Published at 8th of February 2021 04:59:45 PM
There were about a dozen people sitting on several large tables, and most of them looked in curiosity at the three as Jude and Cordelia approached with Lucas at the lead .
“Let me introduce everyone to Mr . Jude Bayer from the family of Count Bayer who came from the north like me . The one next to him is his fiancée, Lady Cordelia Chase from the family of Count Chase . ”
“I am Jude Bayer . ”
“I am Cordelia Chase . ”
When Jude and Cordelia courteously introduced themselves, Lucas continued .
“Both of them are very skilled . Lady Cordelia is an excellent wizard from the Chase family known for their wizards, and Mr . Jude Bayer is…”
That was it .
Lucas stopped as he recalled that he had never seen Jude use a sword .
Is Jude a swordsman?
Isn’t he a fist fighter?
As the confused Lucas stopped talking, the young men and women gathered at the tea party looked at Lucas and Jude in puzzlement, and Jude softly smiled and lightly patted the Eastern Warrior’s Sword on his waist as he said in a low voice .
“I am a swordsman . My master, Landius, is also a swordsman . ”
“Ah, yes . That’s right . ”
Landius was also a swordsman, but he was never seen carrying a sword .
It seemed like the disciple was walking a similar path like his master .
“Ahem, ahem . Let me introduce him again . This is Mr . Jude Bayer, an excellent swordsman and son of the Sword General, Count Bayer . ”
Lucas’ introduction caused the young men and women to let out voices of awe and admiration .
Because no swordsman in the Sälen Kingdom who walked the path of the sword would not know the name of Count Bayer .
“By the way… the ones in the rumors… is it them?”
When the young woman, who looked to be in her mid-teens and was sitting close to Lucas, shyly asked, various expressions appeared on everyone’s faces .
The ones in those rumors .
They were the main stars of the rumor that started from the north and spread to the royal capital, to the point that even the princess had heard of it .
There was a young woman whose eyes were shining with curiosity .
There was another young woman who stared at them in admiration .
There was a young man who was doing his best to hold back his laughter, and there was also a young woman who looked at them in ridicule .
Their expressions truly varied .
Yes, that’s true . Those rumors are true .
As Lucas laughed awkwardly since he couldn’t just let out his thoughts, Cordelia’s face turned red while Jude kept his usual shameless expression and stepped forward, hiding Cordelia from everyone’s sight .
“Ahem, ahem, I am aware that there are some rumors about us . But… some parts of it has been distorted . ”
“Which part? Is it true that you two love each other so much that you eloped… N-no, I-I mean, a honeymoon trip?”
Asked the brown-haired young woman who was sitting next to Lucas and looked to be the youngest among everyone present in the tea party .
Jude responded as smoothly as always to the question of the young woman, whose eyes were shining like Princess Darianne and even looking at them a little enviously .
“That part is true . ”
“Oh my gosh . ”
A wide smile spread over the young woman’s face, and everyone made various expressions again .
A black-haired young woman strangely flinched but kept her mouth shut .
The blonde man beside her had a determined look as if he somehow made a resolution to himself .
And a curly-haired young man slightly moved his body in his want to see Cordelia hiding behind Jude in more detail .
Jude received their gazes with an expression that seemed to say that he had nothing to be ashamed of, and Cordelia tugged on Jude’s clothes at that moment .
It was a signal that he should stop talking nonsense and sort out the situation quickly .
“There are several unrevealed things, such as why we had to go on a trip . I apologize if I cannot talk about it here because it is related to the security of the north . ”
“Mr . Jude Bayer is correct . The two of them have made great contributions in the north . ”
“Oh, that rumor?”
“Wasn’t it just a rumor?”
Lucas followed up after Jude, and whispering sounds among the guests were soon heard .
They were those who had heard the story of Count Hræsvelgr and the Jackdaws marching into the wild lands .
“Ahem, ahem, let me finish my introductions . Mr . Bayer, Lady Cordelia, this is Lady Cana Glyce who is from the north like us . ”
“I am Cana Glyce . It’s a pleasure to meet you . ”
The brown-haired young woman slightly blushed as she politely greeted Jude and Cordelia .
“These two are Lady Rachel Bloom and Lord Marcus Chen from the north too . ”
They were the black-haired young woman and the blonde-haired young man sitting at the same table as Cana .
“I am Rachel Bloom . ”
“I am Marcus Chen . ”
Rachel quietly greeted while Marcus introduced himself with a somewhat excited face .
It was when Lucas was going to introduce the curly-haired young man with a frivolous expression .
“The northern bumpkins are excited . ”
The words were said in a low voice, but all of them heard it because the place was quiet in the first place .
Lucas and the other prospects from the north turned to the direction where they heard the voice come from, and the owner of the voice and those sitting around that person received their gazes without any signs of embarrassment .
