Kieran wasn’t surprised by Duke Will reacting to the summon.
After Mary made her move, the Duke of Will, who was known as the “old fox”, should have reacted accordingly, it would be strange if he did otherwise.
However, Duke Will facing assassination also surprised Kieran.
Replying by death wasn’t any good reaction to Mary’s summons, Kieran didn’t believe Duke Will was willing to give up his power and position to become a “deadman”.
Unless the old fox was targeting something else.
The answer was obvious.
“He knew with his position and identity, should he die, Mary, as the heir to Warren, would have to visit and pray at his ceremony. Given the current situation after the war and considering the safety of the princess, I would have to follow her as well. Which means that other than Mary, I am also being targeted? Or rather… I am the main target!”
Kieran squinted his eyes.
Under normal circumstances, given how cunning the old duke was in the past, it was hard to imagine the duke breaking the cauldrons and sinking the boats, making a bold move on this.
In simpler words, he must have some reliance on his side and the reliance must be very powerful, to the point that it could oppose Kieran’s power level.
“Who will it be?”
Kieran looked at Mary while he was pondering about the person hiding in the dark.
The young princess looked at Kieran as well. Her eyes had no worry, no fear, all they had were deep thoughts.
Obviously, Mary too noticed something unusual about Duke Will’s assassination.
“I think we need to discuss this in detail,” Duke Zilin suggested.
Kieran never rejected suggestions to discuss matters meticulously, if his main mission didn’t require him to assure Mary’s ascent to the throne in 30 days, he would probably go with a more reliable way: gathering info from the Raven Sect.
Raven Sect had spies in the Prairie’s main camp, so it was enough for Kieran to believe they had spies in the south as well.
With the main mission limiting his choices, he had to approach the matter more riskily because he had no time to figure out what kind of setups the reinforcement from the south had prepared.
All he could do was use himself as bait, luring the plots against him, or that someone.
However, before he went risking his life again, he still asked Marry for a suggestion.
“It’s your decision,” the princess was being direct. Her trust for Kieran had exceeded normal people’s imagination a while ago.
“It’s too risky! At least call another group of riders from Lightning Fortress’ campsite.” Duke Zilin tried to dissuade Kieran’s risky suggestion.
However, his dissuasion was completely useless against Kieran and Mary.
“A group of riders? Unless the numbers can overwhelm the southern reinforcements, they will be useless. I would rather move alone since it’s more convenient.” Kieran shook his head.
“Us, you mean?” Mary emphasized.
Kieran nodded with a smile at Mary’s emphasized statement.
“Count me in then.”
Duke Zilin wanted to follow as well but he was rejected by Kieran.
“Riverdale needs someone to guard her. You are by far the most suitable,” Kieran said.
“I’ll leave my father in your hands in the time being, Lord Zilin,” Mary said.
“As you command, Your Highness.” The young duke quickly bowed.
A while later, a smaller convoy with a few men left Riverdale’s palace.
The young duke saw the convoy off until it went out of sight. He turned back to the palace and started to arrange the guards and patrols around the premise.
Duke Zilin would not be careless in the task that Kieran and Mary assigned him.
Luring the tiger out of its lair.
The saying didn’t come from the current dungeon world but there were many similar sayings as well.
For the honor of House Zilin, the young duke treated his task seriously.
The southern reinforcement set up camp 20 kilometers south of Riverdale. Under the beautiful day, the big campsite was visible to everyone after they left Riverdale.
Mary stood on the carriage and glanced over the campsite before returning inside.
She was hugging [Thorn Blade], which was as tall as herself, squinting her eyes and thinking deeply, showing some resemblance to Kieran.
Not just the thinking though, Mary would imitate Kieran’s small habits most of the times as well.
Talking, walking, sitting, all of it.
It wasn’t entirely the admiration for the strong, it was the same as habits children learned from their parents.
Most children in commoner families tended to be like their parents because of this reason. Similar living environment, similar food consumption, everything somehow shared resemblance without even being noticed— this was a kind of inheritance as well.
In fact, most of the families upheld such an inheritance.
Inside the current dungeon world, the inheritance wasn’t limited to family only.
Listening to Mary’s rhythmic breathing, Kieran couldn’t help but take a glance at her.
He could tell it was a kind of cultivation of breathing but he didn’t ask, everyone had their own secrets.
Mary had them, he had them, somewhat even more than Mary.
Without uttering a word or making a noise, Kieran walked out of the carriage and sat on the driver seat.
The driving Jyaichi, Fanner, and Torstar who were quietly gathering around the carriage greeted him respectfully.
The respectfulness had far exceeded common soldiers as well. After being controlled by [Mesly Ring], the Viper Sect sword wielder and core member carried out Kieran’s orders when he wasn’t around and protected the princess, and it seemed like they did a good job. According to Fanner and Torstar’s private messages, they were able to foil at least three to four assassination attempts on Mary’s life.
Where did the assassinations come from?
The three of them didn’t know since they didn’t have the order to leave Mary’s side.
Kieran muttered the word while his eyes were locked on a side of the road further ahead.
Riverdale was Warren’s capital, compared to muddy roads in the rural areas, the road they were traveling on wasn’t just flat but wide, it allowed a maximum of two four-wheeled wagons to pass at a time.
Meanwhile further down the road, a two-wheeled wagon toppled over the side of the road.
Since it toppled over, one could clearly see the broken wagon axle. The horse that was pulling the carriage was tied at a tree beside, grazing on grass.
There was also scattered luggage all over the road, some silverware, and some clothes.
It seemed like the wagon belonged to the escaping refugee who wanted to return to Riverdale after hearing of the victory of the Warren soldiers.
There was the horse, the luggage and carriage, but not a single man in sight.
Without Kieran even giving the order, Fanner quickly went up and investigated.
Just when Fanner was in the middle of the investigation, a gaze with a sense of judgment came from the forest beside the road and landed directly on Kieran.