Chapter 272: The Aquiline Nose’s Anticipation and the Journey
Buckingham Stanley, the head of the Stanley family, sniffed with his characteristic aquiline nose and drank the water that was on the table several times. His head hurt badly.
The headache was no longer a chronic illness for Buckingham. The pain was twisted by something that was not driven by external factors.
When he was in charge of the Stanley family’s diplomacy in Garoua Maria, he never showed this hindrance to anyone else. Each time he was in the royal capital of the Gharast Kingdom, he suffered from this pain whenever he slept or cooled down. It was as if a saw with sharp teeth was cutting his head slowly and carefully.
A man who used to love jokes and ale was no longer here. He never thought that he was such a weak person. Buckingham sighed loudly. Buckingham’s heavy sigh in his room had recently become a routine these days.
There were two types of headaches. Both were buried in the bottom of his head.
One was, of course, the intangible pressure inflicting the Stanley family nowadays. His brother, who was the original head of the family, was still missing. His corpse was not found. Their relatives left the Stanley family, who had lost their faith in the recapture of Garoua Maria.
Helot Stanley, the original next-generation head and nephew of Buckingham, had little experience in tangling the tongues of the venomous spiders from the social circles. Before he knew it, Buckingham began to deal with the Stanley family’s diplomacy.
Honestly, it was not a good thing. There was no such thing as a noble person who lost the place to rely on. All he could do was sell off his interests in regaining Garoua Maria and keep his life and position in the royal capital of the Gharast Kingdom.
Every day he went out to all kinds of social occasions to hear the mood of the aristocrats. It was the self-confidence of his past that he performed there.
He loved ale, loved women and loved pranks above all else. He continued to play the role of a savage human being. By doing so, the aristocrats who were hungry for stimulus would be less interested and would be able to laugh. In a sense, it was Buckingham’s art.
However, while doing that role repeatedly, Buckingham began to despise ale, women and pranks. Everything seemed to be depressing. He gritted his teeth and mocked himself since he had become an uninteresting human being.
No matter how disgusting he was nowadays, he had to continue to play such an unpleasant existence. That contradiction caused pain in Buckingham’s skull.
…Let contradictions always be conceived in your chest, and when they are born, let them be conceived again. That’s the human nature, Helot.
Buckingham remembered telling his nephew Helot about such a thing. He began to laugh at himself for saying it before.
By the way, his nephew was another source of trouble. Yes, his nephew named Helot Stanley.
He was doing well. There was no complaint about his behavior in the Cathedral. Moreover, he occasionally showed up at social gatherings to show that he was the next head of the family. He often interacted with the guests at such gatherings and talked well.
Even though he lost his left eye, his inner self did not turn subserviently. Rather, he was more fearless. If he kept going like this, he would surely be a good head. Buckingham even had a good conviction about it, although the favor of the family was not easy to regain.
However, there was a concern. It was the danger that Helot showed occasionally.
Sometimes he behaved recklessly with a life-threatening act in the arena, and sometimes he backstabbed adventurers. Of course, that didn’t mean he was in danger. Rather, nothing happened much that Buckingham would fret, and Helot’s golden eyes shined brightly each time he came back. But that didn’t mean Buckingham could ignore it.
Buckingham never saw such actions from Helot when he was in Garoua Maria. Helot was a follower and embody of justice and goodwill. He was the one who proclaimed it without any worries or confusion. It was no exaggeration to say that Helot Stanley was the truthful one. Buckingham never thought much about it in the past, but now he felt nostalgic for that time.
The danger that Helot showed was particularly increasing these days. Was that his self-abandonment? Buckingham wondered.
Helot lost his father, lost his reliance and lost one eye. Helot’s age was an age full of physical strength and good health. Even if Buckingham couldn’t see it from his peaceful appearance, he knew there was something dark in the depths of Helot’s heart, behind his viscera, and it was no wonder that that danger would increase.
That was no good. Helot was not a person to step back. If his back were to be pressed, then he would be willing to go to great lengths to change it. At least, Buckingham believed so.
A hard, but modest knock rang from the door of Buckingham’s room. Buckingham responded in a slightly withered voice, prompting that person to enter. Apparently, he used too much of his voice last night.
I’m coming in, uncle. With such a voice and golden hair…Helot Stanley appeared from the behind the door. Helot sat down on a chair in the room as if he was not bothered at all.
