Chapter 0302 Pageboy
The following day after the meeting of the big three.
The mission of the Central Nations departed from the Kingdom of Sufuoh, the last of the corridor countries.
Although they proceeded in the order of Empire, Union, and Kingdom, the delegations were not too far apart from each other.
Naturally, Ryo and the other six were at the tail end of the entire mission.
“If the Kingdom of Sufuoh were to attack us and demand that we return the food that they had treated us to, we would be the first to face the brunt of their attack.”
“Ryo… stop saying something so ominous.”
Ryo muttered, and Niels replied with a frown.
“Fret not. I already have a plan in mind.”
“…Now, why do I feel like I don’t even want to hear it.”
Ryo beat his chest and brimmed with confidence, and Niels, who had a bad feeling about it, was clamoring to not hear it….
“We can buy ourselves enough time to escape if we offer them Niels’ big-ass body!”
“I knew you’d say something like that!”
As usual, the rear end was peaceful.
The Imperial delegation leading the way.
They were currently resting at the site of their first rest stop of the day.
The leader of the delegation, Emperor Rupert, was surrounded by many people.
With Count Hans Kirchhoff, who had followed him since he was Emperor, as his right-hand man right by his side, as well as his personal guards and cooks, all of whom were excellent people.
Many of them weren’t too bad looking either.
They weren’t exactly beautiful men and women, but they all possessed looks unique to those confident and proud of their work.
Many of them were like that.
However, one pageboy in his mid-thirties had a constant nervous expression and demeanor.
In the Imperial delegation, the pageboys were naturally responsible for the personal care of former Emperor Rupert.
Although not a position of power, even the nobles in the court wouldn’t slight a pageboy assigned to an Emperor or a former Emperor.
They were the closest attendants to the Emperor and the former Emperors after all.
For that reason, many pageboys took pride in their work.
In fact, they were paid quite well, making them a popular position within the Imperial castle.
Even in the Imperial delegation, all nine of former Emperor Rupert’s pageboys were proud of their work and did it with smiles on their faces…with the exception of only one, a pageboy in his mid-thirties called Hague.
“Hague, Count Kirchhoff wants to see you. Right away.”
“Yes, on my way.”
The pageboy in his mid-thirties, called Hague was instructed by the head pageboy, and left the plate-setting to another pageboy and went to Count Kirchhoff’s tent.
“Dammit, why am I of all people doing such…”
Unlike the other eight pageboys, he was not proud of this job.
On the contrary, he loathed it.
In the first place, he had a different job before joining the delegation.
Although the job was demanding, Hague himself was proud of it.
Because it was a job that only he could do in the whole of the Empire, and the Central Nations even, by virtue of his unique abilities, and he took pride in it supporting the entire Imperial army.
The only tents assembled during this short break were those of former Emperor Rupert’s and Count Hans Kirchhoff’s.
Pageboys were allowed to enter the tent without giving their names.
Inside, Count Hans Kirchhoff was writing some papers.
“Oh, Hague, I was going to ask you to help send this letter. Just a moment.”
Hans said and quickly finished up the letter and sealed it.
Then he handed it to Hague and said:
“So how’s it going, have you gotten used to the job?”
“Yeah, more or less…”
“Just don’t push yourself too hard.”
That was probably too much for a count to say to a pageboy.
“Yes, thank you.”
Hague bowed reverently, took the letter, and left the tent.
“Oh, Hans, you came at just the right time!”
Count Hans Kirchhoff entered the tent of former Emperor Rupert, who immediately beckoned him to come over.
“What do you need of me?”
A cup of coffee was placed in front of Rupert.
“Hans, so… I was just saying I seem to recall better-tasting beans than this one.”
Hans tilted his head.
Since he hadn’t heard anything about the coffee beans being replaced.
“Just give it a sip.”
Rupert said and offered the cup to Hans.
“Then, please excuse me.”
Hans took a sip.
And then tilted his head.
“It’s the same one, Your Majesty.”
Rupert hurriedly took a sip.
And also tilted his head.
“I see? I thought it used to taste a little better…”
“The brewing process too, probably hasn’t changed one bit.”
Hans glanced at the pageboy standing by his side.
The pageboy’s face was drenched in sweat….
He was probably thinking that if it turned out that he served bad coffee, he may be severely punished or worse.
Rupert seemed to have noticed this as well….
“Oh, I’m not saying you messed up brewing it or anything. So you can set your mind at ease, you’re not getting punished. You can go back for now.”
Hearing Rupert’s words, the pageboy visibly calmed down and left the tent.
“Your Majesty, I’m afraid it’s because of that coffee you had last night…”
“That one huh…”
Hans pointed out that it might have to do with the coffee he drank at the meeting of the big three.
“It was certainly exquisite…. So you’re saying it’s because that was just extremely good. I sure would like to have some.”
Hans chuckled at Rupert’s words.
“I’m sure we can get it in the Empire, but I’m afraid it would be difficult here.”
“Then, how about taking it by force? From the premier duke of the Kingdom.”
Hans asked with a mischievous look on his face.
“Hard pass, thank you. Don’t want to make myself a laughing stock of the Empire for trying to rob some coffee beans only to have the tables turned on me.”
Rupert replied with a frown.
Although he wanted it, it was not that badly.
“Oh, right. Coffee aside. Hans, I assume you had something you wanted to discuss with me when you came in?”
“Your insight is as keen as ever, sir.”
In that respect, he’s indeed the man who reigned over the Empire for many years.
His powers of observation were a major force behind his wisdom.
“It’s about Baron Hagen Venda.”
“I feel that His Majesty Helmut’s actions are reckless…. Even if it is for the sake of marking memory, having a precious space-time magician join the delegation is just too…”
Hague, the pageboy, was Baron Hagen Venda.
And Baron Hagen Venda was in the delegation as a pageboy assigned to the former Emperor, by order of the current Emperor, Helmut VIII.
“Well, no use kicking a fuss. I don’t know whether it was Helmut’s idea or that of his entourage, but… I have no say in the matter.”
Former Emperor Rupert declared clearly.
“Yes. I am sorry.”
Count Hans Kirchhoff immediately apologized.
Ever since he stepped down from the Imperial throne, Rupert had consistently refused to meddle in the administration of his son, Helmut VIII.
The only exception was that he allowed himself to be picked as the head of the delegation.
“Hagen has a son. He should be 14 years old this year, I believe. He probably figured, even if something happened to Hagen, his son will manifest space-time magic.”
Hans nodded to Rupert’s words.
But then, with a faint smile, Rupert continued.
“But we both know that it’s not guaranteed. Perhaps there’s a significant reason enough to take such a gamble by sending this delegation to the west.”
“Something we are in the dark about…”
“Yeah. Now then, what could it be, I wonder…. It’s got me curious.”
In every age and every country, the center of politics was a place where the greedy and selfish assembled.
However, even those who had retired from the center of politics did not lead a peaceful and quiet life.
Once they got involved in politics, it would follow them to their deathbeds.
For better or worse.
In Rupert’s case, however…he seemed to have voluntarily given up his peaceful life…
Hans thought as he sighed a little in his mind.
(A peaceful life does not suit His Majesty Rupert…)