The war with Hector was over. Upon hearing the news of Roman Dmitry’s return to the capital, Hans asked for Baron Romero’s approval and headed to the capital right away.
Even during that time, he wasn’t fully aware of Roman’s achievements. Baron Romero was worried about his son and hoped Hans would take care of him. So Hans was able to arrive in the capital.
As he was cleaning the accommodation given by the Royal Family in advance, he suddenly met someone.
“Young Master Lauren?”
It was Lauren Dmitry. He entered the estate with a youthful face, lingered around Hans, and asked a few things. At first, it was about how the family was.
“Is Father alright? Is Mother doing well?”
Hans knew Lauren Dmitry had already contacted his family a few days ago. The child should have known it. Still, he waited for him to bring up the topic first.
After a long, meaningless conversation, Lauren Dmitry spoke in a cautious voice,
“Did anything special happen to Brother Roman when I was away? No, Brother Roman never had any interest in swordsmanship, but now I just saw him return to the capital, being escorted by guards. According to the people… Brother Roman defeated a ranker of the Hector Kingdom.”
He hesitated a lot when speaking. He didn’t believe it. Despite witnessing it with his own eyes and hearing it himself, Lauren Dmitry couldn’t accept that Roman had changed.
“A lot of things happened to Young Master Roman when Young Master Lauren left. I think that rumors must have spread too. The marriage with the Lawrence house was broken off, and a war was waged by the Barco house. He defeated Homer, and this time he went to the Southern Front and made impossible things happen. The people who knew Young Master Roman might think of it as a lie, but all of that isn’t filled with even an inch of a lie.”
“Is that real?”
“Yes. Would I lie to the Young Master? Thanks to the changed path of Young Master Roman, Lord Romero has been happy these days. Why not meet him in person instead of talking like this? I heard that he would come here in the evening. If you meet him in person, you will be able to see how he has changed.”
At Hans’s suggestion, Lauren averted his gaze.
“No, it is fine.”
He had a puzzled expression. He said he was fine, but he was constantly observing Han’s reaction and was hesitating to say something else.
Finally, Lauren didn’t state his purpose. Hesitating till the end, he left and told Hans he had work to do.
Hans had been with Dmitry for many years. Most of the time, he had devoted himself to Roman, but over the years, he knew the inclinations and behaviors of the other Young Masters too.
‘Something is wrong.’
Lauren Dmitry was a gentle-hearted person. The three sons of Dmitry were born with different characters. Roman and Rodwell got their father’s fieriness and temperament, but Lauren Dmitry grew up differently from the two due to their father’s desire to have a daughter.
Thus, he was like his mother. He was careful and never acted hastily, but sometimes he would turn timid, which made others a bit frustrated.
Hans noticed it. If Lauren Dmitry had come to visit him, he must have been going through something serious. So he looked into it.
After investigating the academy, it wasn’t difficult to find out what was troubling Lauren Dmitry. With this information, Hans reported to Roman,
“It seems like Young Master Lauren is being bullied by his classmates at the academy. Even in the old days, Young Master Lauren would fall down and break his knee or scrape it, but not once had he said anything about being in pain. However, such a person came to me and asked about you, Young Master Roman. I think he wanted to ask for help, but I didn’t have the liberty to ask what the problem was.”
The Royal Academy.
He had heard of it. It was a gateway that must be passed in order to succeed. All the nobles of Cairo enrolled their kids in this academy. The academy was a gathering place for future lords, and it dealt with all issues concerning human relationships.
The children of the Central Government nobles would openly discriminate against other nobles. Especially those who lived on the outskirts, such as the Dmitry family, were not even treated as nobles.
However, it would be different if one’s skills were proven, like Rodwell Dmitry, but Lauren Dmitry had no skills. The situation was obvious. Hans made the request in an earnest way without deliberately mentioning the sensitive issue.
“Young Master. This might seem presumptuous, but could you please meet with Young Master Lauren?”
Meeting Lauren wasn’t part of his plans. Roman would return to Dmitry after this, but he had to meet him unexpectedly.
‘Lauren Dmitry, it is said he is the youngest one.’
He tried recollecting his memories. His relationship with Lauren wasn’t bad.
Even though Rodwell was the second son, he denied that Roman existed and made sure Roman had no rights. From then on, there was a conflict between the brothers. As a result of their fierce competition, Roman reached his limit first and fell into depression.
