This chapter is updat𝓮d by 𝙛𝒓𝒆𝒆𝙬𝒆𝒃𝓷𝙤𝙫𝒆𝓵.𝒄𝙤𝒎
Maseguru 71: Advance Notice is Necessary for Everything
It has been two weeks since Ainz and Chris left the Royal Capital. It was as bustling as ever, but still welcomed them with a beautiful cityscape.
Ainz wondered if the conversation he had with Chris last night had been a dream. The mood had changed so much that it made him think so after all.
「We’re finally back, Ainz-sama」
「It’s only been two weeks, but... it feels like we’ve been away for more」
It wasn’t strange for Ainz to think something like 『Ishtalica has already felt like my hometown』 as he was already so accustomed to the royal capital. He hadn’t been in the royal capital for just two weeks, but he felt as if he had been on a journey for a very long time.
After getting out of the train car, they moved inconspicuously to their carriage as to not stand out.
Their carriage had already arrived at the White Rose, so there was no need to wait.
Ainz must carry his luggage by himself since Dill and the others were not around at the moment, which he didn’t mind at all as it made him feel like he was on a field trip.
「Making the reports gonna be a pain though」
「I have to make reports as well, so if you’d like, we could do it together」
「That would be great! I’ve never made many reports before, so it would be great to learn from you」
Chris clenched her fist on the opposite side of Ainz after hearing his answer. It was just a small excuse, but she was glad that he agreed.
「Making reports... and then there’s that troublesome magic stone to take care of」
「...I agree. Let’s contact Majolice-san when we get to the castle」
Ainz glanced at a small package in Chris’s hand as she says that. In it, was the Red Fox’s magic stone that they had received from professor Oz.
There are also two concerns that they both had in mind. First, they wondered if the magic stone would go out of control in some way, and second, they wondered if the two being inside Ainz would go out of control because of it. They are especially worried that Dullahan might go out of control again.
「It looks like I have no choice but to count on Elder Lich when it happens」
「Can we really trust her...?」
Though he wonders whether that dream could be called a meeting, he has met the Elder Lich, but...
That’s also why Ainz was able to trust Elder Lich more than Chris on this.
「It should be fine, I guess. After all, Dullahan should’ve gotten the short rope from her」
「Ku-kukuh... Even after becoming a magic stone and absorbed by Ainz-sama?」
「Well, I’m afraid so」
Chris chuckles from hearing that while putting her hand over her mouth as not to be rude.
"They have become a magic stone and had been absorbed, but he’s still being led by the nose by his wife?" Chris can’t help but chuckle at the thought of it. She even wondered whether should she be sorry about Dullahan’s pitifulness, or should she be envious of Elder Lich’s ability.
「It looks like we got here just as we were talking, didn’t we? Let’s get in」
「Y-yes, you’re right... Let’s head to the castle right away」
They’ve made it to the carriage. Chris hadn’t stopped laughing, it made him wonder if that kind of joke is her thing. But seeing Chris looking so happy bring a smile to Ainz’s face too.
「...We’re finally going home~」
Though he said "home" like it was a simple thing, Ainz’s home is a castle, so it’s not so simple in any way. But it was definitely a home for him, so there was no mistaking that he was really going home.
As the two enjoyed the ride, they discussed what should they do when they get to the castle.
The scene outside was a familiar scene for them, but that was of no surprise. After all, it was the route he used to take to go to the academy, and it was also the route he always took when he went to the town. But for someone who liked walking the most, he thought that the city view from the carriage was not bad at all.
「Though it was the usual, please leave your luggage to the servants」
「Yeah, got it」
The servants are supposed to take the luggage that Ainz brings to his room. Therefore, Ainz should get out of the carriage empty-handed.
It wasn’t a fitting thing to do for him to carry his luggage once they arrived at the castle after all.
「With a duel the day after tomorrow, it seems that I won’t be able to relax much」
「Though it’s just as you said. But please have a good rest tonight」
「It’ll be more of a problem if you ever get sick after all」
Ainz still hadn’t figured out how he would get the twins to the place where the duel would take place. It was somewhat predictable that he would take the twins through the river, but would they cross the road near it? He didn’t know much about the place after all.
「Shouldn’t we have a meeting about the duel or something?」
「I wondered what you’re so worried about, but it’s just about that, huh?... No need to worry, we’ll take care of everything」
「I’m a part of the duel, aren’t I?」
「You don’t have to work for such a "trivial" matter. You’ll only need to be present at the final stage」 free webnovel.com
"It’s just a trivial matter...?" Ainz wondered.
He was surprised that Chris didn’t think it was important as much as he thought.
