“No matter what I say now, I can’t shake the firm will of the Fifth Prince.”
Raymond nodded slowly at Marquis Crayer’s comment. Once he makes a decision, he will surely carry it through.
“You know me very well.”
“Back when I was young, His Majesty was as righteous and brave as Your Highness the Fifth.”
Marquis Crayer’s eyes were lost in his memories as he recalled the past.
Back when he was young, the current Emperor Ronald Pilius defended the Empire from the Northern threats for three years and gained military support.
During those three years, the Emperor met him, the current Marquis Sand Crayer. Back then he was still the heir to the Crayer family.
“You two look so much alike.”
Marquis Crayer’s voice was smeared with regret and longing. In terms of justice, there was no one as valiant as Ronald who always unsheathed his sword before anyone else.
Now, he is an old and sick emperor guarding the collapsing Imperial throne.
“Well, now you know what I’m going to do.”
“You have opposed it a little while ago, but I still feel the same way now.”
He was known as the Scoundrel Prince, but now, for Marquis Crayer, he looked braver and more righteous than the First Prince, who is called the lord of knights.
When he first heard rumors that Raymond, the Fifth Prince, had declared he would take the initiative, he just smiled and shook his head. But in the recent weeks, he had seen his ‘initiative’ moves at the border. And they weren’t just impossible.
“Do you really have to go to the Black Mountains, Your Highness?”
Marquis Crayer asked. Raymond nodded and responded.
“Of course, I will return after defeating the General of the Kingdom of Fresyria, who dared to provoke the Empire.”
His voice was full of confidence. Of course, the General of the Fresyria Kingdom was not invincible.
There was definitely a way to defeat them, and Richard, the main character in the novel, once killed a General with his own squad by letting them fall into a clever trap.
Unlike the battles that were describe by one or two sentences in the novel, this process was described in great detail.
The only “power” Richard used in the novel was Desia and a hundred men, composed of top wizards.
Even if Raymond can mobilize more power, the odds are stacked against him.
The difference is that Raymond, unlike Richard, is an extra and has not yet received the “sword and magic blessing.”
‘I’ve got the soul sword, so it won’t be a big problem.’
Although receiving the Sword and Magic Blessings gave less worries, Sould Sword uses only a small amount of Aura, but it mostly uses the energy of his soul, so there is no fatal conflict between his Aura and his Mana. It wasn’t to the point where he wouldn’t be able to magic in an emergency.
“Then you should go.”
Marquis Crayer said. Although he clearly opposed it at first, he realized that he would not be able to stop him after recalling the courage that the current Emperor had shown before.
The voice of opposition disappeared sooner than he thought. A faint smile spread around Raymond’s mouth.
“But we can’t just send Your Highness, the Fifth Prince to the Black Mountains alone.”
“Marquis Crayer, I and a hundred Imperial soldiers will sacrifice our lives to escort his Highness.”
Casillas, the commander of the Imperial Army, reacted immediately. His voice was loud.
“Sir Casillas. Can I ask you one question?”
“If I can answer that, I would be happy to.”
“Honestly, do you believe that a hundred imperial soldiers can keep the Fifth Prince safe from the assault of the General and the Black Mountain range Monsters?”
Casillas froze at Marquis Crayer’s sharp question. There wasn’t enough power that could go against them.
“It wasn’t because the Emperor’s shield is strong, but because His Highness is great that you have been able to survive in the Black Mountains, right ?”
Casillas did not immediately respond. It was because Marquis Crayer’s words were true, although it hurt his pride.
If Raymond, the Fifth Prince, was a scoundrel as rumored, not only the Imperial Army but also the Shadow Squad would have been killed as soon as they entered the Black Mountains.
“The Imperial Commander, Lord Casillas.”
As Marquis Crayer spoke in with a soft voice, Casillas who was just looking at the ground, slowly raised his head.
“I don’t blame you. Your imperial army are the elites of the elites. But the Black Mountains is just too dangerous for less experienced people.”
He spoke as softly as he could. Casillas’ expression was much more relaxed than before.
When he saw it, Raymond smirked and shook his head. The Marquis of Crayer was not usually gentle, given that Casillas, who usually stand strong, was shaking first.
“I agree with you on that.”
“So I’d like to add more escorts, would that be okay?”
The eyes of Marquis Crayer, now looked towards Raymond.
Then who are is he going to send as the escort? I have some guesses but I am not sure, hmm…
“Would you excuse us for a moment?”
As Marquis Crayer raised his hand slightly, the Marquis’ retainers and knights left the meeting room without any hesitation.
This sight showed how deep their loyalty to the Marquis was.
“Please leave us alone for a moment, gentlemen.”
Raymond also ordered his entourage out of the conference room. The appearance of Marquis Crayer acting with discretion has increased the probability of his initial guess to come true.
‘Is it him…….?’
Now there are only two people left in the Chamber, Raymond and Marquis Crayer.
Even the knights guarding the conference hall left at the order of the marquis.
“Can you tell me now?”
At Raymond’s question, Marquis Crayer nodded. Then he opened his mouth, raising his eyes towards the ceiling.
“You may show yourself, Lord Jace.”
Seeing the Marquis calling someone’s name, Raymond needed to hide his astonishment inside. He knew who Jace was because he had read the Novel.
There were many candidates who could be mobilized by Marquis Crayer. But he didn’t expect the name of the strongest among them to come out.
“Retired Imperial Guard…….”
