Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Your Grace, are you sure you do not need to take a rest? I mean, perhaps you could get a new shield…” Procca said hesitantly.
Before his eyes was Thales, who had just stood up pathetically. His face was covered with dust and sand, while his attire was torn and dirty.
“No, thank you, Logistics Officer Procca. ”
Thales took a deep breath. He rotated his wrists while he felt for the center of balance in his practice sword.
“Your attitude is much better than that of the trainers in Ekstedt. Naturally, you are also better than some Constellatiates.”
Procca forced himself to smile.
Around the training field were the Royal Guards, who had gathered together again. They were slightly more annoyed now than they were moments ago, but Mallos’ silence kept them quiet. They did not raise any objection.
Pressure returned to the training field.
Thales clenched his left fist tightly.
Throwing the shield made his left arm feel more at ease, but the numbness and pain caused by the previous attack were so real that he could hardly forget it.
‘What happened in the previous round?’
Thales’ expression became dark.
He remembered that his attacks were as fast as lightning, and he was not at a disadvantage in terms of strength or speed.
Thales took a few steps forward and moved around Procca.
The Sin of Hell’s River rose in his body again. The waves rose and fell one after another before they connected with each other, longing to launch the second charge.
Yet, this time, the waves of his Power of Eradication, which had suffered a setback, gave Thales the illusion that they were burning more fiercely than before…
They were akin to a demented monster that wanted to tear apart its enemy’s throat regardless of its own injury.
Nevertheless, Thales suppressed them with all his might like an animal trainer pulling tightly on the chains.
As Thales moved, Procca also systematically moved his feet and turned around. He faced his enemy constantly.
Thales did not rush to launch his attack.
He was thinking.
Earlier, his sword had met his enemy’s sword.
Both swords intersected with each other in the air.
But Procca did not manage to defend his attack.
If he had stepped forward a little more, Thales could have struck down his enemy.
Thales carefully processed it.
Then, the moment victory was decided in a flash…
Procca’s sword started to spin.
It contained his condensed, unreleased, strong, and sturdy… Power of Eradication.
Thales’ face tensed up.
He slowed down. He recalled the previous scene while his Sin of Hell’s River burned more intensely.
The two swords had intersected with each other.
Within that one second, Procca and Thales turned their swords
They each turned their swords in the air.
He remembered that, the second they drew close to each other, Procca’s wrist moved in a unique flexible angle. The movement lasted for a long time as well.
Thales’ sword then deviated from its track, while Procca’s sword…
Thales clenched his teeth.
After that, the teenager could only cast away his word pathetically because his charge was too fast and he could not pull back in time. He blocked before…
The part on his left arm where he was struck earlier began to hurt a little.
Thales stopped remembering.
This time, he did not pace around anymore.
The Royal Guards noticed the prince step forward.
While the Sin of Hell’s River surged into his right arm, he launched another attack with his sword again!
Amid the sound of metal clashing, Procca calmly blocked Thales’ sword.
Thales felt shocked.
He saw, and even felt it in his hand, that Procca’s sword had started to move again, and together with it was his Power of Eradication.
The teenager did not hesitate.
Thales stopped moving. He pulled back his sword since he never placed a lot of power in it in the first place, and he quickly retreated.
Another clear and sharp sound rose.
Thales utilized the agility he gained after he threw away the shield and managed to block Procca’s attack by a hair’s breadth, taking two steps back in a rather pathetic manner.
Thales panted harshly while he looked at the uninjured Procca in disbelief.
His frustrated Sin of Hell’s River roared indignantly again within his body.
When that round ended, the Royal Guards resumed their discussion again.
“Ah, it’s another attack in vain,” said Doyle after he clicked his tongue. He looked gloomy as if he could not bear to witness the sight anymore. “I must say, even if Mallos doesn’t like him, he’s going overboard. He’s doing this in front of so many people—”
But Glover interrupted him. “No, it’s not.”
Doyle was puzzled. “It’s not what?”
At that moment, a familiar voice was heard in the crowd, and it silenced the Royal Guards.
“Over the past six hundred years, Eastern Sea and South Coast have passed down their own unique battle skills to their people. They inherited the battle skills that originated from the knights of the south during the age of the Empire and Church Knights.”
The voice was calm and cool.
They were very familiar with it.
