An hour ago, Roman looked at the nobles and told them of the first way to end the war quickly.
“The Hector Kingdom needs time. Whether they use the Warp Gate to bring in allies for support or the Kronos Empire, they need at least three days to get it to function properly. Therefore, there is no reason for us to overdo things. It will be more likely that they will only be able to counter our attacks and not create any variables if we fight to our fullest.”
The enemy troops were hiding inside the walls. Pulling out the enemy was one way if the high and hard walls couldn’t be destroyed that soon.
“The first way is to create a variable. As a warrior, I will apply for a duel with the Hector Kingdom.”
“That is reckless.”
“They have Butler on their side. He will surely be the one to come as a warrior, and that will complicate the situation.”
The reaction of the nobles was negative. Who was Butler? He was the captain of the Royal Knights of Hector. He had defeated countless enemies with his fairly systematic swordsmanship, and thanks to his explosive 5-Star Aura, Butler, a commoner, was allowed to have the honor of becoming a Royal Knight based solely on skill. Now that he was getting older, he was refraining from taking on outside activities, but Butler was still one of the most recognized names on the Salamander Continent.
The opponent was obvious if Roman were to offer to have a Battle of Great Warriors.
Count Fabius said, “I am not saying Mr. Roman Dmitry isn’t strong. It was natural that no one would ignore your achievements from the time you defeated Hector’s troops with just 200 troops on your side. Nevertheless, isn’t the opponent Butler? The Battle of Great Warriors is a double-edged sword. When you win and gain momentum, you can take down the opponent at once, but even a single loss can lead to destruction.”
“That’s correct. The opponent is none other than Butler. How the hell will you beat a 5-Star Aura Swordsman? I understand your intention, but I do not want to take unnecessary risks.”
The nobles’ opinions were the same. In order to not lose the talented Roman Dmitry, the three nobles had come together for the first time.
When he saw their reaction, Roman grinned.
“I am even more sure that the first way is the best because of the reactions you all just showed. The Hector Kingdom is no different from you all. As they will be sure that Butler will win the fight, they will forget about everything and accept my offer. That is the beginning of the variable.”
This operation wouldn’t end with a simple proposal of fighting.
Roman Dmitry suppressed the opposition of nobles when he said persuasively, “Trust me. The moment I defeat Butler, Hector’s strong walls will crack open.”
When they heard the suggestion Roman had given just a few seconds ago, all the troops of the Hector Kingdom were stunned.
When he saw that the answer didn’t come back immediately, Roman raised his voice and said, “We have no grudges against each other. No, to be precise, we could say that we were unilaterally damaged because of Hector’s purpose. Nevertheless, that is not an important issue. I hope that there will be no more meaningless blood spilled, and that is why I want to end this war completely with a Battle of Great Warriors.”
As the carrots were out, the Hector Kingdom had no choice but to be attracted by their smell.
Roman struck the final blow by saying out loud the reward they wanted.
“If you win this battle, we will graciously accept the proposal of the Hector Kingdom. In return for the Southern Front, we will pay you as much compensation as you want. Conversely, when I win, you have to leave the Southern Front. That is the only condition I want. We have already made the decision on our side, and if you accept the proposal, we will accept the outcome, no matter what.”
Both sides were a mess. It was a radical proposal to put an end to the war, and the aftermath of it was bound to spread around.
He was the second-ranked Aura Swordsman of Hector and was quite a strong opponent. Obviously, Roman’s growth was monstrous, but he wasn’t at a level where he could deal with a 5-Star Aura Swordsman yet.
The short battle in the mountains showed how strong Butler was. He was an opponent against whom victory was never confirmed, but for that reason, they had a strong sense of victory.
‘It is well worth risking your life for the battle.’
The life of a fighter was never one of comfort. They had to fight constantly, and if they found an existence stronger than them, then they had no choice but to fight it. Heavenly Demon Baek Joong-hyuk, the peak of the Demonic Sect, lived on that desire. If Baek Joong-hyuk was someone who would settle down and live a comfortable life, he wouldn’t have thought of crushing the head of the captain with a stone when he fell into the cave.
By bowing the head, one doesn’t have to take risks but has to throw away their pride. In a situation where he could normally live like everyone else, Baek Joon-hyuk was always one step ahead.
The current situation was no different. If Butler was a strong person, he had to surpass him. He would trample on him and prove his strength once again.
Roman exclaimed, “I know what you are thinking. Now that the negotiations with the Cairo Kingdom have broken down, you all are most likely trying to bring in outside forces to solve the problem. As the Kronos Empire is aiming for Cairo, they see the Southern Front as a bonus. However, sufficient time is needed to connect the Warp Gate. If you don’t accept my offer, even at the risk of damage, I will destroy the rear of the Southern Front. I will slaughter all those who dared to invade Cairo’s territory and torture any survivor until they beg for death!”
