Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
It was the season when new students would be entering the academy soon, and everywhere in the academy district was busy. A few days after his date with Krone, Ain visited Kaizer, who, although it was spring break, was unaffected by it.
“Hmm? I don’t understand what you’re saying.”
“Eh? Instructor Kaizer is a former adventurer, right?”
Kaizer, who gradually developed a blue vein, finally said in a harsh voice.
“As I said! You’re the crown prince! So for what purpose does the crown prince want to go in and out of the guild?”
“I think I’m going to need information on adventurers, so I’ll be visiting the guild more often.”
“And you can’t tell me what that is?”
With a mysterious atmosphere, Ain shakes his head.
The moment Kaizer opened his mouth to say, “Then──.” Ain smiled at once.
“Actually, my grandfather told me that instructor Kaizer is allowed to know about it, so maybe he can explain the situation ─ ouch, it hurts!”
It’s been a while since Ain visited Kaizer, and Kaizer’s fist echoed in his head.
“O-okay, I’ll tell you, but! There’s usually no one who can hit the crown prince!”
“You can rest assured. His Majesty has given me his permission.”
“So my family was the culprit… I didn’t realize I was losing from the start.”
What are you losing to? Kaizer muttered in his mind.
Ain explains the situation and the approximate flow of events, although it is a bit tedious. After listening to it, Kaizer couldn’t help but hold his head because the story was much bigger than he had imagined.
“Hey, hey, hey… even the word Demon King appears? Ain’s physical condition is also important.”
“It’s a highly classified matter, so please keep it that way. However, my grandfather said that the secret maintenance allowance would be provided for a while so that you can eat something delicious.”
“…I’m not too happy about that.”
With a big sigh, Kaizer took out a pen and paper from his desk.
“I’ll write you a letter of introduction. If I introduce you, maybe you won’t be treated badly.”
“Thank you very much.”
“Being an adventurer is a meritocracy. I’ve been retired for a long time, but I’m sure the adventurers will be more than willing to teach you a few things with my introduction. …Anyway, you still can’t move openly as a royal family or as a nation, right?”
“Yes. If it costs money, we have a duty to inform the people.”
They can’t inform them yet. So that’s why he can’t act openly.
“Do you think they’ll find out about me if I show my real face?”
“How could the hero who has defeated the sea dragon not be recognized? Good grief, you didn’t have any idea what you were getting into? You should talk to Majolica about it; that guy might have a good magic tool for you.”
“So, Instructor Kaizer is acquainted with Majolica-san?”
“Nothing special; that guy and I used to be in the same party.”
Ain was so surprised by the unexpected fact that he almost fell to the ground.
“E-eh? Majolica-san and Instructor Kaizer…?”
“Yeah. He was the best support I’ve ever known. No one I know could have done it better than him.”
“…Did he always have that kind of fashion?”
Oh, yes. Ain nodded.
“…I’ll try to see him tomorrow.”
Ain said with a bitter smile.
──Majolica Magic Stone Store is located in the back of the main street.
It has a reputation among adventurers as a hidden gem store. But, perhaps because the word “hidden” is attached to it, there was not a single customer in the morning when Ain went there with Chris.
“There were no customers at all.”
Ain muttered to himself.
“…Your Highness? You don’t have to glance at the store like that. My store, in fact, is in full swing in the evening.”
Majolica said with a wry smile as he walked out.
“Um… why in the evening?”
“Because the adventurers are coming back. They will come to sell the magic stones they have hunted. Other than that, it’s just rich people or their servants who come to buy things in the morning.”
Especially on weekdays, he said, you can’t expect customers while it’s still light.
“That’s all right. Come on, you two. Come on in.”
As soon as he stepped into the store, Ain was distracted by the magic stone. The store smells quite good today as well.
“You can’t do that, Ain-sama. There’s something you need to do first, isn’t there?”
“Ara, are you looking for me instead of the magic stone?”
Ain nodded obediently.
