This is bad. My assumption was right. That adventurer doesn’t have a single clue of Dae Sho’s background. I should’ve told Shen to leave one of his bodyguards alive, but alas what’s done has been done and considering the dire situation, her viciousness was reasonable. At least that’s how I like to think of it.
I’ve buried the dead to hide my tracks, but I’m not sure of the consequences that will happen to me for killing him. I need to be meticulous and be cautious.
And that’s why I’m here in front of this house that once must’ve been magnificent with its two-story tall and fancy bricks. Its unmaintained garden with its obvious wild tall grass however loses the house charm. Professor Meyer’s house. Hopefully, he can tell me what I should be careful of and what to do next now that I’ve done something significant.
I knock on the door.
「 Who is it?! It’s nighttime for crying out loud! 」
「 It’s me, Professor Meyer, your student, Renald. 」
The door opens, behind it is Professor Meyer in his baggy white shirt.
「 What the heck are you doing here, Renal- 」
Midway he stops, his eyes widen, must’ve seen the obvious wounds.
「 Judging from the wounds that you’ve barely tended for, you must’ve come to me to ask for something very important. Come inside, this is no place to chat. 」
He opens the door widely and gestures to me to come inside. I follow his lead and come inside. What greets me in this place that seems to be a living room are numerous scrolls, stacks of papers, and weird ancient statues scattered throughout the room. Even on the floor. What a messy place. But that fits his character.
「 Forgive me for not being able to offer you adequate hospitality. 」he says, feeling a bit lost with the messy environment.
「 It’s alright, Professor. I’ve come suddenly without prior notice anyway. 」
The place was littered with many things that I’m sure that come from his research but thankfully the modest wooden chairs were unoccupied with his stuff. With a swift and careful motion of avoiding his littered things, I navigated and finally took a seat, to relax a bit after a painful journey.
「 So then, who causes these wounds of yours? 」He asks immediately as soon as we both sit down.
His finger tapping the table and eyes staring dagger at me. Annoyed and serious.
I should answer truthfully, without in a roundabout manner.
「 Dae Sho came after me a moment ago, wanting to kill me. I retaliated and in self-defense I killed him. 」
A look of surprise plastered his face.
「 His arrogance knows no boundaries indeed. 」He says, seemingly to himself,「 I’ve advised him from time to time to never be arrogant because there’s always bigger fish in the sea. But to think you’re the one who finishes him. 」
「 Are you angry at me? 」
「 Of course, not. 」He immediately replies,「 however, you know that he is THE young master of one of the largest clans in the Lungkin Dynasty, right? There’s a reason why I’ve become a history teacher in a human kingdom that doesn’t appreciate history. 」
Well, connecting the dots is easy enough with how obvious he is hinting at.
「 Were you in some sort of trouble over there? 」I ask, already knowing the answer, but there’s nothing wrong with trying to confirm my suspicion.
「 Sort of. 」he plainly says,「 something I don’t want to disclose too much, but do not worry, my problem doesn’t come from the Sho clan and even then my problem pales compared to the one that you are in right now, Renald. 」
He stares at me so seriously. The same one when caught his students sleeping in the middle of his class, showing how serious the matter is.
「 I strongly recommend you to disappear, 」he continues,「 away from the Veinard kingdom. Even better if it’s outside of the Concordis region. 」
「 I can understand laying it low for the time being. But to run away even outside of the Concordis region? Aren’t you overexaggerating this matter? 」
Suddenly, his fist bangs the table loudly, papers that were on the table are now flying to the air where they ultimately fall to the ground.
「 Renald! 」 He shouts, gone was his polite and calm manner,「 He is the son of the Sho clan! Famous for their vicious strength. Get on their good side, and you’ll be in heaven. Get on their bad side, however, and only hell will await you. 」
He withdrew his hand off the table, knowing he spoke out of turn.
「 I’m sorry if I sound too hostile, I am saying this out of the concern for your safety. 」
His eyes lowered, shame plastered in his expression.
「 It’s alright Professor, I know you mean well… 」
「 Have you done the best you could to hide your tracks, at the very least? 」He asks.
「 Yes. 」I say with a nod,「 I’ve buried him amongst his underlings. Hopefully, they won’t be able to figure out that it was me who did it. 」
「 How can you be so sure, Renald…? 」
Silence befalls this room, with me being reluctant to answer that question. I mean can the Sho clans connect the dots that a mere human was able to cause such a devastating environment? But if Dae Sho before the encounter reports back to his clan that I have the ancient swords they desire and that he will confront me, then I’m screwed.
「 Hmm… 」 he stops the awkward silence, 「 There is something that you are hiding from me, Renald. 」
His hand makes its way to his chin, pondering. Does he really want me to spill the beans?
「 But honestly, I like it that way. 」
His immediate answer calms my nerves. Thank god I don’t have to explain it was an ancient dragon who did it.
「 The more I don’t know, the more both you and I are safe. 」He continues,「 please do note because of that, however, I won’t be able to give you tailored suggestions that fit your current predicament right now. With that in mind, I still insist for you run away from the Veinard kingdom. I don’t know how well you hide your tracks but you must be very careful. 」
「 I understand…. 」I say reluctantly,「 But that means I have to leave my mother alone… 」
「 Being apart from your family is a shame indeed, but look at the bright side, Renald. 」His tone is higher, seemingly trying to cheer me up,「 This is a chance for you to have an adventure! To experience the wonders of the world and explore exciting, exotic, and new things that befit the drive of a young man such as you. 」
「 I see…. 」I can only reply plainly. I don’t like it but what else can I do?
