Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Archduke Roknee’s emotionless laughter sounded like he was replying to Thales’ speech.
At that moment, Lampard felt infinite rage surging in his chest.
Trentida blinked, wanting to communicate with Olsius, but the latter still wore a grim expression and did not say a single word.
Archduke Lecco sat at the rectangular table with a steady posture.
Lampard breathed in deeply, forcing himself to move his gaze away from Thales.
‘This is the end.’
What he said next gave everyone chills.
“I am asking you for the last time, my fellow archdukes,” the Archduke of Black Sand Region said coldly, “is this your final decision?
“Are you giving up on our oath of allegiance just like that and intending to believe that child’s gibberish?”
After he said that, the atmosphere in the hall instantly became tense.
Trentida frowned. ‘Why hasn’t Prime Minister Lisban arrived here yet?
‘Could it be’
Thales gazed at Lampard’s expression. He felt a sudden hint of uneasiness in his chest.
“The last time?” Archduke Roknee gave a light chuckle. “You have some nerve to say that.”
He pulled out a hairband from his shirt, tied his long hair into a ponytail, and shoved it into his back collar.
Lampard watched his movements quietly. He understood the meaning of his wordless response.
Archduke Lecco’s expression became solemn.
“Chapman, let’s not burn all bridges between us.” The old archduke sat upright and adjusted his attire. His tone was stiff, “Let us resolve this matter together using another method. Things do not have to be this ugly.”
Lampard did not respond.
He shook his head, as though he had given up. Then, he made his decision. “I knew I could never count on any of you.”
“Chapman!” Archduke Trentida’s facial expression changed. “You are still one of the archdukes. We do not have to end up this way.”
“Hmph,” Lampard’s reply to him was an impassive, cold laugh. “Who was the person who said that I, a king slayer, am no longer a member of the Joint Ruling Pledge?”
The mood instantly became even tenser.
Thales clenched his teeth.
‘I knew it.
‘Just as I expected.’
Lampard, you do not want to be our enemy,” Olsius said, concerned. “Do not be silly.”
“Silly?” Lampard cast him a sideways glance, then placed his hand on his waist.
The next second…
In the next second, amid the sound of friction between metal and his leather sheath, Lampard drew his saber out right in front of the other archdukes!
The archdukes’ expressions all changed in unison.
Thales felt a thump in his chest.
It was a sharp and shiny hand-and-a-half saber made for knights. It contrasted with its worn, yellowed sheath.
It only meant that the saber’s owner had wielded it hundreds and thousands of times, but at the same time, maintained it with careful attention so that it could be drawn to slaughter its enemies one day.
Archduke Lampard glared at the others with a bloodthirsty look.
Archduke Olsius let out a faint sigh.
Thales felt his skin crawl.
The next second, Lampard turned sharply towards the hall’s entrance and bellowed, “Lhasa!”
The archduke’s voice was deafening, echoing inside and outside the hall.
Viscount Kentvida’s voice came from outside the hall, “Your Grace?”
Lampard roared in fury, “Attention, soldiers. Prepare for battle!”
Thales felt a tremor in his chest as Saroma’s grip on his hand tightened.
At the next second, there was a commotion outside the hall!
Innumerable sounds of metallic friction and clashes erupted in unison!
Voices sounded unceasingly.
“Draw your weapons!”
“Raise your shields!”
“Stand your ground!”
It was more dramatic than the hubbub caused by Thales!
Back in the hall, the archdukes were calm. Roknee tied his hair methodically; Olsius slowly placed his hand on his sword handle; Trentida retreated stealthily; Archduke Lecco, who was sitting, straightened his back, and exercised his fist.
They stood facing Lampard in silence.
“As a matter of fact,” Trentida said quietly behind everyone else, “he has a lot more soldiers than we do. They still have control over Heroic Spirit Palace and the gatehouses, so are we the ones who are being silly?”
Thales gritted his teeth. He sighed, grasping Saroma’s hand tightly.
‘These These Northland barbarians who go about beating each other up just because they have some disagreement.’
A familiar shout came from outside the hall, alerting the other archdukes. “Archduke Lecco?”
Archduke Lecco gazed calmly at the silent Lampard. He gave a light snort.
“Lord Justin,” the old archduke replied loudly, “thank you for the protection you and your comrades have provided. Please do your best in trying to keep us safe. We will handle what happens in the hall. You have not let down the reputation of the White Blade Guards. It has been our honor to stand with you.”
There was a momentary silence outside the hall.
Then, Lord Justin’s voice sounded, “As it is mine, Your Grace.
“I don’t care whom you’ve served before, be it the archdukes or the palace. And, if you’ve served in the White Blade Guards or the regular army as an ordinary soldier” Justin shouted outside the hall. “But, when we fight later on, fight like a Northlander!”
Wave after wave of roars rang outside the hall.
They appeared to be troops formed by the archdukes’ men and the remaining palace guards.
The old archduke gave a slight nod, even though Lord Justin could not see it.
He turned his attention back into the hall.
“I suggest you reconsider this, my child,” Lecco said impassively to Lampard.
“We could have cooperated and created a future for Eckstedt,” Lampard said coldly, turning the saber in his hand slowly at the same time. “But if you become an obstruction instead of a form of assistance
“What do I need you for?”
Once he finished speaking, Roknee let out a cold laugh. Olsius heaved a deep sigh, while Trentida rubbed his palms, giving a resigned look.
Thales could sense that something between the archdukes and Lampard had completely shattered.
