SETP Vol. 2 Chapter 8
Chapter 8 – Merchant
Dvorg sighed, clearly annoyed.
After scanning me from head to toe, her eyes narrowed and she looked away.
“I don’t know what noble family you come from, but I’m a very busy person. I must ask you to leave— is what I’d normally say, but it wouldn’t feel right to send back someone introduced by Warrick.”
Dvorg briskly walked forward, passing near me and stopping in front of the door. The moment she grabbed the doorknob, I could hear the sound of a lock opening.
“Let’s hear what you have to say inside.”
Dvorg opened the door slowly, inviting me inside.
“Please, come in.”
With a professional smile on her tense expression, she motioned me towards the door.
“You wished to talk with me, yes?”
No one else, other than us, was in the room.
One of the two bodyguards was probably also a butler, as he served us tea with consummate manners.
The faint aroma of black tea started filling the room.
“There is something I must ask you before that, though.”
A long, square wooden table.
Dvorg and I were sitting on the armchairs set to the left and right sides of the table, facing each other.
“I am still a merchant after all. Even with Warrick’s introduction, I’m not going to accept any request just like that. I also do not have the slightest intention to engage any transactions with fools who lack common sense or don’t know how things work.”
Dvorg then looked intently at me.
She could see me, of course, but what she was looking at were the expensive clothes I was wearing. She especially focused on the unique patterns embroidered on the red cloth of my attire.
“That’s the emblem of the Diestburg royal family.”
Dvorg gauged my reaction after saying this.
“I do not have the means to verify if you really are a member of the royal family. However…”
Dvorg glanced at the bodyguard who served us tea.
She then looked at the boy in charge of the store.
“It doesn’t look like you have any escort with you.”
Royals and nobles were normally always accompanied by one or two escorts. I had no one at my side, though.
Dvorg chose to point this out.
“These back alleys are swarming with ruffians. I would argue that was— ”
Following Dvorg’s words, the bodyguard and the boy — though the latter seemed on the verge of tears — put their hands on the weapons at their waists.
“—a bit too arrogant of you, don’t you…”
Shadow-colored swords rose from the shadows of the bodyguard and the boy.
It was the same technique I had used against the Water Dragon: “Spada – Shadow Bind”.
The purpose of “Shadow Bind” was to seal the opponent’s movement.
As long as my “Spada” stabbed the opponent’s shadow, the target’s shadow would be immobile. At the same time, the shadow’s owner could not move either.
There was no killing intent from them.
Dvorg had mentioned hating the smell of blood. She probably had no intention of having me killed. I knew that, so I limited myself to stopping their movements.
An adult and a boy with confidence in their fighting skills.
For whatever reason, after putting their hands on their weapons they stopped moving. No, they were stopped from moving. Their stern expressions clearly showed that they were trying to resist with all their might. Thus Dvorg couldn’t hide her shock. She had no idea what happened.
After that, she turned silent.
“What you said is correct. But I fear that, considering the request I wish to ask you, if you saw me as a weakling that needed escorts to come here you would have refused outright.”
There was no hostility within me. I smiled as warmly as possible, to make sure it was clear.
My brother Grerial would have never allowed me to go with them to the island.
It was intolerable to create a situation in which not one, but two members of the royal family could die; in addition, this time he would definitely oppose my entrance to a place where I was very likely to die, like when I led the reinforcements to war in Afillis.
Because of this, my only option was to arrange transportation to the island separately from my brother.
“I wish to go to a remote island located within the Saldance kingdom. So I wish to borrow one of your sturdiest ships.”
The remote island of the Saldance kingdom could only mean one place. Only the island of monsters, famous because of the legends of the Rainbow Flower.
“…is the ship meant to take you to the Saldance kingdom? Or directly to the island?”
An ability to stop the two attackers from moving and a request that could only be described as ridiculous. Dvorg had gone beyond being speechless and ended up becoming composed again. Finally, she managed to ask for this clarification.
“The second, naturally.”
