“Is it a blessing in disguise that Surtr’s artifact is cursed?”
Because of the powerful curse, it was not difficult to approach the artifact, as it was treated like a mere trinket even in the royal palace, despite Kariel only being a nominal crown prince. His authority was stronger than expected, as he could access quite high levels of the royal palace’s treasure vault.
“It might be hard to take it out, but I should be able to at least see it,” Kariel thought and nodded his head.
The Surtr’s treasure remaining in the royal palace was not the world-shattering sword of fire, the heart of a giant, or the essence of Muspel, but a necklace said to contain a small portion of Surtr’s power. A necklace containing only a tiny bit of the power that was once so formidable even the gods feared it. However, the curse leaking out from it was so powerful that it had no value as a treasure. It was only held symbolically because it contained even a little of the power of the being that once declared the end of the mythic age.
“If it were in the Holy Kingdom, they would have sealed it away with multiple layers,” Kariel chuckled at the thought. It felt like the gods had been more thorough than expected. If it were a precious treasure, it would have been difficult to approach, but Kariel could easily access it as it was a cursed artifact that nobody was interested in.
The sound of a bell calling the servants outside rang, and Tarion opened the door and entered.
“I’m going out.”
“You should rest more.”
“I’m just thinking of taking a light walk around the palace,” Kariel replied.
At Kariel’s words, Tarion sighed. “Alright,” he answered, then looked at Kariel and asked, “Do you have a destination in mind?”
“The royal palace’s treasury,” Kariel repeated, causing confusion to fill Tarion’s eyes.
“Why the palace treasury all of a sudden…?” he asked.
Kariel licked his lips before replying, “It’s related to the recovery of my body.”
Despite trying various methods to heal Kariel’s body, there had been no progress. All they could do was suppress the fever with various medicines and stop the progression of the illness. As a result, Kariel had to live with a weak body and lifelong limitations on his mana usage.
“It’s not certain yet,” Kariel added.
Tarion nodded slightly, understanding what Kariel meant. He saw the pile of books stacked like a mountain in the room, indicating that Kariel had been researching. However, Tarion didn’t have much hope that Kariel would find a solution in just a few days of research.
Despite this, he admired Kariel’s determination to keep moving forward instead of giving up hopelessly.
“Get it ready,” Kariel said.
Tarion immediately went outside to prepare for Kariel’s outing. Kariel’s poor health meant he had to ride in a carriage even when moving around the palace. If he was just looking at the garden in the Crown Prince’s Palace for a short time, he had to ride a specially made palanquin because of his weak body.
“There’s a lot to prepare,” Tarion explained when he came back in to report that the preparations were complete.
Kariel carefully walked out of the room, ready to embark on his journey.
Kariel boarded the carriage, gritting his teeth in frustration. Although the carriage had been crafted by skilled artisans, and the ride was smooth, the unfamiliar environment made him feel tired. He reminisced about his past life, which had been filled with challenges, and how he had managed to restore his body to a functional level with Tarion’s help before becoming emperor.
As he lost himself in his thoughts, the carriage arrived at its destination sooner than he expected. The knight guarding the palace treasury saluted and greeted him, and all those nearby bowed in respect to the crown prince, regardless of his sickly state.
The official in charge of the palace treasury approached Kariel, bowed, and asked, “Your Highness, did you come for a specific reason?”
Kariel furrowed his brow at the official’s disrespectful tone. Despite the decline in royal power, Kariel still held the title of royalty. Although most people found it difficult to deal with royalty, there were a few exceptions, namely high-ranking nobles.
“Your Highness, did you come for a specific reason?” the official in charge of the palace treasury approached Kariel and asked.
Kariel’s brow furrowed at the way the official spoke as if he was the owner of the place. Not only had he arrived late, but it twisted Kariel’s mood.
Despite the decline in royal power, royalty was still royalty, as mentioned earlier.
Most people found them difficult to deal with, but there were exceptions, such as high-ranking nobles. These individuals took advantage of the crumbling royal power and acted arrogantly, behaving as if they were more important than the royalty or royalty themselves.
“Do I need to report to you when I arrive here?” Kariel asked, causing the official to widen their eyes in surprise.
“No, that’s not what I meant… I’m sorry I couldn’t serve you more sincerely if I had known you were coming,” the official replied.
“What family do you belong to?” Kariel inquired, causing the official to hesitate.
Realizing that saying the wrong thing could lead to serious consequences, the official finally replied, “I’m from the Beriot family, supporters of the emperor.”