Mightiest Melee Magician
[ Translator - Jreaming ]
[ Proofreader - Artethrax ]
The guests who were looking for me.
They were people who I had only conversed with a few times, and only through letters, but we were bound to meet some day.
A group of knights and servants filled the garden outside the window.
The flags the knights carried had the insignia of a golden sunbird.
The meaning of this was clear.
‘It’s the prince.’
The golden flag with the white sunbird pattern represented the national bird of the Radian Kingdom, and it was also the insignia that represented the royalty.
Since the flags of the Silver Light Knight Order, protectors of the king’s family, were also there, one could tell that the guest wasn’t the king, but the prince.
To be precise…
“So it’s the princes…”
“......Why are they here?”
“Isn’t it obvious?”
“Yes. They’re quite persistent. Even though I clearly wrote my refusal in the letters, they still came to find me.”
The First Prince, Croster Radian, and the Second Prince, Foster Radian.
They were twins born within a minute of each other, and since the successor to the throne hadn’t been decided, they were opposing each other by expanding their influence through the King’s Party and the New Party respectively.
Why they were looking for me was too obvious.
For these two who were stuck in their political battles and other petty fights to come find me…
Should I call this an honor or a bother?
The more I thought about it, the truer the latter seemed.
“Do I have to see them?”
“The choice is yours, but a lot of things will become difficult if you decline.”
I could be sure that Hydel was right.
“It can’t be helped. I’ll be back.”
I chose to tell them clearly in this meeting to never bother me again.
It was quite the sight from the get go.
As soon as I went down to the Spring Garden at the center of the academy, two attendants carrying rolled up carpets ran next to me.
Then, they spread the carpet toward the direction of the princes and loudly shouted,
“The First Prince enters!”
“The Second Prince enters!”
The funny thing was that there were two attendants and two carpets.
On the floor was a scarlet red carpet and a dark blue carpet, and at the ends of these carpets stood the people who seemed to be the first and second princes.
The attendants both pushed for me to walk on their own carpet.
“Please walk here.”
“No, here. Please walk on this one.”
It was as if they were urging me to select between the two princes.
‘Which prince did the winner of the Grand Festival select?’
They had made another petty battle of pride with me as the pawn.
I was stunned at the pettiness.
Didn’t I say there was a reason this kingdom was weak?
Was there a reason to have a battle of pride over such a small thing?
As I got upset at this, rather than choosing between the two, I walked up on the nice dirt path created between the two carpets.
Sounded out one of the knights standing behind me, but who cares?
It wasn’t difficult to find the princes, because if you walked to the ends of the carpets, you would find two people with identical appearances.
I stood fairly in the middle of the two and greeted them with a nod.
“It’s a pleasure to first meet you today. I am Ruin Ardell.”
Then, the knight who said something before shouted out in anger,
“You punk! You dare greet the princes like that?! Kneel right now!”
“Have you not learnt royal etiquette yet?! Kneel immediately, kiss the backs of their hands, and bow your head!”
In an instant, the atmosphere went cold.
Kiss the back of their hands?
That was an action that signified loyalty.
I, who wasn’t a knight, nor an official worker, but just a magic school student?
Not even Chaurmetan Raynac, the Crown Prince of the Empire, asked me for such an unreasonable request.
It’s as the saying goes. Empty vessels make the loudest noise…
Seems the proverbs of our ancestors were never wrong.
I stood straight and turned to face the knight making the fuss.
Brow furrowed, he shouted,
“L-look at those impudent eyes! You puuuunk! Do you know who I am?! I am the leading knight of the Silver Light Knight Order, and I have been stationed in the vital position of guarding the—”
It was then.
“I told you to shut up and remain silent.”
“B-but, your highness…”
“Stop ruining the mood. Kneel and bow your head. Do you not know how much I looked forward to meeting my kingdom’s future?”
The man who made the enraged knight shut up and kneel was none other than the First Prince, Croster Radian. The one who had persistently sent me letters.
“He’s someone who even refused the offer of the Crown Prince of the Empire. This means that his loyalty to the kingdom was already proven. Do you get it now?”
“If you understand, then stay kneeling until I tell you to. Raise your hands as well.”
At the First Prince’s commands, the knight lifted both his hands into the air while looking like he was about to burst into tears.
“I’ll apologize in his stead. His excessive loyalty has turned poison. I know that the wise, next-generational magician would be understanding of this matter.”
What was this?
Why did I feel like this serious atmosphere was hilarious?
* * *
Translator - Jreaming
Proofreader - Artethrax
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* * *
At the First Prince’s serious tone, the Second also came forward to take my side, not wanting to lose out.
