Alberu started to speak as soon as he saw Cale’s expression.
“You were probably just thinking, 'what nonsense is he saying now,’ weren't you?”
“No, your highness.”
Cale picked up a cookie from the box in front of Alberu with a calm expression on his face.
Cale took a bite of the cookie before continuing to speak.
“I don’t think that's possible.”
“…You're saying no without even hearing the details?”
“Yes, it’s not possible. We are busy, your highness.”
- Human! Your tone sounds like Mary's right now!
Cale ignored Raon’s comment and observed Alberu. Alberu slowly crossed his arms and leaned on the couch. He was also looking right at Cale as he started to speak.
“You… Who do you think are the three most popular people in the kingdom right now?”
‘What kind of random question is this?’
Cale’s face and gaze quickly turned sour. But he soon felt that something was off. The person who would usually say something after seeing his sour face was looking at Cale with a serious expression.
That meant that he was seriously asking this question.
Cale's expression turned as odd as possible. He debated it for a moment before responding with a stoic expression.
“…First place is his highness the crown prince, second place is Alberu Crossman, and third place is the Roan Kingdom’s rising sun. Is this right?”
Raon put the cookie in his hand down and Alberu’s expression looked as if he had eaten a young persimmon as Cale announced the first, second, and third place as if he was trying to tell Alberu to have his moment and stop the nonsense.
“Hey, crown prince! Are you that popular? Amazing! I guess you are handsome, crown prince! At least your face is normal!”
Raon was patting Alberu's shoulders as if he was proud of him as Alberu brushed his face with both hands. He then started to speak.
“First place is Choi Han, second place is Cale Henituse, third place is Mary.”
Raon and Cale’s eyes opened wide. The quarter Dark Elf looked toward the stiff young Dragon and the human as he continued to speak.
“I'm probably in fourth place.”
Cale let out a quiet gasp.
“Choi Han is so popular?”
“Mary is very popular too! Human, the only shocking part is that you were in second place! I didn't think you'd place at all! Of course, you are eternally zero place in my book!”
Cale continued to go, 'wow,' while Raon fluttered his wings in excitement. The crown prince who was watching their relaxed discussion finally ended up speaking.
“…Choi Han is known to be born amongst the common people in the Henituse territory. It’s the same for Mary.”
Alberu's fingers tapped on the couch’s armrest. The reason he came out here while avoiding the gazes of the people…
“That is why the citizens of the Kingdom are excited about the achievements of their fellow commoners and want to be like them, hoping that they remain as the heroes of the Roan Kingdom. And the nobles…”
That word made Cale look toward Alberu.
“The nobles want to tie Choi Han and Mary down as the Roan Kingdom's heroes as well. However…”
The finger tapping on the couch pointed toward Cale.
“They want them separated from you.”
Raon’s two front paws slammed on the table.
“No! Mary and Choi Han are part of our family! Crown prince, which nobles are they? I will destroy their houses!”
Cale who had been deep in thought started to speak at that moment. The method for the nobles to tie Choi Han and Mary down to the Roan Kingdom while separating them from Cale…
“Are they talking about giving titles and territories to the two of them?”
If Choi Han and Mary each received titles and their own territories, the two of them would leave the Henituse territory. Most importantly, they would not be able to freely move around with Cale as they have been doing until now.
“It’s the suggestion those idiots who only know how to maintain their power and increase their wealth managed to conjure up together.”
The corners of Alberu’s lips twisted up.
“They were especially adamant during the Nobles Meeting about giving Choi Han a title and his own territory.”
“Crown prince, why only Choi Han? What about Mary?”
Alberu smiled instead of responding as he looked into Raon's innocent eyes. However, he could not hide the bitterness in his gaze as he made eye contact with Cale.
Cale instantly realized the reason.
“It’s because she is a necromancer.”
The reason they wanted to draw Choi Han into the noble society no matter what but were hesitant about Mary… That was because Mary was a necromancer.
Mary’s popularity was quite high in the entire Roan Kingdom. However, there were still many people who scorned and feared the darkness attribute, especially the necromancer occupation that uses bones to fight.
The nobles who wanted their titles to remain safe were all thinking that a necromancer rising to a high title meant that the quality of their title would fall.
“A portion of them have become afraid after seeing what happened in the Mogoru Empire.”
