Then, after leaving Bless behind,
A group of mercenaries led by Luke reached the border of Albertville territory.
Since the previous lord had participated in the rebellion, it was bound for the land to give out a terrible atmosphere.
The farmers who worked in their fields ran away in anger at the sight of the mercenaries.
In addition, the fort and the guard posts where the soldiers had to stand vigilantly were all empty.
The good news was that since everyone was feeling anxious, there was no more confusion.
The worst case of the towns and cities being empty, or them being looted hadn’t happened.
“Tch, it will take time for the people to trust us.”
“But it will end much sooner than we expect.”
Luke, who crossed the territory arrived at Laval, where the permanent residence was located.
Laval was the place where the administrative center of the estate was located and surrounded by thick infrastructure.
Unlike the other places, the soldiers were still there, but they were the voluntary group of men who decided to take the role for the purpose of securing their city.
As a result, they could help but feel hesitant when Luke appeared there with a group of 10,000 mercenaries and Gigants.
“Could that be the permanent manor?”
“Who might you be?”
At the question of Philip, Luke stared at the elderly man who was standing at the gate. His neat outfit and the straight question made it sure that he wasn’t a commoner.
The lord man bowed politely as Luke approached.
“I see you are the new Lord. I am Baron Vante, the butler and the deputy lord of the Albertville estate.”
“A retainer of the former lord? Then you must be the remnant of the rebels. Why didn’t you run away?”
When Luke asked with suspicion, Vante responded with a bitter smile.
“Wouldn’t someone have to stay over till a new person takes over the valuable estate? I managed to live enough to look after it.”
It was plausible, if every retainer had run away, then the state of the manor was bound to be destroyed.
In other words, there could have been looting and arson of maybe stealing, and the soldiers would have deserted their positions so the innocent men in the land would have had to suffer.
Concerned about that, the retainers decided that one of them would stay back and remain in charge until the end, and Baron Vante, the eldest of them all, volunteered to take that role.
“Seeing the retainers, it looks like the former Lord was a pretty fine fellow.” Said Luke.
“Yes, even though Marquis Suleiman made the wrong choice because of his acquaintance with the other Lords, he still had a great virtue when it came to governance and his retainers.”
Vante was very active in designating where the mercenaries and their families would stay, and handed over the related documents regarding the management of the estate and the expenditure.
All that greatly reduced Luke’s work to get the estate back on track.
When everything related to the estate takeover was done, Vante pleaded.
“Now, I have done all the work. Kill this old man who sent the Lord into rebellion and to the capital without overseeing the situation.”
“That is enough. I’ll pretend like I never saw you, just live in the estate.”
Seeing that the new Lord had no intention of punishing him, the butler looked shocked.
“The rebellion is already over and most of the instigators have been executed. Is there going to be anything different if I kill one or two of the men in here? If you can live silently, I don’t mind covering for you.” Said Luke.
“Really, do you really mean that?”
“Yes, I do. The Pope has stated that anyone who can reflect on their sins will be forgiven.”
Luke said that the story of how men in the Jackson estate who were termed to be rebels, hadn’t been punished after they surrendered.
Realizing that Luke’s words weren’t lies, Vante went out of the manor’s office bowing his head and thanking again and again.
“Tch, that was a waste. Why didn’t you hire him?”
After Vante left the room, Philip who was listening to their conversation asked Luke.
“Because he wasn’t the kind of man who would serve two lords. For whatever reason, we are the men who punished his first lord. There was no way he would forgive us for that.”
“That sounds plausible.”
Nodding his head, Philip went out of the room saying that it was time to train his mercenaries.
Luke, who was left alone, called Hwang Bo-sung at the night after reviewing all the documents.
“Called for me, Lord?”
“Yes, are all your injuries recovered?”
Hwang Bo-sung nodded his head with a bright expression.
Luke had made a special request to Reina before leaving the capital. It was that someone had to be healed, and asked her to make a healing potion with divine properties if possible.
The potion was done by an extremely high leveled priest and was effective, it was faster than a wizard’s making process and held no side effects.
All thanks to Aether, which could exert incredible divinity compared with the bishops and cardinals, Reina herself created a highly effective healing potion.
Luke had given that completed potion to Hwang Bo-sung and told him that his injuries would heal.
Thanks to that, Hwang Bo-sung was able to recover from his injuries, his scars on both legs were healed.
