Yan was so shocked it felt like his eyes were about to pop out of his sockets. Though, to be fair, anyone would be surprised if a person suddenly appeared out of thin air with a hissing noise.
It was all thanks to his well-developed habits as an attendant that he managed not to scream. If it weren’t for that, he would have run out of the door yelling.
It was also a good thing that Yan had recognised the man right away, as he could also keep himself composed enough to stop himself from tipping over the washbasin that he was holding in place of a maid who had hurt her wrist yesterday.
Yan couldn’t help but feel proud of himself as he stood between the man and the curtains that led to Calian’s bedroom, where the prince was sound asleep.
“Sir Manasil, what are doing?!” He whispered urgently,
It was, of course, Alan who had warped in front of Yan. However, what was unexpected was that Alan seemed somewhat restless. It was as if he had just been arguing with somebody.
“Is His Highness awake yet?” asked Alan as he pointed towards the bedroom.
“His Highness is not feeling-wait, that’s not the problem!”
While he was panicking, the maids halted their steps as they were coming out through the bedroom curtains. They didn’t seem to recognise Alan and seemed surprised at the stranger in the Prince’s chambers.
Instead of offering an explanation, Yan drove out the maids and locked the door before running to the bathroom on the other side of the bedroom. He was still holding the small washbasin filled with water. He did not have the capacity to even think about setting it down amid his panic.
“Please come this way,”
The prince’s residence consisted of a bedroom, a shower room, a study, a living room, a bathroom, and a separate room with a tub. The only thing that it didn’t have, however, were doors.
It was built this way in case of attempts of assassination or other accidents. Since any sound could still freely travel through the bathroom curtains, Yan was stuck trying to think of a solution. Just then, he remembered Alan’s abilities.
“Please do the thing that can make us quiet,” whispered Yan.
Alan stared at Yan with a blank expression before finally catching on.
He snapped his fingers and ‘used the thing that could make them quiet’. Soon, a translucent barrier surrounded them. The area was contained within the silence spell.
“What rudeness is this, Sir Manasil?” Yan snapped,
Yan didn’t show any signs of surprise even when Alan used magic just at the snap of his fingers. To Yan, Alan was currently nothing more than a shameless man who was trespassing in his dear prince’s residence.
He didn’t care that the emblem on Alan’s robe symbolised his status as a 7th-circle mage. He didn’t care that Alan had just used non-verbal magic so effortlessly.
Because Alan could see this so clearly, he let out a chuckle.
“Did you ask me to use my magic so that you could scold me?”
“We mustn’t wake His Highness up.”
He had just reprimanded King Rumein and was now getting scolded by the prince’s attendant for poor manners.
Yan’s attitude was certainly not ideal, but he was doing his job well as an attendant. Alan nodded understandingly.
“I heard that guests may not enter Chermil Palace without formal permission. It seemed that his Majesty’s message of my new position has not been relayed yet,”
“So you-what is it again-‘teleported’ here because you couldn’t yet receive permission?”
Alan laughed and proudly shook his head.
“I warped here. It’s higher-level magic. I’m not half bad at what I do, you see.”
Yan laughed sarcastically, ‘warping my ass’.
“Weren’t you planning to wake him up, anyway? I can wait.”
Yan firmly shook his head.
“I cannot let you wait, sir. We were also just about to leave the room so that His Highness could rest for a little longer.”
Alan looked around, pretending not to have heard anything.
The walls were lined with black tiles with shimmers of gold. A large black tub made out of onyx was placed at the centre of the room.
“How extravagant. I can understand how he can sleep after telling his elderly teacher to come to the palace by 9:30 in the morning,” said Alan in admiration.
“Elderly? You seem incredibly sprightly,” grumbled Yan.
Having finally realised that they were still in Calian’s private space, Yan leapt back in surprise and tried to say something to drive Alan out.
Alan read his expression and interjected before he could say anything.
“If we leave this space, we would be out of the range of my magic. Are we allowed to make noise now?”
