Chapter 0193 Abel’s Homework
Of the delegation, the civilian officials and the members of the A-rank party, Ryo and Abel were riding in carriages.
The knights on horseback, and the others on foot.
Therefore, the entire delegation was moving at a very slow pace.
It was estimated to be a month-long one way from the royal capital to Twilight Land, located in the southwest of the Kingdom by going through Acre, the largest city in the south.
Starting from Deopham, the city where they planned to stay the first night, they would rest in the cities along the 3rd highway during all their stops getting to Acre.
Besides that, they didn’t plan to camp out until they get to the border.
That was because, aside from adventurers and knights, encampment would be difficult for civilian officials, including the negotiator.
In this respect, the itinerary was relatively easy.
“Abel, I heard that we’ll be staying at Deopham on our first night. Do you remember? We also stopped at Deopham first on our trip to Rune city from the royal capital. It was that trip where my left arm was chopped off.”
“How can you casually talk about your arm getting chopped off with such a smile?…Your mental capacity is quite something, Ryo.”
Abel said despairingly.
The look of dismay on his face was not necessarily because of what Ryo was talking about.
“That’s quite a lot of material you got there.”
“Yeah, I guess. My brother gave me quite a lot of homework so…”
That’s right, Abel had been released from the intensive lectures of his elder brother, the crown prince, but he had boarded the carriage with a mountain of homework that he had been assigned to solve during the trip.
Perhaps that would explain about ninety percent of his dispirited state.
“…The scope of the punishment concerning a viscount who has transgressed the law…to what extent and under what punishment should the family members be subjected… In the royal castle, he drew his sword and slashed at the head of the ceremonial family, Count A… The events are kind of detailed for some reason. It’s like a case study of an actual incident.”
“Yeah, well. That’s because it’s an incident that actually happened.”
“Did they stop him by screaming, unsheathing swords in the castle is punishable with death or something?” (TLN: Lit. Denchu de gozaru)
What came to Ryo’s mind was the story of Asano Naganori and Kira Yoshinaka.
“No idea what you’re talking about, but I’m pretty sure that the house of that viscount who carried out the assault was ruined. However, the circumstances leading up to it were also complicated…. Ughh…how am I supposed to wrap my head around this.”
Abel said with a deep, really deep sigh.
“It’s almost as if you’re really being forced to study like a prince.”
“What do you mean, as if…you too, Ryo, the fact that you still don’t believe me…just shows how much of a blockhead you are.”
“Of course. “Because if Abel were to accidentally become a king, then…”
Abel urged Ryo, feeling a little anxious to hear what was coming after that.
“Then…I won’t be able to casually ask you to treat me to meals anymore!”
“Oh, right, I thought as much.”
Abel plopped down on the table in the carriage.
“Speaking of which…”
“What is it?”
Ryo suddenly remembered the question in his mind, and Abel asked without looking up.
“What is the name of your brother, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince?”
“My brother is Caindish Besford Knightley.”
“Hmm? Yeah, I sometimes call him Cain when I was a kid, why?”
What came to Ryo’s mind was ‘Cain and Abel’.
Cain, the elder brother, was the perpetrator of the first murder on Earth in the history of the world, and Abel, the younger brother, was the victim.
It’s a story from the Old Testament.
(Could Cain be planning to crush Abel with his studies…)
Abel, with a difficult look on his face the entire time, was trying to solve the homework assigned by the crown prince.
In comparison, Ryo was almost always smiling as he read through materials or wrote something on a piece of paper beside him.
Although the two were grappling with documents, the atmosphere in the carriage was completely different.
That was the difference between homework to become a king and golem-related data and materials.
They were riding a two-person carriage with a table.
Compared to the others, which were four-people carriages with tables, it was a bit smaller, but they were able to spend time without worrying about anyone else, which helped them to make progress in their studies.
Just before 4:00 p.m., the delegation arrived at Deopham, their lodging for the first day.
“Abel, this is the inn we stayed at the other time.”
Ryo looked up at the inn for the night, feeling good.
The reason was that he remembered.
Ryo remembered that this inn had a large bath.
“Well, it’s a pretty high-class inn, even in Deopham. So, I can understand why the state chose it as the accommodation for the delegation. Moreover this time, they rented the entire inn.”
Abel looked tired, perhaps from the fatigue of studying all day long.
Then Abel in such a state said to Ryo.
“Ryo, I’m sure you haven’t forgotten, that we’ve been summoned to the negotiator’s room for dinner tonight. So, I will see you in your room by six o’clock.”
Ryo literally froze.
His right foot stopped as he was about to step forward, his left hand also stopped as he was about to swing it forward, and everything about Ryo…including his expression, stopped.
Then he looked at Abel with a frozen expression on his face, as if he was going to crack in any minute.
“Actually, Abel, I’m not feeling too good, so I’m going to have to miss dinner…”
“That’s not going to fly and you know it. This is also part of the obligation of this request.”