Thales calmed his breathing and turned his head around in surprise.
He saw the culprit who caused him to fall into such a predicament. Watchman Tormond Mallos folded his arms over his chest and stood over there leisurely.
“Many families still use the practices found in the knight-attendant legacy system to nurture new fighters. It even has great local and personal styles contained in them.
“Compared with martial arts in other parts of Constellation, this faction is more classical and elegant. The sword and sword style become one, and the skill is exquisite as well as ingenious.”
Procca pursed his lips, and he also turned to the commanding officer.
Mallos said indifferently, “So, in the kingdom, these people who represent the knights of the south are known as the martial arts faction.”
‘Martial arts faction?’
Doubt filled Thales’ mind.
Mallos paused for a while and sighed slowly.
Of course, due to many reasons, the martial arts faction, which was once famous, had slowly fallen into decline, and they were not what they used to be.
Perhaps they may even disappear one day and fade into nothingness…
Just like other countless factions that appeared for a short while in the long span of history.
Mallos raised his head.
“What now? Why are you daydreaming?”
Mallos reminded both of them, being completely unbothered. It was as if he had just been sleep talking just now. “Continue your fight.”
Thales took a deep breath while he reflected on Mallos’ words. Then, he looked at his opponent again.
Meanwhile, the logistics officer held his sword, stood there, and showed him a wan smile.
Thales decided not to think anymore.
The next second, he walked to the left, then to the right before he made a feint and slashed outward again!
This time, Procca also moved and changed the distance between him and Thales to block the prince’s attack.
His attack landed.
Thales’ expression became slightly darker.
He still did not land a solid hit.
The Sin of Hell’s River boiled in him as it moved about his body. It could only roar madly and in vain.
It was similar to an orc running into a cavalier. It had no way of using its strength.
Thales, who had failed to attack, blocked his opponent and gritted his teeth to persevere.
However, Mallos’ words traveled into his ears again and distracted him.
“Procca’s ancestors come from a traditional family of knights in Eastern Sea Hill, and it is a well-respected family. One could say that they are greatly influenced by the martial arts faction.”
Suddenly, the contest of strength with Procca ended. The force in his sword changed again.
Thales was shocked.
The edge of Procca’s sword intersected with Thales’ weapon for the second time!
Both swords separated immediately after they briefly clashed into each other, and only the sound of metal trembling was heard.
“As you can see, he has his own way of doing things when it comes to his position and movement before he draws his sword, not to mention his choice of whether he wants to deliver a powerful or weak blow when your weapons meet.”
Mallos’ voice rang like a buzz. He sounded like the background noises in the live broadcasts when Thales dreamed of his previous life.
“It makes you very uncomfortable.”
‘Choosing the right position and movement…
‘Choosing the force in the sword…’
Thales trembled slightly, but the situation in front of him did not allow him to ponder further, so he could only take advantage of the opportunity and slice horizontally.
Their weapons clashed against each other for the third time.
Mallos’ voice just kept traveling into his ears. “When your weapons clash and you are locked in a stalemate, Procca is very good at Sensing the strength of the hit and making judgments…”
‘Sensing the strength of the hit… judgment.’
After he heard those words, Thales suddenly had a feeling that something bad was about to happen!
Indeed, at the next moment, Procca’s sword happened to appear in a position where Thales was not be able to defend!
“…He is a defense and counterattack expert.”
Right then, Thales felt goosebumps all over his body. He recklessly gathered up all the Sin of Hell’s River in his body!
He successfully avoided the edge of Procca’s sword, which was aimed at his neck, by a hair’s breadth. His right shoulder fell to the ground. He rolled out of the attack range in an incredibly sorry manner.
Mallos smiled gently outside the field. “Just like that.”
After that round, the Royal Guards could be heard discussing again.
Thales wiped off the sweat on his forehead, which had appeared without him realizing. He felt numb because his body had gone past the limits of what he could bear.
He stood with great difficulty, and his body was covered with dust.
This instance, however, he did not rush toward the apologetic Procca. Instead, with a puzzled gaze, he turned to Mallos, who was standing at the side of the field.
“If you think the head-on attacks that those Northland barbarians use will be effective against him, then you should think twice, Your Highness.” Mallos stared at Thales with a bright and piercing gaze.
