Chapter 188 - It is You

Kingdom’s Bloodline Masterless Sword, 无主之剑 2022/9/13 16:52:45

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

Under first glimmer of light, Nicholas, the Star Killer, lent his arm to support the heavily-injured veteran, Gleeward. They stood in the middle of a ruin in Shield District.

He looked at the approaching people expressionlessly. They were dozens of fully-equipped patrol teams.

“What’s wrong?” Gleeward asked the Star Killer impatiently. “They’re just patrols.”

“It’s nothing.” Nicholas’ sharp gaze scanned the patrols in front of him, his pupils narrowed slightly, “It’s just a little strange.”

Gleeward frowned. “Strange?”

“Yes, His Majesty’s edict,” the Star Killer said suspiciously, “Reasonably speaking, apart from the White Blade Guards, all troops are not allowed anywhere near Shield District…”

At this moment, a deep, sonorous male voice came from the crowd of patrols,

“Is that Lord Nicholas?”

The soldiers holding torches stepped aside, forming a passage. A middle-aged man wearing thick, lavish winter clothing with eight braids tied into his hair, appeared before the both of them while clutching a sword at his waist.

The moment he saw this middle-aged man, Gleeward, who was being supported, was slightly startled,

Bewilderment emerged in Gleeward’s eyes, “It that you?”

A thought came to Nicholas. ‘Vlad?’

‘He’s a disciplinary officer managing Sword District bazaars. At the same time, he’s also a big shot comparable to Gleeward among the underground influencers of Dragon Clouds City.

‘The person in charge of Dragon Clouds City’s underground black market. But why…?’

“I am Soray Nicholas, the commander of the White Blade Guards,” Nicholas said steadily, “Has His Majesty ordered to lift the curfew?”

Before the other party could answer, from afar, red flames rose into the sky. Nicholas’ body jolted.

“Wait a minute, I recognize this.” Gleeward looked thoughtfully at the fireworks in the sky. “Fourteen years ago in the deep valley battlefield, when Prince Soria’s unit was held back by the White Elves, you also shot a…”

Nicholas’ expression was extremely unpleasant. ‘Of course, because that is… the signal arrow of the White Blade Guards. The emergency call for help of the highest degree!’

As the Star Killer was about to say something, the man leading the patrols spoke first.

“As you can see, His Majesty has yet to remove the curfew, but we must defy his orders to come here.”

The man who wore the eight braids, Vlad, had quite a terrible expression. He hastily made his salutations to Nicholas while he said anxiously, “Please come with me as soon as you can, we need to rush to the king’s side immediately!”

Nicholas’ face changed. “What happened?”

Gleeward narrowed his eyes as a grave expression settled on his face. As someone who is also the head of the underground forces of power, his understanding of Vlad was slightly better than Nicholas’.

The crippled veteran asked plainly, “Vlad, all of you… Did you find something through your channels?”

Vlad nodded and exhaled a breath. He said with an unpleasant look, “The news we just received… We have reason to believe that tonight, there are enemies who have infiltrated Dragon Clouds City during the chaos.”

Nicholas was surprised. He and Gleeward exchanged a glance.

Vlad looked anxious. The braided man nervously said,

“They… are attempting to assassinate His Majesty!”

Thales unwaveringly held Little Rascal, who was almost scared silly. His lips were quivering.

A good few minutes later, he blinked his eyes desperately as he stared at the aged corpse, wondering if everything before his eyes were real.

‘That terrifying old man… The heroic, imposing, dignified, vicious, astute, and circumspect Common-Elected King of Eckstedt. The Born King, Nuven Walton the Seventh…

‘Is dead, just like that?’

Thales stood there, dazed. He watched the White Blade Guards tremble as they covered the remains of the king.

Red fireworks rose above them.

“The emergency signal has been issued,” said the senior White Blade Guard—the one who had identified the assassin—in a hoarse voice. He withdrew the crossbow that was pointed at the sky and looked at the old king whose head and body were located in different places. He looked dejected, “Our leader and our other White Blade brothers will rush here soon. They will rush here…”

He choked up a little and could not say another word. He looked away, he could no longer look at the king lying on the ground.

