The young man happily making a strange smile was in fact Clay. Unlike when he met Roan, his looks were completely different. The hair was neatly organized and his suit looked neat and clean despite being old and humble. But the thin eyes that seemed doubtful whether it could see in front were the same. Standing on the summit of a rather tall mountain, he looked down at the wide open field that spread out below.
“Whenever I see it, it’s quite the beautiful sight.”
But the smile on his mouth was instead bitter.
“Although it’s probably hell when up close.”
Just how many people live in pain down below. Clay’s mouth felt bitter.
“There’s just no good person. A good person……”
No, just a good person isn’t good enough. He also had to have the strength and ability to change the world. And at the same time.
‘Someone who could recognize my talent.’
Such a person was needed. Clay wasn’t a philanthropist and neither was he a saint. He was the type that was only satisfied when he received treatment that was on par with his abilities.
‘It would be good if Sir Baron Tale is such a person, but……’
He let out a long sigh.
‘If he isn’t worth serving then I should go into the mountains and spend the rest of my life reading books.’
It would be a waste to not use the vast knowledge within his head, but he had no desire to carelessly use them.
‘I’m sorry since it feels like I’m going against master’s tenants, but……’
< Make the world a better place. >
That was the master’s teaching. But he didn’t want to do good for the world without any rewards. Clay inhaled deeply as he looked down at the field.
“Should I go down about now?”
It had already been four days since he entered the mountain. Clay slowly moved his feet.
‘Come to think of it, I wonder how the elder brothers are doing.’
The sorely missed faces suddenly appeared in his mind. But he soon shook his head.
‘The elder brothers should have already accomplished more than just settling down.’
That’s just how talented they were.
‘I should just worry about my own future.’
It would be fine to be nosy after that. Clay’s footsteps slowly became faster.
“Is that so?”
Roan checked once again. Keep nodded his head.
“Yes. We checked through multiple routes. The symbol of Viscount Holten House is……”
The two’s eyes met in the air.
“Definitely an owl.” “Hhm.”
Roan let out a low sigh.
‘Is this owl the owl Clay was talking about?’
There wasn’t any way to be certain. But the invitation the owl sent was stamped with the symbol of a tree branch. A combination too perfect to be called a coincidence.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Roan tapped on the table with the tip of his finger. His thoughts became deeper. ‘He said that there would be great danger to me when the owl brings a branch. If so……’
If he saw the Viscount Anthony Holten as the owl and the invitation as the branch, then there was a great possibility that this hunting competition wasn’t ordinary.
Roan stopped the finger that was tapping on the table and looked at Keep.
“Keep. Thoroughly investigate the hunting competition Viscount Holten and his house is hosting.” “Yes. Understood.”
Keep slightly lowered his head and answered. With a cold expression, Roan spoke one more time.
“You cannot miss even a single, small detail.” “Yes. I’ll keep it in mind.”
With a resolute expression, Keep once again lowered his head.
‘This is the first time he emphasized something twice.’
Roan was usually the type to trust and let other be after he gave out a command once. Until now, there had never been a time when he would emphasize or give out the same order multiple times.
‘This mission, it’s exceptionally important.’
Keep clenched his fist. With a short salute, he exited the office.
Roan, who was left alone, let out a short sigh and grabbed a pen. He needed to organize the chaotic thoughts within his head.
‘I must have really become a noble.’
A sensation of truly being in the center of a behind-the-scenes fight.
‘But either way, I don’t plan on being taken down without a fight.’
It would be wrong to think of him as a mere amateur noble that just became a baron. He was a veteran soldier that walked the battlefield for twenty years.
‘Then, should I start the fight?’
A fight without a sword or a spear. The battlefield was the capital, Miller. The first to attack may be Viscount Anthony Holten, but Roan was already preparing a counterattack.
“Sir Duke. However you think, it can’t be helped to be disappointed.”
Viscount Lary Borg, who turned exactly forty this year, shook his head with a disappointed look. The white haired elder sitting across from him creased his forehead.
“There’s no need to be disappointed. Because what’s important now is who will be the next king.”