Thales gasped as he started to think.
Leo Procca shook his longsword and said in resignation, “Commanding officer, we know that you have traveled far and wide, and that you are very knowledgeable, but please keep the sharing in moderation. I rely on this for a living.”
Mallos smiled and said nothing.
But Thales seemed to have understood something.
‘Choosing the right position and movement, Sensing the strength of the clash, and judgment.
‘It sounds like…’
Thales had a thought in his heart.
A name appeared in his mind.
‘Wya mentioned before that her Power of Eradication…
‘Her… Pegasus’ Music.’
When he noticed that his opponent looked slightly awkward in front of him, Thales understood.
He was at a total disadvantage during the first round not because Procca was too strong, but because… he did not use the correct strategy, and he landed straight in the realm Procca was the most skilled with…
Defense and counterattack.
Thales clenched his fists.
“Think of a way, Your Highness.” Mallos scratched his chin and appeared bored. “Use all methods conceivable. The enemy is in front of you.”
Thales eased the numbness out of his body and composed himself.
He looked at Procca again.
Thales’ expression became serious.
The prince’s attack came in the next second.
Procca deflected Thales’ sword attack once again, but when he was about to counterattack, he hesitated for a moment.
The Duke of Star Lake’s strength… was currently very weak.
The wind from the sword brushed past his body. Thales stepped back and avoided his opponent’s counterattack.
Both of them separated from each other once again.
Thales calmly thought, ‘Leo Procca… His ancestor is a knight from Eastern Sea Hill. He’s from the martial arts faction. He’s good at defenses and counterattacks.’
His mind started to turn, and he started to think about his opponent’s advantages as well as his own strategy.
‘Procca can instantly listen to the strength of the blow and make judgments through the contact he makes with his opponent.
‘This is not just beneficial in defense, but helpful in finding the best moment to attack.
‘If the opponent attacked more fiercely, had more strength in his blows, and exposed more areas vulnerable to attack, his counterattack would be even sharper.
‘The sword strike I delivered with all my strength just now utterly helped him in his counterattack.’
Thales felt indignant.
‘Sensing the strength of the clash, judgment?’
He suddenly thought of Nicholas.
He remembered the instantaneous changes in the Star Killer’s attack trajectory and the strength in his sword.
Thales then came to an understanding.
If he had to face dead face, Procca would not stand a chance because he would not able to judge the Star Killer’s strange skills, which could change three times in one single attack, through contact with the weapon alone.
Thales held the hilt of his sword tightly.
‘The Twist of Fate, right?’
As the thought occurred to him, the Sin of Hell’s River surged in him as if it had life. It wanted to change into that silver energy that resembled millions of fine needles just like it did countless times before.
It could allow its owner to make unbelievable changes in an instant.
Thales took a deep breath.
‘At most, I’ll just find an excuse later and tell them that I inherited the Power of Eradication from that dead face…
“‘The Sin of Hell’s River opens up so many functions and possibilities for self-improvement… but you chose the most foolish, ineffective, time-wasting, and boring one.”‘
‘”This is your Power of Eradication, and it’s also your current self. You’re forced to move forward, be dragged around without a goal and direction. You stagger about and get carried along the tide. In fact… you don’t have a self.”‘
Thales felt his mind wander.
He looked up and saw Procca, who smiled bashfully while he waited for him to attack.
‘”More importantly, when you rely on imitating other people’s Powers of Eradication and ignore all these things, it means that you lack the most basic thing for the Power of Eradication, which others used their lives to form. You lack this one thing against all the people you imitate, all the opponents you fight, and even yourself.
‘”You lack respect.”‘
‘Ricky, that damn demon.’
At that moment, his Sin of Hell’s River disappeared like the tide and left behind only a small amount of dispirited strength. Thales could feel some degree of sentimentality coming from it.
It was like a lover who had arrived in excitement but returned in disappointment.
‘This isn’t a martial arts lesson.
‘This isn’t a simple investigation of my Power of Eradication.
‘It’s a truer and purer form of battle.’
While he sensed the people’s gazes on him, Thales bit his lip and closed his eyes.
