Chapter 24 – A Man Called Eldas Miheira
“It grieves me to have to call you so suddenly while you’re in such a state. Regardless, do you know a man named Eldas Miheira?”
The gray-haired man with a beard uttered such words.
There were many wrinkles engraved on his face, and it was clear to anyone that he had aged a considerable amount.
However, one was still able to feel the authority from his appearance.
His name was King Felx Gardana, of the Gardana Kingdom.
And as soon as he saw Legulus, he raised a question completely unrelated to the reason he had summoned him.
“…? Eldas Miheira…?”
I have something to say about Alec Ugritte.
That is what his father had said, and so he had come. Legulus was puzzled by this name of someone he did not know.
And no matter how much he tried to search his past memories, he had no idea of the name that was mentioned earlier.
“What about this person?”
“Hmm, I think it was nearly ten years ago… It is the name of the court magician who was banished from this country.”
Felx said with a laugh.
Legulus couldn’t hide his confusion at this laugh, which seemed self-deprecating.
Why did he have such an expression?
“Well, it’s not something that should bother you that much. It’s just that that man was a great, great fool. That is all.”
Felx’s expression was not of mockery, but was as if he was nostalgic for the events of the past.
His smile was so calm and happy.
“A great fool…”
“Mmm. While facing the king, he said that we must change the current state of the royal court. Otherwise, Gardana will fall into an irreversible state in the near future. He was an idiotic noble who would often make suggestions that made him a nuisance…”
“That is very… He was quite a ridiculous person, I see.”
It was one thing for commoners, who had no ability of understanding, to have such opinions. But for a noble to act with such folly…it was unforgivable.
And so Legulus thought that the expulsion he had heard of earlier was absolutely warranted.
He even thought that Felx had been incredibly merciful for not taking his life.
“And that is not the end of this story. After losing his position and name as a noble, he went knocking on the door of a magic school. Then, he used a system that was nothing but names at the time, and after silencing any naysayers with his ability, he returned to the royal court as a court magician. With his own power, and not his name or title. Heh. Ahahahaha! Surely you see it too? How great a great a fool he was!””
His body shook as he laughed.
It was as if it was too amusing for him to bear, and this laughter continued to echo for several seconds.
“…And for a year, the great fool stayed at court as a court magician, while using the fact that Gardana claimed equality between commoners and nobles as a shield. That is the man called Eldas Miheira.”
He was also a man who had been banished from court twice, which was unprecedented. And all of his pleas were not heard.
“But recently, for some reason, I often remember those words of his from long ago.”
Felx’s expression suddenly changed and became more relaxed.
“Now, Legulus. Do you know why I have continued to send you into the dungeons?”
The question sounded like a test.
The subject continued to be unrelated to Alec Ugritte, and so Legulus was still confused. But there was no way he could go against his father, His Majesty the King, and so he tried to respond to the question that was raised.
However, Felx continued before Legulus could reply.
“The reason for it is… Because I thought I’d change the status quo… That is all.”
“That’s why I decided to lend my ear, just once, to that strange appeal that was directed at me so long ago.”
‘…Your perspective on things is too narrow.’
That was a statement that should not be directed at a king, no matter what.
However, he couldn’t forget those words, even after ten years. On the contrary, as he got older, he was even starting to agree with those words that Eldas had said to him at the time.
And so Felx sent his son Legulus out into the dungeons.
There were only two users of ‘reflect magic’ in the world.
Alec Ugritte had been praised a genius by some, and thought of as the second coming of Eldas. So by having his son and Alec take on dungeons together, he could learn whether or not Eldas’s words to him had been true.
Felx wanted to find out. To clear up doubts that had bothered his for years and were still eating away at his heart.
“… I see. The depth of Your Majesty’s mercy is most impressive.”
Listening to lowly opinions of underlings, instead of casting them aside as unnecessary.
Oh, the depths of his mercy.
However, Legulus had other thoughts as well.
His mouth twisted into a smile.
“Surely there is no need to change the status quo?”
“What do you mean?”
“In the first place, what does His Majesty intend to change?”
Change the status quo.
“First…the royal court.”
“…The royal court…”
Legulus’s expression darkened at this response.
Most of all, Legulus could not understand how Felx could say such a thing without hesitation.
As Legulus stood there in shock, Felx continued.
