Duke Pendragon - Chapter 92
Of course, strictly speaking, the Pendragon Duchy was regarded as an independent state, so the royal family did not interfere with minor matters .
However, the first lady of the Pendragon family in its founding was the emperor’s sister, which solidified the relationship between the Pendragon family and the royal family . And since the emperor was considered the master of the empire and a relative of the Pendragon family, the successors of the Pendragon family had to receive the emperor’s approval in order to officially inherit the title of duke .
Moreover, Alan Pendragon had been unconscious for a long period of time . It was only appropriate to visit the emperor to give his greetings .
“I am sure His Majesty will be very pleased . Most of all, I have heard that His Majesty was angered a great deal by the involvement of the Arangis Duchy in the matter of the treasonous case . ”
“I see . ”
“No action has been taken yet because of insufficient evidence, but the imperial army might commence an attack on the Arangis Duchy . Rumor has it that two imperial legions have been moved to the port closest to the islands . If Your Grace heads over to the imperial castle and reports the truth behind this incident…”
Raven calmly continued as Count Seyrod trailed off .
“There will be war . The Arangis family has their hands deep in the attempted assassination of the crown prince . ”
Count Seyrod nodded with a somber expression .
Conflicts between lords and wars against monsters were common occurrences, but a real war initiated by the emperor’s decree had not been fought for decades . However, an attempted assassination of the crown prince was a severe matter, and the matter escalated even further once it involved one of the five duchies of the emperor .
Depending on the Arangis family’s response, a major war involving tens of thousands of troops could break out . And the key to all this was held by the Pendragon family, who had the traitor named Ruv Tylen in their captivity .
‘It’s a good thing I sent Tylen ahead to the duchy . ’
Raven had called some griffons and sent Ruv Tylen ahead just as a precautionary measure . Raven and his companions had purposefully traveled on horses to find out various things while going through the other great territories .
“I have heard that the Duke of Arangis is a perceptive, cold-hearted man . I do not know if he will escalate this matter very quickly . ”
“I agree . I also think that war is not going to break out so easily . ”
Count Seyrod continued .
“The bravery and the strength of the imperial army goes without saying, but the troops of the Arangis Duchy are also very formidable . But, if things do go south, it is highly likely that His Imperial Majesty will ask for the Pendragon family’s cooperation . ”
Raven had a stiff expression and did not answer, but he was also thinking along the same lines .
Befitting their nickname of “Ocean King”, the Arangis Duchy was the absolute ruler of the south and had a large army of over 10,000 soldiers with a strong naval force . In addition, they had a powerful unit consisting of sea griffons .
Above all else, just as the Pendragon family had a contract with Soldrake, the Arangis family had the Sea Dragon, Biskra . However, the Arangis family did not share a close relationship with their dragon . Rather, it was only a cooperative relationship and Biskra controlled his own territory in the Sea of Death .
But, if a war broke out, it was clear that Biskra would stand on the Arangis family’s side, and one could not face a dragon unless they had hundreds of large monsters or a dragon of their own .
In other words, if the imperial army was to confront the Arangis family, they needed a being to face off the Sea Dragon Biskra, and that role was to be played by Soldrake .
“If that is what the emperor wants, then that is what we will do . That is the Pendragon family’s obligation . ”
That was why the previous emperors tolerated a family that had such a powerful being as their guardian . Usually, the duchy was left to its own devices . Even if they got into disputes with the surrounding territories, the emperor stayed silent .
It was because Soldrake, the dragon of the Pendragon family, would be a great help when the security of the empire was at stake . And that was also why Ian had asked Raven if the Pendragon Duchy was still loyal to the royal family .
“Anyways, I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that the whole situation rests on your hands, Your Grace . Please think of it as more than just an old man’s ramblings . ”
“Of course . I am grateful for your advice . ”
Raven responded with sincerity . Then, a heavy silence occupied the room with the thought of war on mind . But after a while, Count Seyrod got up from his seat with a gentle smile .
“I think we dwelled on a heavy topic for too long . As I get older, I worry more and more… All right, I will get going . Luna, I will send someone as soon as the banquet is ready, so you can bring His Grace along with you . ”
“…Yes, father . ”
Luna had started to get up from her seat along with her father, then she stopped and nodded .
“See you at the banquet hall, then . ”
“Of course . ”
Raven gave a light salute to Count Seyrod who left the building along with his servants . Soon, only Raven and Luna were left in the room . Luna calmed her breathing in the awkward silence and reached out for the porcelain kettle .
“I will go reheat the tea . ”
Raven lightly shook his head as he sat down .
“That’s enough tea . ”
“…Alright . ”
Raven inwardly scoffed while looking at Luna, who had a nervous expression .
‘You should have just gone with him . I feel like I’m sitting on a bed of thorns . ’
He was reminded of the conversation he had with her at the villa as he saw her sitting rather modestly . He thought maybe he had been a little too harsh with her, but he did not regret it . If he did not draw the line clearly the first time, he didn’t know what might happen in the future . He had too many things to worry about and too many goals to achieve that he could not afford to think about women .
“…You do not seem to have changed much . ”
Luna spoke after a long silence, then Raven answered in a calm voice .
“Really? Lady Seyrod seems to have changed a little . ”
Luna raised her head and spoke while staring straight at Raven .
“It is because of what a certain someone told me . I thought that I would have to change if I wanted to build up trust from nothing . ”
Raven was at a loss for words at her resolute response . Even though Raven was quite dull in such matters, he knew what she was talking about .
