Karim woke up feeling pain coming from his entire body.
Karim waited for the pain to subside and thought about what brought him in this state. Then he remembered what had happened before he fainted.
The man was probably the man that appeared along with the woman noble. Karim thought he was probably that Stiel woman's pet, but he was mistaken. Karim felt goosebumps rising as he remembered the man beating away like a madman.
As Karim focused on himself to heal, Akra helped him. Then someone came in from outside.
"Viscount Locke… how long have I been out?"
"About a week."
Karim was dumbfounded to hear that.
"Dammit. Where are those two?"
"They… went for the Cocul Estate. They are heading for the Levadan Estate from there. It has been about three days now."
"If… you are thinking about revenge, you should think again."
"What? What do you mean?"
Karim became angry at what Locke just told him. But Locke shook his head and explained what he had seen after he went to chase after the Graans.
"They were all crushed? All those Alphas? And the rest of them?"
Locke was terrified after checking out the size of the Graan army by looking at their corpses. There were hundreds of Alphas and a countless number of minions. It was too much for him and the other nobles to handle. The Graan forces were large enough that only joint forces of a large number of nobles would be able to push it back.
"…and the man did it all by himself?"
"Yes. He didn't seem like he wanted to hide it either. If he can do that alone… he's a Marquis at least."
That was too powerful for Karim to handle. Some might say that he should ask his father for help, but that was because people did not know much about Karltonheim. He wasn't the type to overprotect his son. The reason why he let his son run rampant during his Marquis days was to pressure other nobles by using his son. He was now a Duke, who needed no forces, so he probably wasn't interested in such matters anymore.
All Dukes left their estate as soon as they became one, as they did not require Akra. Karltonheim Estate was now under fierce competition on who would take over.
Karim then decided it was best to report it to his father anyway. It was up to him to decide afterward. Then he left for his estate. His estate was the only place with the twins connected to the Karltonheim Estate.
Karim talked through the twins after coming back to his estate. He was very tense.
<so… they="" destroyed="" the="" entire="" apental="" and="" beat="" you="" up?="">
Karim answered sheepishly. He was always too terrified by his father Karltonheim, even when it was only a transferred message through a twin's mouth.
<so, what="" do="" you="" want="" from="" me?="" don't="" say="" you="" want="" to="" borrow="" my="" hand.="">
Karim shook his head frantically.
"No! I just thought I should report to you."
<you don't="" need="" to="" report="" such="" petty="" matters.="" by="" the="" way,="" you="" should="" come="" here="" soon.="">
"Huh? What is it?"
<duke conrad="" is="" coming="" our="" way.="" it="" will="" be="" a="" good="" chance="" for="" you="" to="" see="" him="" also.="" come.="">
'Hmph. Who are they?'
Karltonheim thought about it after finishing up the conversation. Other than the fact that they appeared out of nowhere, there wasn't anything special about it.
"Well, if Apental has been closed off, it's good. But Conrad…"
Duke Conrad contacted to visit him at the moment he became a Duke. It was as expected.
"I will look forward to your visit."
"You know, I always thought these people here were so primitive."
"But it looks like you adapted well to this place! I'm proud of you, Sian. Hehe."
Sian couldn't say anything to Stiel who was enjoying teasing him.
"Stiel, aren't you going to thank me or anything? I came to save you like a knight in shining armor, didn't I?"
"Yeah, and beat him up like a mad dog. Hahahaha."
"Haha… You know I'm just joking right? So was Apental all taken care of?"
Sian seemed unhappy but he sighed and answered.
"Yeah. I destroyed the entire lake and the surroundings so we can't enter through there anyway. I didn't expect the dead bodies to have the will to do it."
"Well, was that why it made those monsters come after you?"
"Haha. But five years… Did you then fight in there for over a thousand years?"
Stiel remembered it had been over a week when he was dropped at Apental last time. If the current time was five years, it seemed like it meant a thousand years inside. But Sian shook his head.
"I think that's because I was at the eighth floor. I think the time difference lessened as I came up. I think it was probably about a hundred years there. The first floor probably had about same time speed."
Stiel then the changed subject to the Akra.
"But this Akra is really convenient. We just need to follow this resonance."
"Can't we just go directly to our final destination?"
"I heard the distance is too far for that."
Even when the Ciculus Tree had powerful Akra Resonance, it did not reach out too far. Even the Akra Resonance that they were following now, wasn't really big. It was very slight and a small sign that only superhuman senses could follow.
"I heard a Marquis or a Duke can cross over one or two estates on the way, but I can't do that. I guess I'm below a Marquis considering that."
"Yeah, the man said he was a Count too. So you must be a Count here."
As they spoke, they saw a giant tree from a distance.
"There it is. It really is far."
It was the Cocul Estate. Cocul Estate's tree didn't seem as large as the tree back at the Locke Estate. After they arrived, they searched for Viscount Cocul.
"Greetings. I am Cocul."
Cocul already had learned of their coming so he greeted Stiel and Sian with hospitality. He would have done it anyway even without the message as Stiel was now full of Akra that spread powerful resonance.
Cocul seemed to be tense and Stiel scoffed.
"Look, it makes me look like I'm a scary person."
"It's better than you having no Akra and beating up everyone every day."
Cocul then turned to the man. Locke said this man next to the Count was even more powerful. But there was no Akra in him. This kind of man was more dangerous because there was a chance that someone might attack him by mistake.
"So… I heard you are going to Levadan Estate to find out about Duke Conrad?"
"Yes. I heard he went there while ago."
"Is Duke Conrad's information is what you need?"
"No, I want to meet him."
Cocul then seemed as if he was confused and slapped his hands, realizing what had happened.
"Oh, have you not stopped by a Baron's Estate on the way?"
"No, I just ran straight here."
"Then you probably didn't hear. You don't need to go to Levadan Estate."
"Why is that?"
"We have received a message, all of us nobles did, that Duke Conrad is on his way to meet with Duke Karltonheim at his estate. You should go there too."
"Huh? Is that information that important? To tell all the nobles?"
It was good that he knew, but Sian couldn't understand why the ruckus at one noble meeting another noble.
"We won't have such a chance."
Cocul also seemed very excited and began explaining to Sian who was confused.</duke></you></so,></so…>