Chapter 40

A silver line was flowing through the white snow, falling down like a torrent.
It was the march of armored knights.

“Are you okay, my lord prince?”

A middle-aged man with a huge, bear-like build looked at the boy walking right next to him.

“I’m still fine.
But the knight trainees seem to be struggling because it’s snowing more heavily than expected.”

The prince turned around.
Unlike the composed prince, the knight trainees clearly looked tired.

“Is Zieghart still far away?”

“It looks like we are almost there, since this heavy snow is getting worse.”

“Almost there? Then do Zieghart’s swordsmen endure this snow every day?”

“That’s not the case.”

The middle-aged knight shook his head while smiling lightly.

“The weather becomes worse the closer we get to the Zieghart, but…”

As soon as he said that, the violent snow suddenly stopped, and the sun hiding behind the gray cloud finally appeared.

“The weather inside Zieghart is perfectly clear.
The temperature is lower, though.”

“Huh…”

The prince looked up at the sky in surprise.
It was so clear that he felt like the endless snowstorm was just a dream.

“Wow!”

“Th-the snow stopped immediately.”

The others’ jaws also dropped.

“Duke Tartan, what is this weather…?”

“It looks like magic, but it isn’t.
This strange natural environment is the reason that Zieghart is called a natural fortress.”

The middle-aged man named Duke Tartan smiled, pointing towards the huge rampart that could be seen further ahead.

“Although, they have been broken through before.”

“Hmm…”

Since the prince knew about that occasion, he nodded calmly.

“Since they are waiting for us, let’s enter first.”

Duke Tartan pointed towards the people waiting under Zieghart’s rampart.

In front of an enormous iron door, which was big enough to fit a giant, swordsmen wearing red coats were looking towards them with sharp gazes.

“Okay.”

The prince nodded shortly and headed towards the iron gate, where the Zieghart’s gatekeepers were standing.

 

***

 

Raon, who was about to return to the training ground after lunch, stopped.

‘What is that?’

From the direction of the front gate, he could feel the presence of many people.
The sound of armor bumping into each other was a metallic sound that couldn’t usually be heard in Zieghart.

Soon enough, the foreign minister Illiune appeared, and the knights clad in silver armor followed him.

‘The Owen kingdom…’

There was a lion’s head drawn on the left side of their silver armor.
It was the Owen Kingdom’s emblem.

The other trainees and swordsmen also stopped walking, watching the Owen Kingdom’s knights passing by.

“They are the envoys of the Owen Kingdom.”

Dorian stood next to him and gently whistled.

“Envoys?”

“They’ve been cleaning everywhere in the household because of the Owen Kingdom’s envoys.
Did you not know?”

“I didn’t.
But their numbers are pretty small for an envoy.”

Raon furrowed his brows, looking at the small children walking behind the knights.

“Ah, they are the knight trainees that came along with the third prince of the Owen Kingdom.
They must be here to get some experience.”

“You are knowledgeable.”

“Because there were rumors about it.
Look, everyone looks like they knew about it already.”

“That’s true.”

It looked like he was the only one who didn’t know about it, and maybe Runaan, who was usually just blank.

Raon looked through the kingdom’s envoys.

‘They are pretty strong.’

The knight trainees were as strong as the trainees in the fifth training ground, as if they were proving they were from the Six Kings just like the Ziegharts.

‘Well, whether they are strong or not doesn’t really matter to me… huh?’

When he was turning around to head towards the training ground, he met the eyes of the knight trainee that was standing at the frontmost.

His sky like blue eyes contained an unshakable spirit.

‘He is pretty strong for his age.’

He understood it just by looking at him.
That knight trainee was the strongest of them.

‘However.’

That assessment was considering his age, and he still had a long way to go to be considered good for Raon.

As expected, the blue-eyed child couldn’t read Raon’s strength, turning around after looking at him for a moment.

‘I have no time to pay attention to something like that.’

He was busy completing his footwork and swordsmanship.
Since he wasn’t going to meet the kingdom’s envoys, watching them for a moment was plenty.

Raon walked towards the training ground, only thinking about the footwork’s flows.

 

***

 

‘What is this…?’

For the first time in his life, the third prince of the Owen Kingdom, Greer De Owen felt a chill go down his spine.