“White Blade… the shame of White Blade.” Another guard was bracing his wound as he knelt in front of a fellow guard’s corpse. He clenched his teeth while crying. He said shakily, “Your Majesty… right under our very eyes… we’re all incompetent criminals… criminals…”

“It’s not over yet!” A warrior who stood on the other side held a white-hilted machete firmly in his hand. His eyes burned with fury and hatred. “We still have a mission. His Majesty’s bloodline still needs our protection. After this…”

Little Rascal gnawed desperately on her lower lip while she endured the looks from dozens of White Blade Guards. Her face paled as she whimpered.

Thales stared at the dagger on the floor, still stained with the king’s wet blood. Absent-mindedly, he asked, “Who was that assassin?”

The warriors’ gazes shifted to the Prince of Constellation simultaneously, many of which carried anger and accusation.

“You should be more familiar with him than we are,” the senior guard answered Thales gloomily, “That was the Little Charleton of ‘Assassin’s Flower’… Known as the ‘Migratory Locust Blade’, Bannette Charleton.”

Quietly, Thales stroked the JC dagger behind his waist.

The senior guard cast Thales a meaningful glance. “Twelve years ago, his brother killed another king. His last name was Jadestar.”

Thales subconsciously inhaled a deep breath.

A few minutes later, they, who fired the signal arrow, finally received their long awaited assistance. Uniform footsteps echoed as numerous soldiers arrived in front of them. They were the patrol teams of Dragon Clouds City, about two to three hundred people.

Thales raised an eyebrow. ‘That’s a little strange.’

The White Blade Guards frowned collectively as they watched the oncoming soldiers.

“Why the patrol teams?”

The senior White Blade Guard chided the soldiers before him. “What about the White Blade Guards?”

“Sir, we saw your signal and hurried here.” a patrol soldier who looked like a disciplinary officer said worriedly, “We did not meet anyone on the way here. May we know what happened? Is there anything we can help with?”

The senior White Blade Guard exchanged a look with one of his partners and slowly said, “His Majesty is hurt, he needs treatment.”

Thales was surprised. He turned around and looked at the remains of King Nuven firmly barricaded by the White Blade Guards.

‘What? Could it be that…’

“What? Where is His Majesty? Is it urgent?” The disciplinary officer’s face changed. “Sir, please come with us, we can escort all of you back to Heroic Spirit Palace.”

With a wave of his arm, soldiers of the patrol immediately came forward from both sides.

Slash! Swish! Sching!

Without warning or hesitation, ten or so fierce-looking White Blade Guard drew their blades in unison. Their blades were pointed straight at the patrolmen attempting to get closer. Their presence was astonishing. The agility and sequence of their movements made them seem to move as one person.

Little Rascal was startled for a while and looked at Thales in bewilderment. Thales quietly squeezed her hand in return.

‘Calm down,’ He gestured with his eyes.

“Sir?” the disciplinary officer of the patrols looked stupefied. He failed to understand, so he said, “What are you—”

The senior guard interrupted him.

“If we were to accept your escort and move into your ranks,” the White Blade Guard said coldly, “I’m afraid that we will all be encircled.”

The disciplinary officer was stunned, “Sir, I don’t understand…”

“Before I joined the White Blade Guards, I spent some time working for the patrols of Dragon Clouds City,” the senior White Blade Guard said coldly. “I later offended Vlad before being forced to respond to a call at the frontlines by the recruits. After a few large battles, I was finally picked by Kaslan.”

The disciplinary officer furrowed his brow.

The senior White Blade Guard stared intently at the patrols looming in front of him. His eyes swept across their palms that still held no weapons as he returned their calm, unwavering gazes. His expression sharpened. “How could I forget how our patrols became so elite, powerful and outstanding?”

Upon hearing that, Thales’ whole body quaked.

‘So he’s saying…’ He saw the patrols differently now.

The disciplinary officer pursed his lips as if he was contemplating the other party’s words.

Another warrior of the White Blade Guards nodded and solemnly said, “Obviously, apart from being elite, even when compared to the regular troops who train thrice a year, all of you are not even soldiers stationed near Dragon Clouds City!”