‘If I still rely on Nicholas’ power to survive…
‘If I can’t even make it through this obstacle in front of me…’
‘”Remember, the point is how you navigate your power, not the strength of your opponent’s power. It is about how much you gain, not how well you can imitate them.”‘
‘If I really want to get through this obstacle and truly want to be free of this situation, where I am surrounded by suspicion…’
Thales lowered his head and sighed slowly in his heart.
‘Damn it, Ricky.
From the distance, Mallos, who was observing Thales, moved his eyes a little.
A few seconds later, Thales raised his head.
‘But he’s right. If I’m too afraid to try it out right now, when am I ever going to try it? The next time my life is in danger?’
That instant, Thales cast aside all unnecessary worries about hiding his strength, hiding his Sin of Hell’s River, and the gazes from Renaissance Palace as well as the Royal Guards.
At least for that moment, he wanted to become a warrior without any distractions.
‘”The flexibility found in the Sin of Hell’s River is not there to allow you to almost perfectly mimic your opponents’ powers and become your opponents. Rather, it allows you to face all of your opponents fearlessly and with composure.”‘
The Sin of Hell’s River burned once again, but it was much tamer now.
Thales wondered whether it was because he had used up too much of his Power of Eradication, or whether it was because he had failed too many times.
It was as if the crazy beast had become a calm hound and hidden in a dark corner to lick its wounds. It would only cast cold stares at its enemy from time to time.
When it faced its enemy outside the cage, it would bare its sharp teeth to show its ill will.
“This is the true ‘omnipotent Power of Eradication.'”
Thales opened his eyes slightly.
The Sin of Hell’s River did not surge throughout his whole body like it usually did. Instead, it was focused in his eyes and ears. It also filled his senses.
At that moment, the teenager entered a stage that he was familiar with.
Thales’ eyes started to become glazed over, as though he had lost focus.
However, only he knew right then that the world in front of him had become very colorful.
He could see the thick and solid Power of Eradication in Procca. It surrounded his arms and center of gravity while it moved around slowly.
Thales suddenly realized that the number of times and ways he used his Hell’s senses were… very useless.
He had used it either to mimic another’s strengths, look for his path at night, eavesdrop on others, or even… see ghosts.
But the real moment he should use his Hell’s senses…
Outside the field, Mallos’ expression turned serious.
Thales inhaled slowly while time seemingly slowed down for him.
He suddenly launched an attack!
At that moment, it was as if someone was hitting the war drums. The frozen scene before him moved with the sound, which rose following a blast!
His Sin of Hell’s River started to move vigorously again.
The wind from his sword roared and slashed the air open.
Thales held his sword with both hands, and he swung down with great force to hit Procca’s longsword, which Procca had placed horizontally before him!
The experienced Procca did not change his expression because of the strength of the strike.
He steadily and calmly met Thales’ attack. He used his footsteps and movements to perfectly parry the attack.
Thales’ heart thumped hard against his chest.
With his Hell’s senses, he saw the color of Procca’s figure change repeatedly.
Then, it gathered to form a clear line.
A tremor spread from Thales’ shoulder and neck to his whole body.
‘”The meaning behind imitation is understanding your opponent.”‘
Within a fraction of a second, his Sin of Hell’s River surged up in an orderly fashion!
It traveled to his arms and right leg.
Thales, whose eyes were glazed over as if they were unfocused, raised his sword and smoothly moved backward.
Right then, he barely avoided an attack by Procca.
The Royal Guards who were watching the fight discussed in low voices.
“Strange.” Doyle did not understand. “His motions… seemed to have become faster, yet they appear to be slower.”
“No, it’s not his movements…” Glover replied coldly.
Doyle was slightly displeased. “Why is it that today especially, you love arguing against me?”
Mallos still remained quiet among the crowd.
Thales widened the distance between him and Procca by two steps, and he noticed that Procca’s color had become normal again.
His Sin of Hell’s River came back again like an ebb tide.
The hilt of his sword was still trembling slightly.
And his Hell’s senses still functioned as amazingly as before, simultaneously providing him with the latest information.
Thales took a deep breath.
He could clearly sense the dignified Power of Eradication in his opponent’s body, along with its direction, shape, and habits.
It looked quiet and harmless.
Yet, when it was stimulated… it would immediately fill Procca’s hands and automatically strike his enemy’s weakest point to deliver a fatal attack.
‘It’s so powerful.’
At that moment, the Sin of Hell’s River roared loudly in Thales’ body.
