Bright orange hair that was like looking at the sun—it felt like the sun in the sky, which had been hidden by the blizzard, had actually fallen to the ground.
Helena swept back her fluttering hair and looked around.
The last ridge of the Chaos Mountains...
For the first time since she arrived, she was left alone in a place filled with vicious monsters.
However, she knew it was just a short silence.
In a few seconds, new monsters would rush in and Helena didnt have the health left to handle them.
A smile spread on Helenas cold face.
It was a beautiful smile but it was actually filled with ridicule.
She ridiculed the people who remained in their homeland, obsessed with the notion thatthere is no better toy than the empire.
‘Im looking forward to their disappointment when they realize sooner or later that the empire isnt worth playing with.
How much further would she have to progress if she wanted to fight non-stop on the seventh ridge Helena was returning to the sixth ridge in a joyful state when she stopped.
A half-draconian, Jad, had found her and was running toward her.
“What is it” Helena asked in a cold manner.
Unfortunately, the 20 half-draconians who came to the Chaos Mountains with her werent loved.
The intention was too obvious.
They were all males who were eager to be chosen as Helenas mate but it wasnt possible.
Helena wanted her partner to unconditionally be stronger than her.
“Heltavons energy has disappeared!”
“I can feel whether the person with the name of Hel is dead or alive even if he is far away.”
Bun and Hel—the lineage of their ancestors still existed a thousand years later.
All the lords of the half-draconians were named after Bun and Hel.
This time, it was Helenas turn to be the lord.
It was based on the rule that the descendants of Bun and Hel should be lords in turn.
However, Helena couldnt become the lord.
It was the aftermath of her proposal to move all the half-draconians to the Chaos Mountains when she was about to be elected as the next lord.
There was a backlash about the noble half-draconians needing to mingle with monsters who had nothing but instincts.
This caused Helenas position to weaken.
The result meant that for the first time in the history of the half-draconians, a person with the name of Bun was elected as the lord two consecutive times.
Helena had felt ashamed at that time but she soon realized it was a great opportunity.
The turning point was the visit of one of the Seven Dukes, Spear Saint Rachel.
The person who visited the half-draconians without any fear was weak compared to Helenas standards.
Compared to the days when they were the Nine Dukes, not the Seven Dukes, the level was poor, yet the senior warriors couldnt handle her easily.
The empire had weakened over the years but the strength of the half-draconians, who were accustomed to playing with the empire, also declined.
Bunsdel, the one who took Helenas place as the lord, also knew this fact.
It was just that he was born with the destiny of not being the lord.
Thus, his obsession with being the lord was amazing.
He turned away from the visible truth and encouraged his people to play with the empire.
This was an opportunity for Helena.
As Bunsdel was obsessively clinging to the lords position, she left their home that had fallen to being a playground that wasnt fun at all.
She persuaded her fellow people to join her but only 20 males followed her.
Heltavon was one of them.
Helenas expectations for him were low from the very beginning.
“He was at a level that he would be killed by the monsters of the sixth ridge.
Im thankful that he perished rather than survived tenaciously to tarnish the name of Hel.”
The monsters of the sixth ridge were too strong.
One monster was stronger than 100 elite troops of the empire and their breeding power was limitless, so they were dangerous.
Jad had such worries so the death of one of the strong warriors, Heltavon, came as a worry.
Nonetheless, once Helena reacted coldly, he couldnt speak anymore and could only smile.
Helena passed him to enter the shabby hut.
She got into a small bathtub and asked, “Are you going to accompany the envoy to Frontier tomorrow”
“Yes, Ill bring back a lot of dresses for Helena to wear.” Jad answered while picking up the clothes that Helena had thrown carelessly.
He was unfamiliar with Helenas clothes becoming rags in only one battle.
She had killed a single digit Red Knight of the empire and 10,000 troops without a single drop of blood falling on her clothes.
This made him wonder about the strength of the monsters inhabiting the seventh ridge.
Helena scoffed at Jad, who was dominated by aggressiveness and was staring at the seventh ridge.
“You can try it if you want to die a worse death than Heltavon.”
I will go to Frontier first.”
“Bring wine when you come back.”
“Ill bring it by the wagonload!”
Jad left the hut and Helena watched him.
For the two of them, Frontier wasnt a wealthy city on the outskirts.
It looked like any ordinary human land that could be controlled in one breath.
In Frontiers central square...
The place that originally had no room to move was currently completely blocked off.
The sound of nailing and sawing never stopped.
Hundreds of carpenters were building a stage next to the beautiful fountain.
It was Ladens tomb.
The carpenters didnt know it but Laden did.
Laden recalled the calm dawn.
The envoy of the half-draconians had showed off his fearsome presence as he invaded the castle and stepped onto the terrace that only the lord could step foot on.
