While standing in front of the castle gate, the servants were busy welcoming the guests who had been invited by the Knight of Marshall. From lords of neighboring lands and royals living inside Harvest City, everyone who paid their visit tonight had some type of reputation to their name. This just showed how resourceful the Knight of Marshall really was.
The banquet was to be held in the castle’s main hall. There were hundreds of giant smokeless candles being lit across the building. For the supper tonight, there were some fine wine transported from Bakong City and some freshly cooked beasts that were just hunted from the forest.
As the night approached,almost all the guests had made their way into the ballroom. No one would be late for an event like this, of course. While night-time entertainment was plentiful on planet Earth, things get pretty dull in this world at night. The poor couldn’t afford lanterns, so they would just sleep when the Moon had made its appearance. The rich, on the other hand, had nothing else to do but to read books in their basements. The theatre was an option if you lived in the city, but the shows were not displayed at every single night.
It was very expensive to hold a banquet as big as this one. Most noblemen could only afford one or two in a year. Their wallets would be empty if they decided to go any further.
Come to think of it, there was no banquet back at the Bennett Knight’s domain. Abel didn’t know how the Knight of Marshall managed his finances, but there was probably a lot the Knight of Bennett could learn from him.
Since Abel was the star tonight, he and the Knight of Marshall had to wait on the second floor before making their entrance. They would only come out after the butler Lindsay had introduced them to the guests.
“Thank you all for coming here,” Lindsay called out in his fancy black suit,“Please, let’s welcome the honorable owner of this estate, the Knight of Marshall. And let’s welcome Abel, who is our new master of the Marshall Family.”
The guests all started clapping as the Knight of Marshall and Abel came down the stairs. While Abel just kept on nodding his head to greet them, the Knight of Marshall seemed much more composed in this kind of situation. He held his head high, had a confident, wide grin on his face, and rose his cup to for a celebratory toast with everyone.
The Knight of Marshall was the only one that Abel recognized. Besides, as a young boy of thirteen, it wasn’t like he was going to be invited to dance with any girls. The guests would say hello to him, but that was about it. The most he could do was to greet back at them and carry on.
“Look at that lucky kid with his dark hair.”
“Yeah. He’s really lucky, isn’t he?”
“Hey, why is it him and not me?”
“You? Come on, it should’ve been me. I look better than you on any given day.”
As Abel turned to the source of the noise, he could see a bunch of young men joking amongst themselves. They didn’t seem to notice him, though, until he came a bit closer. Things started getting awkward real quick at that point.
A young man in white suit bowed and apologized, “Sorry, we didn’t notice that you’re here.”
“No need for apologies,” Abel greeted back with a bow of his own, “I was the one who interrupted your conversation.”
Abel was technically a middle-aged man. Upon his arrival at the Harry Castle, he had already prepared himself for any gossip that could go behind his back. Besides, these boys were just having a chat. There was no big deal about that.
From what it looked like, these few youngsters took a liking in Abel’s cool demeanor. They started dragging him into their little group and started talking about gossip together. At one point, they discussed how a lord found himself a new lover. Another time, it was about someone who caught some kind of prey.
The man in the white suit was Isaac, the oldest son of Baron Victor. He was the one who brought up Abel back then. Being adopted by an heirless knight was considered as “extremely lucky,” and Abel happened to be one who has won the jackpot.
Baron Victor, who was one of the many barons living inside Harvest City. Overall, barons lived a comfortable life wherever they were, but most of them still had to work for their lavish expenses. To be a nobleman, one had to spend quite some gold for all sorts of things.
This was why noblemen tended to engage in the trading business. While such practices were considered lowly to the eyes of the aristocrats, they had no other choices but to learn to live with it. They had no lands of their own. Even someone like the Knight of Bennett was considered better than them becausewellat least he owned his piece of land.
No land, and no castle. This was why the barons could only live in the city. Life was convenient here, but nothing could be freer than living in your own castle. Besides, owning a piece of land was the same as having a secured source of income. It would mean securing the funding of your own troops and being able to grow your own crops.
No wonder Isaac sounded so sour back then. As long as there was no ill intention behind it, Abel didn’t mind being the target of jealousy.
While sipping his wine, Abel listened to the conversation between these young men. He would occasionally say something as to not appear unsocial to them, but he also tried not to be too intrusive while doing so.
Everything was seemingly well until he felt a menacing stare. Abel wasn’t sure what was going on, so he just pretended to not notice it. His eyes were scanning across the crowd, though, and his hands still waggling onto that wineglass he was holding.