He slowly raised his head.
The more his gaze raised, the more difficult it became for him to breathe.

Everything was because of the man who that sitting at the top.

The Destructive King of the North, Glenn Zieghart.
The man called the strongest swordsman of the continent zapped all his strength from his limbs just from being seen.

“Thank you for your effort on your trip.”

“Thank you for your warm welcome.”

He barely managed to come to his senses thanks to Duke Tartan’s voice from next to him.

“He looks exactly like the previous king in his youth.
I can understand why he cherishes you so much.”

Glenn Zieghart slowly nodded, watching his face.

“Th-thank you.”

He couldn’t talk properly because his mouth was completely dry.
His presence was too overbearing, despite not using any pressure.
It was a completely different experience from when he met the Kingdom’s best sword.

“I-I have a letter from his majesty the king.”

The third prince took out a golden envelope.
He forced his trembling legs to stand up.

“Kuh…”

While shivering, he approached the platform and handed over the letter.

“Hmm.”

Upon seeing that, Glenn’s eyes shone for a second, but quickly disappeared.

“As you’ve requested, I’ve arranged things so that you can observe the trainees.”

Putting the letter aside, Glenn slowly spoke.

“I’ve prepared an evening banquet, so do rest for today and visit them tomorrow.”

“Thank you for your consideration.”

“Then see you again later.”

“Yes.”

The third prince took three steps backward and bowed, then stood up.

“And the duke…”

“I have something to tell the head of house about.
Please go ahead and rest.”

Duke Tartan closed his eyes while smiling lightly.

“I see.”

The third prince nodded shortly, then left the audience chamber.

“He is a very talented child.
He will rise to the throne of the sword, before the throne of the king.”

Glenn opened his mouth first, after a short silence.

“I knew you would realize it at a glance.
The third prince is called the Kingdom’s best sword in waiting.”

“Certainly, it is a rare talent.”

“It’s not just about talent, he also has a strong willpower.
He also visited the south to witness Robert’s swordsmanship.”

Duke Tartan smiled happily, looking at the door through which the third prince had left.

“Hmph.”

Glenn slightly lifted the corners of his mouth.

‘Talent, effort and willpower, huh…’

Just by looking at the third prince’s eyes, he could tell what kind of talent he had and what kind of efforts he’d been making.

He must have experienced various things and worked hard from a young age.
However, Glenn knew somebody even better than him.

Raon Zieghart.

Since he knew about Raon’s effort and willpower, he wasn’t convinced with the third prince’s greatness.

“Since you didn’t come here to show off the prince, let’s get to the point.”

The letter in Glenn’s hand burned up.

“You burned it without even taking a look.”

Although the letter was burned up, Duke Tartan’s expression didn’t change.

“There’s no way he would’ve entrusted an important letter to a child.”

“I knew it.”

Duke Tartan knelt and respectfully lowered his head, unlike when he was boasting about the third prince.

“I will convey the words of the king of Owen Kingdom, Lacrosse Albert de Owen the second.”

When he raised his head, his eyes were completely serious.

“The five darknesses have started to move.”

 

* * *

 

Reaper Scans

[Translator – Kyangi]

[Proofreader – Harley]

Join our discord for updates on releases! https://dsc.gg/reapercomics

 

* * *

 

Pow!

 

Raon’s right hand advanced as smoothly as a salmon swimming upstream.

His left foot followed.
His lower body moved as fluently as a deer running through the forest.

It wasn’t fast but smooth, not powerful but abrupt.

The twelve forms of the River Footwork that he was using looked as cheerful and free as a leaf riding the wind.

 

Thud!

 

With a step shaking the ground, he finished training the River Footwork.

“Huff…”

Exhaling an excited breath, he raised his head, straightening his back.

‘They are still watching.’

When he looked around, the trainees, who were watching him train, turned in surprise.

Ever since the first day they’d learned the River Footwork, they’d been training while watching him instead of the instructors.

Burren, Runaan, and Martha weren’t exceptions, either.

“Um!”

“Hmph.”

Burren and Martha snorted upon meeting his eyes and turned around.

“Mhm.”

Of course, Runaan didn’t avoid his gaze.
Instead, she came closer to him and performed her footwork.
That meant she wanted him to teach her.

