That day, just like any other day, Calian rose from his bed, got ready and stepped outside of the room. However, he didn’t go to the hall like he usually did but immediately went out of the palace to have breakfast together with Rumein.
After breakfast, a simple farewell ceremony was held. Then he gave a final farewell to Rumein and got on the back of Raven.
To the front of Calian was Arsen and to his left and right were Kiriye and Yan and then there was Hina, who was a proficient healer, following from the rear. Their formation was then sandwiched from the front and back by knights dressed in black
Had he rode in a carriage meant for the royal family, the symbol of the royal family would have been visible but in Calian’s current entourage there was nothing that could identify him as a member of the royal family.
It was because of the idea that nothing good could come of advertising such a face – despite some progress having been made, he still had more enemies than allies at the present time.
When the people heard that the prince who resembled Sispanian was leaving for Roselita, crowds of people gathered around the Royal Road and in the squares to the outer sides of the palace.
It was before such a crowd that Calian stepped out.
Although he wasn’t in a carriage, there were Siegfried’s knights surrounding him. And right in the middle of the group of knights was Calian, showing off his presence to everyone.
Because of this, his departure was no less splendid compared to those of the princes before him, which meant that every step Calian took, passing by them, there were sounds of cheer and well wishes for him.
The coming of age ceremony of a prince.
The only chance to meet the will of Sigmung Khan Sispanian.
Roselita had begun.
There was no problem for a few days after departure.
The places the entourage would pass were contacted ahead of time and even during transit, the number of knights they had meant no one would act hastily against them. Calian sat comfortably atop Raven’s back and would chat with Yan, a little frustrated despite having considered what to do and whether he should take part or not if a fight did break out.
And occasionally, he would hear Alan’s voice.
- Yes, teacher, is everything okay?
- Several envoys arrived from Tensil suddenly. Rumein is busy so this old man is tired,
Allan was talking in his usual round-about way, but Calian understood that Rumein was so busy that Allan also had no time to spare.
- It seems like you’ll be busy
- That does seem to be the case
Calian was thinking about sitting on top of Raven and having a leisurely talk with Allan for a while, but made a slightly disappointed face before pulling out the mana he was supplying to the ring.
Yan spoke as he saw Calian’s disappointed face.
“Did Sir Manasil say he couldn’t chat with you?”
“Yes. It seems he’s busy.”
Hearing that, Yan smiled,
“It’s more amazing that he’s still taking time to chat with you even though you’re chatting with him every single day. I’ll chat with you instead so there’s no need to be so bored.”
Since It sounded like he was complaining that nothing was happening, Calian turned his head and gave an awkward smile, before looking around.
Currently, Calian’s group had passed the Latria Forest and were heading towards a city named Latran.
At the bottom of the royal road that snaked around a low woodland were round lakes – more than ten of them that were large and similar in shape.
The lake was, however, nearly dried up too much to even call it a lake. Of course, they weren’t naturally created lakes.
The origin of the creation of this lake was well known, as being an artificial lake created by Sispanian. Of course, it wasn’t like the dragon made the artificial lakes just because it was bored.
Large craters had been created when the dragon had dropped meteorites on those areas while chasing Evil Gods.
Looking down at the lakes, Calian laughed awkwardly.
“I’m going to see someone who has left a trace in a forest that has not disappeared after 500 years,”
“Even so, it’s not a real face-to-face meeting, so please don’t feel too pressured,”
“Yes, you’re right,”
“Would you like to take a look around the lake and have a meal here? We still have a 2 or 3 hour journey before reaching Latran and if we go any further, there may not be any good places to rest,”
There was no particular reason to refuse as Yan was someone who had been to this place many times and Calian had never been here before.
Therefore Calian agreed without any argument, and the group moved into the forest a bit to the side of the royal road, settling into a place where the land is a bit flatter.
As Raven focused on munching grass, Calian sat on the ground and leaned onto its leg while receiving a sandwich that was packed back at the previous city they had passed.
Soon, Hina approached and gave glasses of water to Calian and Yan.
Hina smiled and nodded, then left to go sit next to Kyrie. Looking at her sitting next to Kyrie, he spoke.
“It seems Kyrie is taking care of Hina quite a lot.”
“Because she’s his sister.”
Hearing Calian, Yan laughed and replied.
“You’re right. Well, if my sister was like that, I would want to take care of her more as well.”
It was the first time Yan openly spoke about his family without being questioned about it.
The further they were from the palace, the more Yan turned back to his original self rather than acting as a servant to Calian. Even now, Yan was sitting next to Calian and eating with him even though Calian didn’t order him to.
As Calian looked at Yan with a curious face since he was talking about his own family, Yan shook his head and spoke.
“There is a child who was so angry that she didn’t receive a birthday present from her older brother, that she stabbed a sword on him while he was sleeping. Soon, you will be meeting her as well, your highness. Please be careful.”
Calian stopped in the middle of putting the last of the sandwich in his mouth and laughed. It was because he could clearly imagine how it went in his mind. Yan must have cried his eyes out.
Not long after, they finished their meal. Calian got up and was about to get back onto the back of Raven.
But then at that moment, a strange sound was heard.
– Woosh! – Whoosh!
A small sound that seemed to be coming closer, through the bushes.
Along with the sound, Calian saw the lush forest bush shake left and right. At the same time Calian saw that motion, Kyrie appeared quickly and got in front of him in a defensive position.
The knights also formed a defensive formation with Yan and Calian in the middle.
Calian was about to say that it didn’t seem to be a situation where they needed to be so cautious, but before he could say that, a human figure even smaller than Hina poked its head out of the shrubs.
The figure then saw the knights and mages aiming towards him and stared back with wide surprised eyes, then started yelling while putting both of its hands in the air.
“Oh, yeah! Save me!”
