This Bastard is Too Competent Chapter 126 - An Ominous Feeling

Author: CleiZz Editor: Tetrax

 

 

Ian was sitting in a room in the Crystal Palace.

 

“Duke Lavaltor will be arriving soon.” 

 

The royal knight who delivered the news looked visibly surprised.

Ian smirked, noticing the meaning behind his expression.

 

“You thought the duke wouldn’t come, didn’t you?”

 

“Pardon? N, no, I mean…!”

 

Ian chuckled cooly as he stared at the knight looking so embarrassed he was flustering.

 

“If not, why don’t you try doing the same as the people who laugh at me in the palace?”

 

“I’m sorry!”

 

The knight, understanding the meaning of Ian’s words, quickly bowed and left. Perhaps, as surprised as he was, this news would spread throughout the palace.

 

But after the knight left, Ian’s face turned grim.

 

‘I have a bad feeling about this.’

 

It was strange.

He discovered the letter Ceres left behind, and Nathan was tracking the secret safe. Scholar Walter was looking into the communication tool, and Ian was awaiting his contact.

Furthermore, it was time to discuss the future with Duke Lavaltor, whom he would soon meet.

Things were undoubtedly going very smoothly for him.

But this unsettling feeling…

 

‘It’s not because of His Majesty.’

 

The result of the conversation with the king.

It was confusing, but he was able to obtain some very valuable information.

Right at that moment.

 

Flash.

 

In the darkness, Ian’s eyes gleamed sharply.

 

The look in Haverion’s eyes as he was being dragged away by the royal guard flashed in his mind.

 

‘Yeah, it’s him. His gaze has caught my eye.’

 

Even he could see the look of defeat in the great Duke Garcia’s eyes when he was imprisoned, albeit fleetingly.

However, Haverion showed nothing of the sort at all.

Instead, he looked closer to someone who was planning a comeback. 

 

‘He certainly looked like someone cooking up a scheme.’

 

Of course, based on his past life experience, Ian never neglected to watch his surroundings.

Unbeknownst to his knights, he kept a close eye on the reactions of his surroundings and the royal family.

There was a card he specially prepared for that purpose.

And that card was now running up to him in a hurry.

 

“Prince Ian!”

 

The chamberlain of the royal palace.

He was a man who once served the Second Prince but had now pledged his loyalty to Ian.

And he was more capable than Ian thought.

 

“As you ordered, all attendants of the Crystal Palace have completely been won over while you left for the Northern Expedition, Prince Ian.”

 

“What about the background check?”

 

“Of course, they’re all clean. I double-checked just to be safe.”

 

Of course, not only did he have attendants, but he had also created a small but solid intelligence organization in the royal capital.

He didn’t do this alone.

 

“Third Young Master Karan helped me a lot. He was more capable than I thought.”

 

Rather, it was Ian who was surprised.

 

‘Even if it’s backed with the resources swiped from the Second Prince’s warehouse, to think it has developed this much in less than a year.’

 

He wasn’t called the Adventurer King in his past life for nothing.

A great person he was, he was worthy of receiving the title of king on this continent with a caste system. That was who Karan was.

Ian also coveted him.

Even though Karan wasn’t his person yet.

 

‘Now I have to make him my person step by step.’

 

Since Duke Garcia was imprisoned, he no longer had a reason to be by his side.

In order to do so, Ian prepared a secret way.

And whether he knew it or not, the chamberlain continued his report with an urgent expression.

 

“It was just as we expected! They were moving.”

 

What the chamberlain brought was the report of each successor’s movement.

Ian’s eyes lit up at the news of the First Princess written at the very top.

 

“She sets her eyes on the Southern Nobles Union?”

 

“Yes. She has been very active even though she’s outside the castle for the victory ceremony.”

 

However, the Southern Nobles Union was a big faction that was largely bound together by blood ties.

Going by their usual stance, they wouldn’t have possibly moved.

 

“But it seems like she has found a way. I have information that she is in an amicable relationship with them in the barracks.”

 

This was also something that never happened in Ian’s previous life.

The person the Southern Nobles Union was pushing for was the Sixth Prince, who had left the kingdom.

That was why they had been silent for a long time.

 

‘No, since the Fifth Prince has returned, there’s a chance he could come back, too.’

 

The information from his previous life was already becoming obsolete.

From now on, Ian needed to tread each step carefully, like crossing a bridge with one foot.

But at that moment, Ian’s eyes sparkled.

 

“What about the Garcia faction? Have you contacted them yet?”

 

Of course, Duke Garcia’s offense had not yet been settled.

 

‘But humans are cunning. Especially nobles.’

