‘One does not become a great swordsman with their eyes!”
Nevertheless, Rian made him endlessly look forward to something and made him support the kid with all his heart.
“Here, take this.”
Kite handed his sword to Rian.
Rian didn’t know what his teacher wanted him to do with the sword in particular, but he understood his intentions.
Rian would have to risk his own life if he wanted to solve this situation.
“If you decide to go to the mansion with this sword, I’ll let you go. But don’t make a step if you’re not determined enough. It will only make things worse. This situation is already out of your control.”
While looking at Kite with fierce eyes, Rian smiled.
As he bowed his head down politely, he held out his hands and grabbed the sword from Kite in silence.
“Thank you. I will never forget this favor.”
“Remember, abandoning a friend is equivalent to abandoning another you. Don’t you dare half-ass this.”
With a stern nod, Rian ran to the manion with a sword strapped on his waist.
There was nostalgia in Kite’s eyes.
‘My part is over!
Although the time to say goodbye was short, he was happy he was able to leave his mark.
‘May the future of my student be filled with good fortune.’
The atmosphere inside the mansion was cold.
All work stopped momentarily, and the male servants and maids kept their mouths shut.
Louis, the head butler, wiped his glasses behind the sofa where the immediate family members were sitting.
Next to him, Temuran, the deputy butler, was staring at Shirone, his stress plain for all to see.
He was kneeling under all the gazes of hostility and contempt.
He felt like he was standing in the middle of a Colosseum.
“Report, head butler.”
“Yes, my Lord. Shirone, a servant hired by Temuran, is accused of damaging the prestige of the Ogent family during his year-and-half-long stay here. The workers have witnessed the youngest young master and Shirone mingling, and I also heard Shirone talking to him carelessly. Attached are the testimonies of the workers in regards to the case. Temuran wrote for them.”
As Bischoff silently raised his hand back, Louis passed the document into his hand.
Flap! Flap! While the papers were turning, Reina sneakily went up to Shirone.
“Shirone, don’t worry too much. I’ll try and convince my dad. Nothing’s going to happen.”
Contrary to expectations, Shirone looked so calm that it gave Reina chills.
Not a speck of anxiety was seen in his eyes.
‘He was not pretending to be calm! He really is looking at the situation calmly!’
Shirone was not afraid.
This was because the future was just full of possible outcomes. Nothing had been decided yet.
After looking through the file, Bischoff spoke.
With a cold impression along with his pitch-black hair, he had the power to petrify with his words alone.
“Shirone Arian, is what is written in this file true?”
“Dad, Shirone and Rian…”
“Reina, I did not ask you. I’ll give you a chance to speak. Stay quiet for now.”
Reina knew this was not gonna be easy.
Bischoff, a logical man who followed fundamental principles, was not a person who could be persuaded through mere emotions.
Shirone opened his mouth.
“I would like to ask a question.”
All the servants who were watching were surprised at how composed Shirone was. However, it did not phase Bischoff one bit.
“If the youngest young master and I are actual friends, what would happen to him?”
Reina’s eyes turned affectionate at Shirone’s selflessness. He thought of his friend before himself, even in such a situation.
“Nothing will happen. Right now, we’re here to question you, a commoner. Whatever misdeed Rian has commited, as long as he’s part of this family, we will continue to protect and support him.”
Bischoff’s words had thorns, but Shirone was satisfied.
Shirone, who let a little loose, told the truth with a bright smile.
“Then I’m glad. Rian and I are friends. We’ve been friends for a year, and we’ll continue to be friends.”
No one dared to speak up or express themselves, but Shirone’s words actually caused a great stir.
In particular, the male servants who lived with him were the most shocked as his friendship with the youngest young master turned out to be true.
‘Stupid boy. He doesn’t understand how scary this world is.’
A son of a noble family and a son of a mountaineer have been friends for over a year.
What seemed like a baseless rumor that had been passed around ended up being true.
“You must take the name of the Ogent family quite lightly. Shirone, I will execute you as the Lord of this house. Since you came here signing such a contract from the beginning, you must have been ready for such a possibility.”
Reina stepped up.
“Dad! Listen to me for a second! You said you’d give me a chance to talk!”
[Translator – Anwen]
[Proofreader – Enigami]
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“That was when there was room to make judgment. He has already confessed. It’d be pointless to drag this out. Head butler.”
“Yes, my Lord.”
“Continue the matter at hand. Also, this should never leak out.”
Reina became nervous. Even in this situation, seeing as how Shirone continued to maintain his calm and composed exterior, Reina felt bitter.
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But how could they prevent this? Bischoff’s decisions as Lord of the house had never once been reversed.
“With whose permission?!”
Rian opened the door and barged in.
The temperature of the room increased with just his appearance alone.
“Who’s going to execute my friend without permission?”
Bischoff said flatly.
“Why the hell? He didn’t commit a sin that deserves death, we only became friends! Just friends!”
