Chapter 138. Long Time (12)
“Why did you cover for me from Randell’s sight? It would be wiser for you to be careful even with me. Besides, you didn’t trust me either, did you?”
It was illogical.
Planche was not someone who would aid Callian. He was well aware of how cruelly Planche treated the old Callian, so he was certain that Planche would never do anything good for him.
“There’s no such bond between us that I recall.”
“I recall it at least.”
Planche, after uttering that, gave a short laugh. His demeanor still seemed like he was questioning Callian’s real identity. It might not be doubt but rather assurance.
Rather than replying about his memories, Callian inquired again,
“I asked, why did you intervene to conceal it?”
Planche stayed quiet for a while in reply. Callian gazed at Planche. Planche’s eyes moved towards the direction of Heisha Palace.
Where Silica was.
“Whatever power you possess, you can’t beat Randell anyway. Neither can I.”
“So, are you implying that Randell chose to assist me because he was unable to defeat your mother?”
Callian’s eyes tightened.
It was almost as if he wanted Callian to banish Silica.
“Do you realize what you just uttered?”
At Callian’s question, Planche turned his face to look at Callian.
A younger brother murdered, an older brother escaping to another country, and a father accused of treason. After rising to the empty throne, he was named the Mad King.
Callian, who remembered all of that, quietly looked into Planche’s eyes and saw what was inside.
A moment elapsed.
Callian said in a low voice, “You never planned to go to Camillon Palace, did you?”
Planche remained silent.
The war that Planche initiated was undoubtedly the reason for the second life that Callian was living now, which he did not want.
The contempt and abuse that Planche imposed also influenced why the previous Callian had such a life.
Because of this, Callian couldn’t let go of all his anger for Planche in a single chat. He couldn’t be a nice person who would show sympathy or kindness for Planche, who was used as a means to give power to Silica.
However, Callian altered his attitude somewhat, deciding not to cast the darkness of past misfortunes on Planche, as he did with Arsen Hertz. That was the greatest concession that the present Callian could make.
As a consequence of this new comprehension of Planche, Callian changed his decision about skipping breakfast, which he had originally intended to do.
After all, what Planche wanted to communicate when he came that dawn was a message for Callian to join breakfast without arousing suspicions needlessly so that Randell wouldn’t be suspicious of anything.
‘Though that message had too many things attached to it’
When Callian announced his plan to join breakfast, Yan eagerly sped up the arrangements, resulting in Callian being prepared a bit sooner than usual. Of course, Callian’s inability to sleep again after Planche vanished beyond the window also helped with this.
In any case, with some extra time, Callian looked at the stack of gift boxes in one corner of the room and said to Yan.
“Let’s look at the gifts now. We can examine them, then go to breakfast.”
Since Callian had been lost in thoughts for the last two days, he had delayed opening the gifts. However, motivated by the chat with Planche, Callian added two criteria.
“Gifts from knight families, and those from fairly reliable sources.”
“You mean knight families, not mages?”
Callian nodded and gave an explanation.
“Currently, mages with skills will be associated with Master’s mage guild. And any future mage with talent will come under my control through the magic academy. In that process, their families will naturally ally with me, so there’s no need to specifically please them.”
Would the knight’s power be dispensable if I acquired the power of mages?
Of course not.
“Mages are strong, but they’re not plentiful. If, for example, Brissen vanished suddenly, nobles spread across Kairis or conflict from other countries might pose a problem that the mage guild alone couldn’t cope with.”
Callian was correct.
Brissen’s knights intimidated Romain while also protecting Kairis and its royal family. Therefore, if they were to disappear overnight, the danger to the royalty and their defense would vanish at the same time. It was a paradoxical situation.
This was why Callian couldn’t just resort to violence and kill Silica and the Marquis of Briarsen right away. It was different from dealing with Gray, which was a necessary evil.
“To avoid the need for such actions, there must be a knight force to replace Brissen’s knights. I can’t drag elephants into my own fights. Instead, I need to cooperate with knight families that seem agreeable to me.”
As Slayman told his daughter, Demirea, Siegfried wasn’t one of those who aimed to be a king. Therefore, they couldn’t be considered as part of Kairis.
Listening to Callian’s explanation, Yan nodded and picked a few gifts from the many, putting them in front of Callian. These were gifts from small to mid-sized knight families. Since the number was more than anticipated, Callian, who was briefly pondering the gift boxes, spoke.
“It might be hard to meet them one by one.”
Callian, who had learned their names well, got up from his seat. As he headed to the dining hall, he began to think about how to meet them without drawing Brissen’s attention.
Count Eiprin, the leader of a knightly family whose power was said to have been greatly affected by Brissen, sent oatmeal cookies that were made by the Countess herself. They were different from the gifts of various jewels or valuable leather, which was why Callian liked them the most.
Allen, who grabbed one of the cookies and ate it, asked, “Do you intend to look into Prince Randell? If needed, I can summon the head of the association.'”
Hearing this, Callian, who had completed breakfast without any trouble, came back, sat across from Allen, and laughed out loud. This was because he thought of Euria, the leader of the Kairis Sorcerer’s Association and the head of Polune Magic Academy, who also acted as the chief of Callian’s private information network.
“No need for the head of the association to show up. Don’t you know it’s pointless? Randell is in a similar position as me right now. Unless he personally confesses and discloses what power he’s concealing, you won’t discover anything even if you look into it.”
For someone to find out that Callian is actually Bern, Callian would have to admit it himself. Until then, there would be no way to reveal what Callian was hiding.
The same applied to Randell. It would be impossible to find out unless he told them that he could use the power of the divine.
“One thing I’m wondering about is why he planted that rose in the garden where everyone could see it. Because of that, everyone started doubting Randell.”
In reply, Allen answered with a gentle smile.
“If it’s a secret that won’t be exposed anyway, you might have thought it was fine to show it once. Our considerate prince has also behaved as if he were living only for today, saying he would rescue Kyrie, didn’t he?”
He was referring to the day when they went to the gambling den and made a scene. Mentioning that day, Allen’s words made Callian flush with embarrassment.
Actually, Allen’s words were right.
When Randell heard the news of Callian banishing Lennon and went to the garden, he grew a rose that resembled him. Callian, who didn’t know about it, felt like he had gained one unsolvable mystery.
Soon, Callian took the black pebble from his pocket and put it on the table.
“In any case, to find out why this and Randell’s power reacted, we need to make Randell act. By doing that, he will disclose why he grew flowers in the garden and what he has been hiding. But there is only one way to make Randell act, isn’t there?”
As Callian said this, Allen, looking at him, smiled knowingly. There was a time when Allen told Romain that if Callian sent Silica away, Randell would act too.
“Getting rid of Silica. When only Randell and I are left, we’ll have no choice but to disclose what we’ve been hiding.”
Callian, repeating Allen’s words from that time, continued.
“Of course, I’m in the same situation.”
What will be greater: what the priest, who uses the power of the divine, is hiding, or what the mage with the memories of a Swordmaster is hiding?
Open it, and you’ll see.
“So, I have one request.”
Callian, with a smile similar to Allen’s, opened his mouth again.
“I want to have a private chat with His Majesty. Without anyone knowing.”
Allen nodded and smiled humorously at the request of a son to have a secret chat with his father. He ate another oatmeal cookie that would not appeal to the preferences of nobles.