What on earth was this?
The knights, who didn’t understand the words the child said, frowned. Calian’s face, however, hardened for a different reason.
Although the Siegfried knights would probably be more familiar with their appearance, Calian wasn’t.
The small figure was a young boy with green hair that was on the longer side and a face and ears that were more pointed than a humans would be.
Kyrie, who never really talked, saw the child and couldn’t stop himself from speaking.
As if responding to Kyrie’s words, the young elf boy slowly lifted his body up.
And so the great cascading number of events that would befall onto the peaceful journey of Calian’s group started with just this young elf boy’s sudden appearance.
Before Calian could admire the intact elf ears of the boy, which he was seeing for the first time, the boy spoke.
Now, everyone was making the same kind of expression. They weren’t able to understand a single thing this elf was saying from the beginning.
The Knight Captain, Yuran’s gaze turned to Calian.
“What would you like to do?”
Whether to put away the swords that were aimed towards this strange boy or to keep being in a defensive position.
Eleves didn’t really attack people nor were they good at telling lies.
Therefore, Calian thought it would be fine to let down their guards slowly. Calian gave a gesture to put away the swords and stepped once towards the elf. He and the knights all put away their swords together.
While lowering his head down a bit and studying the elf’s face, he asked the boy.
“Sia? That’s your name?”
“You came here to ask for food?”
Although it felt like there was some kind of conversation forming, he still couldn’t understand perfectly.
Calian made a face like it was saying I have no idea what this child is saying, and scratched his cheek.
After wondering for a while, Calian turned his head towards Kyrie. He wanted to ask if all elves were like this to him, but Kyrie was making the same expression to him as well.
Hina, standing beside them, ended up making the same face.
Seeing them make that face, Calian gave a dejected laugh.
“I see. Both of you can’t understand him either.”
Calian scratched his cheek again and then opened his mouth.
“What are you doing here?”
Calian wondered whether to just stop the conversation, feed the boy and send him on his way, or to have a little more patience with this conversation.
But then, the light in Calian’s eyes changed.
Slowly raising his head, Calian laughed.
“…If you had someone that was chasing you, then you should have said that first.”
He heard sounds of horses galloping. If that was the only thing, it wouldn’t have been a huge problem.
But, there was the fact that it was heading directly towards Calian’s group, as well as the fact that they were holding a sword in their hand.
And most of all, he couldn’t hide his expectations towards the opportunity for excitement that had been presented to him.
The knights all rested their hands on the hilt of the swords again.
The elf named Sia said and held tightly onto the ends of Calian’s clothes with a tearful expression.
Although he hadn’t been able to understand what he had been saying completely, he knew what his actions meant. It meant to ask for help.
As Calian thought that it would be better to communicate this way rather than speaking in jumbled words, he made a small laugh to himself. Seeing the boy’s hand gesture asking Calian to save him, Calian replied in a low voice.
“Let’s see how it goes first,”
First, Calian took the robe that was hung on Raven’s saddle and put it on Sia, covering his head. He then sent Sia towards the back and spoke towards Kyrie.
“Keep him safe.”
Kyrie nodded and took Sia in to make him stand next to him.
In the meantime, the knights that stood in position in front of Calian got ready to draw their swords at any time, and Arsen prepared to deploy a shield.
Calian checked for a moment the knife in his pocket. Though, he wondered whether he would need to pull it out for this case or not. It was only one horse that was coming towards them after all.
Soon, the person came close to the group and stopped.
Calian turned his head towards the man who seemed unconcerned about the identity of the balck-haired boy surrounded by knights
He was a man with long hair. Although Calian wasn’t able to tell which ranks he belonged to, he was wearing a soldier’s uniform. The man stepped forward and looked over the group.
Seeing as how the man didn’t make any strong reaction even after seeing Calian, it seemed that he wasn’t able to tell who Calian was just by his appearance. Calian, therefore, thought that this was a little strange.
‘He must belong to some merchants or a noble at least. And if he is, then there’s no way he wouldn’t have known that my planned route was this path.’
At that moment, Yuran stepped forward towards him. Thankfully he was smart enough to not do a stupid thing like telling the man who Calian was, especially when the man looked very suspicious already.
“Who are you.”
Hearing that, the man spoke with a stern expression.
“A thief stole something, so I was on my way chasing after them. Have you perhaps seen any peculiar child anywhere?”
What he said wasn’t an answer to the question. Yuran frowned one of his brows and spoke.
“You don’t look like someone that’s chasing after a thief.”
“Is there a face you need to put on to chase after one?”
Yuran didn’t want to waste any more breath and answered with a stern voice.
“The child you speak of is not here, so leave.”
The man looked over the group once more. He then saw a child with a robe over his body standing in a corner. As anyone who saw the child would see them as suspicious, the man smiled wide.
“It looks like he is. I will just look over a bit then take my leave. I am not here to pick a fight with you knights, so please stand aside.”
The man got off the horse and took a step closer.
It made everyone nervous, seeing the man walk into the group without any hesitation when there were twenty knights around him.
As he was a soldier that couldn’t even hide away his feelings of vigor, Calian was sure that he had some backup to rely on and started to look around. He then got a certain feeling in a particular direction.
Looking like he also felt the same thing as Calian did, Yuran made an expression that looked even more stern and defensive. He then lifted his sword, stopped the man, and spoke again.
The corner where the man is relying on. Meaning, the corner of the bush on the opposite side of the group, which Calian realized hid several bows, aiming towards their direction.
Calian looked at Yuran for a moment then stepped forward.
Let me know what you think!
Updates will be slow for a while because of issues at home, I need a new job and my mum is ill so I’m having to go back and forth from the hospital. I’ll still do my best to keep it once a week but if it gets too bad I might split chapters in two or something to make it easier for me to post.