Airn looked flustered at the words of Quincy Myers, the former commander of Red Knights.
Of course, he prepared a blow that the old man couldn't ignore. He drew out 200% of his power because of his preparation. But this could never actually happen in an actual battle.
However, was it to the level where the opponent had to admit defeat? No.
‘… in terms of swordsmanship alone, he feels stronger than even Karakum’
Since he went against Karakum, he knew it.
It wasn’t just the aura of the bald man, which was great. He had an aura that was perfectly operating because of the years of experience and a spirit which shone like the stars in the sky, and a body trained through the passage of time.
In addition to that was the unprecedented addition of Holy power, which was protecting his body.
‘And such a person declared surrender?’
He couldn’t understand it.
As if he had read the confusion on Airn, Quincy Myers put down his sword and said.
“I was afraid of getting injured.”
“… What do you mean?”
“I will be injured.”
“Your attack. I won’t be able to handle it. But… I’ll be honest. You are much stronger than I thought. No matter how much I focus on my defense, I will be hurt regardless. And if I block it, I could win, but…”
Quincy Myers continued.
“If I get injured while trying to save my self-esteem, wouldn’t that be a hindrance to carrying out God's orders?”
“… right. Alright.”
Airn nodded his head.
He felt a bit embarrassed.
While he was swept away by personal greed, and never thought about the future, Quincy Myers prioritized the subjugation of the Devil and the peace of the continent.
However, he didn’t regret it.
That was because he had finally realized.
That you didn’t have to follow just one path.
That you can walk the path of a hero and at the same time walk the path of a swordsman.
Rather, the thought that such greed would lead him to a higher place was firmly established at this moment.
Of course, Quincy Myers wasn’t interested in his thoughts.
Looking back, he looked at the others and Julius Hul and said.
“What do you think? If this is the level, isn’t he better than what we thought?”
“23 was it? What is this… what was I doing at that age?”
“I don’t even remember. It was 100 years back.”
“Even though I am old. I was not as good as him at that time. I remember that.”
"I am sorry to say, but we are growing too old…”
“No, what is with kids these days.”
In an instant, it turned noisy. It was a good friendly feeling.
The appearance of the dignified paladin was not how Airn had thought it would be.
Of course, they didn’t intervene. Airn, Ilya, and Lulu kept quiet, and waited for them to stop their talks.
However, there were those who didn’t stop.
A person who was recognized by people as someone who was 100 years older. However, the Black Knights commander Ignet Crescentia intervened.
“Isn’t that too early to come to a decision?”
“Airn Pareira isn’t the only one who found it.”
Ignet looked somewhere.
And the Purification team, too, looked there. And a forgotten person caught their eyes.
The Black Knights commander pointed at her, who was standing quietly.
“If Airn is qualified, then Ilya Lindsay should be qualified too,”
“That is my opinion.”
Everyone’s attention was focused on her. Airn felt as if a strong wind had passed by him.
The eyes of the paladins were so deep and fierce. It was an unexpected recommendation from Ignet.
And also an unexpected change of atmosphere.
Despite this, Ilya’s expression didn’t change.
No, it wasn’t that.
Her face didn’t change outside.
However, Airn and Lulu, who had known her for a long time, understood.
Her current expression meant that many emotions were swirling inside.
Ilya turned back.
And then disappeared faster than usual. The expression on her face remained unbroken. But some with keen eyes could see her emotions.
“What? What is this?”
“Did we do something wrong?”
“Maybe because we stared too much…”
“Ah, I get that. Sh-she is, th…”
“Huh? Ah, right.”
The Purification team was noisy again.
However, this time they quickly came to a conclusion. It was thanks to the recollection of the entanglement of the Ignet and Lindsay family.
In a way, it was one bad relationship.
And if she received the approval of Ignet, who was like her enemy, then what new emotions would bloom?
“Complicated, it is complicated.”
“Tell me about it.”
Paladins were shaking their heads.
Airn and Lulu didn’t like that.
They looked at Ilya's back which slowly disappeared.
He was a sorcerer, and he could look into people’s hearts, but he wasn’t able to read everything.
Recently, Ilya had changed so much that he couldn’t properly understand her.
‘… a solid appearance as if she is someone else.’
The dignified atmosphere she gives off…as if her anxieties and worries were blown away.
Showing a proud attitude under the gossips of nobles and pouring out her curses with an innocent face.
With that, Airn and Lulu thought.
Worrying about Ilya wasn’t right. Without realizing they shook their heads.
… only they knew.
The reason Ilya looked okay but wasn’t really okay.
Like the look on her face before she left, it was because she was having a hard time blocking the waves of emotions inside her.
“Coming back to the point.”
Airn Pareira’s thoughts were cut off. The chaotic atmosphere caused by the chattering of old men was cleared in an instant.
Everyone’s attention was focused on Julius Hul’s words.
Airn gulped and looked at the 80-year-old man.
After a while, a low voice came out.
“Participation in the subjugation isn’t permitted. The reason is lack of skill.”
“The future possibilities are plenty. However, the subjugation squad isn’t a place which can be entered with future possibilities.”
