Duke Pendragon - Chapter 61
Ingrid Aragon’s eyes were full of worry . Toleo finally came to an understanding when he saw Ingrid .
‘Ha! It was because of a mere girl . He got that girl in exchange for backing up the prince in the competition for the title of the crown . ’
Otherwise, there would be no reason for the brat to act in such a reckless manner .
‘You’re acting like this just to impress one of your little girls? Keuk! That’s why brats are…’
Toleo shifted his gaze away from Ingrid back to Ian Aragon and Alan Pendragon .
“I apologize that I did not greet you first . But besides you, his Grace Pendragon is acting in such a crude…”
“Ugly and a foul mouth, and now you’re showing off your stupidity?”
“A guy who was chased out of his house is actually trying to stand on equal ground with me . Toleo Arangis, do you represent the Arangis Duchy here?”
Toleo’s expression distorted . It was true that people were afraid and cautious in the way they treated him because of who his father was . However, he did not represent the Arangis Duchy .
Having a family background and representing that family were entirely different matters, and Alan Pendragon had caught onto that fact .
Toleo Arangis slammed his glass down and stood in front of Alan Pendragon . He stood towering over the slender young man . Alan Pendragon spoke first .
“I represent the Pendragon Duchy in this place . I am Alan Pendragon,” Raven declared haughtily .
“… . . !”
Toleo’s eyes snapped open wide .
“So cut the crap and get straight to the point . Do you want to have a go? That’s fine with me too,” continued Raven .
“You’ve lost your mind, Lord Pendragon . I might just crush and gnaw on your bones,” Toleo quietly spat out .
“You should’ve shown your true intentions earlier . ”
Raven grinned . It was unbefitting for there to be polite words exchanged between Toleo Arangis and himself .
In the first place, the five duchies of the empire were independent forces .
They were objects of loyalty only to the emperor, and they rarely saw each other . There was no need for them to be courteous in someone else’s turf that belonged to neither party . That was why as soon as Toleo put up pretenses about greetings and whatnot, Raven figured things out .
Toleo and his two orcs had taken on the roles of knight and pawns on tonight’s chessboard .
‘If you take the knight and pawn, the king steps up . If you threaten the king… the queen won’t stay still either . ’
Raven glanced at Count Sagunda, standing in his place with a good-natured smile, and turned his head .
“What do you think, Prince Ian? I’m thinking of warming up the atmosphere with some entertainment . ”
“That’s fine by me . But wouldn’t it be more appropriate to ask what the host of the party thinks?”
Ian played along with Raven and slightly raised his head . The nobles parted ways, and Count Sagunda could be seen walking forward with a smile .
“Oh my! I was about to introduce you to each other gentlemen, but it seems you’ve gotten well-acquainted already! Young people sure are quick in action!”
“Exactly . We’ve been able to make acquaintances quite quickly! Hahaha!”
As Ian burst into laughter, the smile on Count Sagunda’s face deepened . The hooligan of the imperial castle was quick to react to everything . Also, the king of the harbor’s dump seemed to know how to go about his job as well .
Count Sagunda looked at Toleo with a satisfied expression, then frowned . Things were going as planned, but Toleo carried a foul expression on his face .
Count Sagunda quickly dismissed it and looked around while smiling .
“I hear that Prince Ian wants to provide us with some entertainment . It is fine with me . Are all the guests also okay with this?”
“It would be an honor if His Highness was to personally provide us with entertainment!”
The nobles all agreed with excited faces .
“Hahahaha! I don’t think we can disappoint the crowd now . Then Lord Toleo Arangis, wouldn’t you agree that good entertainment between healthy men must be a swordfight?”
Ian exclaimed in a loud voice .
“Huh! Are you serious? Your friend could get seriously injured . ”
Toleo looked at Raven and chuckled .
“Tsk, tsk . I don’t think you know much because you’re from the countryside, but let me teach you a few things . First, Alan Pendragon and I are not friends . I’m ten years older than him too . And secondly . ”
Toleo’s expression turned ferocious, but Ian took a step closer and spoke in a cold voice .
“The royal family never lies or makes false statements . Do you understand?”
A cruel smile hung on Toleo’s mouth as he silently stared at Ian for a brief moment .
“…I understand very well . I hope his Grace Pendragon understands as well . ”
“You’re being too long-winded . Set the rules . ”
The men frowned at Raven’s crude way of speaking, but the ladies murmured with intrigued eyes and covered their mouths with fans . They seemed to think it attractive for a fine-looking young man to hold nothing back in his words .
“We’re in the empire, so wouldn’t it be right to follow the imperial law? Also, it’s not a duel that’s been decided by a trial…”
Ian nodded at Count Sagunda’s words .
“It’s a proxy duel . It’ll be good entertainment . ”
Everyone’s eyes headed towards the two orcs that had accompanied Toleo . The orcs growled in response, and Toleo shrugged .
“Then this side…”
Following Count Sagunda’s gaze, the heads of the nobles gathered in the banquet hall turned to Alan Pendragon .
As if on queue, Karuta wordlessly walked to Raven’s side . Elkin Isla walked out after, from amidst a group of nobles, and stood on Raven’s left side .
Three on three .
The spirit being emitted by the six men filled the room and clashed in the middle of the banquet hall .
Dozens of lanterns and torches hung throughout the mansion’s backyard, and noise quickly filled the space . Nobles stood near the top of the stairs and lined the second-floor balcony . All of them looked towards the backyard with excited expressions .
“Today, in light of my small banquet, the exalted ones have set-up entertainment for us personally . Please welcome the warriors with loud applause and cheer!” Count Sagunda announced .
