Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“And you also met that kid…”
Doyle sighed in agony.
“Oh God, when we were still fourteen or fifteen, we weren’t so complicated. Shouldn’t we be simple, naive, rash, and lusted after women?”
He felt aggrieved as he looked at Glover. He sought for acknowledgment.
“There was nothing that cannot be solved by a night in Red Street Market, right?”
Against his expectations, Glover, who did not usually respond actively, spoke this time.
“Not us, just you.” The quiet Vanguard snorted before he turned his head to the other side.
D.D’s smile disappeared in a moment.
At this time, another voice could be heard,
“Is everything alright?”
Doyle and Glover felt shocked!
In a second, they both stood straight and turned to the direction of the metal gate.
They saw the highest commander of the Royal Guards, the guard captain, Lord Adrian, who stood at the metal gate while he smiled and looked at them while he was accompanied by two attendants.
Doyle looked as if he was struck by lightning. He tried hard to force himself to smile, but once he felt that the situation was not appropriate for it, he tried to adjust his facial expression to become serious while he stammered, “Captain… Captain… Captain Adrian, commanding officer?”
Glover was also stunned, but he immediately responded. “Commanding officer.”
Adrian nodded before he walked toward them with a grin. The people around him had already recognized him, and they saluted him.
“Everyone is busy, what are you both doing here?”
Doyle’s smile froze.
He quickly stood straight before he took a step forward.
“Ahem…We were assessing the vulnerability of the defense in Mindis Hall so that we can plan our future sentry duties…”
But Glover spoke up stiffly and drowned out Doyle’s voice.
“We are pretending that we are busy, commanding office, so that we can avoid being called by the Logistics Division to work.”
When he said that, Captain Adrian’s smile froze for a second as well.
Doyle swayed, and he looked at his companion in disbelief.
At that moment, Doyle was initially shocked before he had all his hopes dashed to pieces. He wanted to kill Glover. Then, he would kill himself.
At any rate, it was Adrian who reacted to the situation first in the indescribable silence and awkwardness, courtesy to his experience in life.
“Oh, so you are… Mallos’ men?”
Doyle was in deep grief, but he could feel that the captain did not want to hold them accountable for their mistakes, so he immediately said something to salvage the situation, “Um, ah… Lord Mallos is inside. He seems to be…”
Glover’s reply was still as simple as usual, “I will go and notify him of your presence.”
But Adrian stopped him. “Wait.”
The highest commander of the Royal Guards raised his both hands and walked slowly to him. He squinted to size up Glover’s fit figure.
“Are you Caleb Glover of the Vanguard division?”
Glover’s expression became stern.
Adrian nodded. A nostalgic look appeared in his eyes. “Very good.”
“I know your grandfather. With his status as the watchman, he selected and promoted me to become a part of the guards forty years ago.”
Doyle’s expression changed while he stood by the side.
His gaze when he looked at Glover immediately became different.
Adrain sighed. “He is a stern man, but worthy of respect.”
Glover’s eyes twinkled. “Yes.”
“I hope you could be like him and be respected by others,” Adrian spoke with a cordial and friendly tone. “But… you do not have to be as stern as he was.”
“In a team, you will realize that you will benefit more if you are an easy-going person.”
Glover trembled slightly, and his reply made him sound slightly uneasy. “Y-yes.”
Adrian nodded and looked at Doyle.
Doyle was like a rat which had eaten poison. He stiffened up unnaturally.
Adrian smiled. “So, you are… um… D.D?”
Doyle’s lips twitched, and he smiled awkwardly. “Yes, Captain… But that is… a nickname that everyone uses for fun…”
His voice became less confident and weaker.
“Bridge told me about you,” Adrian said in a relaxed manner.
“What?” Doyle’s eyes brightened, and his timidity from a moment ago vanished. “Really?”
He became slightly hopeful. “Then, what did the chief say about me…”
“He said you wanted to join the Vanguard Division initially,” Adrian said calmly, “After you failed to be chosen, you were then forced to join his defense division.”