All that was left was the curse placed on him by the magic soldier.
“To remove the curse on your body.”
At the words of Luke, Hwang Bo-sung’s expression changed.
The matter had bothered him the most over the past 1 year, it wasn’t the loss of power that bothered him.
It was the curse placed on him.
The curse placed on him with a wicked technique had caused Hwang Bo-sung terrifying pain every night.
Priest Luther had recovered more than half of the endurance, but the pain couldn’t be decreased.
However, he was going to get rid of the curse!
“Yeah, all this while I thought of breaking the curse on you. Now that it is ready, we can do it.”
Luke saying that to Hwang Bo-sung, closed his eyes and sat down.
The moment he sat, magic began to manifest.
From what Hwang Bo-sung had said to Luke, the curse was done by a group referred to as Apostasy.
But Luke wasn’t aware about what kind of curse had been placed on the body.
But he was able to understand the power that marks the curse.
The power was Magi.
Luke was very familiar with the dark magic and the power of darkness.
‘I don’t know who taught them the dark magic or whether the Apostate witches knew it from the very beginning on how to handle curses, but solving can be simple. I can absorb it right away.’
Luke knew the powers of the demons and the dark magic so he could be able to absorb them.
Simple, black bind.
However, since the curse entered the body of Hwang Bo-sung, it was going to take sweet time to analyze it and to absorb it, Luke had to try to perform it as softly and harmlessly as possible.
The black bind stems began to come out from the ground and wrap themselves around Hwang Bo-sung’s body.
‘This, this is the Apostasy…!’
When the binds encircled themselves around the body of Hwang Bo-sung, he panicked trying to move.
“Do not move! This is a make or break!”
“Lord, but this is…”
Seeing seriousness in Luke’s eyes, Hwang Bo-sung hesitated and sat back down.
The stems completely covered the body of Hwang Bo-sung and began to absorb the Magi.
Originally, the black bind would suck in not just the Magi but the vitality of man, but when Luke was concentrating on using it, he carefully and delicately only absorbed the Magi in Hwang Bo-sung’s body.
‘Kuek, just absorbing it isn’t as easy as I thought.’
Sweat was dripping from Luke’s forehead.
It was like holding a giant sword to carve something out of a small wooden cube.
However, he continued to absorb the Magi that spread throughout the body of Hwang Bo-sung.
Ten minutes later.
When all the Magi was taken away from the body, the curse extinguished itself.
As soon as the black bind was released, Hwang Bo-sung jumped from his seat and began to wield his fists as if trying to test something.
Every time his fist went through the air, the air split.
The moment the fist went ahead, the wall in front of the fist trembled.
“What happened, Lord!”
Surprised with the thundering sounds, Rakan knights went running into the room.
“It is alright. It is no big deal.”
Luke sent out the knights and watched Hwang Bo-sung’s martial arts closely.
His body seemed to be unfolding by converting mana in the body into attributes of lightning.
Mana, concentrated in the two fists along a certain path, showed terrifying power each time it changed to lightning.
If one was right there, it was possible for the man to get smashed with just the force.
‘Is this the true power of ‘Three Thunder God’s Boxing’?’
Luke had exchanged a few words with Hwang Bo-sung on his way to Albertville. In the process, he learned a few things about Moorim on the southern continent and the martial arts which he had learned.
The Hwang Clan’s martial arts were largely divided into martial and internal, and of them, the one Hwang Bo-sung had said to have learned was the ‘Three Thunder God Boxing’. And it was something that only the immediate members of the clan head could learn.
It was said that 300 years ago, martial King Hwang Bo-woong, had created Three Thunder God Boxing to break every form of other martial arts.
At present, Hwang Bo-sung was at the 8th stage of it.
Urrrng! Orrrng! Kwan Kwang!
For around thirty minutes, Hwang Bo-sung kept on moving his fists.
‘At last! How long has it been since I tried my fullest?!’
It was his first time since he had been tricked by Hwang Bo-Kwang, a year later from getting hit.
But the pain he felt in the meantime, made the year seem much longer.
Standing briefly and trembling, he knelt down and pleaded to Luke.
“Warrior Hwang Bo-sung. I swear on heavens and the earthly gods that I vow to repay the grace shown by the Lord.”
Though he decided to be Luke’s subordinate, he was still skeptical in mind, but with what had happened, he truly decided to serve Luke with everything.