The person who called out to the queen had gray hair that signified the weakness of age, but his strong aura and magnificent body gave that the lie.
Knight among knights.
One of the Five Masters of Carpe.
Gerald of Judgment, who was a legendary paladin and also the lord of Tristar.
It was Gerald Gustav.
“Have you heard the rumours going around these days?”
“Hm? Which rumours are you talking about?”
The queen’s white hair, tied in a braid, swayed.
Clara tilted her head.
“There are rumours about Jervain.”
“If it’s about Jervain, I’ve indeed heard. He’s the inquisitor-captain who’s been going around beheading nobles. He’s even a count on top of that, and don’t they also call him the Judge?”
Gerald and him shared the same nickname, was what she meant. But the man continued to report with his head bowed without taking the bait.
“Yes, that’s him. There are a lot of angry complaints in the circles of nobility these days because of that.”
Because this guy was running around wildly, fast as a thunderbolt, and kept cutting off nobles’ heads.
“But as far as I know, there’s proof that all his victims so far have violated the country’s laws for their own gain? They’ve been the ones gnawing at Carpe’s flesh for so long.”
It was because of the Judgment Sword that the Judge could run amok like this.
Although his behaviour was obviously radical, he was at least faithful to the kingdom’s cause.
“Yes, that’s true enough. From our point of view, he’s achieving results without us having to dirty our hands.”
It was unclear whether this was intentional or not, but Callius’ actions were helping the royalist faction.
Because he kept killing off corrupt nobles and weakening the power of the noble faction, the royalist faction had managed to regain some of its former power.
Therefore, they should’ve tried to protect the man from the pressure of the noble faction.
His rampage was much too fierce.
“You mean, he’s gotten a bit too into it.”
“Yes. Although it’s reasonable to lance a boil and squeeze out the pus, but doing too much of that all at once carries its own risk. If you don’t treat the wound and make sure it recovers, it’ll just get even worse.”
“You mean he’s in too much of a hurry.”
It was good, what Callius was doing. He was lancing the abscesses that plagued the kingdom.
However, there was also a need to drain the pus and process the wound – meaning, the state of confusion that arrived with a hole in the land’s feudal hierarchy.
A territory that lost its lord can’t run smoothly until a new lord is appointed.
However, the current Count Jervain didn’t even consider such follow-up procedures, and he was only addicted to cutting off the lords’ heads every day.
He didn’t even leave people any time to fix the issues.
He really needed to slow down a bit.
“Alright. Then… should I call him over and scold him one time?”
The queen scolding him…
Would that lawless bastard really take the weak and delicate queen’s scolding to heart? Gerald couldn’t help but worry.
“… Although he’s being very radical, there’s nothing wrong with his actions, so it should be enough to encourage him and tell him to be more circumspect.”
“Oho, then please call him. I also want to see his face. Carpe’s foremost idiot became a count, and is now called the Judge? Talk about exciting.”
Gerald also agreed.
He’d thought that the eldest son of Jervain’s direct line was nothing but a young animal, but somehow that animal came back as a human – or even more than that.
‘What the hell is that guy Elburton thinking… ‘
He’d received reports on the happenings in the North, but most of it was hard to believe.
The news about Callius, even more so!
The fact that a guy who couldn’t even hold a sword properly in the past could now freely spread his sanctuary with the Storm Sword of the North – that was completely unsettling.
It wasn’t easy for even Masters to achieve that level with sanctuary.
“My apologies. I got lost in thought for a moment. In any case, I’m concerned that he might be disrespectful towards you, Your Majesty.”
“So what if he’s a bit rude?”
“This old man is just a little worried… about whether he’ll have impure intentions towards you, Your Majesty. You know, his history with…”
That was then –
The urgent footsteps of the knight approaching the audience room could be heard.
And with that came a ferocious aura that spread in the distance.
Gerald jumped up.
At the same time –
“Y-, Your Majesty!”
“What’s going on?”
“The prince has gone crazy again!!”
At that moment, the roar of a wild beast resounded throughout the royal castle.
Queen Clara, whose complexion turned white in an instant, got up quickly.
“I’d like to go first, Your Majesty.”
“Go. I’ll follow soon.”
The way to calm down the prince in the throes of madness was to give him an endless battle.
The queen felt exhausted.
The royal bloodline, she couldn’t kill him nor had the ability to save him…
“If only you never drew that sword.”
But what was the use of regretting the past?
