Fashionable Society (3)
Ian was surprised. It was Captain Oliver.
The reason Ian was surprised was due to Oliver’s tuxedo.
Ian hadn’t seen him wear anything but heavy armor.
He looked quite awkward wearing formal attire.
It seemed that he didn’t like his current appearance either.
Even without Ian asking,
“His Highness, The Crown Prince ordered me to do so.”
He told Ian why he was wearing a tuxedo.
It seemed the crown prince had invited him as well, and he might have been ordered to wear formal attire and not armor.
“I guess you are better suited to wearing armor.”
With Ian’s joke, he coughed.
He has never shown this embarrassed side of him before.
He wasn’t the type of man for the Fashionable Society.
A silence followed after Ian’s joke.
It was Oliver who broke the silence first.
“…….. I heard about it.”
“What did you hear? What are you talking about?”
“People are saying that you defeated archmage Helene in combat.”
“You heard about it? That’s strange; the Ivory Tower usually prefers to keep their internal activities a secret.”
“Without intelligence activities, there is no use for knights in this era.”
In this era.
It was an era where mages are considered as the strongest force available.
Swordsmen were just consumable units. Or considered as housekeepers.
Or even as decoration.
Oliver’s voice had an edge of bitterness to it.
“And I read the letter you had sent to highness, as well.”
“So, is that part of ‘intelligence activities of knights’ as well?”
“No. The crown prince highness showed me directly.”
Ian tried to make a joke, but Oliver didn’t sway this time.
“I was surprised. Your born talent can explain why you became Archmage at a very young age, those sort of things. However, the content of your letter….. It seems you know not only the political circumstance of the crown prince, but also see through his characteristics as well.”
The current circumstances the crown prince confronted and his characteristics.
Like in Ian’s former life, it was headed for the worst case scenario.
Nobody considered the crown prince to be capable of taking the position of the emperor.
Even his royal servant, Oliver as well.
“It made me suspect whether you are just a young boy.”
“Haha, I just went through a complex life……”
Ian made an excuse.
Oliver had a sip of alcohol.
Although he didn’t look like he was drunk, he was.
“However, the most surprising thing was that His Highness, The Crown Prince tries to listen whenever you say something. He even ignores the Emperor’s order, but he listens to the advice of a young mage.”
To Oliver, it was an amazing thing.
It seemed the crown prince might be able to change into a better man.
“So, I have to confirm.”
“Who did you choose?”
Oliver had to find out.
Whether Ian was a powerful ally or a dangerous enemy.
“It doesn’t matter who you support. It will rather be who do you stand for. As I know, the Ivory Tower supports the 5th prince. So I want to ask. Are you standing with the Ivory Tower?”
His question was straight.
It wasn’t a proper question for a young kid.
However, Oliver was serious.
Age didn’t matter to him.
He already saw Ian Page’s power.
Due to Ian’s letter, he already knew Ian’s capabilities.
Also, he already felt his bravery at his mansion a few months ago.
“I think you are drunk. I didn’t make a choice……”
“Sorry, but I need a clear answer. So I can judge,”
Suddenly, Oliver’s eyes shone.
His monstrous mental focus had drawn away from the drunkenness at once.
“Ally or enemy.”
The mage of the Ivory Tower, who may be able to control the crown prince.
Oliver had to define this dangerous boy clearly.
Oliver could choose a different prince and be the most famous and glorious knight in history.
However, he chose to be the first knight of the crown prince.
So, he wanted to find out.
“It’s a meaningless question.”
Ian opened his mouth slowly.
It wasn’t the answer that Oliver wanted.
“Who would speak the truth in this situation?”
What he said made sense.
He could just lie to him that he will support the crown prince.
There was no point to the question.
“Whether you speak lies or truth.”
However, Oliver wasn’t a fool.
He already considered that.
However, the reason he was so desperate was,
“I will decide to believe it or not.”
Because he saw some possibility from Ian.
He concluded that Ian might support the crown prince.
“Well, I don’t know yet.”
“I only want a clear answer.”
“But I really don’t know.”
Ian replied seriously.
He never planned to support someone.
He didn’t care who would become the next emperor nor about the unity of the continent.
He just wanted to interrupt every single plan of Ragnar.
And he wanted to take revenge on him at a very critical point.
At that point, he might restore most of his power.
Then, he’d just happily live with precious people.
Ian looked at Oliver’s eyes straightly.
The 2nd royal knight captain, Oliver Reywood.
The last knight who guarded the crown prince before he died.
Ian could give him some different answer.
“I will NEVER support the 5th crown prince.”
Surprised, Oliver looked around.
It was a much more straightforward confirmation than he had expected.
However, there was no chance that anybody heard what Ian said.
Ian had already concealed his surroundings with a silence spell.
Only Oliver could hear Ian’s answer.
“Is it enough?”
“For now, very.”
“That’s good to hear.”
“Then, may I ask you one favor?”
“Speak first, I will decide later.”
“Before you choose which side you want to support, be my duel opponent.”
With the unexpected question, Ian shook his head curiously.
Not only checking Ian’s standing but now Oliver asked Ian to be his duel partner?
“I need the power to confront.”
It was quite a rare opportunity for knights to duel with a mage.
There was no chance at all.
And Oliver needed it the most.
“Your sword may be pointed at me later, might it not?”
“I won’t deny it.”
“You are thick skinned.”
Oliver didn’t deny it either.
He was desperate, though.
He needed to have some combat experience against a mage.
“May I ask you a reason?”
“There is no benefit for me.”
It was a straight and clear reason.
There was no benefit.
“What if I pay you some reward?”
“I don’t know is there any reward that will satisfy me.”
Whenever Ian had time, he trained himself.
From inventing mana breath to improving spell formulae.
To Ian, time was essential.
No amount of money was enough to move him.
He might have to do it if the emperor or crown prince asked him to.