“One does not die just because he has committed a sin worthy of death. The intricacies of aristocracy are much more complicated than you think. And those complicated circumstances are handled and resolved by the family, hence you, as a son of a nobleman, were also raised and brought up with preferential treatment.”
“If that’s the case, I refuse such a privilege if it means I have to abandon my friend.”
“You are immature, Rian. Friendships are a mutual thing. What you can share with them is fixed and certain. That is a definite relationship. Does that kid think of you as a friend? How can I believe that? Let’s say he approached you for money, how could you know? How can you trust him?”
“Shirone is not like that.”
“That’s what I’m saying. How do you know that? Prove it. Bring some kind of evidence that proves Shirone is not that kind of person.”
Reina chewed on her lips.
‘He’s totally caught up!’
There was no evidence that could prove Shirone was a true friend because nobody could look into a person’s heart.
Feeling a chill from his father’s words, Rian slowly grabbed the handle of the sword strapped on his waist.
Something hot flooded into his heart.
‘I understand now, Master!’
Rian, who understood what Kite meant, burst into laughter.
This was not a staring contest between father and son, it was a battle of wills.
“As expected, I can’t beat my dad. I almost fell for it. Prove that we’re friends… My proof is that I believe in him. Even if Shirone does not think of me as one, he is my friend as long as I believe we are. That’s the best proof you can have in this situation! Trust!”
This time, Bischoff was at the losing end.
After all, what Rian said was also true.
“So you are going to disobey me, the Lord of this house? This is not a matter between just you and me. It is a matter that involves the house. Noble houses can fall and collapse, even now it still happens. I have to make sure we don’t crumble and fall. I am responsible for leading this house. Don’t underestimate the situation. Even a son of a noble can be ostracized.”
Bischoff burned his bridge.
To kick out his own son.
Not only the servants, but also the members of the Ogent family were shocked at the last remark.
But Rian didn’t budge.
Instead, he answered politely with unprecedented courtesy, as if building a wall between him and Bischoff.
“If that’s the only way to protect my friend, I’ll happily leave.”
Bischoff slammed his foot onto the floor.
Unacceptable. A mere 16-year-old surviving an ostracism?
‘That foolishness of his… His rude, mannerless actions… He’s only unreasonable due to the fact that I am his father.’
“Then draw your sword. To be ostracized means to be abandoned by your family. If your friend is really worth the fight, then you must risk your life.”
Rian drew his sword without a word. The action angered Bischoff even more.
“Are you really planning on pointing your sword at me, your father?”
“It’s not pointed towards you, father. You don’t believe me, so I have no choice but to do this. I draw my sword because I believe in myself and my decisions.”
“Since when did you cherish your friends? You never once made connections with other aristocrats your age. You said it was because they were dazzling in your eyes. You’re only friends with this commoner because he doesn’t shine. Because he is lower than you.”
“For the first time, you are wrong, father. Shirone is a friend who shines brighter than me. I want to help Shirone shine even brighter.”
Bischoff was despondent.
What did this Shirone do to dazzle his naive son to such a degree?
“Is it you? Did you make Rian like that? How did you persuade him into believing that a commoner and a noble could be friends?”
“Although I did not persuade him, since you think that is the case, maybe I did do something like persuasion.”
Rian stood between the two.
“Shirone, stay quiet. I’ll take care of it. No matter what happens to you—”
Rian turned his head as Shirone spoke with a cold tone he had never heard him use before. Shirone was staring straight at him.
“You are responsible for what you are responsible for.”
Not only the family, but Rian, too, felt chills at the impassive words that were comparable to Bischoff’s.
“Huh? W-Well, yes. Of course.”
“But you don’t have to take responsibility for things that you shouldn’t be responsible for. This situation was created by the two of us. We’ll just have to get through it together.”
Shirone looked back at Rian and smiled.
“Even if I die on this spot, I don’t regret being your friend.”
Not only the servants, but also the members of the Ogent family couldn’t help but turn solemn in the moment.
And for Rian, it was like pouring fuel into an already burning flame.
“Yeah! That’s exactly what I’m saying! Even if I’m ostracized, we’ll still remain friends!”
The servants started to murmur amongst themselves.
They were cynical at first, but now they couldn’t figure out who to side with.
Reina, who was resting her chin using the back of her hand, smiled.
‘You are really amazing, Shirone!’
He silenced the adults with indisputable logic.
The reason why Shirone’s words could not be refuted was because they were all human beings. And all human beings had to deal with a thing called ’emotion’.
‘I’m sure everyone here has had a friend like Shirone. A person they wish they could be friends with forever.’
The stone-cold logic of the Ogent family was also something that a human created. And as much as one would like to separate emotions from the equation, such a thing was simply not possible for humans.
‘He’s smart. In a sense, he’s similar to dad.’
Nevertheless, the reason why he didn’t dislike Shirone was because sincerity preceded calculation.
‘Well, you never know. That’s the power of sincerity. It makes you want to believe. And Shirone definitely has that power.’
Perhaps that was Shirone’s greatest weapon, Reina thought.