Chapter 141 – Deep Night
“I am not happy about it. Noelle Springfield is part of the 3rd unit and my subordinate. It is wrong to use her as bait in a dangerous mission. Even if it is the prince’s orders.”
On the top floor of the palace.
In a room that only a few people were allowed to enter, two men were facing each other.
One was Gawain Stark.
And the other was Prince Michael Ardenfeld.
“She was not injured during the mission. The finest Kingsguard knights were there, as well as Sir Eric Rushford and Queen Evangeline Runeforest. No matter how you look at it, it was a safe operation.”
“You can say that now. But the enemy had the Magician Slayer relic. And they nearly killed the queen and her attendants before. And yet you only had two knights with her? Surely you cannot really think that was safe.”
“Sometimes it is necessary to take risks. It was the optimal number to lure in the enemy without arousing suspicion. Besides, while ensuring safety is important, what’s even more important is achieving success in the operation. Furthermore, as a commander, you also send your subordinates into dangerous situations. Isn’t it the same thing?”
“The problem is consent. Going into a dangerous mission knowingly is completely different from being put in danger without your knowledge. If it had the worst outcome, would you be able to feel proud when telling her mother that you used her as bait?”
“But that did not happen. So there is no point in talking about it. Besides, I’m sure you have done plenty of things you aren’t proud of behind the scenes.”
Gawain narrowed his eyebrows at this.
“What do you mean?”
“The taboo of the kingdom’s noble society that must not be spoken about. Illicit funds and the collusion between the High Court and the Holy King Church. It is fine to investigate in secret, but using means outside of the law entails risks.”
Gawain was not aware of any illegal investigations.
However, there was something in the prince’s voice that was persuasive and assured.
Besides, Gawain knew of one subordinate who liked to act alone, and had a strong will that often made him step into dangerous places.
(Luke… Or it could even be Leticia. Back when we were in the first unit, she was very passionate in investigating the crimes of the High Court.)
While thinking of such things, Gawain pretended to be calm as he answered.
“Considering the position of His Majesty the King, who is in conflict with the High Court regarding the issue of aristocratic tax exemptions, shouldn’t this be to your advantage, Your Highness?”
“That is why I am worried. It would be sad to lose such valuable magicians. After the World Trophy, interest has risen in our magic skills. And some people do not look at that kindly.”
The prince paused for a moment.
“You should be careful. Justice is often powerless. Do not let the depths of darkness drown you.”
“I will remember your warning. In any case, I simply wish to be informed when my men are being used as pawns. If something like this happens again, and one of mine is injured. I will not be forgiving, even if you are the prince.”
“It is comforting to have people like you here. Continue to be as you are.”
After the meeting, Gawain thought about the prince’s words as he walked down the hall.
Gawain felt like the conversation had not gone anywhere.
However, the last part did not seem like a lie.
But what did they mean?
‘And I will do things in my own way.’
The prince was always choosing what he thought was the best move.
(We will have to be wary of the prince’s movements as well)
The person who stopped Gawain as he left the palace was Haribel, his subordinate in the 3rd unit.
“I was waiting for you. There is a report.”
“Mr. Luke attempted to escape from the hospital in the sealed city. He heard that the spirit queen was attacked, and became worried about Ms. Noelle.”
Gwain let out a deep sigh.
“I told them that he would try.”
“Yes. And since it was by the way you predicted, we were able to catch him. He is back at the hospital now.”
“Keep your eyes on him. He’ll escape again tonight.”
Gawain considered the layout of the hospital and gave orders based on that. It was then that he realized there was something odd about Luke’s escape route.
(He is more readable than usual. I suppose it’s because he is worried.)
It was no surprise.
For a magician, there was nothing more scary than not being able to use magic.
The Magician Slayer was a fearful tool that made use of the panic it caused in magicians.
(Even someone tough and dense like Noelle would be at a disadvantage. She will surely be afraid and have trouble sleeping tonight.)
He sighed at the thought of how she had been attacked.
She would be quite distressed.
She may not even be able to work tomorrow.
(I just hope that she isn’t traumatized…)
At the same time.
One small house in the royal city was illuminated by magic lanterns.
The sturdy house had soundproof magic casted on it, so you could not hear anything from outside.
Within the house, Noelle Springfiled found that she could not sleep.
“Magic quiz! Yes!”
An excited voice.
Noelle lifted a glass that was filled to the brim with wine.
Evangeline was just as excited as she raised her own glass.
From outside, two elves peered in through the window.
“I am so relieved… Queen Evangeline…”
Synthia’s eyes looked like that of a mother watching over their child.
“I won’t have to listen to her whining! I can sleep! I am free tonight!”
Estelle said as if she was just saved.
And the lively voices continued late into the night.
The dense Noelle Springfield had already forgotten about the attack, and was enjoying the time.