Episode 2: I Haven’t Grown That Much – Chapter 6.1
Calian spent a hectic week of waking up to the scent of tea, getting prepared in the morning and eating breakfast, and attending various lessons.
In the meanwhile, he fought with Franz three more times.
Calian almost killed Franz at one point, pretending it to be a mistake, and Franz had turned angrily quiet after that.
What was really surprising was Franz’s impressive ability with the sword. Calian’s own strength was terrible, of course, but Franz had done a fair job of blocking his attacks. To come from a family known for knights was not meaningless.
Franz still glared daggers at Calian every time he saw him, but the number of times Franz made his scowling remarks against him decreased significantly. That small mercy made Calian content for now.
One morning before breakfast, as Calian sat in front of a mirror while a maidservant brushed his hair, Yan approached him and informed him of the day’s schedule.
“– and lastly Viscount Brissen, the Queen’s relative, will join you all at dinner.”
He was the second son of King Brissen and the brother of Queen Silica. Although he was born into a historic family of knights, he lacked skill with the sword and abandoned his weapon early on. He instead settled in one of the highest residences in Kailis.
‘He’s not competent enough to manage it though, so he essentially spend a fortune to have someone else administer it instead. However, the fact that he owns that much wealth means he’s still capable at something.’
“Are there no other nobles besides Viscount Brissen who is visiting?”
“None. I was supposed to prepare something for the last day of celebrations, but other matters have let me elsewhere. I apologize for not fulfilling my task, but I have to meet with the other princes.”
“In that case, I allow you to visit Franz.”
Yan’s face stiffened when he referred directly to Franz’s name. Calian knew that from Yan’s point of view that he would find it difficult to answer, so Calian spoke again.
“I’ve already known it anyways.”
Then Yan opened his mouth again, with something else left to say.
“And I have something to tell you.”
However, Yan hesitated, so Calian nodded encouragingly.
“Your safe will need to be opened for a while. Would you like me to do it this time?”
‘A safe? Do I own something like that?’
He thought he was a penniless prince, but he supposed must have some money. Calian quickly searched his memory, and realized that the silver furniture in the corner of his bedroom was a safe.
He mistook it for a chair, and so he sat down on it sometimes. No wonder it was solid as a rock.
“What’s in the safe?”
Yan couldn’t finish his sentence. There could only be one reason for that: It had something to do with Freya. Yan continued forward carefully.
“It’s the earnings sent by the caretaker of the Whitlin family.”
‘My mother’s name was Freya Whitlin. Then the wealth must be hers.‘
Perhaps King Rumein had given the concubine some wealth, and Calian seemed to have inherited it, without it passing over to another nobleman after her death. At the news of this unexpected income, Calian said,
“Let’s check this together. I wonder how much there is.”
“Yes, I see. And–”
Calian was ready for breakfast now, but he could sense that Yan had something else he wanted to add and nodded again.
“Well, when the prince turns fifteen, you’re allowed to hire two more men.”
He didn’t know that.
“As you will turn fifteen this year, the internal affairs official asked you to select two men to serve you. You may employ them two or three months in advance of your birthday if you wish. And if you don’t have a particular person in mind, the official can assign them for you.”
In summary of the news, Yan said,
“Why don’t you hire them like as guards like the two other princes?”
Calian remembered the servants who always seemed to follow Randall and Franz. Since they carried no swords, Calian assumed they were regular servants. He responded with new understanding on his face.
“They were guards. No wonder they looked so big.”
The Kailis princes other than the crown prince were not given any personal guards. The amusing part was that the fiercest of battles were usually fought amongst the princes, not the crown prince.
For that reason the princes personally hired guards, but this was not permitted in the city, so it was customary for the guards to be disguised as a servants instead. As carrying a sword would make them noticeable, those who were skilled with smaller throwable weapons would be selected.
Calian had known this, but he didn’t know he would be allowed additional men when he turned fifteen.
‘Did the original Calian have guards?’
If Yan had said this in the previous life and Calian had the money to hire guards, it was highly likely that he would have done so.
Calian had magic. There were guards. And yet he was assassinated. This was a formidable assassin capable of overcoming a three circle mage.
Calian absentmindedly brushed his hand against his heart.
‘No. If it had been disguised as suicide, then it would be a clean job. If Calian were a capable mage, he would have left a trail of aggression or defense behind. It is more likely that the original Calian was not in a state where he could use magic like myself now.’
In any case, Calian had died two or three months before his birthday, and the guards were also likely assigned two or three months before his birthday. It was a strange coincidence.
Either the guards didn’t stop the assassin, or one of the guards was an assassin. A multitude of other possibilities swirled in his mind.
Whatever the answer was, the guards would bring no benefit to him.
“I think we should not hire them. There are others that may have thought of it too.”
Yan looked stunned at his answer, but Calian did not elaborate any further.
Of course, it was the child that Calian wanted by his side. But there was a problem.
“I’m not completely sure, but I believe the person I want is a commoner. Will that be alright?”
The person Calian wanted as his guard would be a superior rank to Yan, who was a mere attendant.
But Yan was also a staunch aristocrat. Calian seemed to be asking if he could treat a commoner as his better.
An expression crossed Yan’s features that seemed to say, “Why are you asking me that?” Calian always felt that Yan was the type to reveal his thoughts on his face.
“If he will be your guard, then I do not mind. It’s not only nobles that can only serve the prince.”
What mattered now was not the status of the person guarding the prince, but the fact that there was someone who was even willing to be a guard at all. Hurry now and bring them here, what matters of their status?
Calian grinned after reading Yan’s thoughts.
Is was truly a “Yan surrenders” response.
“If someone is qualified to be a worthy knight, why not make them your attendant first and if the opportunity comes give him the title of knight?” Yan said.
Although Calian was royal, he was not at liberty to confer a title as he pleased. Unless the person had made a great achievement for the country, he couldn’t increase one’s status as he liked. For that reason, in these types of cases the guards would generally accompany the princes as attendants before it came the time to confer the title of a knight.
“You’re right. It’s not something we can do right away. Tell the internal affairs official that I’ll take care of it.”
The first problem was that Calian first had to find out where this person was. Calian wasn’t sure if he could be found in the capital city of Kailis.
“I’ll let him know,” Yan said.
“So is that all?”
“No, there’s one more thing.”
Calian nodded, allowing him permission to continues speaking. Yan felt like he was swallowing needles dry before continuing.
“Do you have to keep exercising?”
He was referring to physical training that Calian had imposed on himself for the past week. It wasn’t particularly rigorous, only three or four laps around the man-made lake in front of the palace, and he couldn’t do much more than that.
Perhaps because he was not active much until now, but he felt more energetic than before. However, he also lost some weight, piquing Yan’s concern.
“If I do it steadily, I’ll be fine,” Calian replied.
It meant that he would continue. Yan gave a low sigh as if he expected this answer.
“I’ll talk to the chef and have him pay special attention to your diet. Breakfast can’t be helped, but you must eat your entire meal for lunch and dinner.”
Calian could manage that.
“I understand. Thank you.”
Yan was starting to get used to Calian’s remarks of gratitude, and he gave a little smile. He then gestured politely at the door in indication that it was time to go to breakfast.
Ugh. Calian had no desire to go.