Kieran tried his best in leaning on [Arrogant Word]’s hilt. He curled his lip corner and showed an extremely sneerful smile.
Kieran didn’t know what kind of existence the voice was but he knew that this existence was nothing but a chess piece in Broker plan, at most… it was the biggest piece.
When he reached Dawn City and realized the Grand Duke was attacked, Kieran had doubts in his heart but he didn’t have more direct evidence to verify the doubts in his heart.
However, as Darde the Titan stomped through the walls and the Burning Marquis reacted to the Titan’s siege and defeated him, a lot more information presented itself to Kieran, especially regarding Ansecord who died way too easily.
When the Burning Marquis did not ruthlessly chase after and deliver the killing blow to Darde, Kieran had a guess in his heart: Ansecord and the Burning Marquis had teamed up.
The guess might seem inconceivable but other than that, Kieran couldn’t think of any other because everything was too perfect at that point.
Darde easily killed Ansecord and didn’t cause any severe damage to Dawn City before he was defeated by the Burning Marquis.
The easy death of Ansecord did not match the image that he gave Kieran since the beginning, let alone the Burning Marquis.
Despite the short contact with the Burning Marquis, his insufferable arrogance made quite an impact on Kieran’s mind.
Aside from the fact that such an arrogant character easily answer people’s request to fight, whenever the Burning Marquis struck, it would be a merciless fatal blow without leaving any target alive.
Kieran deeply knew how it felt.
When he confronted the Burning Marquis, the killing intent on the marquis was very distinct, if it wasn’t for Wright the butler’s intervention by bringing news of the missing Starbeck, both of them would have gone through an inevitably violent battle.
The Burning Marquis would go as far as killing his own slightly rebellious “son” disregarding consequences and relationship yet he spared the stranger, Dare the Titan who offended him.
Kieran would never believe that there was nothing fishy about it.
Amongst all these, the thing that concerned Kieran the most was Starbeck who had gone missing.
Aside from how Starbeck went missing, the fact that Wright the butler appeared at that timely manner to stop both of them from the fierce fight was enough to raise suspicion in Kieran’s heart.
Too coincidental, to the point that it felt like it was arranged by someone and in fact, it was.
Everything was arranged by a particular someone.
Wright the butler was clean, his loyalty towards the Burning Family was undoubted but it was because of his loyalty that he was the best candidate to be used.
All it needed was some faint hints and Wright would act according to the mastermind’s plan.
After all, this particular act was a serious one since it stopped the Burning Marquis from fighting with his own peasant son.
Kieran couldn’t tell who gave the hints to Wright. The mansion was too big, the servants were too many, and to locate one or two ill-intending people among those would consume a lot of time; Kieran didn’t have that kind of time.
Still, it didn’t stop him from “playing along” with the act.
He acted naturally by ordering the Imperials and nobles to search for Starbeck’s location.
As expected, those secret agents ran into an accidental find: the son of the Grand Duke of Dawn, Reinholt.
Up until this point, it was all Ansecord’s plan and in most people’s point of view, it seemed very reasonable, if it wasn’t for Starbeck who went missing.
When Kieran searched for Starbeck, he ran into a stalker, with a group of well-trained soldiers as well and if it wasn’t for that, Kieran might really believe everything was apart of Ansecord’s plan.
Starbeck the mimosa plant, weak and the most bullied.
Calling him as cowardly as a mice was insulting the mice yet despite the fact, no one could deny Starbeck was actually very powerful.
With the equipment and items that he accumulated through his wealth in addition to the guardian in his sack, he had the leverage to say no to anyone.
In simple words, if someone really wanted to abduct Starbeck, Starbeck must have followed them on his own, otherwise, it wasn’t possible.
Based on Kieran’s knowledge, in the current dungeon world, the people who could achieve that particular feat was no more than two.
One was he himself.
The second… Broker!
The contract between Starbeck and Broker prevented Kieran from knowing everything but some educated guesses were made, similar to how he believed Broker must have saved some contingency for this dungeon world.
The stalker with the elite armed squad was even more obvious.
An elite armed squad like that was basically impossible to be independent in Dawn City with the Imperial royal guards, nobles, Dawn family, and Burning family around.
Dawn City was a city, not some unmanned wilderness.
The people that filled the streets would flush strangers out within an instant unless the master behind the armed squad already merged himself with the city and people in the city were familiar with them. That in addition to their well-trained background and decent equipment, it was obvious where the armed squad came from.
The Saint Cyanda Imperial household!
Only the Imperials had the ability to breed a secret elite squad without anyone knowing.
On top of that, the master shouldn’t be amongst the Imperial members that were outwardly strong but inwardly weak, it should be someone hiding behind the scenes.
Coincidentally, Saint Cyanda XI went missing when Burning Dawn was under attack.
Of course, the Burning and Dawn families might have similar squads as well but they wouldn’t have followed Kieran when he was searching for Starbeck.
Kieran was at first confused about that because from how he looked at it, it was totally unnecessary.
However, following the revelation of Broker’s identity, Kieran somehow understood XI’s purpose: a vessel, a vessel with independent thought but that could be switched out during crucial moments.
But such a vessel did not fit Broker’s movement habits.
Will Broker take the risk himself?
Kieran agreed with that point since the time they faced off against the player killers back in the big city. The other thing that he agreed with was that whenever Broker took the risk, he must have absolute insurance in receiving tremendous rewards.
Similar to the giant hand that was descending down from the sky, if it had nothing to do with Broker, Kieran would rather die than to believe it.
Other than that, Kieran was very certain that his next move was all within Broker’s expectations but there was one thing that Broker never thought of.
It wasn’t the flaw in his calculations but a real accident.
So, Kieran acted accordingly and shouted at a farther spot.
After the shout, the sky turned darker.
Repeated barks echoed in the sky.
The descending gigantic palm was suddenly bitten by a dog head of the same size.
An excruciating cry that shook the heavens and rocked the earth was heard.
Amidst the loud cry, the combined body of the Burning Marquis, Extremus, Saint Cyanda XI, and a dash of Broker’s soul had spots of lights in its dull eyes.
Kieran wielded [Arrogant Word] and slashed the monster.
The body was slashed in half without any resistance but the gaze that belonged to Broker was as sneerful as ever.
Kieran replied to the gaze with his own calm one.
Further away from both of them, the black iron-forged “crown” did not have a speckle of dust on it, even the darkness couldn’t cover its unique shine.
A translucent figure was rapidly approaching it but…
The Frost Wolf pup was faster.