The first time he was angered.
A few weeks had passed since Ain’s first hunt.
Two Ishtalika ships had sailed towards Euro, one of which had now returned to Ishtalika.
One of the two ships was used for carrying the necessary goods, like materials and such, so it returned to the homeland after completing their designed job.
Warren had gathered the reports from the civil officers that came back on said ship and were currently reporting to Silvird and other officers.
“Well then, is the full-scale Sea Crystal mining feasible, Warren?”
“The quality of the Sea Crystals from Euro has been deemed good for practical use, and about the mining, it doesn’t seem there would be any problem. With that said, everything will move according to schedule.”
Silvird and the others were being briefed by Warren while checking the Sea Crystals brought in from the Dukedom of Euro.
There were no problems with the quality of the Sea Crystals for their use in magic tools, and enough items had been brought from the Dukedom of Euro as samples.
“This is splendid, right Your Majesty? If there’s no problem with the quality of the Sea Crystals, then the future looks a bit brighter.”
“Umu. Let’s pray we can find new mines.”
“……Say, Warren. Is that all you have to report? ”
“No, there’s still more. I too have received letters from Duke Amour, and there are a few matters that need Your Majesty’s sign for approval.”
“I think you know what I’m talking about, yet you seem to find fun in delaying it……”
Silvird had one thing he worried about.
This was the issue of Archduke Augusto and company. A big noble who, contacting them via Euro, wished to cross to Ishtalika.
He was curious about the Archduke’s granddaughter, the one who said she was treasuring the flower she received from Ain.
“Warren-dono, you’ll be in trouble later if you keep teasing His Majesty. ”
“Hahaha. I bet, well then, let’s switch to the report about Archduke Augusto and company, that Your Majesty seemed to be curious about.”
“You’ve always been a troubling vassal.”
After laughing a little, Warren took out one document and reported on it while reading it.
“Krone Augusto. She’s four years older than Ain-sama.”
“The investigation results are. Although informally, it seems the third prince of Heim has already proposed to her.”
“It seems that’s quite a delightful topic, huh?”
Listening to Warren’s report, both Silvird and Lloyd looked happy, but their smiles were those of people who were up to no good.
“Delightful, indeed. Incidentally, it seems Lady Krone had implied her refusal, but apparently, the third prince has not given up.”
“How amusing. Hey, Lloyd, isn’t this quite the funny turn of events? ”
“Yes, this is turning more and more amusing, Your Majesty. Come on, Warren-dono, let us hear the rest.”
The two of them encouraged Warren to continue. The story was becoming more and more interesting for those who didn’t have Heim in high regard.
“And, at the party, the day before Olivia-sama and Ain-sama returned here. That’s the day she met with Ain-sama and became close.”
“As usual, your information-gathering abilities are excellent, Warren.”
“Yeah, that’s right. I never know when he searches for that information, but it’s great that I don’t have to worry about it myself.”
Warren, Ishtalika’s Prime Minister, had an unrivaled talent in gathering information.
He even looked up information on Heim, on another continent, alongside the deal with Euro.
Seeing his high ability in this field, Lloyd couldn’t help but also praise him.
“……What kind of people are they? I’d like to talk to them directly when they arrive here.”
Krone had done something interesting for Silvird and the others.
And Silvird wanted to talk to her directly to personally judge her nature.
Meanwhile, the former Archduke Augusto was unaware of what kind of conversation was taking place at Ishtalika’s Royal Castle.
The former Archduke Augusto, Graf, was on board of the Ishtalika ship, together with Krone, an old butler named Alfredo, and several escorts.
“Still, it is quite impressive, Alfredo.”
“Indeed, just as you say. One wouldn’t believe this is the inside of a boat.”
The rooms that were allocated to Graf and company were ones used for Ishtalika’s nobility, so the facilities and interiors were satisfying for them.
Although Krone and Graf stayed in different rooms, the only difference between them was some arrangements of the furniture and a few other items, otherwise one could call them identical.
“Ojii-sama. I think this place feels more comfortable than the Augusto family mansion.”
“Indeed. To be honest, no matter how much these rooms are designed for nobility, this is the inside of a ship. I thought there would be some shaking or cumbersome facilities.”
“Certainly. It feels more enjoyable than the mansion.”
