Duke Pendragon - Chapter 69

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Raven gazed in silence at Luna, who had tears in her eyes and a mixed expression . He quickly turned away .

“I think that answers the question . I have a lot of work to do, so I will take my leave . See you tomorrow . ”

He could feel Luna’s gaze burn his back, but he disregarded it and walked away from the octagonal pavilion . As Raven passed by the tree that had bristled a moment ago, he stopped for a moment and spoke in a low voice .

“The same goes for you, Princess Ingrid . ”

Shuffle .

Another sound was heard and Raven continued talking .

“The Pendragon family is not a servant of the royal family like the other nobles . And I don’t need the power of the emperor and the royal family . I have no responsibilities or obligations to my ex-fiancée, even if they are a princess . We haven’t spent any time together, and we haven’t built any trust . So, please stop trying to do away with me using status and power . I’ll see you tomorrow . ”

Raven finished speaking, and as he was about to walk away, a quiet, trembling voice spoke from behind the tree .

“…I see . Yes, please see how it turns out . ”

“……”

It was a different reaction from what he had expected, but he continued walking without giving a response .

Silence overtook the garden after Raven’s departure .

One girl stood still with her back against the pond, another girl leaned against a tree while biting her lips .

A grasshopper’s song disturbed the awkward silence .

“Ha…”

Letting out a long sigh, Ingrid came out from behind the tree . Luna flinched at the sight of Ingrid . But then she took on a bitter smile and bent her knees slightly towards Ingrid .

“Did you enjoy the banquet, Your Highness?”

“You’re asking such a question when you already know everything . You can be quite mischievous, Lady Seyrod . ”

“I don’t think you should be the one to say that after listening on to my story behind a tree, Your Highness . ”

Ingrid was a little taken back . It was the first time she heard Luna talk like this, as she was always calm and polite .

But somehow, Ingrid preferred this version to the overly polite one . Maybe she felt a weird sense of companionship .

The two girls stared at the moonlit pond in silence .

Then suddenly, Ingrid bowed down to the ground .

“Princess Ingrid…?”

Luna called out Ingrid’s name in confusion . Then her eyes grew wide open .

“Ieyah!”

The princess, the one who had always maintained her elegance and composure, began throwing stones picked up from the ground into the pond .

With a clear sound, the moons image reflecting in the pond was disturbed . Then Ingrid proceeded to pick up a few more stones and held it out to Luna .

“Lady Seyrod, you should try it too . Pretend that the moon’s reflection is the person you’re thinking about right now . ”

“……”

Luna silently stared at the stone in her hand for a moment, then raised her head . The two girls exchanged a smile with their eyes, then threw their stones into the pond at the same time .

The sound of grasshoppers chirping and stones hitting water blended harmoniously .

“I do not know how you feel, but I think I have come to like his Grace Pendragon even more after tonight . Hupf!”

Ingrid said casually while continuing to throw stones .

Luna didn’t respond to Ingrid’s comment and kept throwing stones into the pond . Ingrid turned her head slightly .

Alan Pendragon’s former fiancée, no, someone who might become her rival, Luna Seyrod - there was a faint smile on her mouth that Ingrid had never seen before, and it made Luna look brighter and more beautiful than ever before .

***

“Feed all the dead bodies to the griffons, whether they are griffons or orcs . ”

“Yes, my lord . ”

Raven ordered Isla to clean up the rest, then headed back to his room .

An expected guest was leaning comfortably on a chair and breathing out smoke from a gold pipe . It was Ian .

“You may leave now . ”

Raven took a seat opposite to Ian as the maids bowed their heads and left .

“Would you like a smoke? I don’t remember who gave it to me, but I got it from the banquet . It’s quite nice . ”

“I’m okay . By the way, how was your side of things?”

“As planned . I pretended to be drunk and quietly brought up the story about Shio . It was quite a sight, actually . ”

Ian killed the cigarette with his fingers, then continued with a giggle .

“It would have been okay if he showed a little bit of surprise or a sign of discomfort, but he pretended to be genuinely concerned . Then he introduced me to a bunch of nobodies and silently snuck away…”

“It’s certain then . ”

“Yes, I’m sure . He’s connected to the person who was responsible for attacking Shio . ”

Ian was still smiling, but his eyes were fierce .

“It’s a shame by the way . By now, he should have realized that his plan was completely destroyed . I would like to see his face . ”

“I’ll let you see that face within this year . ”

Raven said in a dry voice as he clinked his glass with Ian . It wasn’t just a promise to Ian, but a pledge to himself as well .

“I trust you, Alan Pendragon . So, you will be leaving tomorrow as planned?”

“Sagunda will become even more confused and won’t be able to judge my condition . The testimonies of the mercenaries who attacked will confound him even more . ”

“Haha! You’re quite sly, aren’t you . ”

“I would prefer it if you called it for what it is . It’s called having a plan . ”

“Hahaha!”

Ian couldn’t help but laugh with satisfaction at Raven’s reply . Certainly, Alan Pendragon’s tricks, no, plans were outstanding .