Yan furrowed his brows in dissatisfaction but stopped trying to drive out Alan. Instead, he replied in a firm voice:
“If you wish to speak to his highness, I will relay as such to him when he wakes up. However, for now, I must ask you to leave,”
“I’m only here to see how His Highness is faring. What can I do? I have no message that needs relaying. It’s not like I could talk to you about His Highness’s well-being.”
Yan fell silent.
He had certainly heard that Calian came in contact with Alan and that they now had a student-teacher relationship.
However, he did not know whether or not Alan knew about Calian’s poor health.
Although Calian had once mentioned that he intended to ask a mage for help, Yan wasn’t sure if Calian had already asked Alan about it. Thus, he decided, for now, to pretend that he didn’t know anything.
“Well-being? I am not sure what you mean,”
Finally, Alan decided to use a little piece of information he has intended on saving a little longer,
“You know who I am, right?”
“…but of course. I heard about you from His Highness.”
Alan smirked and brought his face close to Yan’s. He said in a low voice,
“No more jokes, baby elephant. I’m asking if you know me.”
Yan’s eyes widened. He knew perfectly well that people would often refer to the Siegfrieds’ as ‘elephants’.
He was even more taken aback than when Alan suddenly appeared before him and lost grip of the washbasin.
Clang! Water splashed everywhere.
At the same time, Alan snapped his fingers and created a translucent shield in front of him to block the water. Of course, he didn’t show the mercy of extending the shield to Yan, who was now drenched to the skin.
A disproportionate amount of water had poured out of the washbasin compared to its size and Alan’s mouth twitched as if he were holding back laughter, but Yan was too surprised to notice.
“You visited Rivern with the daddy elephant a few years ago. Did you think I wouldn’t recognize you just because you grew and were pretending to be someone else?”
At that moment, Slayman’s words brushed past Yan’s memories.
‘No one is suspicious of my son because he doesn’t look that rich.’
Yan’s gaze wavered. ‘Nope! I got caught! I got caught even though it’s been incredibly long since I last saw him!’
Only Alan would know whether it was because of Yan’s distinguishable elegance, Alan’s unholy memory and intuition, Yan’s blonde curls and his blue-grey eyes or because of a certain swordmaster’s very recent drunken confession during his late-night drinking session with his mage friend.
Although he didn’t know why Yan was keeping it a secret, Alan grinned at the fact that he was able to hold Yan to ransom.
“Wake him up. No need to waste time, since I can guarantee that he won’t get better just by sleeping.”
In the end, Yan rang the bell five minutes later. Calian woke up and seemed taken aback by Yan’s soaked body.
“Is it a special celebration day surprise for me?” asked Calian.
“…I am truly sorry, Your Highness.”
“You’re not crying, are you?”
“I’m not crying.”
Calian finally burst out laughing. Yan seemed to be somewhat relieved by his laughter.
“You seem much better now, Your Highness,” said Yan, forgetting to even tell the prince that Alan was outside.
When Calian returned after meeting Alan on the first night of the celebration, he looked as if he would collapse at any moment—mostly thanks to his rigorous schedule that ended with Alan’s pseudo-attack.
If Yan had known, he might have even splashed Alan with water as soon as he had met him.
“Well, I slept all day.”
“I don’t know if I should be thanking Prince Franz for it, but that’s good to hear.”
According to Calian’s original schedule, he was supposed to meet the envoys who were visiting to congratulate the King. However, Rumein had heard that Franz appeared before the people in the plaza while drunk.
Although the nobles of Kyris were used to such behaviour, the envoys-which even included elves-were not. Worried that Franz might make mistakes in front of them, Rumein did not call upon the princes to greet the envoys.
“Yeah, it’s a good thing that I had nothing planned for yesterday.”
As a result, Cailan was fortunate enough to rest and sleep for an extended time. While they were on the topic of Franz, who had unintentionally been helpful to Calian, Yan relayed another news.
“His Majesty ordered that Prince Franz abstain from drinking.”