Graf and Krone felt the rooms satisfying in part due to the lack of shaking, despite it being inside a ship.
With their main concern solved, it being Krone having a hard time adjusting to the travel, Graf, and Alfredo, along with all the servants felt grateful.
“The rooms for us servants are also wonderful. They don’t have the facilities of this room, nor its lavishness, but still, it’s hardly inconvenient to live in it, nor do they shake.”
Alfredo, together with some servants and escorts were of course allocated into separate rooms from those of Krone and Graf. However, those rooms were also comfortable, albeit in their way, so there were no complaints from the people who accompanied them to Ishtalika.
“I felt everything was like a fairy tale from a distant country. But coming this far, it feels real, Ojii-sama.”
For Krone, all she knew about Ishtalika was only the things she had studied.
And even though her father, Harley, had studied abroad, she couldn’t picture it at all when she heard his stories.
Even when she first saw the ship, she was so surprised she was left speechless as she boarded it.
“Yeah. And now that we’ve come to this point, there’s nothing Heim can do to get in our way.”
This was one of Graf’s concerns. The marriage proposal from the third prince.
This time, they had left the country with the excuse of Graf’s medical treatment, and arrived in Euro via the Trading City.
He had expected some interference when they left Heim, but nothing particularly worthy of note happened.
If anything, it was only one of the people close to the third prince who had asked Krone to keep in mind the prince’s proposal.
Graf felt personally grateful that they had yet to use some forceful measures.
It was common sense that any noble serving the country would obediently accept a marriage proposal coming from the Royal Family.
In such a situation, the Augusto family didn’t easily accept it, so that issue was being put on hold. And also, the third prince really fancied Krone, and since he wanted her to also like him, he was moving slowly. That was the reason no forceful means had been taken.
“Here’s another cup of tea.”
“Thank you, Alfredo.”
While observing the two of them, Alfredo brew some more tea.
Graf was thinking. He believed that some sort of problem might occur, be it big or small.
And it would most certainly happen, but that would be further in the future. But what was most important was that it didn’t occur now.
“Yeah. Why don’t you go to school when you turn seven?”
At Olivia’s room, late at night. Before Ain and Olivia both went to bed, they were drinking some tea while chatting.
And in the middle of those talks, Olivia suddenly told Ain that he should go to school.
If one were to think about it, and taking into consideration Ain’s age, it was only natural for him to go to school.
“Come to think of it, I’m almost seven.”
“We should celebrate, right? ”
“Yes, I’ll look forward to it.”
Ain would soon turn seven years old.
It had been over a year since he first arrived at Ishtalika, and in that time, he had completely become an Ishtalikan.
He was already familiar with the knights and servants working at the castle and was known as His Highness or Ain-sama by them.
The announcement of Ain as Crown Prince was scheduled to be held shortly after he turned seven.
“What kind of school will I go to? ”
“Let’s see……What kind of school do you want to go to, Ain? ”
“Uh? Is it alright for me to choose? ”
“But of course. One of the largest schools in Ishtalika is located in the harbor city that we visited when we first arrived, and one of the best schools in Ishtalika is located here in the Royal Capital. Some other famous schools are more distant, but…… It might be difficult for you to attend those, considering your position.”
It seemed the limit was the school in the harbor city. There was also a dedicated water train, so it was easy to return to the castle in case something was to happen.
The other school was located in the Royal Capital. Ain didn’t want to leave Olivia’s side, so in his mind, he had already decided to go to the school in the capital.
“If I were to go to the school in the harbor city, will I have to live alone there? ”
“You’ll be alone, but as part of the royal family, I think you’ll be having some escorts. But don’t worry, I can endure it.”
With a small tear in her eye, Olivia said she’d endure.
And as Ain heard he would be living alone, he decided against it.
“I don’t want to be separated from you, Okaa-sama, so the school at the Royal Capital is the best choice. If it’s the school here, I can go back and forth from the castle, right? ”
“Ohh, Ain, you really are a good boy. Thank you, that makes me happy. If you go to school here in the Royal Capital, you can commute from the castle. You’ll just have to take a water train to get you closer.”