“Ho, I guess the Fifth Prince has heard rumors about me.”
Seeing the owner of the red mask coming down from the ceiling of the conference hall and landing softly, Raymond unconsciously uttered his identity to himself, which was a mistake.
Because it intrigued Jace.
“Did you know about Lord Jace?”
He seen the Novel, so he knew it of course. It was just a small part, but there was definitely a description for Jace.
Retired Imperial Guard.
The current emperor, Ronald Pilius, gave Jace his escort as a courtesy to Marquis Crayer, who he had guarded the North together as a young man.
Attaching a retired Imperial Guard as an escort is the best courtesy an emperor could do.
Just by looking at the symbol of that deep friendship and the offer to lend his, could show how Marquis Crayer thought of Raymond.
By the way, the “Escort” of retired Imperial Guard was usually done in secret, so Raymond needed to come up with an excuse of how he learned about Jace’s existence now.
“I just happened to know.”
He couldn’t think of an excuse right now, so he roughly put it in a hurry.
“I don’t want to ask you any more questions.
When Raymond implicitly revealed that he didn’t want to reveal it, Marquis Crayer bowed his head quickly and stepped back.
Jace was still curious, but at the time when the Marquis had stepped down, he did not dare ask the Imperial family questions.
This prevented a series of near-pouring questions. Raymond opened his mouth with a faint smile.
“So you’re lending Lord Jace as my temporary escort?”
“Of course, Your Majesty the Fifth. I don’t think Lord Jace would object either.”
“It’s an honor for me to be able to be the shield of the imperial family again. I’ll do my best, Your Majesty the Fifth.”
Jace took a step forward and bowed his head politely.
He is said to have retired and came under Marquis Crayer’s command, but he is still an Imperial Guard, the shield of the honorable imperial family.
He had no way to refuse the glorious work of serving the imperial family.
Although he has been assigned to escort by Marquis Crayer side since his retirement, he did not accompany the Marquis even when he was kidnapped because he stayed only in Crayer Castle as a Captain security officer.
The fact that he could get some fresh air after a long time excites him.
“It’s reassuring to hear that the Emperor’s shield will escort me.”
Even though he knew he was retired, Raymond still used the words “Imperial shield” to raise his loyalty and pride. Sure enough, his response came right away.
“The spear of the Fresyrian kingdom is sharp, but they dare to pierce the shield of the imperial family! As a loyal servant once an honorable member of the Imperial Guard, I solemnly pledge here to crush all threats against His Highness the Fifth in the Black Mountains!”
Jace said, clenching his fist tightly with his right hand and pounding hard near his heart. A clear smile spread around Raymond’s mouth as he saw him.
* * *
After the commander’s meeting, Raymond was successfully being escorted temporarily by the retired Imperial Guard, Jace.
Raymond was an imperial family of the Pilias and Jace was from Imperial Guard, armed with deep loyalty to the imperial family.
Even if he had been ordered by Marquis Crayer, Jace would not have been so co-operative if he been asked to escort anyone other than the Fifth Prince, Raymond.
“The Fifth Prince. Are you out?”
Raymond and Jace came out of the conference room, the Master of the Red Tower came up with Gesteine and bowed politely.
However, the Blue tower master, Desia, and Casillas was nowhere to be seen. Raymond asked the Master of the Red Tower for their whereabouts.
“Sir Casillas headed to the training grounyd, saying he was short of training, but I don’t know where the Blue Tower and the Desia went.”
“I need to discuss something, so call the tower Master and Desia.”
“Don’t I have to look for Lord Casillas?”
At Raymond’s words, Gesteine asked carefully. He seems to have become quite close to Casillas enough to ask for him.
“He is in training, so we can’t disturb him. But he might be disappointed, so it would be better to send someone to inform him.”
“I will send a member of the SS to deliver the message.”
Leaving behind Gesteine’s answer, Rayman hastened his steps toward the parlor next to the accommodation.
The Blue tower master and Desia arrived at the Meeting room first, perhaps they went there immediately after being called by the Red tower master.
The two were courteous by slightly bowing their heads after seeing Raymond coming through the door.
“Old man, you’re late.”
“What? I arrived before the Fifth Prince…….”
“You should have came with me from the conference room.”
“Yes, I’m sorry.”
After a short conversation, Lisefield surrounded first.
No matter how hard he tried, he was not confident of beating the Fifth Prince to a debate. He did so because he realized from his experience that it was better to surrender quickly.
“Everyone, sit down.”
Raymond pulled the chair first and sat down.
“I’ll be guarding outside the door.”
Jace claimed to be the gatekeeper. He didn’t think he had a place in this composition yet, so he was going to leave first.
“Stay here. I don’t think the Imperial shield would betray.”
‘The Prince has faith in me!’
Jace knew what Raymond was trying to say and what he really meant. That’s why he was moved.
“I don’t don’t doubt your loyalty, but I think the shield of the Emperor is an exception.”
It wasn’t a topic deep enough to keep it as a secret from the Imperial Guard.
But he don’t have to explain it to Jace.
“The shield has no foolish mouth to spread rumors about.”
Raymond nodded with a satisfied look at Jace’s response. And he soon opened his mouth, looking alternately between the Blue Tower and the Red Tower.
“Don’t you think General’s assault team came down earlier than expected?”
It was too fast.
“Something’s wrong, isn’t it?”
The two towers swallowed dry saliva and Desia twisted the corners of her mouth to open her red lips.
“I smell a traitor.”