Chapter 107. Life (3)
That morning, two great things happened.
Calian had completed the fourth circle.
And fresh oysters were delivered along with the breakfast that had been prepared by the mayor of Critren City.
The people of this area, who resided quite close to Rivern and Secretia, enjoyed seafood more often than in other parts of Kyris, so when he saw the large raw oysters with that distinct smell of the sea, the corner of Calian’s lips kept fighting to go up.
Alan would have had so much to say, had he known that Calian was more thrilled about the raw oysters than he was about making the fourth mana circle.
Anyway, in that way, their first say in the Siegfried territory started out happily.
Yan, who had always ridden beside Calian, was now at the forefront of the group with Yuran. It was partly because as they passed, many people called out, offering their greetings and welcoming Yan back after his long time away, but more than that, it was because Arsen was glued to Calian’s side.
Arsen recalled the energy he had felt that morning when Calian had completed his fourth circle and said,
“Your highness’s energy as like a blade.”
Calian replied to the remark with a smirk,
“There’s a reason for that.”
Arsen waited for the explanation as to what that reason might be, but Calian did not say anything else afterwards. There must have been a reason that was difficult to bring up in this situation, so Arsen just nodded.
Calian, who was silent for a while as they passed several more streets, eventually pointed to Arsen’s hands,
“Yes, your highness?”
“The ice that you make – how strong is it exactly?”
Arsen, after a moment’s thought, asked,
“I’m sorry your highness, do you mind if you ask you to explain what exactly you mean when you ask about strength?”
Somehow, Arsen’s words always seemed to be longer than necessary.
He could have just asked him to explain what he meant – what so hard about that?
“Under how much force does the ice break? And how hard it can penetrate?”
Calian said with a calm gaze, as his memories shifted to Arsen’s ice spear, which could even penetrate a Swordmaster’s body.
Arsen thought it over.
Not only had he never considered something like this before, but he didn’t understand why Calian would ask him about the intensity of his magic.
Arsen eventually opened his mouth when he thought of a somewhat reasonable answer.
“I competed with Bern not long ago.”
Calian’s shoulders flinched back as he looked back at Arsen.
Then he managed to recall that the name Bern was also Kiriye’s surname now and realised Arsen was not talking about Crown Prince Bern from Secretia, but rather Kiriye Bern. Calian calmed down and said,
“I sent a spear of ice towards Bern back then.”
Of all things – he had done the same thing.
Calian smiled awkwardly as Arsen continued, looking a little apologetic.
“My ice spear broke Bern’s sword.”
Calian turned his head to his other side for a moment and looked at Kyrie, who was riding just out of earshot.
Kiriye glanced back at him and tilted his head, confused as to why Calian would glance at him so suddenly with a warm smile on his face.
Arsen, who wasn’t aware of Calian’s sudden warmth towards Kiriye, continued.
“Furthermore, my ice spear has been able to penetrate the trunk of a tree. As you’re aware of the strength of Bern’s sword, would this explanation be enough to help you gauge the answer?”
“Yes that’s plenty.”
It was true that Kiriye’s swordsmanship was outstanding.
Not only had Calian been teaching him well, his own talent and effort were considerable. In Calian’s view, excluding Yuran, he could would be able to hold his own even if he faced any one of Seigfried’s knights.
Of course, it was still far from the ‘strong’ that Calian wanted.
And if the ice spear was strong enough to only break Kiriye’s sword, it meant that this strength was also far from what Calian had wanted.
Arsen cautiously asked another question.
“Your highness, would it be possible for me to inquire as to why you might ask such a question?”
After hearing that overly polite way of speaking, Calian put his worries to the side for a moment, and laughed a little.
Calin had just realised when he had first met Arsen in this life.
When the deceased was crossing the river, the one who was seeing off the dead and the one who had crossed the river of death met again. He laughed at the irony once again.
Back then too, Arsen was as polite as he could have been, despite not knowing who Calian was. And being polite couldn’t be seen as a bad thing, but this overly humble disposition wasn’t exactly a good look for the future leader of Valkan either.
Therefore, Calian, irregardless of his personal tastes, decided that this too-polite attitude would need to be fixed.
As he was thinking, he glanced to the side and realised Arsen was still looking at Calian. Only then did he realise that he had been asked a question and quickly replied,
“Oh, since I can’t carry a sword around, I was thinking that I could try and replace the sword with something produced by magic.”
Since he already had the magic circle he had made using aura already.
“However, if even your magic can only be that strong, then it might not show much promise to create a sword from magic – I’ll have to think about it a little more.”
Arsen could not readily reply to Calian’s words. Of course, he could understand what Calian was worried about, but it wasn’t a matter that could easily be resolved.
And since Calian wasn’t really expecting much of a solution from Arsen anyway, he simply allowed his thoughts to wander as his hands reached out to stroke Raven’s mane.