The Royal Palace (2)
“I wish to tour the interior of the royal palace and illustrate it to my mom. To let her know of the magnificence of the royal palace and its beautiful interior.”
Following Ian’s wish, the crown prince also spoke a few words in support of Ian.
“Ian had also visited the ruins of the old Ivory Tower. Ian is a boy who is full of curiosity. Please generously consider his wish, Your Highness.”
On this day, the crown prince was of great help to Ian as he added appropriate comments to support Ian. He would be a great resource for Ian for quite some time
The Emperor pondered, the request was not a hard request, in fact, it was quite an easy one to be granted. He was about to reward him anyway. However, he just wanted to talk to Ian.
“Very well then.”
Following the simple answer, the Emperor pulled something out. It was a jeweled trinket the size of a hand .
“You will be granted access to most areas by simply showing the trinket.”
It had the sigil of the Emperor, which proved that Ian was the guest of the Emperor.
“In addition, you may ask a guard to guide you and show you around the palace.”
Ian gripped the trinket firmly.
“Is that all that you wish to receive?”
“I am very satisfied with this, your highness.”
“Then, I will give you the rewards I had prepared beforehand.”
At his order, a huge door was opened. Two servants came in while holding a heavy chest, followed by a few maids. They were the maids who had dressed Ian.
The servants placed the huge chest down in front of Ian. They then opened the chest to reveal to Ian the reward which the Emperor had prepared for Ian.
“This is one of the rewards that I present to you.”
As the Emperor had said, it was indeed filled with the Emperor’s gold coins.
“In addition to the coins, these maids used to manage the partitioned palace. I will send them ahead to your mansion, so have a rest.”
Coins and experienced maids, they were indeed excellent rewards.
‘Mother was worried about cleaning the mansion.’
Suddenly, Ian recalled his mother’s unexpected response. Since Ian had planned to hire some servants anyway, there was no reason to refuse such welcome rewards.
‘They will be able to support and serve mother to allow her to live luxuriously.’
“I appreciate your mercy and generosity, Your Highness.”
Ian finished the meeting with minimal obstacles. Due to tension from meeting the Emperor, his head was covered with sweat. As he had heard before in his past life, the Emperor was undoubtedly a great man. The suspicion the Emperor felt towards Ian was palpable to him. However, Ian had never expected to receive such an exquisite reward or that he would carelessly trust him.
‘He must’ve been suspicious of everyone. Even Ragnar.’
‘Suspicion and shrewdness were the basics of politics.’
Ragnar used to recite it. He must’ve learned it from his father.
‘I don’t have much time left.’
The sun would set soon. Before the sun sets, Ian had to acquire what he had been looking for today and the reason why he had requested the trinket. As it was only his first visit, he had set a small but important goal. His first target was the royal catacombs, which contained the coffins of previous Emperors and Empresses.
‘However, I must still sneak in.’
A millennia old tradition, the royal family buried previous Emperors and Empresses’ coffins in the royal catacomb.
The people called that place ‘The haven of the royal family’.
‘It will be easy enough to approach it.’
Since the haven contained the previous Emperors and Empresses, they prohibited those not from the royal family from entering. However, with the trinket of the Emperor, Ian would able to approach the haven. Even approaching it should be enough for him to sneak into the haven.
‘Quickly acquire what I need from there, and then move onto the royal library. From the library, there shouldn’t be any problems.’
As he had promised Ledio, he wanted to lend him a copy of some of the royal herbalism and alchemy records.
‘However, there won’t be that many useful records for Ledio.’
If the flower of Randor was so easily found in the records then it shouldn’t even be considered a mysterious herb.
‘But I need to show to him that I am making an effort.’
Ian needed to show him that he was trying so that he could gain Ledio’s trust. Thusly that trust will lead him to research elixirs for Ian. Furthermore, Douglas will trust Ian as well.
‘I will take care of the other goals later.’
This was enough for now. Currently, he didn’t dare to steal artifacts which were kept in the royal treasure vault, nor the rare herbs from the royal alchemy room.
‘For the artifacts and herbs, I will have to wait for the time when I have the chance to request them.’
The chance will come sooner or later. Hence, for now, he needed to grab items that he needed at this very moment. Items which no one will realize were stolen or that he had stolen them. That was on Ian’s to do list for today.
“Mr. Mage. How can I help you?”
The guards asked Ian gently. The news had already spread throughout the palace that a young mage had entered the palace and was visiting. Thanks to that, there were guards who recognized Ian’s face, and guards who had guessed by their social sense.
“His highness told me to show this to you.”
With the guise of an innocent child, Ian showed the trinket of the Emperor.
The trinket represented the full will of the Emperor. Thus the soldiers showed their full respect for it.
“Hmmm, where is the grand garden? I saw it in the book.”
“This way, please follow me.”
Thanks to the trinket, he was able to move around the palace with ease. While receiving tour guides, he remembered a few of their faces.
‘Let’s pretend that I am an innocent tourist.’
Ian intentionally visited places where people normally wished to visits such as the council meeting room, grand guardian walkway where statues of previous Emperors were held. After visiting some places where he was guided by the books, Ian planned to move in the direction of the haven of the royal family.
