* * *
Rumors about the Alton Estate surrounded by a veil abounded. Most of them assumed that the Alton Estate was in ruins. However, the Alton Estate, seen through Ethan’s eyes, seemed to be leading a minimalistic life, although in a mess. The people living here locked the door, but the smoke was leaking out of the chimney. Those with jobs were vigilant in all directions and secretly navigating between the alleys.
“……There was someone who looked after the people of this estate.”
Ethan looked at the castle of Lord Alton in the distance with new eyes. If the state of the territory possessed by the First Prince and the black magicians was maintained at this level, it must mean that someone was doing their best to prevent the worst from within. He remembered the words Sarah had said with a sigh of regret.
‘I wish I could understand the situation inside.’
It seemed like he had to go back a little later than he promised Jade. Before Sarah returned from the Ambrosia mansion, he needed to know the situation a little more to bring her news that would please her. It was when Ethan thought so and turned his head. A familiar voice came from beyond the alley he hadn’t noticed.
He erased his presence and entered the alley with a careful gesture. Then he began to hear conversations clear enough to immediately recognize the owner of the voice he thought was familiar.
“I lost my connection with him!”
“Mr. Oliven’s communication has always been arbitrary.”
It was the voice of the First Prince Kazer. As if excited, his voice was quite uplifted, beyond that there was even a secret ecstasy. A certain man, with a troubled face, was secretly swallowing a sigh by Kazer’s side.
“Something’s different this time. It feels different!”
“Please tell me specifically how you feel……”
“What do you think you gonna understand if you hear me?”
“I’m so sorry.”
A moment of scorn passed through the man’s face. It was only for a moment that the excited Kazer did not even notice.
Ethan narrowed his eyes and carefully examined Kazer’s face, which he hadn’t seen in a long time. Kazer’s eyes shone sharply with confidence and increased madness that had never existed before. However, there was no occurrence in the face with dark circles under the sunken eyes. It was as if he was slowly burning his desire to death.
“It’d better be good. It was starting to get on my nerves.”
“Go to the Lord’s castle! Now that we’ve got a corpse that’s good enough for us, it’ll be great to appease the hunger of the black magicians.”
Kazer muttered to himself and disappeared with black smoke from his palms.
‘He’s using a pretty high level of black magic.’
Kazer’s achievements seemed higher than Ethan had expected. No matter how much power Oliven gave him, it was not an ordinary skill if he even did space movement magic. According to Sarah’s words, black magic was a type of magic that depended a lot on one’s constitution. She said that one had to learn black magic for a long time and turn it into his constitution to achieve rapid achievement.
“There is no doubt about the personality of the First Prince, but he has a constitution that black magic suits him so well.”
Ethan mumbled in trouble and pondered for a moment. At that time, the man next to Kazer spat in the place where Kazer was staying and burst into anger.
“Trash bastard. Like garbage, less than a beast……!”
The man was indignant, kicking the ground as if in anger, but soon fell into despair, burying his face in his hands.
“He, he’s ruined Alton like this and he isn’t satisfied with it!”
Ethan then paid attention to the face of the man next to Kazer. The list of nobles of the Crombell Empire that he had stored in his head began to pass quickly. For a very fleeting moment, in a blink of an eye, Ethan could immediately recognize the man’s identity.
‘Powell Alton, second son of Lord Alton. Unmarried. He is more suitable than the eldest son to be the successor of the estate.’
The information he had once put in was organized in a very easy-to-understand way and came back to his mind. Ethan’s cold gaze weighed Powell, who was still unaware of his existence. Was he an enemy or an ally? Was there room to attract him, or was he the leader who should be dealt with right here?
“Ah ah, please God! Please watch over our Alton.”
Powell began to pray to God, unaware that the reaper who now had a blade around his neck was holding his lifeline. The deafening prayer was enough to touch the listener’s heartstrings. Except for Ethan Ambrosia, of course.
“Ah, ah ah! Young Master Powell!”
“It’s Young Master Powell!”
At that time, Alton’s people heard Powell’s voice crying to God and opened the tightly closed door and started to come out one by one.
“Is everyone safe today? The First Prince just dragged a body away. If you know who he is, tell me!”
“Heuk, heuk…… Young Master, that is my son Mark. He said we ran out of drinking water and went out to get some!”
“Didn’t I tell you to tie a blue cloth to the window when the drinking water runs out? My father and I will bring it to you……”
“He said he couldn’t cause such trouble to the Lord who was already trying to protect the territory from the demonic First Prince……, Mark, you punk! Eoheuk heuk!”
