SYS (Novel) Chapter 399

C399 - Emperor Sword Banquet (4)

As if anticipating the reaction, Dante calmly looked at his grandfather.

His gaze troubled Ron's heart.

The grandson he had in mind, Dante, was a resilient human being.

No one in Hairan had imagined that his naturally fragile and diminutive grandson would become the next patriarch.

Although Ron's overwhelming support played a significant role in Dante becoming the young patriarch, behind that support lay relentless training.

Dante's struggles, shouting himself hoarse as he ascended the steep path of the sword, were an inspiration to Ron, unlike anything the world had ever seen.

It was an achievement far beyond what people typically called extraordinary mental strength or determination.

Even Transcendental Warriors who reached the ten stars needed an incredibly powerful and uncommon will to undergo such training.

It had been 17 years since it all began when he was only five years old.

Anyone who could endure or withstand such brutal growth, or even those who could, would inevitably harbor a deep demon within.

That's why Ron believed his grandson wouldn't be an entirely kind and just person.

The world was not a fairy tale.

Sometimes, one had to be as ruthless as Runcandel without hesitation, and other times, as two-faced as Zipple.

Like all other powerful clans, there were times when they had to do all kinds of dirty deeds.

Performing such feats without any guilt was the basic principle for becoming a leader of a group.

However, contrary to what he believed, Dante, whom he had observed all the time, had not deviated even once from his innate goodness.

Yes...

Dante.

My grandson.

You usually are that kind of kid.

Suddenly, such a thought crossed Ron's mind.

Whether Dante became the patriarch or wallowed in the mud, his desire was to wield power and rule the world.

'What you've endured all these painful days was to keep yourself. Or maybe you just liked wielding your sword.'

If he looked at it from a slightly different perspective.

Thanks to his extraordinary will, Dante might have retained his singular straight nature all these years.

Anyone can be tempted at least once.

The temptation to become stronger more easily, the temptation to gain power more easily, the temptation to eliminate competitors more easily...

His grandson had never shown any interest in such temptations.

He had simply silently wielded his sword.

"... That's a value that only you possess, my grandson."

"Grandfather?"

When Dante voiced his confusion at Ron's disjointed words, he weakly smiled.

"Dante, we can't form an alliance with Runcandel. No one in our Family desires that," Ron said solemnly.

Dante nodded heavily in response, saying:

"I understand."

"However, when Zipple uses mind manipulation magic in the future, we'll need a means to counteract it."

Ron continued, placing his hand on Dante's shoulder.

"I believe Jin Runcandel is seeking the means, or maybe he already possesses it."

Slowly, Dante's eyes widened.

"So, instead of becoming a person of Runcandel, make Jin Runcandel your subordinate. Then, when you become the patriarch, no one will oppose your decisions."

"Grandfather!"

"Of course, that's only possible if your friend is equally useful at that time," Ron added casually.

It was an unexpected story for Dante.

He knew very well that his grandfather was sometimes more rational than anyone.

However, despite that, Ron's subtle approval of Dante's opinion implied the seriousness of the matter called mind manipulation.

No matter how strong a Warrior was, if their mind was manipulated, they might act involuntarily for Zipple.

'If Zipple's mind manipulation is as advanced as Dante described and if it continues to progress, anyone could end up like that. The Swordsmen of Hairan who will aid Dante, Dante himself, and even me,' Ron worried.

That was precisely what concerned Ron.

Mind manipulation had never appeared in the power structure of the world until now.

It was likely that factions aware of Zipple's mind manipulation were extremely limited.

Even Ron had just learned about it through Dante...

Within Runcandel itself, apart from that demon, there might not be many who knew.

Cyron Runcandel.

Ron wondered if his lifelong adversary was aware of this fact...

'Even if he knows, there must be a reason that monster doesn't leave the Black Sea,' Ron thought.

Ron shifted his gaze to Jin.

Not only he but everyone was looking at Jin.

Initially, Ron had planned to use this gathering to publicly announce once more that Dante would be the next patriarch.

He also wanted to make it clear to Dante's brothers, who recently seemed to have other ideas.

He wanted to tell them that supporting Dante was the only way to secure their position in the Sword Emperor's Castle.

However, the untimely guest was stealing the spotlight at his own banquet after 22 years, which didn't sit well with Ron.

"Now that we've come to this, I might as well use that guy for Dante's sake," Ron thought, stroking his beard.

"Do you understand?" he asked Dante.

