Past the Latria forest, was the city of Latran. At this scale, it would likely be considered a small or mid-sized city, but it was quite wealthy due to its copper mines. Perhaps that was why, but even from afar, they could see large, clean buildings.
When Calian, who felt as though he was looking at Astrisha Street, looked at the city with a little admiration. Yan, who seemed to fear that Calian might develop a good opinion of the Lord of this city, opened his mouth,
“Count Hale Latran, don’t you remember?”
“Oh he…” It was a familiar name,
Calian tried to recall the name, then raised an eyebrow when he realised. He was one of the nobles who had sent a gift to the youngest prince, who had been hurt by Franz’s words during the King’s birthday festival.
Yan grinned at Calian’s conclusion,
“Before that, he was a part of Prince Randell’s faction, but he turned to Prince Fran six years ago when there was conflict between the warriors of the desert and Tensil,”
Although there were four kingdoms on the continent, the reason why Kyris did not have access to the sea was due to large desserts that flanked its northern and western sides with unknown ends.
The barren place known as the Great Desert had yet to take the form of an established country. Those who lived there believed in their own folk beliefs, not those of Serenti.
Under this pretext, this country had attempted to expand its territory through Tensil and into the northern desert, since Tensil was a country which was declining in both divine and military power. Since they did not have a proper military, Tensil fought under the impression that it would be possible to win.
However, when the war broke out, the warriors that had been gathered by the Great Desert country had been more powerful than expected. Tensil, who was cornered, asked for assistance from Kyris in the name of their relationship, connected through Randell.
Of course, Silica objected, which forced Tensil to step down from the conflict at a loss.
“Even so, it’s a bat that seems to understand when to take a step back,”
Should he view it in a positive light, that such a person had tried to place a foot onto his side as well? Calian laughed briefly at the thought.
While they chatted, they reached the entrance of the city.
Hale, who had been waiting for the Prince’s party at the entrance, was standing there with an over-the-top welcoming expression. Calian sped up on Raven slightly and stepped forwards to the head of their party.
As he got closer, Hale approached and greeted him,
“I greet his highness, Prince Calian; I am Hale Latran,”
“It’s good to see you,” Calian’s answer was always the same.
Now that they had greeted each other, he figured they could head into the city, but Hale’s mouth opened once again, adn the words that followed were endlessly long.
“It is an infinite honour for this Hale to be able to serve the Prince in person. At the news that the Prince would be arriving in this humble city, I have spent many nights anxiously awaiting your arrival. When I had heard the news yesterday that his highness had arrived nearby, the anticipation left me utterly sleepless,” Hale gushed.
At that, Calian briefly turned his head away and pretended to look around because it was difficult to hide the awkwardness that came with hearing such unfamiliar flattery.
This was the shortest route from Kyrisis to Siegfried, so Hale must have said the same thing to Franze last year. His words were laced with honey but said with practised ease.
Calian, who soon turned his head again, replied with a smile. Because of how tired he was, the words that came out weren’t an ideal response,
“It would have been better if you had cleaned up your front yard while you waited,” Then he turned his head and looked at the man who had attacked them for a moment.
Hale gasped unconsciously when he saw the blood-covered man and asked,
“Does he need medical attention? I’ll get a doctor ready -”
Calian shook his head,
“He’s someone who has been made to not need treatment,”
Hale gasped once again,
What Calian had said now was a euphemism used by aristocrats to avoid harsh words, it normally referred to death row prisoners.
It was not that Kyris did not provide treatment for criminals – but those on death row were the exception. There was no reason to give them treatment since they were going to die anyway.
That man had pointed his sword at Calian, a prince. As a result, he became someone who no longer needed to be treated for his wounds.
“My deepest apologies, your highness,”
Hale nodded when he understood that the man had attacked Calian, and considering his previous words about his front yard, it must have happened while he was within the Latran territory.
By extension, Hale also could not avoid the responsibility for such an attack – to him it must have felt like the sky was falling on his head.
Calian was about to say something, but blinked, as a drop of water fell from the sky and onto the back of Calian’s hand.
Another drop soon followed. And another. Raven made a small huff and snort sound – it seemed water had fallen on his nose.
And just like that, it began to rain.
Yan hurried over and tried to quickly get an umbrella over Calian, who gestured to Hale with his hand that it was okay even as he said,
“It seems you need a roof before an apology,”
By the time they got through to the inner city and arrived at the territory’s castle, the rain had began to pelt quite hard. It was the middle of August, and the rain quickly gave rise to a humid atmosphere.
Calian, who saw the rain, said to Yuran,
“Just hand him over to the soldiers in the castle and don’t give them any other explanation,”
“Yes your highness, I will,”
On his way, Calian had become quite soaked so he headed to the room Hale had given him and washed himself first. He then opened the window of the room wide and the sound of the falling rain filled the room.
The sky didn’t look like it would ease up by today – it seemed he was stuck here until at least tomorrow.
Since he had a long way to go, he had tried not to delve too deeply into what had happened earlier with the man and Sia – but it seemed he got tied up because of the rain anyway.
“Well that’s…” Calian sighed. There was a knock at his door, and Yan came in with the iced mint tea that Calian had asked for, in his hand.
Through the open door, he could see Yuran standing here. Yan answered Calian’s curious gaze,
“They’ve found something about the man who was caught today, should I have it handed over to Count Latran?”
On their way here, Calian had ordered to leave the rest of the investigation to Hale which is why he asked, but Calian shook his head and replied,
“I’ll check it out first, tell him to come in,”
Yan called Yuran into his room and left – he came back with Yuran’s share of mint tea. As a result, Calian was able to see the amusing scene of Yuran jumping up from his seat, bowing 180 degrees from his waist and taking the mint tea politely with both hands, before sitting back in his seat.