 

Nobles were always driven by their own interests.

As Garcia, who enjoyed great power, was shaken, the nobles under him would naturally leave.

But the chamberlain shook his head.

 

“Don’t you know very well that his influence remains unchanged no matter how briefly Duke Garcia was detained? He’s probably already pulling the strings even though he’s incarcerated.”

 

Ian also thought so.

But in spite of that, the First Princess was able to reach out to him.

 

‘My sister doesn’t have a marriage partner yet.’

 

That was the biggest loss the First Princess had.

It was clear that there might be someone who would betray Duke Garcia.

However, the First Princess wasn’t the only one making a move.

 

“The Third Prince’s movements are also strange. He’s in contact with scholars as well as the royal library.”

 

“I thought he’d contact the rest of the royal knights.”

 

“The librarian secretly tipped me off. He seemed to be looking for something in the books.”

 

At that moment, Ian realized.

 

‘It’s the Seven Virtues.’

 

The Third Prince Louis must be looking into it.

Having acquired Patience, Ian realized that not only King Eloin but also Louis had the Seven Virtues.

But neither the Third Prince nor Ian asked each other what kind of power they had.

 

‘The moment my brother and I ask that question, we will see to each other’s bitter ends.’

 

Because they were competitors, not partners.

He would naturally know when the time to risk his life for the one and only throne came.

 

“The Fourth Prince is also secretly researching something. They say it’s dangerous, so no one is allowed in…”

 

“Ah. You can ignore that.”

 

“…Pardon?”

 

If that was the case, there was nothing to be afraid of.

Most of the things the Fourth Prince was developing were stuff Ian had already experienced in his previous life.

The problem was the last person.

No, it was the one Ian paid attention to the most.

 

“The biggest concern is, of course, the Fifth Prince. His movements are unusual.”

 

“What unusual move was it?”

 

“The number of patients receiving treatment has quadrupled from before.”

 

“What?”

 

Ian scrunched his forehead as if it were suspicious.

 

‘There is a maximum amount of divine power that can be used per day.’

 

Like the knight’s Oath.

And yet, he increased the number of patients being treated?

The chamberlain also took notice of it.

The question was not on the treatment but on the patients.

 

“Something felt off, so I stealthily tracked the patients…”

 

“What did you find?” 

 

The chamberlain struggled to open his mouth as if he was hesitant to bring this up.

 

“The condition of the patients who have completed their treatment is abnormal. Their complexions are dark, and they look absent-minded as if their minds are elsewhere.”

 

“!”

 

Ian’s face turned grim.

This was because he, who had memories of his past life, recalled the worst nightmare which occurred in the Holy Empire.

 

‘No way… Probably not as bad as that.’

 

No, there was almost a 100% chance that his hunch was spot-on.

It was a symptom that had once clutched the whole continent with dread. 

Ian asked cautiously.

 

“Are those patients mumbling something unintelligible?”

 

“Th, that’s right. How did you know?”

 

Ian was at a loss for words for a moment. 

It was inevitable.

 

‘How can something so far in the future have already happened?’

 

Worse yet, Haverion had a hand in it?

However, the incident at that time was a terrorist attack on the Holy Empire.

It made no sense if the culprit was Haverion.

 

‘What is a cardinal directly below the pope dissatisfied with, to commit terrorism against the Holy Empire?’

 

But the deed had already been done. 

If the symptoms of the patients were the same, tomorrow would surely be a tough day no matter what happened.

 

‘It’s my victory ceremony. The day when all eyes are on me and no one else. No one can pour cold water and spill blood on that day.’

 

It was then.

 

“Duke Lavaltor has arrived.”

 

Ian’s eyes sparkled.

It was because the person who could surely help him had come.

 

 

***

 

Duke Lavaltor always had a serious face, but today was especially even more so.

There was a reason for it.

 

“His Highness Ian would like to meet you.”

 

The Seventh Prince Ian.

He finally received a summon from the person he had been waiting for.

 

‘I guess he has finally made up his mind.’

 

It was not just a simple decision. 

His daughter had already met Prince Ian, and she seemed to look at him in a favorable light.

 

‘Even though it was a vassal state, he became the king of a country.’

 

Instead of the Second Prince, whom he disliked, having Prince Ian as a son-in-law would not be a bad thing for his daughter.

With those thoughts, he slowly entered the Crystal Palace.

 

“Tell Prince Ian that I have arrived.”

 

“Yes, I will let him know, Your Excellency.”

 

It was the moment Duke Lavaltor was about to step into the Crystal Palace.

 

‘!’

 

Duke Lavaltor immediately stiffened upon seeing Ian. 