Roman cornered them with another blow. By announcing Cairo’s two options in advance, he told them what the cost of their choice would be.
“I will give you exactly 10 minutes. I hope you will make a wise decision.”
Roman then stepped back. There was no need for him to rush things anymore. From now on, it was Hector’s turn to choose.
The soldiers of Hector who were above the wall mumbled among each other. They had vowed to resist with all their lives, but they all saw one person as a possibility for their survival. That person was Butler.
Butler approached Edwin Hector in front of everyone and said, “I will fight.”
“Commander! Roman Dmitry already understands our intentions. Now that the fact that you are trying to make a deal with the Kronos Empire has been discovered, we don’t know what will happen. Trust me, just this once. I will behead Roman Dmitry and return to find a way for the Hector Kingdom to live.”
His confident voice proved that he would not be pushed back. He truly was ready to put his life on the life, and Roman’s offer seemed irresistible to everyone.
Nevertheless, Edwin Hector shook his head.
“It isn’t that I don’t trust you. You are the captain of the Royal Knights of Hector, Butler. Obviously, I think that you can defeat Roman Dmitry with your skills. The problem is that you, I, and everyone else in the room know that. The Roman Dmitry we experienced isn’t a reckless kid. We cannot dare to look into the depth of the abyss he is. We lost 700 men due to him and his actions in one night. He asked to fight because he was sure of winning. I don’t think he can bring you down with his skills, but Roman Dmitry surely has a plan in his mind.”
And Edwin didn’t yet understand what Roman’s plan was. Nevertheless, he didn’t want to relive the defeat he had faced against Roman earlier. Even though a certain victory was right in front of him, because of that one defeat, Edwin didn’t want to push his luck.
Butler said, “Commander—No, prince. After I joined the Royal Knights, I lived with the Prince all my life. What kind of person does the Prince remember me as? Was I a coward who stepped back in fear at the possibility of defeat and didn’t even try because I was worried about the trap of an opponent? That fact that Roman Dmitry has plans is expected. Nevertheless, I am the captain of the Royal Knights. The Roman Dmitry I experienced was one step below me, and I am confident in shattering him.”
He knelt down on one knee and appealed to Edwin with a hot and persuasive voice.
When he saw that passion, Edwin became speechless. Butler was right. Despite being old, in his best days, he was more warlike than any other person. He had gone through countless challenges and passed through countless risks of death. By overcoming them, he became Butler, a 5-Star Aura Swordsman, and made a name for himself throughout the entire continent.
‘Roman Dmitry can never beat Butler with his current skills. If so, their only option is to dig a trap to defeat Butler. If such a thing happens, the Hector Kingdom will have an actual cause for war. We can create any stage we want to because of the enemies’ cowardice.’
Edwin’s head started to hurt. A musty smell lingered at the tip of his nose. He couldn’t speak when he recalled the moment when he had cremated the soldiers. Nevertheless, just as Butler was precious to him, the Hector Kingdom was also precious to him, and he had already decided to save Hector.
Edwin Hector said, “Promise me one thing.”
“Please say it.”
“If you notice any strange signs, run away right that instant. I do not want to lose you. Can you promise me this one thing?”
“I understand, my Prince.”
Butler stood up and covered the sun. Then, with unfaltering eyes, Hector’s giant spoke in front of everyone.
“Then, I will go and come back with a victory.”
The gate opened. Everyone became silent when they saw Butler walking forward.
With each step, Butler got closer to Roman.
When he finally reached a distance where it wouldn’t be strange to attack, Butler said, “I have seen a lot of crazy people in my life, but never one as crazy as you. I will tell you in advance that I will do my best. I don’t know what trap you have prepared, but if you came out with good intentions, turn back. If you do that, your life will be spared.”
He then drew his sword. Surprisingly, even though he hadn’t taken a stance yet, it was pressuring.
“I will tell you one thing. Diligent justifications aren’t really that important to me. The moment I met you and your sword on the mountain, I hoped to see you fight till the end. At that time, the situation wasn’t good, and I had to step back, but now, I have created a stage where we will not be disturbed.”
He had seen a lot of people of the Hector Kingdom talking about his offer. They must have concluded that there were traps, and it must have been difficult for them to come out since they had already fallen into a trap once.
Nevertheless, this time, there were no traps from the beginning.
“The one sword I have is everything. There is no need for something like a trap. I only want to have a fight against you. So, do your best. If you kill me here, you can get what you want.”
At that moment, Butler grinned. He had expected something like that, but Roman somehow always seemed to exceed his expectations.
No more words were needed. No matter who arrived first,
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They both ran toward each other frenziedly.
Editor’s Thoughts: What an ending. The cliffhanger feels so hard to resist lol. Anyway, we will see Roman fighting a 5-Star Aura Swordsman soon! This is going to be amazing.