【Job】 Houseless Child
【Attack】 74 （52 ＵＰ）
【Defense】 40 （19 ＵＰ）
【Agility】 95 （70 ＵＰ）
【Skills】 Toxin DecompositionＥＸ／Absorb／Gift of Training
He took out his status card from his chest pocket. It was the first time in a long time since he saw it, however, he found the numbers strange.
“──Fumu? Isn’t it a waste to give up on him with those stats?”
Silvird said while glancing at Ain’s status card from the side.
However, haven’t his stats increased significantly? Ain found that mysterious.
“──But this is rather convenient, Your Majesty.”
From Ain’s other side, Lloyd said so while nodded in satisfaction after seeing his stats.
“Fufu……Ain is my precious child which I’m proud of after all.”
“Umu. I can tell he’s someone who can put an effort since he has the Gift of Training. Besides, I was already aware of some of it since I heard it from Olivia──Hey Lloyd, contact Warren.”
After taking out a piece of paper from his bosom and writing something on it, Lloyd walked to the door and handed it over to a person standing outside.
Ain looked over at the faces of the adults, not really understanding what was going on.
“Ain, you don’t have to look so distressed. Toxin Decomposition EX is an incredible skill even by itself. Besides, you’re even a hard worker. And your Absorb is irrefutable proof that you’re Olivia’s child.”
What are they plotting?
He felt quite uncomfortable with being praised so much he felt they were hiding something.
Sure, it worked on a number of diseases and poisons──its value was certainly immeasurable by itself, but how do working hard and being Olivia’s son affected anything?
“Ah……By the way, concerning the Absorb skill, I’d like to get some more information about the Dryads……”
Right, about the Dryads, I’m one apparently.
After Olivia’s matter settled down, Ain recalled this thing in his mind.
“Also, why did my stats increase……?”
Adding the stats to the Dryad issue, his questions kept on increasing.
When he enquired in a confused voice, Chris, who up until now had been quiet, took a step forward.
“──Allow me to explain about that.”
In her hand, she held a small magic stone about the size of a fist.
“Ain-sama. Could you please pick this magic stone and imagine you were drinking it? ”
“Drink the magic stone? This magic stone indeed has a smell similar to that of ripple juice, but……Drink it? ”
Not understanding the reason, he asked Chris.
Immediately after, Chris……No, all the people present opened their eyes big in surprise.
“The magic stone has the scent of ripple juice……you say……?”
“Chris. What kind of magic stone is that? ”
“……It’s the magic stone of a monster called Ripplemodoki(False-Ripple).”
I wonder if it’s related since it has that name? Ain listened while nodding in his mind.
Then, Chris looked at Ain with a serious expression.
“……I see. So, the magic stone has a scent. This might be a new discovery.”
Reaching this point, she cleared her throat and corrected her posture before continuing.
“Let’s get back on topic. Ain-sama has been using Absorb and Toxin Decomposition together.”
In other words, he has been eating them.
“I first noticed when we were on the water train.”
She explained that every time Ain was hungry, she felt her body become lethargic.
That was the reason why she asked him if he was hungry when they arrived at the castle.
“Also, it’s a fact that we elves have high magic and agility.”
In Ain’s status, as they saw earlier, besides stamina, those two showed the biggest increase.
“Y-You’re an elf, Chris-san……? I couldn’t tell since your ears weren’t pointy……”
“Ahaha……I guess it’s hard to notice from the outside, but I’m a pure-blooded elf, you know? ”
Her appearance was quite beautiful, but he couldn’t notice since she didn’t have the features.
“We elves have different shaped ears depending on the place where we live. This is because I live in the Royal Capital……”
The more they needed to rely on their hearing, the longer their ears were.
“Well then──This time instead of doing it unknowingly, try to focus on purposely absorbing it.”
“Uhmm……Using Toxin Decomposition isn’t so hard, but it’s a bother having to lose consciousness and feeling ill……”
But, even if I said that, it wasn’t the case with the Star Crystal.
He didn’t know the reason, but this time it appeared to have been the same.
Then, after immersing in her thoughts for a bit, Chris spoke.
“Then, did something like that happen when you made the Star Crystal? ”
“No, not at that time……”
Listening to that answer, Chris gave him a reassuring smile.
“If so, then I think you should be okay. Most likely, the effect of the Gift of Training counteracts the feeling of illness you felt before.”
