For a while, the story will be centered around Abel.
Please wait for a while until Ryo arrives …
Volume 1, Part 8, Mayhem in the Royal Capital
Chapter 0116 Royal Capital
A village about two kilometers away from Crystal Palace, the Royal Capital of the Kingdom of Knightley.
In the evening, four adventurers visited the church in the village.
The priest who opened the door looked slightly surprised but welcomed the four without saying anything.
Then, he guided one of them and entered the study in the back of the church.
The priest placed his hand on the side of a bookshelf at the end of the study room and chanted something.
Then the bookshelf moved, revealing the wall behind it.
There was a hole in the wall that was large enough for a person to pass through.
After the man entered the hole, the priest placed his hand on the bookshelf again, returned it to its original position, and left the study.
The man in the hole placed his hand on the stone next to him and chanted something.
Then, the lights that extended to the depths of the hole were lit.
It seemed to be a very long passage but it was impossible to gauge how long it was.
The man sighed softly and started walking toward the end of the passage.
After walking for about 30 minutes, the passage, which used to be a straight path, emerged to an opening with three connecting paths.
The man entered the right passageway without hesitation.
After walking for a while, he reached a spiral staircase and climbed.
There was a stone door at the end. The man placed his hand on the stone door and chanted something again.
The stone door opened by itself and the man entered.
And after walking about another fifty meters, there was another stone door.
The man slid his sword halfway out of the scabbard and struck the door three times with the handle.
After a while, behind the door, he heard the sound of tapping three times.
After confirming that, the man tapped seven times this time.
Finally, behind the door, he heard the sound of a key unlocking and what seemed to be a bar taken off, and the door was opened.
“My apologies for the wait, Your Highness the Crown Prince.”
In the room, he was greeted by a man he called 『Crown Prince』 who was about 30 years old and had a bad complexion.
And the one who entered the room called 『Albert』 … was Rune’s B-rank adventurer Abel.
“It’s only the two of us here so I would have preferred if you called me brother for the first time in a while.”
The person called the Crown Prince slowly sat down on the bed with a bitter smile.
Abel said with a little bashfulness.
Upon hearing that, the Crown Prince nodded happily.
“I asked you to come all the way here without anyone knowing because I have a very important and troublesome problem to tell you.”
The Crown Prince said while a little out of breath, perhaps the walk to the hidden door was strenuous.
“His Majesty has renounced his key to 『The Hero’s Room』.”
Abel couldn’t give a follow-up to the words of the Crown Prince.
『The Hero’s Room』
A place that could be called the true treasure room, deep inside the Royal Castle treasure room.
It was created by King Richard, the founder of the Kingdom of Knightley, who was said to manipulate magic of all attributes and had reached the pinnacle of Alchemy, and the room has existed for hundreds of years since then.
Since the time of King Richard, it contained many treasures that were said to upset the balance of the world.
Also, in King Richard’s will, he said that what was inside the Hero’s Room must not be given out.
The treasure room was said to contain things that should not be out in the world.
And only two people are registered to open the Hero’s Room.
“The key has been held by His Majesty the King and the Crown Prince for generations …”
Abel recalled the words he was taught when he was in the Royal Castle.
“Yes, that’s right. His Majesty has renounced that key, the right to open the Hero’s Room.”
After reaching that point, the Crown Prince stood up, poured water into a cup from the jug on his desk, and took a sip.
“Two people hold the 『Key』 so if one party renounces the key or passes away, the other party can assign the key to another person. That’s why I accepted His Majesty’s renouncement … but I do not know why His Majesty did that. However, I have my suspicions.”
“What do you mean?”
Abel asked the Crown Prince.
“His Majesty … hasn’t had any drive for about two years now, or rather, he’s been in that listless state most of the time. Or you can say he’s acting absentmindedly … But then he sometimes becomes coherent. In short, his emotions are unstable.”
“That’s … is he sick?”
That was Abel’s first thought after hearing the Crown Prince’s explanation.
“That is a possibility, but there is another possibility.”
“Yes. Mental control by poison or magic.”
Abel opened his eyes wide in shock.
“Impossible! Just like us, His Majesty should be wearing a 『Tranquility Necklace』 on his skin at all times. That necklace eliminates all poisons and magic that interferes with the mind. Receiving negative influence from poisons and magic while wearing that is …”
“If it’s a real 『Tranquility Necklace』”
In contrast to Abel’s agitated words and actions, the Crown Prince calmly connected his words.
“Although in theory it is never taken off our skin, leaving aside our circumstances, His Majesty performs ceremonies as the King, and some of which are performed without wearing any clothing and accessories.”
Abel imagined that scene under the Crown Prince’s calm direction.
Indeed, the necklace would be removed during those rituals.