Julius Hul, spoke his thoughts. It was unusual, considering he was someone who didn't speak much.
His judgment was as follows.
The fact that the Devil's call spreads across the continent itself will cause great confusion, and that may lead to a rift in the Devildom too.
In order to prevent that, the team should be organized with as few people as possible.
And since he wanted to include a small number, Airn’s skills were inferior compared to the other choices.
Quincy Myers took over from Julius Hul.
“That is right. Even if we increase the number of people to receive support, there is no need to do this. Karakum in the northwest, the 5 major swordsman families in West, and the 3 Lords in Runtel… it makes sense to recruit them."
“So? Understand that?”
He had to understand.
Airn was strong.
He was a member of the 100 Sword Masters on the continent and had also awakened the spirits with the help of a few people. He had a will that could never be broken.
If it was to subdue the monsters or demons, he would work better.
But it asked if he could win over Devils?
When he thought of the people who were better than him, he couldn’t hold his head proudly.
… at least, not now.
“If I get stronger.”
“If I get stronger than I am now. If the clown or other the evil powers which nurture him couldn’t stand in front of my strength…”
Phew, Airn took a deep breath and asked.
“At that time, will you accept me as a member?”
“Our goal is to finish our job before you grow to that level.”
Julius Hul said that. His words which were firm and tight enough that no loop couldn’t be found.
And it made even Lulu feel scared.
Yet the young hero didn’t back down.
The Purification team was silently watching Airn, who looked at the strongest swordsman in the Holy Kingdom with an intense gaze that was heavier than a thousand words, and Ignet smiled.
1 minute passed.
Julius Hul said to Airn, who was sweating profusely.
“Find Khun. If you get his approval… then I will think again.”
I need to move quick. Faster.
In the end, Ilya Lindsay was getting farther and farther away since she was running instead of walking, and finally stopped at an unfamiliar vacant lot.
There was nothing to say.
Recalling Ignet’s words, she remembered what had happened in the banquet hall.
‘… she didn’t even look at me.’
Those memories were vivid.
Ilya remembered Ignet’s gaze as she came out of the portal, giving out energy like the sun, and how she only looked at Airn.
As if she didn’t even exist, as if Airn was her only enemy.
She kept watching it, so she knew.
The anger, anxiety, jealousy, and obsession of hers were all one-sided emotions.
Ilya decided to erase Ignet from her heart.
‘I can do it. It will be more convenient for me. This is right.’
She remembered the time when she swore at the nobles in the banquet hall.
Nothing she was worried about happened. Rather, the emotions that she had been holding back were released, and she felt a cool and refreshing feeling.
And then she realized. The freedom which came from not being conscious of others, the sense of freedom that she hadn’t experienced in a long time.
The moment she let go of her feelings for Ignet, the same thrill would come to her again.
It surely will.
‘But I couldn’t.’
It was difficult for her to remain still. Ilya looked around and drew her sword. And swung it around.
She desperately wanted to be free from Ignet, but in reality, she couldn’t.
Breaking through the first trial in the dungeon and breaking through the barrier the second time.
It was all because she was aware of Ignet. She did everything she could to ignore her, but somehow the woman was all she thought about.
The gentle yet intense flame that came for a while gave her more power than usual.
Even then, she tried to hide it and not show off.
As if she meant nothing to her, she got rid of the expressions on her face and the trembling of her voice.
She tried her best to not show any respect, gaze, or anything for Ignet. Come to think of it.
She knew the truth.
Ilya knew it was because she couldn’t erase her feelings.
Forget all of it.
Ilya shook her head and unleashed her sword of heart. She struggled with the idea that it was something she learned from Ignet.
Just thinking about it made her conscious of Ignet. She just made a choice that would help her in the future.
No, in fact, it was hard to see this as something she got with the help of Ignet.
Because the sword of heart was the sword, Airn showed her.
She didn’t have the grand heart to protect the world, but the desire to protect her precious friends was what had awoken her abilities.
Right, this was a sword made with the help of Airn and not Ignet.
However, even such thoughts didn’t calm her.
‘In the end, am I being swayed by someone else?’
‘Do you think you are completely free from the eyes of others? You are still conscious of Ignet. And you keep getting help from Airn.’
‘Can I walk my own path? Can I? Just like in the past, like now and in the future, have I no choice but to live my life depending on another individual… am I such a person?’
Ilya’s sword grew fiercer. And the thoughts which flowed from her sword created winds and storms.
As a result, the Sword of Heart which had melted into the aura, was shaken.
The chaos that couldn’t be controlled by the sword even in the hands of a genius started wrecking the surroundings.
As if it was an emotion which she had endured for a long time, an uncontrollable feeling from inside her was tearing down the sky and earth.
What made her stop was the voice of a man.
Someone she hadn’t heard in a long time.
Above all, the voice was familiar and warm.
Ilya’s emotions subsided. So quick that it shocked her.
Turning her head, she confirmed the person.
“Yes, my daughter.”
A fierce and cold impression.
However, the middle-aged man had a soft smile for his daughter.
The best swordsman in the Adan Kingdom, Joshua Lindsay, was the one who had appeared in front of his daughter.
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