──At this moment, one of the questions he had was answered. He felt surprised by the versatility of the Gift of Training.
From what he heard from Olivia, she explained that it made his body stronger, more resistant to illness and pain, and harder to become tired, so it surely had a good compatibility──But he never thought it would cancel out those feeling of sharp pain he felt before.
“……Come to think of it, there was a part about that. I’ll give it a try! ”
Not only the skill he was born with, but now thanks to the power gained through his efforts, more paths were opening.
When he became aware of this fact, he smiled and triumphantly grabbed the magic stone.
Before long, the magic stone gradually lost its color.
(Ahh, it tastes like ripple……)
Ain trembled with joy, feeling the rich sweet and sour taste throughout his body.
“Hoo……I see. It seems like Chris’s hypothesis was correct.”
Silvird was convinced after looking the magic stone changed into a clear crystal.
“──Yes. Dryads absorb nutrients from the ground, underwater, and also from the air……”
This was why, when Ain’s body became hungry, his body began to seek nutrition using his skills.
In other words, he was able to grow stronger in the same way monsters did.
“Uhmm, I was able to absorb it, but it doesn’t look like my status increased, you see? ”
Ain said so, why holding the magic stone that had lost its color and had become a clear, translucent stone.
“This is just a hypothesis, but there might be an upper limit to what can be absorbed from the same monster’s magic stones. Most likely, he also had been absorbing from the magic stones that served as fuel, like in the water train.”
This meant that if he wanted to improve his status, he might need to use slightly higher quality magic stones.
“Now that I think about it, Chris-san. Does this mean that elves also have magic stones? ”
“Not only the elves, but all the anthropoid races also have magic stones in their bodies.”
This fact was so shocking that Ain couldn’t keep his mouth from dropping open.
“Y-Yeah……However, if you absorb their magic stone, they would die.”
Immediately after, Chris continued to explain to Ain, who still had a shocked expression.
──According to her, anthropoid races and monsters had two important organs in their bodies.
One was a magic stone. In there, their magic power, their very own life force resided.
The other one was similar to what humans called the heart, called core.
It circulates the blood and nutrients throughout the body and acts as a substitute for the heart.
Thus, when the magic stone is destroyed, the core also dies, however, even if the core is destroyed, the magic stone continues to live.
This was the reason why they were sold at street vendors.
“But if you don’t suck the magic stone completely, they won’t die, so……rest assured.”
Placing his hand over his chest, Ain sighed in relief after hearing that.
──Knock, Knock. There was a knock on the door of the conference room.
Estimating right now was the right time, Lloyd sent a glance at Silvird.
I wonder if it’s about the letter he sent a while ago?
While Ain was thinking about that possibility, Lloyd stood up and headed for the door.
“──Ohh! So, it was true that she returned……Welcome back, Olivia-sama.”
Inside came an old man wearing a lavish robe, who smiled when he saw Olivia and Ain.
Approaching Ain, he bent down his knees in order to bring his line of sight closer.
“I am Warren Lark. I hold the position of Prime Minister here in Ishtalika. It is a pleasure to meet you, Ain-sama.”
He looked like a good-natured old man, however, he exuded a power that couldn’t be hidden.
Despite him just introducing himself, Ain couldn’t stop from feeling a weight with each and every one of his words.
In the end, after smiling, he stood up and moved to Silvird’s side.
“Your Majesty, I’ve brought the documents you asked. Her Majesty, the Queen, has answered with consent to the Message Bird sent. As soon as she returns to the castle, she will officially sign it.”
“Umu. So, what is Katima doing? ”
At that moment──DOOON! The second Katima’s name came up, the door of the conference room opened forcefully.
“I’m here, nya! Ohh, so Olivia really came back, nya! ”
What came a little after Warren did was a big cat, about 120 cm in height.
However, it wasn’t just a cat, it walked in two feet and wore clothes.
“It’s been a while. Onee-sama, your fur looks especially beautiful today.”
“Eh!? Is that so, nya!? Nyaaー…… You really have an eye for it, Olivia, nya.”
Then, she noticed the figure of Ain.
“Y-You’re Ain, nya? I’m Katima, the First Princess, nya! ”
“Fi……First Princess!? This cat!? Why is a cat walking and speaking like a person……!? ”
Albeit surprised, Ain inadvertently voiced out his honest impressions.