“Huh? Is it at quite the distance away? ”
“It certainly is within the Royal Capital. But, it’s just that the Capital of Ishtalika is quite large, you know? That’s why people often travel within it by water train. Using a carriage just takes too much time and it might tire you.”
‘I see’, Ain thought to himself. But, is it okay for a Prince to take a regular train to go to school?
Wouldn’t that cause some fuss? He started to think about several issues, such as whether there was a private train exclusive for the school.
“By the way, is it okay for a Prince to use the water train to go to school? ”
“You’ll have someone as your escort. There will be an exclusive escort appointed later, so wait until then, okay? ”
Ain felt convinced when he heard that an exclusive escort will be appointed.
After all, it would be foolish for the Crown Prince to go on the train alone.
“In any case, I’m sort of looking forward to it. Considering I’ve never really been with people my age.”
“I guess you’re right……Sorry, Ain.”
The number of friends Ain had of his age was zero.
If you counted Krone, that would be one, but she was not around.
This caused Olivia to apologize for said situation.
“It’s not your fault, Okaa-sama. So…… I wonder what kind of place is the school in the capital? ”
Ain then tried to change the topic before Olivia apologized again. And he also wanted to hear more about the school in the capital.
“You’re right! I guess you’d want to know more about the school. Then, let me tell you about it, Ain.”
Olivia then began explaining to Ain about the school.
The name of the school was Ishtalika’s Royal Kingsland Academy. Kingsland was the name of Ishtalika’s Royal Capital, and it seemed the name was just added to the school.
Its name was Royal, and there also was another school called National Kingsland Academy. Ain found it a bit confusing considering the names were quite similar, so he wished someone had renamed them. (TLN: In Jap, both names sound extremely similar.)
The Royal Academy was run under the Royal Family, and Silvird held the highest authority in it. And the National Academy was state-run, operated by Ishtalika’s government.
The Royal Academy’s standing was higher, of course, but it was also harder to enroll in it. This caused the number of students enrolled in it to be less than half of those attending the National Academy.
Incidentally, Ain was going to enroll in the Royal Academy.
However, it was impossible to enroll without taking some sort of test.
“Is it an exam?”
“Only in this, we can’t help you. Therefore, you’ll have to do your best, Ain.”
According to Olivia, for the examination, there were various test options.
It could be calculus; it could be history. People could also be admitted if they excelled in one field, such as law.
One could also choose to test with Magic.
“I see, then in my case, my strong points are Toxin DecompositionEX and Dark Knight.”
“I don’t think they’ll find out if you use the Dark Knight skills. After all, I don’t think some people have seen them with their own eyes. That’s why that should be okay……It might cause some sort of fuss. But Toxin DecompositionEX is still a secret……”
Dark Knight was a skill that people didn’t acquire. That’s why it was it wasn’t very good for an examination.
That being the case, he could still use Toxin DecompositionEX. However, there were currently no plans to make public its existence, considering how special it was.
“Then, I’ll have to test with the sword……? ”
“I feel bad that you can’t use your skills, and I think it’s a shame, but it can’t be helped.”
Since he chose to test showing his strength, Ain decided to fight with the sword.
All he had to do was show his strength as if he were training with the knights at the castle.
Thanks to his efforts that earned him the Gift of Training, and as a result of making the most of it while training, let alone those of the same age, he was capable enough to cross swords with a regular knight.
“I too believe it’s not a bad idea to compete using your sword skills. After all, you’re already able to defeat a castle knight, right? ”
“Certainly. In that case, do you think I’ll pass? ”
“Of course. Even the knights of Ishtalika were selected like that when enrolling.”
“Then, I will keep training until that day. By the way, when is the entrance exam?”
“Since there are a lot of candidates, the tests should be taking place every month for children under seven.”
‘If it’s every month, I would like to do it the sooner’, Ain thought.
He believed it would be troublesome if something came up later and he couldn’t take the exam.
“The next test should be coming soon, do you want to take it, Ain? ”
“Yeah. I think the sooner I’m done with it, the better, is it okay to take the test? ”
“I see. I’ll prepare everything that you need in the morning.”
“By the way, what day is the next exam?”
Olivia said she would get everything ready in the morning. Hearing this, Ain thought the next exam date was quite close.
