The Deeds of Arrogant Noble Volume 2 chapter 3 part 3

(This matter should have…sought Abel’s aid in some form, shouldn’t it? The rightful course would be for Abel and the two of them to overcome various hardships together, ultimately leading to Polpon becoming king, one way or another. …No, that is undoubtedly how it should be.)
 

 
Yes, unthinkable.
 
The very situation of Polpon, the second prince of this kingdom, bowing his head to Luke, an aristocratic villain – it was utterly bizarre.
 
(Just what madness led to this circumstance…)
 
In the proper narrative, an event where Abel would duel with Polpon’s brother was supposed to happen. If Abel won, Polpon would become king. If Abel lost, both would be expelled through a magical contract they made to fight.
 
However, that did not come to pass.
 
Polpon witnessed firsthand the overwhelming growth Mia achieved in a short time under Luke’s tutelage. Moreover, having fought her directly, he felt the weight of her tremendous power.
 
And thus – everything went awry.
 
“Well then, that’s enough. You’re an eyesore, so begone already.”
 
“…………”
 
Polpon’s qualities as a king were exceptionally high.
 
If Polpon had become king, and the powerful nobles united their efforts for the sake of this country, the Milestia Kingdom would undoubtedly become far more splendid than it is now.
 

–However, no matter how capable, he was still only sixteen years old. In his youthfulness, he may act on passing emotions and make the wrong decisions at times.
 

 
[I was able to learn because I became Luke’s [pawn]. Prince, you should become Luke’s [pawn] too.]
 

 
As he was about to give up, Polpon recalled Mia’s words.
 
At this point, that was the only thing left for him to cling to.
 
“- If I become your [pawn], would you lend me your aid?”
 
“……Huh?”
 
Porpon was in a hurry.
 
Excluding the first-years, his rank was lower. Facing this reality where the gap with his magically gifted brother only widened further, an unshakable sense of anxiety took hold.
 
It was then that he encountered Luke – or rather, the encounter happened to him.
 
A monster who could wield magic far exceeding his own. For Polpon, it was a ray of light glimpsed in the darkness. Thus, he became convinced that the only way to break through this standstill was to have Luke teach him magic.
 
(As a worst case, I’ll propose a magic contract to become his [pawn]. I don’t think Luke is fundamentally [evil]…There is a risk of becoming a puppet king. But if that’s the case, then my eyes were already useless. The condition of prioritizing Luke’s happiness is enough to open that path. It’s far better than being unable to do anything as a non-king…!)
 
Polpon made his decision.
 
Had he been a bit more level-headed, he might have realized it was not the correct choice.
 
But for Polpon at that moment, it was an impossibility.
 

 
“I’ll become your [pawn], Luke…! As a member of the royal family, I, your [pawn], should be useful for your happiness. So please, I beg of you! Teach me magic!”
 

 
Once more, Polpon lowered his head.
 
Yet from Luke’s perspective, there was no way to know what drove Polpon to make such an unfathomable decision. The sight only served to grievously unsettle Luke’s heart.
 
“……Hold on a moment. My head hurts…and my stomach too…”
 
“A-Are you alright, Luke!?”
 
Clutching his forehead with his right hand and abdomen with his left, Luke was in clear distress. However, the negative onslaught did not end there.
 
The sight of Luke suffering so deeply unsettled Mia’s heart as well.
 
Thus, she immediately began casting healing magic – over and over again.
 
“- [Heal]”
 
Over and over, and over –
 
“- [Heal] [Heal] [Heal] [Heal] [Heal] [Heal] [Heal] [Heal] [Heal] [Heal]”
 
“Wait, that’s enough…”
 
“O-Okay…”
 
“…You overdid it.”
 
Even after receiving Mia’s excessive healing magic, Luke’s spirit could not be soothed –
 

 
3
 

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[Ashwolf’s Claw Marks]
 
The A-Rank adventurer party consisting of the leader and swordsman [Zack], heavy warrior [Jippel], rogue [Sufusasa], and archer [Kigon].
 
No, they were no mere adventurer party.
 
They were currently the A-Rank adventurer party closest to S-Rank in the kingdom.
 
(……What an ironic tale…truly.)
 
Zack had once faltered upon his fateful encounter with the [monster] chosen by fate itself. However, owing to Alfred’s efforts, he was able to recover and decided to continue adventuring a while longer.
 
Previously, Zack would charge recklessly ahead while the others provided support – that was their style. But Zack had come to know his own limits. Thus, ever since his defeat by Luke, he began fighting in coordinated unison with his party members. As a result, they had become an even more formidable party than before.
 

