System vs Rebirth - Chapter 904
After the people started to settle down, Alexander was recalled to the main group to discuss the next course.
At that time, he met a brown-haired middle-aged guy. He looked at Alexander, saying, "Thank you for your service, Alexander. Without you, we wouldn't have reached this far."
"You don't have to thank me." Alexander chuckled. He was accompanied by Ray and Margaretha this time since it was an important discussion.
"Is that so?" The guy smiled before continuing, "So, the reason I ask you to come here is to form a new place we can call home. I want to create a country, but if we create a republic country, there won't be any order. It will be hard to make a decision and we won't have any speed to work with the tasks at hand. So, I'm thinking about creating a country under the monarchy."
"Do you want to become a king?"
"I actually wanted to nominate you. Thanks to you, the others learned a lot about Spiritual Energy and your help was the most important. So, I thought about you becoming a king."
Alexander looked annoyed while scratching the back of his head. "Don't say that. I'm unfit to be a king. I can't even govern my group well, so you should just do those complicated stuff."
"I know that you're going to say that…" The guy shook his head helplessly. "In that case, at least, I want you to be a Duke. You don't have to do a lot of things. Just take care of a small territory and repel any demons… Basically, it's a home for your group. I won't become a king if you refuse, Alex."
"Well…" Alexander glanced at Margaretha, who actually nodded her head as if telling him that she could take care of it.
"Alright then. I'll take it."
"Then, there is one more problem that I want you to solve right now. Since it's going to be a monarchy, there is a need for a family name. As you know, that family name is rather unimportant during our time period, but in this current world, it will be a household name. Hearing it alone can bolster people's morale and other things."
"Can't you just use Simeon or something?" Alex asked.
"I don't mind if you want to use it."
"Well…" Alex suddenly fell silent and looked at Margaretha, thinking about her name. She already had 'Greenwood' in her name, so it would be weird to change it to Simeon. His father or grandmother also didn't bother with the surname either.
So, he wondered if he should use Simeon or something else. He suddenly remembered something… something that united all of them. Yes, it was his sword.
With a single glimpse of his sword, Alex actually smiled, saying, "In that case, I will use Ardagan as my family name. People always tease me with 'Samuel' even though Simeon is the correct one, so let's just replace it with Ardagan."
"What?!" Ray and Margaretha dropped their jaws in disbelief. To think that he would change his name this easily. But considering no one would bother to see his real name, it shouldn't be a problem.
The middle-aged man chuckled. "Hahaha. That sounds just like you. In that case, we shall proceed with that. My name will be Andrew De Lenfeth, and you shall be Alexander Ardagan. In this land, I hope that you will assist me in building this new home, Alex."
"Of course. Ah, should I call you Your Majesty or something? It's starting to become a roleplay."
"Haha. There might be a need to do so, but it's just for formal occasions. I'm extremely grateful to you, so let's just call each other's name when we're alone."
"Then, I will take my leave since I have to take care of the creation of the kingdom." Andrew waved his hand while walking away. Alex also waved his hand but abruptly stopped when Andrew looked back, saying, "Also, congratulations on your engagement. Please invite me when you're married."
"O-oh!" Alex was startled while Margaretha looked away, embarrassed.
It took a moment, but the kingdom was finally built and Alex once again called into the capital. He was kneeling in the grand hall for the coronation of the first noble in their new country, Muivell Kingdom.
"I appoint you, Alexander Ardagan, as the Duke of the Kingdom."
"I accept." Alex lowered his head while smiling.
Ray was cheering for him while Margaretha watched him in silence. She was proud of him and felt very blissful with the current situation.
They were rewarded with a territory and finally settled down. Most of the people from Alex's group ended up joining his new family and became the pillar of the family.
It was such a peaceful time as everyone was working hard to build the territory. As expected of Margaretha, she stepped up her game and commanded the people.
With her at the helm, the progress was far faster than any other nobles. Alex and Ray also raised their intensity.
They swept the entire territory, protecting them from any demons.
Gradually but surely, Ray's reputation started to grow. Before long, people knew him as someone whose strength was equal to Alex, and he truly became the second-in-command.
In fact, he was the one who trained all the new people in the territory. Meanwhile, Alex often left for subjugation and reclaimed a bit more territory.
