“Then should I head to the Empire first?”
“Yes. My plans will correspond with his highness, so you can move accordingly as well.”
The crown prince was advertising his visit to the Empire to everyone. There was no reason to hide it since his actions would make the citizens of the Roan Kingdom believe that he was a just prince.
Cale ended this short meeting after seeing Billos nod his head without asking anything else.
The two planned on having a long conversation in the Empire’s capital over drinks.
This was because they each had a lot of things to do.
Cale started to move quickly.
First of all, he needed to take care of all of the documents related to Harris Village before the Tiger tribe arrived.
“Basen, long time no see.”
His younger brother Basen, whom he had not seen for a while, was now very involved in the territory’s administration. Although Count Deruth had said that Cale was in charge of this Harris Village situation, he still put Basen by Cale’s side.
‘I can report things to Basen like this once he becomes the lord.’
Cale was planning on not doing much, but should there be a reason for him to report something, he felt relaxed that he could report to Basen like this.
That was why Cale’s expression was calm as he handed Basen the documents.
“Here, these are the documents I created.”
“Thank you, hyung-nim. I’m happy to be able to support you like this.”
“Support? Father did not tell you to support me. He told us to work together.”
Cale sighed at Basen’s statement. He was thinking that his father had stuck Basen with him because he was worried that Cale would not take care of things properly.
‘It means that Basen is that trustworthy when it comes to administrative tasks.’
It should mean that Basen’s status as the successor was further solidified.
Basen looked at his brother, who was casually drinking tea after handing him the documents, and started to speak.
Basen was touching the papers Cale had prepared.
People who had lost their home. Furthermore, they were the strong Tiger tribe. Cale Henituse had brought them to their territory.
Basen was amazed by his brother’s level of sympathy and resourcefulness.
“Hyung-nim, I am currently working hard to learn about the workings of the territory. I believe that our territory has much more to offer than just marble, and so I plan to make the territory wealthier and sturdier.”
Cale liked Basen’s mindset to become the lord and make money.
“Great. I will continue to cheer you on.”
“Thank you, hyung-nim! I really hope to show that to you in the future.”
Basen’s stoic face seemed quite passionate.
“Well, no need to show it to me.”
“No, I need to do so. Hyung-nim, I need to show you that I am quite a useful person for the territory.”
Cale looked toward Basen with shock. Basen stopped talking after seeing Cale’s expression.
‘…I guess I am quite lacking compared to the people around hyung-nim.’
That thought made Basen’s expression stiffen up. He then heard Cale’s voice.
“What the heck are you talking about? Basen Henituse, you are already a vital part of this territory. Do not have such thoughts.”
Cale was flabbergasted.
Where else would you be able to find a great future lord like Basen? Cale waved at Basen in order to say that he did not want to hear anything else as Basen clenched the papers in his hands.
“Yes sir! I will work very hard!”
He gave an energetic response before leaving Cale’s study. Cale watched Basen’s back with satisfaction before standing up.
Raon slowly appeared and asked him a question.
“Do you plan on becoming the lord?”
“…What nonsense are you saying now? Don’t say such a scary thing.”
Raon tilted his head in confusion, but Cale decided not to think about it anymore as it was giving him the chills.
However, Raon, who was invisible, asked him internally once more as Cale headed to meet Countess Violan.
– Human, what does a lord of a territory do? Can you travel a lot?
‘Why is he being like this?’
Cale ignored Raon and looked toward the Countess. Violan, who still did not have even a single hair out of place, started to speak to Cale.
“Your face seems so skinny. You’re heading to the Empire with his highness?”
“Yes. He seems to need my help for the investigation of the magic bomb incident.”
Cale flinched a bit at Violan’s gaze that seemed to be looking right through him. Countess Violan casually asked.
“Does his highness often give you difficult tasks?”
“Mm, they are not too hard.”
“Is that so?”
Countess Violan started to smile.
“Then I am relieved.”
Cale could not tell why he was getting a chilly feeling when looking at the Countess. He hid is confusion as he started to speak.
“Mother, is Mueller currently resting?”
Mueller, the Dwarf and Rat tribe mix-blood.
Cale had heard that he was resting in the castle after completing the ship. The Countess, who was responsible for the sculptures and construction in the territory, looked at her son’s face before starting to speak.
“I will send him to Harris Village.”
She easily understood his intentions.
“Thank you for your help.”
Cale finished the short conversation and headed back toward his study when he ran into Lily. His youngest sister Lily was standing in front of his study.
-Human! Your sister has gotten strong!
‘Yes. She does seem that way.’
The sword on Lily’s back was even larger now. She had a medium length sword on her waist and a greatsword on her back. She looked very scary.
Cale caressed Lily’s head as she slowly approached him.
“You’ve improved quite a bit.”
Lily scratched her cheeks as if she was embarrassed about the compliment. Cale was genuinely impressed.
Compared to Cale, whose skin was white, Lily was dark and tanned as if she had trained a lot underneath the sun. She was also tall for her age. He could feel the effort that she had put in.
“Lily, it looks like you will become the strongest of us siblings.”
Lily energetically nodded her head.
“I will get stronger and protect the territory!”
Cale shared his true feelings.
“I know that you will do well. I think twin blades would suit you well.”
“Yes. My master told me that defense is more difficult than offense. I will become a knight who knows how to protect.”
Lily was young but had heard about everything her older brothers had done. The majority of the stories were about her oldest brother Cale. Her master had told her this when she shared those stories with him.
‘Lily, When I was the Knight Captain of a small territory, there was one important thing I learned.’
‘Master, what was it?’
‘The door needs to be sturdy.’
“Yes, the door. If a sturdy door protects the entrance of the territory so that nobody can be tempted to take it, the people inside will have no fear.’
