108-108 The Serenza's

Father, are you back?
Yeah, I just got back. Thank you for all your help during my absence, Raine.

 When the king returned from Mithra and entered his office, the prince placed the bundle of papers he had been looking at on the desk and faced the king.

...... The Pope of Mithra has done a fine job. That was an interesting speech. Did you see it?
"Yes, I saw the Pope's speech through the images on the spare oracle ball in the Mage Institute. I think it was a brilliant speech.
"Ah. The content of the announcement was bound to cause a great deal of friction, but judging from the reaction afterwards, it seems that the resistance was much less than expected. Strangely enough.
The new Pope's personality may be a factor, but I think the script was structured quite well, making the most of it.
"The new Pope's regime, including Prince Tyrence who wrote the plot, is quite tricky. The new papal regime, including Prince Tirens who wrote the plot, will be tricky. In a different way than before.

 Despite his words, the king's scarred face showed a look of happiness.

"So, I have something to report in my absence.
"Yes, let me hear it. I'm sure it's not all that urgent, though. It's been a long time since I've been on the diplomatic scene and I'm exhausted. I'd appreciate it if you could keep the subject matter to a minimum.
"Yes, but... There's one thing that's really bothering me.
The matter of the visit to King's Landing by the envoy from Salenza. Karou told me about it.

 The king, who had been smiling with amusement earlier, turned to his son with a stern look on his face.

I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one who's had to deal with this.
We have been keeping a close watch on the messenger from the time he entered the country until he left. ...... It seems that the messenger himself came to us only with a 'letter' for us. He didn't seem to know the contents at all.
"A letter, huh? Did you check the contents?
Yes. I had Kallu check for anything suspicious and then I read the contents. It certainly seems to be an official document from Sarenza. The text is a common kind of friendship document, but the ...... content is quite strange.
Let's see it.
"Yes, here.

 The king looked at the document handed to him by the prince and narrowed his eyes after reading it for a while.

I see, this is eerie. I've been impressed by your country's remarkable achievements, and I'd like to offer my gratuitous cooperation to help your country make further progress. I can't believe the guy sent me this letter, even as a social call. I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one who's a fan of your work. ......

Yes. In addition, I think there was another item that said, "We are prepared to provide your country with information on the demons that live in the commercial autonomous region. ...... In addition, we will give you unconditional permission to explore the Labyrinth of Oblivion near the capital of Salenza.
In addition to that, we will also give you unconditional permission to explore the Labyrinth of Oblivion near the capital city of Salenza." "I don't know about the demon tribe thing because of Rolo, but ...... the Labyrinth of Oblivion thing is something that our country applied for a long time ago. It's really too late. It's hard to know what you really mean.

 The king was silent for a moment, staring at the document, then sat down deeply in his office chair and turned to the prince.

"Rain. I want your opinion on this letter.
"Does that mean that I should accept ...... this offer?
"Well, that's one thing, but the first thing to consider is the true meaning of this transparent offer.

 I'm not sure what to make of it.

I can only give you my impression that ...... the content of this document itself is probably not very meaningful (・・・・・).
"Oh, ...... meaningless?

 The king stared at the prince's face with a slightly surprised expression.

Yes. I'm sure they're trying to make good on each promise they've made, but ...... none of them are very important to them. It seems to me that they are trying to get some unseen information that can be inferred by presenting multiple agendas to get our reaction.
I see. So you're trying to trick me.
Yes, ...... if we play our cards right, I don't think we can give them much information, but if they don't have any information, they should be able to get some by watching how we act.
So, ──── they think that there is something (・・・・・) going on in the Kingdom of Crais, and they are trying to find out what it is.
I think that's what they're doing.
"Well, you have a point.

 The king was lost in thought for a moment, then smiled slightly and turned to the prince again.

I think you're right. It's my specialty to pretend I didn't see anything and brush it off.
But that's not going to work this time, is it?
"I'm sure it's ....... Not responding after receiving a letter is only an affirmative response. What should I do?

