“Your highness, are you sure you won’t regret it?”
Looking at his reflection in the mirror, Sol smiled a little.
His current appearance was different from his usual one. All his life, Sol had always been told how much he looked like his father. He couldn’t do much for his facial features, but some little changes, such as his hair.
Until now, Sol always kept his hair long. At least until waist length. He had to admit that it was the chuunibyou in him speaking back then and he still liked it. But, a change was necessary. If he wanted people to stop comparing him to his father, he had to at least look different from his father.
“Sorry, I was spacing out, and no–I won’t regret it. And–I look really good right now, don’t I?”
Milia felt her heart pierced by a giant arrow at the hundred-megawatt smile Sol just sent to her.
She had to admit, Sol with short hair had a real new type of charm.
“Your highness was already incredibly handsome. Now though, you have a different type of smile. More like a bad boy. Fufufu~!”
‘Fufufu~! And I also got his hair for my new collection!’
Sol, unaware of the disturbing thought she had, smiled back at her. The light of dawn was already coming and soon he would have to appear for the first time under the eyes of his future citizens.
“Well, help me wear my armor.”
Wearing armor was rather tedious, but he had to admit that he was incredibly dashing in his armor. His current look made him feel like he was Saber from fate’s prototype.
Short golden hair, blue eyes, a silver plate armor on the upper part of his body over gold and blue tunique.
In this world where people can destroy rock with their bare hands, one would wonder about the use of an armor. Well, not really that useful. At least not if they aren’t specifically made magic armor made of dwarves steel.
This armor by itself was already rather strong and shock absorbent. It could adjust to the body so no matter what form he took the armor would stay. Finally, it was extremely mana conductive.
In short, it was the kind of privilege only the rich could afford and as the crown prince. Sol could lack anything but money.
On the side, Milia could be seen holding a tissue under her nose as she gave a thumbs up. The tissue, slightly wet with blood.
“Your highness is perfect!!”
“Hahaha~! Thanks. Well, it’s time to go I guess. We shouldn’t let my aunt wait.”
There was no gate between the tower and the coliseum. The fact was that gate were always two ways. Allowing a special gate from the Tower to the coliseum meant that the opposite direction was possible. The fact that the tower was connected to the church was only possible because of their relationship.
As such, it was in a luxurious carriage, carried by four white nightmare horses. It was scheduled for Sol to come back on his own nightmare horse once the ceremony and the fight ended. It was a sort of demonstration, to show that even after fighting, the future king could still run on horseback.
In the carriage, the atmosphere was relatively silent. Only, Sol, Lilith, and Milia were present. The battle maids were surrounding the carriage while on their own horse. Everyone knew that Lilith was strong enough to protect herself, but the protocol was protocol.
As she felt that they were drawing closer to their destination, Milia finally began to speak
“Your highness, your majesty, since we are nearing, I think it’s time to discuss the schedule one last time.”
Lilith and Sol nodded for her to continue.
“As the tradition asks for, The fight in the coliseum should happen before and the awakening. Before the awakening, the crown prince must fight at least ten times in rows and win. After his awakening, he must fight the king or queen of the coliseum. In this case, though he isn’t expected to win he must make a worthy display.”
Sol understood the necessity of such a situation. It was to curb arrogance in the prince.
The first ten fights would generally be done against low ranked gladiators who could barely cover their bodies in mana. The gladiators are also expected to take it easy. This is more like a show and a way for the prince to use his skills against different types of adversaries.
But the fight against the king or queen of the coliseum is supposed to be a beat down. By losing against a more experienced fighter, the crown prince or princess learns his place in the world and has a target to strive for.
“Still, this time is a little special. Like his previous majesty, His highness awakened early on. As such the two segments will be connected and modified. His highness will have to fight five high-rank gladiators and then fight the queen of the coliseum.”
Saying so, Milia couldn’t help but be a little worried. She didn’t know why Lilith insisted so much for Sol to fight in such a situation.
But, she also didn’t know how much growth Sol went through, so she did not insist. At least she wouldn’t have to take care of the pest that was bought to act against her prince.
“I see. Then after my fight what will happen?”
“The ceremony will begin with a speech of her majesty, then we will have a display of flights done by elites soldiers on their wyverns. Once done, we will allow people to fight and defy different gladiators or gladiators to fight each other. Then, his highness will select five gladiators who will fight against him. Each fight will have a time limit of 20 minutes. The fight against the queen will have a time limit of 45 minutes. If no winner appears before the time limit it will be considered a draw. Finally, once the last fight end, the ceremony will be closed by a speech of his highness.”
Frowning a little, she continued,
“This evening, you must begin your visit in the four Duke families and pass one night in each of their homes. Once this is done, the official opening of the Astral realm will begin and his highness, as well as the different young nobles who just became fifteen years old like his highness, will go through the portal and search for their future partners.”
This time she smiled, she knew of the Saint fall and the events behind it. As such, she knew that if he was able to–no, once he succeeded in passing the goddess trial, he will be assured to make a contract with a special S rank being like his own mother, Blaze.
“During his highness stay in the Duke houses, a seven days festival will be underway. At the end of it, his highness will be asked to display his contracts.”
Sol complained a little, “This is so tedious. I already feel like sleeping just listening to you. Well, complaining won’t change anything. Which house will I first visit?”
This time it was Lilith who answered, “The first one must be highlands and the third one Milaris. For the other two, decide as you wish.”
Tilting his head, he asked, “Is there a reason?”
“Highland, before becoming Duke, was a general under your father during the wars against Wratharis, Envilya, and Gluttony. What’s more, you might have forgotten, but Gerald is also a member of the Highland family. More precisely an elder. Going first to their home is a sign of goodwill. In cruder terms, it’s a matter of face. As for Milaris, we stuck a deal for her to not be the last house. I will explain it to you before you go visit the Highland. I think it’s time for you to become more involved in the ruling of the kingdom now that you will officially become an adult and are able to protect yourself.”
“I see, then, the second house will be Travers. Our relationship with them is more or less neutral. They only care for money and benefit. The last one, of course, will be–Gorfard.”
Sol sighed at this. The Gorfard and the royal family were in a rather awkward and strained relationship. He had previously asked Milia why they didn’t simply eradicate them.
Sadly, they couldn’t just erase one of the most powerful families in the kingdom and expect the other to simply accept it. They needed a justification. Basically even when killing, they had to look like the good guy.
‘Politics is truly a pain.’
SHK CH 47: WORRYING AND SHADOW