Dvorg’s expression suggested that her head was starting to hurt.
“Let us hear your reasons.”
The island of monsters where the Rainbow Flower bloomed.
In order to go there, it was necessary to take one of two routes.
One was to pass through the Saldance kingdom.
It was the orthodox route, the safer of the two.
The second was to head directly towards the island of monsters.
It required less time, as it didn’t involve visiting Saldance, but it presented more risks.
It was reported that “sea monsters” dwelled around the island, and they would sink all ships that traversed its waters.
By crossing to the island from the Saldance kingdom, it was possible to use the single route built 200 years ago by one of the heroes who participated in the famous expedition to the island, a safe sea route built in order to keep the sea monsters away.
Dvorg wanted to know why Fay would embark on such a reckless feat.
“There are people worried about me. In order to protect them, I will swing my sword. I will go to the island in order to swing my sword. And so I will be able to feel that even an empty life such as mine had some meaning…I will swing my sword to protect them. That’s my only reason. For this reason, I am planning to do exactly the thing that’s leaving you speechless like that.”
I am not afraid of death. I don’t find it frightening at all.
True fear is to know that those happy days won’t come back anymore. The moment you fall into solitude.
I found myself treasuring these days, a life with Grerial and Feli around. So I had to go to the island.
“Even if I go to the island and die there, isn’t dying for someone else’s sake the best way to go that there is?”
My mentor and the others didn’t mean to die for someone else’s sake. As a result, however, that’s how they died.
To use others as a reason to die.
I knew I was just making an excuse, to use death as an escape. I wasn’t strong though. So in my heart, without anyone knowing, that’s the excuse I used.
She couldn’t say anything?
Dvorg kept silent, a frown on her face.
I sensed the bodyguards had no will to fight anymore, glanced to the side, and released the “Shadow Bind,” but they didn’t move.
My words were the honest truth of a someone who had died once already, thus they carried a definite weight.
“…I still haven’t asked your name.”
Dvorg squeezed out words in a barely audible tone.
“I am the third prince of the kingdom of Diestburg, Fay Hanse Diestburg.”
“…of all people, the ‘Trash Prince’?”
Words spoken with frankness.
I noticed it was probably the first time I was called “Trash Prince” in person, so I couldn’t hold back from laughing.
“Yes, that’s right. I am the ‘Trash Prince’.”
I agreed with Dvorg’s words.
I did not stop there however.
“Being the ‘Trash Prince’ and all, it’s not too strange for me to do something so insane, is it?”
I swung my sword in order to survive.
I swung my sword in order to, one day, repay my debt of gratitude to my mentor.
But in the end, I cast away my sword.
I discarded my sword once, but I took it in my hands again. In order to protect others, the feeling I could not reach my whole life.
“Popular nicknames like that do have a nugget of truth within them, don’t they.”
Look at how aptly they described me, I laughed.
I knew for someone like me, whom my mentor and the others always called weak, protecting others is nothing short of arrogance. But I thought that in this life, I could afford to be a little selfish. No, I learned that being selfish was key in order to achieve what I wanted.
I promised to protect them, and that I wouldn’t let them die.
So I had to carry it out.
Even if people said it was impossible, I was going to selfishly act in order to produce the best result I was looking for.
“Those are my reasons. Let me say this once more.”
I stood up from the armchair and, since I introduced myself as royalty, bowed my head.
I derided myself, wondering what could be the worth of a Trash Prince bowing his head, but I convinced myself that form was important too, so I acted accordingly.
“I am ready to accept any conditions you might have, as long as they aren’t impossible. So— ”
She dragged me before my father.
She always yelled at me and scolded me.
Despite this, that maid was always concerned about me.
He looked at us and laughed from the heart.
He visited my room to ask me for advice.
He asked me to eat the fish he just couldn’t grow to like. That older brother.
For me, they were an important part of my life.
I would never allow *that* to happen again. So I spoke firmly, louder.
It was more like a cry than a request.
“—so please, lend me a ship!”