“Abstain from drinking?”
“Nobody is permitted to bring Prinz Franz any alcoholic beverages. Even in settings where everyone else is drinking, he is only allowed to have non-alcoholic drinks.”
If King Rumein himself said such a thing, there must have been quite a few voices of concern. Cailan allowed a chuckle to escape his mouth.
“He’s not one to obediently follow such a command. He drank until he was completely intoxicated despite having the blessing.”
“That’s why Prince Franz’s attendants are so worried.”
Calian nodded and glanced towards the curtains that separated his bedroom from the rest of his residence.
Finally having remembered Alan, Yan whispered,
“Oh, Sir Manassil is waiting to see you.”
“Teacher is?” asked Calian, surprised. That’s why the curtains aren’t drawn.
Even though Alan should not be able to see anything past the curtain, he stared right in Calian’s direction and waved. Calian hurriedly bowed his head towards Alan in respect. Yan watched the exchange unfold with a frown on his face, not hiding his dislike.
“I am truly sorry, Your Highness. He told me that he needed to speak to you urgently.”
“No, no. It’s fine.”
Calian pondered the correlation between Yan’s hardship and his teacher’s visit for a moment higher-level amid but nodded without reaching an answer.
He changed into a simple daily attire; he would have to wear the full ceremonial attire after lunch for the afternoon event. The curtain was drawn only after he was fully ready for the day.
“I will have your meals prepared so that you may talk over breakfast,” said Yan.
“Oh, no need. I have to leave as soon as I talk to him,” said Alan.
Only after Yan and the maids left could Calian finally talk to Alan. Calian bowed once again to greet Alan as a way of apologising for making him wait.
“You don’t need to do that anymore. It’s quite fine,” said Alan, waving his hand.
“Yes, teacher.” Calian sat down across from Alan. Although he had told Alan when it would be best to meet the King, he hadn’t expected Alan to visit him as well.
“What did you want to talk about?”
Alan pulled out a small red pouch from his pocket and handed it to Calian.
“Take one everyday without forgetting,” The pouch was filled to the brim with pearl-like translucent orbs.
“What is this for?”
Instead of giving a straightforward answer, Alan held up two fingers.
“There are two problems that you are currently facing, Your Highness. One is that you cannot use your mana.”
Calian flinched and leaned back. It was an intuitive evasion.
“Don’t worry-checking it once was enough. I won’t try to pour mana in you again,” chuckled Alan.
Does he even know that I’ve been suffering from its aftermath all day yesterday? Calian smiled bitterly.
“The other is that you are losing weight at a dangerous speed.”
“Both the state of my mana and my body… it’s quite fascinating that you’re able to see through me when I haven’t even said a word about it.”
Alan simply nodded without any particular response, instead asking,
“You have Sispanian’s blessing, Your Highness, correct?”
“Yes. The power allows me for fast healing and gives me an affinity for magic.”
“Have you ever thought that it was a strange combination of boons? Healing and magic…”
Calian did have a small lead. He had previously wondered about it before, and the memory of the old Calian resurfaced to assist him.
“I was wondering if the blessing is actually just fortifying my heart. After all, mana and the root of one’s life all come from the heart.
“You are correct. Sispanian’s blessing was the gift of having a strong heart. I also assume that your rapid healing no longer works, am I right? That makes three problems.”
Calian remembered the time when he had hurt his hand trying to block Franz’s knife. It took him two whole weeks until he was fully healed. He had strived to hide his injury just in case it would stir up a commotion.
“No, it doesn’t. Is it a problem of my heart after all?” asked Calian, staring at the pouch that was on his hand. He wondered if it were holding medicine for his heart.
Alan shook his head and said,
“This isn’t medicine.”
“What is it, then?”
Alan clicked his tongue.
“Your mana is working fine and your heart is not injured so please don’t worry about that. Instead, you must be careful of what you eat.”
Calian’s eyes sharpened.
“…it was poison?”
Honestly Yan and Alan interactions are the best