Dear readers, sorry in advance but there won’t be any releases for Water Magician for the next 4 weeks because I’ll be away on my honeymoon. Patreons and Ko-Fi members will receive the next chapter on 10th Nov. Regular readers will see the next chapter here after releases resume on 13th Nov. Thank you for understanding and see you in November! 🙂
Chapter 0225 Friend of the King
After Sera left for the western forest, Ryo became a mere shadow of himself.
It’s not like he sat idly in one place and did nothing all day, or anything like that.
Nonetheless…if it was before….
He wakes up before the sun rises.
Stretches for a solid thirty minutes.
Then runs outside the walls of Rune city, generating a minuscule Tokyo Tower with ice on both hands, both feet, and both shoulders.
He has breakfast and works on his alchemy until noon.
During which, Sera sometimes comes over and reads a book in the living room.
Come lunchtime, they often eat together at restaurants around the east gate, mainly at Houshoku-tei.
Afterwards, they usually have a mock battle at the lord’s mansion.
The day used to go by like this, but with Sera gone,
‘During which, Sera sometimes comes over and reads a book in the living room.’
‘Come lunchtime, they often eat together at restaurants around the east gate, mainly at Kagutei.’
‘Afterwards, they usually have a mock battle at the lord’s mansion.’
All of these were no more.
He simply doesn’t know what to do anymore.
People who don’t know what to do or haven’t found what they want to do become a nuisance that messes with the people around them….
“I’m feeling sleepy…”
“Why bother coming to my room to tell me that?”
This is the lord’s former office in the Rune mansion.
Now, the lord’s office and the adjoining bedroom have been moved to the annex, and is now the office and bedroom of the next king-to-be.
Of course, Abel did not forcefully seize it, but rather at the suggestion of Count Rune.
In the office of the king-to-be, Abel was busy writing.
He was writing to liaise with the lords of various regions and neighboring countries.
There were quite a few things that ought to be done before ascending the throne.
Of course, after he becomes king, he would still have to issue similar writings….
In the office of the king-to-be, who seemed to be very busy, the water attribute magician was goofing around.
“I’m just recharging my mind, please don’t mind me, your majesty, king-to-be.”
“I don’t know what you mean by recharging or whatnot, but…it’s clear to me that you’re goofing off. I just don’t know why you chose to do it here, in this room…”
“That’s because the people in the other rooms are taking their jobs awfully seriously and…I just don’t want to disturb them.”
Ryo shrugged his shoulders…as if to say, sheesh, you can’t even figure out something so trivial unless I say it out loud.
Needless to say, Abel was irritated.
“I’m taking my job awfully seriously, too, can’t you see that?”
“I’m tearily trying to get in your way, because I want you to become a powerful king who won’t let the obstacles around him get in his way, Abel.”
“Wow, so you do realize you’re getting in my way…”
Thus, Abel was to train daily so that he could become a powerful king.
Against his will, obviously….
“Honestly…I think the quickest way is to head to the royal capital, freeze the entire goddamn imperial troops and get this over with.”
Ryo gave such a suggestion under the guise of a monologue.
“Hey Ryo, I’ve said this several times, but DO NOT do that! ”
The king-to-be desperately tried to stop him.
He always seems to have a hard time.
“We are long past the point where killing all the enemy troops would be the end of it. The fact that all the northern nobles have betrayed us means that my uncle, the Duke of Flitwick…is definitely behind this. He will eventually announce his accession to the throne in the royal capital. We need to eliminate the Empire and its influence while taking the Kingdom back from his grasp, otherwise, the country will not be restored.”
“Good grief…it’s not exactly thrilling to see the country lose. It’s nothing but a nuisance to us, the people of the Kingdom.”
Ryo slightly shook his head several times as he said this.
Abel was not at all responsible for this, but Ryo was somehow giving off a vibe that made him feel like apologizing.
Just then, there was a knock on the door.
As Abel said this, the door opened and a young man entered.
“Excuse me, Master Abel.”
“Oh Sir Alfonso, how can I help you?”
“Actually, the lord would like to speak with Sir Ryo…. If it’s all right, could you please come with me to the annex?”
In the latter half, he turned to Ryo as he spoke.
“Uh, sure, I am free. Lead the way.”
Ryo said and walked away with Sir Alfonso.
