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“Why did you do that?”
On the morning wind, a sharp voice pierced Helios. The paladin Gray, who was strangled by Enya last night, was in the ward, so the uninvited guest this time was another paladin, Marie.
Marie, a dark blonde close to brown, was the second most blunt person, next to Helios.
Marie stood tall before the seated Helios, looking down at her Master.
The one and only Commander of the Holy Knights on the continent, Helios Defert. The image of him sitting unevenly in his office fit him perfectly without any error. But harsh advice came out of Marie’s mouth instead of praising his appearance.
“She’s the ‘Enya Valencia.’ It’s more appropriate to make her our ally, not an enemy.”
His green eyes slowly rose toward Marie.
Marie asked firmly and added,
“She is also acquainted with Her Highness the Crown Princess. As the owner of a Mage Tower, her abilities are outstanding, and above all, she has not signed a contract with any noble since she has been in seclusion for the past few years.”
The title of ‘Knight of Brilliance’ could have been given to him for his good looks, not for his achievements, even as his ridiculous face contorted.
“How can I hold hands with the one who killed her teacher and took possession of the mage tower?”
“You can think of it as swallowing bitter medicine.”
“Rather it’s a sweet poison, Marie.”
Marie couldn’t come up with any tricks to convince him. Considering Enya’s remarkable history, it wasn’t that she didn’t understand him, but the situation was urgent now.
Helios Defert, who came alone to the western wilderness ten years ago, not only protected the country from monsters but also developed the wilderness to the extent that it could be called a territory now.
Although he cultivated the West for the smooth supply line during wartime, whatever his intentions, he brought a revival to the wilderness, and people also wanted him to become the new ruler of the West.
But he was a Holy Knight. He could not have official private property or worldly titles, so he could not be the owner of the West.
It wasn’t that there was no course he could take. He just needed to give up his position as leader of the Holy Knights and receive a noble title. It was for this, that he returned to the capital.
In fact, to obtain the title of nobility, he had to give up the position of Commander of the Holy Knights, but someone had to promise a title. It was the most plausible reward to be granted by the emperor, but he only praised Helios for his achievements in words, and there was no prize at all. The expression of ‘apathy’ was correct.
It is said that he was concerned that Helios would grow in power and threaten the Crown Princess, but such dismal disregard was truly embarrassing.
She wanted to ask what the hell happened between him and his father, but Helios hadn’t spoken about the emperor for over ten years. In a situation like that, how could a subordinate pry?
Still, she had to say something.
“The emperor is indifferent to the leader, and the high-ranking nobles are busy keeping emerging forces in check, so the only option left is to join hands with the owner of the tower, that is, the tower masters, to receive a title.”
Perhaps it was not necessary for a lower title, but in order to become the Margrave of the West, a contract with a magic tower was essential. However, finding one without an agreement was almost impossible. It was a desperate situation.
“What if you lose Enya Valencia when she might be our last hope?”
“I have already made an appointment with Lord Lowes, an Archmage of a magic tower.”
Lowes once promised to sign with him once it was certain that he would be appointed in the capital. Also, he decided to withdraw from his contract with the Crown Princess and make a new one with Helios. It was a situation where everything was already settled upon with the Crown Princess, so there was no major issue.
“Commander, I’m sorry but can I voice my opinion?”
With an attitude of not being sorry at all, Marie firmly opened her mouth:
“The leader seems to trust Lowes the tower master because he is the princess’s person, but I can’t trust him for that very same reason. If you only trust the Crown Princess you will get into trouble.”
Now, Helios’ strongest ally was Ogotai. The downside was that she was the only one on his side. Due to this, when the Princess lets go of his hand, Helios’ position would be quite ambiguous. Marie sighed.
“You should also make another reliable safe boat.”
“That reliable bastard is Enya Valencia, is that what you want to say?”
“She’s a pretty strong candidate. Although Enya Valencia is the illegitimate daughter of the previous Duke of Valencia, she is known to have had a strong relationship with her family. There are absolutely no other forces to intervene in the contract. Besides, since she hasn’t signed an agreement with any territory, various taxes have quadrupled, and she’s in a lot of debt.
Even with her reasonable answers, he remained silent. He usually flexibly incorporated the opinions of his knights, but today, there was not even a crack, never mind a hopeful window on his tall walls. Marie sighed.
