Chapter 42. I Mean No Harm (1)
That late afternoon, Calian opened the vault by manipulating the magic pattern lock. Old Calian didn’t have a memory of unlocking the vault because he had never unlocked it himself, so Calian could only rely on his own memory of Yan opening it before. After getting it wrong a few times, he finally managed to unlock it.
The vault was just big enough for Calian to step in. Inside the vault, as he had seen before, there were a few documents and quite a lot of money. After staring at them for a bit, Calian picked up a handful each of gold, silver, and copper coins and placed them in a pouch. He left the cheques in the vault and stuffed the pouch in his inner pocket.
“Sorry. I’ll borrow just a little bit,” whispered Calian.
Yan, who would have asked what part of that money was “a little bit”, was already outside; hence, nobody replied to Calian’s words.
In front of Chermil Palace, Alan was waiting for Calian with Yan, holding a black robe. Beside him, Raven stood with one leg bent as if to boast his horsely dignity.
“Raven,” called Calian in delight. Raven responded with a whinny.
Yan handed over Raven’s reigns to Calian and asked anxiously, “Are you sure that you would be alright without me, Your Highness?”
He seemed to have forgotten that Calian would be accompanied by the world’s strongest mage. Calian nodded firmly and mounted his horse. Alan narrowed his eyes as we watched his student mount his horse with even greater ease than before. Although it looked like a lot was going through his mind, Alan soon dismissed his thoughts.
“Don’t worry about things you don’t need to worry about. His Majesty gave permission, and I will be by his side as well,” said Alan to Yan.
“Yeah, don’t worry. I’ll be back by daybreak tomorrow,” said Calian without warning. Raven took it as a signal to gallop off.
Yan’s eyes looked as if they would bulge out of their sockets. “Tomorrow? You promised to come back before midnight, Your Highness!”
Of course, Calian was already far away. Alan pat Yan’s shoulders as if to cheer him up and followed after Calian. After successfully leaving behind Yan and leaving the palace with Alan’s company serving as assurance to the King, Calian quickly put on the robe that Alan had given him. Its large hood veiled his hair and eyes.
“I used to cover my face for an entirely different reason… this feels a little strange,” said Calian excitedly. After all, this was the first time that he had any time to himself since waking up in Calian’s body.
“Are you that excited?” asked Alan.
“Yes, I… was looking forward to this very much.”
He had managed to stop himself from blurting out it’s been a while since I had last gone out. This was Old Calian’s first outing, after all. Alan replied with a smile and nodded.
Calian ruffled Raven’s mane. “Did His Majesty really give permission?”
“Well, Rumein should’ve gotten the report regarding Your Highness’s outing about now,” replied Alan nonchalantly, as if it were none of his business. It was clear that he hadn’t told Rumein about this.
“I figured as much.” Calian wasn’t particularly worried. He trusted Alan to handle it.
Rumein had indeed just received a report that Calian left the palace, which he simply brushed off with a nod. He also trusted Alan to take care of Calian.
“I’ll be off then, teacher.”
Therefore, Alan—who was supposed to take responsibility for this outing—raised his eyebrows when Calian dropped this news on him.
“Are you saying that you will leave me behind as well?”
“Yes,” nodded Calian without hesitation.
The purpose of Calian’s outing was to purchase some materials needed in order to fight against Silica’s poisonous tea. He was also planning to find Kyrie while he was at it. He couldn’t let Alan come along as all of this required him to act not as Calian, but as Bern.
Calian even put up a show in preparation for his outing. This morning, he dropped the tea and pretended that it was an accident in order not to take the poison. If something were to happen when he was roaming around alone, he at least had to be able to run away. Although it was a method that he wouldn’t be able to use twice, it didn’t matter as he planned to keep drinking the tea from tomorrow on.
“I’ll be back before sunrise,” added Calian.
After a moment of thought, Alan nodded. “The Mages’ Union headquarters is on Teinansha Street. I will be stalling there, so please come by when your business is over.”
In fact, he had given his permission so easily that Calian was the one who was taken aback.
The spies who were dispatched in Kailisys had already sent Secretia a map of this city during Bern’s lifetime. In fact, Bern knew his way around Kailisys better than Old Calian.
Calian nodded confidently. “Yes, teacher. Thank you.”
Alan did not probe further about what Calian was planning to do, nor did Calian bring up the subject. They split up as soon as they reached the plaza.
* * *
Calian’s first destination was Vanensha Street, which was across the Ceignes River and to the East.
—Clip clop, clip clop!
Since it was in the law of Kailisys that one must not run on horses, Calian controlled Raven at a trotting pace. The rhythmical echo of Raven’s hooves striking the pavement lifted up Calian’s mood. Calian smiled as he nodded in sync to Raven’s movement.
It wasn’t difficult to find Vanensha Street. Although it was almost sundown, the street was filled with constant hammering noises; Calian only needed to follow the sound. As he sniffed the metallic scent in the air, he was filled up with a sudden reminiscence.
“Who knew that I’d be so happy to smell this scent again… after I was so fed up with it,” muttered Calian.