Calian gazed at Alan with calm eyes, he stood silently but what he wanted was clear; he wanted to have a conversation.
Even though he was the Prince of a foreign country for Alan, it would still be disrespectful for him to address Calian from atop his carriage, so Alan dismounted – and it was only then that Calian was able to see his face clearly and he was surprised.
He had heard that Alan was in his fifties, but no matter from which angle, to Calian he looked like he was in his late 20s at most. Fortunately, the unique color of his hair, which became more red as it got closer to the ends indicated that he indeed was Alan Manasil.
It was only then that Calian realised why the voice at the gates had sounded so young as well. He had heard that if one completed the seven circles, one could change their apparent age.
‘It seems I’ve actually found him.’
Calian looked at Alan without concealing his approval . Alan’s eyes were fixed on that look.
‘He is only fourteen. How does one his age have such a gaze?’
The prince looked at him differently than the guards did. Somehow, it felt like Alan was being assessed for his usefulness rather than his appearance.
Alan bowed his head lightly toward Calian and greeted him.
“I am Alan Manasil,”
It was a simple greeting. Alan’s attitude was quite confident. No one other than the royal family could greet a prince this way at their first meeting. It wasn’t because Alan didn’t know who Calian was, nor was he playing a simple game.
It was because Alan knew himself that he was a talented enough being that he didn’t have to shrink away and humble himself in front of the royal family.
‘I like this man,’ Calian thought.
It occurred to Calian that Alan’s attitude would not change even if he stood in front of King Rumein. A sincerely happy smile spread on Calian’s face.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
As he was taught by Yan, Calian was royalty and so he did not introduce himself.
“Why would you depart at such a late time?” Calian asked.
(T/N – In the sense of – it’s too late so you should have just stayed over instead of leaving)
“I had opened the closed door, but it seemed the threshold was too high for me to enter.” Alan answered with a pompous voice.
At hearing Alan’s answer, Calian smiled slightly, he was saying that he had come as he had been asked, but it was the guard that turned him away for his appearance.
Calian sighed internally, and carefully schooled his expression as he chose subtle words to match Alan’s round-about way of speaking.
“An entrance had been prepared for you, so why did you go to the place that had been closed?” Calian answered with a relaxed look. It was Alan’s lack of invitation that caused him trouble.
Alan looked at Calian strangely. He had felt this about Calian from the moment he noticed his gaze – but fourteen-year-old boys did not give that kind of answer.
As if he knew what he was thinking, rather than apologising to Alan, Calian smiled brightly at Alan’s attitude.
“There was a lot of wind blowing and dirt piling up on to the threshold. As [I/the guard] was in a hurry to block the wind, [I/ the guard] could not pay attention to clearing the threshold,”
(T/N – Calian does not specify who the subject is here so I wasn’t sure who he was referring to – in Korean it’s not always necessary to specifically mention the subject when its implied – here Calian is implying that the guard, as part of the royal family’s security, was a part of him and his actions as well)
He was saying that while being careful and making sure no unwanted winds blew through the Royal Grounds, the guard had indeed made a mistake.
It wasn’t an apology, rather he was saying that it was a small error while the guard was doing his job and while he would not be impudent, he would not apologise either.
‘This child will be interesting to watch.’
With that thought Alan finally began to take stock of Calian properly and when things that he had not noticed initially began entering his line of vision, the amused flicker of a smile that had been playing on Alan’s lips began to slowly fade.
Alan’s gaze reached the end of the cape that Calian was wearing. Then he stared at Calian’s hand, and then looked back into his eyes. It was hard to see what the mage was thinking, and Calian silently watched Alan observe him.
Alan took a step toward Calian.
The mage’s expression was stiff, and caution flickered into Calian’s eyes.
“Please excuse me for a moment,” Alan said, then reached out and grabbed Calian’s wrist.
Normally Calian would have evaded the move, but the long day had exhausted him. It had been a long and hectic day and he had been on the verge of collapse so his reflexes weren’t fast enough.
Also, there was no one who could reach out and touch him like this so brazenly and he was so caught off guard that his wrist was captured.
Alan looked down and seemed to check something on Calian’s hand.
“What are you—!”
Taken aback, Calian opened his mouth to protest, while at the same time Alan allowed his mana to flow into Calian’s body.
Calian choked on his words as he clutched his chest, unable to speak at all.
A sharp pain pierced through his heart – it was hard to get used to no matter how many times this prickly pain wracked through his body. He couldn’t stop his body bending over as pain several times worse than what he was used to shook through him.
Raven, who had been standing behind him quietly stepped forwards as though recognising Calain’s condition. Calian, without even the ease to recognise the action – leaned against Raven’s body and gritted his teeth. He realized that his condition had been discovered before he could even have a proper conversation.
Alan looked at his trembling figure and nodded as if he had come to some understanding.
“It seems the closed door will not keep all of the wind out,” he said gravely.
