Chapter 41: Prove Your Resolve (3)

I had no choice but to retract my earlier assessment of Miss Rubia.

A shrewd businesswoman? Hardly.

She was just an over-the-top noona who didn’t act her age.

‘If she were a YouTuber hyping up Korean culture in the modern era, she would have been a massive success. She’s simply out of her time.’

It was only natural for me to think that way.

All I did was tell her to inform the kids about our identity and confirm their willingness to participate.

Her tense expression.

The sight of her breaking out in a cold sweat.

Her face seemed to scream, ‘The inevitable has come,’ as she swallowed nervously.

Her reactions were always so dramatic.

During that fake Black fangs incident, she fainted from fear, and on the train, she made a fuss over trivial matters.

Now, she wore an expression as if she had been entrusted with the most critical mission in the world.

“By confirming their resolve, you mean...?”

“We need to make sure they can join us, of course.”

Why was she asking such an obvious question?

I couldn’t understand her way of thinking.

Since we were going to train the kids, I wasn’t a psychopath. Naturally, I needed their consent.

We had to explain what kind of training they would undergo and how they would live. It was essential to confirm if they were truly prepared.

“We need to explain what we’re going to do and make sure the kids can follow through.”

I explained to Miss Rubia once again.

Despite her fuss, it wasn’t really a big deal.

When we rescued the kids from the Black Market, we already asked them once.

This was just a reconfirmation.

“If... if the kids aren’t ready... will we, k-kill them?”

...I was momentarily dumbfounded.

I was grateful I wasn’t drinking tea.

Otherwise, I would have spat it all over Miss Rubia.

“What nonsense are you spouting?”

I knew she was strange, but this was over the top.

Why would we kill someone just because they didn’t sign a consent form?

If they didn’t want to, they didn’t want to.

I wasn’t a crazed psychopath.

Kidnapping kids and forcing them to fight would make me a madman, a human piece of trash.

This had to be done with their agreement.

We wouldn’t make the kids do anything unreasonable, and we’d ensure their safety as much as possible.

But their will was paramount.

“We just need to make them swear by mana not to disclose anything about us, and then we’ll let them go.”

Miss Rubia looked at me with a shocked expression.

As if she truly thought I would kill those kids.

...Just what kind of person did she take me for?

There was something vaguely unsettling about this, but I couldn’t argue since I had my own reasons for feeling guilty.

I had been pushing my limits lately.

Impersonating the Empire’s most villainous terrorist organization.

Killing and robbing Black Market operators.

Flooding anti-Empire propaganda videos. (This one is still being diligently distributed daily like a daily quest.)

It would be strange if someone doing all this didn’t come off as crazy.

For me, in a situation where the world was on the brink of destruction, I figured there was no need to hold back.

But Miss Rubia wouldn’t understand those circumstances.

In the end, it was my own karma.

So, I opened my mouth again to provide a detailed explanation.

“We’re just confirming if they’re ready to join us. Even if someone isn’t ready, we’ll support them; we won’t kill them.”

They were all young children, after all.

If we abandoned them and they got captured as slaves again, it would certainly haunt my dreams.

As for food expenses, the gold coins Asher gave us would last us thirty years without any problems.

Even if we had deserters, we could still take care of them.

“Oh, I see!”

Miss Rubia responded cheerfully.

She looked visibly relieved.

As if a weight had been lifted from her shoulders.

‘So, her strange reactions were because of this misunderstanding.’

She had clearly misunderstood something about me.

I still wondered why she hadn’t believed it when I offered to make a mana vow.

Well, at least it seemed she cleared up the misunderstanding now, so that was a relief.

“I completely understand! Indeed, we should confirm their resolve for the children’s safety.”

Miss Rubia said this and then left.

Why was it?

Her words, “I completely understand,” were strangely bothering me.

I couldn’t quite figure it out.


Rubia felt as if she could fly at any moment.

Lately, she hadn’t been able to sleep properly due to worry.

Finally, she had alleviated her biggest concern.

‘Indeed, the captain is a bit scary, but...’

