Volume 2 Chapter 47 – Banquet (2)
[Translator – Chapter 46 was a **ing nightmare.
Longest chap so far… Koko wakes up in drenched clothes, breathing heavily, terrified of the number 46 now…]
[Proofreader – yuki… wants to feel sorry for koko but is staring in amazement instead; that chapter was gold]
Since the master of the clan had arrived, the guests began entering the Garden of Swords.
There were delegates from every nation, including the Vermont Empire; The Imperial Guards, Special Forces, Dragon King Knights, the Yvliano Clan, the Tuko Clan, the Ken Clan, the Black King Mercenaries, the Ghost Mercenaries, etc.
Each and every one of them were people with great power from highly influential clans or organizations.
As they entered the Garden one after another, it appeared as if the Garden’s mansion stood with pride, looming over them like a monarch on the throne.
It was like the building was commanding the guests to show the minimum courtesy and manners when in its presence.
Additionally, there were the several thousands of swords planted in the ground around the Garden of Swords, and the myriads of highly important visitors walked through this metal forest.
It was a majestic sight.
In fact, the Vermont Emperor’s coronation ceremony wasn’t as luxurious or radiant as this spectacle.
The thousand guests who had come to the clan today represented the Runcandels’ prestige, authority, and power.
The guardian knights and servants of the clan were intoxicated with this feeling of importance as they all stood with imposing expressions.
They had to show that the Runcandel Clan’s guardian knights and servants weren’t ordinary people either, that they shared the glory of the clan as well.
Except the Zipfels, there wasn’t a single other clan that could rival the Runcandels.
And since the Zipfels hadn’t sent an official request to visit the clan today, the Runcandel clansmen could stand straight with their chests puffed out without fearing anything.
Meanwhile, Jin was witnessing this incredible sight alongside Cyron.
They stood on the balcony looking down at the courtyard.
Cyron waved his hand towards the guests from time to time, while Jin lowered his head in courtesy.
“This must be your first banquet.”
Jin had actually attended a few banquets in his past life thanks to his magic teacher, but this was his first time taking part in a banquet hosted by the Runcandels, even if he took his past life into account.
Back then, whenever the clan organized a banquet, he wasn’t allowed to attend and had to keep himself out of sight like a criminal.
A pure-blooded Runcandel becoming a 1-star knight at the age of 25 was an embodiment of the clan’s disgrace.
‘But now, I’m standing next to Father during the banquet as one of the main stars of the night… To think I’d finally reach this place after dying once.’
Jin felt proud yet bitter at the same time.
In fact, if you took a deeper look into his emotions, the bitterness overwhelmed the feeling of pride and joy.
However, Jin didn’t express his feelings and simply waited for his father’s next words.
“As you may know, our clan seldom hosts banquets.”
“We only organize one when there’s something truly worth celebrating.
In other words, the feats you’ve achieved so far are that impressive.”
“Thank you very much, Father.”
Cyron softly stroked Jin on the head.
Jin was initially scared out of his wits, but managed to keep his shock hidden.
“How many guests do you think there are today”
“My rough estimate would be a thousand, Father.”
“Right, I received a report that it was about a thousand.
There are around two hundred more guests today compared to the banquet we organized seven years ago.
Do you understand what that signifies”
Jin didn’t need to think about the answer.
“It means that during the past seven years, our clan’s authority and power has increased.”
Cyron had a satisfied smile.
Other clans could easily have a thousand guests come to their banquet as well… But all the visitors today are prominent and distinguished figures.
We don’t let small fry or worthless people attend our banquets.”
Jin nodded to his father’s words.
Just as Cyron had said, the thousand guests today were all stars and celebrities.
They were the leaders standing at the steering wheel of the world, ruling over the billions of people inhabiting this continent.
But even amongst all these rulers, the one standing at the summit was Cyron Runcandel.
“All I’ve done during the past seven years was killing monsters in the Black Sea and training in seclusion.