Of course, there were a lot of things happening during that peaceful period, including the rise of the demihumans.
However, as a duke, Alex had a lot of authority. His strength was also unparalleled, and he assisted the demihumans in creating another home for them.
At first, the territory of the demihumans wasn't that far from the Ardagan Family since Alex could also take care of them that way.
Finally, five years after Alex became a noble, a blessing smiled upon the Ardagan Family.
The sound of a baby crying echoed inside the room as Alex was holding a small, frail baby in his hand. It might be the first time that he ever cried.
Yes, this was the child of Alex and Margaretha.
The entire territory celebrated the birth of Ernest Ardagan. Ray was protecting the territory non-stop just so that the two could spend more time with the new baby.
But that peaceful time was cut short due to a certain tragedy.
Twelve years after Alex became a noble, the family had gotten bad information.
"Alex." Margaretha frowned while looking at the map.
"What's wrong? You should stop working and just let me do this." Alex made a wry smile.
"Hehe. How can I? It's still exciting even after a decade has passed. Just thinking about it gives me energy. This is the home that we build with our hands, so of course, I'm going to take care of it." Margaretha smiled.
"Fine, fine. You can do whatever you want, but let me and Ray take care of the outside problems." Alex sighed, not able to fight his wife.
"We heard from our scout that there is a large number of demons approaching the demihumans. The number is in the tens of thousands."
"Tens of thousands?" Alex widened his eyes in shock. "Don't tell me…"
"Yes. This is not the size of what an Ancient Demon can handle. I'm afraid that guy is back."
"I see. That motherfucker Demon King." Alex nodded. "Why are they attacking them? The demihumans might be pretty strong, but it's not enough to resist the demon kings. Also, are they picking more demons on the way?"
"Most likely. So, I have two points that I want both of you to take care of." Margaretha pointed at two areas on the map. "It's possible that they are only trying to lure you, so we'll launch an ambush in these two spots and thin their number before giving the rest to the demihumans. After that, you are to return and see the progress of the battle."
"I will take the left then." Ray took his spot while Alex nodded in agreement and took the remaining spot. "We'll finish this fast. Even if we can't stop the demon king, he won't be foolish enough to continue attacking us with a small number."
"In that case, we'll leave immediately."
Alex and Ray gave fist bumps as both of them immediately left the room. Just looking at their synergy made Margaretha smile. Even now, she couldn't imagine that she would end up as his wife and have all this joy.
Alex and Ray departed from the city in just a few hours, planning to ambush the demon king.
It was probably because of her instinct, but Margaretha actually felt something was wrong. She looked at the map once again.
"Why would they come to us right now? He has been haunting the group for a long time, so I can understand that he is going to attack sooner or later. But why now? Are they targeting Ray and Alex? Alex is already a Spirit King, so he should be able to fight on equal terms against the demon king. Then, is it Brother?"
Margaretha frowned, feeling something weird. "Should I warn my brother about the potential ambush? My brother should be able to sense it and make adjustments. Alex is not as flexible as Brother, so should I tell him about it? But there is no other indication. I guess I will have to ask him to be extra careful."
At that time, she only sent forth a fast horse to inform both Alex and Ray about her suspicions.
As expected, numerous demons approached the territory. Alex and Ray skillfully eliminated more than fifty thousand demons in just a single day. It was a bloody battle, but with a Spirit King leading them, the soldiers had no fear when charging against the enemies.
However, due to the battle, the information came to Alex a bit later.
While he was cleaning up the battlefield, the messenger arrived and reported, "Sir… Madam has sent you this letter."
"Hmm?" Alex was confused and read the letter on the spot.
'Their movement is rather suspicious. I'm not sure about it, but the demon king should be trying to achieve something with all these demons. If you find anything suspicious, immediately retreat with Ray.'
"Suspicious, huh? Well, the Demon King hasn't made his appearance, so I will wait for a bit to see the battle progression." Alex nodded, thanking the messenger.
But before the messenger could return, another one reached Alex. This time, the messenger had wounds all over his body, clearly that he passed through all demons without worrying about his body's condition, unlike the first one who used the safest route.