"Yes, Grandfather. I'll keep that in mind," Dante replied.

"Haha, good. Now that it seems all the guests have gathered, it's time to announce the start of the banquet."

When Ron clapped his hands lightly, the chaotic banquet hall instantly fell silent.

Although it was just a clap, there was a deep and imposing aura contained within it, and those who had reached a certain level could feel Ron's accomplished martial prowess.

Naturally, everyone turned their gaze to Ron and Dante.

"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming to the Sword Emperor's Castle. I, Ron Hairan, patriarch of Hairan, welcome you."

Ron waved to the guests who applauded for a while, thanking them.

Normally, the next step would have been an expression of gratitude to the 'royalty' who had organized this gathering.

However, as if indicating that he didn't care about the royalty, Ron continued with his next words.

"I've organized this banquet today to celebrate my grandson here, Dante Hairan. As you all know, I'm famous for having high expectations for my grandson. I believe this young man will soon inherit my sword. I've spent many sleepless nights thinking about it."

The members of the imperial royalty showed no signs of displeasure at being blatantly ignored.

On the contrary, they responded with light laughter to Ron's words.

This revealed how much power Ron wielded in the Vermont Empire.

Even if there were an emperor present instead of the royalty, Ron Hairan would not have thanked him separately, thought Jin, looking at the imperial family's table.

The Imperial Mystics.

In Hufester, people referred to the Vermont Imperial Family as "mystics."

It was because they rarely took a leading role, except for the 'Emperor.'

The Vermont Imperial Family often attended meetings like this, where powerful figures gathered or important imperial events took place.

'However, the reason the imperial family had such influence comparable to figures like Ron Hairan and other dignitaries was due to their role in recruiting the Imperial Guard and the Special Forces.'

The authority to appoint the Imperial Guard and the Special Forces in the Imperial Palace was an exclusive right of the imperial family.

The living golems I saw in the Wantaramo Forest were probably the work of the imperial family.

I will soon prove that they are not mystical beings but disgusting bastards, Jin thought as he exchanged a glance with one of the Vermonts, and they shared a subtle nod.

Meanwhile, some of the pure-blooded Hairans, excluding Dante, were visibly uncomfortable.

They didn't openly show signs of displeasure, but the very act of sitting in their seats seemed like torment.

"However, it seems there are those who want to cause unnecessary trouble on this joyful day," Ron commented, suddenly wiping his smile away.

At that moment, the pure-blooded Hairans adjusted their postures, seemingly taken by surprise.

But Ron wasn't looking at them.

"The Twelfth Flagbearer of Runcandel and the Leader of the Ghost Legion. Your actions were a significant discourtesy, to the point where I can reprimand you as I see fit."

The people's attention shifted back to Jin and Lata.

"My apologies, Ron-nim."

"My apologies."

When the two replied, Ron smiled again.

"I understand it's a time of youthful exuberance, but you must pay the price. I thought I should prepare some suitable entertainment for the esteemed guests who have joined us today. It seems that just this old man's face won't be enough."

Upon hearing this, Lata's eyes sparkled.

As the Ghost Mercenaries originated from Vermont, the two groups generally maintained a friendly relationship. Therefore, Lata understood that Ron's offer was a form of assistance.

Soon, he would put Jin in his place.

"I, the Leader of the Ghost Legion, Lata Proch, gladly accept Ron-nim's consideration and proposal."

At that moment, cheers erupted from various parts of the room. Naturally, people assumed that Jin and Lata's duel would be resolved discreetly away from the crowd, increasing anticipation for the results.

It seems that Ron-nim is indirectly raising Dante's status by punishing both Lata and me, Jin thought.

The Hairan clan was undeniably one of the world's leading clans, but compared to Runcandel, their stature was somewhat lower. However, when Jin and Lata dueled to celebrate Dante, it was only natural that Dante's status would increase.

"I, the Twelfth Flagbearer of the Runcandel Family, accept," Jin said.

Ron appeared satisfied with Jin's response and smiled contentedly.

"Good. Then let's all enjoy the banquet I've prepared and eagerly await the exhibition of these two warriors at midnight."

As the atmosphere in the meeting hall quickly heated up, a group of people seated behind Jin engaged in a hushed conversation.

"Thanks to Lata Proch's impromptu actions, the duel should be more exciting."

"After midnight, Zipple and Hairan will become enemies."

While no one paid particular attention to Jin's group, there was an exception. Zephyrin watched them with a cheerful smile.

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