Chapter 2: Prince, The Black Dog, and The Delinquent Knight Part 2
With a heavy gait, Octavian moved towards the residential area of the royal castle. It was already past noon.
Octavian headed to the royal castle in the morning, first to the Legal Affairs Bureau. There, he looked over the standard documents. The contents included the pledge, the employment contract, and his wages.
Then, to ensure that there would be no future issues, he was forced to listen to a long explanation before signing it. Next on the list was the Military Affairs Bureau. His father had told him that this was what making your face known meant. In the bureau, he was greeted by the instructor that conducted the interview, the one whom his older brothers called demonic. The instructor led him to greet the upper echelons of the Military Bureau.
(Somehow, these higher level gentlemen are looking at me with such fearful eyes… What exactly did dad do when he was still active?)
When they heard Octavian’s family’s name, everyone showed a fearful expression. While keeping that question in mind to ask his father next time, he met the patrol of the Patrol Bureau next. And it went without saying that the patrol too revealed a fearful expression.
Lastly, he went to the Finance Bureau to confirm the method of requesting for expenses. Finally, he decided to head to the residential area.
On the way, he could hear the knights who also participated in the interview to be the Seventh Prince’s Personal Knight speaking ill about him, in envy. However, Octavian only shrugged his shoulders.
Rather, he would gladly switch places with any one of them. If he was serving a prince who was at an age to work a governmental position, he would be curious as to the nature of his work. However, since he was serving as a knight to a five-year-old prince, his position was really just that of a babysitter.
The royal residences were located at the northern area of the royal castle. There was the inner palace for the king and his consorts, the outer palace for the princes, the flower palace for the princesses, and several facilities for members of the royal family to use.
At the royal residence, Octavian got permission from the gatekeeper to go through and continued through the garden. Spreading out from both left and right of the passage, it appeared to be meticulously well-maintained. He continued onwards until he reached the inner palace, turned right, and arrived at his goal – the outer palace.
Octavian moved through the palace grounds that were many times bigger than his own home. Then, he saw a lone man standing in front of a mansion.
The man said, skipping greetings and displaying a face full of displeasure. He was the one who had a close battle with Octavian the other day, the Chief Butler.
“You were supposed to be here around noon. You can’t even arrive on time?”
His tone was like that of a disgruntled mother-in-law, causing Octavian to furrow his eyebrows. The other day, he had been following the prince like a faithful dog, but today, he seemed to be a completely different person.
“You know things don’t always go as planned. I’m late because I was going around to each department; it wasn’t because I was playing around.”
“In those clothes?”
Saying that, the butler scanned Octavian from head to toe.
“You don’t look like a knight, but you do look like you’re going out to an evening party.”
Because he was also aware of this, Octavian trailed off halfway. It was too embarrassing to say that his mother forcefully dressed him like this.
It went without saying that his hair being carefully slicked back was gaudy, but coupled with the high-class clothing he was wearing, even Octavian himself thought that he was headed to an evening party.
Although, for the sake of an excuse, even the nobles who work in the royal wear clothes more flashy than the ones he was wearing on a daily basis. The higher the position, the higher the tendency to wear these kinds of clothes. His mother also chose these kind of clothes since he had become the so-called ‘face’ of the Ordis family. Even if she was ignoring the wishes of the person himself.
“Let’s put this aside for the time being, His Highness has been waiting. Let’s go”
“Shut up, black dog.”
Octavian unintentionally muttered, and Kuro turned his head back.
The Chief Butler’s clothing today was based of fine, high-quality black fabric. Kuro disliked the loud clothes designated to the role of a butler, so he chose instead to have many dark silk clothes instead. Moreover, because of his black hair, the first impression he gave off to others was true to his name, Kuro.
Octavian had imaged the butler to be like a dog and added with the black image he gave off, this thought leaked out from his mouth.
“Silence, delinquent knight.”
Being called a black dog caused the Chief Butler to retort with a sharp glint in his eyes.
Kuro had also seen Octavian’s personal history. Even though he had real merit, he dared to neglect his grades, living his life with delinquency. That was the kind of knight he had become.
Him being a Personal Knight was quite absurd. Being a subpar ordinary knight was enough.
Be it Octavian or Kuro, this moment may be the moment they understood each other the most in the past or the future.
That they wouldn’t get along with the other.
The two people entered the mansion with Kuro leading the way.
“The prince’s area is on the southern side on the third floor.”
The butler explained to the newcomer as they climbed up the staircase.
“Since the other areas are used by the other princes, don’t go near them. It’ll be quite troublesome if you do.”
This butler didn’t sugar coat anything. Apparently, he did not pledge allegiance to the royal family but to the Seventh Prince himself.
