He had no idea what he was so busy with, but there were days when Randell hadn’t come down to breakfast. Even now, he was late for the dinner banquet.
At the round table reserved for the princes, there was only one unwelcome punk sat slouching against the back of the chair, one corner of his lips raised into a smirk.
Calian, who had been frowning without realising it, cleared his expression and lowered his gaze before speaking to Franz,
“It’s been a while,” he greeted him politely,
With Calian and Franz sitting at one table, the surroundings became quiet as though it had been pre-arranged. They had become the main focus of everyone here, after all, Silica who had caused the ferocious flu Calian had suffered from had been pushed back with one cold word from Franz.
And on top of that, it was the first time since that incident that these two had sat together, so everyone was curious about the truth of the relationship these two shared. They were clearly not enemies nor were they allies – what would they be like?
Calian closed his mouth and remained silent, the path the two would walk was different either way, there was no need to pretend to be close. After a long moment of silence, the eyes of the aristocrats around them began to wander to more interesting ventures.
“Hey,” But that punk began talking to him, his sudden voice caused the eyes of the nobility to snap back to him,
Franz slowly, one by one, looked around the room, making eye contact with the aristocrats who had their eyes focused on them – a hand one the table and his gaze was enough for them to turn their heads.
And then he once again turned to Calian,
Upon hearing the nickname he didn’t want to hear a second time, Calian immediately stared right into Franz’s eyes and corrected him – then added with a rather stiff tone,
“I will allow it to pass just this once. Hyung-nim,”
Franz’s light blue eyes seemed to glow for a moment.
He started at Calian for a long time, before the corner of his lips began to twist up once again and in a quiet voice, he said,
Calian’s eyes narrowed slowly,
“You talk back, use a sword and ride a horse,” Franz listed, leaning back against the chair once again. A languid sigh brought Calian’s far-away mind back to him,
“You. Who are you?”
Calian stared at those eyes without saying a word. Yes, if it was Franz then he would have noticed that the brother who he had been playing with like a puppet on the palm of his hand had woken up one day and changed. He was too perceptive to not have noticed such a drastic change.
For a very short moment, Calian agonised in his head on what to do.
It doesn’t matter. In the end that was what he had decided. He would neither deny nor affirm Franz’s doubts.
It wasn’t long before a relaxed smile spread on Calian’s lips,
“You say such strange things,”
Unlike how it had been with Allan, Calian didn’t need to pull Franz to his side, there was no need to explain everything to him. No matter how sure Franz became of the matter, it was a secret that could never be revealed or proven.
So as long as you took a hold of it, there was nothing to worry about.
Calian’s face, which had come to such a conclusion, was serene. It might have been less peaceful in his head, but his outward appearance was peaceful.
Franz galred at Calian like he wanted to kill him, then got up from his seat and left the banquet hall without saying anything else and never returned.
As he watched Franz walk away, Calian remembered the memories of the old Calian and the things that Franz had done – and he also recalled memories of the Franz who had led Secretia to it’s ruin.
Calian’s gaze did not move from the vacant seat Franz had left behind for a long time.
Worry settled on Allan’s face while he watched Calian from a distance, he didn’t overhear the conversation between the two but had noticed the way Calian’s expression hardened after Franz left.
Soon after, when Calian finally glanced up, his eyes met Allan’s for a moment. A small smile settled over Calian’s lips at his worried gaze. He was saying ‘it’s alright.’
Instead of approaching Calian, Allan only expressed his concern with a nod of his head.
The Next Day
Because of what had happened at the banquet, despite being able to act serene, Calian had been unable to sleep. Alan came to visit him first thing in the morning, and smiled softly when he saw Calian.
“Have you organised your thoughts?”
Calian looked at Allan with a look of surprise, mouth parted. The wise mage knew his troubled mind though he had yet to speak of it.
“If you haven’t sorted everything yet, then simply let it pass like the fleeting wind.”
Hearing Allan’s words, Calian couldn’t help but let out a laugh. Allan spoke like this sometimes – words that were of no help to anyone. However Calian liked those words.
However, the fact that they didn’t help remained true so he soon stopped his soft laughter and relayed to Allan what happened with Franz and him at the banquet. After learning Franz had almost confirmed Calian had changed, Allan nodded.
