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Volume 4 Chapter 21
“This was found in my pocket yesterday but… it’s not mine so does it belong to you, Rahsa?”
During breakfast, I showed the silver pocket watch to Rahsa, which was delivered to me at night.
The person in charge of laundry found it and brought it to me as soon as possible as it looked quite expensive. It was made of silver and there was an elaborately curved eagle mark on the cap.
Apparently it was so shocking that Rahsa ended up spitting the consomme soup he was having.
The soup spilled on the table napkin and the attendants hurriedly rushed over to wipe it off.
“I am sorry. I will clean the rest so can you excuse us for a while?”
Listening to Rahsa’s request, the 4 attendants left the room.
Him being that surprised just now and making everyone leave the room…. Did I perhaps pick up something bad?
“Aniki, I would like to ask you to forget about it but since you have already seen it, I will explain, okay? Uh, before that.”
Rahsa searched in his pocket and carefully brought out a silver pocket watch. The mark on the cap was different but they were of the same shape.
“I am glad. Looks like it is not mine. This pocket watch, it is only held by a very select few important individuals of this country. They have been asked to value it next to their lives so to think there is one who dropped it…. I can’t really say what it is in detail but if you want, you could look inside. The name of the person who dropped it should be curved inside.”
Rahsa muttered with a silent sad voice, ‘It is probably elder sister but….’. Rahsa’s elder sister is.. Maria-sama, if I am not wrong. I had heard she is a very sweet lady but judging from Rahsa’s worried state, it does not seem like she is too careful.
“……..Kururi Helan is curved inside…”
He was about to drink the consomme soup to calm down a little but again, ended up spitting it out. The napkin also seems to be reaching its limits, taking the soup head on the second time in one day.
“Ca-can I have a look?”
As I threw it to him, he panickedly stopped it with his whole body.
“You must not throw it!”
I made him angry.
Still a bit panicky, Rahsa checked the watch in detail. It is somewhat similar to Iris’ eyes when she appraises magic stones.
“…..It is real. Exactly, when….?”
“It was in my pocket, said the diligent laundry person when they delivered it to me yesterday night.”
“Hmm, you have not received any explanation then. Hmm…. hmmmmm…. I don’t know if it is okay for me to talk about this….”
‘Is it that important?”
After racking his brain for a while, Rahsa turned to face me, looking into my eyes as if he had made up his mind.
“The things I am going to say now, you must not, ever, tell anyone. Even Aniki is not an exception to this.”
“Then, I shall talk about it. This pocket watch, the only one who can issue the creation of it is this country’s top… The king.”
An evil thought — ’I wonder how much it could be exchanged for?’ had come up in my mind for a moment but I deleted it.
“I do not know why the king has made you hold this. You have not met him, have you?”
“I have not.”
I can say that much for sure.
“Well, my father is… an odd person so I guess it might be better to not think too deeply about it. What’s important is that you are the one holding that watch now, Aniki. If you were not told anything, then I think I was meant to tell it to you.”
I kinda feel like it was turning into quite a worrying conversation. If you were to ask me, I would say I was more excited about being taken to the ice skating place today. I happened to hear that there are a lot of pretty people there.
“This exhibits power during Kudan kingdom’s emergency situations. The king entrusts it to people he trusts to save the country during its disorder. This is your social status’ evidence and with it, you can get money, and even mobilize the army. It is like a mass of special privilege.”
“During peaceful times?”
“….It is the same as a boondoggle.”
“What are you getting disappointed for….? Maybe it was granted to you for some achievement in the Helan territory or something. Aniki, it might be a burden but will you not keep it with you for me?”
“Yes, since I did receive it, I have no choice. I will keep it. It does not seem like something to show off to people either so I will just keep it secretly. I still do not think I can do much even in emergency situations…”
“That is not true. Surely, we will see results of the king’s judgements to be correct.”
I kinda felt like I was promoted or something.
It was not a bad feeling.
It means I was acknowledged by the king, right? That is a good thing.
But, exactly what did he see in me? Or rather, where is he even watching me from?
The king — full of mysteries.
“Ah, it is turning into a snow storm outside.”
Before I realized, the little snowfall had turned into a blizzard outside.
We could also have a snowball fight but the wind was so strong that I felt like the trajectory might change so much that they would become magic balls.
“I guess the skating is suspended, then….?”
