The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin chapter 200

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The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin

Chapter 200: Whisper of Secrets (2)

For hours on end, I’ve done nothing but gaze intently at the body of the demonic sword laying bare on the table.

Not a whisper of energy nor the slightest aura emanates from it.

It shows no reaction to what I might do next, not so blatant that it’s as if it already knows.

Ordinarily, I might have taken the sword’s silence as playing hard to get and moved on, but not this time.

For the first time, I sense a stark distance between her and me.

“Well, this is unexpected!”

Just like yesterday, the retired knight sat down heavily in front of me, a broad smile on his face.

“Who could have thought you’d be here waiting for me!”

Unlike his evident joy, my face reflected no such warmth.

“Did your chat with the lady of the demonic sword conclude well?”

I, of course, did not reply.

Waiting for an answer, he caught sight of the demonic sword on the table and coughed uncomfortably.

“It’s fine! You know what they say about a woman’s heart, right? It sways like reeds in the wind but always sways back!”

“Cut to the chase, shall we?”

Against my expectation, Jereon responded with a shrug, showing curiosity.

“What talk are you referring to?”

“Didn’t you intend to enlighten me about the book’s author, Dio Hapencus?”

“Oh, right! I did consider gracing you with such a favor, didn’t I?”

At that moment, when his scheming gaze met mine, a frigid energy surged from within, enveloping me completely.

“But, the terms weren’t right last time, and I tried to accommodate. Now, the situation has changed, hasn’t it?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, it’s now a situation in which you should be gracious towards me.”

A grin flickered across my face in disbelief.

“Are you struggling that hard to shorten your remaining days?”

“It’s fine if you don’t want the story. But I wouldn’t recommend that. I’ve made it clear to my men before coming here.”

Jereon watched me with boundless self-assurance.

“If I don’t return by sunset today, they’ll immediately send a full report to the Order of Light Knights. Tell them I’ve been abducted by a true follower of the mist, and ask them to come quickly to the rescue!”

A deceitful old man, indeed.

Yet, not the type to give me pause.

“I can tell by a mere glance what kind of person you are. The kind who loathes getting dragged into bothersome situations. Am I wrong?”

He hit the nail on the head.

Whether the Knight of Light Order or the Light Legion comes, from my stance, they are all the same.

Of course, I am confident I could resolve matters swiftly.

But the issue remains,

“Did your cunning tongue help you climb to the rank of Commander?”

“In part, indeed.”

That I couldn’t refute his words was troubling.

If I killed him after extracting information poorly, it would only create more troubles later on.

That’s not a preferable outcome.

“My stance remains unchanged. It’s a simple exchange of information for mutual benefit.”

“Information about the true followers of the mist?”

“It was until yesterday, but things have changed today. What I want to know is about you!”

I stared him down wordlessly, my gaze hard.

Slightly contemptuous.

“Geez, you’re quite the grim looker. Now that it’s out you’re the owner of the demonic sword, doesn’t it follow that you’d also be the star of that event seven years ago? Why keep secrets now? I promise, upon my very life, that I won’t reveal the story we share today.”

Thereupon, he drew his sword and performed the Knight’s Oath in earnest.

I exhaled a rotten sigh towards the ceiling in resignation.

“So, it seems we’ve reached an understanding. Well, I guess it’s time I shared what you’re curious about regarding the name Dio Hapencus.”

I remained silent in response.

“Let me start with a simple introduction. Hapencus is a name from an old era, known to have followed the Black Mist.”

His nonchalance shattered in an instant.

What? Followers of the Black Mist?

Continuing as if he expected my reaction, Jereon said,

“About 30 years ago, when I newly took command of the Order of Light Knights, I had a private conversation with the saintess Nephrodite. She asked me point blank if I knew why we needed to disperse the mist.”

It was a rather enigmatic question.

“Her answer involved the Hapencus family. Oh, let me preface with this. The saintess of the Light Knights that you’re aware of is actually…”

“A White Elf?”

His triumphant expression contorted in surprise.

“Ah, you knew?”

“Just continue with your story.”

Jereon resumed, clearing the awkwardness in his throat.

“Ever wonder why we, followers of the mist, face such relentless persecution in this land?”

If I were to answer, it would likely be due to those intent on preserving the old order.

Including that saintess and a few others linked to me.

