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Chapter 28

Emperor of Steel
     Chapter 28: Taking the First Step 1

    It passed a week after Luke had returned from the Devil King's Castle.

    After completing the morning prayer in the temple, Priest Maron received a request which stated that he was being called to the permanent mansion by the Butler Hans.

    "You called for me?"

    As the priest Maron asked, Hans who was in deep thought, got up.

    "Come here. It is a bit cheap, but would you like to have Sharon tea?"

    "It is fine. I wanted to know why I was called for?"

    As Maron asked with suspicion, Hans began to explain why he called for him.

    "Because of the young Lord, you do see that he has been rather weird lately?"

    "Yes, from the time when he woke up from the accident involving the Gigant."

    He was suddenly stealing away the ancestor's statue to pay off the debts, or to show off his gambling skills in Lamer?

    In addition, after visiting the Devil King's Castle, he asked them to look for a large amount of magic stones; it had already lost the vitality in them.

    When one of the retainers found it strange and asked the reason, their young Lord just dismissed them saying that he needed them for the purpose of training.

    In addition, the orders that he had given to them the day before were very shocking.

    "Take off all the portraits of my ancestors from the entire mansion."

    "What, what did you just say?!"

    The retainers jumped out of their seats as they were shocked.

    The most violently responded person was Hans.

    Before being the house butler, he had raised the young lord till the very day on behalf of the deceased lord.

    Which was why he decided to go against the decision very firmly.

    "What in the world are you even thinking? Last time you sold the statue of your ancestors, now do you want to sell the portrait?"

    "If I get money, then I'll do it."

    "Young Lord!"

    The horrific shout of Hans echoed in the conference room, like a roar of a dragon.

    He moved towards Luke with his fists clenched, like he was going to knock him out any second.

    Luke, however, didn't change his decision or expression even after seeing the reaction of Hans.

    On the contrary, he asked another question.

    "Are the past owners of the estate more important? Or if the current family and the estate more important?"

    "Both are very important!"

    "Really? This is what I think. I don't think that you have to take care of the ancestor's things anymore. The ancestors who passed away 500 years ago are of no use to us now."

    "This brat! Are you really going to speak this way?!"

    With the level of furiousness, Hans had obtained, he had forgotten to address him honorifically.

    He was almost ready to use both his fists.

    Whether he realized it or not, the reaction on the face of Luke was still cold.

    "It is because there are retainers like you that the family is still like this, that is all."

    "What, what did you just say?"

    "Think about it once. What do you think happened here for 500 years? Didn't everyone just try to live by using the fame of the ancestors?!"

    "That, that…"

    Hans wanted to speak out, but there was nothing that he could say.

    Even if he didn't want to accept the facts that Luke stated, he knew it was right.

    "I know well that all the families in the past have tried to revive this family. But that was all they could do. Rather than trying to show their skills and abilities, they were much more curious about using the fame of the ancestor."

    A statue was built for that purpose, and the portraits dominated the mansion for that reason.

    They hoped that the next coming descendants would grow up looking at the portraits and become a strong person like the great ancestor.

    However, the results of that were very disappointing.

    Compared to the ancestors who were one of the best men in the history of the continent, the descendants were early dead or had frustratingly low abilities.

    It wasn't just that…

    "Some of them died in vain in the war, from the pressure of being born for such a person. It wasn't just one or two people who have tried to grow out a talent that they never had and died."

    "That is because of the curse of the devil…"

    When someone raised an excuse, the expression distorted on the face of Luke, and he replied with an elevated voice,

    "This is the problem right here! If something is good, it is thanks to the ancestors, and not, then it is the act of the devil. Not waking up by themselves, not winning by themselves or getting defeated because of themselves, why do we always need to blame someone else?"

    "…"

    "I too did all that till a while back. But all that time, I was walking dead, I was walking down a wrong path. Even if they are my own ancestors, that is all they are. And I have to be me!"

    Nobody said anything to Luke.

    Roger and a few other young retainers who had known the truth about the family of Rakan, were nodding silently.

    Even the most stubborn one, Hans couldn't stand it anymore and stepped back.