Glover subconsciously looked at Doyle.
At that moment, D.D’s face turned red. “Chief, I-I…”
But Adrian’s face turned stern. “There is nothing to be ashamed of in admitting our failures.”
He said slowly, “You can only succeed when you accept failure.
“Just like how you can be a vanguard after you do a good job in being a guard.”
Adrian’s suddenly sternness made Doyle subconsciously stiffen his body. “Yes, commanding officer.”
Adrian nodded and sized them up again.
“Both of you are still very young, and you are important people for Mallos. You are also the kingdom’s reliable swords.” Adrian returned to his cordial behavior from before. “Work hard.”
“Yes, sir!” This was from Doyle, who decided to keep his mouth shut.
“Yes.” This was from Glover, who was still as stiff as ever.
Adrian smiled gently.
“Also, do not get caught by your master when you are loafing around at the job.” At this moment, Adrian suddenly turned his head around and looked into the distance. “Especially… when he is behind you.”
Doyle and Glover were shocked. They turned around.
Thales who was hiding behind the tree felt very shocked when he was discovered.
He had no choice but walk out from behind the tree under D.D and the Zombie’s strange stares. Then, he recomposed himself and smiled politely and gently.
Adrian greeted him politely, “Your Grace.”
Thales immediately nodded and greeted back, “Lord Adrian. May I know if you…”
Adrian smiled faintly and shook his head. “Please, do not bother yourself. I just came over… to pass you the official duke appointment warrant.”
He turned around and passed a paper scroll to Glover (Doyle wanted to go and take it, but the scroll landed in Glover’s hands when it was about to reach his hand).
“I also took the chance to come and see how are your preparations.” The guard captain who was more than fifty years old smiled and looked at Doyle and Glover. Doyle smiled awkwardly, whereas Glover became even stiffer.
“After all, this is the first ever case where we mobilized the Royal Guards to form another special unit.”
Thales looked at the warrant in Glovers’ hands, and he had no time to guess what Adrian actually meant in his words.
“Thank you for your concern.”
The commander of the guards continued smiling. “I hope Tormond did not bring you any trouble.”
Thales was stunned. “Tor… who?”
His first response was to remember the drawing of the King of Renaissance in Mindis Hall.
But Adrian only sighed.
“I heard from Count Caso about the conflict between you and him during the journey. I would like to apologize to you for what he did.”
Thales suddenly realized that the man Adrian said was…
“But please believe in me that Lord Mallos did not intend to be disrespectful, and he is not stubborn as well,” Adrain said seriously, “He is just… too casual.”
“Casual?” He took a deep breath, and he thought about how Mallos had told him that no one would care about him. He said doubtfully, “The captain of my personal guards? Casual?”
Doyle and Glover dared not even breathe loudly, but they could not hold themselves back from looking over curiously.
Adrian chuckled. “Please do not misunderstand me, Your Highness. When I said ‘casual’, it does not mean that he is negligent and careless. Lord Mallos’ capabilities cannot be doubted.”
Adrian looked at Mindis Hall that was located at the other end of the fountain before he said with a sigh, “It is just that he dislikes complicated and troublesome matters. When he encounters a problem, he is more willing to choose a solution that can be easily achieved. But I suppose this is also considered a kind of… arrogance, yes?”
‘Dislikes complicated and troublesome matters.
Thales suddenly realized something when he heard this comment.
Adrian said in resignation, “For example, the easiest way to protect the prince is not letting the prince go out. Yet, he does not know… that sometimes, it brings even more troubles.”
Thales nodded and smiled in response.
Adrian seemed to be in a sentimental mood as he sighed. “So, he always needs someone to… motivate him.
“To guide him to do better.”
Doyle and Glover cast each other a glance.
“Really?” Thales nodded politely. “I will pay more attention to that. By the way, Lord Mallos is now…”
But Adrian suddenly raised his hand. “Oh, no. I will not see him.”
The guard captain smiled as he looked at Thales.
