Grandson of the Holy Emperor is a Necromancer - Chapter 47
Chapter 47: 030. Imperial Prince is Attending a Banquet -1 (Part One)
I really did try to escape.
However, I simply couldn’t.
The gardeners showed up belatedly and freaked out after discovering that their Holy Emperor was tending to the garden. As for me, I was quickly ‘shown’ to the imperial audience chamber, or more like I got dragged there against my will.
A huge number of Paladins were all lined up on either side of the humongous chamber. The high-ranking aristocrats and members of the clergy were shooting their piercing stares at me, but I resolutely kept my own gaze fixed to my front.
The old man was no longer kitted out in the shabby clothing from earlier. Nope, he was now properly dressed as the Holy Emperor; a crown perched on his head, and a luxurious white robe laced with golden engravings adorning his figure.
While sitting on an impressive throne, he took a good look at me, his head cocked slightly to the side. “It has been a while. Seventh Imperial Prince, Allen Olfolse.”
At those words, I ended up sneaking a glance to my sides.
The nobles were whispering amongst themselves.
“…Is it really true that he hunted a vampire down?”
“The Seventh Imperial Prince did what? How?”
“From what I heard, the vampire in question possessed a level of demonic energy easily as great as a count, no, maybe even greater. A whole order of Paladins surrounding it wouldn’t have been enough to quell the thing. It’s rather obvious that the army and Sir Harman were responsible for accomplishing the deed.”
“However, aren’t Ronia’s citizens raising their voices of support for the prince?”
“A hidden expert or someone like that must’ve been responsible. It’s quite clear that the Imperial Prince merely snatched this achievement for himself.”
The imaginations of this world’s denizens seemed pretty robust.
Since I had no idea what the correct decorum of the Imperial Court was in the first place, that left me deeply troubled on what to do next.
The Holy Emperor studied me for a little while before opening his mouth, “I was informed that you have successfully hunted a vampire down. How true is this information?”
Alright, so… How should I answer him?
A vampire was currently existing in Laurensis, the capital city of the Theocratic Empire.
Since the shoppers in the marketplace were throwing around words like “again” in their conversations, it should be pretty safe to assume that the Imperial Family already knew of the existence of this ‘creature’ hiding in the city.
Honestly speaking, there was a higher chance of this occasion being a ruse to find out if I was ‘someone who can hunt vampires’, rather than getting my accomplishment in the Ronia fiefdom publicly acknowledged. That’s what I thought, anyway.
Besides, there was already an air of suspicion on whether or not Harman and I had really hunted that vampire down, anyway.
“…Yes, it is true, your majesty.” Despite nodding my head, I didn’t forget to make a troubled expression and lower my face at the same time. “It’s just that, I alone could have never hunted down a creature like that in a million years. Such an event was only possible through the aid of countless others. I can only thank Harman, Charlotte, feudal lord Jenald Ripang, and additionally, the numerous citizens of the Ronia fiefdom for their help.”
I should acknowledge the truth, sure, but I also needed to make it someone else’s achievement at the same time. The only people who witnessed me take out the Vampire Count in person were Charlotte and Harman. However, many did see me snipe the undead creature from Ronia’s walls.
Even if I was going to lie, I needed to mix in some truths in there.
A surprised expression floated up on the Holy Emperor’s face. He then rubbed his chin, almost as if what I said was quite intriguing. “Oh, so it was all thanks to other people, is that it?”
“Of course, your majesty. It is all thanks to their hard work that I stand before you still alive and in one piece. Also, that’s how we got to prevent the ‘Tide of Death’ as well.”
The Holy Emperor nodded, his expression a mixture of complicated and vague thoughts.
He glanced in the direction of the aristocrats, as well as his loyal retainers. They were murmuring to each other while sending mocking sneers in my way.
-So that means the Imperial Prince wasn’t responsible for hunting it down?
-Who helped what now? He was probably hiding in the corner of a room somewhere and only showed up after everything was over.
-However, some hidden expert must’ve used powerful divinity, for sure. I heard that the feudal lord Jenald identified him as the Imperial Prince…
-The man was supposed to be wearing a mask, so it’s not possible for anyone to identify the true identity of that hidden expert.
Although I did expect the cold shoulder treatment, never did I imagine that this level of mockery and contempt would be directed in my way.
It seemed that the Seventh Imperial Prince was despised by pretty much everyone around here.
Around then, one of the retainers who was studying the uneasy atmosphere cautiously made his way towards the Holy Emperor. This person whispered something in the latter’s ear, prompting the emperor to cast his gaze in my direction once more.