He came to Frontier and pointed to the huge square in the center of the city.
“Build a stage there.
Tomorrow morning, in front of all the people watching, I will fight the strongest person of Frontier.
Dont use someone weak as a sacrifice.
If the person you send out is terrible and makes us feel bored, well slaughter half the inhabitants of this city.”
It was a one-sided notification.
It was a death sentence for Laden.
After the brief meeting, Laden had felt the difference in skills and fell into deep despair.
Nevertheless, Laden had no intention of fleeing.
He became a knight to protect Duke Steim.
It was impossible for him to abandon his master and people to flee.
As the carpenters built the stage, Ladens heartbeat became faster.
Once the staircase of the stage was completed, Ladens heart sank.
The staircase looked like the mouth of a vicious demon leading him to hell.
A huge fear started to rule him but he didnt express it.
Laden stood staring blankly at the stage, only to be startled and bowed his head.
Duke Steim was approaching him.
Usually, he wouldve already read the dukes mind and was prepared.
Laden was aware of his poor condition and tried to control his mind.
Duke Steim clenched his trembling hands tightly.
This was what he wanted to say from the very beginning.
Duke Steim had been watching Laden since Laden was a child and he regarded Laden as his own child.
It was Laden who comforted Irene after she just got married and then became lonely when her husband, Grid, left on his adventures.
Ladens upright character was Duke Steims pride and his outstanding talent was Duke Steims joy.
Duke Steim had no intention of allowing Laden to die in vain when he should grow to become one of the pillars supporting the Overgeared Kingdom.
The reason he couldnt tell Laden to run away was to protect Ladens pride.
How could he ignore a knights determination to fight He was just silent, supporting Laden while praying for a miracle to happen.
Then an hour ago, he happened to see it.
The helpless Laden was filled with hope due to a few words spoken by King Grid.
It was only a short time but Duke Steim clearly witnessed it.
He felt a desire to preserve Ladens life.
“Ill take care of the half-draconian so you should go to Reinhardt for a while.
Assist the prince and His Majesty.
Then decide whether you want to come back here in the future depending on His Majestys orders.”
Duke Steim might not fall into the category of a genius but there was nothing shameful about his combat talent.
He was strong.
Thats why he was able to protect the North.
He might be old and frail but his experiences over the years had permeated into his body.
It meant there was enough talent to protect the people from the half-draconians.
‘It is right for me to step out.
His life was going to end soon anyway.
Rather than waiting for death in vain, it was right to protect Laden and his kingdom.
The half-draconians are after the supplies of Frontier, not its destruction.
It doesnt matter as long as the people are safe.
In the future, King Grid will defeat the half-draconians and govern Frontier in a more correct manner.”
The reason for Duke Steims failure to respond to the crisis was simple.
There was no time.
The half-draconians who couldnt be dealt with using Frontiers power had suddenly appeared, giving him no time to do anything.
He could only close both eyes and be inevitably beaten.
In the end, it was a problem that time would solve.
Duke Steim had no doubt that the Overgeared Kingdom would defeat the half-draconians and liberate Frontier.
“No.” Laden shook his head.
He had been obedient to Duke Steim no matter the time and circumstances.
Now he rebelled for the first time.
“I will fight.”
Laden didnt feel the need to speak a lot.
He was just stating the obvious.
Suddenly, someone appeared and empowered Ladens words.
Father-in-laws words were rude...
it isnt good to play into the hands of uncivilized invaders.”
Duke Steim and Laden were amazed.
They were surprised that Grid suddenly disappeared and reappeared again in the midst of the conversation.
Although Jishuka had told them,You only need to believe in Grid, they didnt have a sense of reality because they werent in a position to understand the situation.
They didnt know where Grid had gone and when he would come back.
So why would they act with Grid in mind
Grid explained to the dumbfounded Duke Steim, “Im back from hunting a half-draconian.
Father-in-law, I didnt explain it because I was going to come back quickly anyway.
Im sorry for the inconvenience.”
“...You came back from hunting a half-draconian”
It had only been an hour since Grid disappeared.
In an hour, he flew to the Chaos Mountains, hunted a half-draconian, and returned It was Duke Steim who had shoutedMy son-in-law is the best in the continent! since the days of the Eternal Kingdom but he couldnt believe what Grid was saying now.
“First, lets go to practice.”
Grid picked up the absent-minded Duke Steim and flew in the direction of the castle.
Laden chased with all his might but he soon fell behind, unable to narrow the distance to Grid, who was flying while carrying Duke Steim.
He felt the huge wall that existed between Grid and himself.
Ladens heart jumped again.
This time, it wasnt because of despair.
He was excited by the huge hope that couldnt be compared to the desperation the half-draconians had given him.
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