Yet, our clan’s prestige has increased over the years, and the only reason behind it is that I’m the only Genesis Knight of this era.”
Jin politely waited for Cyron to continue his speech.
“In other words… Once I disappear, most of the people gathered here today may turn their backs on the Runcandel Clan.”
Jin was aware of this truth better than anyone else.
Without his father, Cyron Runcandel, the clan would never have been able to amass so much power and influence.
The Runcandels were one of the two major clans on this continent alongside the Zipfels.
But if Cyron were to be taken out of the equation, the gap in power and military strength between the Zipfels and the Runcandels would only grow larger and larger.
Thus, the world would head towards a system where the Zipfels held total power over the continent.
The Vermont Empire—which was currently acting as the mediator between the two clans—would most definitely side with the clan of magicians if things took such a drastic turn.
‘I wonder what the youngest has to say about this.’
Cyron has had this conversation with all his children so far.
He had asked them similar questions along the lines of ‘If I disappear, people will turn their backs on the Runcandels.
What do you think of this’
Most of the time, his children gave similar answers, such as ‘That won’t happen, Father!’ or ‘Why would you ever disappear, Father!’ Some of them would even foolishly declare that they’d become the next Genesis Knight.
After a long silence, Jin called out to his father.
“Speak freely, Son.”
“If you were to disappear one day, and all these guests truly turned their backs on the Runcandels… And in consequence, the Zipfels mobilized all their forces to suppress us, and the clan were to be at the point of no return…”
Jin paused for a moment and made eye contact with Cyron.
“I would leave the clan.”
Having heard the answer, Cyron glared at Jin with bloodshot eyes.
“What Did you say you’d leave the clan”
If the Runcandel Clan were to collapse just because you aren’t present, Father, then it would be due to the succeeding clan leader’s incompetence.
I do not plan on dying a dog’s death under an incompetent patriarch or matriarch.”
It was a shocking and absurd answer.
Cyron was angered by the youngest’s insolent attitude for a short while, but it was soon replaced with great curiosity.
Jin let out a deep breath before continuing his words.
“How many of those guests’ weaknesses do we, as a clan, have in our grasp”
Allow me to take Duke Bern over there as an example.
The Bern Clan’s head tricked the Emperor and embezzled some of the empire’s treasures.
Nevertheless, he’s confidently attending our banquet, all thanks to our help and the debt he owes us.
“There is also the man smoking towards the left of the courtyard.
He is Lance Cleaver, am I correct It’s a bit difficult to recognize people just from the portraits I’ve seen before.
In any case, Lance—the Cleaver Clan’s greatest warrior—once requested us to kill three Zipfel magicians for him.
“Over there is Miss Charlotte Herald, who once sold her family’s heirloom due to her terrible gambling addiction.
She then requested us to recover it for her, and the Herald Clan has yet to repay us that debt in full to this day.
“And the woman behind Miss Charlotte is Lord Bellard’s mistress.
She was originally an illegitimate daughter of the Vermont Imperial Family.
But due to her talent as a genius magician, she was oppressed by the legitimate children and was later banished.
Lord Bellard has been commissioning us to protect her for several years already.
“And the person over at the…”
Cyron lightly shook his hand.
“It seems you’ve read through the clan’s commission contracts.
But that’s normally only allowed to flag-bearers.
Did Luna show them to you I won’t punish you, so speak truthfully.”
I asked Elder Brother Vigo to show them to me in exchange for returning his sword, since I had no use for that weapon.”
“Kuhaha, you really are remarkable.”
“Just by skimming through those documents, one can find all these weapons that aren’t swords the clan could make use of.
I imagine that the classified documents that only Father and Mother are allowed to read must hold even greater and numerous weapons.”
“So, are you saying that one could use those to protect the clan even when I’m not here”
“It all depends on the next clan leader’s negotiation skills.
In your case, Father, you have no use of negotiation skills as you are the strongest knight in existence.
However, the circumstances are different for future patriarchs and matriarchs who aren’t Genesis Knights.”
