Chapter 0259 Bribed with a Strawberry Shortcake
Ryo had something on his mind.
“I’m a C-rank adventurer just so you know! And I’m going to inherit a dukedom in the future”, that outburst from earlier.
Ryo is the premier duke of the Kingdom of Knightley.
Even though it’s only a formality…even though it’s an honorary position…even though it’s just for decoration….
Thinking about it, he didn’t know how many dukedoms there were in the Kingdom.
On top of that, he thought that it would be best to do something about the young man that made those narrow-minded threats over mont blanc while they’re still young, if they really are going to inherit a dukedom in the future.
So he thought….
This was his duty!
And, not at all a stunt out of curiousity!
First, he confirmed the ranks of nobility.
From the top.
Duke, Marquis, Count, Viscount, Baron.
Some countries have a grand duke above the duke…but not in the Kingdom.
Some countries have baronets under baron, but…the rank may only be valid for a single generation or they may not be treated as nobility.
For knights…there is no such thing as knighthood, apparently.
They are not nobility, but a profession of sorts…in the current Kingdom.
Considering that, one could say that ‘Duke’ is the highest rank in the Kingdom, except for royalty.
He somehow felt that Abel wouldn’t tell him jack even if he asked, and it wouldn’t be a good idea to bother someone who had just undergone surgery in the first place, so he decided to ask someone else.
And that ‘other person’ was currently swimming in paperwork due to the conspiracy of the powers that be…even though he’s the second-highest authority in the country, the Prime Minister!
There is only one person whose authority supersedes his!
And this personage, with the honorific title of ‘His Majesty’, followed by his official position that begins with ‘The’ and ends with ‘King’, is the mastermind behind his nightmare of drowning in documents….
Ryo visited the Prime Minister’s abode, prepared to be turned down.
“Your Excellency, Prime Minister. His Excellency the Duke of Rondo is here to see you.”
The guard at the door announced Ryo’s visit.
“Send him in.”
A calm and collected voice was heard from the inside.
When Ryo entered the room, the prime minister was sitting on the sofa and relaxing.
“Whoa, wait a minute? Aren’t you supposed to be swimming in paperwork…”
Looking at the desk, there was a tall pile of documents on the ‘processed’ side, and nothing at all on the ‘yet-to-be processed’ side.
“Ah, Duke Rondo, have a seat.”
Marquis Heinlein then tried to give up the honorary position on the sofa.
“Oh, no, please it’s fine.”
Ryo said, and quickly took the vacant seat on the other side of the sofa.
“I just finished going through the recent documents that needed approval.”
Marquis Heinlein smiled as he said that.
(How excellent! He actually got through King Abel’s paperwork-drowning nightmarish attack perfectly…)
Ryo was astonished.
That was because he had seen Abel’s usual condition in depth and knew how devastating and formidable an attack it was.
Sure enough, seeking this man out was most likely the right move…that was the moment he became convinced of it.
“Thank you for taking the time to see me, Marquis Heinlein.”
“Oh please don’t worry about it.”
“By the way, please accept this little gift…”
Ryo said and held out a small box he had brought with him.
Marquis Heinlein accepted it and immediately opened it to see what was inside.
“Whoa, isn’t this that? The strawberry shortcake from the rumored ‘Cafe de Chocolat’. Wow, thank you. I’ll be sure to savor it later.”
He replied cheerfully.
It seemed that the central figures of the Kingdom of Knightley have a sweet tooth….
“So, what have you come here to ask today, seeing as you graced us with your presence…?”
“As expected of the Marquis, you’re very quick on the uptake…”
After Kona coffee was served in front of Ryo, the Marquis cut to the chase and Ryo responded.
“Actually, there is something I would like to ask the Marquis…”
Marquis Heinlein’s eyes widened a bit and he nodded slightly.
“I am actually looking for the future heir to a dukedom in the Kingdom who is of adult age.”
“That’s quite…an unusual inquiry.”
Marquis Heinlein already anticipated a different reason why Ryo, who rarely visited, would make the trip…and even brought a gift, but…he was let down splendidly.
(And here I was thinking it was about that…. Or could it be that His Majesty hasn’t told Duke Rondo yet…?)
While thinking about that, he also had the answer to Ryo’s question in mind.
“First of all, there are five dukedoms in the Kingdom. Besides the Rondo Dukedom, there are four others, among which the Shrewsbury Dukedom has their authority as a dukedom suspended, with their authority now entrusted to the crown.”
