However, things progressed smoothly despite Cale’s chilly neck.
– Human, standing still is fun too.
Cale slightly nodded his head at Raon’s comment.
‘Of course. Standing still is the best.’
A mountain is a mountain and water is water. Cale followed the envoy around with the crown prince in the center like the water of a river running down the path. (It’s a Buddhist sutra that I’m not really sure why it was used in this situation. )
Naturally, the people who were taking the role of his guards moved around with him.
At that moment, a low ranking official approached them.
“Young master Cale-nim, we will soon move to the teleportation magic circle.”
‘Why did he come here to tell me this?’
Cale found it odd that this official came here to tell him this, but thanked him for his generosity nonetheless.
“I understand, thank you for letting me know.”
“Of course. That is why his highness is telling you to come to the front.”
“… Excuse me?”
Cale asked and the official asked back. The official looked at Cale, who was blinking in confusion, and continued to speak.
“Umm, did you not hear about it from his highness?”
“… I am not sure what you are talking about.”
The slightly flustered official looked to the front and Cale’s gaze headed to the front as well.
There was the Knights Brigade that was protecting the envoy with the main character, the crown prince, standing behind them. Alberu and Cale made eye contact.
Alberu was smiling brightly.
“Young master Cale, hurry and get up here!”
Alberu motioned for him to hurry, and the official let out a sigh of relief that he was not wrong as he looked toward Cale.
“… Let’s head up there for now.”
Cale and his guards slowly approached Alberu.
Alberu smiled while looking at Cale who was casually walking up to him even though the crown prince had called for him while being surrounded by high-ranked officials.
“… Your highness, did you call for me?”
“Yes. You will go to the teleportation magic circle with me.”
Cale held back his concern while seeing Alberu pretending to be nice and asked.
“To the palace’s teleportation magic circle?”
“No. This time, we will be heading to the teleportation magic circle by the castle wall. I plan to show the citizens the procession of our envoy.”
Alberu’s thoughts were obvious in Cale’s mind.
Alberu was currently known as the crown prince who would not let go of the investigation of the terror incident. Furthermore, every administrative task that he was involved in ended with positive results. Such a talented individual was also focused on justice.
That just crown prince was heading out at the Empire’s invitation.
He was heading out to find the truth.
Next to him was Cale Henituse, the hero of the terror incident. There was no way that the crown would let them go stealthily.
Cale was already starting to get annoyed.
However, Alberu pretended to not know what Cale was thinking as he started to speak.
“I’ll be able to see the citizens look for young master Silver Light again! Hahahaha!”
Young master Silver Light. Young master Shield.
Cale hated those nicknames.
However, Cale agreed that this was the right move by the crown. He responded to Alberu.
“I cannot compare to you, your highness, the star of our kingdom. Isn’t that so?”
Cale respectfully asked while looking at the other officials who nodded their heads.
“Of course. His highness is the star of the kingdom as you said, young master Cale!”
“Star! I really like that phrasing!”
Half of this envoy was made up of nobles who followed Alberu while the other half was a mix of lower ranking nobles who used to follow other princes and officials originally from neutral noble households.
The lower ranking nobles and neutral nobles could not help but be wary of Alberu as his power continued to grow, so they each added on at least a word of flattery toward him.
Cale had a smile of satisfaction on his face as he watched Alberu’s facade of a smile start to twitch. At that moment, the voice of one official reached his ear.
“Young master Cale, you seem to be someone his highness cherishes a lot.”
Many prying gazes reached him after hearing those comments.
Cale Henituse, the man that the crown prince that was gaining power had personally summoned. This man was a noble that the citizens were curious about.
Each of the officials’ gazes had different meanings as they looked at this son of a noble whom they didn’t know how they would end up interacting with in the future.
Cale just smiled and started to think.
‘What did they say was delicious in the Empire’s capital again?’
Although they were going to do something big, he did not plan to put in much work.
The crown prince then ordered the envoy.
The envoy started to move.
* * *
Cale used the teleportation magic circle in order to arrive at the Gyerre territory.
“Pfft, ahem, ahem.”
He ignored Alberu, who was trying to hold back his laughter. Raon’s voice echoed in Cale’s head.
– Human, the child with the replica of your shield will probably grow up well! He will become a success!
Cale frowned before quickly smiling again.
The cheers for the envoy and the crown prince was amazing. However, there were voices in there shouting for young master Silver Light as well.
‘Don’t they ever forget?’
The worst part was when a young child shouted out, ‘I want to be a cool person like you, young master-nim!’