"Or rather, does Chris forget that she’s being treated as a prize for this duel?" Ainz thought, but when he asked Chris about that, she answered with something different.
「...Why does the Sea Dragons only appear once every a hundred years? And why are they classified on a class of national disaster? Think about it」
Ainz was certainly aware of it. If he were to be asked whether he could beat another one, he will shake his head with all his might. After all, that time was only a result of sheer luck.
Moreover, he doesn’t have the black dagger that Elder Lich made anymore. It would surely be difficult to defeat another one. Even after absorbing the Sea Dragons’ magic stones, the odds of him defeating another one wouldn’t change much.
「Of course I understand. I understand what Chris’s trying to say. But the twins are still kids」
「I’ve received a few reports from Kadyma-sama about the twins. Have you seen them, Ainz-sama?」
「Yeah. I’ve checked that they’re growing steadily」
「...Umm, what about the other parts...?」
「I haven’t checked it」
The most important thing for him is that the twins are living well. That’s why he only checked the part about their physical condition and growth and didn’t pay much attention to the other parts than that.
So, it results in him just replying that he hasn’t checked the other parts.
「Even though Ainz-sama has become a parent for the twins...」
「I’m starting to feel a little bad... But then again, is there something special happening?」
「...Since it seems that I’ll get to see something fun, I thought I’d let you wait and see it for yourself」
Chris put her index finger on her nicely shaped lips as she says that. "So, she’ll keep it a secret for the time being, huh? Even to a crown prince...?" But he understands that it was indeed his fault for not having read the report thoroughly, so he decided to keep it in his mind.
Her lips were softly deformed from being pressed by her index finger, which he found somewhat cunning.
「W-well, Ainz-sama doesn’t have to worry about anything. So please have a good rest tonight. Oh right, and the red fox’s magic stone... please just think about that」
「So in other words, you want me to just think about going to where the duel would take place?」
Chris replies with a grin on her face.
"I see, it seems that there’s really nothing for me to do," thought Ainz as he finally convinced.
「After that, there’s a little more work to be done, such as restraining "that," but you don’t have to worry too much about it」
Her tone was different from usual, but he was able to guess that the story has already gone that far. Warren and the others may have already decided what to do after Viscount Sage is taken into custody.
「But I was just thinking...」
「Should I participate in it too?」
"I’m a Named, and I can swim, so it shouldn’t be a problem, right?" Ainz thought.
What Ainz was referring to was the duel. They’ve set some conditions, like underwater monsters, but he can swim too, so it’s kind of similar, right? That’s what he thought.
「...Haah-... How did you even come up with that idea?... I think you’d need to learn some more sense first...」
Chris held her head in her hands. Ainz made Chris feel exhausted as soon as they got back to the Royal Capital. She thought it was just some kind of black joke, but the fact that he looked as if he didn’t mean it as a joke in the slightest made her feel worried.
(TLN: Black joke, similar to dark joke)
「A-and she didn’t laugh...」
He tried to put it as if he was making a joke with a sad tone, but to his surprise, she replied in an indifferent tone.
「Ainz-sama, that’s not funny, you know?」
"So that didn’t work, huh?" Ainz thought.
When Chris said it so indifferently, Ainz understood that that joke was no good. He had been planning to use it again if it worked, but he decided to scrap the joke.
「We were just talking about weird stuff, and now we have arrived」
「Ainz-sama? Are you actually aware of that?」
「Could it be that you’re just messing with me?」
Chris finally noticed. Hearing this, Ainz looks at her with a smile on his face.
「Come on, let’s go. I’m sure everyone’s waiting for us!」
Chris looked annoyed that he didn’t answer the question. However, Ainz was pleased to see that.
And so, the carriage stopped in the castle grounds, and the door was opened by Marche who was waiting outside.
「Welcome back, Ainz-sama. His Majesty, Olivia-sama, and the others are waiting for you」
「Thanks, Marche-san. ...I’m back」
He was relieved to see the usual scenery of the castle when he got off the carriage.
It was a long way from the magic city of Ist. He felt a lingering sense of bittersweetness about leaving Ist, but the royal capital was still the best for him.
Ainz was greeted by many people, and of course Olivia and Claune were a part of it.
As for them, it had been a while since they had seen Ainz, so they wanted to spend some time talking with him. That was what they were thinking, but Sylvird made them wait.
The official report can come later, but it was necessary to make a brief report first.
Sylvird, Warren, Chris and Ainz gathered in a room. Lloyd was off duty today, which was quite unusual. He was surprised at the fact that the king’s personal bodyguard was off duty.
