Chapter 118 – Falling in Love (2)

Episode 118: Falling in Love (2)

Vikir felt goosebumps creep over his entire body.

Goosebumps rose on his forearms.

‘……What did I just hear?


It was a word so unexpected that even a seasoned warrior, a man who had seen it all and had survived the Age of Destruction, would doubt the ears that had protected his life for so long.

Hugo is the last person in the world you would expect to hear the word love.

I never thought I’d hear it from his lips.

Vikir felt his entire strategy crumble in the first chapter.

And then, as if on cue, Hugo said, with distaste and disgust.

“Yes. She was the love of my life, and I hate to say it, but we fell in love at first sight.”

Hugo’s answer was almost a monologue. Hearing it, Vikir thought to himself.

‘I never asked.’

He doesn’t need to hear the full answer. Vikir is just about to say the next thing.

“I was a retarded high marquis, and Roxana was a commoner with nothing, but the moment we looked into each other’s eyes, we knew that neither our backgrounds nor our origins could separate us.”

Vikir thought for a moment after hearing that.

‘I didn’t ask.’

But Hugo kept muttering.

“Yes, indeed. Certainly, our love was turbulent. From the first moment I laid eyes on her, I felt a passion that shook me to my very soul, but she didn’t. She tried to get away from me because her lowly origins were a nuisance to me, and I followed her, forsaking everything I had. Yes, for her sake, I would have given up everything-not just my body, but my soul.”

“Mmm. Yes. Father. Thank you for your answer. Now, I must ask you to…….”

“But! Our love has been put to the test once more. The Baskervilles set up a chaser.”


Vikir wasn’t particularly curious, but he decided to listen anyway.

Hugo continued to speak through gritted teeth.

The love affair that ensued between Hugo and Roxana was a rough one.

A typical romance-fantasy cliché. But the sentiment is timeless.

Hugo Les Baskervilles is a cold-hearted flower child and a genius at everything.

And Roxana, a poor, spirited, and cheerful girl.

Their love defied all odds and eventually found a happy ending.

Quarreling over minor misunderstandings, crying and laughing at the supporting characters who tried to steal their love, and sometimes crying out at the harshness of fate, they finally overcame the opposition of their two parents and brought their love to fruition.

Vikir nodded thoughtfully.

“……Was that Penelope?”

Penelope la Baskerville.

At the mention of the name, Hugo’s pupils fluttered once more.

His reaction was even more intense than when I mentioned Roxana.

“What the hell kind of answer do you want to hear!”


Hugo sighed in disbelief as Vikir remained completely nonchalant.

“Oh, yeah. That’s right. My first child, Penelope She was.”

Hugo shuddered for a moment as he said the name, Penelope.

Vikir stared at him blankly.

He’d never seen an absolute powerhouse with a foot in the realm of the Supreme so shaken.

Perhaps not even Butler Barrymore, who had served him his entire life, had ever seen him so shaken.

Hugo opened his mouth.

“Roxana was a weak woman. She died of illness not long after giving birth to Penelope, and I raised her alone.”

Penelope was a bright and cheerful child.

She inherited a strong spirit from Hugo and a kind heart from Roxana, and she grew to be the favorite of all the Baskervilles.

And then one day. “The accident” happened.

Out for a walk, Penelope was captured by the Rococo tribe, who were out hunting humans.

No one knows how the invaders learned of Penelope’s route.

Known as a cannibalistic tribe, the Rococo kidnapped Penelope and disappeared into the depths of the Black Mountain with their enemies from that day forward.

And from that day forward, Hugo went mad.

The swordmaster with the heart of a furnace and the blood of iron abandoned all his assets and power in the ecliptic and moved his entire family to the margins.

His reasoning was to expand the empire’s territory by exterminating the demons and barbarians of the depth.

Hugo then abandoned all of his wealth and threw himself into his work like a madman.

His cold-blooded grasp of the weapon has left countless enemy generals lying on the ground.

But he could only do so much alone.

In his quest to slay every last one of the barbarians on the continent, Hugo multiplied his wives through a series of arranged marriages and produced children who shared his martial prowess.

The emperor gave the marquis, who had withdrawn from the center of power and asked to be sent to the remote regions, every support.

There were no restrictions on the number of soldiers and no surveillance.

Taxes were waived, and countless grants were handed out in various guises.

Hugo threw everything he had at the task and continued to rebuild the empire.

For decades.

A great family on the margins, yet untouchable by anyone in the Imperial ecliptic.

Baskerville, House of Ironblood, was born.

Vikir nodded at the words.