On the contrary, Lauren had nothing to do with the competition for power. Regardless of the age difference, Lauren Dmitry followed the older brothers and showed no interest in power.
‘I don’t have to take care of him just because he is a younger brother.’
But they were still family. Based on the memories he had never experienced before, he wasn’t affectionate with his younger sibling. But at least, as someone with the name Dmitry, he thought meeting once wouldn’t be bad. He had to evaluate Lauren Dmitry.
Baek Joong-hyuk was cruel to his brothers and killed anyone who threatened his life while he was ascending to the top. On the contrary, he readily accepted new connections, like Hans and Baron Romero, who gave him positive feelings.
He wanted to meet Lauren so he could judge him in person. Just because he had Dmitry’s name, Roman had no plans of helping Lauren.
“I understand. I will meet him.”
Hans smiled broadly.
Roman thought that since this was Hans’ request, he would grant it.
While Roman was resting, someone was taking action.
‘Recruiting Roman Dmitry has been postponed indefinitely. However, there is still a way to score points from Marquis Benedict.’
It was Count Fabius. He tried to get Roman on his side, but he couldn’t believe what Roman said at the feast. Due to this, he came up with a new plan.
‘People are all recruiting Roman Dmitry, but in fact, his subordinates are also formidable. It was frustrating at first. Dmitry is a family on the outskirts, and it is hard to find people as talented as them, even in the capital. If we can convince them, Marquis Benedict will surely be pleased.’
Count Fabius carefully observed the battlefield during the war. As soon as the order to help Roman was issued, his men slaughtered the enemies with an overwhelming force.
Especially for Chris, his presence was amazing. He was once called the Genius Swordsman in Dmitry, and was considered a nameless man in the capital. However, seeing him slash down the aura swordsmen of Hector felt thrilling. No matter how much Count Fabius thought about it, Chris didn’t seem much older than 20.
In fact, while the other men didn’t shine when Roman Dmitry defeated Butler, Chris showed growth that a man in his 20s wouldn’t have. Chris had a talent that any noble would welcome with open arms.
‘This is from my first-hand experience. If I hadn’t gone down to the Southern Front myself, I would have thought that only Roman Dmitry was the gift that would please Marquis Benedict. Let’s approach Roman step by step. Roman’s men, including Chris, if I can bring them to our side, and slowly convince Roman, I might gain Marquis Benedict’s trust in an instant.’
It was like killing two birds with one stone. He kept smiling and thought his plan was perfect.
They weren’t Roman Dmitry, and guys like Chris could not turn down his offer. It was only a matter of time before he could convince Roman and his men.
Roman gave Chris and his men a vacation. After the fierce war, they were all entitled to be paid and have some time to enjoy themselves. So the soldiers went their separate ways and enjoyed their break.
Chris remained on the training ground alone. It was impossible for him to rest when he thought about the war.
‘When I first met the Lord, he was clearly someone I could reach. So I promised myself that I would surpass him in a very short time, but in the same short time, the Lord managed to reach a different level than me.’
The battle with Butler was shocking. For most people, it was common sense for Roman to lose, but Chris believed that Roman would win, and as expected, Butler was brutally defeated. He was a 5-Star Swordsman, which the Hector Kingdom was proud of. Such a man lost against Roman Dmitry, who wasn’t much different from him half a year ago.
How was that possible? He tried to understand it, but he couldn’t think of an answer.
‘What is certain is that I am developing rapidly with the Lord. I just need to look at the back of my Lord and follow him. I also experienced tremendous growth in the last half year. I still don’t understand the situation I am in. The Lord is showing a speedy development which makes no sense, and all the knowledge he tells me is priceless.’
This wasn’t knowledge that a family on the outskirts like the Baron’s family should have. If the Dmitry family was a family of swordsmen, it was clear that they would have made a name for themselves as master swordsmen.
It was Roman who made a name for himself. Roman Dmitry doubted the principle of aura and showed he had the talent to create a new world with the sword.
His choice was right. He was convinced that he could develop much more by following Roman Dmitry, and he didn’t want to stop at the little growth that he had. He knew the moment he showed negligence, Roman Dmitry would head into a world beyond his reach.
The goal was to defeat him utterly. So, even though everyone had left for their vacation, he stayed behind at the training ground and swung his sword. And it was then,
“Are you Chris?”
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It was a familiar voice. He turned his head. Count Fabius was looking at Chris with a friendly smile.