For now, putting the prince to sleep was the priority… Gerald grabbed the sword from his waist and began running.
“It’s big and beautiful.”
A sword that stretched long and wide, seemingly made to defend one’s entire body.
This must be the family heirloom that Viscount Arpen had spoken of.
“Is this it?”
“Yes, this is said to be the heirloom of the Arpen family.”
Grade – Spirit Sword
Infused Soul – Galaximund de Arpen
Unique Ability – Hardening
All of a sudden –
Infusing it with a little divine power, the forearm holding the sword began being covered with a hardened plating.
When Callius tapped it, it was hard enough that it wouldn’t get scratched even when cut with a carcass.
At full power, it would be hard enough to even block a spirit sword, and depending on how it was used, not only the forearm but even the whole body could be covered.
There were limits, but it was definitely a sword worth my appreciation.
It wasn’t a heirloom for nothing.
With such hardness, swordsmanship that prioritized cutting the enemy’s bones in exchange for your own flesh could be used.
While pretending to give up defending your vital area, block the enemy’s strike by hardening it, and behead the enemy while he was panicking.
Depending on how you used it, it was a sword that could leapfrog and kill stronger opponents.
“It’s a good sword.”
But there was a fatal problem.
The sword was too big and too heavy.
The length was close to two meters and the width could rival a shield.
The weight was also correspondingly heavy, and some knights couldn’t even lift it properly.
And with its length, you couldn’t wield it freely unless you were tall enough.
Callius, who valued speed and surprise, couldn’t use this sword as a mainstay.
“I can see why it was left to gather dust.”
Perhaps this sword could be used once he buffed his stats with Verse of Grace, but there was no need to do that.
There were many other good swords in his hands, so there was no need to overdo it.
“Anyone wants it?”
All the guys in the 6th division shook their heads simultaneously.
“It looks so difficult to carry, how would we even use it?”
“The captain is holding it in one hand though.”
“And I want to ask, how is he doing that?”
No one came forward.
To use this sword, it seemed that at least a tall, massive knight would be required.
Callius could do nothing but put Galaxymund into subspace, and looked around.
“How many dead, and wounded?”
“Twenty wounded, no dead.”
“How are the wounds?”
“Excluding four serious injuries, there are sixteen minor injuries.”
Most of the crew who’d trained at the mansion suffered at most minor injuries.
The remaining ones, especially those with serious wounds, were those who never participated in the training.
At Callius’ intent stare, the people around him awkwardly averted their gazes.
They, too, had noticed how things had turned out.
The knights of the Viscount Arpen were not without skills, so it’d taken quite a while.
Callius said, looking at the majority of the wounded men.
“I won’t force you. However, I will continue to fight frequently in the future. Think carefully about the difference between you and these guys.”
That was it. As he said, he had no intention of forcing training upon anyone.
Even if he left them alone, they’d band together on their own, in time.
“Where are we going next?”
“Originally, we were going to head south to the lands of Count Valentine.”
However, Callius had no choice but to rein himself in after seeing the bug moving on his finger.
‘It was good that Orcal’s third squad took the lead and did some reconnaissance.’
After dealing with the viscount this time, he was planning to go south and attack the count himself.
It was cumbersome to deal with the low-level nobles, barons and such, one by one.
The plan this time was to destroy them all at once before they could react.
But after hearing the report, it didn’t seem like he could go south and rampage.
– They say that the eldest son of the Ruydren family visited Count Valentine.
The eldest son, was Lutheon’s older brother.
Commander of the Golden Lion knights of the South.
Ruen von Ruydren.
Among the innumerable knights of the kingdom –
He, was considered one of the Five Stars (五星), the ones closest to becoming a Master.
Canter, canter went the sound, echoing through the plains.
It was Esther, the pilgrim, for once not dressed in the pure white cloak that signified Valtherus, who drove her horse across the plains at a speed that was neither slow nor fast.
She was carrying out a quest to clear out the bandits who’d appeared not far from Karradi.
It was a relatively simple task for her, so she was relatively relaxed.
She couldn’t journey far because she didn’t know when Sullivian could fall critically ill, and that’s why she’d accepted such a mission.
With her sincere personality, it was difficult for her to sit still, so she wanted to help people and the Church by doing something like this.
Kill the beasts you see along the way.
Kill the bandits too.
Help those who seek your help.
As a practitioner of the sword, it was a bit disappointing not to be able to meet a strong enemy, but it was rewarding to think that even such a small task would be helpful to someone.
