After seeing Yulian being so surprised as he called out to him, Aizen realized that Yulian did not know he had arrived. The complaints that he heard must really be true.
“When did you get here?”
Aizen responded to Yulian’s question.
“I officially reported that I had arrived, but I guess you did not receive the report.”
Yulian finally realized the impact of his isolating himself in the room without receiving any reports.
“I’m sorry. I have not been receiving any reports these days. I guess they didn’t even tell me about your arrival because I ordered them not to report anything to me.”
“Is something wrong? You look much thinner. There are a lot of negative stories as well.”
Yulian had a bitter smile as he answered.
“I’m sure there are. I haven’t even met with the diplomats from foreign nations. But I am extremely happy to see you. Did you come for the monsters as well?”
“Yes. The kingdom is struggling quite a bit with the monsters.”
Yulian’s eyes started to shine as he asked.
“And who came with you?”
“It was myself and the Red Eagle Knight Brigade.”
Yulian had a slightly shocked expression.
“The entire unit?”
“Yes. The former generation knights had to remain in the kingdom, but all of the current ones were brought with me. Even the knights in training were brought to get some experience.”
Yulian nodded his head and started to smile.
“Hyung-nim, why are you smiling?”
Yulian put his arm around Aizen’s shoulder as he answered.
“I was just relieved. If even you acted that way, I would have been extremely disappointed.”
Aizen looked toward Yulian with confusion, and Yulian started to walk as he answered.
“You want to see?”
“The reinforcements sent by the other nations.”
Aizen could not understand why Yulian was like this, but he nodded his head and followed behind Yulian.
Once Yulian and Aizen came out of the castle, they could see many paoes in the area. It was because they could not house everyone inside the Castle of Storm.
“Many people have come.”
“Yes, a lot has come. The monsters really must be causing a headache. Even without us asking for it, they’re sending us reinforcements in the fear that we would fall.”
Aizen, who could feel some thorns in Yulian’s words, looked toward Yulian. He could see the unhappy gaze and slight frown on Yulian’s face.
“You don’t seem to be happy.”
“Let’s first head outside the castle walls.”
Once Aizen followed Yulian’s wide steps out to the other side of the castle wall, he could see many paoes that were set up there as well, as well as a lot of people moving about.
Yulian started to speak.
“We did not have enough space so the official forces from other nations were placed inside the castle wall while the others were forced to set up camp outside.”
“You had no choice since so many people showed up.”
“Yes, I am extremely thankful. At least for the people over here.”
Aizen could tell that Yulian’s words were odd and peeked toward Yulian before asking.
“Hyung-nim, I don’t understand what you are trying to say. Based on what I heard, hyung-nim has not been meeting with anybody. Is there a reason for that?”
Yulian looked toward Aizen.
Yulian let out a short sigh as he reached his hand out and pointed to the paoes.
“I respect the people residing over there. Even without someone ordering them to go, they chose to come to this dangerous area.”
“They seem to be full of life.”
“Yes. Each of them have the strong will to defeat the monsters. Some of them have really strong abilities as well. Although I have not met with them.”
Aizen agreed with Yulian’s words and responded.
“There are many hidden experts on the continent. I’m sure there are extremely strong groups of adventurers and mercenaries as well. They will be a big help to fight the monsters.”
“Yes. They definitely will. I am thankful for all of these people who came here on their own free will.”
“The problem is not with the people here, then.”
After hearing Aizen’s response, Yulian started to walk back to the inside of the castle.
“Do you know the strength of all of the nations of the continent?”
“I have a pretty good idea.”
After hearing Aizen’s answer, Yulian continued in a frustrated voice.
“Then take a good look.”
After hearing Yulian’s answer, Aizen moved around for a while to observe the groups.
Aizen’s expression started to darken. He started to see why Yulian was so frustrated.
The majority of the units and knights were not even at the level of his kingdom’s infantry soldiers.
“What do you think?”
Aizen could not respond to Yulian’s question.
“These are the reinforcements they sent to us. Do you think they will be able to help? Is that the knights of the continent?”
“Hyung-nim, I understand what you are trying to tell me. But there are some knight brigades that are decently strong.”
Seeing Aizen trying to make excuses, Yulian started to shout.
“If everyone was at that level and it was not just those adventurers and mercenaries outside, I would not be so torn right now.”
Yulian was huffing as if he could not let go of his anger and asked Aizen.
“Are you with the Magic Tower or the Chaos Island?”
Aizen called out to Yulian in shock. He was curious about how Yulian knew about that.
“I heard that you were also a chosen one. That is the same for me.”
“Ah! So that is the case. I should have realized it when the old granny of the Magic Tower took you with her.”
“It is a damned fate for sure. So, which side are you?”
Aizen immediately responded.
“To be honest with you, I do not like either sides. However, my saviors are on the side of the Magic Tower.”
