Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Excited?” Norb pushed Gamus away, even though the latter tried to stop him.
“Don’t get me wrong. If it wasn’t necessary, we wouldn’t want to deal with a cold-blooded sissy who is as indifferent, selfish, and strange as you.”
The Legendary Wing curled his lips faintly, but Norb let out a cold snort.
“Anyway, you caused Blade Fangs Camp to be in a turmoil and had everyone feel imperiled. You offended all the officials and nobles, be it in from the Central Territory or Western Desert, and made our jobs a total mess; there wasn’t a day that went by peacefully. You completely brought chaos to the balance of the tribes in the desert, and it’s not the first time you have done so.”
The Legendary Wing stood still as he listened quietly. Thales’ gaze shifted continuously between Norb and the Legendary Wing. He felt that the conflict between them could be traced back to a long time ago.
Norb paused before he pointed slowly at Blade Fangs Camp—there was still smoke curling up from it—then at Stake’s body.
“But this time? It’s different.” Norb lowered his voice. “Do you know Stake’s value and how many things he’s involved in? Do you know how important this matter is to Lord Hansen and what this mission means to us? Do you know that His Majesty has personally taken an interest in this matter, which, need I remind you, concerns the entire kingdom, and asked the Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Department to ‘be sure to do their best’?”
Norb suddenly turned his head to look directly at the Legendary Wing. “Do you know how much effort we have put in before we got an opportunity, in this place that no one remembers?”
The Legendary Wing narrowed his eyes.
When he said this, Norb seemed to have recalled something. He fell silent for a short while and his breathing quickened. “This is different from the status you obtained through blood, Williams. My men and I were punished, demoted, and banished because of one mistake in the Bloody Year… Ever since then, we have guarded this remote and barren area, and have dealt with countless scum and criminals…”
Norb’s gaze was complicated while he appeared dazed. “For a total of eighteen years.”
Something appeared in Thales’ mind. Roman retained his grace and appeared unaffected by what he heard. Gamus, who stood behind Norb, let out a long sigh.
But Norb ignored him and only glared at the Legendary Wing, whose expression was cold.
“In the past eighteen years, we have muddled along without any aim; we were confused; we had no future, no hope, and saw no way out of this situation. We could only witness young men in their prime lose their spirits and grow old. Do you have any idea what kind of torture this was?”
A thought came to Thales’ mind as he listened. ‘…Muddled along without any aim… confused… had no future, no hope… Dean, Duro, the Royal Guards, Disaster Swords, even that orc warchief… and now, Norb from the Secret Intelligence Department … It’s as if everyone on this land has found a reason to risk their lives because they felt like they didn’t want to give in to silence. Blade Fangs Camp, Western Desert, the Great Desert… Exactly what kind of place is this?’
Norb pointed at the smoke that rose from the camp before he glanced at Thales. “Finally, after eighteen years, after much difficulty… The prince is about to return to the kingdom from this place, Western Desert is about to reshuffle its cards, and His Majesty is about to succeed as he seizes this opportunity…” He took a deep breath, as if he was trying hard to suppress himself. “Finally, we, the forgotten, are remembered. I finally had the condition and reason to ask for this golden opportunity to reverse our situations completely by capturing Stake, Shadow Shield, Teng, and his lackeys.”
Norb glared at the headless dead body. “Have you any idea how much this matters to us, the ones not seen by His Grace and His Majesty, and who have lived in obscurity and oblivion, who saw this as our only hope for the last eighteen years?”
Norb’s face was red with rage. He pointed at Stake’s dead body and seemed unable to find better words. “After eighteen years, you ‘disposed’ of him just like that? Did you just ‘dispose’ our only chance to turn over our situation?” Norb gritted his teeth. “…I can’t accept this.”
Roman only stole a glance at Norb through the corner of his eyes, he seemed interested in what he heard.
“So?” Norb stepped forward. “Get them back here, Williams.”
Norb had his eyes fixed on the people who went further away into the distance.