It seemed to be dissatisfied, but at the same time, it appeared to be cackling coldly.
It was amplified in Thales’ body again to provide him with the energy required to use Hell’s senses.
Thales did not care about it, but he came to an understanding in his heart.
‘Procca’s strength is… the Thawing of Glaciers?
‘No, it’s more than that.
‘It does indeed seem similar to Pegasus’ Music based on Wya’s description.
‘Or it’s something between the two.
‘It even has some shades of the Chaos of Armies.’
Thales started to experience the things that more than one person had told him.
‘The same Power of Eradication will have different characteristics in different people, and that is because the Power of Eradication is the fighter itself.’
The fight had not ended yet. As he repeated the words that Ricky told him, Thales raised his sword again.
‘A swordsman who’s good at defense and counterattacks, and has a Power of Eradication that allows him to be good in hearing the force of an attack and make judgments about it…
‘Observe, Thales, observe.
‘Then, think again.’
Another round, another strike.
Thales delivered a light slash to the side, and what he received in exchange for his attack was Procca changing the direction of his sword and thrusting forward to attack the back of the prince’s arm.
The teenager escaped nimbly.
But the clash this time allowed Thales to sense a few things.
They were some unclear yet crucial clues.
Within his Hell’s senses, Thales, whose eyes were glazed over, thought expressionlessly.
‘Procca… is being too defensive. He relies too much on defense and his techniques to counterattack.
‘He’s too dependent and too focused on his opponent’s motions.’
Thales may have had a blank look in his eyes, but his heart was clear. He asked himself, ‘Is he like my previous self, who only looked at enemies’ movements and imitated their advantages?
Thales gently shut his eyes.
His Hell’s senses slowly disappeared.
When Thales opened his eyes again, they were clear.
The Power of Eradication was the warrior himself.
He recalled Mallos’ words, though he did not seem to have quite understood it.
‘But battles themselves are far more than just the Power of Eradication.’
Thales swung his sword in a daze and sent it straight toward his opponent’s waist.
Procca swung his sword out in an ingenious move, and their swords clashed for a moment before they separated again.
He launched another incredible counterattack, and it went straight for Thales’ face, which he did not have time to take care of.
However, Thales was prepared. He had left some leeway for himself when he was attacking.
Therefore, the Sin of Hell’s River rushed to Thales’ waist in a familiar motion, swiftly tilting it back, and he escaped the sword when he turned to the side as well.
Procca frowned again.
After two to three rounds, he suddenly realized that the prince’s attacks were tests, and his own counterattacks were no longer as useful as before.
The moment Thales dodged, his mind was clear.
It was as if the fog had faded away, and blurry vision had started to become clearer.
‘So, Procca gave up the initiative to launch attacks in a fight and gave away the power to control the battle in exchange for the chance to find his enemies’ weaknesses.
‘And during battles where life and death can be decided in one moment, giving up control means…’
Thales returned to his place. He held his sword with both hands, and he calmed his heavy heart.
His Sin of Hell’s River climbed up his arms and waist excitedly. Then, I started to roar intensely!
It was like a lone wolf that had climbed to the top of the mountain, howling as it looked at the endless mountains ahead and faced the cold moon.
The next second, Thales did not hold back anymore and charged forward!
Their swords clashed again!
Procca focused his sight.
This time, he finally received the prince’s full-powered attack.
Now was… the best time to determine the victor.
He could end the fight, which had been causing him to feel incredibly awkward.
Procca’s Power of Eradication started to solidify. Then, his wrists and arms moved together at the same time!
Both swords intertwined with each other, and they let out a metallic whine.
The two swords turned.
Procca turned his sword calmly and analyzed whether his opponent’s attack was real or fake within a fraction of a second.
When he sensed the direction of his opponent’s force, Procca ordered his Power of Eradication and triggered it immediately, just as he fought against his enemies when he was young.
Procca thought calmly.
His hands did not stop moving. He delivered a sword thrust in one smooth move, and he proceeded to attack the part that the prince could guard the least because his attack was too fierce.
A muffled sound was heard.
At that moment, Thales felt pain in his leg.
At that moment, he could not remain standing anymore, and his left knee caved in.
Another muffled sound reverberated, and it was much louder than the previous one.