‘It’s because of the report.’
Long before the Order of the Holy Knights came to the capital, Marie wrote a detailed report on the genealogy, family motto, career history, and achievements of each noble family and owners of the mage tower for him. Among those numerous reports was, of course, Morgenda’s Mage Tower information.
Some excerpts from the content:
「In the Conquest Battle of Argos, Enya Valencia casts the magic, ‘Mental Disruption,’ and leads the fight to victory.
The problem is the process.
To cast ‘Mental Disruption’ over a wide range, she absorbed the magic of her Master and colleagues in front, annihilating Argos as well as allies.
Immediately after the subjugation, she went to trial. With the confession of the Master of the Mage Tower and the testimony that she had disobeyed and had a disagreement with the members of the Mage Tower, she was sentenced to death by hanging.
However, Crown Princess Ogotai, who participated in the war together, strongly defended Enya, and in September of that year, she was selected as the next Master of the Mage Tower of Morgenda, so she escaped punishment. Since then, she resides in the Mage Tower and is reclusive.
Despite being from the slums and being an illegitimate child of Valencia, her becoming Morgenda’s mage lord at a young age is regarded as an outstanding achievement, along with her cold reception by the public.
She is a rare psychic/mind/spirit-type wizard with excellent skills enough to be counted as someone who can stand against the demon lord.
I strongly recommend her, so please review it in detail.」
Marie judged that Enya was suitable as an ally and offered her report wholeheartedly to Helios.
But the zealous intention of wanting the two of them to be allies seemed to backfire.
Helios, who did not show any emotions in the histories of other Mage Tower owners or nobles, revealed a rare display of disdain after reading Enya Valencia’s report.
‘She’s worse than a brute.’
It was a reaction Marie hadn’t expected. Since he was also from the imperial family, she misunderstood and thought he would see Enya’s cruelty and regard it as an advantage.
Marie regretted her mistake and opened her mouth.
“Leader… … . Yesterday, Gray was at fault. Enya Valencia is the Master of the Magic Tower. No matter how ostentatious the title may be, it would not be strange if his head was immediately cut off for impiety for calling her name carelessly and pointing the finger at her. She was merciful.”
Enya didn’t cut Gray’s throat but strangled him. If this wasn’t mercy, she didn’t know what was.
“No matter how desperate you are, you should only negotiate with people, and never sign a contract with beasts that don’t know grace.”
Helios ignored Marie’s opinion in one fell swoop.
He didn’t want to hear it anymore, so he leaned against the back of the chair, touching the ring on his finger with his thumb. The familiar, dazzling light through the long, arched window tickled his chiseled chin.
He participated in the dinner yesterday nervously but managed to do well.
His essence was no different from that of an unlearned beast, but the mannerisms and gestures typical of a cold, callous knight always read as dignified and aristocratic, so there was no problem.
Nevertheless, it was true that nobles flirted with him, and trying to read their intentions in coded words made him tired. He retreated to the garden to take a break from the sense that his mind was worn out rather than his body.
He initially wanted to be alone but ran into a woman that bewitched him at first sight.
She had long, dark hair that seemed even darker than the night. Compared to her cold aura, her twinkling eyes seemed blue rather than black. She gave off the drowsy impression of a beast, or rather, a cat, striking him with a piercing sensation.
‘If you go east, there is a maze-like garden. If you are going to rest, you can rest there.’
Maybe it was because she didn’t show even a speck of interest in him. He accidentally found himself sitting down next to her and even drank. Glancing at her graceful chin and eyes as she rolled the ice with her tongue and chewed it carefully, he wondered… … Do I feel an unbelievable sense of camaraderie?
Fountains, typhoons… … . he felt comfortable exchanging trivial stories. Even though he thought it was a fateful encounter that would grow into a relationship that would flow, but strangely disappointed. It was a moment when he was self-deprecating, thinking he was too naive, coming into society after a long absence.
‘So you should also try to hang in there and endure.’
‘… … .’
‘To remembering those I killed and those I protected.’
Her words touched him. To the point, he couldn’t care about his doubts or pride anymore and spat out his insignificant name. It was more of an impulse, and he knew immediately it was a mistake, but he had no regrets.