So, this time –
She didn’t wear the pure white cloak and clothes that originally symbolized the pilgrims.
A faded cloak and old clothes.
All to attract bandits.
“Really, who did this?”
Following the rumours, she went to the place where the bandits had been active, but couldn’t find a single living one.
Esther walked along the path that seemed to lead to the den of the bandits, observing the fresh corpses and their wounds along the way.
Soon she saw a fence, and a row of huts one after another.
There, of course, the corpses formed a mountain.
Someone had swept through the bandits.
Esther slowly drew her sword.
In front of the bandit’s corpses, there were three people who looked like knights, but they were all wearing hoods, so she couldn’t see their faces properly.
There was no guarantee that they were not enemies, even if they’d killed off the bandits, so she aimed her sword.
However, before she could even finish the sentence –
Esther was attacked.
The shortest one ran like lightning and stabbed at her.
Although his body was small, the attack was fierce.
But who was Esther?
Was she not the greatest genius of the Order, called the strongest pilgrim?
It wasn’t difficult for her to block the attack, and at the same time, she tried to pin down the sword by moving her wrist like a shackle.
As if startled, the hooded man immediately dropped his sword and kicked the hilt.
Jumping away with a backflip, he caught the sword from mid-air.
The move was clean like flowing water.
Just as Esther was about to say something else –
The giant among the three, also hooded, slashed at her with his greatsword.
Crack! The earth broke and clods of dirt scattered.
Esther took a step back, then backed away further as the third hooded man struck.
The link between the three was smooth, and the swordsmanship spoke of experience in actual combat.
Their swords were more lively than the characteristic swordsmanship of aristocrats, and the purpose of each strike was to kill the enemy in one blow.
Esther was considering their impressions.
And by checking their swordsmanship and habits, she found out their identities without much difficulty.
It was the swordsmanship of the North that was this fierce.
A swordsmanship made for practical battles, putting aside all the pretentiousness and hypocrisy.
A sword for killing beasts, and for annihilating the barbarians of the North.
Esther liked the northern swordsmanship.
It was only natural – as a swordsman, this was normal compared to liking the swordsmanship of aristocrats who only cared about showing off.
‘I don’t think they’re just run-of-the-mill knights.’
Especially the one who first attacked him, was probably a child.
He was short in stature, and the parts of his body and the small hands that could be seen through the coat belonged to a child.
For his age, the swordsmanship was great, and it had its own characteristics.
Maybe he was from Jervain’s bloodline?
Because the other two were fighting like they were escorting that child.
Esther calmly took in the three swordsmen in front of her and widened the distance.
The probes were over.
“She’s a great expert. Be careful.”
The hoods were removed, revealing the appearances of each one.
The giant looked just like a bandit, and the man of medium stature was a pale blond young man. He had lost one eye, and was wearing an eye patch.
And the last one –
“Who are you? Looking at your movements, you aren’t just some bandit.”
The voice was that of a young girl.
Black short hair peeking out of a pulled back hood.
A girl with gray eyes, was glaring at her.
Really, Jervain’s bloodline.
“Lady, be careful. She’s not normal.”
As if waiting for an answer, the Jervain girl stood silently.
When Esther realized that she was from the North, and from the Jervain family, she began to withdraw her own sword, but stopped.
The sword the girl was holding –
Not only she was strangely familiar with it, but it was the sword she had handed over to Callius as a token of defeat and respect.
But the sword was in the girl’s hands.
That is to say –
‘Are you his disciple?’
The disciple of the kingdom’s biggest idiot.
She was undoubtedly intersted. There was no way she couldn’t be.
A disciple of Callius, the only one who had dealt her a defeat – she had a desire to experience the girl’s swordsmanship a little more.
She looked like she was about twelve years old.
As soon as she realized that the sword of such a young girl was quite terrifying, Esther’s feelings surged with a tide of strange and bold curiosity.
“You seem unwilling to answer.”
It was sad, but Esther decided to keep her mouth shut.
First of all, this brat was Callius’ disciple.
She wanted to see more of her skills.
And if the girl ended up learning something from a duel with herself, that wasn’t a bad thing either.
“Come, Callius’ disciple.”
When she said that with a light smile, the girl’s eyes changed completely.
“You are Dad’s enemy?”
A burning glare that shouldn’t have come from a child stabbed at Esther.
However, not that aura, Esther was more shocked at something else.
Who would call that piece of trash, Dad?
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