No one dared to breathe in the shocking silence. Raven slowly approached Isla, who was bowing while kneeling on one knee.
Then Raven stretched out his hand and grabbed his friend and loyal subject on the shoulders, raising him up from his position. Isla raised his head and the two met their gaze for the first time in seven years.
Raven slowly took Isla into his embrace.
“You’ve done great. Thank you for everything, Elkin.”
“I always believed… that you would be safe. I never doubted it even for a second, my lord…”
Isla responded with red eyes. He felt deeply touched and joyful as his lord patted his back. He had been waiting seven years for this very moment.
“Y, your Majesty Isla. Is that person… No, t, that esteemed figure is truly…?”
Count Elven stuttered in disbelief. Both Raven and Isla turned towards him.
“Yes. The founding king of the great Pendragon Kingdom. This is my one and only monarch, King Alan Pendragon.”
“B, but his appearance…”
Count Elven spoke with an incredulous expression. He had seen Alan Pendragon in the past in the Great Territory of Alice, but the man in front of him looked vastly different.
“There were… certain circumstances, so this is how I look now. By the way, Lord Elven, I heard you became a high lord. Congratulations. Ah, and I am truly grateful for what happened in the Great Territory of Alice in the past. Your fair judgement greatly assisted me in many ways.”
A glimmer appeared in Count Elven’s eyes.
Raven was referring to the event from more than ten years ago, when Morgan Louvre, the successor of the Great Territory of Alice, was killed by Argos, the Black Tiger of Tiramis. If Count Elven had not stepped up to intervene during the incident, the incident could have devolved into an all-out war between the Pendragon Duchy and the Great Territory of Alice.
“A, are you truly… His Majesty Pendragon?”
“That is right.”
“B, but His Majesty is…”
“I was dead. However, I was able to come back due to my companion and the grace of the gods. Of course, I had to go through this and that.”
He could not recount the stories of the divine realm and its war, so Raven responded with a bitter smile instead.
After hearing Raven’s words, everyone’s gaze turned to the indifferent beauty standing next to him. She possessed silver-white hair, and eyes as deep and still as the deepest of lakes. Moreover, even though she simply stood in place without speaking a word, both those who were capable and incapable of utilizing the spirit felt intimidated.
As such, everyone realized the moment they laid their eyes on her. They felt mystified, fearful, and also a sense of awe towards the figure. The unprecedented beauty was none other than Soldrake, the guardian god of Pendragon and the Queen of All Dragons.
“Huh! Huhu! How could this… Huhuha!”
Count Elven burst into vain laughter as if finding the situation absurd. However, he was a governor-general and a high lord of the empire. He quickly regained his composure and bowed deeply to Raven and Soldrake.
“Iron Elven greets the founding king of the Pendragon Kingdom, Your Majesty Pendragon, and Lord Soldrake, the Queen of All Dragons.”
He did not refer to himself as a high lord of the empire or the emperor’s agent. Rather, he humbled himself in front of the two esteemed figures. At his words, the surrounding knights and soldiers bowed their heads in reverence toward the two figures.
Raven responded with a light nod, then slowly turned around.
A boy was looking Raven’s way with large eyes and a confused expression. It appeared he wasn’t completely comprehending the situation quite yet.
Raven slowly walked towards his son, then knelt down before speaking with an awkward smile.
“Are you not going to greet your father?”
Raymond spoke with disbelief. His gaze shifted from Raven to Isla, who was standing behind his lord. Isla responded with a soft smile and a nod.
Raymond’s gaze returned to the man. He now realized that the two of them possessed the same color of hair.
“Father… Father! Dad!”
Young children tended to be honest with their emotions. It was no different for Raymond, even though he was educated to become a monarch and king since childhood. Raymond rushed into the embrace of the man. His father possessed the same color of hair and eyes as he did.
“Ahh! Dad! Dad! Hnng! Dad!”
Raymond rubbed his teary, snotty face against his father’s chest. He wailed while pushing himself against his father, who was stronger and more reliable than anyone else in the world.
His tears stemmed from an incomparable joy, as well as the accumulated sorrow and longing of seven years.
“Yes, yes. I am sorry. I am sorry… that I only told you now, and that I’m so late.”
The young boy’s cries deepened at the father’s apology, and the surrounding figures felt emotional watching the reunified father and son.
“Now, Raymond. We need to look after your aunt.”
“Hnng. Got it, dad. N, no, Your Majesty!”
Blood was truly thicker than water. Although he was filled with emotions after meeting his father for the first time, Raymond attempted a brave expression while continuously sniffling. Raven kissed his son’s forehead, feeling proud and finding the gesture adorable.
Then, he headed towards Mia before carefully examining her.
At Raven’s call, Soldrake headed to Mia’s side. As Raven’s companion of the soul, she understood the meaning behind his calling. She put her hand on Mia’s forehead and remained motionless.
Although it was significantly less compared to the past, Soldrake possessed the Spirit of the Dragon. Even in its weakened form, even wizards known as Masters would find themselves helpless in front of Soldrake’s power.
Along with a sharp moan, sweat droplets formed on Mia’s forehead.