“If it’s Franz, it’s understandable that he’d know by now. He’s not a short-sighted kid, even if he acts like a rascal,” Allan praised.
Calian frowned slightly at Alan’s generous assessment because there was nothing particularly positive or negative about it.
“For now, I pretended that I knew nothing, but he wouldn’t believe that.”
Allan laughed loudly. He looked at Calian and asked,
“What basis would he believe in anyway?”
As Calian opened his lips to answer, he suddenly closed it.
Seeing his hesitation, Allan said,
“You still retain the memories of the life Calian led in the past, do you not? Just like you said, even if he realizes what happened, you need not reveal everything to him. Don’t worry about it too much.”
Allan made a pondering noise of ‘hmm’ for a moment as though hesitating on his next words.
Putting aside the consequences should Calian’s identity be revealed, Allan knew that Calian was no longer willing to live with Bern.
He was thinking of recommending that he live like the past Calian to fool Franz and dissuade him from suspecting him any further. However, it was not something Allan had the right to say, so he kept his mouth shut.
Instead, he pulled out an item from his pocket after staring for a little while.
“Take it,” Allan said.
It was a small box made out of a tin. Inside was a silver ring. Feeling the thick ring that had no symbol nor a carved design, Calian asked, “What is this?”
“Try it on, I’m sure you’ll like it.” Alan smiled,
Calian wondered what finger he should put it on. It was big, after all. He made do with his index finger. Then, amazingly, the ring automatically reduced its size to perfectly fit Calian’s index finger.
He knew the ring had a magical ability, but still, he was unable to hold back a surprised sound. Calian looked at Allan curiously.
“If you’re ever curious about this old man’s thoughts on a matter, I can share them with you.”
“Is it a ring for communication?”
“Yes, your highness,”
Calian was truly surprised. In fact, this was the most necessary thing for Calian right now. He couldn’t hold a candid conversation with anyone but Allan who knew his circumstances the best.
“The inside of the palace is covered in Sispanian’s power, so it has no use. It’d be difficult for me to communicate with you when inside the palace. But if you call out to me whenever you’re outside, I’ll be able to answer you immediately.”
Calian’s face relaxed. Though he knew Allan spent most of his time inside the palace grounds, he felt relieved knowing he’d be able to rely on Allan from time to time.
“Thank you. That makes me relieved.” Calian smiled.
Allan watched Calian smile. He smiled in return, a little too deviously. Calian didn’t know that Euria was tearing up, saying that the academy’s treasure vault had been emptied out once again.
Allan nodded, playing the part of a wise mage like usual.
He suddenly remembered the other reason he came here. He cleared his throat, straightened his posture, and said,
“Ah, contact came from the mansion that my carriage went to last time.”
He was talking about Melfir Pollun.
“Have you met him?”
“Yes. He visited me personally yesterday. Looks like you’ve found another talented person. He had quite the head for numbers.”
Then, Allan pulled out yet another thing from his pocket. It was the documents for the selection of a location site for the magic school, its costs for construction, initial operating cost, appointment fee for the professors, and so on.
It simply meant that he needed payment for all of these.
Calian read through all the documents carefully and nodded.
“He said that he is going to rely on you for the first payments, your highness. Is that not a bit too much?” As the payment was an exorbitant amount, Allan asked with worry in his voice.
“The cost is nothing to worry about. Baron Pollun will run the magic school personally without relying on the coffers of the royal family. Only then I will be able to involve myself in it, after all. Even though it may not be as much as what you have, teacher, but I should at least have something for myself as well, don’t you think?”
Allan nodded after understanding what Calian meant by that, agreeing to what he was saying. Soon afterward, Calian stood up and brought out a bundle of checks from the safe and handed it to Allan.
“Please give it to him in my stead.”
“It’s a large amount of money. Are you sure you can just give it to the Baron like this without any monitoring?”
He was asking whether he needed to keep an eye on Baron Pollun to make sure that he uses the money for its proper use.
Calian leisurely nodded his head.
“Yes. You can leave it to him. Even though it was a large sum of money, he is used to dealing with this much. Plus, he’s not someone that would throw away trust just for that amount of money.”
“Then I will do so, your highness,”
“But because Baron Pollun is just a merchant, he doesn’t know anything about magic. I’m sure he is probably going to be repeatedly seeking advice from the union or from you directly, so please help him out while I’m gone.”
