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Chapter 134

As mentioned before, Maximilian, as remembered by Ivan, was a typical protagonist of a JRPG, bright, kind, and straightforward. He seemed like a character straight out of a 90s JRPG, drawn in a picture.

On the other hand, there was Jill Ber de Etarique. He was more like the protagonist of an old-fashioned hero tale.

A country knight from a rural noble family, rising through the ranks, earning knighthood through his own strength and ability, joining a Hero party after the king’s declaration, and ultimately marrying a princess.

If his life were portrayed in a fairy tale, it would have moments of grimness, Ivan sometimes mused.

To depict this man’s life in a fairy tale would be somewhat harsh.

– I… sigh l… Jil Ber of Tylesse…! A member of the Eastern Knights…! An initiate knight…! Appointed knight of Saint Clovis…! sigh!

The place where Ivan first met Jil Ber was at the entrance of a fortress shattered under the invasion of the Taurses.

The first scene in his memory began with the cry of a knight standing half-broken with half-broken armor, holding a shield and spear straight up.

– I pledge my name, my family, the name of my country and lord. sigh…! Today, in this place, I stake my life… sigh! I swear by my remaining honor…!

Jil Ber roughly removed his helmet and threw it to the ground, sweeping his hair back.

Tying back his sweat and blood-soaked hair, he shook his head a few times and stood straight.

Around him were the bodies of the Taurses. Standing alone in front of the fortress entrance, he held up his spear and faced them head-on.

Many Taurses snorted with excitement, as if eager to charge forward at any moment.

Facing overwhelming violence that would make any man tremble, Jil Ber shouted with burning eyes.

– A hundred will surely die ahead!!

The spear sharply struck the ground. The confrontation between the Taurses who invaded the shattered outer wall of the fortress and the knight standing alone at the entrance of the inner wall continued.

Starting with those approaching first, exactly a hundred.

He wasn’t sure about more than that. But he vowed to fill that number and die.

The young and inexperienced knight raised his spear firmly, declaring resolutely.

In the battle that should have been recorded as the most terrible defeat on the Eastern Front, the fortress defended by Jil Ber succeeded in holding out after three days of fierce fighting.

When Ivan and Veolgrin arrived, Jil Ber stood tall in front of the pile of bodies like a mountain, eyes closed and seemingly asleep.

Because of that, Ivan only thought of him as a Hero. Perhaps everyone else did too. Until Maximilian appeared, no one denied his nobility and strength.

Who would dare to say any light shines brighter than the sun? Jil Ber’s tragedy began there.

From a noble family in the rural countryside, he was a man who had dared to take a royal lady as his wife and had to constantly earn recognition for his worth.

He was a husband who had cherished and loved his wife, who had become his own chains, for a lifetime.

He was a knight who remained loyal to the royal family that slowly condemned him as his worth declined compared to Maximilian.

A knight so human, with a mix of nobility and inferiority, desire for recognition and diligence, bravery and timidity.

So, Ivan thought.

This complex man, who couldn’t be defined by simple sentences, would have remained a shining example of chivalry if he were a knight in a fairy tale.

Unfortunately, this world was too cruel for characters from fairy tales.

Even after killing the demon lord and returning as one of the strongest in the world.

Even at the moment when his reputation, achievements, and his own power surpassed the authority of the royal family.

In a situation where he had a wife of royal blood and a grown son. In a situation where he could demand succession to the throne of Tylesse if he wished.

Even when he was appointed as Etarique, bound by the oath to defend the royal family against all arrows in front of him.

– It is my vow.

Even when the sword of the royal family touched his shoulders and fell, he bowed his head silently and swore.

He is a knight of Tylesse.

He is a knight of the hero party.

He is a knight.

That was the simplest sentence Ivan could think of to define that man. Nothing more, nothing less.

Except for him, no one could claim to be a knight. Swearing loyalty, faith, sincerity, and chastity, while suffering as a human from pain, agony, inferiority, and self-doubt. Always tormented by conflicting emotions.

Yet, unbroken, swearing to do what is right and humbling himself. Jil Ber was such a knight, always living to prove himself.

EP 21. Duty and Succession.

At the train station, there was Pavel with a tired face, and even more tired-looking men. Ivan spotted them and approached the group for a moment.

“Ah, our busy commander.”

“Pavel, are we ready?”

“Who do you think I am?”

Pavel waved his hand, and the men standing stiffly beside him answered in trembling voices.

“R-reporting! As ordered, we have placed surveillance on all bats near the estate of Lady Etualle!”

“Quietly.”

“Yes, y-yes!!”

“It seems our agents these days don’t understand the meaning of ‘quiet.’”

Ivan nodded briefly. Pavel chuckled at the sight.

“How can these kids answer comfortably when the commander himself is here for field command? Just hearing your name makes them tremble.”
“Hmm.”
“Didn’t I tell you why I became the captain of the guard?”
“No.”

Pavel chuckled at Ivan’s indifferent response.

“I was too tired to have a diligent superior above me, so I planned to sit in the highest position and relax. So?”

“And?”