A thick smell similar to cheap perfume filled the space around Mia’s body, then soon disappeared. Soldrake’s energy would cause the blood vessels of ordinary people to twist, burst, and their innards to melt. However, for those possessing Pendragon’s blood, Soldrake’s Spirit of the Dragon was more effective than any other potions or spells.
The sweat droplets and odor were only by-products of the aphrodisiac’s expulsion from Mia’s body.
Mia slowly opened her eyes while slowly sighing.
“This is… Ah!”
She burst into an exclamation after spotting a figure standing next to her.
“Auntie! Aunt Mia! Are you okay?”
She hugged her nephew with streaming tears.
“Are you all right? Are you hurt anywhere?”
She asked frantically while grabbing Raymond’s face and body. She wasn’t in the right state of mind to recognize her surroundings.
“I am fine! Dad, or rather, His Majesty the King saved me!”
“Dad? What are you…”
She asked with a dazed expression, then finally raised her head before looking around.
Her large eyes filled with puzzlement and shock.
A man stood in front of her. It was definitely her first time seeing him. However, the aura surrounding the figure was familiar. Perhaps others would not recognize it, but as a Pendragon, she could clearly feel it.
The man’s warm gaze and slightly awkward smile… Moreover, she had seen the black-haired man in a short dream only a day ago.
The pull of blood was stronger than any words or evidence. Although she saw him for the first time, Mia called out without realizing it.
“Do you still like stories of monsters?”
“…Yes, yes. I still like them.”
The youngest shed tears and laughed. She was no longer a child, but a mature lady. However, she never forgot her brother during the seven years.
“I thought that might be the case, so I prepared a lot of stories to tell you. I’m sure I have seven years’ worth.”
“Yes, yes! Brother…!”
Mia reacted in the same manner as Raymond, hugging her older brother and shedding tears of joy and longing.
“Brother! Brother Alan! Hnng!”
For an instant, Mia was once again a young girl. She cried and laughed while feeling her brother’s warmth.
Raven held the slender shoulders of his sister for a long while and patted her back. Her tears subsided after a while, and he helped her out of the bed.
He turned his gaze. It was completely transformed from when he looked at his son and sister. The frigid gaze was completely devoid of love and mercy, and only an endless cold could be found in its depth.
Although Gerard was reckless, impulsive, and foolish enough to trust in his family’s background to leave himself to his primal instincts, he had enough brain to know that a terrible fate was awaiting him. He trembled while slowly crawling backwards.
Likewise, Number 2 and Number 3 trembled and felt goosebumps after receiving Raven’s gaze. The rage of a father toward those who attempted to harm his family was unmatchable. His gaze felt as if it reflected all the anger in the world. Raven looked over the three figures with his blazing gaze, then opened his lips.
“Yes, Your Majesty Pendragon.”
Count Elven recoiled but replied with a miserable look. He could predict what was about to go down.
“According to the imperial law, those who rape women are executed regardless of the reason. Is that not true?”’
“That… is correct.”
Of course, it was different for nobles. Even if a nobleman raped a commoner, or even a noble, they could buy themselves out with money and status. However, Gerard had attempted to violate a member of the royal family, who was also the younger sister of the empress and the empire’s hero.
“But technically, this should not be counted as rape, but attempted rape.”
Gerrard’s face was filled with fear. However, a ray of hope appeared at Raven’s words.
However, Count Elven was more well-versed in the imperial law than anyone else present. He clenched his eyes shut, knowing what was to follow.
“What is the punishment for attempted rape against royalty and nobles?”
“Cutting off the perpetrator’s hands, feet, and… that place.”
Gerrard expressed his puzzlement. He was unable to immediately understand his cousin’s words. Soon, however, his face turned white.
“Huh? N, no…”
“To be carried out immediately.”
An eerie sound of slicing air followed the quiet words.
The terrible scream instilled shock into those present. The Pendragon Kingdom’s treasured blade, the Widow’s Scream, was stabbed into Gerard’s crotch. It was done at a speed where no one, except Isla, was able to see it properly.
“Kuagh! Kuaaahhh! Kieeagghh!”
Gerrard let loose a bizarre scream, squirming with his hands holding onto his crotch. Blood continued to flow from the wound.
“Under the authority of the victim’s immediate family. I let you live because of Lord Elven. Be thankful I did not cut off your hands and feet.”
Raven spoke calmly while wiping off the dirty blood from his blade. Then, he sheathed his weapon.
“I am truly grateful for your generosity, Your Majesty Pendragon.”
Count Elven bowed his head with sincerity. He felt a chill run down his spine. He finally remembered and realized – just what kind of a person Alan Pendragon was in the past…
He was a monarch who was merciless and cold-blooded towards his enemies, but endlessly kind and loving toward his own.
Alan Pendragon was being considerate of himself.
Gerard was spared from death because Count Elven had stood on Raven’s side in the Great Territory of Alice, and because he aided Ian in various ways before Ian was enthroned as emperor. Count Elven was certain that if Gerard had not been his cousin, he would have been subjected to all kinds of unimaginable pain before being killed.
Raven’s gaze turned towards the remaining two.
The top assassins of the Shadow Brotherhood, Number 2 and Number 3, felt cold sweat drench their bodies. Everyone in the room, including the two assassins, instinctively felt it.
It wasn’t over yet. The anger and revenge of Pendragon’s absolute had only begun.