And since his appearance had changed, it would be easy for my father to deny that he was part of the family at all. So it was possible that he would put Oren on trial in public.
Years ago, Oren had tormented Lopez and displayed him in the palace.
Now, it might be his turn to be made a spectacle…
It wasn’t what I had wished. However, I knew that I could only feel that way because I wasn’t one of his victims.
“I suppose we’ll have to discuss his punishment for those murders at a later date. Well, don’t worry. I promise you that his victims and their families will be compensated properly. Of course, nothing can make up for a lost life… Uh, did I say something wrong?”
Balpas asked as he studied my face.
Perhaps he had seen the surprise there. He didn’t really sound like the Balpas that I knew.
“No. It’s just that…now that I think about it, we haven’t really talked like this before.”
“And you’re surprised to see that I can be rather respectable, is that it? ‘Oh, so he’s not just a self-indulged, drunken womanizer!’”
“I wouldn’t go that far. In fact, I was more surprised by your crest.”
“But you have me beat when it comes to surprising crests… Still, why do you think father did something so…roundabout?”
Balpas muttered with a mystified expression.
Indeed, it was difficult to tell what his intentions were.
Had he wanted to investigate Sheorl in person, surely there was a better way.
There was no doubt in my mind that he was wrong to have sent Oren.
So had he wanted to conquer Sheorl…? No. There would have been a fleet waiting nearby if that had been the case. Besides, I doubted he would try to conquer us without investigating first.
Then there must be some other purpose.
From the conversation I had with him, the only thing I knew was that for a while he had been searching for a successor.
But up until now, he had not spoken on that subject even once.
And then there was this talk about how he sent me to this island so that I could grow.
If this was true, that meant that father knew that my crest would show its power here.
But if that were the case, wouldn’t he have sent me to caves much earlier…?
Or perhaps it was something different. Maybe he just wanted to place me in an unfortunate situation at a young age, and see how my personality would change?
I was practically the opposite of Oren. He had all the power from the beginning. He was spoiled and grew up to be a cruel person who did not understand the pain of others.
But kings often needed to be cruel. Perhaps my father had purposely raised Oren to be cold and proud.
And then had him fight his opposite…
Balpas might have been thinking about the same thing, as he then muttered.
“You and Oren… Perhaps he was testing you two. To see who was more fitting to be his successor.”
As for the results…father had chosen me.
That didn’t make me happy at all… Even if I ignored my treatment as a child, Oren should have been educated better. Of course, as the king of Sanfaris, he would not have been able to spend much time with Oren. Besides, there were over ten of us.
“But if that’s the case, your rejection and Oren turning into that… You could say that his plan is a great failure. Our other brothers are either inferior to Oren in terms of magic, or have battle-type crests. To be honest, we are all weaker than the old Oren and you as you are now.”
Balpas grimaced and then chuckled.
However, father might have been considering Balpas as a successor as well.
From the beginning, Balpas had tried to avoid clashing with me directly. He often tried to arbitrate between Oren and me. In a way, he was a well-balanced person.
Besides, he was the only one who had a crest that allowed him to act in secrecy. I felt surely father would see that he had enough of the right qualities to make a king.
Regardless, I would have to ask father about it… How much did he know about my crest, and his reasoning for sending me here.
It was with such thoughts in my mind, that Balpas and I continued to draw out the agreement.