This was an unexpected meeting.
After finishing his training, Roman caught his breath and looked at a servant other than Hans approaching.
“Valhalla has dispatched me as their representative.”
Clearly, the servant, who wasn’t Hans, was wearing the attire of Dmitry. It didn’t look like the person had worked for long, and as his face looked unfamiliar, it meant that he intentionally didn’t come out till now.
Even if it was a situation where anyone else would have panicked at least a little bit, Roman said, calm, “What does Valhalla want? I remember meeting someone from Valhalla just a few days ago.”
The Denver Family had come representing Valhalla not too long ago. He remembered their conditions to want Roman on their side, but he didn’t think Valhalla would send someone else this fast.
For a moment, the servant was shocked by Roman’s reaction.
Roman was a lot calmer than he thought, but it felt like cold sweat dripped down whenever he made eye contact with Roman.
‘How can the eyes of a human…’
He gulped. The servant in charge of this task spoke quietly after seeing that no one else was around.
“First of all, I am sorry to have met you in such a rude way. As Mr. Roman said, Valhalla did send someone through the Denver family not long ago. Still, at that time, we had no choice but to take that path as we were wary of people noticing us. Nevertheless, you can think of today’s meeting as the one filled with Valhalla’s sincerity.”
Even though he came in today, Dmitry was still taking in too much attention from the public, albeit lesser than before. He knew that if the main point was delivered through the Denver family, there was a chance of information leaking out, and if that happened, the hostile forces would turn suspicious of something happening under the wraps. Thus, Denver was sent to only have a formal meeting. It would have been a fantastic bonus if Roman had accepted those conditions, but they knew that Roman wouldn’t accept it as he knew his actual growth.
Immediately after the Battle of Great Warriors, Valhalla planted a servant in Dmitry. It was all done for today’s meeting. When they moved to an enclosed space from the training ground, the person representing Valhalla said, “I would like to greet you once again. I am McKean from the Valhalla Intelligence Guild. And I want to use this opportunity to propose that we bring Roman Dmitry to Valhalla. That is the primary goal of this proposal.”
This was unexpected. Valhalla was the first to decide after the report of Willas that Roman was an A-Rank. Valhalla was preparing to sign Roman from earlier on, but the ripple effect was much greater than they thought. And in the rapidly changing situation, Willas had to contact his home nation again.
“I think we need to approach Roman sooner than planned. We overlooked for a moment what kind of nation Cairo is. Contrary to thinking that if we didn’t disclose him being a 4-Star Aura Swordsman, there would be no fame, everyone is so desperate to get him first, even though his actual talent hasn’t even been revealed yet. The Royal Family, the nobles, and even the Kronos Empire have moved. They are moving unbelievably fast to make contact with Roman Dmitry. If Roman overlooks his actual worth and accepts one of their proposals, we may end up missing out on the true treasure.”
[So what do you need?]
“Please give me the full authority on this matter. I will bring Roman Dmitry to Valhalla.”
[Fine. Willas, I entrust you with the task and give you authority regarding the recruitment of Roman.]
The plan was changed.
The fact that Cairo’s Youngest Ranker had reached 3-Star at the age of 25 was drawing too much attention. This was like Valhalla had stabbed itself. Thus, they first sent someone through Denver, grasping for straws, and then another person, away from the public’s eye.The inaugural upload of this chapter took place via N0v3l-B1n.
McKean said, “Valhalla is extremely interested in the potential of Mr. Roman Dmitry. Despite the numerous proposals offered, the problem of nationality cannot be resolved so quickly. Anyone with significant riches, like you, may find it challenging to leave their family and go to Valhalla. We will therefore resolve this issue. We will grant you the title of Viscount and a fertile land for the Dmitry family the minute Mr. Roman Dmitry declares his desire to become a citizen of Valhalla. The Dmitry family will also be able to preserve its own tradition of mining and forging because the land we have prepared is one surrounded by iron mines.”
The proposal involving the Dmitry family was quite groundbreaking. The title of Valhalla was that of an empire and not just a kingdom. That meant their power would be incomparable compared to what they have now, and that alone was enough to crush the previous proposals.
“Valhalla is ready to offer people if you need people, and sacrifices, if you need sacrifices. Nevertheless, the most important thing Valhalla values is the strength of an Aura Swordsman. Thus, we also want Mr. Roman Dmitry to become a stronger swordsman. Even for that, we will make an exception and allow you to enter the First-Rank treasury whenever you want to. I think you also realize what the treasury of Valhalla means. If you come in contact with the knowledge of our ancestors accumulated there, your talent will be able to soar with wings in the sky.”
It was literally a groundbreaking proposal. Valhalla had things like sword and cultivation techniques, and even journals of their ancestors in that treasury. They were all graded according to the level of content, and the highest rank among them was the 1st rank. Thus, it was a place with treasures that most couldn’t even glance at throughout their entire lives.
This proposal truly proved that Valhalla recognized Roman’s value as a swordsman and was ready to welcome him with wide arms as well. They had revealed their intentions completely. Obviously, no ordinary human would refuse this proposal.