In the end, Thales’ left knee landed on the ground. He knelt down in pain.
He panted harshly, enduring the soreness and numbness.
The round had ended.
The training field became silent.
Procca pursed his lips when he saw the prince kneeling down in front of him.
His sword had struck the prince’s left leg.
At that very moment, the logistics officer thought calmly, ‘Oh, yes, I can’t go overboard. I must leave some leeway so that the prince isn’t defeated too badly and also not make the commanding officer think that I’m doing this seriously…’
He had offended too many people when he was young, and ever since he got injured, his future became very difficult.
Plus, his son had reached the age of marriage.
He had no other choice.
He was almost fifty now. He needed to put on a smiling face and be humble about every matter. He had to lower his head and serve those nobles who were just a little over twenty or even in their teenage years but whose status was much higher than his.
Procca’s expression changed.
He felt something.
The logistics officer took a deep breath.
He lowered his head slowly.
When he looked at the sight before him clearly, Procca felt shocked!
He was not too sure when it happened, but Thales’ sword was thrust upward, and it was pushed firmly against Procca’s chest.
And the sword hilt was being held by Thales, who was kneeling down on one knee.
But… he did not use any strength.
Procca was stunned.
The winner had been determined.
Right then, a commotion rose instantly from among the Royal Guards. Their cries of surprise were like waves hitting against the shore, invading the air around the place!
“What the he…”
Doyle watched the scene in surprise. He wanted to say something, but because he did not know what had happened, he could only keep opening and closing his mouth.
Glover’s frown slowly faded away.
On the field, Thales lowered his head while he kneeled on the ground. He gasped for breath while his arms trembled.
Surprise, excitement, puzzlement, doubt, confusion, and countless other emotions grew in everyone’s hearts.
Among the many pairs of eyes, Mallos’ gaze was the sharpest and the most complex one.
He stared at Thales’ sword without moving, as though the sword contained the deepest secret.
Thales was trembling.
No one knew that, at that point, he was trying hard to suppress the excited Sin of Hell’s River that was surging wildly in his body. He was suppressing its desire to continue thrusting forward.
Procca calmed his emotions and hid the look of disbelief on his face.
He looked at the prince who was trembling with a complicated expression.
‘This is… He deliberately attacked and predicted my counterattack?
‘And he sacrificed his left leg in exchange for…’
Procca’s expression became darker as he looked at the longsword in front of his chest.
After a few seconds, the logistics officer sighed.
“Your Grace, you have won.
“You have many tricks, and you handled the situation correctly.” Procca displayed a wan smile and threw away the practice sword. He admitted defeat and said, “I am not your opponent at all.”
The discussion among the Royal Guards became greater.
“Old Proc must have intentionally made things easier when he went up against the child,” Doyle whispered to the people around him in bewilderment. “He could easily defeat the prince earlier, yet in the next moment, he got defeated. Even the novels about knights were not written this way…”
“Shut up,” Glover finally could not hold back and said coldly. “Do you think fights are like mathematics and you can just compare which number is bigger or smaller, and that it can be solved easily if you just know addition and subtraction?”
Doyle was rendered speechless. He cast a bitter look at Glover.
There were many other such conversations.
Despite that, Mallos just looked at the two individuals on the field without saying anything.
Thales gasped a few more times and finally stabilized his body.
He put away his longsword shakily before he stood up.
Procca bowed resentfully. He turned around and got ready to leave the field.
But Thales called out to him.
“No, Logistics Officer Leo Procca.” The prince looked flustered. He wore a smile on his sweaty face. “I know that you went easy on me.”
Thales also threw away his longsword and extended his right hand gently.
“You taught me a lot, thank you.”
Procca was stunned for a second before he smiled tentatively.
He hesitated for a while, but he still shook the prince’s hand. He released it immediately after.
Thales nodded. “It is my honor to have you as my guard.”
The Logistics Officer had no expression on his face, yet he took two steps back, pressed his hands against the left side of his chest, and bowed.
Compared with the first bow, this was more respectful.
“I knew he went easy on him.” Doyle showed an expression of admiration by the side of the field. “Tsk, tsk, tsk, this veteran, he really is thoughtful when it comes to flattery.”
Glover stared at him in silence.
The Royal Guards were still discussing among themselves, but the way they looked at the prince had changed.