“She told me. Simply because there’s precedent. According to her, followers of the mist not only disturbed the peace of old but also incited bloodshed among the gods themselves. As a messenger who listens to the voice of the Light God, she’s a living witness to that history.”

The origin of all evil.

An angle largely viewed from the victor’s perspective, I surmised.

Though not of great significance.

“We didn’t live in those times, so what can we know? We can, however, speculate. The author of this book, Dio Hapencus, likely had connections to the Black Mist’s followers before you.”

He leaned back as if he’d said all that he could.

The Hapencus family, known to have supported the Black Mist in an old era.

Ceyram seemed particularly sensitive to this name.

Almost as if it’s something I shouldn’t know.

[It must have been around then. That fool too…]

Was it related to the fool that Ceyram mentioned to me?

If so, then this Dio fellow might have been…

“Lord Jereon!!”

A desperate call broke my heavy musings.

A middle-aged man, seemingly one of the old man’s subordinates, rushed up from the first floor.

“Weren’t you ordered to wait outside my tavern?”

“I apologize! However, there’s urgent news…”

The man whispered something into Jereon’s ear as if it were a secret. Trying to ignore it and focus on my thoughts, my eyes closed—only to snap open at the sound of a slam.

Jereon stood up, pushing his seat violently.

“The saintess is dead?”

* * *

Untrue smiles exchanged, the tension thick even as Boris’s face remained a picture of tranquility.

“There are knights outside. Do you think if you kill me now, you could escape this place without issue?”

“If anyone else, perhaps, but you know that’s not my style, don’t you?”

“Even so, your successor’s fate would surely be of concern, wouldn’t it?”

“Don’t overstep. You just might push me to the point of not caring about successors either.”

Silica, who had momentarily drawn a hidden blade, sat back down, her face returning to its previously gentle expression.

“Were you unaware that I’ve been at the royal palace?”

“I also am not unaware that I’ve saved your life several times. You seemed quite adept, not only in magic but also in tightrope walking.”

Silica knew full well Boris had been in the palace for some time, and she’d been monitoring him since, but for some reason, Boris hadn’t breathed a word about Sian or Mist.

Otherwise, she couldn’t have set foot in the palace as the eldest daughter of the Nigrity family.

“It wasn’t easy to turn an incompetent princess into a capable puppet. You’d have made a name for yourself had you continued at the academy.”

“You jest. I simply pointed her in a direction. Everything else is entirely her own making.”

Boris’s gaze shifted to the black book on the table.

“People’s minds are straightforward. They’re more attracted to what they can see rather than hear a hundred times. After that incident seven years ago, the princess began questioning. She doubted whether the Black Mist was truly the malevolent force disrupting our order.”

“So you enlightened her about the truth?”

“I merely pointed her towards discovery.”

Boris continued with a triumphant look.

“It’s simple. Give power to that ‘something.’ All things reveal their true nature when granted power. You of the mist should be no different, right?”

A chaos of conjecture snapped into clear understanding, shaking Silica.

“What are you planning now?”

“Nothing significant. Just planning to give you a bit more power.”

He lifted the book, showing it off to her.

“Dio Hapencus. Surely you, serving the god of the Black Mist, haven’t missed that name. Soon, the people of the continent will realize, through the teachings in this book, that mist is not as terrible as it’s made out to be…”

“Are you sure you can handle the consequences? What are you expecting us to do with these followers?”

“Do as you please. If possible, do everything in your power.”

Silica pondered.

This loathsome man must have reasons for glibly spewing their plans, especially to her.

Otherwise, he wouldn’t show such brash confidence.

“Rest assured. The princess doesn’t know you’re Mist’s leader. She thinks she will discuss the next steps with me following the Order’s disbandment. In reality, that’s already happening.”

Light’s Order won’t sit idly by once disbanded; they will act to fill the gap, along with advancing new plans—Silica knew this well.

“It seems I need to advance our plans.”

Without showing her hand, she replied with a leisurely smile.

“The day when your overbearing face gets twisted up like trash, that’s what I’m waiting for. Our plans might need an acceleration as well.”

“I look forward to that. To see whose face distorts first, it’s genuinely thrilling.”

With these final words, Silica rose and exited. Boris, left alone, looked up at the ceiling and muttered softly,

“Due time approaches. The dawn of a new era. Just like back then…”

(To be continued)

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