 The two men were silent as if thinking again, but soon the king shook his head and handed back the letter he had finished reading to the prince.

...... I'm not good at thinking, so I guess I can't help it. I'll see if I can't come up with a better idea, and I'll ask Oaken for his wisdom. It won't be too late for me to give you an answer.
"Yes, I think it's better to answer this matter carefully. And I have one other thing to report.
Is there more?
Yes, ......, about Noor, the man who gave you the Black Sword.
What's wrong with him?
Yes, that's ......

 The king heard the sound of the prince swallowing a large gulp of spit.

 The king waited for the next words, thinking that it was unusual for the always calm prince to be so upset.

"......, sir. That man has been using the Black Sword, a labyrinthine relic, for quite some time now, and has been using it to ──── clean the sewage system in the capital, and has also been using it for excavation work to rebuild the capital's waterways.
"Construction? Excavation? You dug up the earth? With that sword?
...... Yes. I've had additional research done and there are signs that the man has used the black sword before to drive piles into the ground for the construction of his reconstruction home. ......

"...... pile driving ......? I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm not sure what to make of that. ──── Bwahaha!

 Suddenly, the quiet office was filled with loud laughter.
 The prince watched in amazement as the king belly laughed.

"Chi, father?
"...... Ha, that's good. You're a dope. That's really funny. It looks like I was right to entrust the Black Sword to that ...... man.
Aren't you angry, ......?
No, I'm not angry. That would be a good news story. Well, well, ...... I'm glad you're getting a lot of use out of it. I'm glad to see you're using it so much. It's much better for the sword than keeping it as a decoration in the castle. It is serving the people well, isn't it? No, it's fun, it's fun.

 The king laughed for a while, and when the laughter finally died down, he asked the prince, half in tears.

...... So, what's the prize? I'm sure it's well-deserved, isn't it? You've contributed so much to our country, you can't do nothing. If your budget is not enough, you can sell off the treasures in the treasure house and set up a special budget?
It seems that most of the work at ...... is paid for through the Adventurer's Guild. In the event that you're looking for the best way to get the most out of your business, then you're going to want to make sure that you're getting the most out of your business.
One-fifth? Isn't that a fair compensation for his work?
Yes. Yes, as a commission for the accomplishment of a task (・・・・・・).

 The king laughed out loud at the report as well.

"Ha, that man. So he must be very rich already?

Yes, in terms of monetary assets alone, that man has done a tremendous amount of work and has a huge amount of ...... assets.
"Haha, well then, I guess I'll have to turn down another monetary reward. What should I do?

 The king snorted and put his hand on his chin.

The king snorted and put his hand to his chin, "...... can't help thinking about this. I'll tell the man that I'll help him in any way I can, just tell him what he wants. No, I'm pretty sure I already said that. ......? What should I do? That's a tough one.

 The king pondered for a moment, then suddenly grinned like a boy who loves to play pranks.

...... Yes. I'm sure you'll be glad to know that I'm not the only one who has a problem with that. Wouldn't it be interesting to send him a letter saying, 'This is the man you wanted to know about, who is responsible for the rise of the Kingdom of Crace'?
"Father, is that ......?
Well, of course I'm joking. Of course I'm joking. I can't let my benefactor do that. Of course I'm joking, but ...... you'll see. I'm sure you'll see the look on the face of the head of Salenza when that man shows up.
I can only see ...... big trouble ahead.
"Well, I guess so. I think so too. I'm sure it will be a big problem.

 The king smiled happily for a moment, then returned to his serious expression and told the prince briefly what he would do.

As for the letter from Sarenza, I will convene the Six Saints tomorrow for a meeting. After that, a decision will be made as to what to do. I'll let that man know at ......, I guess. Anyway, tell him to let me know if there's anything he needs to know.
"...... Yes.

 The king looked at the prince again with a serious face.

And," the king looked at the prince again with a serious face, "I gave you the bear figurine.

 He then smiled with amusement.