“It will be more than enough just to see you.
“Six years ago, when you just became a prince, I could not be there due to some family matters, so I missed your most important moment.”
Adrian’s gaze suddenly became very serious.
“But luckily, I did not miss the moment when you became a duke.”
Thales stared blankly when he sensed the meaning behind Adrian’s gaze.
Adrian kept watching him calmly, and he said to him earnestly, “Your Highness, an outstanding warrior can endure, and must endure all kinds of difficulties and challenges.
“A qualified noble can bear heavy burdens, and must carry heavy burdens.”
The guard captain said faintly, “The same goes for the king.”
In the next second, he added subconsciously, “It is a must for the king.”
That made Thales stunned to the ground.
Adrian bowed again, turned around, and left.
When Doyle saw that the guard captain had disappeared, he started to breathe deeply as though he had held his breath for a long time.
“Wow, wow, wow… Unbelievable. The guard captain talked to me…” D.D spoke excitedly, “After joining the Royal Guards for seven and a half years, this is my second time meeting Commander Adrian in person and having a personal conversation with him! The previous meeting was three years ago!”
‘Yes. Three years ago.
‘I met him in the watch room.
‘The conversation seems to have gone something like, “Captain, do you want some water?”, and “No, thank you.”‘
Doyle thought excitedly.
Glover looked at him in disdain and snorted. He showed a disdainful expression that said, “You had not seen the world before.”
‘Just how marginalized was this person that he would never have spoken to the commander alone for three whole years even though we’re all in Renaissance Palace?
‘As for myself…
With faint pride, Glover recalled his last conversation with the guard captain.
‘A few years ago…
‘Weird, why can’t I remember?’
Both of them had their own feelings, but Thales thought about something else in his mind while he stood by the side.
“That is…” he said slowly.
Doyle answered Thales’ doubts in excitement, “Oh, you still do not know about it, right? That is the coolest man in the Royal Guards.
Doyle looked proud. “The head-captain, Lord Adrian, is better than every guard, and he is the witness of the glory and destruction.”
‘Glory and destruction?’
Thales did not seem to understand.
Glover nodded and looked at the direction where Adrian was headed. He looked very serious. “They said that the captain had witnessed the Bloody Year before, and he was the only one who survived among the legendary Royal Guards… He is one among the previous guards.”
‘Witnessed the Bloody Year…’
Thales’ expression changed slightly.
“You mean, the previous Royal Guards during my grandfather’s era?”
Doyle took a deep breath, lowered his head, and nodded.
When he thought of the prisoners in the Prison of Bones, Thales could not help but be shocked.
“Adrian… did he survived through the Bloody Year? How could he do it?”
“Congratulations, Your Grace.” But D.D sighed and spread his arms. “You have just asked the question of the third Unresolved Mysteries of the Royal Guards.”
Thales was rendered speechless.
At this moment, a commotion was heard outside the metal gate.
“No, no, no, it is shut down today… Even if you are a noble, you cannot…”
The trio were attracted. Doyle walked toward the metal gate, and Glover followed right after them.
Thales was curious. He wanted to follow them as well, but he was pushed behind Glover, and he was blocked firmly behind his back.
“What happened?” With the metal gate in between them, Doyle called one of the Jadestar Private Soldiers outside the gate.
That soldier turned around and pointed indignantly at a man who was blocked by a few soldiers far away.
“Your Grace, this man wanted to intrude… He said he is a noble, otherwise, we would have…”
Doyle narrowed his eyes and saw the man who was blocked clearly.
He widened his eyes again.
“Wait a minute, I know him…”
Doyle felt shocked when he saw the man who was waving at him outside the gate.
“Why are you here?”
The man who was outside the gate broke free from being suppressed by the soldiers smoothed his clothes. He was shocked when he saw Doyle.
“Huh, I am the one who wanted to ask you. D.D, why are you here?”
Doyle expression turned dark.
“Of course, I am a Royal… No, no, no, let me ask you first, ‘Why are you here?’”
