14 Return of the Guards
It was his unlucky day.
Sian was anticipating to meet beautiful Noble girls, beautiful female knights, beautiful female magic priests or beautiful priests… At least that was how he believed the party to be.
He heard from his brother that he had a hard time at the party because of all the women that gathered around him. Sian did not know that only applied to his brother who was handsome.
The people he got to meet today was the short-tempered female knight, nicknamed Chariot (Chariot for a woman's nickname. It was how she behaved.) and this smelly man, who seemed to be eager to pick on him.
Sian sighed deeply and hoped that this Returnee wasn't coming at him, but the War God was not with Sian.
The man who came up to him began introducing himself.
"Hey, famous! I am Jack from Viscount Qual. I am a Returnee. I heard about the Roman family. Nice to meet you."
Sian figured out what was going on.
It had been only a month since he was assigned to the capital. There was no way he could've become famous as this man mentioned. This man, Jack, had mistaken him for Rian.
Count Roman was famous and he had definitely mistaken him to be Rian since he looked just like his father. (His brother looked more like his mother, with soft lines that gave him a handsome look.)
Sian thought of two ways to go about the situation.
Continue to let him talk with his misunderstanding.
Correct him and send him to Rian.
Under normal circumstances, the answer would've been 2, but he was too lazy. However, this man was ready to pick a fight and this man was stronger than Rian.
It was possible that if he sent this man to Rian, his brother would be in trouble for handling him. This man was eager to cause such trouble for his brother.
As a loving brother, Sian thought about handling this with his own hands. Luckily, this man did not ask directly if he was Rian, so there seemed to be no problem even if he found out if he was Sian and not Rian.
It was best not to cause any trouble, but if he did, he would just punch him a few times.
"Oh, good day Sir Jack. Congratulations on your return."
"Yes, good to see you too. I heard so much about you from the Wall and was curious.
"So, how are the things going with protecting the 'peaceful' capital? I was expecting a fatter person since life here would be so good! But you look so scrawny!"
He chose his words carefully to taunt him, but Sian agreed to everything he said. He was, after all, protecting the peaceful capital. He was, after all, living so peacefully. He loved life here.
"Yes, the capital is so peaceful. It's very comfortable.
"I see that you lived a harsh life. Your face bears it. You should enjoy the peaceful life here from now on."
Jack immediately knew he had made the correct judgment. Just as he thought, this Rian was a jerk. He was sure that even Miran would not object this now.
Jack hated how he looked so old. Everyone, even his closest friend at the Wall told him that he looked old.
Most Bander users looked younger than their actual age. To prove this, Returnees were usually in their late thirties to forties, but they all looked like they were in their twenties. Except Jack.
He looked old since he was very young. Other Noble girls avoided him because of this.
Jack was infuriated that this man picked up on that, but he could not cause any trouble, yet.
"Oh… ha… HAHA! Thank you for that. I wish I met you at the Great North Wall!"
'I would've broken those scrawny arms of yours.'
Jack thought to himself and smiled as he offered a handshake.
Sian looked at the hand and decided to finish it.
He was going to deal with him if he exploded with his words, but he did not. Of course, Sian did not mean anything when he mentioned the looking old part.
He had no intentions to talk any longer with a man who was trying to pick a fight and it was sure to cause more trouble if he found out Sian was not Rian.
Before he went to his brother and caused more trouble, he decided this guy should rest for the night without retiring himself from the party.
"Yes, it was good to meet you. Sir Jack."
As Sian held the hand, Jack began squeezing it while he used his family's Bander-Roa <Red Train> onto Sian's hand.
It was possible to break a few of his fingers, but he was a Master, so he figured he would handle this.
'I guess the stories from Mother weren't all fairytales after all. Hah.'
Sian sighed as he watched Jack trying to crush his hand. Then he decided that he would do the same thing his opponent was trying to do to him.
Jack almost screamed. He screamed inside as his opponent squeezed his hand with tremendous power. It felt just like when his arm was twisted by the Harijan back at the Wall.
Not only that, the Bander that he poured onto him was now being thrown back viciously. It felt as if his intestines had been twisted.
He felt his fingers getting crushed, but this man did not stop. He began preparing to throw a punch at the man with his left hand. He needed to stop him before this man crushed his right hand.
At that moment, the man let go of his hand. The Bander that surged inside was gone too.
Jack let out a gasp and sat down on the ground.
"Oh, Sir Jack. Is something wrong? You must be tired! I guess the party was too much for you since you just returned! You should go home and rest."
Sian then felt his brother finishing his discussion and moved away as Jack hollowedly watched him leave.
Sian delightfully greeted his brother.
"Hey! Long time no see!"
"Yes, Sian. Long time no see. I heard you got into Guarran-Tia. Great job. It's absurd that a man like you stays at home without doing anything."
Rian, who was talking with others, greeted Sian back.
"The Noble factions are up to something."
Rian spoke as he glanced to where Sian had been standing just now where people had gathered around.