“Hmm… that’s why Your Highness is acting differently than usual, huh? Well, you two wait here for a bit. I’m going to close the store for now.”
Majolica made quick work of closing the store and quickly returned to Ain’s side.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you, Your Highness. I wonder if it’s because of the changes in your body that you’ve been absent for so long?”
The eyes that were pointed at Ain were sharpened like a greatsword, and there was a sense of intimidation that prevented even a word of excuse.
“Your Highness. Are you really Your Highness?”
The words suddenly chilled the atmosphere in the store, changing it into something otherworldly.
“Um, what do you mean by that?”
“Let me put it this way. Are you a person? Or a monster? I wonder which.”
“Majolica-san! That’s so disrespectful!”
Chris, who was furious, slammed the counter strongly and stood up. It’s true that if one only listens to the words, it’s nothing but rudeness, but Ain restrains her with his hand.
“I’ve been through a lot, but I’m still a person. How about that?”
He replied calmly and without showing any signs of being upset.
“…I see. I’m sorry for the suddenness, Your Highness. And Chris, too.”
It was a frank apology, but Chris didn’t seem to have forgiven him completely, and her hands were clenched tightly.
“But Majolica-san, why do you ask that question?”
“From the perspective of someone like me who has been doing sealing for a living, Your Highness looks like a monster. For example, you look like a monster that has evolved by eating magic stones.”
“Oh, you’re not wrong. I have that kind of ability.”
“It’s okay. I don’t think it’s a problem to tell Majolica-san.”
In the first place, it was necessary to tell the story of how Dullahan’s power caused him to go out of control. At this point, Ain finally told Majolica the same thing he had told Kaizer yesterday.
“Sigh… Chris, is it true what Your Highness said?”
Chris nodded her head.
She told Majolica about the synergy between Ain’s Toxin Decomposition EX and the Dryad’s Absorption skill. In addition, she also told Majolica about what had happened to Ain in Euro.
“Your Highness, you’re just like a World Tree.”
Majolica responded to Ain with a question mark.
“It is the founder of the Dryads. That is the World Tree. It protects those who live near it, and if there are any evil monsters, it sucks them all up, like a god.”
“The founder… you mean the Dryad was born from the World Tree?”
“According to legend, yes. It’s because of Dryad’s blood that I feel there is a connection with you, Your Highness.”
“I see. That’s true.”
“So now I understand the situation. And that’s why you came to me when you heard from Kaizer.”
Majolica then stood up and quickly brewed a cup of tea for Ain and Chris. Soon after pouring some for himself into a large mug, he stood facing the counter.
“I know a little bit about the Red Fox, as well as clues about Your Highness’ condition.”
“Yes. I once read a book about the Red Fox. According to the records, they were either allies or enemies of many different species, and they were a troublesome lot.”
When Ain repeatedly nodded as if to encourage him to continue, Majolica added, “And…”
“There’s one more thing I know. The Red Fox can strengthen and control monsters. But, unfortunately, I didn’t have any interest in it at the time, so I didn’t really pay attention to it…”
“Where did you read that book?”
“Wait a minute. There’s a map here… Oh, there it is.”
The map on the counter depicts the continent Ishtar. Some of the cities are circled in red on the map.
“It’s here. Ist, the city of magic. It’s a big city that’s at the forefront of mage research and the birthplace of new technology. Considering Your Highness’ physical condition, this may be the best place to get information.”
Majolica pointed to a place a little to the northwest of the royal capital located on the eastern side of the continent. In the south of the map, there were the words of the port city Magna.
“There is a huge building called the Tower of Wisdom in Ist, which is known as the holy land of research. It’s a huge research facility that sits in the center of Ist. It was built more than a hundred years ago by the researchers and merchants of the time.”
“Wow… there’s something like that, huh?”
“The energy produced by the magic stones is essential for the research of magic tools, and the Tower of Wisdom is a facility that can produce it better than any other. The building is about the same size as a castle.”