If it was replaced during that time …
“No way …”
“It’s just a possibility. It’s also possible that he’s just sick. I have asked the Great Priest of the Central Temple several times to apply <Cure>.”
<Heal> treats injuries.
<Cure> cures poisons and illnesses.
“The Great Priest is an old acquaintance of His Majesty …”
“Yeah. So he drops by between his busy times. He would return to a good condition for a while after <Cure>, but he would regress once more after a few days. Compared to <Heal>, <Cure> is by no means all-purpose. So it is difficult to judge whether it is due to poison or illness …”
The Crown Prince frowned as he explained.
(If it’s poison, there’s a person next to His Majesty who is poisoning him…?)
Abel thought so and looked at the Crown Prince.
The Crown Prince nodded slightly.
Of course, what Abel thought was already being considered by the Crown Prince.
“Well, anyway, it seemed that he renounced the key while his consciousness was clear.”
The Crown Prince drank another sip of water.
“And that leads to the story of asking Albert to come. Right now, I’m the only one with the key, so I’ll register Albert as the second person.”
“Yes. His Majesty has renounced the key by his own will. The registration or renouncement is impossible without a clear consciousness. I don’t know how it works, but it is King Richard’s alchemy. I believe that it has to be done with a clear intention, and once you give it up, you can never register again. If so, it should be registered to Albert, who is the next in line for succession to the throne after me. And it must be done as soon as possible.”
Then the Crown Prince shrugged his shoulders and continued jokingly.
“Because I have such a body, I don’t know when and what will happen.”
“Brother, please don’t say that even if you’re joking!”
Abel frowned and spoke a little angrily to the Crown Prince’s joke.
The Crown Prince lightly turned aside Abel’s anger.
Then he returned to his slightly serious expression and continued.
“And not right now … but maybe you’ll have to come home sooner than planned.”
“……Is that so.”
Abel nodded slightly in response.
That was because he figured that would be the case from the time he was called here.
“You’ve become a famous adventurer, which was your original goal. When Rune’s B-rank adventurer Abel is brought up in a conversation, adventurers all over the Kingdom would acknowledge his strength, right?”
The Crown Prince said so and laughed.
Abel’s face turned a little red.
“Since King Richard, the Kingdom has been an adventurer’s country. Even in war, the Kingdom’s adventurers are a mighty force. If so, I, who will eventually lead the Kingdom’s army, must also capture the hearts of adventurers. I will return to the royal family after experiencing life as an adventurer. If I do so, the adventurers of the Kingdom will be an even more powerful force for the Kingdom and its people … I was convinced when Albert said that to me in the past, that my brother is a genius.”
“Brother, please stop teasing me …”
The Crown Prince smiled as he recited what Abel, the second prince, said when he was young, and Abel’s face was completely red after hearing it.
“I’m not teasing you. I really thought so.”
The Crown Prince stared at Abel with gentle eyes and said.
“I would be in charge of politics and Albert would be in charge of the Kingdom’s Army … that was the ideal.”
For a while, time passed as neither spoke a word.
Both of them were likely reminiscing about the past.
It was the Crown Prince who broke the silence first.
“Well, anyway, let’s go to the Hero’s Room and register the key.”
“Would that be okay? I currently do not hold any royal position. Perhaps Harold is a better choice than me?”
Harold was the son of the Crown Prince.
“Harold is only twelve years old. He’s too young. If Albert returns home, you’ll be second in succession to the throne, right? I’m first, Albert is second, and Harold is third. In terms of succession, Albert should register.”
Abel decided to accept it.
However, he had some concerns.
“Brother, I’m okay to register, but brother’s physical condition …”
“I’m feeling pretty good today. If Abel lends me a shoulder, I should be able to sneak to the Hero’s Room and come back.”
Then the crown prince picked up two robes and gave one to Abel.
“It’s commonly known as the 『Hermit’s Robe』. Made in the Royal Alchemy Workshop, it’s strictly forbidden to abuse it. It’s made by Wind Magic and Alchemy, and you won’t be noticed even if you make a lot of noise.”
Then the brothers sneaked out of the room.
After matters were done, Abel entered the underpass through the same hidden door that he came from, walked two kilometers underground, left the Royal Capital of Crystal Palace, and returned to the village church.
When Abel entered the church dining room, the three other members of 『Crimson Sword』 were having dinner.
“Abel, welcome back~”
Wind-Attribute Magician Rin greeted him.
“Oh, I’m back.”
“I prepared Abel’s share for dinner too.”
The Priest Rihya showed Abel to his seat.
Abel sat down and ate silently.
Meanwhile, the other three ate dinner without talking either.
After eating, Abel said.
“Let’s go to the Royal Capital tomorrow. Something that I want to investigate came up.”