The disciplinary officer suddenly laughed.

“Sir, this is Dragon Clouds City. Being the best of the Western Peninsula is the basic quality of soldier recruitment.” He shook his head.

“Please do not doubt our capabilities based on your past experience.” The disciplinary officer spread his arms open, his face filled with helplessness and anxiety. “Moreover, could it even be possible for foreign troops to secretly enter Dragon Clouds City?”

When he heard those words, Thales was stunned for a few seconds. ‘It seems that something had been… leaked?’

In the next moment, his entire body shuddered violently.

The White Blade Guards exchanged looks with each other, then the senior veteran slowly said, “Regardless of what it is, we will have to wait for the arrival of our fellow White Blade Guards.”

“Pardon me for my straightforwardness. On our way here just now, I saw numerous dead bodies of the White Blade Guards, I’m afraid that it may be difficult for them to regroup and rush here.” Under the astonished stares of the White Blade Guards, the disciplinary officer sighed. “If the condition of the king’s injury cannot be delayed, we can escort you by forming a circle around you without coming near you…”

“No!” A tender child’s voice rang out.

Everyone turned their gaze towards the boy who just spoke. They only saw the Prince of Constellation, Thales, who had his fists clenched.

Thales panted heavily. In that moment, something seemed to have struck a chord in his brain. He had figured something out.

“Don’t believe them!” Thales clenched his teeth firmly. Under Little Rascal’s curious and fearful gaze, he trembled as he said, “There was, indeed, a garrison of elite foreign troops near Dragon Clouds City.”

The White Blade Guards frowned. Thales calmed his breathing as he thought a few things through.

He did his best to speak steadily, “A team of elite regular troops who could openly walk into Dragon Clouds City with perfectly justifiable reasons… All of you are those very troops.”

The disciplinary officer frowned again as he looked at the prince who just spoke. Suddenly, a loud applause came from within the crowd of people.

Two blocks away, several people from Constellation were locked in an intense confrontation.

The second prince’s attendant, Wya, laboriously raised his single-edged sword in a test of strength against Miranda’s longsword.

Wya trembled as he looked to the other side. Ralf, who had a heavily fractured arm, had already been easily defeated by the police officer, Kohen.

The prince’s attendant roared, “Don’t kill him! We bear no malice!”

“No malice?” opposite Wya, Miranda held her sword in one hand as she relentlessly held the attendant back, her eyes were sharp. “You were the ones who started it!”

“I don’t know why either!” Wya yelled anxiously, “But Ralf… this Psionic is one of Prince Thales’ men!”

“Thales? You mean one of the prince’s men?” Kohen’s expression was grave and solemn. He had one hand on his sword and another on Ralf as he gazed at his grief-stricken eyes and shook his head, “This hooligan of a gangster?”

“That’s right!” Wya pleaded nervously, “We’re all members of the Constellation Diplomat Group. Miss Miranda, haven’t we met before in Broken Dragon Fortress?!”

Kohen raised an eyebrow and turned to his female partner.

“I know that you’re the son of Count Gilbert Caso, the prince’s attendant,” Miranda said plainly, “But why are you here in the most dangerous place in Dragon Clouds City…?”

With clear eyes, Miranda looked at the surrounding ruins, then at Wya and Ralf. Her expression filled with suspicion.

“… and not in Heroic Spirit Palace guarding by the prince’s side on a night when a calamity is wreaking havoc?

“Isn’t it too suspicious?”

Wya firmly gritted his teeth. He felt his opponent’s sword press down on the part of his own sword that made it the hardest for him to gather strength and strike, it was tremendously unbearable.

‘The prince has disappeared in the enemy’s country. This sort of thing…’

“I am not obliged to answer you!”

The attendant shook his head stubbornly. “The prince endured many hardships along the way to Eckstedt, and you, two successors of great aristocracies with outstanding skill, sensitive identities, and a hatred towards the royal family… aren’t your appearances here for no apparent reason even more suspicious?!”

“Suspicious?” Kohen snorted. “Then how would you explain this?”