After seeing what the black mages did to the Mogoru royal family, the nobles, and the entire Empire, they were afraid to draw in a necromancer, who shared the darkness attribute into their world.
“There have been talks of slowly limiting the Dark Elves coming into the palace as well.”
Cale started to frown while looking at the bitter smile on Alberu’s face. How much help had Mary and the Dark Elves been? The bastards who had stayed hidden in their residences caring only about their own safety wanted to forget about their help and only care about their own greed and prestige?
“Those rotten bastards.”
Alberu did not say anything about Cale’s comment. Cale looked at him as he continued to speak.
“I’m sure the nobles wouldn’t be satisfied with just giving Choi Han a title and territory, no?”
Giving a title and territory was not a certain way to completely separate Choi Han from Cale and the Henituse household. Cale knew the strongest way they could get this done.
"Which household says that they want to bring Choi Han into their family?”
Blood ties, hometown ties, and school ties.
The strongest of those ties were blood ties, so the strongest and most certain way to split Choi Han away from the Henituse household while getting him on their side would be to marry their daughter to Choi Han and become a part of his family.
Unfortunately, this was still a society where such a thing worked.
Alberu flinched as he was about to answer Cale’s question. It was because he saw the gazes of the human and the Dragon staring at him. Seeing the gazes the red eyes of the human and black Dragon were giving him, Alberu said something else rather than what he had originally planned to say.
Raon’s two front paws slammed on the table.
“Crown prince, what do you mean why?! Aren’t you saying that they want to use Choi Han and prevent him from being a part of our family by dragging him into their family?! I will destroy them even harder than I plan on destroying the White Star!”
Raon's eyes seemed to be boiling. Alberu could also see Cale sit down across from him and cross his legs with a relaxed expression.
"Well, I think it is only right to give Choi Han a title and territory if that is what he wants. Shouldn't we let him do as he wants? The same with Mary.”
Unlike the boiling Raon, Cale was relaxed.
“But you see, your highness.”
Alberu crunched on a cookie and motioned with his chin for Cale to speak.
“Why did you ask to borrow Choi Han and me?”
The corners of the lips crunching on the cookie started to rise.
“I thought you were going to let me be a slacker.”
The corners of Cale’s lips started to rise as well.
“Do you know about the position without a noble title that the present me, even me as the future king, as well as the nobles, cannot easily touch? It is even one that requires you to do no work.”
“Is there such a position in the world?”
A status that the king and the nobles did not dare to offend while having no title nor work attached to it. Cale had a questioning gaze on his face. He had not looked deeply into the positions of the Roan Kingdom since he was transported to this world.
He had read and recorded the information about the different noble families and their children that Count Deruth had gathered for him, but what was the point of knowing about the positions when he did not plan to work?
He would purposely choose not to look at those things. It would get complicated if people started to talk about how he was looking for that information. But there was such an odd position in the kingdom?
“Yes. There is one in the Roan Kingdom.”
“…What is it?”
Cale focused as he asked. Alberu smiled majestically as he responded.
Silence filled the room.
The crown prince's instructor and the person who would be the king's instructor in the future. It was not a public office post because the person did not receive a stipend from the kingdom, and the person's title was not important at all. Furthermore, it was a position that was respected by all and the king could not easily give an order to his instructor.
However, the person who became the king's instructor could never hold any official positions. It was a check and balance to separate the king's instructor from power.
Alberu broke the silence.
He ate a cookie.
“I was pretty much neglected growing up. So, unlike the second and third princes, I never had an instructor when I was younger. Everybody thinks I studied everything on my own. Of course, Aunt Tasha helped me a lot.”
The young Alberu had studied his ass off. He couldn't take on an instructor like the others in the royal family and had to learn everything, including imperial knowledge, administration, and politics from the basics.
“The instructor for the future king needs to be someone that everyone accepts as the best in their respective category.”
He smiled brightly as he looked toward Cale and Raon.
“The position of my instructor is vacant.”
Cale started to speak at that moment.
“Yes, yes. The position of my instructor.”
Alberu warmly nodded his head and chatted along with Cale. He then saw Cale start to frown.
Alberu started to frown as well.
“Why are you my instructor?”
‘I was shocked.’