“I suppose I’ll soon become the commander of the Counterintelligence Command. Our commander is too diligent.”

By the king’s decree, one cannot hold official positions, especially those related to the military. Therefore, after his marriage to Elizaveta, it was only natural that the position of commander of the Counterintelligence Command would become his.

Everything was going according to plan. Pavel chuckled slowly and said.

“We’ve even planted moles among the three snakes, and we’ll personally manage Lady Etualle’s safety. Soon, Count Granmarteau will receive the sad news related to his son’s disappearance.”

“How do you plan to contact him?”

“We’ll guarantee support and persuade him. For now.”

“What about the Eastern Front?”

“We’ve loosened the leash a bit there too. Well, as always, we don’t have much trust in our external intelligence department, but we’ll have to believe in their effort.”

According to Eugene’s findings, at least Count Granmarteau has some kind of connection with the demons.

We can’t know the extent of it, but it’s likely that the investigation’s first lead will start from Count Granmarteau.

Pavel nodded silently, looking into Ivan’s eyes.

“So, don’t worry and come back safely. I’ll personally report to our lady. Hunting dragons, huh, what a joke. That’s exactly what I should be doing.”

“You?”

“Huh? What’s that supposed to mean? Didn’t you know my lance’s name is Dragon Slayer? Once I use it, any dragon or whatever just goes down like that.” (Pavel)

Pavel chuckled and patted Ivan’s shoulder. Dodging his hand smoothly, Ivan nodded lightly and left.

Watching Ivan and his companions disappear into the crowd, Pavel turned his gaze and said,

“Assign someone. Someone fast.”

“Yes, Vice Commander.”

“Hmm, when that guy is in such a hurry, there must be something definite. He’s unnecessarily tight-lipped.”

Pavel scratched his head and grumbled. It’s exhausting to have a diligent superior in his final years.

He’s meticulous and thorough, but he’s strangely unlucky, so he can’t help but worry.

As an older brother, he couldn’t just stand idly by, anyway. In an emergency, it’s good to have at least one reliable person to support.

When that guy comes back from wherever he’s gone, the princess will probably be stuck somewhere, sobbing without anyone noticing, he thought.

“He should hurry up and get married and retire.”

It’s nerve-wracking just to watch him dip his foot in the abyss for fun. Even though he could easily take it easy if he wanted to retire.

Pavel chuckled and shook his head. It’s not his place to say.

*

“Big Brother, I have something to report.”

“Speak.”

Ivan nodded while reading the report. Inside the rattling vehicle, Eugene spoke in a low voice.

“There’s a new quest, remember? Among the bonus objectives is ‘[Maintain the total number of destroyed territories at 15 or fewer].’ Do you recall?”

“Hmm.”

“We’re down to two now. [2/15].”

“…”

At least two territories have been destroyed.

Ivan set down the report and furrowed his brow for a moment. Could such a thing happen even with Jil Ber around? Just because of one dragon?

Dragons are indeed incredibly powerful creatures, individually formidable enough to defy natural enemies.

However, if there’s one major flaw with dragons, it’s their territorial nature. There’s rarely more than one dragon per territory. So, if one appears, it usually means it’s the only one nearby.

Just one dragon can never threaten Jil Ber.

“But, there’s the knight of the hero party. Mr. Jil Ber. One of the quest objectives was his survival.”

“Could he have died?”

“No. He’s still listed as alive. But, if maintaining survival means…”

“It could mean he might die. I know.”

“Then, perhaps one dragon isn’t the issue?”

“Correct.”

Ivan nodded. It wasn’t unexpected.

“The seeds of the long-running telephone calls from the Eastern Front are now just sprouting. That’s what it must say.”

“Yes.”

“Tauruses.”

The telephone calls from the Eastern Front were from orcs and taurses, the tribes ruled by the Tumors of the Taitans. Until Tumor was killed by Maximilian, they literally crushed all the countries east of Tylesee.

After Tumor’s death, they lost power and fragmented, but ironically, that made them easier to deal with.

It was within the expected range from the beginning.

“Merely playing puppetry behind the scenes of princes won’t fundamentally overthrow the Tylesse royal family.”

The core objective of this mission is the survival of the Tylesse royal family. That is, it must be seen as an attempt by hostile forces to overthrow the Tylesse royal family.

To bring about the downfall of the royal family, the removal of the homeland border is the first step that must be taken. At least it means diverting Jil Ber’s attention elsewhere.

The timing of the dragon’s appearance is suspicious. If we assume this is also the intention of the ‘Three Counts,’ roughly their objectives and actions would be like this:

1. Use the dragon’s presence to keep Jil Ber and the Eastern Knights together in one place.

2. Form an alliance with the Tauruses tribe to create tension on the Eastern Front.

3. Take advantage of the distracted Eastern Front forces to seize the empty capital.

4. Drive out the royal family and seize control of Tylesse.

So, if the Three Counts are indeed acting to end this royal family, the overall strategy of those we can infer through Eugene’s quest would follow such a pattern.

“Our tasks remain unchanged.”

“Dragon hunting? Wouldn’t it be better to directly attack the Counts in this situation?”

