Intermission 2 Ryo on a Certain Afternoon
“Phew, the quality of curry rice in the royal capital ain’t too shabby, right?”
For some reason, Ryo had become an amateur curry critic.
After eating curry rice with Prince Willy as promised, he dropped him off at school and headed for the royal castle himself.
That was when he heard a sound.
According to Ryo’s memory, it was the sound of a sword fight.
However, the place was especially close to the royal castle in the royal capital.
He had heard from Abel that…the buildings lining the street were all noble residences…and they all belonged to upper-class nobles above the rank of Count.
As a matter of fact, the mansion of the Duke of Rondo, which Abel had prepared, was also located in that neighborhood.
The sound of sword fights in such an ultra-luxurious residential area…if it were nighttime, it would be understandable, but it was only one o’clock in the afternoon.
At that time of the day?
“Ah, could it be sword practice or something?”
That certainly seemed likely.
The sound was coming from the direction he was trying to walk.
And when he turned the corner, he found himself in the middle of a sword fight on the road.
It doesn’t appear to be a noble’s sword practice as he had thought.
A blond young man in his late teens and a chestnut-haired man about thirty years old were fighting.
A little further away, a man who appeared to be in his mid-twenties was lying on the ground.
He was either dead or unconscious….
The two were evenly matched in the fight.
The blond was slightly ahead, but the difference could be easily overturned should there be an accident.
Ryo on the other hand didn’t mind lending a hand, but he wasn’t sure who he should help.
It would be bad if he went and helped the bad guy, wouldn’t it?
So he decided to leave it to chance.
And since it would be tactless to interrupt them ….
Sure enough, he found a guy lurking in the opposite corner, about to fire an arrow.
His usual ice lance, but with a rounded tip, suddenly emerged right next to the one lurking to fire an arrow, struck him in the stomach … and the man fainted in agony.
“Now, no one will interrupt you.”
Ryo muttered and turned his attention back to the sword fight.
Almost simultaneously, the chestnut-haired man’s sword was deflected, and without a moment’s pause, the blond young man’s sword was plunged into his heart.
Without any hesitation.
He most likely didn’t hear that.
He probably noticed even while he was fighting.
The blond young man pulled out his sword, turned to Ryo, and pointed it at him.
As if he was asking, “Are you my enemy, too?”.
Ryo shook his head and said.
“Just a passing Magician.”
He bowed his head a little and started walking toward the royal castle.
“Oh, right. I have to decide what souvenirs to take with me next week when I visit the Western Forest.”
When Ryo was completely out of sight, the blond young man sheathed his sword and walked away.
Ignoring the two dead bodies and the one in agony.
As if he knew whose minions they were without having to investigate ….
The blond young man’s silver cloak had a crest painted on it.
Ryo had seen it too, obviously, but since he knew nothing about the crests of the Kingdom’s nobles, he paid no attention to it …
If only there had been someone who understood even a little bit about the crests of the Kingdom’s nobles…like say, Prince Willy, whom he ate curry with, he might have informed him.
And would be like, “That’s the crest of the Duke of Silverdale”.
He might even have enlightened him about the blond young man.
And would be like, “He’s no young man, that’s Lady Faith, the daughter of the Duke of Silverdale”.
It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between a handsome man and a beautiful woman in their late teens.
What a complicated world indeed.
As far as Ryo was concerned, what to get as a souvenir for his trip to the Western Forest was certainly more important than such matters…
Ryo entered the royal castle and went straight to Abel’s office.
The owner of the room was still drowning in papers.
It had not been long since the battle for the liberation of the Kingdom ended, but it seemed that the King had no time to rest….
“Doesn’t seem like much has changed from back when you were at your Rune office.”
“Hmm? Oh, Ryo.”
At the sound of Ryo’s voice, Abel looked up from his papers for a moment and immediately turned back to them.
Ryo gave a proper report to Abel.
Ho-ren-so, in other words, reporting, contacting, and consulting, is common practice for working people.
“I’ve been on a bit of an adventure. This morning, I almost got skewered by <Icicle Lance>, had curry with Prince Willy at lunchtime, and just now I witnessed a sword fight taking place on the road.”
“I’m afraid you lost me there for a bit…. And if I’m not mistaken, Icicle Lance is your magic, isn’t it?”
“So how could you get skewered by it?”
Abel asked quizzically.
“Well, I was just trying to perform a little experiment and it bounced back at me.”
Listening to Ryo’s words, Abel understood what had happened.
“Ryo, I bet you attacked the walls of the royal castle!”
“How’d you know that!?”
“It’s so obvious! Have you forgotten that gramps Ilarion once said that he tried attacking it with <Air Slash> and that it ricocheted and cut off his left arm…”
Abel remembered the story from a conversation during a strategy meeting before the Battle of the Royal Capital.
“’Yes, exactly. So I put up an <Ice Wall> to see if I could intercept it if I knew it was going to bounce back, but it penetrated through. In other words, the royal castle walls may not only repel attacks but amplifies the force as well.”
“King Richard is one remarkable individual. That’s some amazing alchemy right there.”
“…So, the ice lance that bounced back, hope you didn’t get hurt?”
“Nah. I cut it apart with Murasame. I’ve thought up a good training method using the castle walls. I’ll unleash my icicle lance at the castle walls, and when it bounces back, I’ll slash it with Murasame…I can train both magic and sword, killing two birds with one stone!”
“Yeah, forget it.”
Ryo looked dissatisfied after being denied.
Muscleheads are so terrifyingly abnormal … Abel thought as he looked at Ryo in front of him.
Abel decided to change the subject.
“So, curry with Prince Willy, well, that’s fine and dandy, but a sword fight on the road? Was it here in the royal capital?”
“That’s right. Oh, but some time ago, you also had a sword fight with Roman the Hero on the streets of the royal capital. I suppose it’s not exactly out of the ordinary. In fact, a fight happens in the middle of the day in an upscale residential area and no one comes to stop it.”
“The one between me and Roman…couldn’t be helped. It was more of a set up. Moreover, we seldom hear of sword fights in the royal capital. In the upscale residential area…no less?”
“Right. You know the place where you prepared the Duke of Rondo’s mansion? It’s not far from there. I won’t be surprised if it’s actually an unsafe neighborhood, and you tried to strike a bargain for a cheap piece of land or something!”
Ryo turned a suspicious gaze to Abel.
“Don’t be silly! That area is strictly for residences of upper-class nobles above the rank of Count. So, a sword fight breaking out in a place like that…. Argh, this doesn’t bode well. That explains the lack of news about it. I can see why no one would want to poke their nose into it…. It’s probably a dark feud between upper-class nobles.”
“And King Abel turns a blind eye as he let it happen…. Hmm. It can’t be, he is allowing the nobles to crush each other!? What a frightening scheme. How dreadful, Abel…”
“How did you reach that conclusion! Admittedly though, I’m a little curious, so I’ll look into it…”
After that, Ryo ended up lying on the sofa in Abel’s office, reading a book on alchemy that he had borrowed from the royal castle library and kept in Abel’s office.
It was the same as when he was in Rune.
As it turned out, even after becoming the premier duke, Ryo did not change much….