'So… they are the ones that trained with Akra. Yes, Karim won't be enough to fight them.'
Marquis Ritzson thought as he looked at two who came into the tree. The woman was definitely strong. She seemed to be powerful enough to become a Marquis if she trained within a tree. The Akra Resonance proved it. Karim was one of the stronger Counts, but she seemed to be much stronger.
But the Marquis was more interested in the man.
It was him who wiped out the Alpha mutants. If the rumors were true, it was hard even for him to wipe them out single-handedly. He also heard that Karim was beaten up by the man. If those rumors were correct, he was at least a Marquis.
That was why people were watching out.
When Karltonheim left this estate after he was crowned as a Duke, it might mean that they have gained another competitor.
Therefore, Ritzson came all the way here to Vladek. He couldn't miss the fight between the Dukes, but that wasn't enough.
His own tree wasn't any smaller as it was raised since his Viscount days, but this Ciculus Tree was much grander. The amount of Akra being supplied by the countless number of commoners and the Vladek's power itself made Ritzson dizzy. Surely, the other Marquises were also tempted to take over this estate.
But that was after the battle was over. Ritszon then turned to the higher ground of Vladek. The fight was to be held a bit farther away from here, but it was enough of a distance to watch.
"So, commoners all live by the roots."
Sian spoke as he looked outside the trunk. Nobles were busy inside finding spots to spectate the fight between the Dukes. The commoners didn't seem to budge at all. The area near the root was very quiet.
"Yes, if the battle starts… the aftershocks will be terrifying. But Vladek can nullify that and that's the why commoners are staying indoors to keep to themselves."
"I see. I thought nobles would try to watch it more closely, not from the inside."
Then Cocul grinned.
"Haha, it's a fight between Dukes. We can see it from here anyways. But I guess we will get to see what kind of magic that the Dukes have earned. Nobody has seen Karltonheim's powers yet as he recently became a Duke. It's the same for Conrad… it will be a good fight. I think they will fight by the mountain area there. Nobles ranted that the mountain was bothersome when walking over it, so they will probably erase it with this chance."
'I should meet with Conrad after.'
It wasn't a fight to kill each other, so Sian thought it would be okay to ask if Conrad was the Con-Rad he knew about.
"But didn't he arrive yet? Why aren't they starting?"
"Maybe they want to talk about a few things beforehand. We should wait."
Sian felt powerful energy going up the tree. He became curious since they didn't start yet, but Stiel seemed uninterested.
On the top of tall Vladek were two figures.
"Greetings. So where did you train?" Karltonheim asked Conrad. He wasn't sure how powerful he was, but now he did. Conrad was at the limit of the race.
He looked like a small girl, but it didn't matter. He was a Duke.
"Is it that important? I'm sorry I'm late. I had to take care of my business elsewhere."
Conrad, who had the body of Kal-Kirat, had grown a bit so he looked like a teenage girl, but a young child was the same to Karltonheim anyway.
"You must be sure of yourself… to accept it at once."
Karltonheim asked, frowning. Even after becoming a Duke, their power varied because of the way they trained their magic and their skills. Conrad laughed.
"Haha, no. I came here to ask you for an offer."
Karltonheim became intrigued.
"An offer? What is it?"
"You probably don't know much since you just became a Duke… but I'm only in for five years also. I just took the job since I was free to go. So…"
"Are you one of the members of Duke Lorvall's group?"
Conrad then stopped the small talk and looked at Karltonheim.
"Where did you hear that?"
Unlike Conrad who seemed to have gained interest, Karltonheim was losing interest.
"I have a way. It's not even a secret."
"…I don't think so."
Conrad became stern.
"You didn't go through a coronation either, didn't you?" Karltonheim asked without answering Conrad.
"Well… I was just offered an invitation to join because I'm special. But does it matter? You just need to fight once and you can choose whether to join or not."
Conrad spoke. He was not smiling anymore as he felt something wasn't going as expected.
"Well, it does. I don't want Lorvall knowing something happened to you when you don't call him back."
Conrad grimaced at the word.
"Well, you've been doing well to fix the barrier so you must've expected as much. I didn't know that this <coronation> had been created. It's good that you're here. The fixing will take longer without you… it will buy me some time too. Perfect."
Conrad pulled power over his body. Karltonheim didn't seem like he was going to let him go easily. He was now being overwhelmed by a black energy.
Conrad then saw the message popping up.
-Enemy has infiltrated through the barrier
-Escape this place and send a message to the Lorvall family.
He needed to get out of Vladek to even have a chance of fighting against him, but the chances were slim.
Cocul turned to Sian, who seemed to be having concerns.
"Didn't you… say that the coronation is held somewhere far away to keep people from getting hurt?"
"Yes. Even when Vladek can withstand the damage, the aftershock will be too much."
"Then you should all run."
Right after that moment, a powerful energy wave shook the tree.
"Ugh… What is…"
"Sian! What happened?" Stiel asked as she looked to the top. She knew what was going on, however. It looked like Conrad and Karltonheim had begun fighting at the top of the tree. She just asked because Sian might know much more in detail.
"I thought Dukes were more civilized… we should get out."
He couldn't stay as Stiel would get involved. He thought of getting out first and coming back to stop the fight, but a weird screeching rang out and the nobles dropped as they held onto their heads.
"Ugh… what is this…!"
Sian frowned. The estate was now absorbing all Akra among the tree at an alarming rate, including Stiel's.
"What did you do?" Conrad asked as he felt the weird absorption happening from below. It was too uncomfortable to let it pass without asking.
"I can't let the food walk out before I eat them. It's why I spread rumors to gather all of them."
"You prepared well. When did you come in?"
"It was getting weak for the past five years. I got in somehow."
"Dammit… So the weakened Apental was the problem."