“Get the people you have let go—regardless of whether it’s the Disaster Swords or the others—back here. We might be able to get some clues to salvage this failure, make a great contribution, reverse the situation, and reverse… our future.”
Thales’ heart sank. Norb seemed determined to go after the people who escaped.
“What happens if we don’t?” The Legendary Wing smiled coldly.
Norb’s eyes were bloodshot. His chest heaved. “If you don’t, Legendary Wing…” He looked at Roman as his voice grew fiercer. “Do not forget that everything you own—your title, your army, your territory, and everything you have—were bestowed upon you by His Majesty and the kingdom.”
The Legendary Wing frowned. Gamus widened his eyes behind Norb!
Norb said coldly, “The regular soldiers of the royal family who work under you, the Stardust Unit whom are said to move across the Great Desert with great ease, their supplies, equipment, warhorses, expenses, manpower, including the troops garrisoned in Blade Fangs Camp, all belong to His Majesty. He can take them back anytime and make you a common soldier stationed in Western Desert, owning nothing and useless again.”
Thales predicted that something was going to happen; he suddenly felt that something was about to go very wrong.
‘Oh no. He’s…’
But it was too late for him to do anything. Norb was seen gritting his teeth as he spoke clearly and firmly, “Do you know how we can make this happen?”
At that moment, the Legendary Wing’s gaze changed!
“Norb!” Gamus interrupted his superior, took a deep breath, and was prepared to stop him with all his might. “Norb, that’s enough, let’s go back…”
The Legendary Wing spoke again, “I said, let him speak.”
Roman watched Gamus coldly. The meaning behind his gaze caused the latter to freeze. “Did you not understand any of the words I said?”
His words seemed to have ignited the flames in Norb’s heart. Norb’s gaze grew cold. He shook off Gamus’ hand violently.
“Going against the king’s orders, ruining the mission, establishing illicit relations with the enemy, covering up crimes, releasing criminals of your own volition, raising your importance by keeping the enemy alive so that you can keep fighting them, conspiring with someone else, associating yourself with evildoers, conspiring to murder your comrades, freeing the prisoners in the Prison of Bones, plotting against the kingdom’s bloodline, bringing harm to Constellation’s interest…” Norb spoke slowly, and Thales groaned in his heart. “These are all the things you did today.”
His strange behavior alarmed all the cavaliers and the Secret Intelligence Department. They looked at them, surprised, but the Legendary Wing did not interrupt him. The cavaliers who worked for him remained in a confrontational stance.
Norb laughed coldly. “As for the troublesome things you and your scum have done: blackmail, accepting bribes, capital punishment, torture, robbery, murder, seizing land, and claiming the people there as your people so that you can get richer, embezzle wealth, employ despicable means on the battlefield, and conspiring to kill noblemen…”
Norb stared at the Legendary Wing firmly. Gamus’ face grew paler with each word he spoke. “We’ve long gotten tired of cleaning up your mess.”
‘What? All these crimes…’ The more he listened, the more fearful Thales became.
Norb coldly said, “For eighteen years, every piece of evidence that we collected, and every crime found is enough to make Renaissance Palace furious with you, the Baron of Blade Fangs Camp. It will bring joy to the noblemen who have always hated you, cause everyone in the kingdom to despise you and regard you with scorn, and bring disgrace and ruin upon your reputation… For all that we have accused you of, we will report your every dirty involvement with proof. We will report its entirety and exactly how it happened, to the Imperial Conference, His Majesty, and Lord Hansen.”
Norb’s eyes showed a hint of madness. “Then, under immense pressure, His Majesty will have to take away everything from you: your nobility, your army, your territory, and your reputation.”
The Legendary Wing’s face turned very dark. Thales’ face was just as dark.
‘The situation is bad. What Norb did was the same as what I did. If even I could do it, then Norb… that pretty boy…’
Thales watched Roman’s handsome face. He saw how unpredictable his expressions were on his handsome face at that moment.