“I don’t think I’ve had the chance to properly introduce myself to you, Sir Ryo. I am Alfonso Spinazola.”
“Oh, I’m Ryo. Spinazola, you don’t mean…”
“Yes, I am the grandson of the current lord.”
“Oh, the one whose shoulder Sera…”
After saying that much, Ryo hurriedly stopped talking. He was indeed aware that he had said something rude.
Alfonso’s face turned red and he became a young man who couldn’t help but be made aware of how embarrassing his past was.
“Yeah, quite an embarrassing story.”
They walked in silence for a while, and then Alfonso opened his mouth.
“I often watch the mock battle between Sir Ryo and Instructor Sera. It’s nothing short of amazing.”
“Oh, it’s not that…”
Ryo wasn’t accustomed to being praised to his face.
“So…I was wondering if you could give me and the knights some training from time to time.”
“Instructor Sera, who trained me, and also happens to be one of the two swordsmanship instructors, has gone off to the western forest…moreover, the regular mock battles at noon between the two of you are no more, and now the morale of the knights continue to drop. I have also discussed this matter with Knight-Captain Neville Black, and he has given his go-ahead as long as you’re okay with it, Sir Ryo. So what do you think?”
He couldn’t believe he was being asked to take over for Sera.
“Listen…I didn’t receive formal training in swordsmanship, so…”
“Basic swordsmanship is taught by the other instructor, Max Doyle. The Hume sword style from the royal capital. The Rune Knights are trained in a manner where Doyle would train them in the basics and applications, and Instructor Sera would beat them up.”
“Beat them up…”
Ryo muttered to Alfonso’s explanation.
“I mean, she always go easy on them so that they don’t get hurt, obviously. Yet the knights always give their all and still end up being far from measuring up, now the fact that this incredible individual was available to them, training them up, also contributed to their high morale. So, that’s the gist of it, Sir Ryo, please give it some thought.”
Alfonso stopped and bowed his head.
In this way, he’s a fairly decent young man.
It is hard to believe that he was overcome with lust and tried to push himself onto Sera…then again, it is also likely that he was beaten back into shape by the fierce counterattack at that time.
“I understand. If it’s just occasionally…”
“Thank you very much!”
Ryo accepted, and Alfonso bowed again, looking pleased.
That was the moment when Ryo found something to do.
The lord’s newly shifted bedroom.
When Alfonso and Ryo entered, they found Count Rune sitting on his bed, writing something, just as they had seen him before.
“Oh, Ryo, sorry to bother you.”
“Not at all. You wanted to see me.”
“Yeah. I have a few things I want to ask of you.”
The frontier Count put his hand on his chin.
He seemed to be thinking about the order in which to start the conversation.
“My lord, excuse me for cutting in.”
Alfonso said. It would seem that he’s forced to address him as ‘lord’, not ‘Grandfather’ or ‘Grandpa’.
Looks like the lord’s family has their fair share of troubles.
“I have just asked Sir Ryo to give me and the knights some training sessions, and he accepted.”
“I see! Glad to hear it.”
The frontier Count sounded pleased with Alfonso’s report.
It seems that this was one of the ‘things’ he wanted to ask for.
And after nodding a few times, he began.
“Actually, I would like to request you to guard Master Abel, Ryo.”
Abel is an A-rank adventurer and a top-notch swordsman.
He saw no reason to attach a guard detail even if there’s a need to….
“Yes. Master Abel is the next King. Since Crown Prince Cain has passed away, it is fairly certain…. But some will not take kindly to that.”
Ryo’s ears were still not accustomed to the word, Duke of Flitwick, apparently.
“That’s right. He will without a doubt resort to any number of means to take Master Abel’s life.”
“And you want me to prevent that from happening. It’s all good, but are you sure you should be asking me…why not the so-called Kingsguard or something for this…”
“Sure, once he enters the royal palace…but honestly, somehow, I feel that it is better to trust him with adventurers until he gets used to being ‘King’, this will also stabilize Master Abel mentally.”
The frontier Count smiled as he said this.
He seemed to have a more flexible mind than Ryo had imagined.
“Doesn’t it sound ideal? A king who is well-liked by the common people, adventurers, and of course, knights…. A king who is not only feared but also favored. All the more reason for someone who rose to A-rank as ‘Adventurer Abel’, and is very popular with the people in Rune city. I would very much like to see his majesty in such a fashion.”
