Chapter 27. Until You Have A Proper Hand (2)
“Your Majesty, it seems that Alan Manassil has come to visit.”
Rumein halted on the spot.
Alan Manassil was one of three 7th-circle mages in the whole continent. However, unlike the other two, he was a haughty man of talent who refused to settle down in one country. Rumein, too, recognised the sheer amount of power that the mage’s name held. After all, it was not an exaggeration for Calian to conclude that he would earn his right to fight for the throne if he had Alan on his side.
“Bring him to my study right away,” commanded Rumein, who wasn’t so much as willing to sacrifice five minutes for the princes. This was the same man who was reigning over a country that took up half the continent and therefore could not waste any second of the day.
As a result, Alan was able to continue his journey all the way to Arpia Palace—where Rumein awaited—in his fancy carriage without having to switch over to the palace’s small carriage.
It was exactly 9:30 as if he had planned everything out.
Coincidentally, there were many noblemen gathered in front of Arpia Palace: palace clerks who were unhurriedly reporting to Narsil Pavillion thanks to the late start of the day during the celebration, ambassadors who were returning to Rubia Pavillion after sharing breakfast with the foreign affairs minister, and even those who were about to leave after meeting the King. Thus, many noblemen were able to witness the silent arrival of the black nacre carriage that would soon bring turmoil to Kailis.
“Isn’t that Alan Manassil’s crest?”
“Well… I did hear that his contract with Liebern was over.”
“But why is he in Kailis? Both his mind and his body would be more at ease if he continued to stay in Liebern.”
“He went through that incident. There’s no way that he would’ve been at ease. If it weren’t for his ties to the King of Liebern, he would’ve left a long time ago.”
“Huh? Oh, right… I forgot about that.”
The door of the carriage opened, and the crowd halted their discussion regarding Alan’s purpose of visit.
The mage slowly dismounted the carriage as if he had been waiting for the crowd to fall silent. His silver-to-red gradient hair glistened under the sun, and the noblemen’s mouths gaped open as they confirmed that the man was indeed none other than Alan Manassil.
Alan looked around slowly. The tattered robe he wore on the first day was nowhere to be seen. Instead, he wore a red robe for everyone to see, embroidered with an emblem that symbolised his status as a 7th-circle mage. His keen eyes gleamed coldly, and an icy smile settled onto his lips.
A middle-aged man approached him and greeted him with respect. “It is our greatest pleasure to have you, Sir Manassil. My name is Raoul Hardt, and I serve His Majesty as his grand chamberlain. His Majesty is awaiting your visit; please allow me to take you to him.”
The crowd stirred once again as Rumein’s intentions of sending the grand chamberlain himself was clear. Alan, of course, was accustomed to receiving such a welcome wherever he went. He nodded and followed the chamberlain into the palace.
“Do you think he’s actually planning to stay in Kailis?”
“If not, why would he be here? There’s no way that the famous Alan Manassil would have just visited to wish His Majesty happy birthday only to leave right away.”
The nobles were swept with various speculations. It was to be expected. Alan Manassil had come to visit Rumein, who was practically under Silica’s thumb. They had to prepare themselves for the result that his visit would bring to this country.
“This way, sir.”
On the other hand, when Alan stepped into the hallway and ensured that there was nobody around him, the corners of his lips spasmed ever so slightly as he fixed his eyes on the back of Raoul’ head. He had remembered his new student grinning as they parted.
“You must arrive at exactly 9:30 in the morning. Through the ‘open gates’, of course.”
To keep his promise, Alan wore the gaudy robe awarded to him by the Mages’ Union that he had never worn before and mounted the large carriage that was gifted to him by the King of Liebern. He had entered the palace through the wide-open gates. As Calian had intended, Alan had arrived just when numerous noblemen were gathered around Arpia Palace.
Alan smiled discreetly. Seems like my dear student is planning to let the world know that he now has me by his side.
The door to Rumein’s study opened. When Alan stepped inside, Rumein was sitting on his sofa that was used for greeting guests. He was not holding anything.
“Alan Manassil.” Alan greeted Rumein using the same facial expression and tone of voice as when he greeted Calian.
Rumein acknowledged him by giving a slight nod. Unlike Calian, he knew that Alan was much older than himself despite looking very young and was not taken aback.
“Yes. Come and take a seat.” Rumein pointed at the couch across from him, and Alan did not refuse. The mage sat down and faced Rumein. While Rumein gazed at Alan with his deep eyes and organised his thoughts, Alan picked up the cup in front of him and sipped some tea.
“I was informed of what happened on the first day. I would like to formally apologise.”
“First day…” muttered Alan before smiling gently. “What do you owe me an apology for, Your Majesty?”
Rumein narrowed his eyes. The meaning behind Alan’s words wasn’t quite as gentle as his smile.
What happened at the palace gates was merely the guard being discourteous, and he had expected Alan to understand that his apology was referring to the guard’s rudeness. Yet, Alan was asking about this quite straightforward story. It was clear that he wanted to know how much Rumein knew about this event.
“I was only told that your reason for visit was unclear. I did not hear anything from the third prince.”
As Duke Slayman had anticipated, Rumein didn’t ask Calian anything. To be exact, he couldn’t ask anything. Therefore, all Rumein knew was that Calian had chased after Alan who was enraged by the guard’s attitude and was about to turn back.
“If so, there is nothing that you must apologise for. I had a pleasant conversation with the prince and was offered an explanation as to what happened in front of the gates. I suppose it would be more accurate to say that I was scolded for nitpicking at the guards… in any case, things have been resolved now.”
Rumein’s eyes filled up with questions. He wondered if he had just heard correctly about Calian scolding Alan. Before Rumein could ask anything, Alan continued.
“Is there an estate in Kailis that I may reside in, Your Majesty?”
Rumein’s head spun as Alan jumped right to his point.