“I should be in one week, will you be okay, Ain? ”
It was earlier than he expected, but since he was just going to swing his swords like usual, he didn’t see the need to worry. All he had to do was keep training until that day.
“It’s okay. I want to take the exam next week.”
“Alright. If it’s you, I think it should be okay, but remember I’m rooting for you, Ain! ”
Ain had been eagerly waiting for the entrance exam for the past few days.
Since he did the same training as the castle knights, he thought it would be a good opportunity to show the fruits of his labor to outsides, and he also wanted to see the school with his own eyes.
And the day of the exam came. Since there still wasn’t a dedicated escort for Ain, he was being accompanied by Chris as they both went to the Royal Kingsland Academy.
Just like the last time they went out to the magic stone shop, Chris was hiding her face under a helm and was equipped with her own gear, not the Royal Guard armor.
As an aside, it appeared Chris’ own equipment was even more expensive than the Royal Guard armor.
After leaving the castle, the two of them headed towards the White Rose station, the largest in the Royal Capital.
But this time, they took a regular water train instead of the royal one.
The area where the Royal Kingsland Academy was located was a place lined up with several other schools, closely resembling a school city.
They boarded the train and headed there.
They arrived in less than 15 minutes at their destination, and the place was crowded with many students.
The Royal Kingsland Academy had entrance exams every month, and many aspirants came from all over Ishtalika.
But even after removing those, there were quite a lot of other students walking the streets, causing Ain to feel amazed.
“There are so many people.”
“Despite it being inside the capital, this place is called Academy City. There are not only students, but there’s also researchers, teachers, and parents who come to visit, so it’s crowded most of the time.”
Chris responded to Ain’s comment.
As for Ain, when he heard this place was always crowded, he felt somewhat weary.
“I’m not really a fan of crowded places, but for now I’ll just aim at passing the exam.”
“I too think it will be easy for you to pass the exam, Ain-sama. Now come, the Royal Kingsland Academy is in this direction.”
And thus, being led by Chris, Ain walked to the place in question.
Looking around, one could see some people with knights as escorts.
Chris then further explained that children of nobility usually went to a school in the Academy City, so it was a normal sight to see them with servants or knights in tow.
“If I recall correctly, Lloyd-sama’s child also goes to the Royal Kingsland Academy.”
Out of nowhere, a surprising statement came out of Chris’ mouth.
Too surprising that Ain didn’t know what to say.
“Lloyd-san’s child……? Eh? Was Lloyd-san married? ”
“U-Uh……Didn’t you know already, Ain-sama? I was sure you’ve already heard of it.”
“Nope, not at all. I haven’t heard a word about that.”
“I-I see……How should I explain?”
Chris worried a bit about what to do and wondered if she could explain.
“Well, I think there should be no problem with Ain-sama……Yeah, it should be okay. In fact, you have already met Lloyd-sama’s wife, Ain-sama.”
After Chris muttered that there was no issue, she went on to explain.
” !? No way. That’s a lie, right? ”
“She’s the one who brings tea to Olivia-sama every day. That’s Lloyd-sama’s wife.”
“Is it M-Martha-san!? That little Martha-san and that monstrous Lloyd-san are married!? ”
Facing such a surprising fact, Ain lost his usual composure.
He couldn’t comprehend that little and cute Martha and the beast-like Lloyd were married.
“Please calm down, Ain-sama. There are a lot of people who react like that……Well, I think everyone reacts like that.”
“I bet. They really don’t look like a married couple in the slightest.”
“Both of them seem to have that stance while working in the castle. Since they both hold an important position, they try to keep it in moderation, and thus, they don’t look like a married couple.”
“I-Is that so? Uh, well…… I guess it’s fine. So long as they are happy.”
He never saw them holding a conversation, nor he had seen them acting like a couple, this is why Ain never noticed it ever since coming to Ishtalika.
And, thinking about it now, Ain noticed he lived inside the castle, but he didn’t know what everyone did outside of the castle.
“On holidays, you can see them going out shopping together. So, I guess they are on good terms.”
“There’s so much that I don’t know.”
Feeling a bit dejected, Ain’s excitement had died down a little.
“By the way, you need to be careful not to call him beast-like or monstrous where he can hear you since Lloyd-sama is easily depressed.”