The old man who had lost his son cried. A deep sense of guilt flashed across Powell’s desperate face.
“It is because of our failure to fulfill our responsibilities as the guardians of Alton. Mark, I’ll give Mark a generous funeral……”
“Eoheuk heuk, no, they stormed into the house and took people away until Young Master Powell and his Lord covered the First Prince’s eyes. Right now, we’re living with peace of mind as long as we’re inside the houses……”
Powell closed his eyes as he held and supported the old man’s body as he collapsed. Tears were dripping down from the eyes of people of the estate who watched it. Beyond the status of aristocrats and commoners, they were united in the face of the issue of survival and were coping with the crisis of Kazer de Crombell.
Watching the situation, Ethan’s mind quickly cleared up. The use of the character Powell Alton appeared like a small device in a large picture. Then, a beautiful smile appeared on the lips of Ethan Ambrosia, whom Sarah loved. Ethan quietly followed Powell, who went to the Lord’s castle with a tattered footstep, after conversing with the people to grasp the situation.
Step, step. Step step step.
The closer they got to Lord Alton’s castle, the fewer people there were, and the road continued where they couldn’t see even a single rat. So the only sound of footsteps on the road was Powell’s.
Powell looked back one after another, feeling cold and creepy behind his back, but he saw nothing. Powell’s pace was getting faster and faster, so he started running.
Thump thump thump!
Powell, who ran with all his strength kicking the hard floor, didn’t even know why he was running like this. Just an instinctive feeling made him do this.
Something flew in front of Powell, who was gasping and running, and slammed into the hard floor.
Powell stopped abruptly and looked at what he saw softly shoved into the hard floor. The bright blue sword was the first to transparently shone into Powell’s bulging eyes.
“That, that’s the emblem of the Duke of Ambrosia……”
Although he was only the second son of the Alton Estate, which was located in the far corner of the Empire, he was also a nobleman and an Imperial citizen of Crombell. He recognized that the sword flew in front of him and stuck in it belonged to Ambrosia.
Just then, a low, soft voice came from behind him. There was no hostility in the voice calling his name, but Powell swallowed his breath in an overwhelming sense of intimidation he had never felt even in front of the completely insane Kazer. A cold sweat ran down Powell’s back as he looked back slowly.
“……D, Du, Duke Ambrosia?”
Powell’s eyes widened in disbelief as he met Ethan’s face. Ethan smiled slightly at Powell’s blinking eyes as if time was going very slowly.
“I’ve seen you at a royal banquet before. How have you been, Sir Alton?”
Tears began to fill Powell’s eyes at the soulless greeting based on the most noble etiquette.
“Outside the veil……, did they notice our Alton’s situation? To the extent that Duke Ambrosia went here directly.”
Ethan nodded, listening to Powell’s voice soaked in emotion. Only then did Powell let go of his mind and stumbled and sank into the spot.
“Oh God, oh God……”
Ethan Ambrosia’s flawless appearance looked like a divine messenger from heaven. If they made a statue of a god with Ethan Ambrosia’s face, Powell would be willing to donate his entire fortune today. Ethan saw Powell’s eyes gleaming with joy as he looked at him, and he stepped back a little.
“So, do you want to protect Alton?”
“Of course, of course. I will do anything if I can save Alton, and Alton’s permanent residents.”
Ethan smiled satisfactorily at the answer that showed his will. Then he slowly fell on one knee and opened his mouth, making eye contact with Powell, who sat down.
“I want you to give me a little help for Alton and your people. Are you willing?”
“I’ll do it!”
Ethan reached out to him, and Powell grabbed the hand with a lot of strength as if he would never let go.
“……You don’t have to hold it so hard, but you know what it means.”
“Ah, yes! I’m sorry!”
Seeing Ethan narrowing his brow, Powell released his hand in surprise. It was when Ethan, who looked at his free hand, took a handkerchief from his bosom and wiped his hand.
“But Duke Ambrosia, may I ask you a question?”
“How did you get in here?”
“Alton Estate must have been blocked by a veil created by the evil black magician…… How did you come in so unscathed?”
At Powell’s question, Ethan was silent for a moment, unable to answer. As he averted his eyes a little awkwardly, Ethan’s look resembled Sarah’s when she was asked a question that was somehow difficult to answer.
“Let’s just say I know it well, hit it, and come in.”
Even the clumsy answer resembled Sarah. Ethan vaguely thought that if you love someone, you resemble them, even if it’s a one-sided love.