His dad had lifted him high in the air so that he could get a better look.
The two of them made eye contact and Cale subconsciously blurted out.
‘You won’t be cool at all if you are like me.’
The child’s pupils started to shake, Cale realized what he had said, and Alberu was holding back his laughter. There was also the child’s father who became nervous.
Cale looked toward the father and said whatever came to his mind.
‘Take after your father instead. Only your parents are cool enough to hug you and lift you up like this.’
The father was touched while the child became excited after hearing that his dad was cool.
Daltaro, the diplomat in charge of the envoy was satisfied with Cale’s response.
Cale shut up after that and followed the procession into the teleportation magic circle.
‘…That was hard.’
Acting without a purpose was not to Cale’s liking.
However, there was a purpose now.
Cale’s expression turned to a respectful noble young master.
There was a group bowing their heads to the crown prince’s envoy.
“It is our honor to meet with his highness, the crown prince.”
There was an old woman in front of the group.
Cale could see her white hair in a bun without a single strand of hair sticking out, reminding him of Countess Violan.
This was Sonata Gyerre, the almost eighty-year-old daughter of the founder of the Duchy and the current leader of the Dukedom. She was known as the Woman with Iron Blood and as a Woman of Misfortune.
‘Her husband, as well as her only son and his wife, were assassinated.’
The former Duke had lived a long time.
That was why the determination for a successor did not happen until his oldest children were in their fifties. As a result, all sorts of things happened as in Marquis Stan’s family.
Sonata’s husband, her son, and her daughter-in-law all died in a carriage accident. The only ones to survive were Sonata and her grandson Antonio, who were not in the carriage at the time.
That incident that happened less than a year after Antonio was born was what gave her the nickname of Woman with Iron Blood.
‘In the end, only Sonata was left as the successor.’
Sonata, the youngest of her siblings, was the last one standing.
As the only remaining heir, she rose up to the position of Duchess and, unlike the Stan family, she chose to embrace the remaining bloodline.
She then groomed Antonio to be the future Duke.
“Long time no see, Duchess Gyerre.”
“Your highness, I believe that we have not met since you visited the Empire last year.”
Alberu nodded his head at Sonata’s words and looked toward Antonio Gyerre.
He looked neat and tidy.
These words suited Antonio very well. He slightly bowed toward Alberu.
“It is an honor to see you again, your highness.”
“Thank you, young master Antonio.”
Sonata pointed to Antonio.
“I will guide you right now, but Antonio will be responsible for your highness and the envoy until you depart tomorrow.”
Alberu casually asked.
“It looks like young master Antonio will soon take over the household?”
The white-haired woman started to smile.
“Isn’t it only natural to do so?”
The Gyerre territory followed the second prince. The future Duke of that territory was going to be responsible for Alberu, the crown prince. Her intentions were to give Antonio an important task and build relations with the crown prince in the process.
However, the Gyerre family still had not let go of their support for the second prince.
‘That is the way of the world.’
Cale understood Duchess Gyerre’s actions. Cale turned his gaze away from Alberu and Duchess Sonata and instead looked toward Antonio.
He ended up making eye contact with Antonio.
‘Why is he looking at me?’
Cale did not know the reason. However, Cale smiled toward Antonio with a smile that was full of curiosity. Antonio slightly flinched before smiling back.
– Human, why are you smiling like that again?
‘Why does he always ask that when he already knows the answer?’
Cale ignored Raon’s question and looked toward Alberu, who was moving under Duchess Sonata’s guide.
Cale slowly left the teleportation magic circle and prepared to move to the Gyerre Castle.
Other than the crown prince, who was being escorted by the Duchess, young master Antonio was responsible for the rest of the envoy.
He greeted the officials who had been next to Alberu. Naturally, Cale was with those officials, as well after being next to Alberu for the procession.
“Young master Cale Henituse, nice to meet you.”
Antonio Gyerre. He reached his hand out to Cale Henituse after greeting the other officials. The normal Antonio would not take the initiative to greet someone from a family of lower rank.
Antonio was someone who moved based on how people scored on his personal standard.
‘In that aspect, Cale Henituse gets a pass.’
Contrary to the rumors that he was trash, Cale had seemed quite noble-like when they met last year at the capital.
He also had an ancient power and fame.
‘Most importantly, he is someone that the crown prince treasures.’
Someone the sly first prince treasures must be talented. Antonio had heard from his grandmother many times that, although Alberu had an innocent smile on his face, he was an extremely sly individual.
‘The first prince is not an average person. Antonio, you will lose if you look down on him. Do you understand what your grandmother is trying to say?’
