Chapter 15-2

Shall I prepare the carriage?

It was a question asking whether it was time to conclude the social gathering and return. Mariv, without the slightest change in expression, merely smiled and covered his mouth with the wine glass. Gale was still watching this way, so it was to obscure his response.

Its settled. Since they are on standby, let it be so.

Yes, I understand.

And be vigilant.

I will heed the command.

Although the instruction lacked a direct object, the aide understood its meaning. He immediately bowed and went outside, and Gales gaze also shifted away. Other bureaucrats who had been engaged in conversation quietly inquired about the situation.

Is it an urgent matter, Your Highness?

Not at all. What could be more urgent than sharing such a meaningful occasion with you gentlemen? Please continue with the description of the artwork.

Of course, it was natural to be more intrigued by a young bastard who had conquered the great desert from humble beginnings than by the tedious old nobles before him. Gale must have also heard about the twos entrance to the palace.

Yes, Your Highness. The next piece was painted with pigments mixed with powdered magic stones. It actually emits light at night.

Oh, powdered magic stones?

It seems mixing various things into pigments is the trend these days.

Pretending to listen to the bureaucrats explanation, Mariv nodded and glanced surreptitiously at Gale. Gale was enjoying the social gathering, his arm around Wesleigh.

In any case, taking the initiative would mean exposing ones back. Marivs aide would have been keenly observing the movements of Gale and Wesleighs subordinates.

What are you planning to do, Gale?

When Gale proposed a donation of 10,000 gold coins, Mariv did not object. On the contrary, he showed an attitude of finding it agreeable and hurriedly moving on to the next agenda.

It was indeed not a concern, and there was a desire to test Ians abilities. But more so, it was because the Ministry of Magic was a place where Ian could be utilized in the future. It was not bad to leave some subtle hints.

While it might be difficult for Gale, but some of the dim-witted ones in the Ministry of Magic might be deceived.

The same held true now. There was no need to welcome Ian to the point of breaking up the social gathering. They maintained their positions as if unaware of Ians existence until the very end.

* *


Romandro quietly stretched, feeling a bit stiff. It was the time when the once clear and bright sunlight gradually deepened into dusk. It was natural for the body to relax after waiting for so long. However, Ian sitting next to him showed not a hint of disarray.

Ian, are you alright?

About what?

Your back, your back. Perhaps its because youre young. Im dying to lie down.

At Romandros grumbling, Ian gave a faint smile. It wasnt intentional, but being in the imperial palace seemed to make him maintain his posture even more strictly. Ian, looking down at his now cold tea, guessed,

It seems to be taking much longer than expected, he must really be with Gale.

Thats when it happened.

Knock, knock.

His Highness Mariv has arrived. Ñøv€l--ß1n hosted the premiere release of this chapter.


Startled by the sudden presence, Romandro jumped up. Ian also naturally straightened his crumpled shirt, looking towards the door.

This was the first member of the imperial family he was seeing, crossing over a hundred years of time. Technically, the man he would be seeing was his ancestor, a member of the bloodline that had shared in the glory of the imperial palace. Though, in terms of relation, they were as distant as strangers.


The door opened. A man with long golden hair tied back entered. His gently curving eyes were particularly striking. Even without smiling, he seemed to be smiling.

Romandro, its been a while.

I regret to say, having just arrived today, I have not been informed.

Is that so? The schedule is almost finalized. I will instruct my aide to pass it on to you before you leave the palace.

Yes, Your Highness. I will prepare with care.

After the New Years celebration, there will be an event organized by the Ministry of Magic. We will assess your magical power and proceed with departmental assignments, but

Mariv glanced at Ians left eye, which had returned to its normal green hue as the sunset faded. He then sharply posed a question that was as pointed as a blade.

Before that, Ian. Do you believe you are suited for the role of a lord?

The question was delicate and potentially awkward, fraught with ambiguity over whether it pertained to his background or his capabilities. Romandro, who had been listening quietly, involuntarily inhaled sharply and bit his lip.

Its a question that can be twisted whether he answers no or yes.

A lord who doesnt see himself as fit is of no use, and excessive confidence is as bad as incompetence.

However, Ian seemed to have a clear answer in mind and nodded without much hesitation.

Of course, I do.

His response was bold and confident.

Romandro felt the breath he had held catch in his throat. Marivs eyebrow raised in a manner that suggested intrigue or displeasure, a look Romandro recognized. Ian, on the other hand, continued calmly,

Since it is a decision made and established by Your Highness Mariv, who would dare say otherwise? My only duty is to fulfill everything perfectly, as per your wishes.

Its too simplistic, does he think that because Im a common-born bastard?

The intention behind her question was transparent, almost simplistic to the point of being laughable, mentioning the Ministry of Magic and posing such a question.

The act of placing Ian in the lordship was a reconfirmation of his allegiance to Mariv, with the expectation of loyalty and the implication that he should serve dutifully as a spy within the Ministry of Magic.

Confidence in ones words is something I appreciate.

It is an honor, Your Highness.

Mariv smiled contentedly, savoring a sip of his tea. Romandro, sensing the shift in the atmosphere, also took a timely sip of his tea.

Yet, as Ian continued to scrutinize Marivs face, he felt an odd sensation.

Blonde hair and pale eyes. Of course, these are common traits in the imperial family, but

Had Ian ever seen Mariv in the portraits of the past emperors?

In the corridor leading to the emperors bedroom in the secondary palace, the portraits of the past emperors were hung chronologically. Ian had passed by them once or twice a day, so it was unlikely he had missed them.


I dont recall seeing this person in any portrait.

Gales failure in his rebellion seemed certain. Thus, naturally, Ian had assumed that Mariv, being the direct heir and a competitor, would succeed the throne. That was until this face-to-face meeting.

Could there be another heir?

But it seemed there were no notable candidates.

Ian concealed his expression, burying his complex thoughts. For now, it was crucial to focus on the present and gain the princes trust. Regardless of what might happen, Mariv seemed to be the only one comparable to Gale at the moment.

Sir Ian.

Yes, Your Highness.

How is the preparation of the tribute money that must be sent to the center going?

There was gold from the sale of ghouls and plenty of high-grade magic stones, so there shouldnt have been any issues. However, Ian lightly shook his head. He couldnt reveal his hand to someone who might or might not become the emperor.

No, Your Highness.

Hmm, that is regrettable. Then, I would like to make a favorable proposal.

Mariv, unaware of Ians inner thoughts, set down his teacup.

Only Romandro, who had noticed Ians lie, sipped his tea restlessly with his head bowed low, thinking that his expression must not give anything away.