Raising Ralf’s collar and disregarding the hatred-filled eyes of the other party, he coldly said, “I remember his nickname: Phantom Wind Follower, scum of the Blood Bottle Gang. Many days ago, he was still murdering and causing carnage on the streets of Eternal Star City. How did he become the prince’s close attendant all of a sudden?”

Wya was rendered speechless.

“Don’t try to lie to me.” Kohen applied the characteristics of a police officer and frowned. “You should know that I was the one who crushed his throat!”

Ralf’s eyes burned as he felt his numbed arms and spat violently.

‘No. You are not… Not this cop, but that woman…’

‘It was that woman of the Charleton Family with the dual-blades!’

Wya only felt a splitting headache.

“How would I know what this bastard did in the past?!” Pushing against Miranda’s sword, he took a step forward and roared in fury, “But he’s my partner now!”

Kohen and Miranda exchanged a look.

Wya held off Miranda’s sword with every ounce of his strength, but he somehow felt that he could not win against her in terms of power.

‘Damn it. She just completely blocked off my every stroke and attack!

‘Miranda Arunde, the previous chief seed, is she really as unusual as the legends from the tower say she is?’

Wya clenched his jaw as a wave of the Power of Eradication surged into his arms, causing him to feel a slight prickling sensation. He shifted his longsword in desperation to throw Miranda off.

The swordswoman held her sword in one hand, and with an ingenious twist of her sword, she deflected the opponent’s momentum. This time, it was Miranda’s face that changed.

‘This is…’ She clenched her teeth lightly.

“Your sword style is not bad, and your intuition is great as well. It should be more suitable for Powers of Eradication like the Sword of Baptism’s Death.”

Miranda took a step back and narrowed her eyes a bit.

“But your current Power of Eradication can cause your opponents to feel a stabbing pain while they are fighting against you…”

A wary look clouded Miss Arunde’s face. She enunciated her words carefully. “Wya Caso, this weird Power of Eradication, what is your relationship to the Disaster Sword?”

This time, even Kohen’s face changed dramatically. Wya was stunned.

“Weird Power of Eradication?” Wya shook his head in confusion. “What I learned was ‘The Edge of No Return’, taught by Master Chartier! It was her…”

“Shut up.” Miranda’s face was ice-cold. “Daphne Chartier, one of the eight supreme class scions of the Tower of Eradication, she was my teacher!”

The swordswoman flung the longsword aside and shoved the ponytail behind her head into her collar. Kohen knew that it was a precursor for her becoming serious. She spoke harshly, “And I’ve never heard of such a thing as ‘The Edge of No Return’ from her!”

Wya’s face changed. He anxiously said, “This is a recently developed Power of Eradication. All of you have already been graduated for three or four years—”

But the blond police officer interrupted him, “Recently developed? You mean it’s the power of the Disaster Sword, right?”

Wya knit his eyebrows tightly. ‘These stubborn people!’

Kohen’s eyes were terrifying and he spoke sternly, “Don’t tell me… that you were also part of their plans to assassinate the prince. Were you their insider, prince’s attendant?”

Wya’s head swam. He did not know how to handle this.

Disconcerted, Wya adopted his fighting stance once more. His tone was laced with the flames of fury. “I will say it again. Both Ralf and I bear heavy responsibilities personally entrusted by Prince Thales. Your conduct and actions at this very moment… are a betrayal to Constellation!”

“Heavy responsibilities entrusted by a seven-year-old child? I know that His Highness is very clever, but there must be a limit to lies,” Kohen said coldly.

His left hand surged with the Power of Eradication and he flung Ralf—who had lost all strength to resist—aside.

The Phantom Wind Follower crashed into the wreckage, stirring up smoke and dust. Ralf did not stir, as if he had lost consciousness.

“You—” Wya roared furiously.

Miranda’s sword suddenly came charging towards him like a moving snake.

The woman’s longsword struck the hilt of Wya’s sword perfectly, causing the latter, who had yet to recover from his old wounds, to laboriously retreat two steps backward.

“Tell us what your mission is in detail, or your relationship with the Disaster Sword, and what you are preparing to do to the prince, Attendant Caso,” Miranda said bluntly.

