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179 Part 2

“What…”

“How about paying the price for your crimes?”

 

The crown prince shot the boom stick with amazing speed and grace.

 

“What…?!”

 

Everything was over in an instant. The entire horde was on the ground except for the one who had spoken about the fee.

 

“Ah…!”

“Don’t worry, your friends are not dead. While you have committed sin, how can I kill you with my own hands? It’s just not done.”

 

The crown prince spoke in a serious tone, and he placed the boom stick back to his waist. Siram had created many kinds of boom sticks after seeing Hayden’s prowess in the Eastern Plains, and he had just used one that shot bullets that put people to sleep.

 

“I will persecute your crimes, and you may avoid death if there is a possibility of redemption. Think carefully.”

 

The crown prince took out another staff, and it was much larger than the original boom stick, to the extent that Hayden had to hold it with both hands.

 

“We have all night.”

 

The crown prince aimed the long boom stick, and something blue came out of its end. It was evident that the blue material was not to attack or put people under its influence. Instead, mana threads spread like a spider’s web to cover the entire horde of men.

 

“People…? Wait…”

However, the awake thief was busy guessing who the crown prince was as the web started to tie his group up.

 

“The crown prince…who defeated ogres with a weird staff…”

“Ogres? Yes, I did. The entire clan came out, and Oliver had to take care of them… Ah, that big coward is Oliver. You must have heard the name Oliver Raywood.”

“Ahhhh!”

 

The crown prince and Oliver Raywood? The thief’s eyes widened. He had just wanted some money or to relieve stress by beating some guys up.

 

“What’s…all this?”

“You should have led a better life. How can you steal in such a peaceful reign? There are so many jobs waiting for a healthy man like you.”

The crown prince shook his head as the nation was under the greatest reign in history at the moment. The harvest was rich, there were no wars, and jobs abounded from the bustling trade and projects. Why would a man steal at a time like this?

 

“Your highness, I have brought firewood.”

 

Oliver had gathered wood while the crown prince had taken care of the thieves and scolded them.

 

“You’re fast.”

“Your highness was slow.”

“You rebel much these days.”

“With all due respect, I have always guarded you in the same manner. You are the one who had turned negative due to the fact you will soon be sitting on the throne.”
“Well, if this is not a rebellion…”

 

The crown prince grumbled as he took out a boom stick that was about the usual size. It let out flames, which was useful for lighting fire.

 

“Let’s rest here for the day. Of course, you will have to stay guard all night. How can you sleep when your emperor sleeps?”

“I can sense anything approaching from several thousand steps while I sleep, which means that staying up all night is not necessary.”

“Yes, you really are the greatest knight of Greenriver! Dragonslayer! Sir Oliver Raywood!”

“It warms my heart that you know.”

 

Hayden prepared for the night with the expression that he gave up, and Oliver helped the process.

 

“However, why am I being coronated when father is healthy? I thought it would take at least ten years.”

“Since his majesty’s will is that strong, how can we go against him?”

“That is correct, but…”

The crown prince faced his coronation as emperor after nine years. The current emperor was not dead and was even healthy. It was the emperor’s will that had decided on the crown prince’s coronation.

 

“Abdication is too much. This is unprecedented in our empire’s history.”

“There have been such incidents…”

“But they were only political tools.”

 

Hayden spoke as he chewed on dried meat. He had called Vanessa’s pie dirt but was now able to eat rations.

 

“I’m happy since this means that Father believes in me and I am prepared, but…”

“You feel the responsibility?”

“Responsibility…It seems heavy and suffocating a bit…”

 

Terry Greenriver, the current emperor, refused to stay in his position despite his health. His desire to step back was shown in the planned coronation of a new emperor.

 

“It would be nice if Ian were here at a moment like this, but he’s still not awake. Well, he is clearly alive…”

 

Oliver remained silent at Hayden’s sad tone, as he could not do anything but sympathize.

 

“Well, he will wake up one day before I die.”

 

They had been silent for a while, but the crown prince came back to his usual self. While he had seemed childish, Hayden had matured enough that Terry Greenriver deemed that he could become emperor.

 

“Well, this is the last time we can travel like this. We’ve had some fun, haven’t we?”
“Yes, I will remember for the rest of my life.”

 

Oliver nodded at the crown prince’s question. Hayden smiled. The past nine years had been joyful, except for a sleeping Ian. He murmured as he went through his memories.

 

“All right, let’s rest and go to Mogrian’s castle tomorrow. My father-in-law will participate in the coronation, and we can ride that private airship since we have come so far.”

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