“I’m a Cait Sith, nya! I’d appreciate it if you don’t mistake me for a cat, nya! ”
Although he could only think of her as a big talking cat, Olivia had certainly called her Onee-sama.
In other words──She was of one of the anthropoid races that lived in Ishtalika.
“I’m of reblooming ancestry, just like Olivia, nya. This is just the result of the Royal gacha, nya.”
“What’s that? This Royal gacha?”
He couldn’t feel the same kind of intimidating aura that he felt from Silvird.
That was why he could speak to her more casually as one would do with a friend of many years.
“Ishtalika’s royal lineage has many races in it, nya. That’s why, some of those races can reappear as reblooming ancestry, nya. That’s the Royal gacha……Did you get it, nya? ”
Ain gave a strained laugh at the thought of this royal gacha.
Eventually, she told him “Since we’re of the same family, you can drop the honorifics”, permitting him.
“By the way, Katima-sama. Could I have your signature here? ”
“Huh? Sure, nya. I heard about his reputation, and he’s Olivia’s child, so I have no problem, nya.”
Was a signature required to officially recognize Ain as part of the Royal Family?
While Ain was feeling a bit embarrassed by the events unfolding, Warren took out a piece of parchment from his boson and unfolded it.
“There……That should be fine, nya? ”
Writing her name……That’s what Ain thought she will do, but instead, she took grabbed some vermillion ink and after spreading it over her paw, she pressed it hard on the parchment.
Alongside the sound of ink pressed on paper, her paw was marked on the parchment.
Is that a signature? Right now, that was a signature, right? Being surprised, his amazement reached its limits.
“A-Ain-sama. Katima-sama is a Cait Sith, so using her hand-print is permissible……! ”
“I……I see……I was just surprised since the cultures are quite different.”
Nodding at Chris’s interjection, he thanked her.
While this happened, Olivia had already signed it, and then, Silvird was the last to sign it.
“Accepting its validity, I, Warren, and Lloyd-dono will serve as witnesses. Then, Lloyd-dono.”
Then lastly, as an official document, it appeared to be important that someone else would serve as a witness.
After corroborating its contents for about one minute, Warren handed the signed document over to Silvird.
“Then, Your Majesty. The announcement.”
Silvird then stood up, taking a deep breath.
He released an aura of supremacy, even more than before, to the point that even the air itself seemed to tremble.
“By my name, I welcome Ain to the Royal Family of Ishtalika──And also.”
He was somehow able to predict this, but he never expected he would be becoming royalty the day after he lost his house name.
For example, if he were to tell this to someone, they would make fun of him and laugh taking this as some delusion.
However, Silvird’s speech wasn’t over.
After saying that, the air of supremacy grew thicker, and continued to speak while everyone present floated serious expressions.
“I, Silvird Von Ishtalika. By my name, I declare you, Ain Von Ishtalika, the crown prince──! ”
Ain’s eyes rounded in surprise, and his body stiffened.
His eyebrows were raised to the limit, and his pulse spiked.
“……Me, the crown prince……!? ”
When he turned to look at Olivia at his side, she just answered with a loving smile.
He was just some extra baggage in the Earl’s mansion of a small country.
However, he had now become the crown prince of a superpower that couldn’t even be compared to Heim.
Was this some sort of joke? He tried pinching his cheek, but this was simply not a dream.
(……I suddenly became a crown prince overnight)
He simply remained quiet while surprised.
◇ ◇ ◇
Changing time and location, at the Archduke Augusto’s residence after the party.
Krone was appealing directly to Graf, for her to study abroad in Ishtalika.
“I understand how you feel, but it’s not that easy……”
“Why? Is it money? Or is it because of my academy abilities or etiquette? Compared to when Otou-sama was studying abroad, I believe I’m in a better position in those aspects, don’t I? ”
She nonchalantly boasted about herself right in front of her father, Harley.
“Umu. You’re right, Krone. You certainly are.”
Harley butted in, feeling shocked.
Even though Graf was a stupidly doting grandfather, he didn’t expect him to take her side so readily.
“What, Harley? If you have anything to say, say it.”
He knew it was pointless to say anything since he was in front of her granddaughter, and it was also true that Krone excelled in those fields.
Etiquette and academic ability──It could be said that she was top-notch across the whole country.
“Then, Ojii-sama? What’s the problem? ”
Just as the story was starting to shift, Krone brought it back on track asking Graf.