Wya propped his hand on the ground and looked at the silent Ralf who had disappeared into the ruins. He cried indignantly,

“Damn it, you have it wrong since the beginning. I have never been a Disaster Sword! I also haven’t done anything harmful to the prince!”

Wya panted rapidly and clutched his shoulder—the wound that was torn by the Blood Clan had been ruptured slightly.

Upon hearing that, Miranda’s face changed somewhat.

Kohen’s eyebrow twitched as he strode towards Wya. “We’ve met your partners in Dragon Clouds City. All we need to do is probe around a little…”

But when the police officer took two steps forward, he was suddenly stopped by Miranda’s extended arm.

“Miranda?” Kohen looked at his partner’s action, surprised. “Why would you—”

“Wait a minute!” Miranda’s face paled, as if she just thought of something, then her expression changed.

A few second later, Miranda shuddered.

Kohen looked at his partner worriedly. “Miranda?”

“Kohen…” Miranda’s breathing grew strained. She frowned as she looked at the angry, glowering Wya. “What he just said… From when Prince Thales was attacked by the assassin before the fortress, to the rumors of Dragon Clouds City, the news sold to us by Gu, the reaction of the two Disaster Swords and Raphael’s words… Once I connected all these clues together, I suddenly understood…”

Kohen narrowed his eyes in confusion. “What? What have you understood?”

Miranda fixed her gaze at the sullen Wya. With difficulty, she said, “What he just said reminded me that… he isn’t a Disaster Sword, and that he has never harmed the prince… if those are true…”

“What do you mean?” Kohen scratched his head. “You mean this boy’s words are true?”

“It’s not just the boy.” Miranda’s talking speed quickened uncontrollably. Kohen could clearly hear the anxiety in her words. “It’s everything in Dragon Clouds City!”

Wya stared at the two Constellation aristocrats before him in puzzlement.

There was a rarely seen, solemn expression on the swordswoman’s face. “The Disaster Swords exposed themselves while assassinating the prince, that’s why we came forward to investigate the matter…”

Her voice began to quiver. “However, if Dragon Clouds City does not have Disaster Swords and the Disaster Swords did not harm the prince—”

“What are you saying?” Kohen shook his head and interrupted her. “We saw them. The master and disciple in the alley… their Powers of Eradication don’t lie.”

Miranda kept a tightened grip around the sword in her hand, and her face turned paler. “No, you don’t understand! What we saw were true Disaster Swords, but they are not the Disaster Swords we were looking for from the start!”

“The Disaster Swords we were looking for from the start?” Kohen put on a pensive expression. “Do you mean…”

“Think. What is it that caused the Tower to entrust us with the task of searching for the Disaster Swords?” Miranda turned her head around and fixed her gaze on Kohen.

“What is it?” Kohen narrowed his eyes and recalled everything in the past. “When Kroesch was searching for the truth regarding the prince’s assassination, she was ambushed by the Disaster Swords and her right arm was disabled…”

At that moment, Miranda and Kohen’s expressions changed drastically at the same time. With their fastest speed, they turned around with their backs against each other’s and raised their heads to look around them.

“Someone’s coming!”

Wya used his sword to support himself and sensed the backlash coming from the Edge of No Return while he answered with great difficulty. “There’s killing intent all around us. We’re surrounded!”

The sounds of orderly, powerful, unhesitating footsteps rose into the air.

Fierce and burly figures appeared from behind the wreckage.

Very soon, with sour expressions, Miranda and Kohen saw soldiers in uniforms belonging to the patrol units in Dragon Clouds City rush into the small wreckage from all directions.

There were hundreds of them, and they surrounded them so tightly that not a single drop of water would even flow out from their encirclement.

Wya stared at the aloof, fully equipped soldiers in shock. As he stared at the faces full murderous intent, his heart was filled with uneasiness.

‘When did they…?’

Miranda swept her gaze past the soldier’s icy gazes and whispered, “They’re all good fighters. They have killed and shed blood before, and they don’t bear any good will.”

“Why didn’t we notice them?” Kohen stared at the hundred something elite soldiers with a heavy heart and raised his sword cautiously.

“One, we devoted all our attention on fighting against these two.” Miranda had a calm expression as she answered with a steady voice. “Two, these people are elites. They aren’t normal patrols.”