It was a young man. He had an upright stature, a handsome-looking face, and blonde hair that was combed as neatly as it could get. His eyes were rather slanted, however, and that somehow made him look more feminine than he should be.
Abel lightly tapped Isaac on his arm, “Who is that?”
“Him?” Daniel threw a quick glance at the boy, but quickly turned his head back in disgust, ” Oh, his name is Daniel. If you ask me, he’s as slimy as it gets.”
“Why would you say that?” Abel asked in curiosity.
“Well, his father was a merchant, but his older sister got married to Lord Walker, and makes him half a nobleman. You’d think he’d be satisfied with that, but oh no. After hearing about how the Knight of Marshall didn’t have an heir, he started begging his sister to help him get adopted. His sister couldn’t do anything about it, of course, so she asked Lord Walker to talk directly with the Knight of Marshall. He did, and the Knight of Marshall turned him down right away.”
Isaac seemed keen to talk about this kind of stuff, “You know what the other nobles say about this? It’s been a real hot topic amongst themselves lately.”
Isaac paused for a bit more of his wine. He wanted to see some sort of reaction from Abel but was slightly let down by how calm this young boy was being.
“They’ve been saying that ‘good boy’. Daniel doesn’t know his place. Can you believe that? Not just him, everyone’s been making fun of Lord Walker. He kind of deserved it, too, to be honest. What kind of knight would take in the son of a merchant? Even if the Knight of Marshall said yes, his whole family wouldn’t agree to that!”
Thanks to how gossipy Isaac was getting, he pretty much told Abel everything he knew about Daniel. Because of him, Abel was starting to understand why Daniel had such a dislike for him from the very start.
But still. Abel didn’t like talking behind other people’s backs. He thought it was boring, and to be fair, most of the information that was thrown around was nothing but rumors. After spending a few more minutes with these youngsters, he said goodbye to them and went to the toilet.
Oddly enough, Daniel saw this and went to the toilet as well.
Abel didn’t go in the toilet. Instead, he went to a nearby window for some fresh air. His twelve-year-old body was not quite used to having liquor yet. While the chilling night wind was blowing on his face, he reminded himself that he wasn’t going to have any alcohol from here on.
For crying out loud, he was a former bodybuilding trainer. He knew better than to engage in underage drinking.
As the host of today’s event, it would be rude to be absent for too long. But just as Abel was about to walk back to the hall, someone suddenly started charging towards him. Abel was fast enough to react to this, so he started activating his level four Novice Knight power.
Whoever this fool was, he didn’t make Abel flinch. If anything, after running into him, he was bounced back three-meter from where he came from. His body flew in the air for a while, and his body started sliding for an extra two meters before he finally stopped.
Realizing that there was a situation going, people started coming over for a look.
“It’s Daniel,” a knight came and turned over the body of the attacker.
A young woman in fluffy skirts starting running over, “Oh my! Dear Daniel, what happened to you?”
“Abel! What just happened?” the Knight of Marshall came and demanded an explanation.
“I’m not sure either,” Abel opened his arms to feign ignorance, “He started charging at me. Next thing I know, his whole body started flying away.”
The Knight of Marshall didn’t see it himself, but it wasn’t hard for him to figure out what actually happened. Abel was a newcomer to this castle. He barely knew anyone, which meant that he had no motive to hurt anyone. And even if he was trying to show Daniel who’s boss, it was unlikely for him to do it on the day of his welcome banquet.
As for Daniel, the Knight of Marshall knew who he was. After rejecting this young man’s imprudent request, he remembered being mocked by his friends for turning him down so quickly. If it wasn’t because of Lord Walker, he would very much like to teach this young man a lesson in proper etiquette.
And here they were. The Knight of Marshall didn’t want to cause anything big, but what Daniel had done was unforgivable. At a banquet held by the Knight of Marshall, he decided to assault the future heir of the Marshall Family. Abel was already a noble now which made the crime twice as severe than it already was.
While paying no attention to the crying young woman nearby, the Knight of Marshall called out to Lord Walker, who was still standing back in the crowd.
“Sir Walker. So what is the purpose of you bringing Daniel to my castle? Is this an attempt to ridicule the Harry Family? Or are you trying to set up a duel with me on behalf of your family name?”
Lord Walker had quite a displeased look on his face when he saw Daniel on the ground. Honestly, he would’ve never brought Daniel here if he knew how feral the boy would be. Daniel was begging him to let him have a look at the next heir of the Harry Family. That was the only reason he was allowed to tag along.