The banquet hall’s door closed tightly once more. Taylor Stan was wearing luxurious and formal clothes, even though he was on a wheelchair, and there was a relaxed smile on his face. Priestess Cage was wearing the God of Death priestess robe.
‘I guess they decided to flat out reveal their identities.’
Cale thought it was a wise decision. The Temple of the God of Death may get a headache over it, but why would Cage care about that?
“What is this …!”
A shocked and angry voice came from the Northwest table. When Cale turned to look, Venion jumped out of his seat in anger, as he glared at Taylor.
This was a reaction you would normally never see out of Venion, and a reaction that went against the noble etiquette, but Venion was not in a state to care about etiquette right now.
Cale looked up to the top of the platform. Crown prince Alberu opened his arms and started to speak.
“I did not expect to see Marquis Stan’s eldest son, Taylor Stan, and a priestess of the God of Death here.”
The crown prince seemed happy. Taylor showed his respects while still sitting on his wheelchair.
“I heard that there was an opportunity for the kingdom’s nobles to meet with and discuss with your highness. I do apologize for coming without an invitation.”
The crown prince Alberu had a smirk on his face. Cale could tell from that smirk that Alberu properly understood what Taylor meant by being able to have a discussion with the crown prince.
“I did ask for each household’s representative, but if the household does not have a representative, there is no issue with who shows up. I guess you were probably upset that I only sent one invitation to the Marquis’s household, Mister Taylor?”
“Just a bit, your highness.”
Cale peeked toward Venion. A household without a representative. Although it wasn’t official, everybody knew that Venion was going to be the successor to the Marquis. The crown prince’s words were said to subtly take a dig at Venion. It was probably because Marquis Stan was close to the third prince.
‘That is the weird part.’
Cale found that fact to be weird. Although Cale didn’t care about it and didn’t look into it, but, even if the king cherished the third prince, it should not be easy to replace the crown prince.
Even still, the crown prince was uncomfortable and wary of the second and third princes in the novel, and Marquis Stan was close to the third prince. The other factions all had a prince they supported as well.
‘I guess there is something there.’
Naturally, that, ‘something,’ was something that Cale did not want to know about.
“I do feel bad for making you upset. But, I am glad that you look very healthy, Mister Taylor. It has been a while since we last met.”
Taylor smiled and responded to the crown prince.
“Your highness, my legs may not move, but my hands, head, eyes, ears, mouth, and everything else are still very much alive. No, in fact, they have gotten even stronger.”
“I see. Indeed, you are still alive. I have forgotten the fact that the strongest is the one who manages to live until the end.”
Cale could see that the crown prince was completely hooked. He then turned to see that Venion once again had a noble-like expression on his face, but he was still glaring at Taylor with a piercing glare.
Cale found this situation to be quite entertaining.
‘It will be fun to watch.’
The crown prince, Taylor, Venion, and the nobles of the different factions. It was fun looking at the expressions on all of their faces. It made Cale long for some popcorn. This was a tense situation that could burst at any moment.
Cale liked it very much that he was just going to be still.
“Then is the lady a priestess of the God of Death?”
“This servant of eternal rest named Cage greets your highness.”
Cage seemed like a saint, as she said the traditional greeting of the priestesses of the God of Death. However, there was an enormous amount of knowledge regarding curses in her mind.
The crown prince received Cage’s greeting, before speaking to Taylor.
“Let us talk later. It is time for this gathering to start. I am not sure where to sit the two of you.”
The crown prince confirmed that he would make some time to chat with Taylor later. Cale peeked over to the Northwest table. All of them were full of concern and anxiety. Neo Tolz was especially bad, as he seemed to be extremely anxious and fidgety.
Cale started to smile after seeing Neo Tolz acting that way. Neo frowned and turned his way, thinking about how there could be such a stupid idiot who could not tell what was going on right now.
Cale watched Neo’s actions with a smile, before lifting his head up and turning to look in Taylor’s direction. It was at that moment.
Cale made eye contact with the crown prince. It was a coincidence. The crown prince Alberu was looking around to see where a good spot for Taylor and Cage may be, and Cale was turning to look at Taylor. But in the process, the two of them made eye contact.
Cale had a bad feeling right away.
“I guess there is a good spot for you.”