‘I hope to not meet that bastard.’
Confronting Ragnar in the royal palace. It was the worst possible scenario Ian could ever imagine. Would he be able to control his anger if he saw him with his own two eyes? What if his instinct leads him to murder him? Ian could end his life with just a single wave of his hands.
‘Not yet. Not yet.’
While walking around the royal palace, Ian kept reminding himself to control his mind and to be patient
After a while, and to his relief, Ian still hadn’t met nor seen Ragnar. Ian met with most of the guards to let them recognize his face. Then Ian started to approach the haven of the royal family slowly.
‘The Haven was right next to the princess’ palace.’
Women who inherited royal blood, as well as princesses managed the haven of the royal family. It was a tradition of the royal family. Princesses may often be regarded as expendable tools of politics, and it might cause them to resent that they were born as a girl and not as a boy. So the royal family made it a tradition for them. To let the princesses feel proud of themselves by managing a very sacred place where previous the Emperors and Empresses’ had been buried.
“Zzzzz… *snort* … Zzzz…!”
Finally, Ian had arrived at the entrance to the haven of the royal family. At the entrance of the stairs which led to the catacombs, the guard who was supposedly keeping guard was having a nap.
‘The other guards nearby were quite serious and careful.’
Until he reached this place, Ian had to show the trinket quite a few times. But how ironic, that the very entrance of one of the most sacred sanctums was guarded so loosely. Since it was the haven, they chose to be very quiet, and it resulted in this.
Although he was already sleeping, Ian made him fall into a deeper sleep, just as a precaution. Ian quickly infiltrated inside of it. The catacombs did not have a single light inside. It was a haven that was inside of the darkness.
With Ian’s magic, he could have a very clear view of the catacombs. On each side, there were many coffins that were aligned in pairs. All of them were decorated with the emerald jewel which represented the Greenriver Empire.
‘It was near the first Emperor’s coffin, wasn’t it?’
Ian went deeper inside of the haven to find the first Emperor’s coffin. As the Empire must’ve had a long history, there were many Emperors who had once ruled the empire. Furthermore, the first must be the coffin the furthest away from the entrance.
‘It must be somewhere near here.’
Ian finally arrived at the first Emperor and Empress’ coffin. Ian was searching near the coffin. What was he searching for?
‘A spot where I may unexpectedly find-‘
Suddenly, Ian shined his light on the ceiling. Soon, he smiled, satisfied that he had found what he had come for.
Something was stuck to the ceiling. It wasn’t an artifact at all.
‘The stone heart mushroom.’
Generally, they had foggy gray colors. These mushrooms were Ian’s target and goal.
Ian made long icicles which were much longer than usual, then with it, he scratched the ceiling. The gray mushrooms proceeded to fall to the floor.
‘There is more than what I had thought would be here.’
This mushroom was poisonous and unknown as of yet. A person who ate the mushroom’s nervous system will be paralyzed, as if hexed by a paralyzing spell. The only difference is that it will eventually stop their heart as well. But with proper brewing, it will allow the consumer to be extremely calm in any situation and interrogation. Thanks to this, the Greenriver Empire could completely overwhelm other countries in the spy war. Its existence was a great discovery, which showed a glimpse of the possibility of creating a Confederation of continents by the Greenriver empire.
‘For now, I need it the most.’
Soon, the ivory tower will start to make a move on Ian. They will invite Ian, for a ‘simple’ interview.
‘The Tower lord may possibly even join in as well.’
He may have had a chance if he was on the same level as his former life. But for now, he wouldn’t be able to resist an interrogation spell cast by the tower lord and the other archmages. That’s why Ian desperately needed this stone heart mushroom.
‘Ledio will make it with no problem.’
Ian didn’t remember the details of the recipe for the potion. However, he recalled that it was an easy alchemical product, such that it could be mass produced.
‘This would be enough….’
All of sudden while Ian was picking up fallen mushrooms,
“S..sir! What brings you here at this evening?”
Ian’s mana enhanced ear caught the sound. A sound that was coming from the outside of the haven. It must be the sleeping soldier’s voice. Seems like someone had woken him up.
‘There are only a few who can cause the guard to be startled like that.’
Entry to this place was only allowed for the royal family. So the one who stood out there was most likely royalty. It may be a Princess, the Crown Prince, or possibly even the Emperor himself. Maybe, even one of the Five other princes.
‘Please do not be Ragnar.’
The bastard very much liked the haven. Because he believed that he would be the Emperor one day, and as such he would be buried in here.
Ian canceled the light spell. Then he hid in a dark and shadowed corner. Yet, he would be revealed easily by the light of a lamp. In most cases, he might able to make some excuse under the guise of an innocent kid. However, what if the visitor is the bastard?
Although he had calmed himself before, his emotions started to sway greatly. His body kept collecting mana at the end of his finger. It could easily kill Ragnar, who is still just a little kid. Not even with the magic, just a simple grasp of a mana-enchanted hand. It wasn’t a good situation at all for Ian.
Re-Edited by FlawFinder, May 8th 2020