Chapter 0188 Ryo’s Ensnarement
Hugh’s face turned sour when he heard Grand Master Finley Forsythe’s request.
The look on his face would have been best described as ‘agony’, in one word.
“That look on your face suggests some troubling circumstances that are holding you back.”
Finley asked, judging from Hugh’s expression.
But Hugh only replied and did not continue with the rest of his explanation.
After pondering various things for a while, he finally opened his mouth.
“Perhaps you should also be made aware of it, Grand Master. About Abel’s true identity.”
Normally, words like ‘true identity’, are not used when describing an adventurer or explaining a situation.
“Yeah. Abel’s real name is Albert Besford Knightley. He is the second son of His Majesty the King.”
Sure enough, this was something Finley had not expected.
Indeed, in the past few years, there had been no word of the second prince Albert.
Therefore, it was said that he was probably being trained in the Knight Order of some powerful lord.
To think that, in fact, he had become an adventurer and had even risen all the way to A-rank….
In the Adventurers Guild, adventurers who rises to C-rank or higher are not favored by their status or origin for their attainments.
Of course, they are judged on their character and insight, but once a certain level is attained, rank advancement is based entirely on the content of the request, the level of contribution to the guild, the number of requests completed, and their success rate.
For this reason, even the Grand Master was unaware of Abel’s origins, even with him as an A-rank adventurer.
In a way, this may prove that the Adventurers Guild’s screening mechanism is very fair.
That being said….
“I wish you had made me, the Grand Master, privy of this knowledge beforehand…”
Finley frowned even more than before.
“You’re right, sir. My apologies.”
Hugh scratched his head and apologized.
“Now, this changes quite a lot of things. First off, we can’t send Abel to the border of the Empire to search for the ‘Five Dragons’.”
The Kingdom of Knightley has a crown prince.
He is very popular among the people, not only in the castle, but also because of the policies he has accomplished so far.
He possesses outstanding character and insight.
If nothing happens, he would be a great monarch in time to come.
Yes, if nothing happens….
“I hear that His Royal Highness the Crown Prince is not feeling well more often these days.”
Finley muttered in a whisper.
Since his youth, the Crown Prince had been in poor health.
The two princes were on good terms, and it was said that the Kingdom would eventually be run with the Crown Prince in charge of politics and the second prince Albert leading the military.
For this reason, Albert was said to be gaining experience in various Knight Orders.
However, the Crown Prince’s health has been deteriorating considerably.
If something should happen, Albert would be next…in the line of succession to the throne.
It would indeed be a bad idea to send Albert, or rather, adventurer Abel, out into harm’s way.
Not only Hugh but also Finley came to the same conclusion.
“Let’s have someone else search for the Five Dragons. Mostly C-rank adventurers, but call on as many B-rank adventurers as possible.”
“Yes, sir. I think that would be better.”
Finley concluded, and Hugh nodded.
“Fact remains…we have to do something about the delegation. I have already submitted the personnel selection for the mission to Land. The bureaucrats at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs don’t want any problems before we send them out, and they are adamant that we can’t make changes to the personnel.”
“Right…if we make personnel changes at the last minute, it will only incur groundless suspicion from the other country.”
“Exactly. So I don’t see any other move here. Sending Abel to the borders of the Empire is a problem, but sending him to Land shouldn’t be right? We have no governmental ties with the country, but we do have contacts at the civil and merchant levels. Can we have him go there on behalf of the ‘Five Dragons’?”
“Oh sure. I don’t see why not.”
Hugh nodded in reply to Finley’s suggestion.
It was way much better than randomly looking for a missing A-rank party near the Empire border.
“Good. So, the two people who will join the mission are a Swordsman and a Magician. The Swordsman is Abel and the Magician is Rin, I believe. The delegation will depart from the royal capital in ten days, so please send them to the royal capital before then.”
Hearing Finley’s suggestion, Hugh frowned again.
“What? Is that going to be a problem as well?”
Of course, Finley was taken aback. Wondering if the newly formed A-rank party was already teeming with problems.
“Yeah…. But not because of Abel and his party…. The thing is, Director Ilarion has just arrived and is conducting an investigation into the magic spells from the Majin and Vampire incident. And Rin was made his assistant, and together made off to Kona village…”
“Oh… Director Ilarion…”
So Finley covered his face with his left hand.
Ilarion Baraha. The Kingdom’s Chief Court Magician. He stands at the pinnacle of the Kingdom’s mages.
And as far as magic is concerned, no one can make Ilarion change his mind.
Not even the King.
Finley, the Grand Master based in the royal capital, knew this very well.
In other words.
“I guess Rin can’t join the delegation.”
Finley sighed grandly as he said this.
“Is there anyone else who is no less capable than Rin here…I guess not. If such genius were to conveniently exist, we wouldn’t be struggling so.”
The sighs of the two men echoed through the office.
The sighs echoing through the room was a rare sight…but that just shows how deep their anguish was.
After twenty seconds of silence.
Hugh, with a determined look, suggested to Finley.
“There’s one Magician who’s just made C-rank, but not inferior to Abel.”
“What? At this point, even C-rank or whatever is fine. But the question is, this mage, how is his compatibility with Abel? Can he get along with him just fine on this mission?”
Finley took the bait.
During the 20 seconds of silence, he kept thinking about how he was going to explain to the bureaucrats at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and no matter what he came up with, he could see nothing but the bleak future that awaited him….
“Oh you don’t have to worry about that. Abel sees him as a friend, and even owed his life to him. He is very good in combat, and he has no character defects either.”
“Oh, that’s just perfect! So, why the dark expression…”
In contrast to Finley’s joyful expression, Hugh’s expression remained dark as he explained, and he wondered about it.
“It’s hard to get that guy to take on a request.”
“Oh…right, you come across them from time to time, adventurers like that.”
Finley could probably think of similar adventurers from his own experience. He nodded gravely three times.
“He has more money than he can use in a lifetime. And he’s not at all concerned about raising his adventurer rank.”
“That’s tricky. Can’t you think of something to bait him?”
“That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about for a while, but I…keep coming up blank…”
Hugh shook his head repeatedly.
Most normal adventurers would usually get on board if they were promised a reward or something.
“By the way, what’s the name of this mage?”
“His name is Ryo.”
“Well, it would be best to lure Ryo with something that he would be hard-pressed to turn down…. Okay then…when did you last meet this Ryo fellow?”
“Huh? Um, well…we were together on the expedition to the Inbury Duchy, that was the last time I…. Ah, speaking of which, there was something he seemed to want very badly at that time.”
“What! ? What was it? What was it that he wanted?”
Finley took the bait again.
But Hugh’s expression remained gloomy.
Because he knew he can’t get it anyway.
“It’s the Union’s golem. He wanted it so badly even if it was broken…. He was very, very eager to take it home with him…”
“Ah, umm… that’s a tough one…”
But of course, even a Grand Master can’t get his hands on the new weapon of another country.
“Ryo is apparently addicted to alchemy. There is a famous alchemist in the royal capital…um, Baron Kenneth Hayward. Yeah, he seems to be close to him as well…”
“Wait, hold on! ”
Finley interrupted Hugh’s attempt to continue by raising his hand.
“Did you say alchemy? Baron Hayward?”
“Yeah, I did.”
After Hugh’s confirmation, Finley brought his hand to his chin and began to ponder about something.
After a full minute, he broke off.
“This could work.”