That’s big. Ain’s mouth dropped open in surprise.
“You can find it anywhere in Ist, so you might as well enjoy the scenery.”
“But Ist, huh… I know some of it from my geography class. So, Chris-san, how long does it take to get to Ist by water train?”
“Well, there’s a direct train to Ist, so it’s about half a day.”
Chris immediately raised an eyebrow as she answered.
“However, I’ve heard that there have been a lot of incidents of slum orphans disappearing in Ist these days. It’s a city that’s usually very safe, but I’m a little worried.”
“Eeh… what’s with the disturbing information?”
“Why don’t you just order the documents? Even if you go to Ist, I think you’ll be fine if you bring Chris.”
Majolica was right. Rather, if Ain is kidnapped in the presence of Chris, it will not make a difference if he is in the royal capital.
“No. It’s about my own body, so I have to go by myself.”
“Arara, what a good attitude. Well then, I’ll write you a letter of introduction to Ist’s laboratory.”
Then Majolica took a piece of parchment from the counter and slid a pen across it.
“Eh… Laboratory? A letter of introduction?”
“I know some people there. In fact, I think this acquaintance of mine knows more about the Red Fox than I do. He knows a lot about monsters, and I’m sure he can help you regarding Your Highness’ body.”
The conversation proceeded at a brisk pace.
Chris had never heard about Majolica’s story before, and like Ain, she listened quietly.
“But, Your Highness…”
“If you want to find out about the Red Fox and other monsters, there is another city you should consider.”
Suddenly, Majolica stopped and pointed to the map.
“There are four major cities in Ishtalika. The first one is the royal capital where we are.”
The pen was pointed at the east side of the continent.
“The second one is the port city of Magna and the magic city of Ist, which we were just talking about.”
The tip of the pen heads south and then northwest on the continent.
And after that, Majolica’s pen moves.
“Let’s not forget about the adventurer’s town of Baltic.”
It’s further northwest than Ist. It’s called the holy land of adventurers. In addition to the fact that there are many monsters in the surrounding terrain, the corpse of a huge monster that the first king defeated is displayed.
“──A huge monster?”
“It’s caught your attention, huh? Although it’s not as big as a sea dragon, it’s still a huge monster.”
Like Ain, many people who admire the first king go there and make a living as adventurers. In addition, the monster materials obtained in Baltic are shipped all over the continent.
“Also, Baltic is located close to the former Demon King’s territory and the Demon King’s Castle.”
Is it a trembling of excitement? Ain’s body jolted.
In the case of the Red Fox this time, the Demon King was an issue that could not be avoided. When Ain looked at Chris’s face, she gave a slight nod and opened her mouth.
“I’ve been to the Demon King’s Castle several times. Of course, I’ve been there myself, but I don’t think Ain-sama should go there.”
“…Because there are signs of an unidentifiable monster.”
Ain gulped at the serious look Chris gave him.
“It was only a sign, but I remember vividly that I did not feel like living.”
That’s why it was so dangerous. She finally said in a strong tone, “I’m against the idea of going to the Demon King’s Castle.”
“The most important thing is Ain-sama’s body, you know? The Red Fox is a secondary concern!”
“It’s not really secondary, but… hmm…”
To tell the truth, Ain is interested in both Ist and Balto. But in this case, Majolica’s introduction and previous information were significant, and Chris’ words were not wrong either.
(But if I can find out about the Red Fox in Ist, then we can check it out together, right?)
He decided to propose it to Sylvird when he got back to the castle.
“Since I’m on it, I think I’ll go with Ist this time.”
Whether there is any information about the Red Fox left in Baltic is unknown. Even if there was, he would have to travel to the dangerous area near the Demon King’s Castle.
“Chris-san, Ist is fine, right?”
“Yes, I agree. …I’m glad that Ain-sama has learned to control himself.”
Chris pointed it and gave a dazzling smile.