“Now, Your Grace.” Norb exhaled deeply and lowered his voice, as if to suppress the anger in his chest. “We may be able to fix all that has happened together…” Norb gave the Legendary Wing a deadly look, as though he wanted to dig a chunk of meat from his handsome face. “Or we may perish together. You will have your noble title stripped from you, and I will have my future taken away. We will rot in Blade Fangs Camp, in this bottomless abyss where one kills without drawing blood.”
He lowered his voice. “The clock is ticking. It’s up to you.”
Once he finished speaking, the place was quiet again, but the people who were present felt that their minds were in chaos.
‘Damn.’ This was the only thought that the utterly confused and disconcerted Thales could think of. Only a few seconds had passed by, but Thales thought that it was much longer.
He put on an impatient expression as he tried to think of a way to deal with the situation. “Mister Norb, Baron Williams, as a matter of fact, I am exhausted. All the mess that has happened—”
Before he finished his words, the Legendary Wing interrupted him again. “It’s strange,” Roman said softly, there was an underlying meaning in his words. “Why does everyone think that they’re in a position to threaten me today?”
Thales’ expression changed. The Legendary Wing stepped forward slowly.
“Hey, Secret Intelligence Department, you’ve met Morat before, yes?”
Norb narrowed his eyes.
Thales also found what he heard a little strange. ‘Morat?’ The Black Prophet’s figure appeared in his mind. ‘What does this have to do with him?’
The Legendary Wing laughed faintly. “Do you know why that black-robed old man always uses a walking stick?”
“Because he used to say something similar to me.”
The Legendary Wing’s voice was a little soft and rather calm; it was not even louder than the wind.
Before Thales and Norb registered what had happened, a white light flashed from the Legendary Wing’s hand! In the next second, Norb fell onto the ground heavily with a dull thud!
“Argh!” What followed were his pained grunts.
Gamus, who registered what had happened, subconsciously wanted to draw his blade, but Roman, who, at some point, held his long spear in his hand, merely flung his arm, a white shadow then flashed out and sent Gamus flying!
Thales was astonished!
“And I!” The Legendary Wing’s voice suddenly grew loud and sonorous. “I acted just like this back then…”
His eyes were as cold as ice as he walked coldly towards Norb, who was moaning on the ground. In the next instant, the Legendary Wing unwaveringly raised his leg before everyone’s eyes.
Roman finished his words clearly and coldly. “I broke his leg.”
A clear and crisp noise sounded.
“AAHHH!!” Norb held on to his right leg and screamed out loud!
The people around them saw this scene. Everyone from the Secret Intelligence Department instinctively charged forward! “Sir!”
Roman’s subordinates reacted just as swiftly. They drew their weapons out of their sheaths, and their bowstrings were stretched taut as they closed in on the Secret Intelligence Department members.
Thales was shocked as he watched this scene. He could not understand how things progressed this way. ‘Why did he…?’
Norb’s screams turned into moans. He crawled on the ground and tried to stay away from Roman, and his pained moans continued to rise into the air.
The Legendary Wing snorted coldly. He shook the white spear in his hands and walked towards Norb as though he still wanted to enjoy more of what happened.
“Roman, no!” Thales registered what happened and said quickly, “Too many people are watching this!”
The Legendary Wing stopped talking and suddenly turned around and looked straight at Thales. The chilling glare spoke of a warning. It caused the prince’s words to be stuck in his throat.
The Legendary Wing snorted coldly. He turned around and walked towards Norb who was on the ground. His white spear retracted slowly and turned into a short spear.
“Now, Secret Intelligence Department…” The Legendary Wing extended his long arm and grabbed Norb by his collar. “I want you to ‘report everything exactly how it happened’ to that dirty old son of a b*tch Morat. I want you to tell him all what I did and said today, without a single word missing, including breaking your leg! ‘Report everything accordingly’ to that son of a b*tch king who sits in his throne, bears the name of Jadestar, and wears a crown!”
Thales was lost for words. ‘Dirty, son of a b*tch… What he just said is…’
Roman’s tone almost froze the sand around him. “That’s right. I did not only kill your target and let your suspects go. I also brought harm to your interest and ruined your plans.”