“By the Shrewsbury Dukedom, you’re talking about the one based in Wingston in the east during the liberation war…”
Ryo said as he recalled from memory.
“That’s right. The Eastern Rebellion caused the deaths of the heirs to the title one after another, and at that time, the heir to the title was nine years old, Lord Irwin. All of the direct descendants except for Lord Irwin had died…”
“Don’t tell me even that Lord Irwin too…?”
“No, Lord Irwin is still very much alive. But he is only twelve years old…almost thirteen, and his guardian, Count Adfa, and others are dead, leaving the dukedom with few nobles to support it. Therefore, the dukedom’s authority has been suspended and the crown has jurisdiction over the dukedom until Lord Irwin comes of age. I think it’s the closest to the requirement you mentioned, Duke Rondo…”
“Hmmm, twelve years old is a bit young…”
The Mont Blanc twerp looked a little older than a high school student in Japan…more like a college student.
Twelve is a little too young.
“Then, the remaining three houses…”
Marquis Heinlein thought for a moment, then nodded once and continued.
“There’s another that comes to mind. Should be nineteen years old.”
“Faith from the Silverdale Dukedom. I’ve heard that they are quite skilled with the sword.”
Ryo was a little excited, convinced that he had hit the mark.
It was worth the extra effort to bring the strawberry shortcake, he thought.
“I’d love to know more about this person!”
When Ryo said so, Marquis Heinlein’s eyes widened even more than before.
He was surprised at Ryo’s eagerness to learn more.
Then he began to say something a bit unintelligible to Ryo.
“I thought that Duke Rondo’s true love was Lady Sera of the Western Forest…But of course, you’re the premier duke, so there’s absolutely no problem whatsoever with having a second or third wife, as long as your financial power permits. But Lady Faith is from a dukedom lineage and Lady Sera is the next representative of the Western Forest…it will be a tough one to decide which one should be the first wife.”
Ryo tilted his head.
“Since Lady Faith has no siblings, it is almost certain that she will inherit the Silverdale Dukedom. Meaning, the duchess will be the head of the dukedom. It would be realistically difficult to have the head of a dukedom as a second wife. On the other hand, Lady Sera is now the representative of the elves in the Kingdom. Her success in the recent defense of the Western Forest against the Empire has been sung about by bards and spread throughout the central nations. It would not be practical to have such a person as a second wife.”
Ryo finally realized that Marquis Heinlein had totally gone off the rails in his misunderstanding.
And that the answer he got was not the right one.
“Um, Marquis Heinlein, just to confirm, is that Lord Faith of the Silverdale Dukedom, perhaps a woman…?”
“Yes, a stunningly beautiful one…”
“Is that so…”
Ryo hung his head.
Because little Mont Blanc was definitely a ‘man’.
Seeing Ryo like that, even Marquis Heinlein realized that he had been mistaken about something.
“Let me guess, this isn’t about you looking for a potential partner, or setting your sights on a beautiful woman, is it…?”
“No, I’m looking for a guy…”
“And it’s not a BL or anything like that…”
“Nah, just looking for a little twerp that has been a bad kid…”
Marquis Heinlein drooped his head too.
Then he continued.
“There aren’t any other heirs to a dukedom in the Kingdom around that age…”
“Okay, you would know best.”
“Any possibility of it being a dukedom from another country?”
Yup, that was very negligent of him.
The Kingdom of Knightley is a great power.
It is no exaggeration to say that it is one of the countries that attract talented people from all over the central nations.
There are examples such as Prince Willy, who came to study from the Kingdom of Ju.
But if that’s the case, it is certainly an inquiry that even Marquis Heinlein can’t help with.
“If we are talking about the current head of a family, we are aware of the foreign nobles in the country, but as for the next successors to those families, unfortunately…”
“So you know the current head of those families…”
Ryo muttered in surprise at Marquis Heinlein’s words, catching a glimpse of his counterintelligence skills.
“Okay, I understand. Thank you, Marquis Heinlein, I appreciate you taking the time.”
“Is that all?”
“Yeah. I mean, I was just curious.”
Saying this, Ryo got up from the sofa.
“Duke Rondo, there’s something I think you should know.”
Marquis Heinlein came out and said.
“Actually, His Majesty said he was going to tell you, but…I don’t think he has from the looks of it…”