“What, did I say something wrong? The northern part is the countryside, so those who live in the north are country bumpkins . ”
A young man with gorgeous blonde hair who looked to be over 20 years old said with a shrug, and the group who sat around him giggled and burst into laughter .
“That’s right, the north is the countryside . ”
“Don’t be offended by his words . He just felt sorry for you guys . ”
“Look at them talking loudly and getting excited to see each other . ”
“There’s a rumor going around that…people from the north are unscrupulous and brazen . ”
Every word they said was full of ridicule .
Eventually, Lucas couldn’t take it anymore and said as he glared .
“Lord Lucian . You’re going too far . ”
“No, what… But what I said is all true though? Isn’t that right?”
The gorgeous blonde man, Lucian, looked around and asked, and the prospects from the royal capital, who seemed to be part of his clique, nodded and agreed .
But it was then . A black-haired girl with an alluring appearance who was sitting next to Lucian said with a smile .
“Lord Lucian, don’t be so mean . They’re still children . ”
“Hmm, I see . I guess that’s why she could leave a letter like that . It seems I went too far . ”
A letter like that .
The black-haired girl glanced at Cordelia and smiled, and Cordelia understood it right away .
She had brought up those words now to make fun of Cordelia from the very beginning .
When Cordelia managed to stop the swear word from coming out of her mouth, Jude narrowed his eyes and studied Lucian and his clique .
‘Lucian Dior . ’
The eldest son of Count Dior .
A young man from a powerful family in the royal capital, and favored by Duke Wotan, one of the prominent figures among the aristocrats who was in the same rank as Duke Spencer .
In the game, there was not much information about him because he only appeared for a short time, but Jude quickly understood the situation .
‘He’s trying to pick a fight . ’
The kind who lorded over others .
He was like an alley boss who used this opportunity to lay down the law to the prospects from the north .
‘There’s no mastermind behind him . ’
It wasn’t some political plot but just an immature man’s mischief .
Jude knew those kind of people who were like Lucian .
Those who grew up under their parent’s prestige could easily become such an audacious bastard especially when they were born with little talent .
Everything in the world would look insignificant to them .
“Lady Lorraine . ”
When Lucas raised his voice again, the black-haired woman, Lorraine, said with wide open eyes .
“Oh my, are you mad at me now? Me?”
When Lorraine asked again as her face instantly turned tearful, the innocent Lucas was flustered and left speechless, and Lucian’s clique burst into laughter again .
“Isn’t he really mean? Right, Lord Lucian?”
“Yes, Lucas is quite mean . I can’t believe he raised his voice to my pretty Lorraine . That’s not something a man should do . ”
As Lucian hugged Lorraine’s waist, she leaned against Lucian and spoke very naturally .
“But do forgive him . He’s still young . ”
“Well, I guess I should . There’s something called a senior’s generosity . ”
“How nice of you, Lord Lucian . ”
Lorraine said in a whisper, and Lucian jerked his chin to Lucas as if he really forgave Lucas .
“I’ll forgive you for being mad at Lorraine, so why don’t you sit down?”
“Ha . ”
A laugh eventually came out of Lucas’ mouth .
His tolerance also had its limits .
Lucas fiercely laughed and tried to draw out his sword .
But it was at that moment .
“Let’s stop there . ”
Jude spoke in a low voice as he put his hand on the back of Lucas’ hand and dissuaded the other from pulling the sword . He then looked at Lucian .
He thought that Lucian was simply a dirty bastard, but there was a rather clever side to him as well .
Let Lucas draw the sword first .
He would then draw his sword and defeat Lucas as if he couldn’t help it, and claim that Lucas was responsible because he drew his sword first, regardless of how it began .
‘Of course, that’s the story if that bastard can defeat Lucas . ’
It was clear that Lucian was quite skilled .
He could tell from looking at Lucian’s body that he had worked hard to train even if that didn’t suit his personality .
But that was it .
His fate had already been sealed the moment he mocked Cordelia .
“Lord Lucian . ”
Jude smiled after he spoke, and Lucian slightly frowned .
Because he instinctively sensed that Jude was different from Lucas or the other northern prospects .
“I understand that you are here for the Banquet of Swords . The Banquet of Swords has not yet officially begun… so is there really a need to talk with such a loud and willful mouth?”
His words were unexpected, but Jude was handsome .
To the extent that his looks could be called ‘incomparable . ’
When Jude brightly smiled and said that, Lorraine was unconsciously mesmerized at him for a very short time, and Lorraine’s reaction and Jude’s words offended Lucian .
“So, let’s have a match?”
As Lucian scornfully laughed, Jude smiled again this time .
After he said those few words, he added a phrase that was perfect in goading immature people like Lucian .
“If you’re confident . ”
You can fold if you’re scared .
Jude smirked, and a smile spread on Lucas’ face .
Even the prospects from the south, who were a third party to this, found it to be interesting .
“Ha, why are country bumpkins like this?”
Lucian shook his head as if he was dumbfounded before he got up from his seat .