The soldiers who surrounded them tightly slowly moved into two parts so that they could open up a path for one person.

Miranda stared at the person walking out of the crowd slowly and a freezing look crept into her face, which had never happened before. “Three, it does not matter whether it is towards the Tower of Eradication’s stealth techniques, our habits, or our movements over the past few days, their commander is far too familiar with all of them.”

That person appeared from the crowd and stood right in front of them.

Wya stared at that person, bewildered. Miranda lowered her gaze and sighed deeply.

With light from the sun, Kohen saw the person coming towards him clearly—a swordswoman decked in gray armor and a sword by her waist.

His mouth widened in shock and his eyes grew as large as saucers. Kohen even blinked in disbelief.

That was… the person they met not too long ago…

“Kro… Kroesch?”

With a face full of shock, he recognized this cohort of his from the Tower of Eradication, a female swordswoman who was a Seed just like him.

“Aren’t you supposed to…?” The police officer’s hand shuddered, and he instinctively cast his gaze on the short-haired swordswoman’s right hand.

His words died away in his mouth.

That right hand, that sword arm which should have been disabled by the Disaster Swords and was still tightly wrapped in bandages just a few day ago… was at that moment pressed firmly on the saber by her waist. She was even nimbly flexing her fingers.

“So this is the truth?” Miranda stared at the calm-looking Kroesch. Her voice was filled with deep fatigue and disappointment.

However, the new girl, Kroesch did not show any intention of wanting to talk about old times with them. She only stared at her two cohorts coldly, as if they had never known each other.

“In the name of Eckstedt!” Kroesch shouted loudly.

Kohen and Miranda froze together.

‘It’s here… the moment of truth.’

They saw Kroesch Mirk, their cohort from the Tower of Eradication, the swordswoman who should originally be lying in bed, gently smoothing her short locks and push down on the sword hilt by her waist with a cold countenance.

The gloomy and despairing look from a day ago was gone from Kroesch’s face, and with a pair of astute, sharp eyes, she stared at her two cohorts. In a cold voice, she said without any hesitation,

“Miranda Arunde, Kohen Karabeyan, under the suspicion of infiltrating Dragon Clouds City…”

Kohen and Miranda’s hearts sank.

The armored girl continued speaking. “… in order to work together with Constellation’s diplomat group in harming the Archduke of Beacon Illumination City, Archduke Conkray Poffret…”

Wya’s expression instantly changed drastically.

“… as well as assassinating the common-elected king, King Nuven Walton…”

At that moment, all three Constellatiates in the area quaked.

Kroesch continued with her emotionless voice.

“… and for plotting the beginning of a political change in Eckstedt, you are under arrest!”

Once Kroesch finished speaking, she stared at them coldly. Every single phrase she said caused Kohen and Miranda’s faces to turn paler. Wya bit his lip tightly.

Miranda stared quietly at her cohort—who received the same tutelage as she did under the same master—and her expression turned complicated.

Kohen widened his eyes and continued shaking his head, as if he could not believe everything that he saw even at this moment.

“Put down your weapons and surrender.” Kroesch’s expression did not change while she stood in front of the remaining one hundred soldiers. With agile movements, she drew her sword and held it in her hand, then said in a chilling tone,

“Anyone who resists shall die.”

“As expected of White Blade Guards, a team formed by choosing an elite among a thousand people.” Someone clapped, and as he clapped, the crowd parted to allow way for a boorish, middle-aged noble dressed in military uniform. He came forward and stood in front of Thales and the White Blade Guards. “So astute and vigilant. They do deserve the name of the Dragon’s Imperial Guards.”

The White Blade Guards frowned and exchanged surprised, bewildered glances, but none of them were as shocked as the Prince of Constellation.

Thales did his absolute best to control his own breathing. He lifted his gaze and stared straight at the man who stood among the crowd, the man who was so unfamiliar yet familiar at the same time.

His heart was filled with complicated emotions and other profound feelings.

This sort of outcome was unexpected, but irrefutable.

“It’s you.”

