Gabriel’s defeat sank Viscount Conrad’s heart. A reality that he had never considered when he was assigned to the McBurney group was in front of him.
“… T-This is not real.”
His voice trembled.
Gabriel was a 3-star swordsman.
He thought that the difference in the aura alone would be enough to overwhelm the opponent, but McBurney’s aura was like a candle swaying in the wind. It didn’t disappear, even when it collided with Gabriel’s aura.
Something was definitely wrong.
He couldn’t accept the fact that McBurney used aura and that he actually blocked the approach of Gabriel or that McBurney was just a one-armed swordsman who defeated him.N♡vεlB¡n: Transforming Moments into Memories.
It felt like the world was falling apart for him. In this tournament, the pride of the Northeast Nobles’ Alliance was at stake. Although he didn’t reveal his aspirations to win, people knew what happened between him and Roman.
‘It is done. With this, our status will fall to the ground.’
The venue now had a festive atmosphere.
The underdog’s victory.
At first, people who were just noticing them before were now openly talking about them.
“Roman Dmitry has completely overtaken them.”
“The Northeast Noble’s Alliance is all mouth and no actions. Roman sent out just six of his men, and those people sent out a dozen of their men, but the victory was something they couldn’t gain against Roman.”
“It is over. The area to the northeast belongs to the Dmitry family now.”
Their voices were stabbing his heart. He wanted to shout, to scream, but everything around him felt too shocking for him to even move.
‘Since when did the Dmitry family get this strong?’
Six swordsmen. Not a single one of them was weak. And even his 3-star aura swordsman, Gabriel, lost against McBurney, who was the weakest.
If so, how strong were they?
Chris was at a level he couldn’t approach, and he wasn’t confident that anyone could defeat Kevin and the others.
This felt creepy. These six weren’t the only men Dmitry had. They had many more who didn’t participate in the tournament.
Moreover, Roman Dmitry himself didn’t participate. It was the moment when he could feel how great the existence of the monster who ruled these swordsmen was and how strong he had to be to defeat Butler.
‘Our alliance touched a monster. Being hostile to Roman Dmitry will only shorten our lives. If we wage a war against that monster and his men, victory can never be guaranteed even if we borrow power from the Central Government.’
It was all according to Roman’s plan.
Although he didn’t directly step in, Viscount Conrad realized the power of Dmitry.
“… Viscount Conrad. How are we supposed to act now?”
Asked a noble.
Viscount Conrad, however, spoke back, annoyed.
“Do I really have to spell that out too? We are done! Since the swordsmen on our side have been eliminated, there is no reason for us to stay here, so let’s get out.”
It was a clear one-sided defeat.
With Viscount Conrad in the lead, the nobles left the place.
All the competitions were over. The result was a one-sided stomp. Roman Dmitry, who only had six swordsmen, won with all six of them.
Rumors started circulating. People talked about how strong the swordsmen who initially represented Roman Dmitry were.
“But you know, when we talk about it, Roman Dmitry’s men weren’t always that strong. Although Chris is called a genius, Kevin and the others didn’t even know how to feel mana, let alone use aura. But then they came here. The conclusion is that talent isn’t everything but it is Roman Dmitry who made them great!”
It was a plausible thing to say. One instance may be a coincidence.
Everyone would understand the development of someone as talented as Chris, but the development of other swordsmen was something that wasn’t common to see.
Pooky and Volcan were common mercenaries on the battlefield; Kevin was just a slum boy, and Henderson was a farmer from Lawrence.
Finally, McBurney, the one-armed swordsman whom everyone doubted.
Apparently, people who were ordinary one year ago followed Roman to the Southern Front and came back as different people.
The rumors were wild. At some point, people were getting convinced.
“There is always a strong swordsman in a prestigious swordsman family. A person with strong force enough to gain fame all over the continent and the ability as a leader to nurture the others who follow him. Roman Dmitry is one such case. Born into a family with no sword skills, Roman Dmitry rose to the level of a ranker with his own effort. Do you realize what that means? It means that Roman Dmitry is the first and strongest swordsman who will lead Dmitry into a prestigious family. By following him, even a slum boy can become a swordsman, and the sooner one settles down in Dmitry, the more secure their future will be.”
This wasn’t nonsense. There were families famous for their swordsmanship.
All of them had one notable person who became famous, like Roman Dmitry, who made his family famous. Dmitry would be no different.
Roman Dmitry. He produced talented people. Not only was he good, but he also proved his ability to nurture young people under him.
“From now on, the route of the people from the northeast will become clear. If one wants to succeed as a swordsman, then swear allegiance to the Dmitry family.”
