The nobles of the Northeast Alliance gathered once again.
“A swordsmanship tournament held by the Dmitry family. This is a good chance for us to get revenge for the humiliation we suffered earlier.”
It was Viscount Conrad.
As soon as he heard the rumors, he contacted the members of the alliance.
“Roman Dmitry promised not just 100 gold but also a request being fulfilled. If the Northeast Alliance wins. We can present ourselves as winners, and in exchange for accepting Roman Dmitry’s apology, we can display the great faces of our nobles, making people forget the humiliation. The benefits we get from this are clear. With just one apology, we can reverse our relationship with Dmitry and restore our honor that fell to the ground.”
Contacting Fabius made them realize how important Roman Dmitry was.
Rather than developing an irrevocable relationship based on seeking vengeance, they believed that the ideal situation would be to save their faces in the proper manner—the Northeast Alliance forgiving Roman’s actions.
It was a good chance to restore their honor and promote an unusual relationship with Roman.
And a noble said,
“Is it possible for us to win? Aside from the alliance, there are many people who are interested in the competition, and will it be possible to beat them all?”
“Right, and among those who follow Roman are Chris and Kevin. Aren’t they the ones who took the spotlight for wiping out the people of Barco? I remember that they had great fighting skills then, and if they are representing Roman in the competition, winning will not be easy.”
This was the stumbling block. They had to win. All their plans were possible only when one of them won.
At that concern, Viscount Conrad smiled.
“Yes, I don’t think that winning is easy. However, the competition will be divided into six groups. Chris? Kevin? Even if they are amazing, they cannot participate in six groups at the same time. Then, among Dmitry’s men, there must be a weak link. So, that is what we are going to aim for. All we have to do is evenly distribute the alliance forces among the six groups. So, obviously, at least one group will have a winner.”
“… that does sound possible.”
“From what I heard, it doesn’t seem like a bad plan. If we can get just one winner, our plan succeeds.”
The last few days were quite humiliating for them. They couldn’t even raise their heads in front of people and didn’t know how to resolve the strained relationship with Roman.
Revenge and compromise.
To succeed in both, this was the best chance.
Viscount Conrad added,
“The tournament is one month from now. Everyone should keep that in mind. There is no other way to restore the alliance’s reputation unless we seize the opportunity provided by the heavens. So do not aim for any other means. Even if there is a limit to disguising as a warrior from another territory, we just need to produce a winner in some way. It will be difficult. Even if Dmitry’s power is huge, they cannot surely win over all six groups, right? After all, they are also a noble family on the outskirts, and with this, we advance.”
In one month, they expected that the terrible humiliation they had been subjected to would end.
At that time, Roman summoned his men, including Chris, Kevin, McBurney, and others.
Roman spoke calmly as he looked at them.
“I think you heard of the tournament. From now on, I will declare that in one month, you will compete with and against one another, and I will select six warriors to compete on behalf of the Dmitry family. Past evaluations aren’t important. This means that your current position will be represented by only one month’s results.”
His men’s expressions changed at that moment. There was no reward, but the word ‘competition’ changed everything.
‘We left the Southern Front, but the war is far from over. From the moment I slowly show the path I am going to take, it will be unavoidable to run from the powers of Cairo. That’s why, even if we stay in Dmitry, we have to maintain the tension that developed on the battlefield. Just like a sharp sword that can hit at any time, I will provide my subordinates with an incentive so that they will aspire to higher ground.’
During the war, Roman and his men had a tough time. Some made progress from their experiences, while others decided to loosen their bodies and rest comfortably.
The relief of being away from the battlefield and praise from those around him for the performance he did, for multiple reasons, the war didn’t just have a positive effect on everyone.
His return to Dmitry was the best time to relax his mind. However, Roman didn’t just sit idly by from such a change and gave his subordinates who lost their purpose fuel to burn.
“Those who have raised their reputation on behalf of Dmitry will be rewarded. If you are chosen as one of the six swordsmen to compete and win, I will inform the victor of the top-level skills. There are many different types of skills—from footwork, and swordsmanship, to combat—I’ll show you how to successfully advance to a higher level from your current one.”
The men gulped. Even if Roman said it was to evaluate their loyalty, they would have risked their lives.
And a top-level skill.
The men knew what it meant.
‘The Lord is a different being from us. He knows a lot of knowledge that can be called a treasure on the continent, and we are getting stronger by taking some of his teachings. And if the Lord gives us a top-level skill right now, it will be huge. It is clear that he will teach a skill that is incomparably superior to any reward money.’