An even more awkward silence took place . On the surface, Raven had an indifferent and cold expression, but he wanted nothing more than to leave this awkward meeting as quickly as possible . Fortunately, someone knocked on the door at that moment .
“Your Grace Pendragon, Lady Luna, the banquet is ready . ”
“Okay . Let us go . ”
Raven rose from his seat with an inwardly sigh of relief .
“Are you planning on leaving tomorrow?”
“I’m afraid so . I only stopped by to give my greetings to Count Seyrod . ”
“Then I will pack up as soon as the banquet is finished . ”
“Well . . . there is no need for you to come with us…”
“I am going . ”
Raven shrugged his shoulders at Luna’s determined answer . Meanwhile, Isla, Leo, and Jody came down from the stairs .
“Hoo, it is much better to look at . ”
Raven complimented the bunch that had changed from their traveling clothes into neat, casual clothing .
“I am glad that my lord likes it . But I feel the most comfortable when I am wearing my armor . ”
“I feel the same way, Isla . By the way, are Sophia and Scylla not ready yet?”
“I, I am coming down . ”
Sophia hurriedly came down the stairs while holding the hem of her skirt, then stood beside Leo with an embarrassed expression . Due to her pretty face, her appearance was quite elegant even though she was wearing a dress that was quite plain . But Raven only spared a brief glance at Sophia before asking .
“What about Scylla? Is she not ready yet?”
“How could that be, my lord? As soon as we unpacked, she rushed straight in to take a bath and to put on makeup . That’s never happened in her life befor…”
“Hey! Are you courting death?”
Gus grinned and started to make a remark when he was interrupted by a sharp voice from the top of the stairs . Raven made a strange expression and Jody said with a sly smile .
“It’s because she is embarrassed . Hey, you little girl! I heard that you bought clothes and jewelry to show off to His Grace! Come down quickly . ”
“Oh, I got it…”
Scylla walked down the stairs while speaking in a hesitant voice .
Raven narrowed his eyes . Scylla seemed to be a different person in her fancy red dress . The dress fit tight over her body and showed off her voluptuous, sensual body, but it did not look vulgar . Rather, the simple earrings that adorned her ears matched the complexion of her skin, and combined with her shy look, she looked rather cute .
“H, how is it, Your Grace?”
Raven burst into laughter at Scylla’s shyness, her usual vivacity nowhere to be found .
“Very nice . The knights from the Seyrod family will go head over heels . ”
“If they see the muscle hidden in the dress, they might go head over heels to challenge you to a duel…”
“I might really just kill you . Don’t even pretend to know me at the banquet hall . ”
Scylla growled at Gus, then grabbed onto Jody’s arm .
“Hey, are you being serious?” Gus responded .
“I seem to be lucky today . As expected, a person should always be good to others,” Jody chimed in . He was all smiles while Gus had a crestfallen expression .
Then, the sound of someone coming down the stairs was heard once more . Everyone knew who the footsteps belonged to, and they all turned their heads towards the staircase .
Sighs and exclamations were heard . Raven also opened his mouth slightly without realizing it .
Soldrake had a sky-blue dress and a breastplate on top of the dress . She looked unbelievably mysterious and elegant . Moreover, her forehead gleamed as the jewels reflected the light, which added to her exquisite looks . After coming down the stairs, Soldrake walked over to Raven and took her place beside him . Sophia and Scylla were discouraged by the two people’s perfect chemistry .
‘She is unbeatable…’
‘I will have to stay as far away as possible if I want to get my money’s worth . ’
The two girls quickly moved their steps outside where the servants were waiting .
“Let us go, Your Grace . ”
Luna, on the other hand, looked calm and had no change in expression . It was as if she did not care much for Raven and Soldrake’s perfectly matching looks .
“Let us go . ”
Raven glanced at Soldrake while slowly following behind Luna .
“See, I’m right, aren’t I? Luna Seyrod is not interested in me . ”
Soldrake intently stared back at Raven .
[I have learned one more thing recently from Ray . ]
“Hmm? What are you talking about?”
Raven felt uneasy at Soldrake’s response and asked once more .
[That there are stupid humans who are even worse than dragons at figuring out other humans’ hearts . ]
The stupid human paused for a moment as Soldrake and Luna walked on ahead of him .
Even though it was a sudden visit, the banquet was held in great success with most of the lords and the nobles from nearby lands participating .
“That’s him! That’s His Grace Pendragon!”
“My God! To think that I would see a dragon in my life!”
Naturally, the center of attention was Raven and Soldrake .
However, most of them had to be satisfied with looking at the two from afar, as they exuded auras that made it hard to approach them . Their other companions also received great attention .
In particular, Isla, who became famous for his duel with the orc in Leus, received more attention than he had ever gotten in his life before . Women, rather than men, and especially those that were nearing the age of marriage, stormed Isla with sparkling eyes .
Isla knew women quite well . Compared to Raven, one could say that Isla knew women very, very well, and southern men were known to be very smooth and refined in their dealings with women . But even so, Isla could not deal with the dozens of girls who approached him and chattered endlessly like brave soldiers rushing through a broken gate .
“M, my lord…”
Isla became distressed and looked around in search of the only person who could rescue him from this predicament . However, Raven pretended to not notice his loyal knight’s crisis, and kept conversing and greeting nobles that were introduced by Count Seyrod .
“Excuse me, Sir Isla, would you like a dance with me?”
“No, I think I was first . ”
“I was first!”
“My lord, looord…!”
Isla was dragged off to the center of the banquet hall like a pig to a slaughterhouse with his arms restrained by the ladies . The Stormbringer was left to fend for himself in this unmatched crisis .
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