He was uselessly good with his words.
Calian glared at Alan fiercely, and wrenched back his hand. Alan relaxed his hand when he thought he would end up breaking the Prince’s skinny wrist if he didn’t let go and took a step back – it meant he would not attempt to touch him again.
Calian closed his eyes for a moment and forced himself to quell his anger, finally when he spoke, he simply sounded resigned,
“Haa…I would have liked a word of warning,” he sighed,
Alan discovered Calian was sick before Calian could even persuade him of anything – now there wasn’t much left to say.
“Yes, you were right, I couldn’t stop the wind, at some point, I became unable to use mana,” Calian said, he couldn’t keep the note of displeasure from his voice.
“It seems you were aware that something was wrong,”
But that wasn’t it – Calian had only mentioned his mana but the real problem was something else.
‘I just came to see the birthday celebration,’ Alan thought.
In a country led by the descendants of dragons, the people had come to neglect mages. As he expected, it was a wretched place and he was going to leave straight away – but if he had done that, he would have missed this rare talent of a mage right under his nose.
But now he was faced with something he didn’t expect.
Alan’s eyes fell on the statue of Sispanian, which was erected in the middle of the fountain. The words that had been repeating in the streets all day echoed in his ear.
– ‘The prince resembled Sispanian!’
That too, would be interesting to watch.
Alan looked at the statue of Sispanian and the palace once more, before turning to look back at the prince’s face.
“How was it that you came to follow me straight away?” Alan asked.
Calian clenched his fingers, this situation had turned into a prince, desperate for Alan’s help coming to chase after him at the exact right moment – it was too much to put his off as a coincidence like Calian had planned,
‘In case that question came up – I had been planning to hide my condition until I had him on my side’
Calian pondered what to say for a moment. He couldn’t say, ‘I’m from the future and I knew you’d be here.’ But he couldn’t lie either since Alan would easily be able to see through that.
“While walking on horseback, I heard your conversation with the guards – so I chased after you,”
In the name of Serenti, he would swear that the words he had spoken were not false – it was a cheap trick, twisting and playing with his words – but the effect was the same and the answer was technically an honest one.
“Why did you run after me?” Alan asked, his deep gaze peering into Calian’s eyes.
“Because you ran.”
At that response Alan chuckled, he felt that Calian had finally answered in a way that was suitable for his age and thought he might still be a little disgruntled at Alan’s actions.
“So, why did you seek me out?” Alan asked again, already knowing the answer.
Calian did not answer immediately. He already knew it was because Calian was struggling with using mana so why did he bother asking?
“You’re asking why,” Calian started.
The reason why he waited for Alan without even looking for a healer. The reason why he left the palace even though he knew he would cause a commotion when he would return. It was obvious.
Calian straightened himself against Raven.
“Alan Manasil, I need to gain that name,”
A small sigh flowed out of Calian’s mouth once again. Again, what he said wasn’t a lie.
“I think it’s going to be very windy soon.”
He was talking about the day of the assassination, but he couldn’t say anymore about it. It was better if it was understood as a quarrel among the princes.
Alan scratched his forehead slightly with his finger.
It wasn’t that Alan didn’t know who the prince in front of him was. He knew quite well who was holding the sword in Kyris’ royalty, and he could understand why Calian needed his support.
“Does your highness wish to block the wind, or stop it?”
As Calian expected, Alan interpreted Calian’s words as a battle for the prince’s seat.
Calian stared at Alan without speaking.
Could he really trust this man? It was the mage’s gaze that confirmed it. The same light flashed in Alan’s eyes when he faced him.
A moment later, Calian delivered his answer in a calm voice.
“For now I want to block the wind but I do not want the throne. However, if the throne is needed for the things I want – then I do not mind stopping the wind completely either,”
Dismissing the throne was quite arrogant coming from a boy with a dying body and nothing in his hands. Alan’s lips curved up in a smile again.
This was already fun. How much more fun it would be in the future.
Alan made a decision.
“If that is the case,”
He raised his finger and looked at Kyris Palace.
“Please give another invitation,”
Not a three-day invitation to attend the king’s birthday celebration, but the right reason to be able help him.
Calian smiled – and then wiped that smile off his face.
His sharply glowing red eyes moved away from Alan as he bowed his head and bent his knee.
His white cape briefly swelled up and hovered in the air, and soon drifted like a feather to the ground.
Alan stared down at the back of the kneeling figure before him.
“Calian Rain Kyris,” Calian said gently,
“I greet my Master,”
(T/N – Teacher/Instructor/Tutor – Master is a bit clunky but it’s accurate as well idk let me know what you guys think is the most natural)
With such fierce eyes that did not fit his age – how could he have such a small back?
Alan replied to his pupil for the first time.
“I will accept the invitation.”
‘Yes, I will save you.’
Alan was such a pain to translate – I’m with Calian on this one, why does he need to speak in such a round-about way.
Let me know what you think!