That was why Antonio had been looking forward to meeting with Cale.
Cale seemed to know Antonio’s thought as he reacted in a way that Antonio liked.
Cale had a confident yet respectful attitude as he shook Antonio’s hand.
“Young master Antonio Gyerre, it is an honor to meet you. I am happy to meet the family that guards the kingdom’s southwestern border.”
“No, it is my honor to meet someone from the Henituse family that protects the kingdom from the Forest of Darkness.”
Cale Henituse, the eldest son of the Henituse family, the strongest family in the leaderless Northeast region.
Antonio Gyerre, the heir to the Gyerre family, the leader of the Southwest region.
There were many gazes pointing toward them, however, the three knights who suddenly surrounded Cale made the others unable to hear what they were discussing.
Cale stealthily whispered to Antonio.
“I hope that we can make some time to chat over some drinks.”
“… A chat?”
Antonio’s eyes clouded over as his gaze moved toward Cale.
Cale responded back with a bright smile.
“Yes, a fun conversation.”
‘It really will be a fun conversation. Only for me though.’
Cale noticed that the way Antonio was looking at him had slightly changed.
“Young master Cale, you are a bit different than I had heard.”
“Hmm? Are you talking about the rumors that I was trash?”
Antonio shrugged his shoulders and did not respond to Cale’s question. However, he started to think as he looked at Cale.
‘They said that he was good and just, but he seems to seek power as well.’
In the end, nobles were all the same.
Antonio remembered what his grandmother had told him when she officially announced him as the heir.
‘Antonio, the nobles I have seen are all similar. They all move for their own selfish reasons. But I believe that is human nature, not just the nature of nobles.’
Antonio only half agreed with her statement. He whispered back to Cale.
“I am always open to a conversation.”
Antonio then let go of Cale’s hand. Cale stepped back as well and the two of them ended their conversation.
Cale looked at Antonio walking away and started to think.
‘I need to act like a just noble who cares about the kingdom during our conversation.’
‘The Birth of a Hero.’
While Marquis Stan’s family had shown up as the villain in the novel, Antonio Gyerre was introduced as someone who was neither an enemy nor friend.
There was a short description of his personality.
There was one more line.
< However, all of that stemmed from his pride as a noble. >
Antonio was a complicated yet simple person.
Cale held back his smile and headed to rest in his designated room until the crown prince called for him.
There were knights standing in front of Alberu’s room. These knights were all undercover Dark Elves.
“Why are you smiling like that?”
“… Why are you speaking in that tone all of a sudden?”
Cale gently started to speak to the wary crown prince.
“Your highness, wouldn’t it be great if you gained more loyal subordinates?”
Alberu quietly observed Cale before finally starting to speak.
“The owner of this house.”
Alberu took some time to stare at Cale again before casually adding on.
“Take care of it. You can use my name as you will.”
“Yes sir. I understand. How about a 7:3 split if I succeed?”
Alberu let out a sigh and nodded his head.
“That much is worth it if it is the owner of this house. By the way…”
“Yes, your highness?”
“The Mogoru Empire’s Imperial Prince probably knows about you, right?”
Cale confidently nodded his head.
“He should know me as young master Silver Light and the bastard who put out the Jungle fire.”
Cale Henituse had not hidden his identity when he put out the fire in Section 1 of the Jungle.
He had also prevented the Roan Kingdom’s terror incident.
“Won’t the Imperial Prince greet you friendlier than he greets me?”
Alberu sighed at Cale’s response. He did not seem to agree with Cale.
* * *
A few days later when Cale arrived at the capital of the Mogoru Empire.
Contrary to Alberu’s expectations, the Imperial Prince did not treat Cale the best. He showed most care for Alberu.
However, Cale was only second to Alberu.
“Oh! I have heard stories about you! They say that you are the young hero who prevented the terror incident in the Roan Kingdom!”
The Imperial Prince was a large man who reminded Cale of a big dog.
This was Adin, the Imperial Prince of the Mogoru Empire.
“It is an honor to meet you, your highness.”
“Yes, yes. I am happy to know that there is a hero like you in the world!”
‘Happy my ass.’
Cale was now certain.
This sociopath-like bastard in front of him considered him to be his greatest enemy after Alberu. Cale could tell.
– Human, he is smiling while giving off a cold vibe.
Cale agreed with Raon’s assessment. However, Cale responded back like an embarrassed yet just individual.
“Not at all. I am not a hero. I just did what anybody would do.”
Cale, who was acting like a good person, had arrived at the Empire’s capital for the first time.