Suddenly, a loud voice from the second floor was heard.
“HAHAHA! Such a masterpiece! I didn’t expect to see this kind of a spectacle in my later years! Being young is indeed the best!”
The startled maids screamed, while the family members sighed as they looked behind.
There, an old man with blue hair stood, leaning against the balcony of the second floor.
Shirone stared absent-mindedly.
Even if Shirone were to consider this man as what Rian would eventually become, he couldn’t imagine Rian having muscles that looked like they were about to explode.
The old man was Rian’s grandfather, Klumph Ogent.
Reina stood up with a look of happiness.
Considering Reina and Rian were definitely not enough to persuade the black-haired Lord, he came at the perfect time.
‘It’s all good now. If it’s grandfather…’
Turning a blind eye to his daughter’s expression, Bischoff asked.
“I see you’ve arrived, father. I heard from Reina that it should have taken a few more days.”
“I came early because my friend ran away with a young maiden. Anyways, this place is as noisy as ever. As expected, youth is a fine thing.”
“It’s not exactly a good thing in this case. The face of our family has fallen to the ground.”
“Let’s not jump to conclusions here. I’ve been watching behind the scenes for a bit now, and it’s evident that everyone here has a lot they want to say. So, why don’t we decide after hearing each other’s opinions about whether we have lost face or not?”
Reina screamed inside, ‘Grandfather is the best!’
Although Klumph left the position as the Lord of the house to his son, his voice as a Grade 3 swordsman was still influential.
Reina gained courage and stood up.
“I’ll go first. Although I only met Shirone for the first time yesterday, I noticed he was a smart and talented child. Also, Shirone has completed all the contract requirements and was supposed to leave the house today. Given these circumstances, it’s quite difficult to say that Shirone approached Rian with particularly malevolent intentions. Furthermore, I do not believe his actions have tarnished the family’s reputation.”
With her attitude packed with conviction, she sat down proudly.
Though it was only now that the two opposing sides balanced, the tide still did not turn.
Compared to those with black hair, it could be said that the bonds shared between those with blue hair was stronger. So Klumph, who was a previous Lord, was fair.
Hence, Rai was given the floor to speak his opinion.
“What are your thoughts, my second grandson?”
Rai replied in a polite, frosty tone.
“I do not like that kid.”
The opinions of the servants were shaken once again by the remark of the family’s most promising prospect.
“But I don’t want to care anymore. This matter has nothing to do with me.”
Bischoff asked him.
“What do you mean? You say you dislike him, but you don’t want to be bothered anymore?”
“Exactly. I don’t like that kid. But with the only reason being that I dislike him, I don’t want to give false opinions. So I’m just speaking the truth. I don’t care because I don’t want to. I don’t care who Rian befirends, I simply want this matter to be done with so that we can head to the royal palace.”
Reina held her tongue.
Although he was her younger brother, he was egocentric to the core.
However, at least in this instance, his personality seemed to work in Rian’s favor.
Klumph giggled like a schoolgirl.
It amused him to see that his family members had their own unique personalities.
“Then to conclude, let’s hear the opinion of the deputy butler who must’ve observed the boy, Shirone, for the longest time.”
As Temuran took a step forward, Louis sent a sidelong glance towards him, warning him that he had to pick the correct side here.
What kind of words cannot be said between family members? But what was important to the servants was their masters’ thoughts and preferences.
“Shirone did the work I ordered him to do and he did it perfectly. ”
Louis’ forehead wrinkled.
‘You can’t even change up a few words or make up a lie. That’s why you can’t go higher and escape that position of yours as the deputy butler.’
“Did you know that they were friends?”
“I knew he was frequently hanging around with the youngest young master, but I did not know they were friends. But in my opinion, if he were such a child, I do not think he would have been able to sort those 10,000 books.”
Shirone’s eyes widened, as if surprised. He did not expect Temuran to speak of him that way. The head butler Louis stepped up.
“Are you taking sides now?”
There was anger in his voice, but Temuran shook his head calmly.
“No, I am also shocked that Shirone, a contract worker, managed to befriend the youngest young master. But as a deputy butler, I’m only telling the truth.”
This split the sides a bit.
Bischoff was the only one who insisted on punishing Shirone, and even he, who was the Lord, could not ignore the rest of the family’s opinion.
After all, he became the Lord for his family.
Rian let loose a breath as the tension left his body, and Shirone’s expression as well seemed a bit lighter.
“I cannot approve.”
Klumph made the final decision.
Bischoff and Rian shouted at the same time, but the reason why they called out were polar opposites.
“I understand that they recognize each other as friends. But it ends now. If the relationship continues, rumors will eventually spread and this might become a weakness for the political opponents to snatch and use against us. It is not good for Rian’s future either. So just think that you guys built enough of those good memories together, and end the relationship here. I think that’s the right thing to do.”
On the one hand, Reina was disappointed with her grandfather. But on the other hand, she also understood why.
Family matters were important. In fact, they were more important than anything else.
The family members were still active on duty, and above all, Rai had his certified exam coming up.