The Legendary Wing suddenly turned around and directed the short spear at Thales. It frightened the prince.
“I even wounded the men you sent to keep tabs on me and threatened to kill the heir to the kingdom.” The Legendary Wing’s gaze was terrifying. “And I don’t care what you think.”
‘I don’t care what you think…’ Thales was stupefied.
Norb gritted his teeth. He seemed to have understood the situation. The Legendary Wing tightened his grip around Norb and enunciated his words clearly.
“Because. This. Is. My. Blade. Fangs. Camp!”
The Legendary Wing released Norb and turned around to smack Gamus back down to the ground again, right after the man got to his feet!
“And I, as usual, find them all a sore sight!”
Roman roared like he was burning with rage. It caused a commotion among the Secret Intelligence Department members! Then, a cavalier snapped his whip, and sent one of the Secret Intelligence Department members who strayed back into their group.
The Legendary Wing stood up slowly as he watched Norb and Gamus. One of them hissed while enduring his pain, and the other coughed up blood on the ground.
“Next time, if they send another childishly ignorant idiot like you who thinks he can threaten me with the king, the Secret Intelligence Department, and MY Blade Fangs Camp…”
‘Ignorant child… thinks he can threaten me with… Blade Fangs Camp…’ Thales was chilled to the bone.
“Next time, if they want to involve my territory in some power balancing political game…” The Legendary Wing’s eyes were as cold as ice.
“…they’ll see me in Renaissance Palace.”
When he said this, Roman suddenly turned around to glance at Thales. The teenager felt his heart pound in fear, and he could not help but take a step back.
“If they are not happy with it, and if they have the guts…” The Legendary Wing looked murderous. “They can take away my title, withdraw my army, take away my territory… and come here with the goddamn Jadestar’s warrant… to kill me!” bellowed the Legendary Wing.
‘Goddamn Jadestar…’ Thales subconsciously gulped. ‘Oh sh*t.’
He stared dumbly at the Legendary Wing who was brimming with murderous intent. ‘Is he… really a vassal working directly under the royal family? What makes him so arrogant and act so brazenly?’
Roman turned around to stare at Norb, who was panting on the ground. “As for Kessel and Morat, if they don’t have the guts, if they don’t dare to…”
At this moment, Roman was overwhelmingly oppressive. Every single word he said sounded like it could slash the air.
“Then tell them to suppress their urges, hide their tails between their legs and clench their b*lls… Continue to hide behind the throne, and cowards… and be good boys while they serve as son of a b*tch cowards!”
Thales was astonished. He could not believe his eyes as he watched Roman, who was furious and eager to kill.
‘He… His attitude towards the Iron Hand King… How did I manage to “persuade” Roman earlier?’
Norb gasped for breath. He bore with the pain inflicted by his wounds as he pushed Gamus down when the latter wanted to get up again. He widened his eyes, as if he found this unbelievable as well.
“Listen, Secret Intelligence Department.” The Legendary Wing snorted coldly and put the white spear on his back. “If you miss a word by chance. One. Word…”
Roman’s tone did not sound cold anymore, but his message was still as threatening as ever.
“I’ll go to the capital myself and break Morat’s other leg.”
When he was done, before anyone could register his words, he turned to face his subordinates.
“All units assemble! Get ready to leave!”
While the waves of replies from hundreds of cavaliers echoed in the air, the Legendary Wing got on his saddle and bellowed an order, “The horses that belong to these men are now ours. We thank the Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Department for their supplies!”
Norb and Gamus’ expressions changed again.
Against the Secret Intelligence Department members’ shocked expressions, the cavaliers resolutely rushed forward and snatched their horses violently.
They knocked down a few men who wanted to fight them while they seized the horses.
Thales stared blankly; his feelings were complicated as he watched Roman circle the place on his horse before he gave an order to his subordinates.
