At first, he thought it was strange—When told to go to the outskirts of the castle rather than the shack in the slums, Kevin looked puzzled as if he was a child who could not understand English.
‘Why are you telling me to go there?’
He never thought his family would have moved to the outskirts—Kevin’s parents did not have enough money to move to the castle, and they had given all their emergency funds to the Blood Fang due to their constant threats. So he simply thought that there was some ‘business.’—That was the only thing Kevin could think of, and with the thought of meeting his parents and his sister, he stopped by a bakery to buy baguettes and whipped cream.
‘Marie will really like it.’
His sister ate hard bread every morning and often complained, “Why can’t we eat freshly made bread?” Then, Kevin looked at her with a sullen look on his face as she put the bread down; however, he couldn’t promise anything. The price difference between freshly made bread and bread hardened by cooling was more than double, and in particular, he couldn’t even dare to buy fresh cream that could be eaten by spreading it on bread.
Every now and then, everyone likes to splurge; however, knowing that hunger would be the price of her luxury, she grew mature at an early age and ate the hard bread Kevin stuffed into her mouth while ignoring her desires.
However, today, it would be different—There was still a lot of money left even after buying freshly baked bread and whipped cream, and Kevin decided to give the rest of his money to his parents once he met them. Eventually, he started laughing. And with light and joyous footsteps, he arrived at the place, albeit unprepared for what awaited him.
“…What is this?!”
He was flaggerbastered by what he saw, and his mouth was open so widely it was as if he was expecting a bird to come and sit inside it. The sight that had unfolded in front of him was the very definition of unbelievable—His parents, who earlier lived in a shack, were sipping tea in the yard of a stylish wooden house, and warm bread was steaming on the table as if it were pure bliss. Shockingly, that wasn’t all. His sister, Marie, who used to wear shabby clothes made from pieces of different fabric, was wearing a pure white dress and watering the flowers in the yard.
Kevin’s world had utterly changed—his family was no longer poor and was living the life of ordinary people who could enjoy everyday things.
Kevin’s family found him standing outside, albeit belatedly.
Finally seeing her brother after a whole month, Marie ran and hugged him, and Clark and Michelle also saw their son’s face reddened with tears. It was time for a well-deserved family reunion. Although the freshly baked bread and whipped cream he had brought faded from his thoughts, Kevin was truly relieved to know that his family was doing so well.
And then, he wondered—His family’s living conditions had changed. So what the hell had happened in the past one month? Seeing him confused, his father, Clark, spoke on behalf of his family, “At first, we were confused as well. Young Master Roman’s servant, Mr. Hans, came to visit and gave us a house and land to cultivate in the future, explaining that it was Young Master Roman’s order. Not only that, but he also helped us with the connections and financial support necessary to get a seat in the castle. Honestly, I seem to have been living a dream the past few days.”
Kevin’s father’s talk was long—He talked about the past and how his life had changed. However, Kevin couldn’t hear his father for even a moment. The fact that the changes in his family had come from Roman reminded him of what Roman said to him—“If you accept my offer, your family will never have to worry about their livelihood again. In a warm house that blocks the cold wind, eating three delicious meals every day, they will not only live a life in which they won’t need to work hard but will also be able to enjoy hobbies. Living like that is simple. I plan to do the same in the future.” The day Roman accepted Kevin as his own person, he had promised him that.
Kevin had earlier thought he would need to sacrifice his life for Roman only due to the grace he had received recently, but Roman had kept his promise to him even without him realizing it—Kevin’s family no longer needed to worry about their livelihood. Also, the warm wooden house kept the cold wind out, and the food on the table clearly indicated a prosperous life.
At that moment, Kevin started crying. With a burning feeling in his chest, Kevin lowered his head and swallowed his tears. ’…Thank you very much, my liege.’
Thank you.—Even though they lived in a hierarchical society where the difference in status was considered absolute, Roman did not turn away from his promise to an ordinary boy who was nothing to the society. At that moment, Kevin realized his own beliefs were not wrong—Roman was a man worthy of giving his life and swearing allegiance to, and now it seemed that even if he died for him, he would truly die with a smile on his face.
‘Let’s go back.’
Now is definitely not the time to relax. He knew how powerless he was at Barco’s banquet, so he needed to become stronger by training in the Demonic Spirit Art as soon as possible. He didn’t even care if he died in the process. He was sure Roman would keep his promise to look after his family, and as long as he had that confidence, he had no need to regret his choice.
I will become strong.—Once again, Kevin made up his mind to dedicate his life to Roman.
However, Clark, who had been talking in utterance until recently, suddenly looked at Kevin’s face, and his expression hardened instantly.
“…Were you beaten by Young Master Roman?”
He saw the wounds on Kevin’s face. Clearly, the red, swollen cheeks were signs of violence. The human heart is deceitful. So Kevin’s parents, who were expressing their gratitude to Roman until recently, showed a fierce expression at that moment. “Tell me honestly. Did Young Master Roman actually touch your face?”
They understood they could have been mistaken. Dmitry’s Fool—Rumors that undermined Roman’s reputation also included the evil deed of him throwing swords at commoners. And if the traces of violence were due to Roman, Kevin’s parents would agonize over being rewarded in return for their son’s suffering.
“N-No. Young Master Roman would never do that!”
“Then why is your face like that?”
Kevin hurriedly clapped his hands.—In response to his parents’ wish to know the truth, he countlessly recounted what he had experienced at Barco’s banquet.