Ain averted his gaze from her and whistled, probably because he had many memories of his flashy behavior in the past.
“Chris, I’m going to give you the letter of introduction, so don’t lose it, okay?”
“I-I won’t lose it!”
“I’m more worried if you answer too strongly… By the way, Your Highness, you’re going to hide your identity, right?”
“It would cause quite a stir if I don’t.”
Ain remembered when he answered.
“I heard from Instructor Kaizer that I could consult with Majolica about how to hide my appearance.”
“That’s fine. I’ll make you a magic tool. How many people do I need to prepare?”
Chris answered that question instead of Ain.
“It will be for a total of three people: Ain-sama, myself, and Dill, if he comes.”
“Ara? Is it okay for you, the marshal, to leave the royal capital so easily?”
“It is as you say. So I will be receiving a leave of absence from His Majesty.”
“Hmm… Well, Chris has been working without a break. So it’s going to be a little bit of a long vacation. Are you going to be okay with that?”
“Even though he’s been assigned exclusively to His Majesty, Lloyd-sama is still present.”
“That makes sense. If so, I’ll ask you to pay 15 million G for the three of you, for the magic tools. I’ll make you a special robe that will make it difficult to see your true identity.”
The digits were ridiculous. Chris said matter-of-factly next to Ain, who opened his mouth in surprise.
“Then please make the bill later.”
“I understand. I’ll make it for you in a few days.”
“C-Chris-san? Are you sure?”
“Of course. I mean, it’s a small price to pay for something like this.”
“Your Highness. Magic tools are expensive. If it is the most expensive one, it can easily exceed 100 million Gs.”
The amount of money that the average monthly wage earner can easily afford to spend on consumer-grade magic tools that Ain knows about. But if it’s a custom-made item, the price jumps up, and the scale changes, Majolica said.
“Well, since it’s Chris, I’ll cover the cost, okay?”
“I’m grateful for that, but… speaking of which, how do Chris-san and Majolica-san know each other?”
A moment later, Chris stiffened as if she had frozen. Ain looked at Majolica and demanded an answer.
“Chris, did you not tell him yet?”
Chris was still a little confused, but she turned to Ain and opened her mouth.
“Actually, my sister was in the same party with Majolica-san and Kaizer-dono.”
“Geez. Why didn’t you tell me that right away?”
“It’s hard to say because the content is a little weird…”
On the other hand, Ain was more confused than Chris.
“Chris-san? You said you have an older sister?”
“That’s true. She had a lot of problems.”
“She was indeed full of problems. She was strong, but I didn’t understand her, and I also didn’t understand why even though Lloyd-sama was so strong, he couldn’t touch her.”
Majolica spoke, and Chris held her head next to Ain.
(She was stronger than Lloyd…)
Just by imagining it, he could tell that she was an incredibly talented person.
“Hey Chris-san, your sister is now…”
“I…I apologize. I’ll tell you about it little by little, so please spare me for today…”
She said apologetically without making eye contact with Ain.
Majolica, who was on the opposite side of her, looked at Chris as if unable to help it and gave Ain a look to tell him to let it go this time.
“Chris-san? I don’t really mind, so look up at me.”
But she didn’t look up at all, and she looked like a remorseful dog. Ain reached out his hand and quickly stroked her golden hair.
Chris shivered for a moment.
“This girl is quite tamed, isn’t she?”
The two of them laughed at Chris, who shifted her body slightly as if to make it easier to stroke her.
“──Hah!? Sorry, I’ve been healed now…”
There was a shocking story at the end, but at least they were able to fulfill their original plan.
Majolica muttered, “As expected, she was clumsy,” and told them that he would immediately make the magic robes and send them to the castle later.
Delighted with the positive outcome, the two left Majolica’s store.
When Ain returned to the castle and told Sylvird that he wanted to investigate the Red Fox at Ist, Sylvird was half-exasperated by Ain’s words saying, “Not again.”
But, if they could investigate at the same time… he gave his permission.