“I’m sorry.” The teenager approached the pathetic-looking Norb and revealed a friendly smile at him. “The baron must be… in a bad mood today.”
As Thales said this, his heart sank again. Norb gasped in pain and leaned on Gamus’ shoulders strenuously.
“Thanks for speaking for us, Your Highness. I’m just… sorry that you had to see that.” Norb tried his best to endure the pain as he glanced at the Legendary Wing in the distance. “Even within the country, the royals are unable to rule without problems.”
Thales did his best to smile. Before he could respond, the sound of galloping horses traveled from behind him!
Norb’s face grew pale. “Your Highness—”
Thales turned around subconsciously, but all that he could see was a flash of white light!
In the next second, the prince was swept off the ground. He vanished before Norb and Gamus. Norb watched the prince leave into the distance, and a contemplative look appeared on his face.
It was unknown when it began, but all the cavaliers started to move, and their horses pranced. Gamus was shocked to see their snatched horses leave their side. He turned around.
“You know Williams’ temper, Norb.” The somewhat fat man supported Norb. He looked a little exasperated. “Why did you do this to his face? Why?”
Norb was examining his leg wound with a scowl when he snorted lightly. “Because…” Norb let out a pained hiss. “I didn’t do this for him.”
Gamus was stunned. “What? For whom did you do this for, then?”
Norb did not answer him and only narrowed his eyes as he watched Thales gradually disappear from view.
“Can you feel it, Gamus?” He raised his head and looked at the sky. “The direction of the wind has changed.”
Gamus glanced at the Great Desert. It was still the same as before. He was baffled. ‘The direction of the wind?’
Norb’s eyes sparkled in the face of Gamus’ confused expression. “Our ticket to leave this place and return to the capital is finally here.”
In the distance, Thales was dazed as he sensed the vibrations under his bottom. Earlier, when he was too shocked, he almost called upon the Sin of Hell’s River… until he saw himself leave the ground, and the scenery beside him fell back.
Was he… on a horse? And he was holding…
“This is—” Thales looked up.
“Stop moving! Hold on tight!”
This time, when he heard his voice, Thales subconsciously backed away!
He was shaken by the speeding white horse and almost loosened his grip. Fortunately, another hand reached from the side and supported him.
In the wind, the Legendary Wing who held the reins said loudly above his head, “Why the hell are you trembling? Have you never ridden a horse before?”
Thales froze. He suddenly realized that his legs and bottom were on the same side, and he was seated sideways uncomfortably on a white horse in the Legendary Wing’s arms. He even held his waist.
‘Too… awkward. Hmm, it’s not that I’ve never ridden a horse, it’s you I haven’t ridden before.’
As he sat in the man’s arms, Thales recalled the Legendary Wing’s conduct earlier. He tried to steady his body, and forced himself to smile.
“Nothing, it’s just that… Well, I can also ride a horse myself—”
Roman did not wait for his reply. “I’ll try to be a little steadier.”
In the next moment, Roman drew the reins a little and made some whistling sounds that Thales did not understand. He patted the white horse’s neck a few times with his other hand. Amazingly, the white horse slowed down, and the ride became smoother.
Thales gave a wry laugh before he lowered his head and pretended to be interested in the Legendary Wing’s clothes.
‘Oh my god. I’m riding a horse with the man who just said he’s going to attack Renaissance Palace? So…’
Thales saw that their front and sides were surrounded by countless cavaliers who rode their horses quickly. They surrounded and protected the two men and the horse. Their horses made sand and dust fly into the air with their hooves.
This made him feel even more awkward. He could only think of something else.
Strangely, although the Legendary Wing appeared murderous (he also just killed someone), his body under the robes and light armor seemed thin. And he surprisingly smelled… rather pleasant.
The troops suddenly changed direction.
As he felt the endless jolts through his bones with the constant soreness in his body, and smelled the smoke and dust that blew at his face, Thales had no other choice but to cover his mouth and nose.
At this moment, a hand appeared before his eyes.
“A face mask to prevent dust,” Roman shouted as the horses galloped on and stirred up dust and sand.