He spoke. “You must be feeling tired from the long journey. Go and take a good rest.”
I thought I’d be interrogated to death or something today, but the Holy Emperor didn’t pursue the matter anymore and sent me away to my room.
I inwardly sighed with relief and turned around to leave, but before exiting the grand hall, I decided to ask just in case, “Ah, and by the way, right here in Laurensis…”
Everyone’s gaze focused on me. This also included the Holy Emperor’s, his expression one of puzzlement.
I addressed the issue at hand. “There’s a vampire in the city, so please do something about that. The citizens are living in fear.”
What I said caused the emperor’s expression to stiffen up. Not to mention, the atmosphere in the hall had become icy cold in an instant too.
Eh? What’s this, maybe I wasn’t supposed to openly mention that?
I lightly tutted, thinking that maybe I butted unnecessarily in a matter that these fine folks would’ve taken care of on their own. I finally exited from the grand audience chamber.
(TL: in 3rd person POV.)
Kelt Olfolse recalled what the Seventh Imperial Prince said before exiting the audience chamber a minute ago.
The boy was such a coward that, only a half year ago, he would stay on his knees and not even dare to raise his head at his own grandfather. But someone like that was now standing tall and proud today, even shooting a pointed glare at the emperor.
And then, forget about monopolising the accomplishment of hunting the vampire, he even acknowledged receiving help from the others.
Would someone’s personality really change that much if they lost their memories?
‘As for the duo – Gril and the child named Charlotte…’
Kelt Olfolse had received a detailed report from Harman not too long ago. Apparently, they were the last surviving descendants of the ‘Heraiz’ bloodline. Certainly, hunting down a Vampire Count would be more than possible if the boy had help from those two along with Harman.
‘However, it is still bizarre.’
Indeed, there was something that just didn’t make much sense.
The house Heraiz was a martial arts-oriented family that had mastered imperial swordsmanship. They certainly were not capable of freely pouring out divinity as they pleased in the past.
There was another report sent from Ronia, compiled by feudal lord Jenald Ripang. That report contained various peculiar testimonies.
-When his highness the Imperial Prince used divinity, numerous soldiers on the brink of death were all fully revived.
Reviving soldiers who were about to die? What an unbelievable claim that was. The Imperial Prince didn’t even know how to properly cast any healing magic, so how could he possibly save a soldier who was about to die?
Not only that, he even apparently located all the holes in the ground that the undead used to invade the fortress.
The emperor ended up snorting in derision when he read those things.
Since feudal lord Jenald was under suspicion of tax evasion, he probably was hoping to return to his original territory by sucking up to the Seventh Imperial Prince.
-After his highness the Imperial Prince offered a prayer to goddess Gaia, she bestowed her divine protection on him, thus enabling him to pierce through the vampire’s limb, your majesty.
To top it all off, the boy apparently used a musket rifle, a trifling decorative ornament, to penetrate past the vampire’s defences. If the magicians and alchemists that researched the potential of magic projectiles for the past 200 years heard this, they would guffaw nonstop from how funny the joke was.
The Holy Emperor decided not to believe in any of this. He was already prepared to completely disregard feudal lord Jenald’s report altogether.
-These are the testimonies of numerous eyewitnesses, your majesty. They all say that a person, suspected to be his highness the Imperial Prince, managed to pierce the vampire’s abdominal region with a musket rifle.
This was the result of the investigation performed by the Imperial Family’s knights going undercover. On top of this feat, the boy went on to save hundreds of lives by distributing holy water. Then later on, a lake made out of holy water even made its grand entrance as well.
Indeed, this was almost on the level of a Saint bestowed with the goddesses’ fragment manifesting into the world.
None of these testimonies sounded even nearly believable.
They had to be lies.
Without a doubt, these reports had to be all wrong.
Even with such thoughts swirling in his head, Holy Emperor Kelt Olfolse still held a tiny ray of hope in his heart.
“What are your thoughts on this matter?”
The Holy Emperor asked his loyal retainers gathered before him.
“They are all lies, your majesty.”
Not one shred of hesitation could be heard in their response.
“There’s no doubt that his highness was present at the Ronia fiefdom. However, no one can say with any certainty that they have seen him during the battles, your majesty.”
“All they saw was an expert wearing a mask.”
“It is too much of a stretch to identify that person as his highness the Imperial Prince, your majesty.”
They didn’t need such a thing as ‘reason’. All the retainers here unquestioningly denied the possibility altogether.
It was obvious why – they were riding on the same boat as the other Imperial Princes currently standing beside them.