[Accurately grasping the situation and deftly issuing instructions to guide those around him] was a skill Zack excelled at. Perhaps not the talent he had wished for himself.
 
Yet he had undoubtedly broken through the wall he had thought was a dead end and paved a new path forward.
 
“Huh? You going somewhere, Zack?”
 
“Just heading to the tavern for a bit. Greet some folks while I’m at it.”
 
“Oho! Sounds good to me! Save me a drink, I’ll join you later.”
 
“Got it.”
 
They were currently visiting the royal capital.
 
After leaving his belongings at the inn and changing clothes, Zack made his way to the tavern. In his experience, taverns were ideal for fostering new connections in unfamiliar locales.
 
Having operated primarily out of Gilbadia up until now, it had been quite some time since he last visited the royal capital.
 
Zack wandered about the area he vaguely recalled, and soon a modest tavern came into view. Its old, weathered doors exuded an unpretentious, comfortable atmosphere far preferable to contrived luxury.
 
Deciding this would be his spot for today, Zack entered.
 
“Gwahaha! I can’t wait for the next round!”
 
“Indeed, sir!”
 
Perhaps a tad early for drinking hours, or maybe due to the tavern’s lack of popularity – only three customers were present. One man was engaged in lively conversation with the innkeeper while savoring his drink at the counter, while two others a short distance away were having some light snacks.
 
“Haah…what should I do…”
 
“You’ve been saying that all this time. Pull yourself together.”
 
“But I just can’t forget that night…”
 
“Coward. Spineless. Faint-hearted.”
 
“…Aren’t those all the same thing?”
 
The two men having snacks and drinks while making small talk had their heads wrapped in peculiar cloth – likely what is called a turban.
 
While odd, an air of melancholy hung about them that made it somewhat difficult to approach.
 
“Oh, welcome! Haven’t seen your face before!”
 
At that opportune moment, the innkeeper’s greeting naturally drew Zack towards the counter.
 
“Thanks, innkeep! Actually just got to the capital today! I’m Zack, an adventurer. Pleased to meet you. And I’ll have an ale!”
 
“You got it!”
 
With practiced motions, the wooden mug was filled from the cask and rather unceremoniously placed on the counter.
 
“I’m Butcho. And this guy here runs a market stall, Colco. Good to meet ya!”
 
“A pleasure to meet you, Zack.”
 
“Likewise.”
 
Zack took a hearty gulp of the ale.
 
“Ahhh! Hits the spot!”
 
“Haha, a fine drinker, I see! So Zack, what brings you all the way to the capital? ‘Course, no need to answer if you don’t want to.”
 
“Nah, it’s fine. Actually, I got an invitation from [Aslan Magic Academy]. I’ll be a special lecturer there starting this summer.”
 
“Wh-what?! That’s amazing, isn’t it?!”
 
“Nah, it’s not that big of a deal. The original person scheduled for it had some issues, so I’m just filling in for them.”
 
“But that’s still impressive! Forgive my ignorance, but are you a famous adventurer?”
 
“Nah, nah, I’m really not that special. I’m just a humble adventurer based in Gilbadia.”
 
He was not being humble for the sake of it. For Zack, those were heartfelt words.
 
He knew there were true monsters in this world.
 
An image of a young boy with a condescending gaze flashed in his mind.
 

 
“Since you’re from Gilbadia, do you know [Luke]?”
 
“BUFFFH!”
 

 
The moment Zack heard that name, he spat out his ale.
 
“Wh-why…did you bring up that name? Well, I guess I do know him, but…”
 
“Oh! So you do know him! I’ve always been curious about how powerful a mage he is!”
 
“…Huh? What are you talking about? Luke is an amazing swordsman, isn’t he?”
 
“…Huh? What are you talking about? Luke is an amazing mage, you know?”
 
“Hm?”
 
“Hm?”
 
They seemed to be talking about the same person, but Zack was starting to have doubts.
 
As he was pondering this, he felt a tug on his sleeve.
 
“I’d like to hear about that talk as well.”
 
Turning around, he saw a small girl wearing a turban, and another tall man, also wearing a turban, who hurriedly bowed.
 
“Ah, sorry about that sudden interruption. This one here doesn’t really know proper manners. He always ends up troubling people like this.”
 
“Ah, well, I was a bit surprised, but it’s fine. You two want to join us for a drink?”
 
“Oh, is that okay? Thank you very much!”
 
The small tavern was rather empty, but surprisingly lively.
 
The conversation there was full of surprises for Zack.


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