Thales was stupefied for a while before he took the face mask from Roman’s hand. He noticed that Roman had also covered his face. However, his amber-colored eyes still appeared lively.
Thales sighed and tied the face mask around his face. He inhaled deeply behind the face mask and felt much better.
“You are not afraid of being threatened, of the Secret Intelligence Department nor the king…”
The Legendary Wing moved a little behind him. The white horse jolted. Thales could no longer be bothered about feeling awkward as he held Roman’s waist tightly to maintain his balance.
But he still asked, “Why did you agree to my conditions earlier?”
Roman did not answer. Just when Thales thought that the conversation had failed, Roman said, “Maybe it’s because…” Roman snorted coldly on his horse. He lowered his head and stared at Thales. His amber-colored eyes revealed a complicated gaze.
Roman extended his hand to pull the mask over Thales’ face a little straighter.
“You’re more good-looking?”
Thales was speechless. A second later, out of awkwardness, Thales tilted his head down unnaturally, and tried his best to bury his face in Roman’s arms.
Fortunately, the mask covered his expression well.
The horse jolted again, scaring Thales into holding on to Roman even tighter.
“Where… are we going?”
This time, Roman did not answer him. Instead, the Legendary Wing straightened his body, drew out the white spear on his back, and allowed it to slowly grow longer.
“Send a signal to Felicia and Frank!” Roman suddenly spoke louder. He was heard bellowing, “Everyone, prepare to increase your speed!”
Before Thales registered what happened, waves of responses traveled from the horses in front, behind, and from the flanks.
“Hah!” The Legendary Wing’s bellowing soared to the sky. “We’ll attack the camp!”
His voice seemed to possess the power to motivate others. It traveled through the galloping horses and into everyone’s ears. Even Thales could not help but feel his blood boil.
All the cavaliers answered simultaneously. The eagerness to fight could be heard in their voices. Soon, the cavaliers began to speed up. The sand and dust in the air grew more vicious, and it made Thales shut his eyes. He had no choice but to lean against Roman tightly.
The dull thudding of horseshoes as they kicked against the sand grew crisper. But the Legendary Wing’s voice was still clear and impactful.
As the cavaliers sped faster, they drew their weapons and replied frenziedly, “Hah!”
Countless sounds were mixed together, including those of horse hooves, sand and dust, bellows and jolts. They made Thales’ heart beat tremendously fast.
‘Is he crazy? He’s bringing me along, and still wants to fight a battle?’
The white spear turned in the Legendary Wing’s hand before it headed to the front.
“No matter who you meet on the road, be it humans, mixed breeds, Barren breeds or goddamn Bloody Thorn Lizards; if you see Constellation flags, and those who refuse to surrender and kneel…” The Legendary Wing’s voice grew more merciless as it carried a sharpness and rage that were both unheard of before. In the next second, the Legendary Wing swung the white spear. He bellowed words in the language of the orcs, words that used to made Thales tremble in fear.
“Sel! Lic! Ca!”
When the white horse leaped, it shook Thales so much that it caused him to almost loosen his grip!
He closed his eyes and held Roman’s waist with great effort. The soldiers’ enthusiastic and boorish roars traveled to his ears. “Sel! Sel! Sel licca!”
As Thales listened to the roaring that rose and fell, and came and went, his heartbeat and blood began to grow calm. A wave of tiredness overcame him.
‘I’m so… tired.’
Amid the endless jolts and waves of roaring, Thales only felt his eyelids grow heavier and his body lighter. The sounds that traveled to his ears seemed to be blocked by a water screen, it no longer stimulated his nerves.
In the next instant, Thales closed his eyes, and his arms loosened. It was as if he had fallen into water.
However, a strong arm with a rein in its hand wrapped around his torso from the front.
Before the teenager fell off the saddle, it clenched around him.
In the roaring waves, Thales seemed to have realized something while he was dazed. But before he could register the situation, the teenager fell into the Legendary Wing’s arms…
…and fell asleep.