「But I was surprised. I didn’t expect you’d notice my men too...」
「Well, it was partly because I’ve felt his presence around a lot」
They were talking about the time when Ainz noticed Warren’s men when Ainz and Chris changed their destination to the magic arena on the day he had a mix-up with Viscount Sage.
「He’s still a captain of a unit under my command though」
「Yes. We are organizing the units into several groups. He is the captain of one of those groups, you know?」
「Umm... Is that mean, I shouldn’t have been able to notice him?」
Warren didn’t state how many subordinates he had, but he was still one of the most powerful people in the covert unit that he had. That was the identity of the man Ainz had noticed.
「Not at all. It’s the ones who get noticed that are the issue. So please don’t worry about it」
「It’s as Warren-sama says, Ainz-sama... Well, that was coming from the one who failed to notice him though...」
Unlike Ainz, Chris hadn’t noticed that there were Warren’s men watching them. She was sure that she would be able to notice them for sure if they were a little closer. She was determined to not let that happen ever again.
「I’m sure it was just a matter of affinity. So please cheer up, Chris san...」
「...I have nothing to say about Warren’s men, as I will leave them to him. However, from what I have heard, I am glad to hear that your trip to Ist has been so fruitful」
「It is as Grandfather says. However, please speak to Majolice-san immediately. We can’t get relieved yet about the red fox’s magic stone」
「Rest assured, it will be kept in the safest of hands」
He was relieved to hear his grandfather, the king, say so.
「And then... Though he says he doesn’t need anything, as a royalty, I’d like to show him some courtesy」
「Of course. As I often say, it’s a matter of merit and punishments. Those who have done well should receive the appropriate award」
「I was relieved to hear that. I felt that it would not be good if I just received his favor」
「We’ll do a full review of that later」
「I will leave it to you」
Thanks to Oz, they managed to learn a lot of things. And on the day Ainz would return to the Royal Capital, he had even prepared the Red Fox’s magic stone for him. It was unthinkable for Sylvird not to do anything about it.
There will probably be some accommodation for Oz personally and his research as well.
「And Ainz. I’m going to have to reward you with a reward of some sort」
「Please put it on hold for now」
「...I knew you’d say that」
「There’s nothing in particular that I want after all」
Inwardly, he was hoping that he would ask for some kind of reward right here. After all, to put it frankly, he had a feeling that withholding a reward from Ainz might invite something bad or troublesome.
On the other hand, however, Sylvird’s convictions didn’t allow him to give anything forcibly.
「Well, good. But for goodness sake, please don’t even think about using it to do something that could get you in trouble」
「I’ll keep it in mind」
「...Shouldn’t you just say ’yes’ to that?」
「Well, it’s not in my nature to tell lies」
As he has grown older, Ainz has become a strong-willed person over the years. To put it nicely, he has grown up to be more like royalty; but to put it badly, he has grown up to be more cunning.
「Oh my, Your Majesty. I’ve had the pleasure of educating him over the years, and I’m pleased to hear that」
「That’s what only you Warren would think. I’m not so sure I’d like it that much though」
「That reminded me that he’s indeed Olivia-sama’s child」
Warren and Sylvird’s expressions are contrasting. But it’s not all bad. It’s good that he’s slowly learning the ins and outs of being royalty. 𝓯𝒓𝒆𝒆𝔀𝒆𝓫𝓷𝙤𝒗𝒆𝒍.𝙘𝙤𝙢
「So, Grandfather. About the matter with Viscount Sage...」
「Oh you mean that matter? Ainz doesn’t have to worry about anything, you just have to be there on the day of the duel」
「...I’ve heard that same words earlier though...」
Sylvird said the same thing that Chris had said earlier. It made him wonder why everyone was taking this too lightly.
「This matter was also able to expose the injustice within our people, so of course I’ll give Ainz some rewards as well」
「Well, it can also be put on hold, can’t it?」
「...Quite the cunning one, aren’t you?」
Although it was an unexpected result, it was a good thing that the injustice of Viscount Sage had been exposed thanks to Ainz.
「Actually, Ainz-sama. Viscount Sage was connected to various nobles, and was also involved in several other illegal activities. That’s why we’ve decided to take the other nobleman into custody as well」
「So he’s involved in such a thing too, huh?」
「Yes. And this is actually quite an achievement. That is why His Majesty is troubled again, isn’t he?...」
When he thought about it, he wondered if he should use it for later too. After all, being given two rewards, he can freely use it for anything.
Though he feels bad about making his grandfather worry, it’s too late for that now.
「Then, Grandfather, I’ll use one of my rewards as soon as I can, is that all right?」
「I don’t mind」
Perhaps it was because he had one less thing to worry about, Sylvird replied with more energy than before.