The elder, who was letting off a strong pressure despite being old, was Edwin Voisa, one of the four dukes of the Rinse Kingdom and the one with the strongest faction. Lary smacked his lips.
“But if he stayed a bit longer, he would have even received a title of nobility from Estia Empire……” “Quiet! Don’t say unnecessary things.”
Edwin loudly shouted and glared with his two eyes.
Suddenly shocked, Larry closed his mouth.
“Mills is the firstborn of our Duke House and the next duke of the Rinse Kingdom. He must be known only as that to the people. Do you understand?”
Lary quickly lowered his head at Edwin’s words.
“Yes. I, I understand.” “Hmm.”
Edwin didn’t look very convinced. No, he looked completely annoyed. Truthfully, he didn’t really like summoning Mills Voisa, the firstborn who was studying abroad in Estia Empire, back to Rinse Kingdom.
‘Even though the results of purposely sending him abroad to the unfriendly Estia Kingdom were just starting to come out. Tch.’
If he stayed a bit longer, he would have been able to receive a title of nobility from Estia Empire.
He grinded his teeth.
‘The rest of the damned dukes are calling back all the kids sent out to other kingdoms.’
With the monster expedition as the trigger, the competition for the next king had truly began. In this situation, Edwin simply couldn’t just stand by and do nothing while the other dukes moved.
‘I don’t want to admit it, but the other damned dukes’ children, as expected, have been outstanding talents since they were young.’
If they returned, he may be left behind in the competition for the throne. Because of that, Edwin also quickly summoned his firstborn, Mills, back to the kingdom.
‘If Mills comes back, those brats wouldn’t be able to do anything even if they come as a group.’
He trusted Mills. To Edwin, Mills was the pride and treasure of the house.
‘Once Mills comes back, we can flip this situation where the first prince is in the lead.’
His eyes were cold and a smile hung from his mouth. The return of the duke houses’ successors. Rinse Kingdom’s competition for the throne had now entered a new stage.
Roan put down the thick stack of paper with a satisfied look.
“Good. It’s good enough with this.” “Thank you.”
The person lowering his head on the opposite side was Keep. For some reason, his face looked haggard and rough. Roan stood up from his seat and grabbed Keep’s hand.
“Keep. You’ve really done a lot of work.” “No sir. I simply did what I had to do.”
Keep lowered his head. Because he had been meticulously investigating the hunting competition that Anthony and Viscount Holten’s house prepared, he hadn’t had an ounce of sleep in the last three days. It was a tiring and hard mission, but his heart skipped a bit every time a hidden information was revealed.
‘If we passed it without knowing, Sir Baron would have been in great danger.’
He once again felt how powerful information was. At that moment, he heard Roan’s voice.
“Now, should we put together a plan of our own based on this information?”
A face full of playfulness. Keep brightly smiled without knowing and nodded.
“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. And we should return a trap for a trap.”
Roan nodded instead of answering at those words. Soon, Austin and Harrison, the two hundred-man commanders, and the ten-man commanders below them were called. Putting his head together with them, Roan began a heated debate. Each’s words hit against one another and a plan was slowly formed. At the same time, words poured down onto an empty white paper. Meticulously and perfectly, the plan was constructed.
“Hhm. This is quite troublesome.”
The young man’s expression was extremely serious. He was looking at three cards on top of a table. The middle-aged man, who was staring at that scene from the side, cheerfully smiled and shook his head.
“Please don’t lie. You have already made your decision.”
At those words, the young man scratched his nose and brightly smiled.
“Does it show?” “Of course. It has already been thirty years since I supported Master Clyde. I can tell with just a glance.” “Thirty years? Even though I’m thirty years old right now?”
The young man, Clyde, asked back with a playful expression. Copying that playful look, the middle-aged man shrugged.
“Since I’ve been at your side ever since you were born, I have served you for thirty years.” “Yeah. You are right.”
Nodding his head, Clyde looked at the three cards again.
At Clyde’s call, the middle-aged man, Goden, came closer.
“Yes. Master Clyde.” “I believe……”
Hesitating the end of his words, Clyde picked up a card amongst the three cards.
“The next king will be this person.” “I’m not sure. I simply trust and follow Master Clyde’s decision.”