The crown prince made up his mind, and Cale quickly realized where it would be.
‘I guess this is the only possible spot.’
This was the only table without a high-ranking noble. Although there were families who chose to become subservient to the different factions, there was still a balance of power on this table. Furthermore, there was a household on this table that was the strong and wealthy enough that even the high-ranking nobles did not dare to poke at it.
“Mister Taylor can sit at the Northeast nobles’ table. There just happens to be some extra seats there.”
Cale heard Neo’s gasp and saw Eric’s concerned expression as he turned his gaze to Taylor and Cage.
“Thank you for providing seats for us, your highness.”
“Thank you very much, your highness.”
“It was nothing. We should work together with people who will make great contributions to the kingdom in the future.”
The crown prince said that as he looked toward the Northeast nobles’ table. Servants quickly rushed over to the table, as Alberu started to speak.
“Can we fix up the seats a bit?”
Who could say no to the crown prince? Eric stood up and responded to Alberu.
“Of course, your highness.”
Eric was able to act this way because he needed to talk to Alberu about investing in the Northeastern shoreline and because he has refused to become subservient to another high-ranking noble. His actions made the other nobles on the table stand up as well, and the servants quickly worked to set up the table to include Taylor and Cage.
It progressed without any problems. But Cale, who had been watching this from the side, started to notice something odd. Eric noticed Cale’s expression, and quickly came over with a concerned expression to whisper to Cale.
“Cale, remember. Be still. Just be still.”
Cale ignored Eric’s words and looked at his seat. The new guests were going to be seated next to Cale. This was probably decided by the crown prince as well.
‘It’s not like he can put them next to someone else’s dog. Our family is the strongest of the remaining four households.’
The servants bowed after they finished fixing up the table, before departing.
Alberu gestured to the group, and Cale quickly walked over to sit back down. There was no chair to his side, however, a wheelchair soon came to fill that spot.
“Nice to meet you.”
Taylor greeted the Northeastern nobles as he joined them. Cage naturally sat down next to Taylor. The two of them, no, all three of them, including Cale, pretended like this was their first meeting with each other.
– This is entertaining.
Cale agreed with the Black Dragon’s voice that was transmitted in his mind and looked toward the crown prince.
“Then, although it was slightly delayed, let us resume.”
The crown prince announced the start of the gathering.
“I wanted to gather together the individuals who will bring forth the future of our kingdom and share a meal together. Thank you all for showing up, and I hope we have a wonderful meal.”
As soon as the crown prince finished speaking, the servants entered with plates of food for each table. An orchestra started to play background music from the back of the hall as well.
This was the difference with a real feast. It was a mix of a feast and discussion, with moving between tables being natural.
“Young master Cale, we plan to go greet the crown prince in a bit.”
Cale nodded his head at Amiru’s statement, and focused on the food on his plate. But his mind became a bit complicated.
‘What is his intention?’
There was no way the crown prince just called the nobles together for no reason. He definitely had a reason. Cale had a few different ideas about what it may be.
‘It might be because of the war in the Western Continent’s southern region, or because he caught wind about the civil war that will happen in the Whipper Kingdom.’
The Whipper Kingdom was where princess Rosalyn was headed to, the kingdom with the Magic Tower. A civil war will soon break out in the Whipper Kingdom. A war would break out between the mages and the non-mages.
There were a lot of thoughts in his head, but Cale decided to stop thinking about it.
‘No need for me to care, since I will just be very still.’
It was none of Cale’s business. He just started to enjoy the food in front of him.
– Looks yummy. Looks so yummy. The weak humans are very good at cooking.
Cale enjoyed the food while listening to the Black Dragon’s envious ranting. The food in the palace really was delicious.
His hand subconsciously headed for the wine glass that the servant had left for him, but it quickly disappeared.
“Cale, just five minutes.”
Cale nodded his head at Eric’s sincere plea, and turned back to the food. The rest of the Northeastern nobles quietly watched him. The Northeast was already in an awkward situation with the 10 families broken apart into different factions, but now, this magic bomb-like character, Taylor Stan, was a part of that table as well.
People watched Cale, who could eat in such a tense situation, with curiosity.
Cale could hear the Black Dragon’s voice in his head.
– By the way, there are magic video recording tools all around this hall.