But where do I go though? I only know the Veinard kingdom and other neighboring kingdoms such as Shiford, and even then I’ve never traveled outside of this kingdom. It would be traveling to the unknown and most importantly leaving mother behind.
「 If that’s all, then you should get going now. You need to heal up and rest. 」He says, forcing me to get out of my deep thoughts.
「 I will get going then, Professor. 」He’s right, I need to discuss this with my mother anyway, no need to hang around here much longer,「 hopefully this won’t be the last time we meet. Farewell Professor. 」
With my farewell done, I immediately head outside, and soon the cold night greets me with its evermore dark and chilly air. The area has very few manaritium lamps, and if they did it’s quite dim, further emphasizing the cool dark.
Then, as I thought about what path I should take to go meet my mother in the Alderhide mansion, Professor comes out of his house, quickly tucking his jacket.
「 Umm… why are you coming with me, Professor? 」I ask, confused.
「 I shall visit a friend of mine. 」He says nonchalantly, fixing his jacket, preparing for the cold night,「 a friend who’s an exemplary Wits magician, able to cast a spell that obscures some of my memories of what has happened tonight. 」
「 Huh…? What for? 」
「 For insurance. 」He says slowly,「 if by chance the Sho clan comes to me to ask some questions about the death of their young master, either in a friendly or hostile manner. What has happened tonight will not go to their ears. Ensuring both your and my safety. 」
The familiar stoic body is nowhere to be found and replaced with a droopy posture, seemingly being reluctant with whatever he’s doing.
「 I hope we can stay in touch, Renald… 」He says, pinching his nose, letting out what seems to be a forced smile, and longing eyes,「 but due to your circumstances, it would be best if we don’t contact each other. Maybe in the next few years. 」
He pats my shoulder and deep in his eyes a reluctant and longing look.
「 I wish you good luck and bid you farewell, my dear favorite student. I sincerely pray that this won’t be the last time we’ve met. 」
We walk on our separate ways. With no more words said and the night becoming slightly colder.
I turn back one last time, and the Professor has already left out of my sight.
There it is across the horizon, the Alderhide mansion, a luxurious one for sure. Gigantic white pillars decorated in gold stand tall in front of the mansion that supports the roof, reminding me of classic greek architecture.
As soon as I’m in front of the gate, two guards greet me, looking a bit annoyed.
「 Excuse me, Sir. But, who are you? 」One of the guards asks.
「 Renald Alderhide. I’ve come to see my mother, Lady Heva. 」
「 Excuse me, Who…? 」
「 For crying out loud! 」I shove him in the face with my Alderhide nobility badge, 「 I’m the son of Lady Heva! Now make way and lead me to her! 」
Noticing my proof, the guards become quite startled, they look at one another and without a say, one of them lightly bows to me and leads me inside the mansion.
We walk for a considerably long time, seemingly to the far corner of the mansion.
「 Sorry for coming in late, mother. I hope I didn’t disturb you if by chance you’re sleeping. 」
「 Do you think I can sleep and sound when my son is out there doing dangerous tasks! Look at you, you even come here with injuries! 」
Mother grabs my hand, looking particularly attentive to the slash in my hand.
「 Why are you just standing there, guard?! 」She angrily looks at the guard,「 call in the maid! 」
The only response the guard gives is a deep bow and he immediately hurries out leaving the scene, calling the maid I presume.
「 Where is the rest of the family, mother? 」I ask, trying to fill in the void.
「 Oh you know, they are in the nobles gathering after the graduation ceremony. 」
Well, whatever they are doing is none of my concern. I guess this is the perfect time to tell her the bad news. Can’t delay it much longer.
「 Mother. 」
「 Umm… What is it, sweetie? 」
「 I’ve… 」Damn… I’ve just realized the news will hurt my mother… 「 I’ve… offended an influential and important figure. A young master from one of the Lungkin Dynasty clans. I must disappear and get away from this kingdom, mother. 」
「 S-sweetie, this… 」mother says, her expression confused, seemingly trying to comprehend it all,「 this is very… very heavy news… How did you even offend this person? 」
「 I know, thankfully I’ve just graduated. Right, mother? 」I say, trying to divert the topic.
「 Yes. That’s right. 」she says, letting out a forced smile,「 I know you will be on your own after graduation but not due to something like this… 」 Her forced smile fades away…
「 I’m sorry it has come to this mother. 」I grab both of her hands, looking directly into her teary eyes, letting out a small smile,「 I can still send letters to you once a while, I’ve just done that when I’m in the academy, remember? 」
「 Oh silly boy… You’re already talking about sending letters… Do you even know where you are actually going? 」
Ah. That’s right… I haven’t exactly thought of it…
「 I take your silence as no then. Maids! 」 She calls, clapping her hand to draw attention.
Then a maid comes, lightly bowing, her eyes to the floor.
「 Lead Renald to one of the available bedrooms. Possibly next to this room. 」
「 Yes, my lady. 」
「 I have something in mind for you to take care of your problems, but for now you should take a rest sweetie. And let the maids tend to your wounds. 」
I want to retort back but something in me wants to give in. Must because the injuries and battle fatigue has gotten to me by now.
As I got escorted by the maid to leave the room. I take one last look at mother. She smiles as she waves her hand slightly. The smile wasn’t forced but I sense deep grievance and sadness in it.