The severely injured Alan Pendragon after a grueling duel with Toleo Arangis, managed to fend off hired mercenaries with ease . Then without any announcement or laying blame on Sagunda, he would go back to his territory tomorrow .

Anyone would assume that he was hurrying back because of his injuries . That would surely complicate Sagunda’s thoughts . He would have been already briefed by the mercenaries that were alive, and would scramble to make a plan in his panicked state .

Perhaps the first thing he would do is send his doctor in the morning to find out Alan Pendragon’s exact condition . But no one would be at the villa tomorrow morning .

“Sagunda, he’s going to be blowing his brains out all day tomorrow . ”

“He’ll be perplexed that everything is going against his expectations . Moreover, I’ll have left for the Pendragon territory, and you’ll be on your way to the Royal Batallium . He’s placed in an unfavorable position with his targets having suddenly disappeared . He won’t be able to make calculations all on his own . ”

“That’s why Sagunda will contact his friend or whoever it is that stands behind him . The enemies of Shio and I… The enemies of the empire . ”

Ian’s eyes started to flare up and the Spirit of the Emperor began to exude from his body naturally .

“Don’t become flustered, Ian Aragon . Tomorrow is when it really begins . Don’t let your guard down until the very end . You have to be faithful to your role, and I to mine . ”

Ian’s spirit disappeared completely at Raven’s warning .

“Hoo… Somehow I feel like you can be more mature than I sometimes . I got it . As planned, I’ll accept some of the high-ranking nobles’ invitations on my way back to the Royal Batallium . And I’ll continue to talk about the Sisak incident from three years ago as well as about Shio . ”

“And that’ll cause Sagunda and the hidden figures to focus all their attention on you . ”

“Kukuet! Of course . That way, our marvelous Alan Pendragon can quietly sneak into Sisak and work his magic . ”

“If you think that’ll be more comfortable, we can change roles right now . ”

“Hahaha! How could I do that? I’m already too well known because of my handsome face . ”

Raven smirked instead of answering .

But Ian’s words were valid .

Apart from ordinary citizens, many nobles and knights already recognized Ian’s face . Besides, he wasn’t a good actor and would probably get recognized by the people in Sisak because of the incident three years ago .

It was different for Raven . If he disguised himself just a little, no one would recognize him .

“Good, good . But are you going to go with only three of you?”

Ian still seemed to be bothered .

“Isla and I, plus Soldrake . That is enough . Any more would just be luggage . Even mercenaries usually operate in groups of three or four . ”

“Hmm . , you might really cause a large scene this time . ”

Ian kept on snickering . He had been thoroughly impressed by the swordsmanship of Isla and Alan Pendragon .

Ian himself was well versed in imperial swordsmanship and spearmanship . He had encountered loads of royal and prestigious knights in the Royal Batallium, but the two men’s skills weren’t any weaker .

Instead, Ian thought that maybe in 10 years, the two men might become one of the ten strongest people in the empire . They were still young, after all .

But in addition to these two people, a humanified dragon would be tagging along .

She was a monster who spewed out Aura Blade with her bare hands . Only four humans had ever wielded Aura Blade in the empire’s history .

“You’re not going to destroy Sisak or anything, right?”

“More, if it’s necessary . ”

He was Alan Pendragon and Raven Valt . He would do anything to punish those that caused his family to be dishonored and put to death . He had suffered for ten long years waiting for this moment .

“Haha… good, very good . ”

Ian rose from his chair after taking another sip of wine .

“I’ll see you again at the end of the year in the imperial city . Alan Pendragon, I look forward to hearing interesting news . ”

“Of course . ”

Ian smiled maliciously at Raven .

“Ingrid will be looking forward to it as well . Even though she’s my sister, I’ve never seen her like this either . ”

“If it’s about that… never mind . ”

Raven was about to reply but then shook his head with a sigh .

He had already dealt with this matter in the garden earlier .

Ian kept giggling as he walked towards the door, then turned his head as if he remembered something .

“But what are you going to do about that guy, Vincent Ron?”

“I’m sorry, but right now, I have nothing to say about him . You need to trust me . ”

Raven couldn’t let anyone else know about the true identity of Vincent of the Gray Sunset for now . Raven planned to take him as one of his own, but nothing was for sure . In addition, Ian likely knew about the Tower of Twilight, as he was of royal status .

Most walked the ‘righteous road’ quietly, but a small number of masters from the Twilight Tower chose to wreak nightmares and catastrophes in the empire . There was no need to raise Ian’s alertness right now .

“Hmm, if you say so, then I’ll take your word for it . ”

Ian had come to trust Alan Pendragon as much as his bloodline . Even though he felt that he was missing out on something essential, Ian shrugged and left .

“……”

Raven was finally left alone . He stood silently in place and looked out the windows . Raven stared at Leus, which was still brightly lit . He smiled as he gazed into the direction of Count Sagunda’s mansion .

“You must be fuming with anger by now, little rat . Whether it’s Toleo, or the Ocean King… or whether it’s someone I don’t know about . You better run back to them quickly . The real fun starts tomorrow . ”

With a cold, twisted smile, Raven raised his glass in the air .

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