“…And for that reason, I was slapped in the face by a knight of the Barco family. However, not only did Young Master Roman not ignore it; he stood up for me—He asked the knight why he had beaten me, his own person, and he even punished Barco’s knight in front of everyone at the banquet. Thanks to that, I was able to avoid turning into a clown in front of everyone. So, please don’t misunderstand Young Master Roman. I know that he is called by a bad nickname, but in reality, at least the one I have experienced, he is not a violent person.”
“Is that actually true?”
“Yes. You know I’m not someone who would lie to my parents. So, please respect Young Master Roman.”
Hearing Kevin’s words, the Clarks looked at each other with puzzled faces. Of course, there was no way it was Roman’s fault. However, his actions were entirely out of the common sense of the Clark family. Rather than hitting Kevin, which would’ve easily solved the problem and avoided making a fuss, Roman had punished Barco’s knight.
Hearing Kevin say that Roman had punished Barco’s knight, they became certain—Roman Dmitry is utterly different from the rumors about him. Even if what Kevin said was only half true, Roman was totally different and misunderstood from the person he truly was.
Michelle said, “He is a very generous person. Not only does he treat our son as someone precious to him, but he also takes care of us, his family. Son, what Young Master Roman did back then was by no means an easy decision. We must remember this fact and dedicate ourselves to him, even beyond the grace we have received from the young master.”
“Yes. Also, if there is anything we can do for you too, please come and tell us.”
Those were the true feelings of his parents. Kevin didn’t know that back then, his parents were truly moved. They were utterly engrossed in and admired Roman’s personality—And that was the fact that would be the starting point to ignite rumors which would soon spread throughout all of Dmitry.
The reunion was short. And naturally, the aftermath of the reunion spread quickly in Dmitry.
The day after Kevin went back, Clark, reunited with friends in the ghetto after a long time, couldn’t stand his itchy mouth and talked about what had happened.
“I can’t believe such false rumors existed in this world. You all know that my son, Kevin, serves Roman Dmitry, right? However, according to Kevin, Young Master Roman is truly a noble who deserves a noblesse oblige.”
“Dmitry’s Fool? No way!”
“Hey, this guy! How do you think I got the house I live in now as well as the land I work on? Of course, Young Master Roman gave it to us because of Kevin. You can tell the character of Young Master Roman well just by looking at him. And not only that, there was an incident this time when Kevin followed him to the Barco’s banquet. Right before they left, there was an argument with the knights of Barco, but as it was unfolding, Young Master Roman stepped in and said that he would protect his person, Kevin, and in front of everyone, he slapped Barco’s knight. That person is the true Roman Dmitry.”
“Is that really true?”
“Of course! Finally, someone understands.”
At first, it was just a small rumor. However, that rumor quickly circulated all across Dmitry, and Michelle even set fire to the rumors. At the Village Laundry, Michelle answered the questions of the wives around her while doing laundry.
“…Are the rumors really true? Do you mean Young Master Roman severely punished Barco’s knight for hurting Kevin?”
“Oh my, where did you hear that? Having said that, Young Master Roman is truly a person who really values his people, including Kevin. So, even when the eldest son of Barco shouted that he would punish Kevin, the young master affirmed that he would support Kevin. Have you ever heard of such a noble existing in this world? Dmitry’s Fool? That’s just bullshit. I don’t know what kind of guys dared to tarnish Young Master Roman’s reputation, but in reality, he is a great person.”
“Didn’t you say you saw Roman Dmitry causing a problem earlier?”
“What?! I must have mistaken it, or it was someone who looked very similar to Young Master Roman.”
Praising her son’s benefactor, Michelle forgot even her own bad memories. Comparing his actions from back when he was known as Dmitry’s Fool, and now, they were too different to be the same person. Rumors start from the bottom up—Clarke and Michelle’s words quickly spread around, and after evolving, they completely reversed Roman’s negative image. Eventually, people said, “Roman Dmitry is a man who values his people. If you earn his trust, you can lead a completely different life than before. The Clark family who succeeded in entering the castle due to their son’s allegiance is proof of that.”
The rumors were going around and being discussed in all of Dmitry. And just in time, Roman announced that he would recruit private soldiers under him. Of course, he never intended for that timing.
“…For that reason, many people want to apply for this military recruitment. So give up. All the people in Dmitry are saying they’ll use their body even a little bit, and they’re all going to apply, so don’t waste your time and spirit for nothing.” The old man had finished his speech.
Military recruitment—At only a single post from Roman, all of Dmitry was shaken up. Lucas quietly listened to the old man’s words and responded that he was confused due to the discrepancy in his memories. ‘The Roman Dmitry I know isn’t the kind of guy who deserves such a huge reputation. Has Roman Dmitry really changed? Starting with the subjugation of the Blood Fang, even if what happened at Barco’s banquet is only half true, Roman is not bad enough to be called Dmitry’s Fool anymore.’—His interest piqued—Just how much did Roman Dmitry change?
Also, if the rumors were true and Roman was indeed someone who valued his own people, it was worth considering for Lucas to apply for the military recruitment as well. ‘The problem is that no such nobles exist in the world.’—That was something he would need to check for himself. It really interested him. It wasn’t too late to apply for the recruitment, so he thought he should just apply for fun. Moreover, his mercenary job had gotten boring for him.
3 days until the application deadline, cases like Lucas were common—Because of those who broke down the barriers of prejudice, a large number of people headed to Dmitry Castle on the day of the test.
Military recruitment—Due to the unintentional rumors, it had grown unprecedentedly.