“It’s something I’ve said to you long ago, but you must be trained better, as the future king. To see who is competent and who is not.”
His thoughts were mixed in a complicated way, and so words would not come out of Legulus’s mouth as expected. But even so, it was clear that Felx’s words were not favorable to him.
“I am not saying that the current situation is bad. Gardana is continuing to grow steadily. However, when compared to other countries, the rate of growth is clearly inferior.”
And the reason was also clear.
‘…I have no intention of attacking your bloodline’s history. But shouldn’t we be turning our eyes elsewhere? Especially when it comes to what you call a lowly commoner. I’m adamant. Without their active cooperation, future prosperity will be impossible…
So please, listen to my advice for Gardana.’
The words of one court magician who continued to make such pleas, had invaded Felx’s mind over and over again.
“And so I thought that we should change the status quo. Therefore, from now on, I intend to promote not only those with titles, but also talented commoners. For the future prosperity of Gardana.”
Of course, opposition from those around could not be avoided, but Felx smiled faintly.
“…Have you lost your mind, Your Majesty?”
Legulus looked at him with astonishment.
“It would be a disgrace to past generations if we accepted the help of such lowly people!! Was it not you, my father, who taught me that aristocrats have the role of aristocrats and commoners have the role of commoners…!! The reason I was injured in the first place was because of the evil intentions of a cunning commoner!! And yet you will let such scoundrels inside… Your Majesty. Please, please reconsider…”
He was driven by passion and rage.
And it was also a desperate plea.
“Indeed, it was I who taught you such things. And it was also I who, just once, decided to listen to the words of that great fool. And so I have no right to object to your words, Legulus.”
But Felx also had no intention of reversing his decision.
“I had decided it the moment when I accepted Alec Ugitte as a court magician, and made him form a party with you and take on the dungeons. And then I saw Alec, who had brilliantly carried out the order of keeping you alive, and I knew that the words of that great fool were correct.”
‘…Commoners are not as simple as you may think… I have seen them with my own eyes! More than anything, I was saved…!! And so…!!’
The words that flashed through Felx’s mind were Eldas’s last words as a court magician.
Even though he was laughed at by nobles, he continued to speak about such things in a desperate manner.
“…It pains me to have used you in such a way. You can have my apology, if that is what you want. And if you wish to curse me, I will accept that too. …However, it was essential for Gardana’s future. So you must understand.”
There was a slight pause.
“Also, you should look at this before you decide whether or not you should hate Alec.”
This was why he had called Legulus.
And then Felx handed him a mountain of papers.
“These are the papers that Alec sent to me up until now, and the papers he left in his room. That’s all.”
Legulus raised his eyebrows suspiciously at that statement, but when he checked them, he realized that they weren’t just ordinary papers.
They were densely packed with words. Memos regarding the 30th layer of the dungeon.
However, Legulus hadn’t heard anything like this from Alec, and he didn’t remember ever being consulted.
Of course, it was only because Legulus would always cut him off as not being worthy of being listened to. But he didn’t seem to understand that now.
After gazing at them for half a minute, he said,
“…That is enough.”
And then Legulus turned away from Felx.
Thoughts went round and round in Legulus’s head. ‘What’s going on?’ and ‘What does this mean?’
Eventually, he had arrived at one conclusion after looking at the memos..
It was something Legulus didn’t want to admit, even on pain of death. But the fact was that Alec Ugritte wasn’t actually ‘useless.’
And I didn’t have enough value for him to confide in me. He must have been looking down on me this whole time. Such interpretations were born, one after another, and he was enraged.
While strongly grinding his teeth, he proceeded silently down the path leading to the outside.
And his feelings of anger swelled endlessly.
Above all, he couldn’t forgive the fact that his father, who he had thought had the same opinions as him, had planned such a thing.
I am the chosen one.
Noble blood with a long history runs in my veins.
And yet, he wanted them to work, hand in hand, with those filthy commoners?
Alec Ugritte was blameless?
He had done nothing wrong>
He repeated the word. And at the same time, something was breaking loudly inside of him.
The emotions that kept entering Legulus were breaking him.
Eventually, Legulus, who left the room with a dark expression, walked for about ten steps and stopped.
There was a vase set up in front of him.
Legulus grabbed it without saying a word, and as if to unleash the anger that had welled up inside of him, he threw it violently to the floor.
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