“So you are saying you want to stand on the side of the Magic Tower.”
“If I was forced to make a decision, then that is probably the case. But why are you suddenly asking that? Perhaps?”
Yulian silently nodded his head.
“The Chaos must have visited you. And they must have offered you something, am I right?”
Aizen seemed to have figured something out after asking the question and shouted out in shock.
“Dear lord. Hyung-nim, they asked you not to take care of the monsters, didn’t they. In return, they promised that the monsters will not come to Pareia’s territory.”
“You got it exactly right as if it was your own story.”
Aizen urgently asked at Yulian’s answer.
“So how did you answer? Hyung-nim, have you already joined forces with their side?”
“No, all I told them was that I would think about it. And I have thought a lot about it, about what decision I need to make.”
Aizen was about to say something before stopping himself. Yulian was Pareia’s King. The Yulian he knew was a leader with a strong sense of responsibility.
“I heard that the old world was destroyed because of a lack of righteous people.”
Aizen just quietly waited for Yulian to continue speaking as this first sentence confused him. He knew that the decision was Yulian’s, no matter what he said right now.
“It made me wonder if the world really perished because there were no righteous people. I don’t know if it is a crack in the world or a destruction of it, but I feel like if that was the requirement for the end of the world, it would not be destroyed now.”
Yulian turned his head and looked toward the castle gate.
“Didn’t all those people out there push aside their own plans to come all the way here? Do you think they will be easily defeated by the monsters at their level of strength? I doubt it. That means that they came here for the sake of other humans.”
Aizen felt like he could understand. Yulian was extremely disappointed right now. He was disappointed at the many nations that only thought about their own nation’s safety and did not send strong reinforcements.
That was also the reason Yulian smiled at the fact that he brought the Red Knights with him.
‘I’m glad I brought the Red Knights even against all of the opposition.’
Aizen internally let out a sigh of relief. When he was trying to head to the desert with the Red Knights, many of the nobles opposed his decision. In fact, they were against even his going to the desert on his own.
It was because Aizen and the Red Knights alone could handle a single region and ensure its safety. But Aizen disagreed. If the monsters’ spawn location was i the desert, they should be able to more efficiently take care of the monsters once they took over the spawn point. That was why he firmly believed that he should head over to the desert with a strong group of soldiers.
“What do you think? Do you think I need to shed the blood of our warriors of Pareia for them? Especially when we can be fine without shedding any blood at all?”
Aizen did not know how to respond. He would be seriously debating it if he was Yulian as well.
“I have nothing to tell you. However, what I am sure about is the fact that many innocent people will die if hyung-nim does not defeat the monsters.”
“That is why I am still contemplating it. But I question whether I need to shed the blood of my nation’s warriors to save the lives of a foreign nation’s citizens.”
“It is something for you to decide, however, more blood will be shed if you do not defend against them. My honest request is that you defend against the monsters not for the terrible nobles, but for the innocent citizens.”
Yulian let out a small sigh as he answered.
“Sigh~ A person must do that. But that decision is not that easy to make it seems.”
“I can understand. All I can tell you right now is to think about the large number of innocent people. And if hyung-nim chooses to fight the monsters, I will be right there beside you to help.”
Yulian looked toward Aizen and started to lightly smile.
“Yes, it is now time to make a decision. Please pray to your god and ask that I make a wise decision.”
Watching Yulian returning to the castle to make his decision, Aizen did as Yulian asked and prayed for Yulian to make a wise decision.
Pareia’s Meeting of Greatest Warriors.
Nobody could hide their shock at Yulian’s words and immediately started to debate with each other about the right course of action.
As Yulian expected, Runa and the oasis chiefs were on the side that thought there was no reason to defend against the monsters, while the shamans and Greatest Warriors thought it was only right for them to defend against the monsters.
Seeing the two sides continue to argue, Yulian became even more torn. This meeting he called to find a resolution was not helping him at all.
As Yulian’s expression started to turn worse, Violet, whose expression was just as bad as Yulian’s spoke up.
“Glow, please do not forget about the Hero’s Land.”
Yulian’s heart started to shake almost instantly.
“The respected ancestors there have not found their peace even after death and are still continuing their fight. Well, it is not that they have not found their peace, it is more that they have chosen not to take it.”
Violet looked directly at Yulian as she continued to speak.
“Please set an example for Pareia’s children. Show them how they should grow up. Please don’t go down as the coward who chose to avoid a necessary battle for personal gains.”
The entire room turned silent. All of them knew that the desert was something they needed to protect. It was not for anybody else but for themselves. However, it was not easy to not fall for this extremely sweet temptation.
Violet’s final words.
“The Glow’s current worry does not seem any different than those of the cowardly kings of the continent.”
That was how the meeting came to an end.
End of chapter.
The Castle of Heroes
It was a location where neither nationality or identity mattered.
It was a location where people gathered for the sole purpose of defeating the monsters.