In the battle with Hector, tensions arose, and they developed strong bonds with their comrades. Their trust in each other had grown stronger, but they had no intention of giving up the things that Roman would provide them.
Within the same group, they hoped to become the best. The fire Roman ignited in their hearts was intense.
‘The competition has two purposes: to confront the nobles and make them face reality; and train my men perfectly. After the tournament is over, the situation in the northeast will probably change a lot.’
A one-time chance.
Roman decided to let his men go wild.
“From now on, we will start training for the tournament.”
The men were dismissed, and Roman organized his thoughts.
‘One month to prepare. It’s time for me to train too.’
Roman saw a new world at the Southern Front.
In the battle with Butler, he knew there were strong people, but he hadn’t encountered many of them, and it was his first time witnessing Edwin Hector’s magic.
For the first time in his life as Roman Dmitry, he felt that his life was in danger, and in the crisis that followed, Roman felt ‘his’ presence burn.
Baek Joong-hyuk, Heavenly Demon—a being born from the verge of death. The crisis was familiar, and Roman felt alive as a human.
‘Initiating a crisis is an act of stupidity, and I risked my life for victory, and the only way to avoid such constant crises is to become stronger. Just like how my subordinates are running to train for the tournament next month. I, too, will find a way to move ahead for the month or so.’
The enlightenment gained on the battlefield. It was a time when training was needed.
This time, while staying at the forge, he was thinking about making a new sword while reviewing his condition.
In order to advance to a new level, he needed a sword suitable for it, and it felt like the current one wasn’t going to keep up with his growing strength.
This was an expected result. He always made a sword suitable for the present, so the sword he was using was now a remnant of the past.
Before going to training, he called for Lucas.
“You called me, sir?”
As the head of the information guild, Lucas accomplished a lot. Utilizing Dmitry’s power and financial resources, he quickly took control of the surrounding area and recently absorbed the Black Moon information guild.
Roman’s thoughts were right. Lucas was an outstanding man with abilities anyone would admire, and he provided him with a clear reward. So he was able to quickly build a system similar to that of the Lower District sect.
It was different from the past. If he wanted Barco’s information, then Lucas had the ability to get it done in five minutes.
“For the next month or so, I plan to go into a closed training. In the meantime, I won’t be getting any reports, except in one case: if there’s trouble in the family, I need the information to be delivered right then.”
“And sell this sword.”
Roman handed him the sword.
In order to make a new sword in the future, he had to let go of the current one.
“Its original name is Flame, but I changed it to Blaze because it is looking for a new owner. Any method of sale is fine. Without revealing who its former owner is, find a new owner for the sword. The profits will go to the information guild.”
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This was Baek Joong-hyuk’s way of living as the Heavenly Demon. Baek Joon-hyuk had made several swords, and whenever he made a new one, he would leave the old one without any regrets.
It was the desire of a craftsman. It was now an unneeded sword for his current self, and he hoped it would shine in the hands of others.
They were called the treasures of the Heavenly Demon. As the swords went around the world, they met numerous owners, gained fame, and they proved to be useful to many.
This time was no different.
One month from now, Roman would have time to make a new sword. Therefore, it was time for him to let go of the past, and Roman hoped the swords would get a new owner.
If it were a sword made by the Hero of Cairo, then it would be something the rich would covet, and he didn’t like that. At the very least, he hoped that the sword would find an owner who recognized its worth.
Lucas took the sword.
“I will see you in a month.”
At the end of their conversation, Roman took a step back toward the forge. His time in the hot forge would now begin.
After separating from Roman, Lucas went around with the sword.
“This is a great sword, no matter how one looks at it. Why sell this?”
He was no blacksmith, but he was around the battlefield, and he had an eye for weapons, and this sword was something he was certain of.
A smooth blade that could kill in a flash, one that would make people droll. In his mind, he himself wanted to pay a large sum to keep it, but the order given to him meant that there had to be a purpose.
‘Such a pity. If I were still on the field, I would have done anything to buy this.’
Lucas cleared his thoughts, as this was Roman’s order. So he was going to follow it. As he was suppressing his desire for the sword, a thought came to his mind.
‘The Lord told me to sell the sword by any method. If the sword was made by the Hero of Cairo and is auctioned off anonymously, how much will it be valued? It cannot be bad. And the Lord wanted the sword to find an owner, so those who know the value of the sword will be the ones putting a higher price.’
He thought of the perfect method, so his destination was set—the Northeast Commercial Center.
He headed to Count Adelian’s estate, where the Warp Gate of the captain was located.
The Adelian Auction House.
And Lucas’s heart pounded for the future.