Cyron slowly and calmly nodded and smiled.
“You are correct.
But we aren’t the only ones who have a grasp on others’ weaknesses, Son.
The Zipfels also have a hold on their weaknesses as much as we do.”
“I assume so.
However, the Zipfels don’t have an adequate justification to thoughtlessly take advantage of those weaknesses.”
“They don’t have a justification Why so”
“Because the role of the villain belongs to us Runcandels.
In any case, if the next patriarch is unable to protect the clan even with all these weapons at his disposal, I will leave the clan without a speck of hesitation.
I will depart and prepare my revenge against those who brought us to ruin.”
Whether they secretly performed experiments with forbidden magic at the Kollon Ruins, whether they found the Fountain of Mana and used it to print out 7-star magicians like a factory, the Zipfels were still the clan that symbolized good and justice to the public.
They couldn’t openly commit evil deeds like the Runcandels.
“Haha, revenge you say… I see, one can only get revenge if they’re still alive.
I see your point.
It’s not bad.”
Jin silently lowered his head in response to his father’s approval.
He was still somewhat disappointed by Cyron’s strict assessment.
‘Well, I guess I’ve put up a good defense nonetheless.
Father is usually far more stern and uncompromising.’
—It’s not bad.
Although he had said so, Cyron was actually quite content with Jin’s answer.
Cyron believed that the youngest was pragmatic enough and had come up with an effective plan.
It wasn’t as if his other children hadn’t come up with similar ideas in their heads.
But their problem was that they didn’t dare to assume the ‘Runcandel Clan would be destroyed’ and say it out loud to their father.
Meanwhile, Jin’s honest and confident beliefs were quite a breath of fresh air to Cyron.
The boy wasn’t being conceited and getting ahead of himself.
Calculating wasn’t quite the right word to describe him right now; cool-headed was a better choice.
And that collected attitude of his was what Cyron was highly satisfied with in Jin.
‘It’s such a pity this child was born so late.
It’s as if Luna’s talent, Mary’s wild nature, and Dipus’s competitive spirit were collected into one single body.’
Ten years at the shortest, and fifteen at the longest.
That was Cyron’s prediction on how long he could protect his position as patriarch.
He was now curious to know whether the youngest would be able to turn around the current successor candidate hierarchy in that period of time.
Watching over Jin would be his new entertainment and hobby now.
“The guests have almost reached the mansion.
Let’s head back inside.”
Under the dark evening sky, countless lights illuminated the plains beyond the Garden of Swords’s front gate.
Those lights belonged to the campsites that were created outside the Runcandel main house, where the attendants of today’s visitors remained at.
These people would have to wait under the tents for three days until the banquet ended.
“Oh, and after the banquet ends, I need to have a word with you.
Stay on standby in the house until I summon you.”
Jin’s promotion to a provisional flag-bearer!
That was what this was about.
As he had already heard about it from his uncle, Jin wasn’t quite surprised.
However, hearing about it from his father’s mouth directly was a completely different feeling.
‘So once the banquet ends, I’ll have to set out and travel for a long time.’
One thing that was necessary to become a true flag-bearer was honour and reputation.
Jin would have to wander around the world after the banquet in order to build up his honour.
During that time, he would not be restricted by the clan in any way, so he could use his magic and spiritual power alongside his swordsmanship as much as he wanted.
Using his past life’s knowledge, he could even find great opportunities for himself and search for artifacts or divine objects.
His memories would be a great advantage for him.
‘The next three days will feel like an eternity.
I can’t wait to depart already.’
Cyron and Jin left the balcony and entered the central hall.
The gigantic chandelier hanging on the ceiling illuminated their faces as they took a step inside.
The two headed up the second floor and waited for the guests to arrive and greet them, when suddenly, three butlers came rushing towards Cyron.
“Lord Patriarch, guests who hadn’t sent a formal request to visit have arrived.
What should we do”
Guests who hadn’t sent a formal request.
The Zipfels had come.