Cale had gotten the chills thinking about becoming Alberu’s instructor. He then thought about Choi Han.
Choi Han was visibly younger than Alberu, but his skills were the greatest on the Western continent, so nobody should be able to complain nor oppose Choi Han becoming Alberu’s instructor.
Anybody would be able to see that Alberu was putting Choi Han in a position that would keep him out of the nobles’ reach instead of actually taking him as an instructor.
‘If you think about it, Choi Han is the oldest person in the Roan Kingdom.’
Alberu was looking at the thinking Cale before he offered Cale a cookie. Cale took the cookie as Alberu started to speak.
“Everything I am saying today is a suggestion, a proposal. Anyway, you’ll be my dongsaeng.”
“Ah, yes sir, a suggestion. I will ask Choi Han- excuse me?”
Alberu didn’t’ care as he continued to speak in a relaxed manner.
“You think the other nobles want to leave you alone? I thought you wanted to be a slacker. Then wouldn’t it be easier for you to not have a position or a title? But imagine if you didn't have a position or a title. Do you really think the other nobles won't try provoking you? Huh? Raon-nim, don't you agree?”
“Mm! Hey crown prince, I think they would do that as you said! We are going to be busy farming, so we won't have time to deal with them!”
"Farming? Well, anyway.”
Alberu handed Raon a piece of cake and a fork as he continued to speak to Cale.
“I've been reading a lot of children’s books about heroes and legends these days. I've also been reading novels and stories where the main characters meeting a fortuitous encounter during their teenage years to go on to become a hero which are popular right now.”
He had been looking into the world's view of Choi Han, Cale, Mary and the others who were the focus of the Western continent right now and ended up reading a couple of popular novels in the process.
“I got an idea after reading one of those stories.”
It was a story of a powerless prince who had no other family and was neglected by the king and a swordsman who was ignored because he was weak until he met a fortuitous encounter and ended up becoming strong. It was a story about the two of their friendship and their growth.
The neglected prince who snuck out of the palace because he was curious about the outside world and the swordsman who was getting stronger because of the fortuitous encounter but still weak. They were both in their early teens and just happened to run into each other in a back alley while escaping from some thugs and ended up becoming close friends.
That story started to flow out of Alberu’s mouth.
“… In the end, the two people chose to become sworn siblings.”
The neglected prince ended up with the backing of a strong swordsman while the swordsman with no backing ended up with a reliable backer.
“They became each other’s supporting pillar, and everybody is said to have been in awe of their friendship.”
He looked toward Cale and asked.
“What do you think? Doesn’t an idea pop right into your mind?”
A way for Cale to not have any title or position in the Roan Kingdom and be a slacker without the other nobles being able to provoke him.
It would not happen just because Cale was strong and a hero of the kingdom. Unfortunately, people cared more about the person's current position than their abilities or what they achieved.
But Cale would be the king's sworn brother? Who would dare to touch him? Even without his own title, being the king’s one and only sworn younger brother with a family that was headed by a Duke or a Marquis would be someone the nobles could not easily approach.
Of course, the nobles would charge at Cale if he had a title and a position.
‘I would be a threat to them.’
A hero of the people, the sworn brother of the king, who also had a position and title? All power would be focused on him to the point that the nobles and even Alberu would have to fear Cale.
‘That's why Cale Henituse should not have any position or title.’
The chances for Cale Henituse to be a slacker would finally appear once the nobles start to have such thoughts. This was in line with Cale’s wishes that Alberu knew about.
Furthermore, this was also what Alberu wanted and what was rationally beneficial for him as well. It was something that met both the citizens’ desires for Alberu to take care of the kingdom’s hero as well as Alberu’s desire to keep Cale as one of his people. This would satisfy everyone.
‘It’ll also let Cale Henituse suffer less and keep my promise with him.’
Alberu had a satisfied smile on his face as he started to speak again.
“You be my dongsaeng. Doesn’t that sound great?”
Cale was still frowning.
“You don’t want to be my dongsaeng?”
Cale was at a loss for words.
Two days later, at the center of Huiss, the capital of the Roan Kingdom. The Roan Kingdom's nobles gathered for the award ceremony and the celebration that was scheduled to follow.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Let me just say, Tomb Raider King's MC is worse than Cale (the way he sees himself).