Cale let out a gasp and started to smile. Anybody watching him would think he acted this way because he ate something especially delicious.
‘I know at least one thing.’
Cale then felt like he figured out one of the crown prince’s goals.
First of all, the crown prince was watching the nobles. The second and third prince naturally know about this as well. Which means, this was something the entire royal family wanted.
The corner of Cale’s lips moved up just a bit. Eric, who became uncomfortable looking at that smile, jumped up from his seat. Amiru and Gilbert followed him up as well. There were already many nobles who went up to greet the crown prince.
Cale slowly got up after seeing the three of them get up, and lightly brushed his hair back as he started to speak.
“Shall we go?”
Cale stood behind the three nobles, and headed up the platform to meet with the crown prince.
“Oh, our Northeastern nobles!”
The crown prince welcomed the four of them with a bright smile. The crown prince had been shaking hands with everybody who came up to greet him.
Alberu Crossman. His blonde hair and blue eyes made him look like a live version of a fairytale prince. The beautiful blonde hair was something that was unique to the Crossman family, the royal family of the Roan Kingdom. They called it the symbol of receiving the Sun God’s blessing.
“Your highness, it is great to see you. Eric Wheelsman greets his highness for the first time in a while.”
“Yes, yes, Mister Eric. Don’t we have something to talk about?”
Eric responded back to the crown prince, who brought up the Northeastern shoreline investment issue with a bright expression.
“Yes! I have been waiting for a good moment to discuss it with you!”
“I am also waiting for that moment. You are the intelligent young master of Count Wheelsman’s family. The Wheelsman family is responsible for the entrance to the Northeast region, and has been doing a very good job. How could I push that off?”
‘He’s slowly getting into it.’
Cale quietly stood there while watching Eric, who was smiling at the crown prince who was slowly activating his glib tongue. The crown prince was praising Gilbert and Amiru as well.
Cale quietly watched it all until it was his turn. The crown prince reached his hand out to Cale who slightly bowed his head.
“Mr. Cale of the Henituse family, that is responsible for the edge of our Northeastern region. It may be my first time meeting you, but, thanks to Count Deruth’s good work, we are no longer afraid of the Forest of Darkness. You don’t know how reassuring that is for me and everyone else.”
Cale had one goal while coming here today.
“I heard that Mister Cale is a very free spirit. I’m sure this is because the artistic souls of the sculptures in the Henituse territory have given you an epiphany? I feel like your free spirit makes your soul very pure.”
It was probably difficult to find praise for someone who was famous for being a trash like this. In that aspect, the crown prince was amazing.
However, he had no choice but to talk good about Cale, as long as Cale does not do anything trashy in this gathering. The royal family wanted the Northeast under their control as well. Furthermore, there were no members of royalty who would despise someone like Count Henituse, who ruled over his territory very well.
‘That is why this preference for certain people will not impact the families.’
Cale sincerely grabbed the crown prince’s hand, as he started to use his own glib tongue. It was his turn now.
The crown prince had blonde hair and was wearing a formal outfit. Cale had his red hair and a formal outfit as well. Both of them looked relaxed. Cale’s calm voice filled the air.
“I also felt something after meeting your highness today. I realized that in addition to our current sun, his majesty, we also have you, the one who will shine over the night to watch over the citizens at night. It was a wonderful image for my eyes.”
Cale’s voice was very calm and relaxed, and he looked very confident.
“… Is that so?”
But the crown prince seemed confused for a moment, before his expression returned to normal. Cale did not miss this change.
Cale continued on in a sincere voice.
“Indeed, your highness. I may not be able to sleep at night now that I have personally met you, the star in the mind of our citizens.”
Eric’s jaws dropped, while Gilbert and Amiru could not help look at Cale in disbelief. Cale could see the crown prince starting to think. He felt like he had taken another step toward his goal of, ‘getting away from the crown prince.’
At that moment, the Black Dragon muttered something odd.
– Why did this weakling called the crown prince dye his hair with magic? It is at a level that only a great and mighty dragon like me would notice it. Did another dragon dye his hair? No, is it some other type of power?
At this moment, Cale realized that he had learned another useless secret that he could not even reveal the tiniest bit to anyone else.
‘Is it a secret of a birth this time?’
Cale did not care to know about such things.