It was their natural duty to get rid of any room for political strife.
‘He should be grateful that he even gets to keep his life!’
But Rian’s thinking was different.
Klumph responded with a bright smile to his youngest grandson, whose eyes burnt with hostility.
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‘I see you’ve got pretty splendid energy, Rian’
Although he understood the feelings of his grandson, who was the apple of his eyes, a lot of lives were at stake.
No one objected to Klumph’s opinion. The decision seemed to have been made by the looks of it.
“Shirone, what do you think? I would like to thank you for teaching my naive grandson true friendship, but can you end it here? It’s hard for nobles and commoners to be friends.”
[Translator – Anwen]
[Proofreader – Enigami]
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Shirone, who thought about it for a moment, spoke.
“I can’t do that.”
His unexpected answer shook not only Bischoff, but also Reina and Rai.
But the one who was the most taken aback was Rian.
“If I am a hindrance to Rian’s future, I don’t mind not seeing him ever again. But that doesn’t make him any less of a friend to me. If you take that into account, I’ll follow your orders.”
Rian’s eyes were filled with tears.
In the corner of his mind, he thought it was enough that Shirone was fortunate to not die.
‘I was the one who lacked faith in my friend.’
Shirone knew that abandoning a friend was equivalent to abandoning oneself.
‘It’s non-negotiable. Right, Shirone?’
Rian raised his sword high and shouted.
Reina’s face was filled with anxiety.
‘Don’t do it.’
Rian was different from Shirone, when Rian became worked up, trouble always occurred.
And her uneasiness was proven correct.
Turning to Shirone, Rian stabbed his sword onto the floor before anyone could say anything.
Rian knelt on one knee as his family stared blankly at the sword that pierced the marble floor.
“I, Rian Ogent, the third son of the Ogent family, will become Shirone’s sword as of this time.”
“What?! You fool!”
Bischoff threw his image out the window as the Lord and shouted. Even if Rian really meant it, it wasn’t something that should be said at his young age.
With an absurd look, Reina asked him.
“Did you just take a knight’s oath?”
A knight’s oath.
It was an oath that could not be overturned and was a decision one could only make if they were resolved enough… Resolved enough to become a sword for the one they swore to.
Even in the noble society full of all sorts of slander, the reason why this oath was always kept was because honor was everything to a knight. The more honor a knight had, the longer their noble house could stand proud.
Once in a lifetime. Rian had made that frightening promise to Shirone.
Bischoff was speechless.
The moment one took the knight’s oath, it was impossible to withdraw it. Even if you don’t go through the entirety of it, the minute one withdraws it, they become someone respected less than a rabid dog.
“Rian, what in the world are you doing?”
Shirone couldn’t hide his shock, but Rian thought this was enough.
“You thought I would choose not to see my friend forever? What do you think? Now, you’re in a double bind.”
When Rian turned his head, his family saw something they had never seen before.
‘Master, it looks like I made quite the splash this time around.’
However, to Klumph, it was refreshing nonetheless.
Klumph rubbed his large chin.
‘To be honest, I did not expect him to be this immature, but his actions do not annoy or anger me… He reminds me of myself.’
‘Well, if he’s planning on being immature all the way through, might as well go all the way.’
Hiding his true feelings, Kumph asked sternly.
“Rian, when you say you are going to be his sword, does that mean that boy has the qualifications?”
“I believe he’s overflowing with it.”
“Then answer me this: Is he overflowing due to his own brilliance, or does he shine bright to you because you feel inadequate?”
‘Is Shirone the one shining brilliantly, or does he simply shine because I feel inferior? Why did Grandpa ask this question?’
“A sword does not judge. They simply protect.”
He made a sound of admiration.
Klumph was satisfied.
‘Thank goodness his basics are strong!’
As Rian said, a sword does not think.
Its only job was to cut in the direction its owner wanted.
“You’re quite good with your words. But with that lame swordsmanship of yours, I feel sorry for your friend who got a sword like you.”
Rian shot daggers at him.
Of course, all tension had dissipated at this point.
It was partly because they went on a path no one could reverse, but more than that, it was more so because they did not have the energy to care anymore.
Klumph felt that things came to a satisfying conclusion.
“All right, that’s it. Help that master of yours stand up. Oh, and Shirone, though he’s not the most polished sword yet, he will never strike against you. Take good care of my grandson.”
Shirone bowed his head. He felt that he had to at least show some respect, after all, his actions had damaged the pride of the Ogent family.
“Thank you for your approval.”
“It was all him. I did nothing. I heard that you’ve completed your work here? You’re planning on going back home, correct?”
“Yes, my parents should be waiting.”
“You must miss them. However, since the two of you promised to be friends for life, it must be sad to go back like this. Hey, Louis.”
“Yes, your Grace.”
“The carriage that Shirone was supposed to take to get back home? Take his parents here instead.”
The head butler immediately left the mansion.
The situation with Shirone was no longer something he could deal with.
Louis realized again at that moment that a noble’s way of thinking was completely beyond his understanding.