“You need not worry about that.”
Afterwards, Calian asked Allan a number of questions about magic schools rather than continuing his magic lessons. He requested for Allan to also inform Melfir about things that would help him out.
After conversing like that for a while, they heard a knock from the outside.
It was Yan.
“Your highness, I apologize but it is time for your next appointment,” It meant that Yan was asking them to finish the conversation for now.
After hearing that, Allan stood up from his seat and started to head out.
“I will come back in the afternoon,” said Allan.
It meant that he was going to come back to give him magic lessons. Calian replied to Allan after hearing that.
“The appointment is about having to greet the knights of Siegfrieds for a moment. It won’t take too long, so unless you have other appointments to attend to, why not stay here and talk with me for today?”
Calian was asking Allan to just do away with the lessons and chat all day.
As Calian was leaving to go meet Sispanian tomorrow, Allan won’t be able to see Calian again for a while. Therefore, Allan laughed and agreed to his suggestion.
20 knights in gleaming black armour stood, lined up outside Chermil place, waiting for Calian. These were handpicked knights chosen by Slayman, here to greet Calian before they headed off on their journey.
Kyrie, who was already at the location ahead of Calian, was staring at the knights with eagerness to prove he was better than them. As Kyrie was someone that also specialized in swords, he was feeling eager to see and judge the difference between them and himself. Of course, the knights of Siegfried also felt that way towards Kyrie as well.
As the Duke’s knights and the Prince’s bodyguard silently battled each other in their mind, Calian, Allan, and Yan came outside of the palace.
Calian and Allan walked side by side and the servant Yan followed a few steps behind quietly as a matter of course.
Seeing Yan back there, the knights all gripped their fist even harder. Yan didn’t know anything about that, of course, and simply smiled while giving them a greeting through his eyes.
As it was only the knight Yuran who led the group that met Calian back at yesterday’s luncheon, Calian was meeting the rest of the knights for the first time.
Because of that, Calian studied the faces of all the knights carefully individually.
Soon, a peculiar smile came onto his lips.
‘So these are the famous Siegfried Knights,’
It was enough for Calian to realize how much effort Slayman put into picking the best of the best. Whether it was their size or spirit, it made Kyrie, who stood in front of them, look like a child.
But of course, that wasn’t the only reason Calian was making that face.
‘Their gazes… are off…’
The knights that came to guard the prince were eyeing him with completely different intentions than someone who came to protect.
Putting that gaze into words, it would be more along the lines of; ‘Are you the bastard treating our young lord like a servant?’
That would be the perfect explanation.
Standing next to Calian, Allan saw their feelings as well and smiled as if he was looking at something particularly interesting. Even if nothing happened during the Roselita journey, he hoped these Knights would be able to see Calina’s sword skills.
Of course, since he couldn’t see into the future, they might possibly be able to see it during the proceedings of Roselita as well. He was curious about how their expression would change once they saw it.
Even Kiriye, who could somewhat understand the situation, looked like he was highly anticipating such a scene.
Meanwhile, Yan, who was the only one unable to understand the situation, tilted his head and asked,
“Is there something bothering you, Your Highness?”
Calian smiled broadly.
Instead of saying that he felt uncomfortable since the knights would pound him into the ground as soon as they left Kyrisis, Calian spoke to Yan while staring at them back directly into their eyes.
“Yan, go bring something to drink.”
Hearing Calian say that, he could feel the spirit that heightened among the knights. Yan returned to the Chermil Palace without realising anything.
As the people he would be traveling with would be treating him this way the whole time, he felt that he won’t have any time to worry about Franz.
Allan, who was watching this staring contest and finding much joy from it, said,
“What a shame that I am not able to accompany you for this journey.”
Calian, who was staring at each and every one of the knights and declaring war upon them all, finally opened his mouth and spoke to them.
“Well then, I hope you can all help me safely arrive there.”
Yet again, a meaningful smile, that had practically become a habit at this point, lingered on his lips.
Lmao, Calian is so petty and those knights are so funny. And Allan wanting to go along because he feels like he’ll miss a good show is such a mood. Yan is pretty much a protag now with that level of denseness. I had fun with this chapter.
Original Translation: Wordexcerpt
Edited by: Tani Andris