He knew that “something” was called tacit agreement, also known as the “rules”.
From now on, the situation was headed towards an unknown direction.
Thales could not help but stop breathing for a moment.
“Chapman, think carefully about the consequences. Putting aside the situation where both parties suffer terribly, even if you killed all of us here, how are you going to face Prime Minister Lisban, Dragon Clouds City in its current state, or the whole of Eckstedt?” Archduke Lecco was perfectly calm like he was merely in the middle of a military exercise.
Lampard shook his head. “This is not the outcome I wanted, but you leave me no choice.”
Archduke Olsius took a step forward.
Olsius pulled out the Zweihnder by his waist.
The bearded archduke heaved a sigh. “Not only will you become a public enemy, Eckstedt will be in turmoil after our demise. You will not get anything, or get anything done. Is that the outcome you want?”
Thales peered at the heavy sword, which nearly slit his throat earlier on. He frowned slightly.
“I think, if we all can meet each other halfway” Archduke Trentida said, testing the waters.
“I have already given up on any unnecessary fantasy,” Lampard only retorted coldly.
“Regicide or irreverenceif all of you walk out of here alive, you will not spare me, and you will use all sorts of excuses to make sure that I will not get away.
“Whether it is because I broke the Joint Ruling Pledge, or because of that little sh*t’s nonsense.
“Even if it means I lose everything in a wasteland it will not be worse than this!”
“Coward,” Archduke Roknee gave a simple response. He had finished tying up his hair, and he pulled out his weapona sharp, glimmering and striking longsword.
He stood by Olsius’ side to face Lampard. He had a grim expression.
Lampard turned to face Thales, swinging his saber. His eyes narrowed.
“As for you, I will give you an ending most fitting for your position, Prince Thales Jadestar.”
‘This is He just overturned the entire chessboard.’
Thales sighed helplessly.
‘Now If I want to put an end to this matter’
“Stand behind me, Prince Thales, Lady Saroma.” Archduke Lecco looked at Lampard’s facial expression, emitting a light chuckle. “I may be old and frail, but I am still a Northlander.”
“Before I collapse, no one shall hurt you.”
The old archduke stood up slowly. His voice harbored an air of unchallengeable authority.
He pulled out an exquisite dagger, like a monstrous beast who had just woken up from slumber.
Thales responded with a smile.
Trentida sighed, holding the short sword by his waist. He stood farther away. “I hate this day.”
In the hall, Roknee, Olsius, and Lampard had already drawn out their weapons and were ready to fight.
“Allegedly, your elder brother stood still and let you stab him three times. Was that how you killied him?” Roknee swung the sword in his hand in disdain. He did not hesitate to provoke Lampard.
Lampard arched an eyebrow. The saber in his hand reflected a chilling glow.
“But we will not just stand here and await death.” The Archduke of the City of Faraway Prayers snorted. “One against two Are you mentally prepared to die here, Chapman?”
Olsius held his sword with both hands. He wore a solemn expression and remained silent.
“You must be joking.” Lampard appeared unaffected. He was oddly calm even after he had entered his fighting stance.
“I have been prepared for death every second for the past twelve years.”
Their swords were pointed mercilessly at each otherlike the most earnest Northlander.
In that instant, Thales glanced at Saroma instinctively. The girl’s face was pale, but there was no longer a sign of timidity and fear. She merely looked at him with a calm, inquisitive gaze, as though the speech she had given before the archdukes had given her quite a bit of courage.
When he saw her expression, the anxiety in Thales’ heart suddenly diminished a little.
At that very moment, Asda’s voice also rang in Thales’ ears. “Do you need me now?
“This is the last time I’ll ask this questionthe Soul Slayer Pike has detected my presence. I have to leave now.”
With a belly full of frustration, Thales heaved a long sigh.
Beside him, Saroma glanced at him in confusion.
Thales closed his eyes gently.
He clenched his fist.
‘I’m so sick of this.
The next second, Olsius and Roknee got into their positions, prepared to fight.
With a vicious gaze, Lampard spoke slowly, “Attention, soldiers”
The clatter of blades as well as weapons outside the hall erupted like roars of ocean waves and loud, raging storms.
The Archduke of Black Sand Region shouted, “Kill them”
At this very second, a youthful, boyish voice rang out in the hall abruptly.
This voice was ear-splitting and loud. It even interrupted Lampard’s speech.
All the archdukes were startled, and they turned their heads.
Under everyone’s astonished gaze, the Second Prince of Constellation, Thales Jadestar, climbed onto the rectangular table.
In that very moment, the prince whose hair was covered in soot and ashes was stomping his feet and swinging his teeny fist. His hair was covered in soot and ash, and his face was twisted. He gritted his teeth and shouted at the people in the hall.
“You rude, violent, foolish, impulsive, twisted, uncultured, disrespectful, uncivil, pretentious, arrogant, self-obsessed Northland barbarians! You only know about fighting, killing, and screwing!
“Listen to me very carefully!”
At that very second, the archdukeswho had never been chastised this way until nowcould not react. All of them gaped at Thales.
Frustration and impatience surged within the prince.
Once Thales blurted out those words in a single breath, he bent down and held on to his knees, taking two short breaths in agony. The Sin of Hell’s River faded from his throat.
Under the table, Saroma gawked at him.
“I.” Thales took a deep breath. He straightened his back and pounde his chest miserably as it ached from shouting too much. He then looked at the archdukes who were peering at him. “I have an idea
“And it’s much better than a no-win conclusion.”