It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (62/92), enjoy~
Ain’s evenings consist of roughly two things: One is to study for the academy, and the other is to do the official work he has been entrusted with lately.
There are administrative matters and petitions from the nobility… that Warren has only read through, but that doesn’t mean he can just stamp his name on them.
As the tired Ain stretched out, there was a knock at the door.
Just as he was about to take a break, Martha came into Ain’s office. It was already nine o’clock in the evening, just right for a midnight snack.
“I’ve brought you some snacks and a hot drink.”
“I’ll take it. It’s just what I needed… Thank you very much.”
After getting up from his chair, Ain went to the sofa and sipped the hot, steamy tea. He started to feel warm from the inside of his body.
“It’s almost December, and it’s getting colder.”
“Yes. I think the mornings and evenings have really gotten cold.”
“Yes, indeed. Please do take care of yourself ── Oh, by the way, I brought you a letter from His Majesty.”
“Yes, thank you.”
After hearing Ain’s reply, Martha quietly left the room. “Now, it’s time to move on,” Ain said and picked up the snack that Martha had given him and tapped his cheek to cheer himself up.
“I think I’ll eat while I check the letter.”
But since they are in the same castle, why don’t they just talk to each other?
Ain knows there’s a meaning in leaving the letter behind, but it’s a bit reserved.
At any rate, Ain reached for the seal of the letter. Probably because there is something important to talk about, Sylvird has written it to tell Ain.
“Week after next… will I be present at the memorial service for our predecessor?”
It was a request for Ain to be present in two weeks. The request was for Ain to visit the tomb of the king before Sylvird, Sylvird’s father, on the memorial day of his death.
Until now, only Sylvird had been allowed to go to the tomb every year on his father’s memorial service. It seems to be a tradition in the royal family of Ishtalika that usually only the king goes to the gravesite.
“It’s probably because he thought that it was the time for me to learn, so he asked me to be present… I see.”
Ain has already come of age, so there are things he should learn from the current king, Sylvird. Ain was grateful for the opportunity to be shown this next to him.
“The future king, huh…?”
When he was in Roundheart, he never thought that he would be the royalty of such a big country. The only thing that came to mind was the memory of standing up for Olivia and being sorry for the trouble he caused her.
He wondered how his former family members were doing now.
Once the meeting with Heim was decided, he would probably be reunited with Logas.
He wondered what kind of face he should make, and he couldn’t stop thinking about it.
“I don’t want to kill him ── but I do want to return the favor a little.”
There is no love or affection left in the family. He didn’t know how to put this feeling into words.
“Grint is… yes. I hope he grows up to be reasonably healthy.”
Thinking back to what happened in Euro and at Roundheart’s mansion, this was a very naive thought.
But as a young child and having grown up under the influence of those parents, he had no resentment towards his brother whatsoever. Although he did feel annoyed when they met in Euro, it was probably because of the situation at that time.
“At any rate, I’ll try not to be disgraceful as the future king.”
With this thought in mind, Ain went to his desk again.
If Ain’s reign is not appreciated by future generations, it will leave a stain on his family, including Sylvird and Olivia.
──He was a foolish king.
He should not be evaluated like that.
Suddenly, what happened in the Baltic flashed through his mind.
The adventurers said that Ain was as capable as the first king.
On the other hand, in the former territory of the Demon Lord, Marco described Ain as being in a precarious situation where his vessel had not yet been fully established.
What is the vessel of a king?
Strangely enough, it never left his mind and interfered with Ain’s paperwork.
“Let’s ask grandfather about it again the week after next.”
If it’s the current king, Sylvird, he should be able to tell him something. He lightly tapped his cheek to get his energy up and turned his pen to the remaining work.
As usual, Ain went to the academy and spent the evening studying and working.
Two weeks had passed in the blink of an eye.
In the corner of the royal cemetery, overlooking the gray sky, “Oh,” Sylvird said, rubbing his beard.
“I guess Ain is old enough to think about such things.”
His cheeks broke into a smile, and he gently patted Ain’s head.
He is doing a great job as the crown prince, but his willingness to say these things out loud is something that Sylvird is happy to hear.
“But I need time to speak those words. First, let’s do what needs to be done… Then we can talk slowly. Is that okay?”