    "From now… what are you planning on doing from here on?"

    At the question of Hans, who lost all his energy, Luke pulled out the sword from its sheath.

    "I will build my own skills with my own talent, and I will rule and lead this family, this estate with my judgment!"

    Kwang!

    And to confirm that his words held weight, Luke put the sword deep into the table.

    "I'm making it very clear for you this time. I'm going to be more than my ancestor. So don't go around nagging me uselessly by comparing me with my ancestor."

    The crazy meeting was finally over.

    Immediately, the monuments of the ancestors which were in the permanent mansion were taken down and placed in the warehouse.

    The clerk who documented the minute details about the mansion recorded everything in detail.

    A boon or a bane, the descendants of the Rakan family were going to remember that day as a ‘cataclysm day'.

    Hans remembered the stormy meeting that happened the day before, and he just sighed.

    "I do feel very glad that the aspirations of the young Lord are shinning much brighter than ever, but this is a bit suspicious."

    "And you mean…?"

    "I wondered if the curse of the Devil King or the soul take a toll on him when he was unconscious."

    There have been rumors for 500 years that the bloodline of Rakan was cursed by the Devil King Saymon.

    Hans had never completely believed those words, but he surely knew that something always went wrong only for the descendants of Rakan.

    "Ah! If it was such a kind of worry, then you don't need to think much about it. Honestly, I too felt like the young Lord wasn't his usual self, but even after I looked closer, I didn't find any evil energy."

    "Really? Then I'm really glad."

    Hans had a sigh of relief after a long time.

    He didn't want to draw a conclusion without knowing the truth, which was why he asked Maron.

    "By the way, what happened to the investigation the other day?"

    "Are you talking about the Gigants with core engine bursts?"

    Hans had once told Maron, about a suspicious accident that happened to the young lord.

    The Gigant's core engines normally have double to triple safety devices installed in them, which indicated that the way it burst was a rare phenomenon.

    The only time that it happened was with poor maintenance, damage in combat or if a rider was too exhausted after a long battle and does mistake in controlling mana.

    "In the case with our young Lord, within just 5 minutes of boarding the Gigant, it had exploded. Rather than it is the mistake of a rider, it is more likely for the Gigant to be having a problem in it."

    "Though wasn't sure of it, I was a bit suspicious about it. And I found one strange thing."

    "What was it?"

    Maron gulped and asked,

    "One part of the core engine had been very cleverly changed."

    "Then, was it an assassination attempt on the young lord?"

    Maron asked in shock.

    "Right."

    Hans chose one of the field chiefs as the culprit after investigation.

    Suddenly, however, that person was missing for a few days and later informed that he was found dead in the neighboring estate just a few days ago.

    "Then! Who the hell would?!"

    "I think the head has cut off the tail, and there weren't any other clue to follow on, the investigation is pending."

    "Tch, that is horrible."

    Who would dare to kill the successor of Rakan?

    The Rakan family never had brought in grudges from the others, nor did it have the resources to face the repercussions of it.

    Whatever was the case, Hans vowed to find out the culprit and punish him.

    "Then that, how long will it be…?"

    Maron glanced out of the window.

    Philip was walking with the three wizards.

    With the orders of the young lord and the wizards, they were working very hard without making a sound.

    "I can't understand. Weren't they hired by the young lord? But how did he even do it?"

    Iron mages weren't knights.

    Staying in the background didn't mean that they were actual soldiers.

    "I heard it from Philip, they weren't hired but lost a bet with the young Lord."

    "Bet? Bet on what?"

    "I didn't get any details, but maybe it was because of the gambling."

    Hans said with an unpleasant look.

    They thought that the wizards were gamblers who placed their freedom on the bet and lost it.

    They all thought that the wizards too were playing foul, they thought of robbing the young Lord but got dragged into their own mess.

    "Ahaha! Because of gambling… foolish brothers they were. They need to do it then."

    "Even so, one should never roll their luck like that."

    No matter how much he wanted to pay off the debts, Hans didn't like the young Lord doing gambling.

    Which was why Han's was very concerned with Luke, and shot a look at the wizards who were walking in the area.