Fashionable Society (1)
“We reduced its size to half, will it be okay?”
One day in a peaceful capital.
In front of the mansion of Ian Page.
A boy was confronting Ian.
A boy who looked 3 to 4 years older than Ian.
It was a ‘Vans,’ the novice of Thram’s workshop.
“It won’t be easy to make it smaller, right?”
“I’m sorry but yes. Smaller than that would be out of our technology…..”
Ian couldn’t think of any portable design of the communication orb for his mother.
So, he placed his order to the workshop again.
And this was the result.
“It will be enough, though. You must have gone through many efforts.”
“Our best workers spent days to do it. A, and me as well.”
“Is it that hard of a task?”
“Yes sir. Firstly, it is an expensive product, so we had to be careful. We dismantled every part of it, and we started from the fundamental mana circuit…..”
Vans started to recite the complicated hextech vocabulary.
Ian couldn’t understand a single word of it.
Ian decided to change the topic.
“Here is my payment.”
“N, no thank you. Chief told me not to receive any extra payment….”
“But you did your job.”
“Ah, he is strict man, thank you for your kindness, though.”
Ian wanted to hand over money bag, but Vans refused it.
He couldn’t refuse his master’s order. Ian may give it forcefully since he had enough power to overwritten his order, but it would only make Vans get into the trouble.
Ian pick portion of money from a bag, and handed to Vans.
“Take it as reward for your delivery.”
“B, but I can’t…..”
Ian remained silence.
It was a silent gesture.
Vans understood it, and he received the money, embarrassed.
“T, thank you so much! Thank you for caring me.”
It was a kindness from an Archmage, which was honor to him.
Suddenly, as he recalled something, Vans started to be looked nervous.
“S, sir Ian?”
“Yes, please speak.”
“Before a few weeks ago, when you visited our workshop for the first time, I was in a hurry and….. I was being rude to you…..”
Suddenly, Vans started his confession.
“I, I can’t remember it clearly, but whether I really did it or not, I kept it in mind and have felt sorry for you since then……”
It seemed he was worrying about it from since. It was a natural reaction though.
Ian wasn’t just normal noble, but an Archmage. And Vans was being rude to such a high person. If Ian wanted, he could order it to kick him out from the workshop.
“Ah, now I remember.”
“You told me to get off, didn’t you?”
Vans was regretting his decision now.
He shouldn’t have said it.
“Please be careful next time.”
“Y, yes sir! I won’t! I appreciate your forgiveness!”
He just wanted to advise Vans to be aware about other nobles and mages, but it seemed Vans understood it in different way.
‘Well, I won’t need to correct it though.’
In anyway, Vans would act more carefully now.
After Vans left, Ian returned to the mansion.
Douglas, who was listening their conversation sneakily, asked to Ian.
“Is he your new direct subordinate?”
“The boy you just met. If he is a new recruit, he is under my rank.”
“Ha, you go too far.”
Today was Douglas’ first day of school.
To ‘The Royal Alchemy Academy.’
He wore nice and neat clothes.
“I will be back after bringing him to the academy, sir.”
“See you later, Boss!”
After Ledio and his son left, the mansion was full of silence.
Ian’s mother didn’t leave her kitchen often these days.
She was inventing a ‘new red bean pie.’
She was shocked after the received feedback of her pie from the Crown Prince as ‘mud.’
Thanks to him, Ian ate a bunch of pies recently.
Now, he started to feel sick of it.
‘It’s good to have peaceful moments, but.”
Ian had not that much to do nowadays.
He just needed to do simple studies at the Ivory Tower.
He was also receiving the academy curriculum individually.
‘It’s too peaceful.”
Since he rewound time, he didn’t have a single moment to rest.
From the mana test to the duel with Helene.
Physical hardness could be restored by mana breath.
However, mental hardness couldn’t be restored easily.
He wanted to take a rest, and he was finally granted it.
But, now he forgot how to enjoy this resting moment.
‘Am I allowed to rest like this while doing nothing?’
Such pressure didn’t release Ian easily.
He was afraid.
He had to regain his power, and had to protect his mother.
In addition, he had to make a new trending power at the ivory tower.
For last, his revenge on Ragnar.
He still had a long way to go.
Ian laid down on the big chair.
Ian had no one, who might gladly chat with him and chill.
A true ‘friend’, who could be friendly and trusted without afraid of Ian’s Archmage title.
‘I have none.’
Mother was just mother.
Ledio was too thoughtful.
Douglas was too young.
The other honorable mention would be….
‘The Crown Prince?’
Ian suddenly remembered the Crown Prince, Hayden.
Soon, he shook his head.
‘What the heck am I thinking…..”
Out of all people but why the Crown Prince?
Ian blamed himself.
At that moment, a maid came to Ian.
It was a maid called, ‘Hara.’
“An invitation from the royal palace has been sent to you.”
Invitation? For what?
There were no parties to be invited as far as Ian knew.
Ian quickly started to read the letter.
It wasn’t an invitation from the Emperor.
The sigil on the letter was the Crown Prince’s.
Honestly, Ian was glad to see it.
‘Fashionable Society, is it?’
The content of the letter was simple
The royal ‘Fashionable Society’ would be held soon.
Especially, this time, it would be held in the name of the Crown Prince, not the Emperor.
And the letter invited Ian and Vanessa to the party.
Next week, at the royal ballroom.
‘Why did he invite me to this party?’
Normally, a mage never got an invitation from the Fashionable Society.