‘……I see. Somehow, even when I joined hands with that hated Morg, I knew something was wrong.’

Vikir remembered what Butler Barrymore had hinted at at the time.

Hugo had agreed to join the Morg at Red Salt Castle because he had heard that a girl of Morg descent had been taken by the Rococo tribe.

Did he recognize his first daughter, Penelope?

Vikir remembered that Camus had cried when he heard that his flesh-and-blood sister had been taken and eaten by the cannibalistic Rococo tribe.

Butler Barrymore reflected on the incident.

‘It was after that incident that my Lord became the cold person he is today. If only his eldest daughter Penelope had been alive, he would not have been so…….’

From Vikir’s perspective, there’s no way to know what Hugo was like before. It was before he was born.

However, Vikir was familiar with Hugo’s personality from his two lives.

An iron-blooded warrior without blood or tears. A cold-blooded man who cared only for the glory of the empire and the revival of his family.

But to see him in front of me now, tormented by the story of an old love, was an overwhelming sense of strangeness.

“……Yes. I did.”

Hugo’s voice was shaking as he spoke. His eyes are red and moist at the corners.

Vikir was so surprised by his appearance that he almost had hiccups.

But don’t let the look fool you.

His opponent is a heartless man who, in the aftermath of the loss of his first daughter, has sent each of his sons into battle with the barbarians.

He would even go on a rampage if he knew his granddaughter had barbarian blood in her veins.

Vikir awakened Beelzebub the Magic Sword, ready to draw his blade if necessary.

He spoke in a voice of extreme caution.

“First, thank you for answering.”


Hugo dried the moisture from his eyes in an instant and raised his bloodshot eyes to glare at Vikir.

“Why did you ask me this, if not to satisfy your insatiable curiosity…….”

But Vikir held up a palm, cutting Hugo off.

He asked his question.

“What would you do if you had the blood of your first wife’s daughter, Penelope la Baskerville?”


Hugo’s brow furrowed at Vikir’s words.

He looked like he’d heard every stupid thing in the world.

But Vikir had never said a single thing that wasn’t true.

Just as Hugo was slowly realizing that fact.


Vikir stretched out his left hand and slammed an object from his pocket onto Hugo’s desk.

Hugo’s eyes widen at the sight of it.

“……This, this!”

It’s a pendant, an artifact salvaged from a Rococo village that was nearly wiped out by the Red Death.

Inside are portraits of the past of Hugo and Roxana as young men, and Penelope as a child.

“My, I made it! The pendant I gave to Roxana, the one I made in my workshop, and the one I gave to her, and the one I wore around Penelope’s neck at the end, for sure……!”

Hugo pointed to the pendant on the table with a hand that trembled so much that it almost seemed to shake.

A moment.

A ding!

Hugo’s hand shook so violently that he dropped the pendant on the table.

As Vikir snatched it up, Hugo screamed like he was having a seizure.

“Do it, give it back, give it back to me!”

“Calm down. Father.”

Hugo flailed in the air, disoriented.

Vikir obediently handed the pendant back to Hugo, who seemed to be half out of his mind.


The faded portrait inside the pendant handprints where the lid’s hard metal plate had been worn away.

Penelope, their lost first child.

Where is she? Is she alive? If she is dead, where are her remains? What were her circumstances and thoughts before she died? How lonely, confused, and scared must she have been? Did he resent his father for not coming to his rescue? Did he despair, thinking that his father had forgotten him?

Hugo was always scared.

He wondered if she would blame herself to the end if she would blame her father, who had never said a kind word, who had always been so strict, who had never come to visit or heard from her.

More and more, Hugo flogged himself. He hadn’t given any of his children any love. He didn’t care if they didn’t feel the same way about him. It was easier that way.

When he thought of Penelope, he couldn’t imagine her suffering somewhere.

And when he looked at his sons, who had the same faces and personalities as he did, he could only feel a terrible feeling of self-hatred.

…… but.

Looking at the pendant, which had been so stroked that the lid had worn off, Hugo felt as if an ice cap had melted in his heart.

Thinking of his daughter clutching this pendant until her last breath, Hugo couldn’t help but shake his head.

A single, thick tear finally hit the cold stone floor.

And then.

There was one word from Vikir that brought Hugo’s eyes back to life.

“There is a daughter of my sister, Penelope.”


Was it Vikir’s voice, so dry and emotionless?


Hugo’s face was blank, as if he hadn’t understood what Vikir had said.


So, as if on cue, Vikir spoke to Hugo again.

“I’m saying that you have a granddaughter.”

And then.


Hugo’s eyes widened until they couldn’t get any bigger.