“I see. Will we visit the guild?”
“No, I want to move without showing our faces for a while.”
Abel shook his head and replied to Rihya’s confirmatory question.
“But in the Royal Capital, the checks for the inns are strict no matter where we stay? What should we do?”
The Royal Capital was known as a place where checks were very strict when staying at an inn.
If you do not show something that can prove your identity, you will not be able to stay overnight, and the guards will frequently check the guest list.
In the case of Abel and his party, they would usually show their guild cards, but if they showed their guild cards to stay overnight, the inn would verify their identity with the guild on the same day.
In other words, the fact that the B-rank party 『Crimson Sword』 is in the Royal Capital would likely be known to the guild.
“That’s okay. I have a plan.”
Then Abel grinned.
Seeing that smile, Rin had a bad feeling.
They entered the Royal Capital without any problems, and the four 『Crimson Sword』 reached their destination.
“I knew it ……”
When they reached their destination, Rin crumbled to her knee.
They were at … the 『Kingdom Magic Research Institute』.
Also known as 『Ilarion’s House』.
It was a research institute headed by Ilarion Baraja, the chief court wizard of the Kingdom of Knightley, and was a facility with numerous accommodation rooms inside where they could stay overnight.
In the first place, 『researchers』 were people devoted to their research and they find it regrettable to even go home … otherwise, they would never become first-class in their field.
For them, having a laboratory and a sleeping place in the same place was nothing short of heaven.
However, it was also one of the places that made 『Crimson Sword』’s Wind-Attribute Magician feel uncomfortable, as it reminded her of how she once helped with Ilarion’s research and her own research.
In addition to the research building and experimental building, the research institute was fully equipped with outdoor experimental equipment and indoor experimental equipment and took up a vast site in the Royal Capital.
Meanwhile, the four of them headed to the top floor of the research building … the laboratory of Ilarion Baraja, the origin of the building’s alias.
Upon arriving in front of the laboratory, Abel opened the door without knocking and entered.
“Gramps, are you home?”
‘It’s fine as long as you announce your entrance’ … That was the relationship between Abel and Ilarion.
“Is that voice Abel? Take a sit in a chair around there.”
For some reason, from the other side of the office desk … there was no one but they could hear a voice from there.
Abel, who was asked to sit in a chair, ignored it and looked toward the desk where he heard the voice.
There was a chair for work … and on the chair was a wooden box with rounded corners about the size of a person’s head.
The voice seemed to have come from inside the box.
The moment Abel reached for the box and tried to grab it, the door to the next room opened and an old man appeared.
“I told you to sit in a chair.”
At the moment Abel was told, he was shocked and withdrew his outstretched hand.
Of course, the remaining three were sitting quietly in their chairs as they were told from the beginning.
“Sheesh … you’re still a child like before …”
The old man, Ilarion Baraja, shook his head and sat at the reception table.
“No, I did grow up …”
“Nobody believes that.”
Ilarion then rings the tabletop bell twice.
Then, exactly ten seconds later, there was a knock on the door and a young woman entered.
“You called, chief?”
“Yeah. Visitors. I’m sorry, but could you brew tea … no, coffee for five people?”
The woman bowed and went out.
Abel looked at Ilarion with great interest after he changed his order.
“So the laboratory finally has coffee now …”
“Sula there came from the South. She brews delicious coffee.”
Ilarion nodded and answered Abel’s question.
After Sula came in again, poured coffee for the five people and left, Ilarion placed a palm-sized box on the desk and pushed what seemed to be a switch.
“This is an alchemy box to prevent eavesdropping. It was finally assigned here as well.”
“The development of Alchemy is remarkable … My friend is absorbed in Alchemy but … I wonder if he will be able to make something like this one day.”
As Abel was impressed, he said while looking at the alchemy box used to prevent eavesdropping.
“A friend of Albert … maybe you have grown up. Now that I think about it … Arthur mentioned him, a Water-Attribute Magician.”
Arthur would be Arthur Verasis, Adviser of the Court Magic Group.
He visited the City of Rune to investigate the Great Tidal Bore and narrowly escaped death in the dungeon with Abel and the others.
“Oh, you know about him too? He’s my lifesaver.”
“Hmm …. Rin, from your perspective, is that Water-Attribute Magician … wasn’t he called Ryo? Is he an excellent Magician?”
“Why ask Rin instead of me …”
Abel complained that Ilarion confirmed with Rin instead of himself.
“Even if I asked you, you don’t know what a Magician is. Rin would know much more.”
Ilarion asserted and Abel puffed his cheeks in dissatisfaction.
Rihya looked at them from the side smiling.
“Master, Ryo is a monster as far as magic is concerned.”
In response to Ilarion’s question, Rin declared.