After Yan, who now looked thoroughly embarrassed, went out again, Yuran pulled something out, wrapped it in a handkerchief and put it down in front of Calian.
“The soldiers said it was hidden in his shoes – oh the handkerchief is mine, it’s not dirty so please don’t worry,”
Calian laughed at his fear that he might complain it was dirty.
From the open window there was the gentle sound of heavy rain. He felt refreshed having just washed up and with a sip of cool mint tea, he truly felt relaxed. Calian smiled as he leisurely laid down his cup and opened the handkerchief.
And the relaxed smile slowly faded away.
As the atmosphere around Calian changed dramatically, Yuran decided to keep his mouth shut and wait silently,
Calian , who looked at the handkerchief for a while, quietly asked,
“He had this?”
Although Yuran did not know about this matter, it had been an unforgettable experience for Calian.
Looking at his frown, Yuran looked puzzled, he wondered how Calian had recognised it at once.
Calian kept his eyes on what looked like a sugar cube and asked,
“How does the Lord know of this?”
“A long time ago, when I was in the Public Security Force, I saw it when an assassin was arrested. They say it’s a poison that disguises the user as dead for a while. But, may I ask how you know of it, your highness?”
There was no way he wouldn’t know. Calian smiled strangely at the poison that had left him bedridden for a week and given him his freedom.
“It’s something I’ve tried before,”
The sound of the pouring rain outside of the window got stronger.
He was stuck here because of the rain and on top of that something had appreciated that would not allow him to walk away from it on a good day. How could he go on feigning disinterest?
“The guy who couldn’t even feel energy had this poison,” Calian muttered, scratching his cheek. Yuran looked at Calian when he said ‘energy’ and said,
“I did think your swordsmanship was rather good,”
At that, Calian smiled as he responded,
“That man,” it was a very blatant way to change the subject. In fact, it was what Yuran had been most curious about but now he couldn’t even open his mouth – thus Yuran put away the image of Calian who had parried a longsword with a knife and replied,
“Yes, your highness?”
“I’ll meet him right now,”
“Do you mean yourself?” Yuran asked in surprise,
Instead of answering, Calian tapped a finger against the glass cup that had frosted over from the ice – he didn’t want to have to say things twice.
Yuran, who roughly understood Calian’s personality, answered again,
“Yes, your highness, I understand.”
Fire magic burns wounds. Ice magic freezes the wound.
Wind magic goes directly through wounds.
The shoulder penetrated by wind – well, penetrated was a nice way of putting it. It had been torn open and to shreds.
And because the wound had simply been roughly wrapped in bandages, the hands that didn’t have blood flowing to them properly were swollen and turning purple.
Calian didn’t react to such a sight and instead asked,
“Where are you from?”
The man looked up and saw Calian, then grinned. Yuran frowned but Calian nodded his head, as if to leave it alone.
“I thought you were the precious young master of some noble house,”
“Well, I’m a little more precious than that,”
There was no emotion in Calian’s eyes as he looked over the man’s wounds. It was hard to find any signs of regret or horror.
Of course Yuran didn’t think Calian should feel bad for the man either – however, he felt that the face that belonged to a 15-year-old boy, was simply too calm after coming face to face with a person he had hurt.
“I’m a guard from the copper mines. I just helped them for a while because they said they would pay me if I helped them find people,”
“That sugar thing, how do you have it?”
“They split it amongst themselves, I thought it was something good so I stole it,”
Calian nodded, he decided he would accept that as true for now.
“What were they looking for?”
“I don’t know,”
“Do you know who they were?”
“They didn’t call each other by name, and I couldn’t see their faces since they wore masks,”
“What else do you remember?”
Calian looked at the man with his fingers tapping the table, there was mud smeared all over the bandage and his face was red as if he had a fever.
No matter how magical a wound was, it would have already begun to fester in this hot and humid place.
“I’ll heal you,” Calian, who knew exactly how much pain that man was in right now, said with a calm face
The man stared at Calian.
“If it can’t be healed, then I’ll cut it off for you, instead, give me something that will help me. If not – then well, it would be something of a shame for the both of us,”
The man did not speak for a long moment and Calian didn’t bother pushing him. A while later, the man finally opened his mouth,
“My wife is in Hanson village – they know that too,”
Perhaps this man had threatened to reveal the truth and they had threatened him with his wife’s safety. Calian nodded, as thought to not worry – and asked,
“That thing they lost. What is it?”
“…A transparent bead, the size of a fingernail. I was told that I would know exactly if I checked with the new priest from Tensil.”
They must have had some sort of divine item. It would sell for a high price in Tensil where they were collecting such things and it would be worth making a fuss over if it got taken away.
It would also make sense for an elf to be able to feel the energy of a divine item and understand it’s worth. So Calian asked the next question,
“There’s somewhere you can go to meet them right?”
“I don’t think they would be staying here, there was white-haired elf so they probably chased after him.”
“Where are they from?”
“As I said before, I didn’t see their faces or know their names,”
As Calian was being disappointed at the thought that the man did not seem to know anything of importance, he heard the man speak up again.
“But… I did hear the nickname they used to call their leader,”
Calian gestured with his chin to mean ‘go on’.
The man frowned slightly as he tried to recall his memories and said,
“Blue Warbler – that’s what they called him,”
‘Why did your birds fly all the way here?’
Calian’s expression hardened.
Still debating between set up an website on a different platform or just moving everything to webnovels – I’m starting a new job so I wouldn’t actually have the time to manage a website but also I don’t completely trust webnovels either… decisions, decisions.
Anyway, let me know what you think!