“Also, Valhalla will soon conquer the entire Salamander Continent and stand tall as the only empire in it. Considering that, belonging to a small nation like Cairo will only bring trouble. So, stand with Valhalla. If you raise the honor of Valhalla and stand at the forefront, the glory of Roman Dmitry will spread throughout the continent.”
Adding intimidation to further increase the chances of securing Roman, McKean spoke of the distant future. Indirectly, he meant that no matter how strong Roman was, he could not fight Valhalla by himself. The difference between a kingdom and an empire was quite vast, and the winner was obvious to anyone.
‘Any wise person would take us up on our proposal right away. But if he declines it…’
McKean hid the truth. Roman was a talent who reached 4-Star in his 20s. Valhalla could not stand other factions taking him. If Valhalla couldn’t get him, it would be appropriate to destroy him before he became a threat instead.
When McKean was done speaking, he waited for Roman to answer him.
Soon, Roman said, “I refuse.”
At that moment, McKean’s expression, which was kind, changed instantly.
“…Are you being serious?” McKean’s asked with a trembling voice.
If Roman refused such a proposal, it was safe to say that Valhalla could not get him. And that meant—Roman had to be changed into a target of assassination instead. There was no need to keep him alive if he wasn’t going to stand with Valhalla.
“The reason I refuse is not because of the lack of conditions or because of my loyalty to this nation.”
“…What do you mean?”
“Recently, I was given too many offers. Become a Royal Knight of the Royal Family, go under Marquis Benedict, Count Gregory, and many more. Considering the current situation in Cairo, I was not going to swear allegiance to any one side instantly, but only after the clear future could be seen. As of now, I am at a crossroads in life. What matters to me isn’t what others give. I would like to take some time and see for myself what I, Roman Dmitry, can become and whether I am worthy enough to accept a proposal or not.”
When he heard those words, McKean’s expression softened. And that was Roman’s intention. He knew how to buy time in a situation in which he was being pulled in many directions.
‘He’s increasing his self-worth without making choices. That is what makes him look like a loyal devotee. It is difficult to get him down on his knees now, but if we win his heart, then he will swear allegiance in the end—If they think of me like that, they will end up giving up their obsession for now.’
Baek Joong-hyuk, the Heavenly Demon, wasn’t someone stupid. He knew that once such relationships turn into hostile ones, they only end with the death of either of those involved. And in a complex situation where four factions were involved, he knew how to take advantage of them.
Hearing those words as sly as a fox’s, McKean felt troubled. A person like Roman was someone who those from Valhalla would like a lot.
‘This is the irony of life. If Roman Dmitry changed his mind quickly and swore allegiance to Valhalla, his loyalty would always be questioned regardless of his skills. That’s because there will always remain a perception that he is willing to side with anyone favorable to him. However, if he was someone who chooses for the future regardless of the conditions, he is worth the wait.’
He had no idea this was an intentional act from Roman. His behavior was totally what Valhalla wanted it to be.
Soon, McKean said, “I do not know if you intend to confirm the Valhalla’s sincerity, but we will not wait for long. Be careful that you respond to us before it’s too late.”
That was the end. Valhalla took a step back. They will be watching the progress of Roman and also fall into the illusion that he is theirs.
Unexpectedly, before leaving, McKean looked back and said, “For the sake of our potential future relationship, I’ll give you a gift. Beware of the Southern Front. It is comparable to a ticking time bomb that might detonate earlier than even the Kronos Empire is predicted to.”
The Southern Front—This was unexpected information. Thus, Roman’s response ended up better than he thought. He had neither rejected nor accepted them. And instead of bothering to pressure him even more, McKean had given him a useful piece of information.
Time passed quickly. The foretold time was now approaching.
Baron Romero was worried when he saw his son on the eve of his departure for military duty.
“In the end, you are leaving.”
His heart ached. Many nobles used their powers to ensure their child wasn’t put through hell, but the current Dmitry didn’t have such power. The absolute powerhouse of the North-East was, in the end, a frog in the well. There was no way he could stop Roman from being called for military duty because he wasn’t able to form a connection with the Central Government in the meantime.
Even Roman didn’t want to go at first, but it seems he has understood that if he turns away from reality, someone else will have to shoulder that burden instead.
“Father. I will come back in good health.”
After exchanging a few words, Roman took a step back.
Thirty soldiers were waiting outside for Roman to leave for the battlefield.
Finally, Roman left.
The emotions he felt were complicated. When he would get in trouble, the relationship between them was that of hate and love, but now that he was finally leaving for the battlefield, Baron Romero only wanted to stop him and not turn his gaze away from his son.
Rihanna, who was beside Baron Romero, comforted him.
“Do not worry too much. You know Roman is a strong kid. And he’s not even going to the Western Front, where Kronos is attacking, but he only has to go to the Southern Front. There aren’t many issues there.”
Those were the only comforting words she could give to Baron Romero then. Nevertheless, she didn’t back then—Just what kind of results would Roman’s expedition to the Southern Front bring?
Editor’s Thoughts: What an extraordinary chapter. Honestly, Valhalla’s proposal was exceptional indeed. Also, it seems we will get to see quite the fights on the Southern Front soon 🙂