174 Part 2
“I will not compliment you like a little child anymore, as you have done your duty as the crown prince of this country and my successor. Do you understand my meaning?”
The emperor spoke, and he did not treat Hayden like an idiot, like before, as he was Terry Greenriver’s brilliant successor.
“Of course, I understand. I’m honored, your majesty.”
“Well, to hear you call me like that…”
The crown prince had always called his father ‘sire’, and while it was a bit awkward, the sound was not bad at all.
“So, have you notified the Ivory Tower Lord?”
“With all due respect, I have not heard from him yet. Will you allow me to visit his house?”
“You do not need my approval for that. Please let your father know if there is any news.”
“I will do so, your majesty.”
“..How about calling me as you have done? It is nice to see you grow up, but listening to that…”
If Terry Greenriver had spoken as the emperor before, he was now acting as an ordinary father. He was sorry to see his eldest son also grow up.
“Your majesty, there’s an old saying that you should act well when you can.”
The emperor also followed along as he was a father for now.
“You will miss your childish son, Hayden Greenriver, but you should have gone along with the old saying.”
Terry Greenriver asked back at the crown prince’s reply and now laughed out loud.
“So, now you can joke with me.”
“My guard is a swordsman who can cut a cursed dragon at once, and my best friend is the greatest mage of all time. What do I have to fear?”
“Haha! That’s true. I heard that a leader’s greatest virtue is not individual ability or bloodline, but luck, especially finding good people. You will be the greatest in history regarding that!”
The visit ended with jokes and laughter, and the crown prince went on his way. While he needed deep rest, he was planning to visit Ian’s manor.
“I’ll accompany you, your highness!”
The vice-captain Paul was in charge of guarding the crown prince. While he was almost worn to the bone, there was no other choice. His boss and the first guard, Oliver had fainted.
“You should take a rest. I only need a few soldiers with me.”
“That cannot happen. A knight to the royal family can only rest when he is stabbed in the heart and dies as a knight.”
Paul spoke in a dignified voice, and as he took pride in being a knight, his actions and words followed suit.
“Is that so?”
“It is your highness.”
The crown prince, Paul, and a few knights had exited the palace, and they were now headed to Ian Page’s manor.
“Well, if that’s so…”
The crown prince thought about Paul’s splendid words and thought of a trick.
“I wait for your words.”
“..Oliver is quite alive and well.”
“He’s not stabbed in the heart and not dead but resting because he overexerted himself. Then is Oliver, not a knight?”
Paul stopped breathing for a moment, as he had forgotten that the crown prince had a tendency to be playful because he had been so mature recently.
“I had not said it like that, and only as a knight for the royal family…”
“Oh, Oliver is not even a knight for the royal family? Is he just one of those who wandered about with a sword? Oliver will be quite interested to hear that.”
“Your- your highness…!”
As Hayden teased Paul, the city was now hosting a massive banquet. Not only its capital, but the entire empire partied through the night to celebrate a successful expedition.
“Vice-captain, how about getting a drink there? Or did you not like liquor?”
“Your highness, liquor is like water for knights. How can I enjoy a drink when I’m sober no matter how much I drink?”
Paul struck his chest as he again bluffed.
“Oliver got drunk quite well.”
“He did show some rowdiness.”
“You should take over Oliver’s position, Paul.”
Knights were the most amusing to tease, and Paul was the best of them all.
“We have arrived.”
The crown prince was satisfied, and now his footsteps stopped along with the others. They had arrived at the front of Ian’s manor.
‘While Ian would not be here….’
If he had returned, Ian would have visited the emperor and Hayden. The reason Hayden had come here was simple. Half was because he thought he would be able to hear something, and the other half was that he wanted to wait for Ian himself.
“Your, your highness, why have you come all this way? We would have prepared if you gave us notice…”
Ledio, Douglas, and Vanessa came running at the crown prince’s visit, and they had returned from their shelter.
“I was too curious. Do you have any news about Ian?”
The crown prince spoke in an urgent tone.
Ian’s family did not seem happy, and actually, they were quite dark.
Ledio had been silent for a moment, and now he opened his mouth slowly.
“With all due respect, your highness, can you come here for a minute?”
“Umm? All right.”
The crown prince followed Ledio with suspicious eyes, and they had arrived at Ian’s bedroom on the second floor.
“Ian is sleeping beyond this door.”
“What? Ian has returned? Then why…”
The crown prince let his words hang, as he was already anxious.
‘It cannot be possible…’
The crown prince opened the door, and Ian was lying down on the white bed as Ledio had mentioned.
The crown prince’s heart sank at sight, as Ian looked like he was dead. However, up close, Ian was still breathing, and he did not look pale.
Ledio followed the crown prince to the bedroom and now slowly began to speak.
Lightlty proofread by FlawFinder