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Chapter 353 - Triggered Trap 1

Emperor of Steel
     Chapter 353: Triggered Trap 1

    Slash!

    Gregory's sword was lightning fast as it fell through the air.

    Luke hurriedly developed defensive magic but it was of no help.

    It wasn't that Gregory's Hyper Aura had destroyed the defensive magic of Luke.

    The attack just didn't come for Luke.

    It was Nanas who got the sword of Gregory coming at her.

    "Uh, why…?"

    Nanas who was struck in the neck staggered on the floor while clasping both her hands around her neck to stop the bleeding.

    The members of the Saint Guard looked at Arch Duke Gregory with an expression which said they didn't understand what just happened.

    Why was it that a man who was under the duty to cut evil didn't strike Luke, who was learning the dark magic of Saymon, but Nanas who revealed it?

    Gregory opened his mouth to answer the unasked question.

    "If I was the man I was in the past, this sword would have gone to Marquis Luke."

    "… did you change your mind?"

    Gregory shook his head at the question of Luke.

    "No, the belief in the destruction of evil hasn't changed. It was just that I knew that you weren't stained by evil."

    At the end of the civil war, Arch Duke Gregory studied Luke very closely.

    It was because he couldn't convince himself just because the man was a descendant of Rakan or had Reina close to him.

    "You fought for the poor who had no strength. For the persecuted refugees from the Count Monarch and the Battle of Territories, and protected the fairies who were being unfairly treated. Not just that, you saved the Holy Empire during our crisis of civil war…"

    "That…"

    "Was it possible because you possessed the dark magic? The words of Pope were right. You have abandoned the pride of being a warrior's descendant for the sake of the weak people. Even after you entered the darkness, you didn't let yourself stained by evil, but fought for justice."

    Unlike Luke, Nanas threatened to disclose secrets of the others for the sake of fulfilling her ambition,

    It was clear which side harbored evil.

    "Which is why I cut the fairy woman. I thought this was the right action."

    "Thank you for doing that."

    Luke smiled and thanked Gregory.

    However, he had no intention of stopping there.

    As Gregory revealed his belief, he thought he should do the same.

    "Thank you very much for believing me. But I am not that great of a human as Arch Duke is thinking of me."

    "Not that great?"

    "That is true. Some things have been hidden from the retainers and even from Reina. In order to achieve the meaning for a few, I sometimes do things secretly. I am aware that the actions of mine will lead to bloodshed of thousands, and I have done a lot of things."

    The members of Saint Guard, who were convinced with Luke's words looked at Gregory.

    If orders fell from Gregory, they were to pull their swords and take down Luke.

    "The good deeds that you see aren't much. The Battle of territories and the civil war which I entered were all for the sake of Reina." Said Luke.

    "Is that so? How did you come to love out the Holiness to that extent?"

    At the question from Gregory, Luke answered.

    "Because she is the person I trust the most, and understands my position more than anyone."

    He was never interested in her because of her angelic beauty or the ruined status of a princess.

    He was interested in the fact of finding someone like Katarina, but that didn't mean he had accepted Reina.

    It was when Reina believed in Luke's position for mastering dark magic.

    It wasn't just that, she looked into the diary of Luke's past and understood the behavior of Saymon.

    "How can I not love such a person?" Said Luke.

    "Indeed, the heart of one person has brought you till here. However…"

    Gregory soon showed signs of stiffness and asked again.

    "Is that it? Are there any other beliefs?"

    Luke replied without hesitation.

    "I want to create a world where humans live like a human."

    "Isn't that the current world?"

    At Gregory's question, Luke answered with a never seen intensity in his eyes.

    "There are beasts around who are wearing human skins on themselves. Don't you think so?"

    "…"

    Gregory agreed in silence.

    Not much long ago, the priests who coveted the wealth and power sold the will of God for gold.

    They couldn't be called priests.

    On the contrary, it was still a low act. And the beasts couldn't be completely organized.

    "It will very hard to make the world that you speak of."

    "I don't think that I can change the world by myself. But if possibilities are shown, won't more people act with the hope to change?" Said Luke.

    "Even if the stigma is overturned?"

    "I am preparing for anything and everything."

    Arch Duke Gregory was staring at Luke, neither of them drifted their gaze away.

    Strong, clear and gleaming eyes.

    Not a hint of evil in Luke's eyes. It was like a bright star shining in the pitch-black sky.

    "Gather Power Sword."

    "Sire?"

    "There is no evil heart. He just has a different belief."

    "But he himself said from his mouth that he made thousands bleed!"

    The eldest one of the Saint Guard protested.

    However, at the words of Gregory, he was speechless.

    "Did we, in the name of God's Will shed the blood of millions?"

    So far, the Holy Empire had fought numerous wars in the name of temples and sanctuaries.

    But were all the wars sacred just because they were fought for the temple?

    "T, that…"

    "In those times, there were many innocent people who died and got injured in the wars. Nevertheless, our actions were justified as God's will. Can all those times be called right? Was it truly the God's Will?"

    Luke was flustered just as the members of the Saint Guard.

    When he first met Gregory, what he felt from him was the same as the unconventional Rakan of the past.

    But Gregory seemed to have changed a lot since then.

    "Marquis Luke recognizes his own mistakes and drawbacks. Which is why even if touched the power of darkness, he wasn't stained by evil."

    "I don't know. I was being dumb and am not able to understand your words." Said the Saint Guard's man.

    "I guess so. I too was like you before."

    Gregory nodded his head at the complaints of his men.

    After finishing his first fight with Luke, he repeated his thoughts and efforts to understand what was right and wrong, just as he had promised to Reina.

    He had already memorized the scriptures, he read them once again, he talked to a lot more people and listened to their stories.

    The one he talked to the most was Priest Luther.

    As the head of Sanctity of Holiness, Luther was the forefront when it came to providing relief to the poor, he knew about the absurdities of realities and the problems of society better than anyone else.

    Thanks to all those talks, Gregory was able to escape his centered thoughts of faith and sword.

    Gregory looked at Luke and spoke again.

    "Marquis, show them that you aren't stained by evil."

    "Understood."

    Unlike Luke, who confidently replied, Hwang Bo-sung and the assassins of Hydra were wondering how that could be shown.

    How could good deeds or faith be shown?

    However, Luke knew of a very simple way.

    Srrrng!

    Luke pulled on his sword.

    His sword had to shine, and it did, with an intense golden aura.

    "G, Gold Sword!"

    "Isn't that the same as Arch Duke!?"

    The Saint Guard knights knew that Gregory's sword was influenced by Rakan's Gold Sword.

    Since the Gold Sword had originated from the Holy Empire and its Holy Sword, Rakan's swordsmanship was known to have excelled in anti-Magi and demons.

    However, when Luke, who learned dark magic showed golden aura even after having Magi within him, which was known to be counter for the sword, the shock they were in was inevitable.

    "Will you believe now?"

    "Hmm…"

    "Dark Magic isn't a bad thing. It is just as a poison that can be used as a medicine, dark magic can save people too."

    Hwang Bo-sung was also saved by dark magic, politely raised his aura fist while looking at Luke.

    The Saint Guard knights weren't aware of what happened between the two, but they were convinced with the Gold Sword.

    Above all, their idol, Arch Duke Gregory acknowledge it.

    Seeing their swords go down, Luke sighed with relief.

    He was expecting a huge fight with the paladins, but fortunately, the situation got resolved.

    However, it isn't over yet.