His well-trained body and 190 cm height was enough to make him look intimidating .
“Shall we do it here?”
“As I said before, if you’re confident . ”
“Country bumpkins from the countryside must be really stupid . Aren’t you the guy who couldn’t even move much because of his illness just half a year ago?”
“I think you’re misunderstanding something right now, but Lord Lucian is a plain noble without a single title . You’re not a count . You’re not even a duke . ”
Even counts had something like a level .
The famous and influential counts in the royal capital weren’t on the same level as the counts from the north .
It was probably this reason why royal capital nobles like Lucian trampled on noble children from other places many times .
‘If the opponent wasn’t Lucas or me, he would have acted more bluntly . ’
However, the two were from the 12 northern families .
They were also the ten great swordmasters’ children .
So Lucian had to be cautious and only provoke the other side to draw their sword first .
But what he wanted didn’t happen .
Lucian couldn’t stand it anymore when Jude calmly told the truth without losing his smile . He left his seat and drew his sword .
“Let’s do this . ”
Lucian glared at Jude and said, causing a stir among the prospects from the royal capital .
The enraged Lucian drew out a real sword, so they were somehow worried of a possible bloodshed .
The prospects from the north were also worried and looked at Jude and Lucian alternatingly .
Except for one – Lucas .
‘You must have a death wish, Lucian . ’
Lucas alone had a calm expression and even sat down, and various reactions occurred again because of his calm attitude .
‘Is it okay to not stop him?’
‘Lord Lucas . ’
‘You’re the strongest among us . Shouldn’t you do something?’
Those were the worries of the prospects from the north .
‘Is he provoking us?’
‘Maybe he gave up?’
The prospects from the royal capital had different thoughts .
Naturally, the prospects from the south also reacted .
‘Can we make a bet?’
‘Would they mind if we make bets?’
And a prospect from the royal capital reacted again .
Lorraine got up from her seat and approached Lucian .
Because she knew better than anyone else here on how enraged her fiancé, Lucian, was .
“Go easy on him . He’s still a noble of the Sälen Kingdom, right?”
She reached out to Lucian as she spoke, and Lucian naturally hugged Lorraine’s waist and kissed her in the lips .
“I will dedicate the victory of this duel to you, Lorraine . ”
“Okay, I’ll look forward to it . ”
Lucian regained his composure to some extent, and Lorraine smiled as she went back to her seat . Everyone’s eyes turned to Jude and Cordelia spontaneously, or to be precise, they turned to Cordelia .
‘Will she do it?’
It was the gaze of Cana Glyce, the youngest .
‘Shouldn’t she…do something like that too?’
It was the calm yet somehow warm gaze of Rachel Bloom .
‘Well, no one’s forcing her . ’
Marcus Chen cleared his throat while the curly-haired young man who had yet to reveal his name gazed at Cordelia with expectation .
Cordelia jumped at everyone’s gazes at her and turned to Jude, who was staring at her with a calm expression .
‘It’s okay . It won’t be long . ’
Jude spoke with his eyes and tried to step forward, but Cordelia reflexively grabbed the hem of Jude’s clothes .
‘Wwait a minute . ’
Surprised by the fact that she grabbed Jude’s clothes, Cordelia took a few deep breaths and looked up at Jude again . She looked into Jude’s eyes and soon saw Jude’s lips . She gulped and swallowed her saliva .
Cordelia did not respond . She raised her head again to face Jude with a very red face, and bit her lips as she stood on tiptoe . She wrapped her arms around Jude’s neck to lower his posture, and then closed her eyes and drew her face closer .
A light kiss .
Cordelia’s lips lightly touched his cheeks before she quickly pulled away her lips as if she was running away from shyness .
But the atmosphere in the garden was clearly influenced by it, as it changed and became warm for a while .
The prospects from the north and south all had similar smiles, and even the prospects from the royal capital were affected by the pink atmosphere for a moment .
But Cordelia didn’t see all of that .
She didn’t turn her head away, as she looked at Jude and whispered very quietly, instead of grumbling or saying that she was forced or hated it .
“D-do your best . ”
Do you understand? You must win, okay?
Jude responded with action to her shy cheering . He lightly pressed his lips on the forehead of Cordelia, who was completely caught off-guard .
“I’ll be back . ”
Jude said, and Cordelia blinked as she realized on what had happened to her forehead .
Not only her face but also her neck and ears turned red for a while, and she couldn’t think of anything else .
And Jude walked to Lucian .
He smiled so brightly at Lucian who was angrily looking at him .
“Hey . ”
“What? What’s with the hey?”
“Ah, that . Thank you very much . ”
Really, really .
Thank you very much .
“I’ll go easy on you . ”
Originally, he was going to beat him half-way, but he’d go really easy on him now .
Jude gently touched his cheek and provocatively gestured at him with a happy smile, and Lucian couldn’t bear it any longer and burst with anger .
He rushed towards Jude .