Chapter 27 017. Imperial Prince is Really Toiling Away -2 (Part One)
Chapter 27: 017. Imperial Prince is Really Toiling Away -2 (Part One)
I ended up getting thrown into solitary confinement. Being locked in a prison cell meant that for now, I could only stare at Paladin Harman through the iron bars.
“Hey man. What’s my name again?”
“…It’s Allen Olfolse, your highness.”
“And my status?”
“You’re the seventh grandson of His Majesty the Holy Emperor.”
I grinned in contentment after hearing that.
Well, it was my first time going on a power trip while relying on my background, after all. And you know what? It felt better than I initially expected.
The end result was a bit unfortunate though, to say the least.
“Why is a personage such as myself rotting inside a prison?”
“Your highness, since you committed a crime, you need to serve your time. Please spend the next seven days in here.”
“Don’t make me laugh!” I scoffed and addressed Harmon directly, “By the way, is that Mister Eldest Son of Count what’s-his-face still alive?”
“If I really killed him, what would’ve happened to me?”
“…You’d be locked away in a prison, your highness.”
“For how long?”
“…Around half a year.”
Oh, ohhh! Such a short time even though it’s murder? Heh, I might no longer wield any influence as a Holy Empire’s grandson, but I still get to enjoy some benefits, don’t I?
A Count should be ranked pretty high up in the nobility hierarchy, too.
It’s a pretty good deal to relax inside a prison cell for a while, right after getting rid of human trash too. While inside a prison cell, I didn’t have to lug around rotting corpses, I could even read all I want, eat in peace, and exercise whenever I want. I was the Holy Emperor’s grandson, and since the feudal lord was treating me nicely, my standard of living should be guaranteed to be high in this place.
“Still… I should’ve castrated that dumbass.”
“…If you did, your highness, it’d be me shouldering the full responsibility, instead.”
Harman removed his helm and wiped the sweat away with a handkerchief.
Indeed, this Paladin would be the one at the chopping block if I really managed to kill that fool for real. He was my ‘guardian’ after all.
I quietly observed Harman. This dude who came across as the Termin*tor was slowly revealing his emotions bit by bit. I was satisfied with this progress. There were very few things in this world as fun as making a fool out of an uptight person.
“No need to get all sweaty, my man. If I truly wanted to kill him, I’d have gone for the head instead. I merely disciplined him a little, that’s all.”
“But why, your highness?”
Rather than a full answer, I formed a refreshed grin on my face instead.
Harman could only massage his temples. “I see. By the way…” He then stared straight at me and asked, “…When did you learn to use Spirit Speech, your highness?”
I tilted my head in confusion, and upon seeing my reaction, Harman’s expression became even more confused than mine.
“It’s nothing, your highness. Please don’t mind it. In the meantime, please cool your head in here for a week.”
“Alright, I’ll do just that. Ah, I’m feeling kinda peckish, so get me something to eat. Also, something to read too. History books, if you will. It reminds me of reading fantasy novels and that kinda makes me feel good, you see.”
I nodded my head and waved at Harman as the paladin got further away from the prison.
A week, was it?
An unexpectedly long holiday landed on my lap.
I scanned the interior of the prison. It was tidier than I would’ve expected. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t your run-of-the-mill prison filled with gloomy, soggy atmosphere and an unbearable stench.
I guessed that a disused storage area was cleaned out for my use. Hell, it even had a bed too. Also, there were no other prisoners, either. Other than some indistinct murmurs coming across the wall every now and then, it was rather quiet in here.
It seemed that I was separately ‘imprisoned’.
Meaning, a location must’ve been specifically emptied out just for my sake. So, although this was nominally a prison cell, it was more like a small one-bedroom flat. It gave off a cozy overall vibe.
Spending a week in this place should be a cinch, then.
Actually, I was in need of some ‘me’ time at the moment. Well, I was deeply engrossed in studying magic lately, you see.
For some reason, it was quite fun learning this kind of stuff.
In my past life, I was what you’d call… academically challenged, but now? The sense of accomplishment I’d get after learning magic and successfully using it was nothing to scoff at.
Just as I extracted the Necromancer’s grimoire from the item window, someone entered the prison. It was Charlotte. She must’ve gotten permission from the Paladin to enter here.
Because she hardly ever showed any emotions on her face, it was tough to get a bead on what’s in her mind, but at least this time, she seemed troubled from the way her forehead had all wrinkled up.
“I’m truly sorry. Because of me…”
Charlotte lowered her head.