It was because Ian was smiling broadly.

 

‘It feels quite ominous.’

 

His family was one of the only two ducal families. Of course, if one were to have a marriage alliance with such a family, it was only natural they would smile so broadly. 

However, the thing was, the other party was the Seventh Prince Ian.

 

‘Something always happens when he smiles like that.’

 

It had been the case so far. 

When Ian first came to find him. 

In the match against the Second Prince, and in the Labadom village. 

Even when the Northern Expedition was underway—it was all the same. 

Whenever Ian smiled like that, something always happened. 

The issue was what would come next. 

Most of the time, Ian solved it with his own power, but the duke always had to deal with the troublesome matters. 

Duke Lavaltor’s face naturally was full of wariness.

 

“What do you have to say?”

 

“Welcome. I have something I really wanted to say to you.”

 

“What is it?”

 

“Now, now. Please have a seat first.”

 

“Please speak first.”

 

If it weren’t for the engagement he had promised, he was ready to turn on his heels and leave at once.

Ian shrugged his shoulders as if it couldn’t be helped.

 

“Originally, I was going to talk about marriage, but something more urgent has come up.”

 

“…”

 

In an instant, the air in the Crystal Palace chilled.

Duke Lavaltor was angry at Ian’s words.

 

“Nothing is more important to me than my one and only daughter.”

 

No, Duke Lavaltor really couldn’t hold back his fury.

It might be because he read the inside of what royal families and nobles always did.

And if Ian were to marry his daughter as an excuse to use him, he would never forgive him no matter what.

Yet, Ian responded with serious eyes.

 

“Even if this is not addressed to Duke Lavaltor but to the guardian knight ‘Sir Lavaltor’?”

 

“!”

 

At that moment, Duke Lavaltor froze.

Although he had been called the Guardian of the North or the Greatest Knight on the Continent, it was rare for him to hear others address him by his knight title.

This was especially so for Seventh Prince Ian, who had caused him many problems so far.

But Ian was dead serious.

 

“I need Sir’s power.”

 

“…”

 

“You have made your Oath. Regardless of what happens, you will protect Kaistein.”

 

Duke Lavaltor straightened up, his eyes shining like a beast. 

It seemed that there was indeed something more important today than the marriage alliance.

 

“Summoning me as ‘Sir Lavaltor’ is not even something His Majesty can easily do. You should be prepared for the consequences if it turns out to not be a matter deserving such a magnitude.”

 

Then Ian smiled and slowly whispered to him.

 

“But before that, I have something to tell you.”

 

“What is it?”

 

“The contract with Sir Fiosen that I promised a while ago is almost over. Do you remember?”

 

“Of course.”

 

Duke Lavaltor tilted his head.

It had been exactly one year since Ian decided to take Fiosen with him.

That period was clearly coming to an end.

And at that time, it was agreed that whether Ian would remain his master or not would depend on Fiosen’s will, but it was already decided that he would return to the family.

 

‘But why are we talking about that at this important moment?’

 

It was then.

 

“It’s because I need him to protect Kaistain. Could you please extend Sir Fiosen’s rental period a little longer?”

 

What in the world was this guy saying now?

Was he saying he would rather have his son over his daughter?

 

For a moment, Duke Lavaltor was speechless.

 

 

***

 

 

The morning of the victory ceremony.

The citizens of Kaistein came out in the morning with their hearts pounding.

That was only natural.

 

“Are we finally going to see the Seventh Prince today?”

 

“He’s the hero who conquered Bahara and defeated the demon.”

 

“How great it would be if such a person were to become the king of our country.”

 

Everyone was there to see Ian.

The victory ceremony was a precious event rarely held in the country. It was also because, on this day, all the people were freed from work to celebrate the festival.

Scattering the spoils of war on the street, in particular, was one of the prominent traditions when celebrating a victory.

It was only understandable that all the people looked forward to it.

It was then.

 

“There he comes!”

 

Everyone’s eyes turned to the royal capital’s gate at one person’s shout.

Showing up from there was a man with red hair who entered atop the giant Blue Emperor.

It was Ian, his golden eyes sparkling like the sun.

The people began to cheer.

 

“Woaahhh!”

 

“The hero of Bahara! Hero of the Northern Expedition! Long live Prince Ian!”

 

It wasn’t just cheering.

Some people laid a path of red flowers prepared beforehand in front of Ian.

It held the significance of presenting all the glory to him.

But right at that moment.

 

“Huh?”

 

An exclamation rose among the citizens.

It was because someone else had appeared next to Ian, who was supposed to lead the troops at the forefront. 

And that person clearly should not have been in that position.

 

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CleiZz

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