Thales sucked in a deep breath and instinctively held Little Rascal’s hand tightly. The girl looked at him worriedly.

“It’s you. Right from the start, you have been planning this deliberately. Under the guise of escorting us, you had your army sent near Dragon Clouds City. Then you snuck in secretly and hid in the shadows.”

Thales felt his throat becoming drier as he said the next words with great effort, “It was all for this moment.”

The boorish noble facing him let out a scornful snort, but he did not even bother with putting on the slightest bit of emotion on his icy cold face.

Thales turned his head around as he felt his skin crawl. He stared at King Nuven who had been long dead, and closed his eyes with much difficulty, “Just now, the person who hired the assassin was also you, right?”

The White Blade Guards’ breaths became more labored.

The other person remained silent. He pushed his hand down on a very worn, old sword sheath at his waist and did not say a single word.

“Am I wrong?”

Thales opened his eyes and stared at the person before him.

The other person still remained silent, and he continued to remain silent even when the Prince of Constellation sucked in a deep breath, and in the middle of his confusion and pain, he enunciated the other person’s name and title.

“Honorable Archduke of Black Sand… Chapman Lampard?”

The boorish noble in military uniform, Archduke Lampard, moved his eyes and cast Thales a piercing gaze.

Thales only felt an endless chill creep into his heart. The place was filled with silence. The White Blade Guards’ eyes were filled with anger and hatred. The soldiers of the Black Sand Region’s army only had aloofness and killing intent in their eyes.

This silence lasted until the boorish middle-aged noble, Chapman Lampard, spoke in that low, sonorous voice of his; his voice was like thunder.

“What a pity.” The Archduke of Black Sand raised his brow and said coldly, “The great Born King, King Nuven Walton, how could he have died in an accident like this tonight? He should have stayed in Heroic Spirit Palace.”

Thales clenched his fists. He could sense that Little Rascal had started trembling again.

“You know, he is my mother’s older brother; my relative.”

Lampard narrowed his eyes, then strolled to a spot only two meters away from them. He stared at the corner where the enraged White Blade Guards had encircled tightly.

“I, too, am saddened when I lose a relative.”

Chapman Lampard coldly drew his saber from the old sword sheath, which so worn out it was already completely bare. It was the saber which he had personally delivered into his older brother’s chest during battle in the past.

When that ‘disciplinary officer’ saw the archduke’s actions, he gave a light swing of his arm. The atmosphere—which was dangerously explosive enough to begin with—instantly burned.

The Black Sand Region soldiers from the first row took the first step forward with murderous intent. The White Blade Guards might be few in number, but they bent their backs at the same time without backing down and placed their blades on the arm-shields on their left arms.

“Stand back, Black Sand Region traitors,” the senior White Blade Guard warned in a chilly voice, “or else you will taste the fury of these white blades.”

But the soldiers from Black Sand Region did not back down.

The leader with the appearance of a disciplinary office chuckled softly and said, “This is good. We have been waiting for this for a long time, Your Excellencies.”

The atmosphere was becoming tenser.

“May we speak to each other, Your Grace?” Thales exhaled.

With a complicated expression, he stared at the Archduke Lampard and at the great disparity in the number of people on both sides in the area.

“There might… be other ways to settle the matter tonight.”

Chapman Lampard turned his head around slightly. He cast an unconcerned glance at the Prince of Constellation, not a single hint of emotion could be detected in his eyes.

It was as if he was looking at a corpse.

“Have you forgotten, Prince Thales?” Archduke Lampard raised his eyebrows. He looked as if ice that would never melt had gathered on his face. “It is not as if I have not approached you for a negotiation before.”

Little Rascal hid behind Thales in fear.

“Such a pity…”

The second prince frowned and stared at the other in disbelief. He remembered the first time they met.

Without a change in his expression, Lampard shook his head slowly and said, “… that children are not supposed to drink wine.”

Thales shut his eyes and let out a light sigh. “Haih.”

‘Damn it.’

In the next second, the Archduke of Black Sand pushed down on his saber gently and exhaled. There was an eternal coldness in his gaze.

“Be quick.” The Archduke ordered his army, blank-faced. “Do not leave even a single person alive, especially that boy.”