Duke Pendragon - Chapter 116
The young man pulled the sword out of the sheath in the heat of the moment, but now he stood in place without doing anything, biting his lips.
This was clearly his own mistake. Unsheathing a weapon in the middle of a pub with so many eyes present was the perfect excuse to get stabbed. There was a way to defuse the situation. A very simple, easy way.
‘No, I should not.’
The troubled young man bit down on his lips harder while sinking deep into thought. Until now, he had suffered quite a bit of humiliation in the Pendragon Duchy, but he had never resorted to ‘that’.
The young man re-sheathed his sword.
The mercenaries had already surrounded the young man, and they looked at him with frowns. But their frowns soon turned into sneers.
“Hah, are you getting cold feet now, little boy?”
“You thought we would let you off easy? You should not have drawn your sword in the first place.”
The young man’s face turned red at the derisive words, but he bowed his head.
“I became agitated and made a mistake in the heat of the moment. I apologize.”
The mercenaries put their weapons away. The other party had apologized first, and there were many eyes in the pub as well.
“Hmph! What a bother.”
“This little unweaned brat…”
The two mercenaries fluttered back to their seats. One of the mercenaries looked back, then spat while showing his yellowed teeth.
“Hey, brat. Let me give you a piece of advice. You should not spit out words, it’s hard to take them back. When you talk nonsense in the future, try to see who you are dealing with first.”
The young man’s face turned redder at the mercenary’s words. However, he could not retort, so he dropped his head with a regretful face.
It was then.
“Hmph! I think I could return those same words to you.”
The young man raised his head at the clear voice.
“What did you say?”
The mercenaries also turned their faces with crumpled expressions towards the source of the voice.
The voice belonged to a small, hooded figure who was right next to the waitress; the latter looking around helplessly.
“What the hell is this?”
“Looks like a little girl. How dare..”
The subdued atmosphere became rough once more.
“C, customer, it might be better for you to apologiz…”
The employee hurriedly whispered in the hooded figure’s ear, then hesitated. The hood that covered the figure’s identity slowly came off, and rich, blonde hair flowed down like a waterfall.
The employee, the three mercenaries, and the young man all opened their eyes wide in shock. All she had done was to take off her hood, but the surrounding atmosphere seemed to brighten for a moment. She was somewhat haggard, but soft, white skin and beautiful star-like eyes were revealed as the hood came off. The mercenaries could not take their eyes off her. But after a moment of shock, they came to their senses, and shared a look with each other.
They shared no words, but anyone could have guessed the meaning behind their shared gaze. The others looked at Irene with worried eyes, and the stubborn-faced young man was among them.
She was a stunning beauty, one of the prettiest he had ever seen. The young man felt overjoyed that such a pretty girl had stood up and came forward for him. But because of him, she was about to be put in a dangerous situation.
“You have such a sour mouth for such a pretty face.”
“You should be glad that big brother is so broad-minded. If you had spoken like that to anyone else, you might have gotten in big trouble.”
The three mercenaries started to approach Irene without trying to hide their lewd expressions.
“Hm, it’s true that I am pretty, but I only have one brother. He is so handsome and cool that it would be rude to compare him to a shabby and shallow person like you.”
“What did you say…?”
Their faces distorted when Irene spoke without even the slightest change in her expression.
“And I just told you. Words that come out of the mouth cannot be taken back. You guys are as stupid as you look, really.”
Irene’s rapid and feisty words caused the mercenaries to shut their mouth, and their atmosphere started to change slowly.
“We were going to let you off easy because you were pretty, but it seems you don’t know how scary the world is, little girl.”
The waitress’ face turned white as the mercenaries started to approach Irene in a threatening manner, but Irene stood her ground while staring at the three mercenaries. As they were about to arrive in front of her, someone walked in front of Irene, facing the three mercenaries.
“This lady has nothing to do with this. I caused this mess, so settle it with me.”
“Ha! You get out of the way, little bastard. I’ll take care of you later.”
The mercenaries’ faces distorted even more at the young man’s words. The young man hurriedly turned his head and spoke.
“Lady, I will take care of this, so please take your leave.”
“You idiot, who said that she is free to leave?”
The other two mercenaries surrounded the young man and Irene at their comrade’s words. Then, the young man spread his arms open as if he was protecting Irene.
“Don’t make the problem bigger than it is. This town must have a vigilante group. If you continue, you’ll only be putting yourselves at a loss.”
“Then we’ll all get chased out of the village, won’t we? Both you two, and us all. Hehe…”
The young man’s face grew darker at the mercenary’s threatening words. It was obvious how the situation would play out once they were all outside of the village.
It was then.
The young man felt a tap on his shoulder and turned his head.
“You are a brave and an honorable man.”
The bright smile that greeted him was like a beautiful blooming flower. The young man lost himself for a moment at the brilliant sight. Even the mercenaries momentarily went blank at her smile.
Pushing the absent-minded young man aside, Irene stared straight at the three mercenaries and parted her plump lips.