「However, we should at least explain our plans for the duel, Warren」
Ainz felt as if he had been left out of the duel until now, but they were finally willing to tell him their plan.
「Yes, leave it to me... Ainz-sama doesn’t have to prepare anything in particular. You just have to go there on tomorrow night. We’ll also provide a horse-drawn carriage for long-distance travel, so don’t worry about the comfort of the ride」
「Huh? What about the twins then?」
「Since we will be going along the riverside road, the twins will be able to see the carriage that Ainz-sama is riding in. Although we will have to take a few breaks, we will be able to arrive at the site the day after tomorrow morning, so we won’t be late for the duel」
The duel was scheduled for the morning after tomorrow. So, it would be best if they were not late for it.
「So, until we arrive, Ainz-sama can simply rest in the carriage. If you want, you can work on your report as well」
「So you’re telling me that I really just have to go there in the end, huh? Then I guess I’ll do what Warren-san said and get the reports and stuff in order」
There was really nothing for Ainz to do based on Warren’s explanation. He just has to get there and leave the rest to them. He wondered what is all this VIP-like treatment about when he was the one who caused this duel in the first place.
But as if he had noticed Ainz’s thoughts, Warren continued his explanation.
「What Viscount Sage did has become something that the country needs to deal with... So, it’s only natural that this is the way things are going」
「I see... I guess I can’t help it then」
「Yes. So, please talk to the twins for now, Ainz-sama. I’m sure they’ll do their best」
「That was of course. I dragged them into this after all」
He felt sorry at the thought of the possibility of the Sea Dragons twins getting hurt and for involving them when they have nothing to do with this.
「However, since their opponents are their favorite food that is hard to find in the wide ocean, so...」
「Well, that’s good, isn’t it? It shouldn’t be as dangerous as you think... Now, Warren, you still have something to tell him, don’t you?」
「Yes... Ainz-sama, I would like to inform you that we have decided to assign someone as your assistant」
Ainz wondered if having an assistant is like having Warren as the prime minister to Sylvird. He never thought that such an important thing being decided so suddenly... But since it’s already decided, he can’t really say anything about it.
「I would have preferred you to tell me first about it if you could though, Grandfather...」
「Well, it was decided while Ainz was at Ist...」
It’s not that Ainz is shy, but having an assistant, means that they would be spending a lot of time together. He won’t complain too much about it as the crown prince, but when he thought about it, he wanted at least someone who wouldn’t be bothered by being around him.
「Please wait a moment, Ainz-sama. I will bring that person right now」
With that, Warren excuses himself.
「Are they already in the castle?」
As Warren left the room, Ainz asked Sylvird.
「Yes. In fact, I’ve entrusted that person to prepare the carriages for tomorrow’s trip」
「Isn’t that a bit sudden?」
「Warren says that there’s nothing to worry. I’ve been told that everything went well and that there were no problems in the final stages」
「...This person must be quite skilled then」
「It’s only natural that they would be assigned to the crown prince, isn’t it?... But they’re a good person even in my eyes, so I have no complaint about them serving the crown prince」
Ainz von Ishtalica, he was the crown prince of a great country. Of course, the selection process is very strict, but when it comes to the crown prince, it is only natural that the one to be assigned to him must be a particularly talented person.
「Hey, Chris-san, did you hear anything about this?」
「No, I haven’t heard a thing about this either... Just like Ainz-sama, I knew nothing about this」
「I see. It looks like that it was really just decided recently then」
There was no reason for Chris to lie about this. That’s why he was convinced that this selection was really a recent decision.
「Thank you for waiting, Ainz-sama. I’ve brought with me your assistant to you」
Warren returned to the room. But the assistant seemed to be still waiting in the hallway.
"Just introduce me to this person already," Ainz thought.
「Then please introduce this person to me, Warren-san」
Ainz hurried to reply to Warren. He wanted to be introduced as soon as possible, because he felt that he would get nervous if he had to wait any longer.
「As you will. Then... you are welcome to enter now, please greet Ainz-sama」
As Warren said this, the door opened quietly and a girl came in. She appeared there in a glamorous outfit, looking like a secretary but not without her femininity.
A familiar scent and hair color. She greeted Ainz with a voice he had heard often before and bowed with her signature perfect manner.
「As of today, I, Claune Augusto, will be serving at the side of the Crown Prince, Ainz-sama」
"She’s not dressed like she was when she greeted me earlier, isn’t she?" "Did she change her clothes?" Such thoughts were swirling in Ainz’s mind.
...”Well, at any rate, I don’t have a problem if it was someone who doesn’t mind being near me” Ainz thought as he tried to contain himself.