“Hmm……Do you want to be with Ain-dono that much?”
Krone silently nodded at those words.
“Chichiue. To be honest, I think you should refer to him as Ain-sama.”
“What a coincidence, I was thinking the same thing.”
No matter how big the Archducal house was, it was only appropriate to add -sama to the prince of a great power such as Ishtalika.
Having this pointed out by Harley, Graf couldn’t help but show a wry smile.
“……Please. Give me another opportunity to see him, please.”
She had experienced such a wonderful moment, like a princess from a fairy tale.
So, it was easy for Graf, as a third party, to understand how she had fallen in love with Ain.
“Haaa…… Chichiue, it might not be possible to do it right away, but let’s let her do it.”
It was here that Harley threw a lifeline to Krone.
“Harley! Don’t say it as if it’s that easy! ”
“Even if you tell me that, you know Krone’s will becomes stronger when she’s stubborn. Chichiue, didn’t she stop talking to you for three months at that time?”
He wanted to rebuke Harley saying “It’s not that easy”, but then, Graf recalled that bitter memory.
It happened because of something trivial, but it was a painful memory, remembering how Krone kept on ignoring him.
“Also, if we take into consideration the situation in the near future, isn’t this better? ”
He, Harley, had one concern.
“Ishtalika is a gentle and pacifistic nation. However, I think this went beyond the limits, I worry it’s unavoidable for the diplomatic ties to be severed.”
Hearing those thoughts, Graf nodded with a bitter expression.
“Moreover, if Euro and Rockdam were to get their backing. I don’t even want to think about it.”
He also agreed with that.
Even if Ishtalika broke diplomatic relations with Heim, it was not like they’d do the same with other countries.
“In that case, Chichiue. Could you tell me your current priorities? You family? Or Heim? ”
Graf hesitated to speak. However, after heaving a large sigh, he answered.
“My house has served and contributed to Heim for generations. However, what’s most important for me is my family……And also those who serve in this house.”
This was an answer that disqualified him as an Archduke.
Among the many nobles in Heim, the Archducal house of Augusto was at the very top.
Even so, he held a strong love for his family, and for those who served him.
(I would choose my family. And taking into consideration what the future might hold, I know this is not the wrong decision.)
To put it simply──It was a decision between becoming an enemy of Ishtalika and not.
They should cross the sea to avoid becoming their enemies, this he thought.
(I don’t care if they call me a foolish doting grandparent, I need to cross the sea with Krone…… If so, I’m sure Ishtalika will accept Krone.)
Since he was the Archduke, he knew a lot of information.
If those in Ishtalika were to ask for it, they would surely find value in it.
Despite his struggles, he continued to deeply ponder what was best.
“──Ojii-sama! That means……! ”
She had found hope.
Because of this, Krone leaned forward while asking Graf.
“However, right now it’s impossible. Give me some time to think about it.”
He tried to calm down the excited Krone, immediately explaining his reasons.
“After all, it would be foolish to go from the Roundhart harbor to Ishtalika.”
“I suppose. With Ishtalika probably thinking about breaking diplomatic relations this would be bad, and even if that was not the case, a ship with Heim’s flag would give them the worst impression. If I were to choose a nearby place, I believe Euro would be the best choice.”
Rather, if things went on poorly, their ship might even get destroyed after being marked as suspicious.
It might be treated as an unfortunate accident in the end, but this was something nobody wished for.
“Krone, one year, wait for one year. I’ll come up with a plan.”
Graf answered, with his face resting on his hand, while thinking how should he do from now on.
And, although the period of one year was by no means short, Krone was still pleased to hear those reliable words.
“Really!? I love you, Ojii-sama! ”
Immediately, Krone jumped to Graf and clung to him in excitement.
She had a lovely smiling face, but considering it was the clever Krone doing it, he couldn’t help to feel this all had been carefully calculated. However.
“Hahaha! You’re such a good girl, Krone! ”
Being told that she loved him made Graf relax his face and stop thinking about it too deeply.
Harley covered his face with his hand, feeling ashamed of his father’s expression.
“In any case, it looks like it will end up taking the form of seeking asylum. Chichiue.”
Crossing the sea and to another country in secrecy, they couldn’t argue if this was to be seen as an act of betrayal.
It would be difficult to return to Heim after doing such a thing.
While this saddened them, the two exchanged calmed glances.