Chapter 36. This Is Way Too Explicit (3)
It couldn’t be more stuck up, thought Calian as he steered Raven along the road.
Raven was currently walking with its head held high through the crowd that was split in the middle like waves. It was clear from the way that it was clacking its hooves louder than usual that it was enjoying the crowd’s attention.
I’ve seen many horses in my life, but I’ve never seen any quite like this one. Calian took his eyes off Raven’s black mane that fluttered in the air every time it took a step.
Looking back, it was Calian’s first time properly traveling outside the palace since he woke up in Kailis. Although he had gone out to the plaza in order to catch up to Alan, he didn’t have the chance to look around since it was dark and he could only think about Alan back then.
Kailisys sure has good infrastructure. It’s quite impressive that a road like this connects to cities all over Kailis.
The Royal Road was quite impressive in that it was a bold move that could only be carried out by a powerful nation. This road was a sign of confidence—confidence that no enemy would dare use this road to attack Kailis.
They would have taken this road to attack Secretia.
It was a memory that he couldn’t avoid remembering. Calian’s gaze traveled over to Franz, who was sitting on his horse with his eyes closed.
…he sure has a temper, thought Calian, glancing at the cuts that were etched onto the back of Franz’s hand. I just thought that the son took after his mother. I never expected that they would be on bad terms.
That morning, Calian had unintentionally heard Franz yelling at his attendants. He had kept the window open to enjoy the nice weather, and Franz’s room was directly above Calian’s. Calian was surprised to hear Yan mutter something about Silica visiting again. He never knew that Franz and Silica didn’t get along.
“It seems like we’re almost at our destination, Your Highness,” whispered Yan.
Calian finally shooed away his thoughts, moved his gaze away from Franz, and looked around the streets. Gorgeous buildings—although not as luxurious as the mansions on Aynansha Street where the noble families lived—lined up one after another. They were on Astrisha Street, a central region for high-end stores and cultural facilities for nobles. The showground owned by Pollun Merchantry that was at the end of this street was their destination.
Calian glanced at the group of children who were watching the march of the King from afar. Judging from their outfit, they don’t seem to be children of nobles… maybe they came all the way here just to watch. When Calian smiled gently at the group of commoner kids, they seemed visibly shocked.
“They’re quite cute,” chuckled Calian, appreciating their innocence.
“They look older than you, Your Highness,” replied Yan, raising his eyebrows as if Calian had said something nonsensical.
Calian smiled awkwardly. He was still not used to being trapped in such a young body.
Just then, he noticed another boy who was standing a little distance away from the group, although gazing at the march all the same. The clothes that he wore seemed much more ragged even in comparison to the commoners around him. He was staring at the knights of Kaela, who was wearing their ceremonial attire as they guarded Rumein. While everybody else stared at the King, Queen, and the princes, he was the only one whose gaze was elsewhere. Finding it strange, Calian subconsciously focused his attention on the boy.
Calian’s smile disappeared from his face.
His aqua hair stood out even from afar. His skin was slightly on the darker side, and he was already tall for a child. Although he was very similar in appearance to the child that Calian intended to find and keep as his guard, he couldn’t be sure of it because of the distance. Just as Calian wished that he could take a closer look, he heard Yan panic beside him.
“Why is he doing this all of a sudden…?!”
Calian turned towards Yan in surprise to find his attendant flustered as he tried to steer Raven, who had strayed to the side towards the boy with aqua hair. Raven had once again read Calian’s thoughts. Calian hurriedly stroked the side of Raven’s neck.
“No, Raven. Not now. You can’t go that way,” whispered Calian.
Raven finally turned to the front and started walking again. Yan, who was surprised at Raven’s sudden defiance, sighed in relief.
“I’m incredibly sorry, Your Highness.”
“That was my fault. It’s alright.”
When Calian glanced to the side once again, the boy with aqua hair was nowhere to be seen. Calian desperately looked around as if he were looking for something very dear to him.
Kyrie was an orphan who had taken refuge in Secretia after losing many things in Kailis. He was also a genius swordsman. Bern recognised Kyrie’s talent and taught him how to use the sword; Kyrie, in return, gave Bern his life.
On Bern’s final day, Kyrie had used his body to shield Bern from a rain of arrows.
Wait for me. I promise that I’ll find you soon.
Calian tried his hardest to calm his racing heart and determined to delay his contact with Kyrie.
“We have arrived, Your Highness.” As Yan spoke once again, the knights busied themselves and started moving into position.
The showground appeared before them. The outer wall was constructed with stone; its black and white granite appearance reminded Calian of the palace’s Narsil Pavillion.
Soon, Calian dismounted from Raven’s back, and Yan handed over Raven’s reign to the showground’s servant.
“His Highness is very fond of this horse, so please take care when handling him. Promise me to be very, very careful,” said Yan with a tone of pity in his voice. Yan knew how bad Raven’s temper was, and Yan’s face spoke for himself: When His Highness isn’t present, he’s quite… tricky.
To their side was a red carpet that stretched all the way to the front gates of the showground. It was clearly set down to greet the royal family.
“You have my welcome. It is my greatest honour to have you.”
And there stood Melfir Pollun.
* * *
Melfir Pollun was a round man with short grey hair. The first impression of Lennon Brissen, the owner of Brissen Merchantry, and that of Melfir Pollun, the owner of Pollun Merchantry, showed great contrast. In that short moment of greeting, Melfir met eyes with every member of the royal family and smiled. It was an action taken to examine the other party while leaving an impression of himself. He was clearly different in gravity from Lennon, who never thought before he spoke.
“Let me take you inside,” said Melfir, leading the way.
As Calian followed in, he looked around to search for the place where the accident had occurred. Not long after, Calian’s eyes sharpened as he focused on one area.
There it is.
It wasn’t difficult to find the object that had caused the accident. It was a large basket that contained petals and confetti that would embellish the show’s finale. That was the only temporary structure held by a rope.