at Calderic’s geography was because he had such a past.
By the way… the biggest tree?
I pondered for a moment and tried to interpret the meaning of the sentence.
Was the ‘biggest tree’ pertaining to the biggest tree in the forest, and ‘when twilight has completely subsided’ meant night time?
But what was the last ‘lifeless branch’?
“Do you know what the ‘lifeless branch’ meant?”
“I’m sorry, but I don’t know…”
I asked Baros again, but he seemed to not know what it meant.
As I turned my gaze to Asher, she stood there a little dazed, pretending to think quickly, then shook her head.
…I’ll have to see for myself.
Then, the immediate goal was set.
Go to the forest marked on the map and find the biggest tree.