“What are you on about?”
I wasn’t planning on helping her out anyway. From the get-go, this girl had really quick wits about her. Even if I hadn’t done anything, it was pretty obvious that she’d have come out swimmingly from that situation anyway.
“I always end up receiving your aid.”
I really had no clue what she was saying here.
To be honest, I didn’t think I have been specifically helping her out so far, so… Ah, was she thanking me for our first encounter, back when I saved her life?
I tilted my head but Charlotte just stood there, not saying anything else while simply staring at me.
I muttered with a slight pout, “Fine, fine. Just go and get me something to eat, will ya?”
“Not the stuff they distribute in this place. I mean, I’d rather have the food you used to make back in the monastery. They tasted pretty good, you see.”
Her cooking skill was first-rate. She was so good that even with just the common ingredients found in rural areas, she was able to produce something really delicious. So, with the much higher-class ingredients the feudal lord handed out, her cooking should be even better than before.
“If you tell the feudal lord that I sent you, he should let you use the kitchen as well as some ingredient, too. I’m feeling quite peckish right now, so bring me something appropriate, will ya?”
Charlotte smiled gently and bowed her head.
(TL: In 3rd person POV.)
Paladin Harman was currently commanding the convicts outside the walls of the Ronia fortress.
The blizzard was so strong that he was nearly walking blind at the moment. This weather was extremely dangerous – the snow piled up far too high because of the ongoing blizzard.
Ronia’s walls were on the low side, at only twelve meters high. If the fallen snow hardened, it’d basically give the undead access to bridges to cross over the walls. Which was why they needed to work fast and plow the snow away.
‘It’s been a week already.’
After his job was done here, he’d go and free the Imperial Prince.
– Imperial Prince-nim only did those things because of me. Please pardon him.
The girl from the monastery actually came to see Harman first. She explained what happened that day. Of course, he had to doubt his own ears.
According to her, the one to instigate the incident was Heis, the eldest son of Count Hedron, and the Imperial Prince merely tried to dissuade him.
‘Rather than dissuading, it looked more like a simple act of violence to me, but…’
In the process, the Imperial Prince displayed a new side of him. For a brief moment there, he showed to everyone present that he still had the authoritative air and dignity that befitted the descendant of the Imperial Family – he proved to be someone who had indeed inherited the noble bloodline.
No, the boy went even further than that and he ended up using ‘Spirit Speech’.
He loaded his voice with divinity and caused the surrounding air to become heavier, which gave the sense of sheer pressure to all those listening to him.
‘But it seems that his highness isn’t conscious of it.’
Only a handful of commanders overflowing with charisma was capable of using Spirit Speech at will. And those who could subconsciously spit it out was even rarer, regardless of whether you were a student of magic, a believer in the divine, or even a possessor of demonic energy.
Harman had a lot of questions he wanted to ask the Imperial Prince. He was really curious about how the boy could even use Spirit Speech, and where he learned to use it in the first place.
Did something in him really change three months ago, after that suicide attempt? However, it was impossible for anyone to change their ways in such a short period of time.
Harman frowned deeply and discarded all the unnecessary thoughts out of his head. He then shifted his gaze back to the convicts busy doing their jobs. They were wielding their shovels and plowing the snow away.
“…It’s too quiet.”
The violent snowstorm continued to hinder his vision. It was eerily quiet and the only sound present was the noise of the winds angrily howling about. No, there were also the grunts of the convicts and their echoing shoveling noises too.
This was too strange.
The 25th of December. The day the Necromancer King Amon had perished. It was also when demonic energy would become its strongest within the Land of the Dead Spirits.
Even then, the horrifying moans and screams dyed in pain belonging to the undead weren’t reverberating throughout this cursed land.
As a result from these days of relative peace compared to last year, the convicts were all carrying relaxed expressions.
However, Harman was inwardly worried. This was exactly like the calm before the storm. It was too peaceful as a matter of fact. The Ronia fortress should’ve been visited by at least hundreds of undead already. And yet, not even a single one could be seen.
‘…Something is definitely wrong here. An event like this must be its first ever since the death of the Necromancer King.’
It had already been 50 years since the Great Hero, the current Holy Emperor, Kelt Olfolse, had slain the Necromancer King.
In the ensuing decades, events of the undead repeatedly gathering in the Land of the Dead Spirits and dispersing continued every year.
And on the very day that the Necromancer King died, the 25th of December, the undead should be rampaging about more viciously than ever before. However, everything was so calm that he was getting goosebumps instead.