“I did not want to borrow the power of my family, but I cannot help it in this case. My name is Irene Pendragon. Even though this place is not my family’s territory, my family’s name does not lose its light anywhere in the empire. I speak in the name of Pendragon, apologize immediately for your rudeness.”
Irene was not a foolish girl.
The opponents were tough and ignorant mercenaries and the situation would not be easily resolved. She also knew that she risked getting caught and dragged back home if she revealed her identity.
Nevertheless, she stood her ground and spoke up. A member of the Pendragon family had a duty, a duty to keep even if they were on the brink of death. It was to keep the honor of the Pendragon family.
For Irene Pendragon, defending her brother’s name was only natural, and she did not worry about the consequence of her actions.
The entire pub fell silent and everyone stared at her majestic appearance in shock. But the silence did not last long.
The mercenaries’ loud laugh resounded throughout the pub, and Irene’s eyebrows curled up.
“Why, why are you laughing?”
“Puhahaha! This is truly a bold girl.”
“Kuhaha! Hey, little girl. If you are Irene Pendragon, then I’m Alan pendragon. Stop spouting such nonsensical bullshit, little brat.”
Irene became speechless at the unexpected reaction. The young man, who was standing stiff like a statue, suddenly moved.
The two mercenaries who had been laughing wrapped their hands around their faces and fell down to the ground.
The young man swung his scabbard and knocked down the two mercenaries in an instant, then proceeded to grab Irene’s hand and ran out of the pub.
“T, those brats!”
The other mercenary became startled and chased after the two.
Something small jumped at the mercenary with a grotesque voice.
Feeling a heavy impact on his side, the mercenary crashed into the table and fell to the floor.
In an instant, the pub became a huge mess, and the surprised guests jumped up from their seats.
Irene raised her voice, and Kazzal quickly got up from the ground and ran toward the two people.
“Let us hurry!”
The young man had not noticed the child named Kazzal until now because of his small size. He grabbed Irene’s hand and pulled her closer to him.
While being dragged by the hand, Irene rummaged through her clothes and took out some money. Then she handed it to the waitress who was standing frozen in fear.
“This is for the milk! By the way, when did the couple leave?”
“T, they left this morning. It’s only been a few hours.”
Irene smiled at the waitress as the young man shouted in an urgent voice.
“Thank you! Keep the change!”
The three of them opened the pub door and burst out like the wind.
“Keuk! Those brats…”
“Are you all right? Let’s chase after them, quickly!”
“Ugh…. Those little shitty brats. I’ll make sure they celebrate their funeral today!”
The mercenaries stood back up with a swagger and ran out the door after taking out their axes and daggers. The waitress looked around at the pub, where a storm seemed to have swept through, and stared at the door. Suddenly, she dropped her head.
She muttered to herself while looking at the coins in her hand, “This is not enough for two glasses of milk…”
“Lady, where is your horse?”
“O, over there.”
The young man swallowed his saliva when he saw Irene’s pony.
“That will not do, let us take my horse. Your friend is quite small, so it will be faster for us to all ride on my horse.”
The young man pushed Irene towards his horse without waiting for a response. It was an urgent situation, so Irene nodded without a word and climbed on the saddle.
Kazzal jumped up and sat down behind Irene. The young man did not even have the opportunity to be surprised at the sight of Kazzal jumping twice his height as the goblin jumped up on the saddle as well.
“Which way is brother?”
“Over there. The smell is coming from there.”
Irene whispered hurriedly, and Kazzal pointed at a direction.
“Go that way!”
“Hmm? Ah, okay! Hold on tight.”
Irene clasped her hands around his waist. A slight blush appeared on the young man’s face, and he snapped the reins of the horse. The horse clopped down the village road while carrying the three people.
The mercenaries rushed out of the door and looked around. Spotting the horse moving through the streets, they shouted.
The mercenaries mounted their horses and started to chase after the three.
The young man’s horse was galloping at a rapid pace, but the expression of the young man darkened. A short while after exiting the village, he noticed the speed of his horse decreasing noticeably. When he glanced back, he could see three horses chasing after them in the distance.
‘This is a big problem.’
At this rate, they would catch up soon.
“Kazzal! Is this the right way?”
“This is the right way! Smells stronger! Master is near!”
In the meantime, the two passengers kept exchanging some nonsensical words. The young man sighed inwardly. He did not know who they were chasing after, but in this situation, they would be put in danger as well.
“This won’t do. I will hold them back, so the lady should…”
“Stop talking nonsense and keep going!”
“A, all right!”
Irene’s wheezing breaths fluttered in his ears, and the young man hurriedly turned his face, feeling the heat rising up to his face. After a short while, the horse became tired and stopped galloping completely.
“Stop right there!”
“Hahaha! You guys are finished!”
At last, the mercenaries’ voices could be heard right behind them.
The young man clenched his teeth and stretched out one hand towards his sword, spitting harsh words that he seldomly used. There seemed to be no other choice. He just had to fight…
He saw something on the other side of the forest road, just around the corner where the ground was covered with fallen leaves.
The young man narrowed his eyes when he saw two horses slowly turning the corner, and an ear-splitting voice burst out from behind.