“Hear me, knights. Today, I will discuss with our next-generational magician the methods of lifting the darkened veil that is looming over our kingdom. If you dare to interrupt or interfere with this… you know what will happen.”
Maybe because they were trying to look good in front of me, they both tried their absolute hardest to please me.
Even while doing that, they didn’t forget their original goal in visiting me here.
“Magician, you would’ve been quite surprised at my sudden visit. To ease that, I’ve prepared a precious gift. If you give me a moment to talk in private with you—”
“No. The gift I prepared is far more precious. Rather than my older brother, give me the time to talk first.”
“Oh ho. There’s an order to all things. Wouldn’t it be right for me, the older brother, to go first?”
“Is an older brother really older if it is by a minute? Concede this while I’m still showing you respect, brother. Wasn’t it I who arrived at the Academy first? And five minutes earlier at that.”
“Are you challenging me?”
The scene of the two princes fighting over my ‘love’.
As a member of this kingdom, I could only weep.
Naturally, the tears weren’t from being deeply moved.
How could I put this…?
It felt vain.
In this situation where working together wouldn’t be enough to overcome the kingdom’s difficulties, they were here fighting over me…
Would we have to trust and follow someone like this as our king?
Of course, it wasn’t like I didn’t know what they were thinking.
To become proclaimed the Crown Prince, one needed strength, and I, who was victorious in the Grand Festival, would be a great asset if I was to take a side.
However, I had no such plans.
“I have a good idea.”
“......A good idea? Hum. I’ll let the wise, next-generational magician decide.”
“Agreed. We will abide by the magician’s decision.”
I smiled at both of the princes.
“I’ll talk to the both of you at once.”
* * *
As I didn’t reply to the letters like they wanted, the two princes became impatient.
They came to look for me as soon as the holidays ended, both wanting a one-to-one and private discussion with me.
But what could they do when I suggested to talk with both of them at once?
“Do not even think about interfering with my relationship with Sir Ruin. You will be punished greatly if you do.”
“Hehehe. You should lower your expectations, brother. No matter what you try and do, Sir Ruin will choose me in the end.”
“What? How can you be so certain?”
“I can just see it.”
“See it? Looks like you’ve learnt some astrology since we last met.”
“You are being foolish. Why would I need to learn such a thing? I could already tell.”
“Please stop fighting. We’re here now.”
I could already tell it would be difficult to turn the two of them away.
The three of us went side by side into the sitting room, and the ominous feeling I felt came true.
As soon as we entered, they started fighting again.
“You sit on the other side.”
“Didn’t I already sit here?”
“Oh, but aren’t there many vacant seats over there?”
“What you said is right. And since there are many seats, wouldn’t it not be a problem to sit anywhere? Why are you vying for my seat in particular?”
“That is because the seat next to Ruin must be mine, as I said before.”
“Why is that your seat?”
“Oh! You dare?”
“Are you challenging me?”
The seat next to me.
They were persistent in sitting next to me.
Seeing no other way, I moved my seat, and these guys followed me.
They were so childish… What the hell?
Were they kids?
What were these people 14 years older than me trying to do?
In the end, I was sitting in the middle and the two of them sat at either side.
It was an oddly shaped formation leaving out the perfectly fine seats opposite me.
This situation was hard to describe.
They had an obsession.
It was closer to madness.
“A smooth conversation won’t come from this, so how about I sit by myself on the other side?”
“K-kehm! You do that.”
“Ehum! I understand. Because of my older brother, this—”
It was closer to an iron wall.
A powerful, defensive intent from the siblings to not concede a single point to the other.
Please use this for the good of the kingdom instead.
These words remained in my throat for a while, but I was still trying my hardest to show some respect.
No matter how lacking they were, they were still princes.
“Well, I was a little surprised that you came to find me so suddenly… but thanks for coming. I have some things I want to say as well.”
The two of them reacted greatly once again at this topic.
“Oh! You had something you wanted to tell me?! Please say it. Wait! Since it won’t be good to miss anything you are saying, I should make a memo.”
“Tsk, tsk. Stay put, older brother. I can see that he wants to say something to me… Can’t you tell?”
“Is this that same ‘seeing it’ thing from before?”
“Indeed. It’s obviously—”
“Please stop. Both of you.”
I tried to hold both of them back.
“It’s something I want to tell both the princes.”
Hearing this, their eyes went wide.
“......Both of us?”
Yeah, it was something I wanted to tell both of them.
“I have no intention of choosing either of you as my ‘lord’.”
I was telling them to stop bothering me in the most roundabout way possible.
Hearing my direct tone, the two princes became shocked.
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