Chapter 0301 Meeting of the Big Three
“If you don’t mind, could you offer me a cup of coffee as well?”
Roberto Pirlo sat down on a stone chair as he said this.
Ryo and Roberto Pirlo were sitting at a large stone table, and that stone chair was one of three stone chairs around it.
“Here you go.”
Ryo produced a cup of ice and handed it over with the remaining coffee in the coffee press.
Roberto Pirlo took it happily and closed his eyes.
He seemed to be relishing the aroma.
Roberto Pirlo was the only one to come out, but naturally, his guards were creeping around him in the darkness.
Even Ryo could sense their presence without having to use <Passive Sonar>.
They probably did it on purpose.
To send a message, ‘we’re watching’….
“Sorry about that, they’re such a tactless bunch.”
“No, it’s fine, I get it.”
Roberto Pirlo apologized with a smile that was somewhere between a smile and a wry smile, and Ryo also accepted his apology.
It was only natural for guards to protect their lords.
After Roberto Pirlo drank about half a cup of his coffee, he slowly opened his mouth.
“Actually, I came here today to thank you.”
Ryo tilted his head.
He could think of several things that would have made the leaders of the Union want to tear him to pieces.
But he didn’t recall doing anything that would warrant a thank you…?
“Hmm. Well, back in ‘Schulz’, you protected the Union members with an ice wall, didn’t you? For that, I thank you.”
It was for Ryo protecting the Union delegation members with an ice wall in the square during the raid by the equestrian tribes in ‘Schulz’, the second of the Corridor countries.
“I merely did what I had to do.”
It was probably too late to deny being the person in question… since it seemed like a lot of things had been exposed anyway… and while the Union was another opponent they had gone to war with, they’re now a part of the mission heading to the western countries together, so he could only say something along those lines.
“Since simply saying thank you with just words wouldn’t convey my gratitude. So how about coming over to the Union? We’ll bestow unto you the same status that you currently have in the Kingdom.”
“I respectfully decline.”
“Immediate rejection uh! Aha-ha-ha-ha-ha.”
Ryo immediately refused the offer of the former king, Roberto Pirlo.
He didn’t need to think about it.
“By the same position, I’m talking about being the premier duke of the Union, you know?”
Sure enough, he seemed to know about Ryo’s exact status as well.
As expected of ‘The Man Lord Aubrey couldn’t kill’.
“I know. I respectfully decline.”
When Ryo refused again, Roberto Pirlo nodded with a smile.
He probably wasn’t expecting to succeed in poaching him in the first place.
That was the feeling Ryo got.
To begin with, Roberto Pirlo was the former king of the Kingdom of Capitone, not the head of the entire Union.
“King Abel, who receives absolute loyalty from a man of your stature… must be quite a character.”
“Yeah, he is. He’s the greatest king.”
Ryo said without any hint of timidity.
Roberto Pirlo, as expected, was amazed in wide-eyed wonder.
Just then, there was the sound of someone approaching again.
“Oh, my, that smells so good.”
The man who emerged out of the darkness saying that was former emperor Rupert, the head of the Imperial delegation.
“Excuse me for interrupting the conversation between you two prominents.”
With these words, former Emperor Rupert sat down in the remaining empty stone chair.
Thus, the highest-ranking personages of each of the three delegations, the former emperor, the former king, and the premier duke, were all seated at one table.
“Sure, here you go.”
Ryo poured the last of the coffee left in the coffee press into an ice cup and served it to Rupert.
Rupert let out an involuntary sigh as he took it.
“This is a very good Kona. I can tell from the aroma alone…. I never thought I would find coffee this good on this trip.”
He muttered to himself and drank it all in one gulp.
Whoa, is it not hot?
No one paid any attention to Ryo’s reaction….
The former king, Roberto Pirlo, was smiling as he watched on.
“Just as I thought, it’s very delicious. Now, to get down to business. I heard that you protected the members of my delegation back in ‘Schulz’. You have my gratitude.”
Saying that, Rupert bowed his head.
“Please don’t mention it, I merely did what I had to do.”
Repeating the same line as before.
“Don’t take this as some kind of compensation or anything, but why don’t you come over to the Empire? Come and I will give you half of the Empire.”
“…I respectfully decline.”
As expected, he was surprised by the ‘half of the Empire’ offer, but his response was the same.
Roberto Pirlo was also surprised by this offer.
“Your Majesty Rupert, that’s very bold, offering half of the imperial territory.”
He said while laughing.
“Not at all, if I can have him for half of the empire, it’s quite a bargain. But he turned me down…. Your Majesty Roberto Pirlo, by any chance, did he also?”
“Yeah. He turned me down too.”
When he said so, the two monarchs burst into laughter.
Ryo wasn’t quite sure why they were laughing so hard.
“An overwhelming combat prowess, an unwavering spirit even in the face of a former emperor and a former king, and absolute loyalty to the king. I see why King Abel made him the premier duke. No, it’s probably at the counsel of Marquis Heinlein?”
As might be expected of the former emperor Rupert VI, who was praised for his wisdom and wits.
He even guessed at the thought process of the king and those around him.
He seemed to have failed to consider the angle of friendship rather than loyalty.
“Nah, I believe it’s more of friendship than loyalty if you ask me. That’s the vibe I’m getting from him.”
It would appear that former king Roberto Pirlo ‘The man Lord Aubrey couldn’t kill’, was no slouch either.
He even guessed Ryo’s inner thoughts.
More than sword arts or magic, that unparalleled insight by a ruler is the supreme power that governs a country.
Ryo was surprised and, in a way, impressed.
By the wisdom and insight of the two men in front of him.
He also understood that the current him at this point was no match for them.
As a matter of fact, anyone could acquire both wisdom and insight.
Ryo knew that both could be obtained with effort, even if not immediately.
He had seen such people back on Earth.
So he may have been surprised and impressed, but he didn’t feel despair.
(Eventually, I will reach the level of these two.)
He decided so in his mind.
Wisdom and insight were essentially the same thing.
They’re controlled by the brain.
If so, there was only one way to develop them.
To ponder frequently.
The more we use our bodies, the more capable we become.
And of course, a keen brain.
Those to aim for or try to surpass.
It was quite fortuitous to have such targets right in front of him.
Ryo, who had found another goal to surpass, happily drank up his remaining coffee.