Cheers erupted from all over the place and handkerchiefs were thrown into the air . Naturally, the ladies, regardless of their age, overwhelmingly threw their handkerchiefs to the side of the Pendragon family . Anyone could see the reason why .
Watching the scene unfold, Toleo’s lips twitched slightly .
The young brats who had no experience became more conceited at such things . The smug ones would always face the same ending .
“It’s your last day, so enjoy it while you can, you bra . . hm?”
Toleo frowned .
The young knight and Alan Pendragon showed no sign of agitation or emotion . They had just walked to the vast assortment of weapons provided by Count Sagunda and began picking out their weapons .
Toleo watched the two men pick their respective weapons . The young knight with brown skin picked a southern rapier and a mangoshu — a type of dagger . He looked like a southerner, so his choice was expected . But the weapon Alan Pendragon picked up unhesitatingly was a surprise .
Alan Pendragon had grasped a common longsword with one hand and a scimitar with the other . The scimitar was a preferred weapon of choice for desert warriors .
It was strange that the heir to a great noble family of the empire would duel with two swords . Count Sagunda had this same thought about Raven’s choice of weapons as he looked on with a peculiar expression .
Vincent arrived at the scene after finishing the inspection of the mansion . He briskly walked to Count Sagunda’s side and spoke in a quiet voice .
“My Lord, is the Pendragon boy fighting in person?”
“Yes, he is . ”
“…huh? That is strange . ”
Vincent’s gaze turned serious, and Count Sagunda looked at Vincent and spoke .
“Hmm? What do you mean?
“As I’ve told you, Alan Pendragon avoided my intent twice already . He is not skilled . ”
“Yes, so isn’t that even better? Everything will go according to plan, and Toleo Arangis will take care of him . ”
“Do you think he will try to fight Toleo Arangis with his weak skills?”
“Hmm . . !”
Count Sagunda turned slightly stiff .
“Anyone can see that Toleo Arangis is much stronger . That’s why all the nobles here consider this entertainment as well . Don’t you think they’re all expecting the two to have a few bouts and finish their fight?”
“Maybe Pendragon is reckless and foolish in his young age . ”
“He may be weak, but Alan Pendragon is not a fool . ”
Count Sagunda frowned . As Vincent said, something felt strange . But he shook his head .
“We’re already riding the tiger . We can’t stop here . ”
Ignoring Vincent’s words, Sagunda loosened his expression and turned his body with a smile .
“Now, now! Shall we get started? It’s just entertainment, so participants, please show respect and consideration towards each other . Of course, consider me as well . If anyone dies in my mansion, I’ll definitely be scolded by his imperial majesty . ”
People responded with laughter to Count Sagunda’s witty remarks .
It was an unspoken rule to not take each other’s lives in a duel . Only duels that were set after a trial would be fights to the death . Some participants might not adhere, but Toleo Arangis and Alan Pendragon would be well aware of this fact and display a fitting duel .
But Toleo muttered to himself with a dastardly smile .
“Yes, I just have to spare him here . Just here…”
He had spent decades killing knights, mercenaries, and even orcs . He knew too well where to cut and stab to cause his opponents to die when he wanted them to .
“After you get out of here, an even better entertainment will be waiting for you, you little snake…”
Toleo’s eyes were fixated on Alan Pendragon who was sitting in his seat . They burned with a red ominous glare .
“First warriors from both sides, please enter . ”
Karuta strode forward and passed Isla as soon as Count Sagunda spoke .
“What are you doing?”
“Get out of my way, you puppy scarecrow . He’s mine . ”
There was an eerie calmness in Karuta’s voice which caused Isla to be startled and raise his head .
Karuta was acting a little strange .
He looked… as if he was drunk on something . He had an expression that was close to bliss .
“Sir Isla . ”
Isla stopped himself from saying something to Karuta and backed away upon Raven’s call .
With a hazy look, Karuta blew on his big palms . His damp hands each carried a large steel rod the size of a man and a gigantic combat axe that was comparable in size .
He moved slowly towards the middle of the yard .
“Kukeke! Paku eats orc meat today! I’ll chop it up nicely and eat it . ”
The one-eyed orc licked his sharp fang with his long, thick tongue . The other orc came forward and threw an object at the one-eyed orc . It was a long, wide blade .
People were astonished by the size of the 10-foot-long sword .
Certainly, the orcs were different from average humans as they could actually fight with such weapons .
Expectations and curiosity grew as a battle between orcs was not something that one could see every day .
The one-eyed orc opened his mouth and laughed as he felt the gazes of the nobles focusing on him .
“Kukuku! I will slice thinly . I’m going to salt you in the sea . Oh! I should give thanks to the earth god for the meal before I eat . Kuuu…”
Karuta didn’t respond to the provocation as he normally would have . Instead, he chuckled with a murky expression and suddenly bowed down to the ground .
“Thank you, thank you, earth god…”
Toleo and the one-eyed orc became confused at the sight . Orcs became frenzied before a battle . They were a race born for battle, hence they usually jumped right into battle without thinking .
But something was wrong with the orc that the Pendragon brat had brought .
Karuta stood up and turned his head . Raven, who knew exactly what was ‘wrong’ with Karuta, smiled and nodded .
“I kept my word . ”
Karuta smiled more brightly than ever, then turned his head back to his opponent . He spoke to the one-eyed orc who was clearly displaying his confusion .
“Hey, you stinky salty orc . You should be honored . ”
“Because you… will be the first orc to be crushed and killed by me!”
Orc Fear arose like wildfire and the strongest warrior of Ancona Forest jumped towards his opponent like a beast .
The one-eyed orc focused his eyes and swung his blade .
A dull sound of clashing iron resounded throughout the yard . People became surprised by the loudness of the noise and covered their ears with a frown . But what transpired next caused everyone to become wide-eyed in shock .
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