‘…So I should become a knight that is like that door?’
‘Yes. You must become a door that is even sturdier than the castle wall.’
Lily shared that with her oldest brother.
“I will become a knight that is like a door!”
Cale flinched while wondering what she was talking about but nodded his head while thinking that a young child should have a vivid imagination.
“Alright, work hard. Just don’t try to rush anything.”
Cale watched as Lily headed back to train with excitement on her face before opening the door to the study. The smile on his face quickly disappeared.
“Freesia, long time no see.”
The assassin who is pretending to be a sculptor. The woman who had sculpted the devil-like rabbit bowed her head at Cale’s greeting.
Cale picked up the cup of tea Ron offered him as soon as he sat down on his chair.
“Did you say you are from the Southwest district?”
You needed to cross the border from the Roan Kingdom’s Southwest district in order to get into the Empire.
The crown prince was planning on teleporting to the Southwest district and then crossing the border with the envoy.
“Yes sir. I am from the Southwest.”
The territory that was at the southwest border.
The Gyerre Territory.
It was Duchess Gyerre’s territory.
Cale quietly observed Freesia.
The people who were a part of Cale’s information network along with Freesia were all originally assassins. They used to roam the southwest while taking jobs from the nobles.
Cale started to speak.
“The reason all of you ran away from the Southwest district was because of your attempted assassination of a noble after killing your leader?”
“Yes sir. That is correct.”
The assassins’ guild had only killed nobles. However, the leader had accepted a job to kidnap a young child. Freesia, who disagreed with it, killed the leader and attempted to assassinate the noble who ordered the job.
“And that noble was a vassal of the Southwest territory’s lord?”
One of Duke Gyerre’s vassals had done such a terrible thing.
He ordered the kidnapping of a child in the Roan Kingdom where slaves were outlawed.
Freesia cautiously started to speak after seeing Cale starting to smile.
“Young master-nim, may I ask the reason you asked about it?”
Cale answered without any hesitation.
“To grasp their weakness.”
The Southwest’s Gyerre Territory.
That was the door to the Empire.
They could not allow such a door to be weak. Since he did not know what would happen in the future, he needed to make it so that they would be able to defend it with their lives.
Cale casually continued to speak to Freesia, who seemed very concerned about Duke Gyerre’s territory.
“I have a very sturdy backing.”
What would be the problem when I have the crown prince?
Cale thought about Antonio Gyerre, the future successor to Duke Gyerre’s position.
‘They said that he is authoritative and cares a lot about other people’s perceptions?’
Cale looked toward Freesia and started to speak.
“I will be spending some time in that territory on my way to and from the Empire. Freesia, you understand what I mean, right?”
Freesia, the gentle-looking middle-aged woman, understood exactly what Cale was talking about and answered back.
“I will work hard to prepare the blackmail in order for you to start as soon as you return.”
“Blackmail? Why would you say something like that?”
Freesia could see Cale starting to smile gently. He then started to speak to Freesia in a gentle tone, almost as if he was whispering.
“I am simply a just noble.”
Freesia questioned Cale’s response, but still nodded her head.
“Yes sir. You are correct. You are definitely a just noble, young master-nim.”
She could see Ron smiling the same way Cale was smiling once she looked up.
Cale became happy after seeing Ron and Freesia in front of him. They were definitely trustworthy enough to rely on.
* * *
Cale finished his preparations and only took the people he needed to take with him. There was no need to talk about Raon, who was following in his invisible form, as well as the others.
“Alright, my guardian knight. Are you ready?”
Choi Han smiled back at Cale’s bright expression.
“Yes sir, Yes sir. Young master-nim.”
Vice Captain Hilsman peeked to his side as he responded. Finally, the person, well, the ancient Dragon pretending to be a person, just sighed.
Choi Han, Hilsman, and Eruhaben. These three were going as Cale’s guards.
They got into the Henituse territory’s teleportation magic circle and immediately headed for the capital.
Cale could see Alberu and a diplomat waiting for him once he arrived at the capital. The crown prince opened up his arms and welcomed Cale.
“Young master Cale Henituse, thank you for coming. I thought that you would be the best choice to accompany me to the Empire.”
Cale lightly hugged Alberu as if he was honored and started to speak.
“Your highness, although I may be lacking, I am glad that I will be able to help out the kingdom.”
The middle-aged diplomat who came with Alberu started to speak with a satisfied expression after hearing Cale’s response.
“No wonder his highness thinks so highly of you. Your thoughts for the kingdom are deep.”
“Thank you for thinking of me so highly. As a noble, it is only natural to think about the kingdom and its citizens at all times.”
The diplomat who was the leader of the envoy was satisfied with Cale’s response. The diplomat started to speak.
“I came to see what kind of person his highness wanted by his side, but it looks like there was no need for me to come.”
Alberu had personally recommended Cale Henituse for this envoy. Since Cale was just the son of a common noble, the diplomat had come to inspect Cale.
Cale and Alberu made eye contact with each other at that moment. The crown prince confidently responded back.
“He is young master Silver Shield. I told you that he is a noble person and that there is no need to worry.”
Young master Silver Shield.
Cale started to frown.
“That is true! I saw that silver shield with my own eyes! That was really amazing, young master Cale.”
“It was nothing. I just used some of my worthless power.”
“Bad! How could you call it worthless! I hope the chance to see that shield again appears in the future! Hahahaha.”
There was warmth in the diplomat’s gaze, as if he was looking at the future of the kingdom. Cale smiled as well and touched the back of his head.
‘So weird. Why is the back of my head getting cold as I listen to this diplomat talk?’
The back of Cale’s neck continued to feel chilly even though he was thinking that there will be no reason for him to use the shield again in the future.