Author: alyalia

Sir Silver, the chief of the search and rescue team, was immediately alert to the strange tension flowing among the crew. He could feel his opponent’s breath and expression without looking at them. I guess it’s about to start.

 

They had been wary of each other from the moment they crossed the border. It had been three days. And now they had reached their intended point. Sir Silver then winked at his knight.

 

Now is the time. The imperial knights and the knights of Duke Krow drew their guns and aimed at each other. Swoop. Bang.

 

“Argh!”

 

Sir Silver’s sword cut the wrist of a knight at an invisible speed. And at the same time, two knights of Duke Krow were knocked down by arrows that flew from somewhere.

 

Keugh. Damn it!”

 

The last remaining knight shouted, pointing his gun around. “Don’t come near me! I’ll shoot you if you come near me!”

 

What’s going on here? What on earth is happening?

 

Even with a gun pointed at him, the captain of the imperial knights swung his sword without hesitation.

 

What about those arrows? How could this have happened?

 

The knight clenched his teeth. This is a failure. What the hell is the hound doing now? Shouldn’t he move stealthily and defeat them by now? His eyes turned to the man standing behind him, but before he could even look back, he collapsed in that position and landed on the ground.

 

Bang. The hound of the Duke Krow. The man, who had no presence, suddenly shot his comrade and stood away from the spot, making you wonder if he intended to run away.

 

Everyone was bewildered at what had happened because that man had no presence. It took some time to realize that Duke Krow’s knights had attacked each other. But Sir Silver watched them all. The sight of the man with no presence, who he had been vigilant over and over, taking no action even when his comrades were dying, and then shooting the last remaining man in the head.

 

“What are you doing?”

 

It meant to ask why he killed his comrade. At Sir Silver’s question, the hound threw the gun in his hand to the ground, raised his hands, and said, “I’m not on the side of Duke Krow.”

 

“You’re saying something that can’t be believed at all. Did he really send someone he couldn’t trust?”

 

The hound replied calmly to Sir Silver’s words. “I don’t trust him. I’ve been reluctantly doing what he tells me to do, but not anymore.”

 

“Not anymore?”

 

The hound continued at Sir Silver’s question. “It’s time for him to get it back.”

 

The price of his karma.

 

“And I will rescue Baroness Devit.”

 

* * *

The name of the man called the hound was Jon. He had no presence since he was a child. Perhaps he had no friends because of his pale features and unique presence. He was treated as an invisible person even by his villagers.

 

“I’ve never seen you before. Did you just move in?”

 

Jon was dumbfounded at the shop owner’s words, who was smiling kindly as he wrapped the fish he had bought in a wide leaf and passed it over.

 

“No. I’ve lived in this village since I was born?”

 

“Really? That’s very strange. Anyway, here you go. Here’s your change.”

 

The shop owner didn’t think much of it, but Jon was hurt by it. It was the same everywhere. The children he often encountered weren’t much, but they also seemed to have always forgotten him. In fact, everyone outside of his family treated him like an invisible.

 

“Are your eyes only decorations?”

 

Little Jon had such a lonely and hurtful childhood. Then, by chance, he caught the eye of Duke Krow. Duke Krow was the only one who recognized his worth. At first, Jon liked him for recognizing himself, so he blindly followed him. However, his orders gradually became more secretive and disgustingly cruel.

 

Duke Krow knew how to make good use of him. He specialized in approaching someone and disappearing quietly after doing something. No one recognized him, couldn’t remember his face, and didn’t know what happened.

 

Jon suffered from the burden of his continued sinful karma and soon tried to escape from Duke Krow. However, Duke Krow took his family away and threatened him as if he had already expected his rebellion.

 

“You’re my hound. If you want to save your family, do as I say.”

 

Jon couldn’t abandon his family. His family was the only one who made him feel like he existed in this world. He was forced to follow the orders of Duke Krow while secretly searching for his family, but he couldn’t find out where they were.

 

As a hound, his family was the only people he couldn’t find in this empire. Even if they died at Duke Krow’s hands, traces should be left, but no trace could be found. It was as if they never existed in this world.

 

In his heart, he wanted to hang Duke Krow and torture him to find his family, but that man wouldn’t easily open his mouth. Jon was well aware of his shady and cruel disposition, which was 180 degrees different from his nice appearance. Duke Krow would have kept his mouth shut even if his life was over. He’s a person who will never give what the other person wants. 

 

Eventually, John gave up on finding his family. Since Duke Krow hid them, finding his family is almost impossible. Thus, he had lived thoroughly as the hound of Duke Krow. Until he met Baroness Devit.

 

Jon recognized Baroness Devit the moment he met her. She was a person he could never forget. He recalled a raid on a noble family’s villa ten years ago at the order of Duke Krow. There, he was a skinny girl.