“Of course. Then we will go to the tomb of our predecessor…”
The weather was a little worse today, with a fine mist-like rain falling.
The time was just before noon. It was pouring early in the morning when Ain woke up, and although the weather was improving, the sky still did not seem to be calming down.
The tombstone was also wet from the rain, giving Ain a different look than last time.
“But you have grown up a lot, haven’t you? It would not be out of place for you to be equipped with such a long sword.”
He was dressed in white and silver and wore the royal coat of arms of Ishtalika on his chest. On his hands are white gloves made of smooth cloth. At his waist, he carries a new partner that Mouton has just made for him.
He is taller than average, so he could carry a long sword without feeling out of place.
“I’ve been able to grow well thanks to you.”
“That’s good to hear. …Then come here. Follow my lead and address our predecessor in the same manner.”
“Yes, sir, I’ll be watching from the back.”
Sylvird stood in front of the tomb and showed Ain how to do it.
First, he bowed, then placed the offerings he had brought before the tomb. There was no congratulatory speech, just a solemn series of events.
Sylvird did not open his mouth.
It was a short time, less than a few minutes, but he finished what he had to do and raised his sword in front of his chest for the last time.
“…That’s it. You’ve been watching closely, haven’t you?”
“Yes, I have learned a lot.”
“Then greet your predecessor in the same manner. …Though it is the remainder that Ain will be doing in the future. Hahahahaha!”
“I’m not sure how to respond, so please spare me.”
Praying in his heart that he would live a long life, Ain straightened up and headed for the tomb.
Although he is deceased, he is still the previous king of Ishtalika.
Even though it’s a tomb ritual, it’s still a bit nerve-wracking for Ain. He carefully recalled Sylvird’s figure one by one.
The occasional sound of Sylvird’s voice tells him that there is no problem.
A little while later, he advanced to the final phase.
(With the sword in hand…)
The last step was to hold the black sword in front of his chest.
This was supposed to be the end.
The black sword glowed for several seconds.
Ain immediately guessed the reason. This is because this is the ability that Mouton spoke of.
But Sylvird’s eyes widened for no apparent reason.
“I apologize! I forgot to explain it to you…!”
After bowing before the tomb, Ain continued to bow to Sylvird.
“What was that light just now?”
“The material of the powerful undead can produce such a sword. I should have explained this to you earlier… I apologize.”
“U-umu… I’ve heard of such weapons. You should have explained it earlier next time. Okay?”
Ain patted his chest, apparently unconcerned.
“I believe it reacts to bone?”
“That’s right. It seems like a useless ability…”
“But I know one thing. My father’s remains are well preserved here, which is a good thing.”
It is unlikely that any grave robbers would bother to come here, as the place is heavily guarded. But now that he knew that his father was asleep, Sylvird was filled with sentimentality.
Soon, Sylvird changed the subject with a preface, “Now then.”
“I’ll answer Ain’s question. It’s not something we can speak about in public, so you don’t mind if we do it here?”
“Yes, that’s fine.”
“Good. So, the king’s vessel, is it? For me, the king’s vessel is… the one who can govern the life and death of all the people.”
“The life and death of all people…?”
“Yes. There are many meanings to it, but for example, the royal knights. There are lives that can be taken by swinging a sword, and there are lives that can be taken by words. The latter is by far the most common, do you know what that means?”
“Because a royal knight works by the orders of royalty.”
“That’s right. If there is any mistake in my words, that person will only die. His life will be meaningless.”
Sylvird says this with an imposing face.
It was the first time he had ever heard such a thought, and Ain forgot to blink as he listened.
“The king is not a king by himself. If the people’s hearts are not with him, he is no longer a king.”
“So you can’t make a mistake?”
“Yes. I am only a king when I have people to serve and people to serve me. I must make no more mistakes than anyone else, and I must listen to the voice of the people more than anyone else.”
In other words, Sylvird concluded.
“Therefore ── a complacent person is never fit to be a king.”
“You should be very troubled right now. There is still much time for you, Ain. Now, Ain… let’s go back inside before we catch a cold.”
The large hand of Sylvird was placed on Ain’s shoulder. The warmth of his hands conveyed tenderness, and Ain gave a slight nod before walking away.