The man outside the door blinked. Then, he looked around and felt confused.
“It’s… It’s because I’m here!”
Thales, who was behind Glover, burst into laughter when he heard the weird conversation between two of them.
Glover looked at him with a strange look.
“Nothing, it is just…” Thales waved in an apologetic manner.
“I thought of a joke among the Northlanders, ‘Why are you here?’”
Thales could not hold it in and started to laugh.
Glover did not understand. His expression became even stranger.
The baffling conversation between Doyle and the unwelcomed guest outside the gate while they also gestured wildly continued.
“Why, why are you here?”
The guest stroked his head.
“I… took a leave in advance. I specially came over just to take a look at prince. Opps, he is the duke now… I heard he is back now…”
Doyle shook his head.
“No, nobles will need to make an appointment in advance…”
But D.D suddenly came back to his senses.
“Wait, why do you know that the prince is back today, and how do you know he is a duke now…?”
“Ah, the messenger crow in my family is rather… Okay, now get away, do not block me from visiting him—”
“No, wait. How do you know that he is here—”
“Do you remember that when you sent the prince here, we were the ones who were in charge of clearing the path—”
“No, no, no, you should wait for a while… I mean, what kind of identity or qualification are you assuming for you to visit the prince—”
“You must be kidding me. At my age, I am the only young man who has been given the title of lord.”
“Given the title of lord? You are saying that because you have strong connections, a strong background, and a good father that you managed to get a title for good-for-nothing young masters?”
“Bah! Get lost! I am promoted as a lord because of my contribution to the kingdom!”
“Contribution… You mean, catching a thief on the streets?”
“Catch a thief, my foot… It was because six years ago, I bravely volunteered myself for an expedition and saved the kingdom from a war!”
“Heh, let me see how long you can boast—”
“Let me tell you, D.D, you’re blatantly being jealous of me. You’re being jealous because you can’t get a title—”
“MEH! YOU’RE the one who has been single for more than twenty years, should you be shamelessly talking to me like—”
Glover was embarrassed and pressed his palm against his own head behind the metal gate.
Obviously, Doyle and the man outside would not end their conversation any time soon. The Jadestar Private Soldiers around them already felt bored and went back to their own posts.
Yet Thales seemed to have understood something from the conversation.
Thales did not care about Glover’s expression. The Duke of Star Lake decided to move past Glover and reminded Doyle loudly, “Doyle!”
Doyle, who had been standing in front of the metal gate and who had been arguing nonstop, suddenly thought about his own duties. He immediately turned around, smiled apologetically, and said, “Your Highness, I am sorry to have disturbed you… Excuse me, let me introduce to you this person. This is…”
Doyle reached over and pointed at the unwelcomed guest who was outside. He shouted a series of nouns awkwardly, “…My grandmother’s brother-in-law’s grandnephew.”
Glover sighed again, and he slapped his palm against his face.
At that moment, Thales saw the guest outside clearly.
He was stunned.
“There is a successor of a count outside. He is currently working and taking a holiday in the capital…”
Doyle laughed dryly, and he mentioned the name of that person, “Kohen Karabeyan.”
Thales stared blankly at the man outside the door.
“Hey! Hey! Hey! Your Highness! Do you still remember me? I am the one… the one… who ate a lot of fruits and livers…”
The tall Officer Kohen stood tall outside the metal gate. He was surprised when he saw Thales and found that he had grown up a lot. Then, he pointed to himself to show his big white teeth and grinned foolishly in a manner that clearly said, “It’s me!”
Doyle was frightened when he saw Kohen waving madly. He coughed awkwardly.
“I have to give you a reminder, Your Highness.”
He did not notice the strange look on his master’s face. Doyle lowered his voice and put his head near to Thales’ ears.
Doyle pointed at Kohen, who was still giggling and waving. He nodded in secret, and he whispered sincerely, as if he was swearing an oath. “The nobles in the capital are spreading rumors… that this man… is crazy.”