"Oh, yeah. Don't mind that. Sir Jack will recover quickly."
Rian looked at his brother oddly.
His brother was never interested in politics. He was not interested in the Guards either. This meant there was no way that Sian would've known Sir Jack, the Returnee from Viscount Qual's family. By Sian knowing his name, that only meant one thing.
"Sian, did you cause trouble?"
Rian sighed. He did not know the details, but it looked like Sir Jack was the reason for the commotion and the culprit was right in front of him.
"It was nothing. He wouldn't say anything either."
"Okay. I guess you know better than that."
Rian knew Sian was lazy. He knew his younger brother better than his father did so he believed that Sian figured to not make it a bigger problem.
'You should be thankful, Brother,' Sian thought, but did not bring it out of his mouth.
They began sharing their experiences in the capital and their parents. But there was a lot of people around Captain Rian and they were focusing on the man who just approached him.
This man was the second son of the Roman family. With a Bander Rating of 57, he was bound to have such talent also.
One of them approached.
"Oh, isn't this the famous second son of the Roman family? Great to meet you. Would you mind if you introduce me, Sir Rian?" the man asked Rian politely.
"Of course. Everyone, this is my younger brother Sian von Roman. He is seventeen years old and is now working as a Guarran-Tia. Sian, this here is Sir Ron. He is the third son of Viscount Karran. One of the Returnees."
"Oh, so he is starting from Guarran-Tia also! You must be proud, Sir Rian! Are you afraid that your brother might break that record of yours? Haha!"
"Nice to meet you, Sir Ron," Sian answered. He was the Returnee from the Royal faction. The Roman families always kept neutral on politics, but Rian was so loyal to the Kingdom and the King that he had made friends with the Royal factions already.
As more people from the Royal faction began introducing themselves, Sian felt more uncomfortable.
'Ugh, this wasn't what I expected.'
He did not want to side with one faction. He was set on staying neutral, but this wasn't helping. It was even more so because he just had a small skirmish with a Returnee from a Noble faction.
Sian noticed that something was going wrong. He even felt a group of people from the Noble faction approaching.
'Ugh, so you told what happened?'
Sian felt the energy of the approaching people. It was the Guards from the Noble factions. They must've heard about what happened from Sir Jack.
"Captain Rian! Where are you! You will not hide after everything you did to our man!"
Rian stepped out, looking confused. He stayed in the middle of the party entire time and did not speak with anyone from the Noble faction.
"What's going on? I'm Rian von Roman."
"I am Lennon, the firstborn of Marquis Narasha. Is the Captain of the Knight Guard allowed to crush a man's hand?"
"What are you talking about? I have been standing here the entire time."
"HAH, so you lie. Sir Jack told me the son of the Roman family crushed his hand! I didn't know the Knight Guard was against us when they claimed to stay neutral! He just returned from the Wall to protect the land!"
Rian immediately knew what had happened and sighed.
'Brother… so you thought breaking his fingers would make him keep quiet?'
Sian, however, decided he should quell the situation by correcting the misunderstanding and stepped out before his brother could do anything.
"Hello, Sirs. I am Sian von Roman. I am the involved, not my brother. You should talk with me."
Lennon turned to Sian. It was his first time he seeing the second son of the Roman family, but he looked just like Count Roman himself.
But Lennon also knew his age. He was only seventeen. It was impossible for a boy to do something to Sir Jack. Even the famous Sword of the Sun became a Master at the age of twenty.
Lennon coughed. He speculated that Rian had talked with his brother to avoid the blame.
"Sir Rian, I am disappointed. How can you hide behind your little brother? I heard he is only seventeen years old! So you're saying Sir Jack, the warrior who returned from the Wall, had his hands crushed by a seventeen-year-old?"
People began murmuring among themselves. Rian was a Master-level warrior, but it seemed impossible for a seventeen-year-old boy to do something like that.
"No, why would he do that? You should ask Sir Jack right now. He can tell you. Besides, a hand grip doesn't represent fighting skill. I just made a handshake but his hand was too soft. Don't get too worked up."
Sian spoke the truth (he was upset that his brother was being talked down upon) but Lennon was not convinced. In fact, Lennon was here to pressure Rian anyway. However, Sian's response made it hard for him to do that and it would make it seem as if Sir Jack had his hands crushed by a seventeen-year-old. That would be a bad reputation for them.
Lennon gritted his teeth as he speculated Rian to be smarter than he thought. He always believed Rian to be a just powerful warrior, but not much else. Not only was Rian smarter, but he was also was cold. He even put his younger brother in a dangerous situation for his own sake.
"Good. I guess there was a misunderstanding then… I can't cause trouble for a handshake, alright. I will see this through for now. As for Sian… we will meet again."
Lennon and the others backed up and went away.
Sian didn't expect that the man in his forties would tell everyone what happened like a baby. He figured out that his peaceful life had just been ruined and he grimaced.