It was clear he wasn’t a bad person.

Anyone could tell just from his reaction just now.

Despite his overwhelming strength, capable of killing a Archmage without batting an eye and disregarding a mana vow,

his heart seemed surprisingly warm.

‘The Black Fangs themselves are quite a peaceful group.’

They pursue a peaceful revolution, aiming to hold hands with the nobles rather than killing them outright.

They didn’t harm civilians.

For a revolutionary group, they were quite gentle.

‘Maybe that’s why he got angry before.’

The Black Market incident.

When the Archmage running the fake Black Fangs and the Black Market was wiped off the face of the earth in an instant.

She was only human, so she couldn’t help but be terrified of a leader who could commit such acts without batting an eye.

In hindsight, though it was frightening, it was undoubtedly the right thing to do.

After all, he severely punished the Empire’s knight who was massacring people and killed the dark mage who was running the Black Market.

The reason for such a harsh punishment at that time must have been due to his warm heart.

He couldn’t stand by and watch evil deeds, which is why he was so furious.

‘There were many other unsettling incidents as well.’

It would be stranger if someone with a sense of perception far beyond that of ordinary humans behaved the same as a normal person.

With that thought, many things began to make sense.

Losing his sense of the value of money.

Making bizarre jokes about making a mana vow even though he could ignore mana vows.

If you consider that an extraordinary being might behave that way, it starts to make sense.

Suddenly, she felt as if all the burdens on her heart had lifted.

When you think about it, this wasn’t a bad situation at all.

An unimaginable strength, a presence that seemed invincible.

And this person was treating her more favorably than she had expected.

His personality seemed better than she thought too.

Rubia thought about this and smiled brightly... then quickly snapped back to reality.

It was a natural reaction.

She wasn’t a successful businesswoman for no reason.

There’s no poison more deadly than complacency and overconfidence.

Even if such an extraordinary being showed her favor, it was crucial not to become overconfident.

‘He is kind to his own people.’

Which, in other words, means he could be incredibly cruel to his enemies.

Moreover, she was, after all, someone who had been his enemy.

The magic addiction cure.

It was she who had tried to supply it to the Empire.

The leader spared her life as an act of final mercy.

To not let her guard down and to prove her usefulness.

That was the optimal choice for her to make now.

She needed to use all her abilities to help the Black Fangs.

‘There’s something that comes to mind.’

Lately, more and more nobles were trying to make contact with the Black Fangs.

Given the intent behind those videos, it was clear that the leader was looking for new talent.

So, she would carefully select trustworthy and capable individuals from among them and bring them in.

That should be enough to earn her some credit.

‘First, I need to do what the leader instructed.’

Tell the children about the true aspirations of the Black Fangs, their noble goal.

Make sure they are truly prepared to dedicate themselves to this cause.

She fully understood the leader’s instructions.

This was also something Rubia wanted.

Even if she knew the leader was kinder than she thought, it didn’t eliminate her discomfort.

Living with someone who seemed capable of destroying an entire country with a mere gesture was naturally nerve-wracking.

But… what was even more unsettling was the leader’s followers.

Especially that kid, Siel.

The leader’s fanatic.

Whenever she talked to Ian, that child’s gaze was fiercely intense.

As a businesswoman adept at reading people’s emotions, she could tell.

That twisted possessiveness in her eyes.

It was worse because the girl herself wasn’t even aware of it.

If she’s this intense now without being fully aware, what would happen if she truly became obsessed… she didn’t even want to imagine.

She wanted to prevent thirty more such fanatics from emerging.

So, explaining the meaning and risks of joining a revolutionary group to the children again, and if they got scared and gave up...

That would be quite convenient for Rubia.

‘They’re just kids. If I scare them, they’ll probably give up quickly.’

With this thought, Rubia entered the room where the children were.

Why was it?

She had a sense of foreboding, but…

It was surely just her imagination.

No matter how monstrous the leader’s abilities were.

Could he really have swayed those kids’ hearts and turned them into his followers in such a short time?

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