He was honest. Even until now, Goden didn’t doubt Clyde’s decision even once. Looking at Goden, Clyde made a smile. A confident and satisfied expression. He shook the card in his hand.
“So I’m planning to invest in this person’s faction, but……”
He hesitated his words. He put down the card he was holding up. The smile disappeared and the expression once again turned serious.
“A variable appeared.”
Goden made a bitter smile at those words.
“Do you mean Baron Tale?”
Clyde nodded his head instead of answering. His gaze turned back to the three cards on the table. On the three cards, the names Simon, Tommy, and Kallum were each written.
“Is Baron Tale an influential enough person to change the throne’s successor? No, can he become such a person?”
It wasn’t a question directed at anyone. Muttering to himself, Clyde fell deep into contemplation. With the tip of his finger, he touched Simon’s card. Goden simply stared at that scene without a word. After an unknown amount of time.
Clyde let out a long sigh. With the tip of his finger, he pushed Simon’s card away.
“As expected, I should go with my original decision.”
Clyde picked up a card amongst the other two.
“However I think about it, the person who will become the next king is this person.” “I simply trust and follow Master Clyde’s decision.”
Goden repeated the words he said before. Clyde intensely stared at the card he picked up.
“Goden.” “Yes.” “Please collect all the spare funds in the company. I’m personally going to the palace.” “Understood.”
Goden exited the office as he answered. Clyde, who was left alone, was still staring at the card he was holding.
‘It should be a good decision, right?’
It certainly wasn’t a decision based on instinct. Based on all the information he had gathered, he selected the card with the highest possibility. But there was one thing that continued to bother him.
“Baron Roan Tale.”
One of his eyes thinly closed.
“Just where did you pop out from?”
A humorous voice. But his face, at least, was humorless.
“Running about any more than this is no good. Because the merchants like me……”
A cold air hung from the tip of his eyes.
“Really don’t like losing.”
“Oh! Baron Tale. Welcome.”
The middle-aged man who handsomely grew out a moustache brightly smiled and opened his two arms. Roan quickly dismounted from the horse and lowered his head.
“It is an honor to meet you. Sir Viscount Holten.”
The middle-aged man was Viscount Anthony Holten, the very man who sent Roan the invitation to the hunting competition.
“An honor…… hahaha. I’m the one honored to meet the hero of the expedition.”
The two shook hands and exchanged simple greetings. Looking at the nobles and the knights behind Anthony, Roan inwardly made a bitter smile.
‘If you all openly let out hostility like that, that dark plan of yours would be recognized.’
It was a point where the Amaranth Information Squad’s report wasn’t needed. The nobles’ gaze toward Roan was that sharp and cold.
“Now, let me introduce the guests who will be enjoying the hunt with us today.”
One by one, Anthony introduced the nobles who wordlessly stood and were completely unaware of Roan’s thought.
“It is an honor to meet you.”
For each and every time, Roan greeted in a very polite and courteous manner. At least, it seemed like that to Anthony and the other nobles.
“Should we then go to the hunting field?”
Anthony, who finished the introductions, asked with a subtle expression.
“Let us go, then.” “Let us depart quickly.”
Several nobles hurried others and got on the horses’ saddles. Roan also nodded instead of answering and grabbed the horse’s reins.
Anthony led the House’s knights and departed first. The nobles who were glancing at Roan immediately followed behind Anthony, and as expected, they were each accompanied by three or four knights.
‘The knights are…… at amateur levels.’
Since he checked with Kalian’s Tears, it was certain. Roan snickered and kicked the horse. Unlike the other nobles, he brought just one subordinate. And even then, he was a subordinate who was quite unlike a knight.
“Sir Baron. Isn’t the number too big for trappers?” 2
The one who asked him with a worried expression was Harrison. Looking at Viscount Holten House’s soldiers following behind, he creased his forehead. Roan faintly smiled at those words and shook his head.
A confident voice. A self-assured attitude.
“Because our preparations are perfect.”
< A Good Person (3) > End.
Translator : CSV
1. exclamation for starting(?) a horse 2. here, the trappers are those who lure the animals toward the hunters/nobles