“It is unfortunate but I guess we can’t help it. If you would like, why not visit the knight barracks? They have been quite noisy to bring you to them for a while.”
“Eh? Will I get the hell beat out of me?”
“Of course not, they are welcoming you. It is not a very clean place so I did not really want to guide you there but since our circumstances have become like this, if I do not bring you to them, they will get even noisier later.”
“I see. Will I be thanked for the swords or something?”
“I don’t quite think they are such conscientious people but I guess you could look forward to it a bit.”
And thus, we had a change of plans. From cute girls skating to dirty men’s office.
The knights seem to be in a different building inside of the wall. It seems like the important knights get a place in the castle but unfortunately, that is only for a very select few.
I also hear it is quite the severe road if one is not skilled or from a prestigious family.
I wonder if my friend, Vain too, would have come here if things went smoothly. No, surely would have. While having such thoughts, I looked up at the knights barracks.
I could hear a fussy voice from inside.
I guess it is impossible for a place with so many men to be quiet.
As we entered the building, a young man noticed the prince. He was about 20 years old. Definitely looked older than me.
“What have you come for, prince?”
“You people were so noisy about me coming, and so I came.”
“Hmm? That means, that red-haired person over there is Kururi Helan-san?”
“Yes, my Aniki, Kururi Helan-san.”
“Uuuoooooohhhhh! Are you serious?! Seriously?! He seriously came?!”
As he started making an uproar, the other people who had been relaxing inside came out one by one.
‘Which one?! ‘That red-haired one.’ ‘Really?!’ ‘Really not what I expected.’ ‘Isn’t he too young?’ ‘Imposter?’ ‘Possible.’ ‘An imposter the prince prepared.’ ‘It’s a fraud, a fraud.’
Saying anything you want to say… This isn’t a show! Be gone!
“Everyone, calm down! First, I shall talk.”
Dividing the crowd, a woman came forward. The impression I got from her and the sword on her waist, the one that I had made — If I were to judge from this, is she the woman Jeremy-senpai’s brother fell in love with? What was her name again?
“I am Mady. This sword I am carrying on my waist is the one you made. It is excellent — so much that it is of the level of a famous sword. Everyone was spreading rumors of how highly skilled you were, you see, and so the building’s hot topic was you. So much that it came to this situation.”
“Well, thank you.”
By this situation, does she mean almost all of the knights gathering together so much that their skin is touching? They certainly seem to be quite passionate about swords.
If I remember correctly, Mady-san is the one Jeremy-senpai’s brother is in love with.
“And so, first, I want to say this as the representative…. Could you make another sword?”
‘Haaa?!’ ‘I am first!!’ ‘If it’s money, I have a lot!’ ‘Make one for me too!’ ‘Idioooott!’ ‘you masculine woman!!’
Looks like she couldn’t let the last one go, and punched that guy flying.
Rahsa walked forward and stood in front of them.
“I am sorry but Aniki is on a vacation now. He won’t be accepting job requests. Today too, I just brought him because you people were being too bothersome. Think yourselves lucky you got to see him. Aniki is only my Aniki.”
‘That’s unfair!’ ‘Rotten prince!’ ‘Your face is pretty but you are evil!’ ‘Childish! Childish!’ ‘Raise our pays!’
Oi, the last one isn’t even related to Rahsa!
Say that to someone else. And all of you others, Rahsa is pretty scary when he is not kind, you know!?
“Now then, Aniki, we have fulfilled our obligation. Let’s go back and have sweets or something.”
Mady-san stopped us.
She looked as if she had just remembered something.
“That’s right, Kururi Helan-san, if it is okay, please meet with our leader. Leader Rotto has been wanting to meet you. He isn’t the type to meet people normally, that person…. It is quite rare so.. Well I have told you. It’s up to you, whether you want to meet him or not.”
That’s Vain’s family name. They are a family of knights, so I guess it is his father.
Why would he want to see me?
‘Deceiving my precious son!!’– will he come chopping me yelling that, I wondered…..
If that’s so, then I don’t want to go. Ah, my thoughts are starting to get extreme.
“I know the knight leader’s room so if you feel like going, I can guide you.”
Yep, I was thinking about it but if he guides me, maybe I can go? The leader probably won’t do something too daring in front of the prince too.
“……I guess I will go.”
The knight leader’s room was on the first floor of the castle so we quickly arrived there. Before knocking the door, I felt a little nervous.