The smile on the frontier Count’s face was radiant as he said this.
So much so that it made Ryo wish to grow old in the same manner.
“Needless to say, the three members of the ‘Crimson Sword’ will also be included in the detail when they return from Kona. Since that was also the reason why the three of them joined the party in the first place.”
“Right, I thought as much…”
Ryo had always suspected it.
Priest Rihya, who was once even called a saint; Warren, who is said to be the best shield-bearer in the Kingdom; and Rin, one of the best magicians with wind attribute in the Kingdom.
They were too capable a group to have gathered naturally.
Even if Abel’s charisma was unusually high, it’s more plausible to think of them as top-notch personnel gathered by various forces.
“In that case, I don’t see any reason why I should be included in his guard detail…”
Ryo tilted his head.
“Well…thing is…I would like for you to remain friends with Master Abel, as equals.”
The role of the king is a lonely one.
In any age, in any country…it is probably the same, whether it be on Earth or right here on ‘Phi’.
Even Ryo knows that much.
The relationship based on ‘equality’ does not last forever, no matter how hard one tries mentally.
This is because there is inevitably a ‘power relationship’ involved.
Such as physical power as in ‘violence’, the power of money as in ‘wads of cash’, and intangible power as in ‘influence’….
Those who have the same amount of these things are the ones who can finally stand on ‘equal footing’.
The king, however, is the one who has the most of these ‘powers’ in the country.
At the very least, the king in the Kingdom of Knightley does.
In which case, it should be obvious that an ‘equal’, let alone ‘friend’ is not something you can hope for when you are the king.
It’s hard to imagine that the wise Rune frontier Count did not understand that …
“First of all, not many people can beat Abel in a one-on-one fight. But Ryo falls into that category.”
The frontier Count addressed each aspect in detail one by one.
And that was ‘violence’.
“Secondly…money, the king is supposed to have a lot of it, but in reality, not so much money is at his disposal. Much of it is the property of the state, and the budget dictates how it is spent.”
That was ‘wads of cash’.
A king, who has little private property…now, that’s a little sad.
“As for the third, influence…. I will be your backer, Ryo. If you want, you can go and take over some small country.”
“Whoa whoa, that’s a bit extreme.”
“But I heard you froze a village once…”
Somehow, the news of the freezing of the village of assassins seemed to be spreading like wildfire.
Along with intel confirmation that Ryo was behind it.
“That was inevitable…”
“Then, it shouldn’t be difficult for you to seize one small country with the same energy…”
“H-How about we shelf the issue of ‘influence’ for the time being. Well…I can’t say if it will be as ‘equals’, but I would like to remain friends with him.
When Ryo said this, the frontier Count nodded repeatedly, looking pleased.
Of course, in the frontier Count’s mind, he wants Ryo, who is considered to be a powerful force, to have a relationship with Abel personally, not with the Kingdom.
And now, that relationship has been formed as ‘friends’.
Ryo left the lord’s bedroom and returned to Abel’s office.
And with such perfect timing, Ryo’s coffee was brought to him.
It shows the high level of the butlers and maids at the lord’s house.
“So, what did the frontier Count want?”
Abel asked Ryo, who just returned, without looking up, writing something on a piece of paper.
“He wanted me to go conquer a small country.”
Yup, people always seem to look up when they are told something they don’t understand.
“He told me to go get myself a small country so I could have equal political power with you, Abel.”
“T-The hell does that even mean…”
“And the frontier Count promised to support me all the way.”
“What in the world have you two been discussing…”
It’s funny how omitting a few sentences can create a whole new narrative….
One really ought to be careful with words.
(Come to think of it, the Akuma Leonor once said that she was going to come and seize the country…yeah, I guess that was what she was going on about giving me a kingdom, yeah, that’s not going to happen.”
Ryo recalled his dangerous past.
“Well, it would be very troublesome to seize an existing country…let me see, I suppose I could take possession of Rondo forest.”
Ryo nodded repeatedly, crossing his arms in a pompous manner with a prideful look on his face that seemed to say he’d just come up with an awesome idea.
“Hate to burst your fantasy, Ryo, but…you can’t take possession of anything since you’re not a noble…”
Ryo looked over at Abel with a dramatized expression of despair.
It was a stark reminder of the reality of the disparity in society.