Dmitry. A blacksmith family with low birth. It was the moment when Dmitry’s reputation, which even the nobles didn’t recognize, began to change little by little.
After the tournament, Roman summoned his men.
“Everyone has been through a lot.”
Last month, everyone had worked so hard. There was no clear standard or order to win the competition, and the subordinates who didn’t know how strong they were had to clench their teeth.
The result was an overwhelming victory. Without a single crisis, they completely overwhelmed the swordsmen of the Northeast Alliance.
And for them, he wanted to say something.
“You guys decided to follow me for your own reasons. Some people needed my strength, and some swore allegiance because they had no other option. Actually, the reason doesn’t matter. Whatever the reason you chose to come here, if you weren’t worth it, I wouldn’t have accepted you in the first place.”
He spoke the truth. A relationship was a necessity. When the other person said he needed Roman, he was ready to accept them if they were worth it.
“I do not like complicated relationships. Human emotions that cannot be explained in words can lead to a so-called strong relationship, but I believe that the perfect relationship—one that doesn’t require sacrifice—is one in which both parties have something to offer. You have something you want from me. We have actually achieved something, and we can only hope that this will continue in the future. No matter how much time passes, I will always remain the person you were looking for.”
Heavenly Demon Baek Joong-hyuk.
It was like that time.
In order to survive that world, he couldn’t rely on human emotions and formed solid relationships by giving and receiving benefits.
“Some of you may wonder why I say this. After swearing allegiance to me, I have heard that many people have doubts about their abilities. Some come from the slums, some never touched the sword, and some have only one arm. They look down on their own skills, even when no one criticizes them. So I gave you my way. If you were judged of no value to be my people, even if you were a perfect swordsman, you wouldn’t be given a chance with me. You are my chosen people. I, Roman Dmitry, decided that your existence was needed by me, and I accepted you.”
A relationship of need, even if there was a cost to pay. If Roman decided to believe in them, he would give them a chance.
“So, don’t doubt yourselves anymore. Today’s result proves your potential, and knowing that you will surely win, I laid this plan against the nobles. From a month ago, that competition was the first mention of it, I never once doubted you. It didn’t matter which of you participated.”
At that moment, he thought of the faces of his men and the fight on the Southern Front.
His men admired Roman even more because of that, but on the other hand, they thought Roman Dmitry could do anything on his own.
In the battle up the mountains, Roman wasn’t accompanied by anyone. It means that he couldn’t trust anyone but himself, and that burden stayed on his mind.
But now he trusted them. There was no doubt that the words that he needed them made his men happy.
Roman smiled. The faces of his men were unique. Seeing everyone’s red faces as they tried to suppress their emotions wasn’t so horrible.
“I will give you all ten gold as a reward and three days of vacation. I want you to fully enjoy it and be relaxed both physically and mentally.”
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At those words, the men no longer tried to hold back their emotions and cheered out loud.
“It is such an honor to have you as our Lord!”
“I will be loyal for the rest of my life!”
Today is the day.
In order for his subordinates to express their emotions freely, Roman didn’t hide the smile on his face too.
The next day, Roman called Lucas.
“As a result of examining the plan of the nobles, there seems to be no special movement. They met once after the tournament, but they didn’t plan anything else except for coming and going. It is expected from them. They gave up on confronting Dmitry due to the Lord’s indirect warning throughout the tournament. Perhaps until the chance arises, they will not rebel against what Dmitry is doing.”
Viscount Conrad’s mansion. The men who brought the tea and delivered the food were members of the Intelligence Guild and passed on the information to Lucas.
The Northeast Nobles’ Alliance. They raised the white flag. However, Roman knew that it was just a temporary thing.
“There is no perfect work in the world. No matter how strict the rules are, those who oppose them will always have a different idea. In that sense, the northeast nobles can be called evil. People who walk a different path than me and do not like me will join them and build their own power. If it were you, how would you handle this?”
“… to block that variable, I think cleaning them is the right thing.”
“It isn’t a bad method either. If there were enough talents and resources to replace the northeast, they would choose that way. But now there isn’t enough time. In a situation where we do not know when conflicts will arise with the Central Government, we will have to minimize the sacrifices here.”
From the start, Roman envisioned the plan in stages.
Stage 1. Provoke the northeast.
Stage 2. Make them see the reality.
Then what was Stage 3?
“Lucas, move on to Stage 3.”
Use barbarians to control barbarians. Contrary to its general meaning, Roman Dmitry was thinking of moving as the barbarian himself.
With this plan, the Northeast Alliance will rethink everything about the Dmitry family.