Thales picked up a waterskin and started to drink to keep himself hydrated. At the same time, he raised his head and looked at Mallos to give him a hostile gaze.
Mallos also looked at him faintly. The emotions in his eyes could not be clearly seen .
Mallos did not turn his head around, but there was an inquiring tone in his voice.
“Please forgive me, commanding officer.” Procca sounded a little tired and resigned. “I’m old now, and His Grace…”
The logistics officer cast a glance at Thales, and his gaze was complicated. “…is very good.”
Mallos remained silent for a few seconds, but his expression was no longer as calm and composed as before.
A few seconds later, Mallos’ slightly gloomy voice rose, and he drowned out the Royal Guards’ increasingly loud discussions.
The Watchman took a step forward and looked at the pathetic prince cleaning up after himself. He looked like an oil painting that had been ravaged by sweat, dust, and wounds.
“Are you prepared to fight against your next opponent?”
Thales stopped drinking water.
The Duke of Star Lake put down his waterskin and asked in surprise, “There’s more? Isn’t one fight enough?”
The twenty or so Royal Guards in the area looked at each other at a loss.
Mallos smiled faintly.
“We have not finished assessing you yet. It is still early as well. The martial arts lesson has just… Did the fight between the both of you earlier even last for two minutes?”
Thales’ words died in his throat.
‘How… many minutes did you just say?’
Mallos’ smile became even brighter, and it looked incredibly despicable in Thales’ eyes.
“Of course, we would understand if you truly have had a hard time. After all, every heir has a different level of endurance. So, you can choose to give up, Your Highness.”
Mallos’ voice turned dark,and an unrecognizable light shone in his eyes.
“As your humble servant, I would not dare stop you from giving up, and I have no right to do so as well. It is all within your power.”
“All of us would then just consider ourselves aware of you, the prince who only lasts for two minutes.”
Thales was stunned again.
‘What… What prince?’
Mallos smiled and did not react to Thales’ expression.
A few seconds later, Thales took a deep breath before he exhaled slowly.
“If you were thinking about offending me, Tormond Mallos, you have succeeded.” The Duke of Star Lake’s voice contained faint hints of anger.
“It is my honor, Your Highness.” Mallos was indifferent to his anger. “It means that I have done my duty. Well? Do you intend to rest?
“I believe that everyone will understand, including His Majesty.”
He cast a glance at the Royal Guards around him in a mocking manner.
“After all, you have just endured a world-class battle worthy of being written into historical poems. It lasted for two whole minutes during your martial arts lesson, and it was truly exciting. You endured hardships, sought for ways to survive, and turned the tables in the end to win.”
In the span of that minute, Thales twitched a little while he glared at Mallos with hostility.
‘Two minutes… of what battle?’
Thales’ expression froze.
Mallos continued smiling.
That instant, the training field was as silent as a mouse.
The Royal Guards were completely quiet. They did not make a single peep.
Everyone stared uneasily and anxiously at Thales as well as Mallos. They did not even dare to breathe loudly.
A few seconds later…
Thales squashed down his displeasure and closed his eyes.
Mallos quirked an eyebrow.
Thales opened his eyes swiftly, and his tone was unfriendly.
“Why are you still daydreaming? Come on!” He gritted his teeth and urged him to hurry up.
‘It’s just… me being pummeled anyway! I’ve already gotten used to it a long time ago!’
Thales roared internally while he also wept in his heart.
Mallos put on a delighted smile again.
He did not turn around, instead, he called out a name.
“Jean. Yes, I’m calling you, Jean Kommodore.”
The Royal Guards moved aside, and a lean, short, but built man could be seen from the crowd.
The man was dazed. He blinked in confusion. Clearly, he was not prepared.
His comrades around him looked at him in pity, as though Kommodore had just picked the lot to clean the toilet.
“Listen, Jean, you can be bolder and more extreme with your attacks,” the watchman continued to speak.
Thales was stunned.
‘Bold and extreme? What does that mean?’
Kommodore, who had been tasked with the duty, had an ignorant look on his face.
Mallos looked at Thales again. His expression became stern.
“The test this time will be different from Procca’s test. This time, we will test that interesting Power of Eradication within His Highness’ body.”
His eyes suddenly shone with a cold glare.