When they arrived at the third floor, Kuro had finished his simple explanation. As the first and only knight the prince had, a personalized room was prepared for him. It was also explained that basic furniture was already in the room, but he was allowed to bring in his own personal items as well.
Kuro said all this casually, weaving it into the conversation so smoothly that Octavian forgot to retort at the luxurious accommodations.
“This is His Highness’ personal room.”
The butler knocked, opened the door, and proceeded to close it again without entering the room. He then heaved a large and deep sigh.
“Nothing, just a bit dizzy.”
He muttered a bit. Then, after preparing himself for what laid inside, he put his hand on the doorknob once again. He turned his head to look at Octavian.
“You cannot turn back after this,” said Kuro.
Octavian didn’t quite understand, but, he nevertheless nodded his head. And along with the butler, he entered the prince’s room.
Herscherik was very sleepy that day.
He had found some suspicious data while doing『Charge☆Internal Audit』which has already become his life’s work. He had been collecting and transcribing data from various departments, and before he had realized it, it was already late at night.
He was forcibly returned to his own room by Kuro, but he was still interested in the material he discovered. He regretted that he had used the old, beautiful, silver pocket watch to create a light and stealthily stayed up the whole night.
Although Herscherik could sleep well in his previous life, he always had trouble waking up. Every morning, he had to be woken up from his bed by Kuro’s incessant scolding.
(Are you my mum?)
Herscherik thought in his heart, but as if his inner thoughts were being read, Kuro drilled his knuckles into his head.
This afternoon would be his Personal Knight’s first day of work. Hence, there were no study or practice sessions. Thus, after having his breakfast, Herscherik went back to his room to continue last night’s investigation.
It was only quite recently that Herscherik moved to his current residence in the outer palace. Prior to this, he had stayed in his mother’s room in the inner palace, which had been quite cramped. He also had to have his own room so Kuro could come and go easily.
The study he had become accustomed to had started to feel cramped, so Herscherik decided to work in his living room instead.
Kuro had prepared tea on a table set by the window, and Herscherik proceeded to rummage through the pile of documents on top of the sofa. As he was in charge of calculations in his past life, he could calculate income and expenditures by flicking his fingers as if he was using an abacus in the air and confirm if the requested amount equaled the actual amount.
Incidentally, the documents he had here were all handwritten, but by using the magical tool prepared by Kuro that resembled a modern-day scanner, Herscherik could create copies on paper.
A handy tool that memorizes the letters and figures when you pour magical power through it and copies it back onto paper when pouring magic power through it again. Its only disadvantage was that, for each tool, it could only memorize one thing at a time, and it was a consumable item with a limited number of uses. There was also the fact that Herscherik didn’t have magic power of his own, so he couldn’t use it by himself. Still, though it has its disadvantages, it was a godsend for Herscherik.
After spending his whole morning surrounded by papers, he finished his lunch while Kuro went out to greet the Personal Knight.
Herscherik shuddered. As expected, the air-conditioner worked too well. Compared to the air-conditioning equipment of his previous life, there was no way to do any fine adjustments here. Though saying that, it was also foolish to be wearing thick clothing inside.
“It should be okay for a bit. It is important to get some fresh air.”
So Herscherik opened the window while muttering an excuse. Here, he made three mistakes.
First, he left the window wide open.
Second, he did not put any weights on the documents.
Third, he was overcome with drowsiness as well as satisfaction from having a full stomach. And just like that, he took an afternoon nap.
He woke up in shock due to that angry voice. Before his eyes was an angry Kuro, baring his anger, and taken aback Personal Knight Octavian who would be working for him starting today. As well as the documents scattered around his room.
(No matter how you look at it, the wind has scattered everything. Really, thank you very much.)
Herscherik unconsciously muttered in his heart and raised his head to look at Kuro.
“How many times do I have to say for you to get it!”
Herscherik looked up at the angry Kuro while sitting in seiza on top of the sofa.
He already learned that trying to fight against Kuro in his Momma mode was as reckless as trying to stop an out-of-control truck with one hand. Although no one thought of why this learning ability didn’t apply to something else.
“I’ll talk to you later about this. Clean this mess up. Delinquent Knight, you help, too.”
Octavian was utterly amazed.
He could hear the image he had of the prince crumbling to pieces.
For now, he had to help fix this disastrous scene or nothing else could be done today. Octavian glanced at the prince, meeting his gaze. Then, the prince said.
He responded with a bitter smile to the prince who really did seem to be sorry.
At that moment, the disgust he used to have towards the royal family disappeared somewhere. It seemed like this prince was very different than what he had imagined.