Translator: Dess Editor: EbonyFrost
The Warren campsite was just starting to get busy on the rebuilding.
Mary was sitting beside a shortened table, on the table was an oil lamp which acted as the only source of light within the tent. Even though it was brightened to the max, a big portion of the tent remained dimmed, especially Mary's back as her shadow was enlarged because of the angle from the light source.
King James VIII was still asleep on the mattress.
After Kieran defeated the first wave of the Prairies invaders, the old king fell into a slumber as though he had lost consciousness. He was exhausted beyond personal limits.
The king was already exhausted while Jeanne was alive and it drained his body, even more, when the Prairies riders arrived at his land.
In fact, the moment the king arrived at Lightning Fortress, he did everything by himself from initiating the rebuilding process of the fortress to gathering the remaining forces.
Even though his subjects were helping by his side, he only had two to three hours of rest in the past few days, it further drained his weak body.
Mary clearly saw the exhaustion even in his sleep, the face of her father in name was pale, as though his fire of life was burning its last straw.
She frowned as she tightened the blanket on him.
Although she still failed to look straight at her father's face, she really felt pity for the man.
The king was supposed to be in his prime age but instead, he was old and weak. His whole life was tainted with ink, darkness filled his time and robbed the colors of his existence.
The king wasn't happy throughout his life.
Mary was certain of it. He was just forcing a smile before her and while he was alone, he'd sigh endlessly.
"The duties of a king…" Mary muttered softly.
The girl instantly felt immense pressure from living example beside her.
The day before the Prairies soldiers invaded, King James VIII has already notified his officers, subjects, and consultant that Mary has been appointed as the legal heir to his throne.
When the king died, Mary will ascend as queen.
But doubts lingered in her mind.
Looking at how weak the king was, the girl wasn't delighted at all about the throne, instead, she felt worrisome. All she wanted at that moment was Swusters Castle.
She wanted to return to the place where she was born and grew up.
Right after the thought bloomed, her heart turned heavy instantly. She remembered Swusters Castle was destroyed and her mother was buried right underneath.
Her eyes turned red.
She could remove the mature mask on her while she was alone, after all, she was still a child.
But she didn't let her tears roll down her cheeks because she knew tears wouldn't do her any good.
Tears couldn't be exchanged for what she longed for and it would only place her in a more difficult position.
Mary reached her hand at the hilt of [Thorn Blade]. It was the blade that her mother left her but because of its weight and length, she couldn't wield it normally. Still, Kieran's reminder made her carry the blade with her all the time.
"Communicate with the blade? Feel the blade's feelings?"
Mary couldn't understand what Kieran meant but it didn't stop her from trying it.
She trusted Kieran, whenever she thought of him, her heart would grow hot.
The hot sensation would make her stronger and allow her to ignore her loneliness.
The blade inside its sheath let out a heavy chime.
It was unusually short though. When Mary wanted to check on the chime, it faded without a trace causing her to think it was her mind playing tricks on her.
Someone else thought differently though.
A sudden rushed breathing revealed a person from the shadow, he extended his one of his hand at [Thorn Blade] and the other, Mary's throat.
Mary remained still on the spot as though she was frightened beyond actions.
The man immediately laughed viciously.
It was too easy! The mission assigned to him was too easy!
It wasn't just easy, the reward was great!
The blade must be a weapon of legacy!
"Give it to me!"
The man's heart was unusually excited, causing him to speak out in a sharp voice.
Just as he voiced his greed, it was stopped immediately and he was left with a weakened breath.
He exhaled more than inhaled and it weakened him further.
A strong palm appeared on the man's neck without his notice and following the clench of the fingers, the man was being suffocated.
His face turned purplish and even stuck his tongue out yet it couldn't conceal the fright in his eyes.
"How are you here!? Shouldn't you be distracted?!"
The man was robbed of his words but the question arose in his heart.
Mary stood up and went over to Kieran.
"If everyone in the Viper Sect is this stupid, no wonder all of you were exterminated by Folly! You people abducted Bosco publicly and brought him to Lightning Fortress. Even a common man would know something was not right! Or did you think because of the Prairies invaders, Lightning Fortress had fallen into panic and had lost basic logic to make a decision?" Mary asked in a heavy tone.
The man couldn't utter a word to reply because Kieran was grabbing his neck.
The suffocation didn't only rob the man's mobility, it also put his life at risk.
Kieran looked at the captive in his hand and doubts began to fill his heart.
"This is too easy..."
The situation at hand seemed to be much easier than he expected.
Similar to what Mary had said, even a common man could notice something wasn't right.
Being an organization that suffered destruction and wanted to reinstate their order in Riverdale by hiding their presence from the public, their actions didn't match their intentions.
In fact, it looked a lot like child's play.
"He is just a small goon, let's pay a visit to that naive curator."
Kieran grabbed the man and headed to the back of the campsite while doubts lingered in his heart; Mary followed.
"I did it! Warren soldiers have lost their logical judgment under the pressure from the Prairies invader!"
Fanner laughed coldly in his heart when he saw Kieran appear before him.
Fanner was actually thinking about solving the situation at hand, but who knew Torstar the idiot's simple assassination mission would expose the real situation behind Warren's defending soldiers.
The results were surprising in a good way!
"This time, I will…"
Fanner was planning something in his heart but before the thought could take form, his eyes opened wide in shock.
What did he see?
Another Kieran was walking towards him and was grabbing Bob in his hand.
Without a second thought, Fanner seized Bosco and retreated to the horses.
Their mission had failed!
All Fanner wanted to do now was to leave in one piece.
Fanner firmly held the standard techniques and actions of an assassin firm in his mind, so he carried it out without delay.
However, the "Kieran" before him showed an evil smile.
Fanner who had Bosco in his hand started to feel dizzy as the scene around him started to distort. Then, his vision suffered a blackout and he stood there blankly.
"Master!" Bloody Mary bowed to Kieran.
Following Kieran's signal, the high demon vanished into nothing.
The soldiers around including Mary were astonished by the scene. Their eyes grew more respectful and revered towards Kieran.
Kieran strode over to Fanner while the gazes showered him.
"I need an extra tent!"
Kieran said after grabbing Fanner.