Shrugging his shoulders and sighing, Abel opened his eyes to the harsh truth.
“Listen, I mean, Abel is an A-rank adventurer, and I’m just a mere C-rank…”
“Give it up, Ryo.”
“But I’m sure the negotiator will be a high-class noble who looks at a commoner adventurer like a piece of trash…and be like, ‘I can’t sit at the same table with this guy! ‘And then pour wine over my precious robe, are you fine with that?”
Ryo’s expressionless face melted, and this time he appealed with teary eyes.
“…Wow, what terrible prejudice. But, indeed, there are nobles like that…. But, the negotiator is the second son of Marquis Hope, a great noble house in the western region. And I believe he hasn’t even turned thirty yet…”
“A great noble house…”
Ryo had a hopeless look on his face with tears in his eyes.
“Anyway, just give it up. Also, he said we could come in our normal outfits. See you later.”
Saying this, Abel quickly followed the delegation into the inn.
Ryo, who had been left behind, stumbled into the inn with such a tottering gait that there was not a shred of the excitement he had when they arrived at Deopham.
“Hey, hello, welcome. I am Ignis Haglitt, the negotiator for this mission. Pleased to meet you.”
After saying this, Negotiator Ignis shook hands with both of them.
The negotiator of the mission who greeted Ryo and Abel was so unassuming that Ryo was taken aback.
“You must be Mr. Abel, the swordsman. I am very grateful to you for accepting our Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ request on such short notice. And that must be Mr. Ryo, the magician. I know you were dragged into this mess Sir Ilarion caused… sorry about that.”
Negotiator Ignis, smiling and shaking hands, instantly made them both feel that maybe he’s ‘not that bad of a person’.
He sure was a ‘negotiator’ for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
His face wasn’t at all cool, nor, on the contrary, ugly.
It was tender and gentle, and the fact that he was always smiling reinforced the tenderness.
“Come on, please have a seat over there. They said that the food is already prepared, so it will be served soon. So, let’s talk while eating. Eating hot food while it is still hot. It’s a courtesy to the chef.”
The first dinner with Ignis, the negotiator, which also served as a meeting, ended in a friendly atmosphere.
Ryo’s image of the high-class noble that he had before entering the inn, was completely shattered, and he had a pleasant time.
Ryo was satisfied that the dinner was filled with good food, pleasant conversation…and the good points of the upper class.
“Mr. Ignis, is not at all bad.”
“Yeah. His father, Marquis Hope, is a man who keeps his distance from the politics of the Kingdom, but he has a reputation for excellence in the management of his estates. Taxes are low, businesses are booming, and security is good. Originally, Marquis Hope’s territory was a thriving agricultural community, but recently it has been doing very well commercially as well. I would like to visit there at least once.”
Abel gave such a detailed rundown.
Actually, the subject had come up during his intensive lecture with the crown prince.
“Well, Sir Ignis must have been anxious as well. Seeing as how we set-off without him meeting us.”
“That’s the thing. How come we never got to attend the mission formation ceremony back in the royal capital?”
It seems that while Ryo was holed up in the alchemy workshop and Abel was taking intensive lectures, there was a formation ceremony and the announcement party.
Well, common sense would dictate such a thing…
“That was because, apparently, if I went there, there was a possibility that I would run into someone I knew back when I was in the royal castle. The Grand Master and my elder brother discussed it as well. So they decided that since we are adventurers, we would not be allowed in there.”
“Ugh, another Prince Abel routine…. In a way, It’s kinda admirable when you go that far.”
Ryo shrugged his shoulders, let out a sigh, and looked like he was straight-up impressed.
“No, what’s more admirable is that, you still don’t believe me even after all this, Ryo…”
Abel sighed deeply, much more deeply than Ryo.
“Because if Abel were to accidentally become king, then…”
“I bet you would say something like, then you won’t be able to munch off me anymore, right?”
“Abel will use the authority of a King to write off his debts to me.”
“How much of a loser King do you think I would be! ”
Abel shouted as usual.
But after a moment, he suddenly realized something.
“Wait a minute, do I owe you anything, Ryo….”
“Your very existence is all thanks to me, Abel.”
“You’re not making sense! ”
“Your wits are rather dull today, Abel.”
The next morning.
In the courtyard of the inn, there were knights and adventurers wielding swords.
Among the knights, the one who was taking the lead in swinging his sword was Zack Cooler, a member of the Royal Knight Order.
Even from Abel’s point of view, who was wielding a sword beside him, his determination was completely different from before.
“You look different, Zack.”
“I’m only doing what’s necessary, to become a knight worthy of standing beside Miss Sera.”
Abel looked away involuntarily as he recalled Zack’s motive for starting to wield the sword so seriously.
Abel could not say anything to his drinking buddy, who was getting impatient over his unrequited love.
He felt that if he did…it would spark a duel between Zack and Ryo.