“Oh, well.”

Raon shook his head and pointed out what Runaan was lacking in her footwork.

“Young master, can you teach me too?”

Dorian approached him while scratching his belly pocket, showing him his footwork.

“To begin with, your posture is too high.
Get a bit lower…”

When he was pointing out his problems, the door to the training ground opened and Rimmer entered.

‘Why is he here?’

Raon frowned, watching Rimmer trotting in.
It was the first time he came to visit during break time.

“Does everyone know about the Owen Kingdom’s envoy visiting us today?”

“Yes, we do.”

Burren stepped up and responded.
His round eyes looked surprised that Rimmer was visiting during break time.

“They are going to hold a banquet for the envoys this evening.
Since they have knight trainees, those of you who are the same age as them are also allowed to participate.”

“Oh!”

“Banquet?”

The trainees' expressions brightened at the thought of meeting the Owen Kingdom’s knights and becoming acquainted with the knight trainees.

“However!”

Rimmer shook his head.

“You haven’t even properly acquired the River Footwork yet.
If it were me, I’d be too ashamed to participate, for sure!”

“Ugh!”

“Th-that is…”

The trainees bit their lips to the unexpected words.

“Ah? Were you planning to participate? But you still have lots of training left to do, right? You haven’t completed the swordsmanship nor the footwork, though?”

He sticked out his face and teased them as he looked through the trainees.

“Da-damn it!”

“Haa…”

The trainees lowered their heads, speechless.

“There’s only one person who is qualified to participate.”

Rimmer’s gaze was directed at Raon.

“What are you gonna do?”

“I’m not interested.”

Raon shook his head and picked up his training sword.
His River Footwork was almost perfect, but he still had a long way to go until he could combine it with his swordsmanship.

It wasn’t time for him to make personal connections through a banquet.
It was time to do his best in training.

“That’s a good attitude.”

Rimmer smiled.
He had a satisfied expression, as if saying that he knew it.

“Well, if you really want to go, I’ll allow it.
Does anyone want to?”

Putting his hand on Raon’s shoulder, he looked through the trainees.

He seemed to be asking whether they wanted to go when Raon, the strongest one among them, wanted to keep training.

“Hmph!”

“…Nope.”

Martha and Burren turned around and stepped away to train.

“……” 

Runaan hadn’t been listening to Rimmer from the beginning and had been practicing footwork.

“Well, keep training then.
There will be plenty of banquets to participate in once you get stronger! I’m gonna leave then.”

Rimmer shook his hand as if he were making fun of them and left the training ground.

“Hmm…”

Raon scratched his chin while watching him leave.
Considering Rimmer’s personality, he would’ve allowed them to participate in a banquet.
It was a bit strange that he had stopped them, instead.

‘What is he thinking about now?’

 

***

 

The splendid lights were shining upon the main building’s banquet hall, instead of the heavy snows.

The third prince of the Owen Kingdom, Greer De Owen, sat at his designated seat while licking his lips.

‘I’m tired.’

His head was spinning from greeting people from Zieghart for hours.
He just wanted to practice his sword, since something like a banquet made him uncomfortable.

The king’s order wasn’t the only reason that he was participating in something he didn’t enjoy.

Zieghart’s sword.

And the swordsmen who practiced that sword.
It was in order to observe them.

“Haa.”

The third prince gulped down the drink on the table and frowned.

‘They are certainly amazing warriors.’

The pressures of Zieghart’s warriors were proud and powerful.
Their might didn’t lose to the Owen Kingdom’s knights, which filled him with excitement.

‘However.’

The might of Zieghart’s young swordsmen was completely disappointing.

If it was another house or kingdom, they would’ve been called extremely talented people, but they were a bit lacking to be called the Six King’s trainees.

‘They are even worse than Robert's.’

The head of the southern house Robert, which he’d visited before coming to Zieghart, seemed to have better young swordsmen than them.

“I don’t think I need to look around tomorrow.”

Glenn had allowed him to observe the training, but he didn’t have any reason to visit, considering their levels.

“You look disappointed.”

“Huff!”

He hurriedly turned around, hearing a light voice coming from behind.

“El-elf?”

A red-haired and dark green-eyed elf was smiling, his hands behind his back.

“Do you want to see the real deal?”

____

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