For some reason, I am more nervous than he is.
Gramps walked with a familiar gait, strolling with ease through the palace without hesitation.From the time he left the impoverished village to the time he arrived here, his expression has hardly changed.
When I met Duke after leaving the village, he said, “It’s been a long time,” and we ended with a brief handshake.
He had not seen the sun in over a decade, so I thought he would be more moved.
There was little conversation in the carriage on the way here, and Gramps just gazed silently out at the scenery.
I wondered if he wasn’t happy to be out in the outside world.
I didn’t see any joy in his eyes as he gazed at the scenery.
Maybe he was much more preoccupied with the prospect of meeting the king.
But Gramps’s face was somewhat relaxed…
He never met any of the servants at the castle, which had to be because Duke had arranged them for him.
I wondered how Duke feels about this.
I wonder what he was thinking…Duke never revealed everything that was going on inside his head.
He usually kept what he was up to a secret.
“My father used to get mad at me for running at full speed here.”
Suddenly, Gramps opened his mouth.
I listened to his words as we walked down the dust-free hallway.
Gramps’ father was the former king.
“I always thought Gramps was a calm, cool guy.”
Looking at him now, I couldn’t imagine him running at full speed.
Gramps chuckled a little at my words.
“My tutor always lamented that I was out of control”
“Oh, what did you do…”
“I memorized a book written by my tutor and talked about it teasingly in front of him, I got bad test scores when I was listening to his class, and I got a perfect score on a test when he was sleeping.”
Surprisingly, I had always thought Gramps was a serious honor student.
“You’re more of a little brat than a bad boy.”
A look I had never seen on his face before.
An innocent boy’s smile.
“I wish I could have met Gramps back then.”
“I’ve gotten a lot older, haven’t I”
We arrived at the same large, magnificent door as before at the same time Gramps said this.
A place for an audience with the King.
For Gramps, it was his first reunion with the King in decades.
Gramps was reunited with his brother, from whom he had been seperated in the worst way possible.
…I had never seen the king’s mother before.
Maybe she would be behind this door today.
Now I was beginning to have some regrets.
I shouldn’t have brought Gramps here so easily.
Maybe I should have been more careful.
“Gramps, I’m not that strong, but I’ll still protect Gramps.”
Gramps laughed softly and patted my head as he looked at me with kind eyes.
I love these big, slightly stumpy hands of his.
“There is no one here to interrupt my uncle and father’s conversation.”
Duke said as he looked straight at Gramps.
I think this was the first time I saw him use honorifics.
It was kind of refreshing.
“My nephew is seamless, isn’t he”
“And you, too.”
“I was defeated by a child who sent me a letter as soon as he heard that Alicia had told the story of the impoverished village in front of the five great nobles despite being a child.”
“You promised to take that to your grave.”
Duke said somewhat uncomfortably.
I still couldn’t catch up with their conversation.
“Wait a minute, Duke, did you know that Alicia was going to the impoverished village”
“She’s a curious girl, so I knew she’d go there if she knew about the impoverished village.”
He said this as a matter of course.
Duke, I hope your efforts pay off soon, but knowing Alicia, I knew it would be difficult.
“How did you send the letter I mean, did you two keep it a secret until now”
“I didn’t think it was particularly necessary to tell you.
Besides, Duke told me not to tell anyone.”
“There is only one person in that village that I trust.”
“I wouldn’t have gone out that day Alicia arrived if I hadn’t received the letter from Duke.”
Indeed, when you think about it, Alicia was too lucky.
Gramps went out of his way at night.
And near the impoverished village and the wall outside.
I am now more interested in the mysterious relationship between Gramps and Duke than in the conversation between Gramps and the king.
“How did you read the letter”
“It’s like a verbal message.
When you opened the letter, you could hear the boy’s voice.”
I see, Alicia was eight years old when she went to Gramps.
That means Duke was 13, around the time he started using magic.
And Duke’s magic power was different from normal people.
“How did you manage to send a letter to Gramps”
“I made the bird drink a few drops of my blood and some Abel.”
…I’m speechless because so many things were said that I had no idea about.
Maybe I am the only sane person in this world.