After knocking about 2 times, a rough voice from inside said ‘ Come in.’.
His voice is similar to Vain’s…. Or so I thought.
Immediately as I entered, I ended up leaking an ‘Ah.’
It might have been taken as being rude but I could not help it.
I mean, he was so big! Unbelievably big! A giant! I will get eaten!
Vain was about 2 meters tall and had muscles like a bear but his dad is 20 centimeters taller than that and had even bigger muscles!
“Sorry for leaking such a weird voice.”
“I don’t mind. In fact, it is quite modest for someone who is meeting me for the first time.”
I somewhat felt like I ended up seeing a sensitive side of this person. He is probably conscious about his physique giving the other party a wrong impression. Now that I think about it, Vain had such a side to him too.
“You also had someone scream?”
“…..My wife screamed the first time I had met her. It is a distant memory now.”
“It is quite rare to have guests from outside. Are you perhaps Kururi Helan-dono?”
“Yes, I am surprised you found out.”
“I just guessed from the timing and rumours. Did you come hearing I had wanted to meet you?”
“Yes, that is also correct.”
“Is that so? I am grateful. I had plenty of things I wanted to talk about when I met you but now when I have actually met you, I don’t know where to start. Sorry about that, our family isn’t really good at communication.”
I understand. It would be kinda weird if they were to keep talking with that body. I can only imagine it being uncomfortable, scary and tragic.
“I guess, I’ll start with thank you.”
“Yes. Thank you for being friends with that awkward son of mine.”
That is all?! That’s weird!! To end the conversation here!!
“Umm, Vain… are you not angry about your son going to another country? Umm, I was like the one who encouraged him too….”
“It is not something to be angry about. I have been telling him to live freely since he was a child and besides, our family has the travellers’ bloodline. So in fact, he is probably living a more suitable path.”
Travellers’ bloodline…. It kinda feels adventurous. So cool. I kinda feel like travelling. I wonder what bloodline our family is of. I guess I will ask father when I return…..He will probably say he doesn’t know, though….
“I was surprised when I heard my son had made a friend but when I saw you, I could understand.”
What does that mean?!
“And so, I have nothing but gratitude towards you for it.”
“I see.” So glad I was not chopped down. Seriously.
The knight leader did not seem to have anything more to say so I decided to leave.
When I opened the door and was about to leave, Mady-san and the guy I met first in the barracks were standing there.
“What are you doing?”
The leader’s rough voice came from the other side of the room.
“Leader! This person is Kururi Helan! Are you done already?!”
“Nn? I know that.”
“No, if you know then there is something you should say, isn’t there?! Please make him make swords for us! You are always breaking swords left and right with your monstrous strength! If you have him make you one here, your budget will also improve in the long term.”
As if he had just realized there was some fault on him when he was about to reject their request, he hesitated.
He looked like he was pondering something.
“Sorry, it seems my subordinates are correct. Because I break too many swords, I am hindering the financial aspects of the knights. I had been using cheap ones till now but I think I should get a good one and use it for a while now. Can I request you? I hear you are quite skilled.”
I looked at Rahsa. As I had come accepting his invitation, I thought it would be better asking him and unlike the time with the knights, his expression said ‘If it is okay with you, how about accepting?’
If so, I do not really have a reason to deny either so it was settled.
“I shall do my best to make something great, then. It will take a little time.”
“Then I leave it to you. I will be looking forward to it.”
To that reply, the ones who were most happy were the two knights behind. Exactly how many swords did he break till now….?
When we were leaving, Rahsa told me an interesting story.
“The leader of the knights has quite a lot of anecdotes about him but there is a really recent one which is amazing. When he went to sweep clean a thief troupe, he ended up breaking his sword in two. From there, he didn’t even use his subordinate’s weapons or the enemy’s ones–he beat 30 of them with his bare hands. I heard this from his subordinates so I don’t know how much of it is true but from how excited they were there, I think it is true.”
…..I ended up sympathizing with the thieves but I guess it is only natural. If that giant comes charging at you, you won’t feel anything but fear.
“It is very rare for that person to want something. That is how much he acknowledges your swords.”
“Did he see my sword?”
“It has been the hot topic in the castle for a while. He has seen it too.”
I have also given Vain one of my swords.
So, it is a request from his father now, eh?
It seems like the budget is quite large so this might be a pretty big job.