Ilarion’s eyebrows twitched slightly.
“Even Rin calls him a monster … So what makes you say that?”
“Ryo manipulates a lot of original magic, though I don’t know why he can do that.”
Abel nodded many times, listening to Rin’s report by her side.
For some reason … he had his arms crossed and was nodding proudly as though they were talking about him.
“Hmm … I heard from Arthur but … it’s really interesting. I definitely want to meet with him and talk.”
Ilarion’s words startled Abel and he stared at him.
“Gramps, it’s okay to meet and talk, but keep it at that. Don’t make Ryo angry.”
“What happens if he gets angry?”
“He could easily freeze a village or town …”
He had never seen it, but Abel somehow said what came to mind … without knowing it was happening in the eastern part of the Kingdom.
“Water Magic that can freeze an entire city … I desperately want to see that.”
“You’re definitely not taking me seriously.”
Ilarion commented while drinking coffee and Abel retorted while looking at him with an exasperated expression.
“No no, there are some people in the world who are like the Explosive Blaze Magician. Didn’t he have that rumor surrounding him? Burning down an entire city.”
“That’s probably the magic <Heaven and Earth Collapse>.”
Ilarion opened his eyes wide at Abel’s words.
That was the first time Ilarion was greatly surprised since this meeting began.
“Albert, no Abel, why do you know the name of the magic?”
Ilarion asked Abel with flying momentum. The spirit or pressure he was emitting was extraordinary.
As a magic researcher, there was something he hadn’t seen yet … he was excited just hearing about it and Abel in front of him even had information about it!
It was not an exaggeration to say that Ilarion devoted all of his life to the quest for magic.
Abel may have felt that he would try to extract that information from him even if he had to dissect Abel.
“Oh, uh, I encountered it in Whitnash. The enraged Explosive Blaze Magician used that magic to drop countless flames from the sky. At that time, his target was focused, but it was probably originally meant to be a wide area magic and if that was the case, it might be possible to turn a city into ashes …”
Abel recalled the Whitnash incident.
“That attack? I heard that the Empire’s prince and princess were there, but the Explosive Blaze Magician was there too? Well … I’m surprised Abel is unscathed after facing that in close quarters.”
“Oh. It was Ryo who completely intercepted that <Heaven and Earth Collapse>.”
Abel quietly affirmed, and Ilarion was astonished and speechless.
And then ……,
“Okay, I’m going to the City of Rune now. Farewell.”
Ilarion stood up and tried to leave the room.
It was Abel and the others who were flustered.
“Wait, wait, wait. Gramps. In the first place, Ryo isn’t in the City of Rune right now.”
“Before we came here, we split up at Red Post in the East, but Ryo and his companions were heading to the Inbury Duchy from there … Even if their request went smoothly, they would definitely not reach the City of Rune yet.”
“What a tragedy …”
Ilarion was in a pose of despair with both knees and hands on the ground.
“I can’t understand researchers after all …”
Abel’s mutter did not enter Ilarion’s ears.
After a while, Ilarion finally stood up.
And he sat in the chair of the reception table as if nothing had happened.
“I didn’t ask why Abel and party came here.”
“Acting as if nothing happened … and to ask for the reason now …”
After recovering from the shock, Ilarion asked Abel why he visited, and Abel replied with dismay.
“Well, there are a lot of things happening in the royal palace. I want to investigate a few matters secretly. So, let me use this place as an inn in the meantime.”
“Hmm … I don’t mind you using it as an inn at all. There are many rooms available anyway. But strange happenings at the royal palace … is this about how His Majesty has changed a lot lately?”
“Yeah …Gramps noticed it too?”
Ilarion pointed it out, and Abel confirmed it calmly.
“Well. I sometimes go to the royal palace because I’m the top Magician. But I have not been allowed to talk to His Majesty one-on-one like before.”
Ilarion said as he looked a little lonely.
Unlike Abel, the current King, King Stafford IV, was a king who manipulated magic himself and had a deep knowledge of magic, and he often talked with Ilarion about magic since long ago.
Even though he was in a higher position now and no longer had time to discuss all night long, he was still able to converse with him during tea.
But for the last two years, that hadn’t happened.
“Hey, Gramps. Who has become the most powerful in the royal capital in the last three years?”
Doubt those who have made a profit. That was basic.
“Hmm … the ones who have gathered power … Knight-Captain Baccara, Grand Chamberlain Sorrel, and the Finance Minister Fuka, those are the names that come to mind immediately.”
Abel also knew the three people whose names came up.
They were already in service eight years before when Abel was still in the royal palace.
However, their positions at that time were considerably lower than they were now …
“Well, thank you for the information.”
“Don’t overexert yourself.”
With that said, Ilarion finished the coffee he had remaining.
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