And while continuing such a conversation, they arrived at the test venue for the Royal Kingsland Academy.
After learning that shocking fact, Ain decided to switch gears and focus to face the exam.
Ans since the escorts didn’t seem to be able to enter the place where the examinations were taking place, Ain parted with Chris there and walked in.
Ain’s chosen test was about combat. The use of any weapon was permitted, no matter the weapon. However, dangerous places, such as sharp edges had to be dulled. Skills were allowed to be used however, magic that acted on the space, such as creating flames, was prohibited.
For this reason, Ain brought the training wooden sword he was used to. Being already prepared, he just waited for his turn to come.
As for the exam, it was necessary to get an “Excellent” score in a one-on-one battle with the examiner.
The definition of excellent was a bit hard to explain, but two other examiners were watching the fights aside from the one who actually fought it, and the final decision of whether one would pass or not was made by the three of them.
“What’s with that swing!? Does the quality of the person who taught you swordsmanship only amount to that? Why don’t you just retire and stop embarrassing yourself?! ”
“(He’s quite the bad-mouthed examiner.)”
Here at Royal Kingsland Academy, the battle test examiners performed a number of taunts.
And then they saw how the provoked candidate acted. It was good if they could behave calmly, but even if they got angry, so long as they could demonstrate their strength, they could pass. However, the weak-minded ones who were brought to tears were simply rejected.
He made a lot of provocations, but of course, he didn’t mean them, and they were only for the sake of the test.
And so, the candidate who said this as he looked at his arm in doubt as tears formed in the corner of his eye, did not pass. Reaching this point, the exam was already over.
“You fail. Bring the next one! ”
Ain couldn’t readily accept this approach.
Still, he thought it was inevitable for a high-ranking school to examine not only the physical ability but also the mental strength, so he understood where this was coming from.
“I’m ready! ”
The next examinee came forward. Here at the Royal Kingsland Academy, the candidates were forbidden from giving out their names.
There were several rules in place as measures taken to prevent nobles involved in the school management from giving preferential treatment to those seeking to enter. And not naming yourself was one of the said rules.
Thanks to this, Ain was feeling somewhat more comfortable.
“You too fail! You’re not suitable for the Royal Kingsland Academy! Next! ”
After a little while, it came Ain’s turn.
Ain wasn’t nervous at all, rather he was somewhat relaxed.
Since his opponent was the examiner for the prestigious Royal Kingsland Academy, it was certain he was reasonably skilled.
He also looked stronger than the castle knights that he always practiced against. However, he didn’t think he wouldn’t be up to the task.
“I’ll be in your care.”
“Come, brat. Show me you can pass.”
With those words said, Ain closed in the distance, swinging the wooden sword.
“Hooo……Not bad, kid. You’re the fastest today.”
“Well, thank you. I still have more.”
Ain continued to attack without thinking too much.
He aimed at the feet, at the joints, at the neck. He attacked different places without a fixed aim so that his opponent couldn’t read the next attack.
“Hmm. Even babies know there’s no point in scattered attacks, they won’t connect! ”
The difference in physique was noticeable, and Ain received a light blow to his sides.
Ain’s stats were high and splendid, but there was a difference in experience between the two.
“You rely on your stats too much. Your skill isn’t up to par, what’cha gonna do now? Do you want to run home with your tail between your legs? ”
Despite the hit, Ain got up soon since it was a light blow.
He tried to pay no mind to the examiner’s provocations.
“No, I can still go.”
“Hmph! You sure don’t know your place, I’m sure your teacher is also a failure! ”
Ain was close to snap with this taunt, but he managed to keep his self-control.
However, he felt that, with those provocations, he had to show his strength to this examiner.
He felt terrible hearing someone say he had wasted his time training with Lloyd, Chris, and the castle knights, who kindly taught him to use the sword.
“You don’t know that for sure. I can still keep going! ”
“What a cheeky brat. That’s why I hate those parents who fail to properly educate their kids! ”
Ain decided on using the Dark Knight.
He no longer cared if this could become troublesome. Despite this being a taunt for the sake of the exam, Ain wouldn’t put up with anyone insulting his mother, Olivia.
His body was in good shape today. He hadn’t used his magic power, so it was enough. There was nothing in the way of using Dark Knight.