In fact, he looked like he was about to die. It was enough to show the level of the emergency.
"Sir…" The messenger dropped from his horse, crawling to Alex.
"What's wrong?" Alex was confused and hurriedly grabbed him.
All the color on the messenger's face had vanished as he delivered the message during his last breath. "The territory… is attacked…"
"Huh?" Alex widened his eyes in disbelief. In that instant, something clicked in his mind, especially with the first message.
"The Demon King is aiming for something… Ray could easily escape from him, and I'm the only one who can fight toe-to-toe with him. Then…" Alex gasped in the realization. Yes, the attack on the demihumans was just an attempt to lure them out.
In fact, Alex had severely underestimated the number of demons this time. Due to that number, he wouldn't realize that several thousand of them were missing from their sight.
And the Demon King was the one personally leading this army. There was only one place where he could deal a severe blow to Alex.
"Kh! The territory is his target the whole time!" Without hesitation, Alex left the battlefield by himself.
All his officers at that time were confused, but when they heard about the territory being attacked, everything was clear. They actually fell for such a simple ploy.
In the territory, there might be several thousand soldiers as well as Margaretha, but they were not enough to resist the Demon King. In other words, the Demon King's goal was to kill Margaretha and their son, Ernest.
The Demon King actually knew how much Alex loved his wife and kid and that he sacrificed all those demons just to lure him out.
And it was at that time Alex witnessed something that he would never forget.
The soldiers were fighting the demons tenaciously, the city was in flames, and the walls had been destroyed.
However, there was something that was much more important to Alex.
When he reached that position, he could see his wife holding her sword. Her body was fully injured. In fact, she was standing on top of a pool of blood… her own blood. Flying above her was a human with four pairs of bone wings. His ominous aura was so strong that many humans died just from experiencing it.
The reason she could fight this long was probably due to her willpower.
"Margaret…" Alex's terrified voice echoed in her ears.
Margaretha couldn't help but smile, very exhausted. She turned around with a blank stare, but it felt like she was able to see Alex in front of her.
The tension that had pent up in her body was finally gone as she started to fall to the ground.
Alex hurriedly caught her, not letting his beloved wife touch the ground. Just by moving toward her, Ardagan's Flame had spread and burned all the demons near them. Like the demon king, Alex also had the ability to kill low-level demons near him.
However, all that didn't matter as Alexander looked at the lifeless body in his arms.
Margaretha smiled at him while saying, "Ernest is fine. I always told you that I didn't need your protection, but I guess I shouldn't have said that."
Alex couldn't help but recall the memories of when they were together. From the first time they met, Margaretha had always told him that she didn't need his protection.
She worked hard alone and studied swordsmanship sneakily. She was truly independent and diligent. If not for the fact she needed to take care of the territory, she might even be stronger than Ray.
More importantly, this woman was the reason he could reach this far. The one who had witnessed all his growth.
As the memories flashed in his mind, he couldn't help but recall one thing that would probably lead him to this situation.
It was when he requested to send food to the main group during their run. Back then, Margaretha said, "What did you say? Do you think you are so great? You are just someone who thinks with your muscles, not your brain! All the nutrients you get from the food go to your muscles. Why don't you try to develop your brain a little bit?!"
Those words never struck him as deeply as it is right now. If he was smart enough to figure this out before it was too late, he should have been able to save her and the territory long before this point.
Margaretha used her last bit of energy to place her hand on his cheek, knowing that her husband was suffering. If this continued, Alex might go insane. That was why she tried to do one last thing for her husband, which was to change his thoughts. "Dear… I leave the rest… to you…"
Tears were streaming down Alex's cheeks. He was unable to speak a single word. Even if he did, there was nothing he could say to change the outcome.
Despair began to fill his heart when her hand fell and her eyes began to close.
"This is it… This is what I want to see…" The demon king finally spoke a word. The demon could feel the despair in Alex's heart. With a face filled with pleasure, he said, "I can finally see that face from you."
"Shut… up…" Alex gritted his teeth. His body was trembling not from fear but hatred. He raised his head and roared, "SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!"
A burst of flame erupted in all directions, reducing all the demons nearby into ashes. His roar resounded across his territory, just like the rumbling thunder that reflected the anger of Heaven.