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Chapter 564: Challenge

 Chapter 564: Challenge

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

A group of men were fleeing east on the highroad, with Edward the Eighth among them. Even though he had fled Diamond City successfully and was now safe, he appeared to have lost all hope. He did not know where he should go. He did not have anything to live for, and did not know why he had left the city. Now, he would have rather perished with his nation.

The men around him were all heavily armored knights. One of the knights in the group had white hair and beard, and his hands were full of wrinkles. However, his lance did not quiver as he rode. The other knight was young and followed the older knight closely. Since Edward the Eighth did not care where they were going, the two knights became the leaders of the group.

However, even they were lost. They had fled the city, but where should they go? Suddenly, the griffins circling the air above them suddenly dove down, screeching. The knights halted, quickly forming a circle, with Edward the Eighth in the middle. Normally, only half of the knights would stay, while the other half would keep going with Edward the Eighth.

However, there were too few of them, and it was safer to stay together. If Edward the Eighth was alone, anyone could take him to the Maho army. These knights were loyal, but they were not sure about anyone else.

As soon as the knights set up their formation, two figures appeared down the road. Both were old and wearing mage robes. The mage in white did not look at the knights. Instead, he glanced down at the road, as if ashamed. The other mage appeared very calm. His gaze swept through the knights, finally stopping on the old knight.

The old knight sighed. "Douminge," he said with a nod. "This must be Saul. Your reputation proceeds you."

The knights around him shuffled and murmured in shock. Douminge alone was able to take out all of them. They did not stand a chance against both Douminge and Saul.

"You must be Shureberger, the Golden Knight," Saul said. "Pleasure."

"So you didn't bring Anfey with you," Shureberger said quietly.

Saul smiled. "He's young," he said. "He has a reason to slack off a bit." Saul knew why Shureberger had asked about Anfey. The Maho Empire was powerful, but the Shansa Empire and the Ellisen Empire had always worked together. Lately, in every single battle that ended with the Maho Empire as the victor, Anfey was there.

Of course, it was wrong to give Anfey all the credit, but it wouldn't be an overstatement to say he was instrumental. He and Alice were able to build up the League of Mercenaries and quicken Yolanthe's plan of uniting all the nations. He was also young, which meant he dared to do things more experienced people, like Baery and Saul, did not want to do. This was why Yolanthe trusted Anfey, even though they had only met a few times.

"Wait!" a shrill voice suddenly broke the silence. Edward the Eighth jumped up and was trying to push through the knights. However, he was not strong enough and could not get through them.

"Wait!" he called, tumbling off of his horse. "I surrender!"

"Your Majesty!" Shureberger called, his eyes wide. He jumped off his horse, trying to help him up.

"Move!" Edward the Eighth said angrily. He raised his hand to swat Shureberger's hand away and caught him in the face. Shureberger did not back away from Edward the Eighth. Instead, he grabbed his shirt and tried to help him up.

"Let me go," Edward the Eighth said, struggling. "I surrender, you hear me?"

Seeing the king he had served his entire life like this, tears swelled in Shureberger's eyes. He turned to Douminge and spat angrily, "You see what you did?"

Shureberger's voice was loud and clear. Hearing his voice, Edward the Eighth stopped his struggling and sat on the ground, staring ahead emptily. Douminge pursed his lips and glanced at Saul.

Saul sighed. Yolanthe had ordered that he must kill Edward the Eighth. Keeping him would be a hazard for both Yolanthe and Alice. If Edward the Eighth acted well after the surrender, he would only bring more trouble. Alice's enemies may want to work with him, and the nobles would prefer to have him as a ruler instead of Alice. If Edward the Eighth remained alive, there would be loyalists that opposed Alice's rule.

"'Your Majesty' is no longer fitting, sir," Saul said. "All of this is his own doing. Had he not sent Alice to the Country of Mercenaries, he would not have ended up here."

Shureberger took a deep breath, but did not say anything. He was loyal to Edward the Eighth, but he also knew that he was not the best ruler.

"You are a Golden Knight, Shureberger. Who was it that imprisoned you in your own home for twenty years?"

"The past is in the past," Shureberger said sternly. "That does not mean anything. He will surrender. What do you say?"

Saul was silent for a few seconds, then whispered, "I'm sorry."

"Of course," Shureberger said with a long sigh. He turned and glanced at Edward the Eighth, then he jumped onto his horse and raised his lance. "I challenge you, Saul."

"You're challenging me?" Saul asked. He knew his own strength, and also knew Shureberger was no threat to him. "You're a true knight, sir. Are you willing to serve such a weak king? Don't you want more in life?"

Shureberger shook his head. "I didn't know mages talked so much," he said. He turned to the young knight behind him.

"It is my honor fighting with you, father," the young knight said with a nod.

"Good boy," Shureberger said with a chuckle.

"Wait!" Douminge said, taking a step forward. "Think about it. Are you willing to let your child die for a king like that? You're willing to see your family perish?"

"My country is gone," Shureberger said. "There's no point. I do not want my king to be alone when he goes. Do you understand? Move, Douminge." Shureberger raised his lance, which exploded in light. He gripped his reins and dashed toward Saul.

Douminge stepped aside, his eyes downcast. Saul sighed as Shureberger approached. Even a king like Edward the Eighth had such loyal followers. Edward the Eighth should be satisfied.

Shureberger turned to the knights behind him and said, "Let us show them that not all of us are cowards!"

"Shansa Empire Forever!" the knights bellowed. Even though there were only two dozen of them, it was as if there were thousands of them charging at the same time.