While magic was the strongest weapon of the Ivory Tower, the royalty’s best weapon was dignity, the citizens, and a numerous nobles’ soldiers and money. Hence the connection between nobles was very important, and to manage and develop this relationship, the ‘Fashionable Society’ was commonly used as a ‘tool’.
‘He has no idea of this.’
And at such a place, did he just invite an Archmage of the Ivory Tower?
If the Emperor knew of this, it would make him disappointed.
[And you are the only one who knows this party yet!]
Furthermore, at the very bottom of the invitation,
The Crown Prince added a tag, full of his pride, and a message was written.
Maybe, except Ian, he would send this invitation to other nobles only a few days before the event, or maybe even at the very morning of the event day.
Simply, to tease them.
‘Yeah, that’s typical of him.’
Not just inviting a mage, but also teasing other nobles.
He was totally ruining the true meaning of the Fashionable Society.
He used to like such stupid actions.
And did Ian regard him as his friend for once?
As a true friend who might chat and chill with him?
Ian regretted what he had thought.
The Crown Prince was no more than a convenient tool.
However, what made Ian have to worry about him?
Ian could just leave him to do whatever he wanted, so that every single noble turned away from the Crown Prince.
Ian rubbed his face roughly.
He walked to his desk.
He opened an empty parchment while holding a pen in his hand to write a letter to the Crown Prince.
‘If he still doesn’t take my advice, then let him receive what he deserves.’
Ian started to write his letter.
Ian’s letter was effective.
The nobles who were meant to be invited received the invitation early enough to prepare for the society.
However, the names of Ian and Vanessa hadn’t been omitted from the guest list of the Fashionable Society.
Only half of Ian’s letter worked.
‘Still, it is good enough for him.’
So Ian and his mother had to attend the society.
Ian wore his clothes as he visited the emperor, as well as Vanessa.
“I, I really don’t know if I am allowed to enter.”
It was Vanessa’s first time visiting the palace.
Her face was full of worries.
Her voice was shaking.
“Don’t worry too much. It’s nothing hard.”
Ian didn’t know well how ‘Fashionable Society’ worked. However, he imagined something whenever he saw his mother in a luxurious dress. If she was a daughter of a noble family, she must be one of the most famous in the society. And that imagination came true when Ian saw his mother today. Since she had rested and ate well recently, and received beauty care from the maids, she looked much more beautiful than before.
‘I can see the power of professional beauty care maids.’
From makeup to accessories, she was perfect.
And Ian could be sure of one thing.
‘I must have inherited my father’s appearance.’
Or maybe he’s adopted.
Vanessa was that beautiful.
A voice called Ian.
It was a servant who guided the guests of the society.
“I received your name, sir Ian. And this is… Mrs. Page……?”
The servant was astonished by Vanessa’s beauty.
“A, are you?”
It was already well spread that Ian Page’s mother was once a kitchen maid. And since the servant was a member of the lower rank class, that fact made him more interested. Vanessa’s dramatically changed life was a legend to them.
‘I can’t believe that she was a kitchen maid…..’
The servant had seen many kitchen maids, and also acknowledged the rough appearance of northern ladies.
However, Vanessa destroyed this stereotype.
She was a rare beauty.
“Y, yes, I am Mrs. Page. Is there any problem…..?”
“Ah! Not at all. Please come in. This way.”
The servant barely managed to calm himself, and led the way.
But Vanessa couldn’t step in easily.
“Let’s go mom.”
Ian firmly grabbed his mother’s hand and pulled her.
“Then, please enjoy.”
The servant led them to the ballroom.
He left to guide other guests.
A mother and son were standing awkwardly.
“M, many people are here.”
“Yeah, there are.”
Ian also had no idea about the Fashionable Society.
Of course, he was a mage of the Ivory Tower.
Furthermore, he was the head of them.
Although he told his mother that there was nothing hard about the society, he didn’t know much about it.
‘It’s more than I heard.”
The ballroom was separated into three sections.
Firstly, a section of the heads of the invited families.
Secondly, a section for young reclaimers.
At last, a section for ladies and wives of the house.
Of course, there were no rules that divided them, but just common manners did.
‘I can’t leave my mother alone…’
Ian couldn’t just stand at the middle of the entrance.
Ian had to move to the section where the heads of the families or young reclaimers gathered, while his mother had to go where the ladies gathered.
Ian didn’t feel comfortable about it.
‘Should I introduce myself as a mage?’
It was the Fashionable Society for nobles.
It was held to build close relationships between houses.
A chance to flatter the higher rank houses.
A discrimination between ranks.
It was a maw of politics.
Due to Ian’s unwell face, Vanessa asked him first.
“I am supposed to go to that section, right?”
She had her own eyes, and was able to think. She also knew that this ballroom was divided into three sections.
“No, you don’t have to…..”
“I’m fine. They are all high nobles, I should do what I have to do.”
With her smiling face, Vanessa tried to comfort her son. With embarrassed steps, she approached the section where the ladies were gathered. As others did, she picked up a glass of alcohol.
Due to Ian’s calling, Vanessa looked back.
Her face looked very nervous.
“You know who I am, right?”
“There is no one who is higher than you. So, identify yourself with pride. Inform them of your son, and my title.”
He didn’t just say so to comfort her.
Vanessa was the mother of a 4th class mage of the Ivory Tower. She was the mother of a mighty Archmage. Among these nobles, there were none who dare to stand above her.
“Sure, I am proud of you.”
With a cheerful pose, Vanessa walked into the group. She looked confident, but Ian still felt uncomfortable. He couldn’t move, but was just watching where his mother was standing.