“The risk is high. We are foreigners.”

There is a high possibility of internal interference. Unless their conspiracy comes to the surface, they are currently supporters of the princes.

Assassinating such individuals directly would pose a serious internal interference problem. Originally, if the reward for this quest was [the existence of the United Kingdom], in that case, the alliance between Krasilov and Tylesse would be destroyed. Therefore, the only way to smoothly resolve the situation and land softly is ultimately one.

“Ending Jil Ber’s dragon hunt early and returning to the capital will ultimately thwart their plans.”

Since the Counts’ plan begins with tying Jil Ber’s feet, the moment that fails is when their conspiracy is thwarted in advance.

From then on, they can hunt the nobles with the authority of the homeland defense. The struggle for the succession to the throne will end with Jil Ber’s return, so there is no need to bear the burden of internal interference.

What Maria asked for was such a meaning. It will be the most effective measure Ivan can take as a foreigner.

The only variable is the ‘factor that Jil Ber could die.’

It was meaningless to think about what that was now. There was too little information, and there was not even a way to think of a means to kill Jil Ber in this era.

‘Unless the Seven Dragon Generals step in.’

Ivan shook his head as he scanned the group, either chattering, dozing off, or staring blankly out the window.

That’s impossible. Unless the Seven Dragon Generals go mad, they wouldn’t set foot in Tylesse, where Maximilian is perfectly alive.

The only concern is the ‘common sense’ side.

‘These guys are still freshmen.’

Harry Potter didn’t engage in life-or-death battles with the Dark Lord in his first year, so it’s unlikely that the final boss battle is already set.

“By the way.”

Eugene, that guy. I thought he would be useful, but he’s even more competent than expected. Ivan thought silently. If I teach him a little more, he could make a decent agent.

The character’s real name and race, as well as the life or death of specific individuals, provide more extensive information about the individual’s status based on intimacy.

Moreover, under specific conditions of a quest, briefing on real-time changing battlefield situations is possible to a considerable extent.

“When deployed to the operational site, as long as he can survive, this guy can be the best early warning system regardless of his training level.”

After a brief reflection, Ivan unfolded the report again and began to skim through the summarized data on Tylesse military facilities.

*

[Ivan Petrovich Yeremov]
[Person: Likability towards Yevgeny Nobikov Karamzin]
[29 (Neutral)]

“What?!”

In the now silent vehicle, Eugene jumped up in astonishment.

Why did the score rise so much! he thought.

The likability increased? Why on earth?

Astonishment filled Eugene’s eyes. He looked at Ivan with trembling eyes.

Calm down, it’s okay. It might be a misunderstanding, or even if it’s not, so what? Even if, even if it’s that kind of preference for my brother. Yeah, I’m from Earth. I can understand. Anyway, as long as I refuse, that’s it.

Eugene instinctively buried himself in the seat.

“What’s wrong?”

Ivan’s cold eyes stared at Eugene. Eugene chewed his lips and chose his words carefully.

“Maybe, just maybe.”

“Speak.”

Is the situation changing? Ivan narrowed his eyes and waited.

“We are all from Earth, right? The 21st century.”

“…?”

“I’m Korean! And of course, I don’t discriminate against anyone based on their sexual preferences. Oh, of course, I’m completely heterosexual, but that doesn’t mean I discriminate against anyone for that.”

“…?”

Eugene closed his eyes tightly and spoke.

“By any chance, are you homosexual…?”

Isabelle’s likability towards Ivan is only 27 points, even after making kimchi for him and shedding tears.

In a situation where the likability of women who follow him around, claiming he’s good, stays in the 20s, the person with the highest likability is the deceased former king, according to the description of his statue (apparently a muscular man).

Why didn’t I even suspect this until now? Eugene cautiously opened his eyes.

“….”

5 seconds.

In just 5 seconds of crossing gazes, he reorganized his thoughts. Ah, those eyes are definitely not the eyes of a man looking at a homosexual. He was convinced.

It was a gaze that sent shivers down his spine to the point where he could feel it.

“Or maybe… never mind!”

“….”

Ivan silently turned his gaze back to the report and started reading again. Eugene, sweating coldly, cautiously tapped on the status window.

[Ivan Petrovich Yeremov]
[Person: Likability towards Yevgeny Nobikov Karamzin]
[27 (Neutral)]

‘This judgment criterion isn’t likability…’

Utility, perhaps!

A deduction of 2 points then, maybe for saying something stupid that diminished his usefulness slightly.

Hmm, then Isabelle must have some utility level equivalent to making kimchi.

Eugene sighed and rubbed his forehead.

‘Wait a minute.’

Among the ‘living’ people with over 50 points, there are only two women. Then these people…

As the train crossed the Tylesse-Saint Mathilde, Eugene’s anguish continued.

l


30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

프롤로그에서 30년이 흘렀다
Score 7.8
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: Released: 2023 Native Language: Korean
I got transmigrated into a game I’ve never seen before. I thought it was a top-notch RPG and spent 30 years on it. I retired as a war hero and planned to spend my remaining time leisurely. But it turns out, it was an academy story?

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