 

“How are we going to handle her? Two days have already passed.”

 

Another man, who was trimming his nails with a dagger, answered sourly.

 

“There are no words yet. She’s the daughter of the count they were looking forward to, so it won’t end well.”

 

“Then can’t we kill her? Well, she looks like she’s already dead.”

 

At the words of the men, Jon’s gaze turned to the corner. A slender girl crouching quietly, hugging her knees. She didn’t lower her head or drop her gaze. Jon approached her and sat on one knee, making eye contact.

 

Empty. It was empty. Her straight gaze wasn’t looking at anything. At first glance, she had no emotion in her eyes. But Jon could read the girl’s feelings deep in her empty eyes. Scared. Don’t want to die.

 

He had killed all human emotions while living as Duke Krow’s hound. That’s why he could tell. This girl, who didn’t seem to feel any emotion, was actually very afraid. And she wanted to live.

 

Was she only about six or seven years old? The girl somehow knew how to hide her emotions. The problem was… that hiding your emotions and controlling them were completely different things. Even he himself, who is called an emotionless murderer and a blind hound who betrayed humanity, always struggled with guilt and anger after completing his mission. Those who didn’t show their emotions were more likely to suffer from emotions storms inside than anyone else.

 

Surely, this girl must be feeling that too.

 

For a moment, the girl’s eyes looked at Jon.

 

“…”

 

Neither the girl nor John said anything. They just expressed their doubts towards each other in the eyes that met.

 

“Huh? Who are you! When were you in! Hey! Who are you!”

 

In response to the man’s question, another man corrected the dagger in his hand and spoke.

 

“I don’t know who he is, but I’m sure he’s not supposed to be here. Kill him!”

 

That day, Jon disobeyed Duke Krow’s order for the first time. The order was to never let anyone out alive. But he disobeyed it only for the sake of this small, thin girl.

 

Jon placed the girl on a busy street near the fountain in the capital and sat a little distance away, watching over her. He did not need to hide himself, as he was like a part of nature. After a while, a group of people appeared and took the girl away. Observing them, Jon got up from his spot.

 

Is she a child of the Bornes family? He recognized the knights of the Bornes family and found out who the girl’s parents were. Excluding Duke Krow, Count Bornes, the most despicable trash in the empire, made him fully understand that girl now. She wasn’t like him, but he had no regrets about saving that girl. For him, who always had to kill someone, he was happy even with this small good deed that could offset his sins.

 

And ten years later, they met again. This time too, he had to kill her. And,

 

20 years or so… It’s been 20 years since he hadn’t seen his family. He was sure they wouldn’t recognize him if he looked for them now. He was a 10-year-old child at that time, and now he’s already a 30 years old grown man with no childhood face left.

 

It had been 20 years. He did everything for his family. Now his only goal was to destroy Duke Krow. That person deserved to be destroyed. Right before he rose to the top he longed for, he would be swollen with intoxication and bliss at that moment. Jon would never let him get what he wanted, not even for a moment.

 

The hound was only aiming for the moment it would bite its master’s neck. That’s why Jon decided to save her this time as well. Right now, Duke Krow was on the verge of achieving his goal, and only Baroness Devit with Duke Krow could stop him. Only the two of them could prevent his dominance. It wasn’t necessary to weight gains and losses. The agony was fleeting, and he made a quick decision.

 

Jon intended to deal with Duke Krow’s men after seeing Arianne. When he quietly pulled out his dagger, a black-haired man appeared out of nowhere. In an instant, Duke Krow’s men lost their lives to Duke Kaien and fell to the ground.

 

Not bad at all. It was his brief impression of Duke Kaien, known as the empire’s greatest genius swordsman. Jon effortlessly evaded Duke Kaien’s attacks and escaped from the canyon. Then, he infiltrated the midst of the soldiers of the Harpion Empire.

 

He confirmed that Sir Dale, the knights of Duke Kaien, and the maid of Baroness Devit were leaving for the capital, and he followed them to the capital. And he went to Duke Krow to report. He told him the plan failed, but there was no witness, even though he knew one witness was alive.

 

In the subsequent mission to eliminate Viscount Girol, Jon pretended to have failed the mission by eliminating Duke Krow’s subordinates. He left a sword scar on his arm to avoid Duke Krow’s suspicions and waited for the right time. 

 

Then, after hearing about the disappearance of Baroness Devit and Duke Kaien, he found out that Duke Krow was setting up an assassination squad that volunteered to join the search party. He had brought them back. They were the only pieces that could end Duke Krow.

 

Jon couldn’t finish Duke Krow only with his dagger. Because that was an easy death for him. A harsher and more severe punishment was waiting for Duke Krow.

 

The checkmate is not far away, Krow. 

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