When he was in Garoua Maria, his hair, which had been neatly arranged, was now slightly loose. Was it because of he didn’t care anymore?
Buckingham said, twisting the words he was thinking about.
「Helot, I have good news. I’ve got a message from the Cathedral. 」
Helot slightly narrowed his right eye as he heard Buckingham’s words. For a moment, he thought about what was going on, and then, he opened his lips.
「It doesn’t matter. Is it a demon beast’s head hunting or be someone’s escort? 」
It doesn’t matter was Helot’s reply as he nodded to his uncle’s words. It was an ambiguous reply that could be taken as arrogant or overindulgent.
Buckingham raised his nose and wet his lips to determine Helot’s attitude. Then, he shook his head.
「Be an escort, but there’s no danger. Of course, you are the next head of the Stanley family. I think there shall be no problem even if a dangerous situation arises, don’t you think?」
After saying those words smoothly, Buckingham showed his white teeth. He had a different smile than the one he showed at the social gathering. Helot’s voice, who was about to say something, was crushed boldly by his uncle’s following words.
「You are going…on a journey with the Saint, as the escort for her pilgrimage, Helot my nephew. My old acquaintance is a knight of the Cathedral and he’ll guide you. He is a knight full of honor and he was my companion during my youth’s endeavors.」
With that said, the figure of that knight appeared in Buckingham’s mind. He wielded a red spear and showed a ferocious smile. If Helot was right next to him, there would be no danger. Besides, the pilgrimage journey was as good as being watched over by God. There would be no danger of death in that journey.
All the anecdotes about the pilgrimage said that God’s favor had saved all the escorts and knights, including the Saint, in a miraculous way.
「The point is that you’re going to accompany the Saint to a ritual. I’m not that interested in it, but it’s an obligation to obey the Cathedral’s instructions. 」
Buckingham’s nose involuntarily snorted at Helot, who was unable to speak because of his uncle’s words that were professed without interruption.
In the past, Buckingham wouldn’t have said that he wasn’t interested. In particular, it was a role that only selected people could do. Everyone wanted to be an escort in the Saint’s pilgrimage journey. Anecdotes of Saints and miracles, so to speak, were part of mythology.
Buckingham nodded loudly as he clogged his words for a moment. He dared to act in a big way to disguise his upsetting feelings. Then, he soaked his lips in water.
Helot was selected as a pilgrimage escort this time, partly because of Buckingham’s efforts, but above all, the Cathedral sought it too. Buckingham could easily imagine the reason for it.
Now the Cathedral was a little impatient. The army retreated in the battle against the Heraldics just before the start of the dead snow. It was unlikely that the Cathedral would step back that easily, but the priests were in panic since they could be held responsible. Besides, the feelings of the people were not to be taken lightly.
…So they wanted a story. They wanted a story to satisfy their hearts and gain uplift. They needed something to distract them from the responsibility of defeat.
Here was the story Buckingham came up with.
Helot, who was deprived of his birth house by the Heraldic religion, shall now confirm his will under the patronage of the Cathedral. Then, after going through the pilgrimage with the Saint, and after receiving the proclamation of God, he shall swear to destroy the Heraldics and become a knight of the Cathedral.
It was really a beautiful story, and the citizens would be able to heat up their hearts even with such a play. It was a masterpiece.
However, no matter what was the intention and speculation behind it, there was no doubt that it was a good opportunity. Unlike the knights under the King, the knights of the Cathedral had a kind of inviolability because they were under the jurisdiction of the Cathedral. Depending on the circumstances, they could have more authority than lower aristocrats. Moreover, the Cathedral was a clear base to start over.
Did Helot abandon himself, or was there something else? Buckingham couldn’t really understand. Still, there was no point in increasing that foundation.
Buckingham stared at the slightly narrowed golden right eye.
Helot had a mysterious charm from the past. People were fascinated by his aura, since it had the power to illuminate the depths of their souls. There was something in Helot that attracted the people.
It wouldn’t help Helot if he stayed in a place like this. Buckingham believed it was great that such a good story came around. There was no mistake in saying that it was God’s guidance.
「Then, prepare immediately. My acquaintance…named Garras, will be waiting for you. He might be a little different from other people, but he is a good-natured man. It will be a great journey for you.」
Shaking his aquiline nose, Buckingham professed his last words. His head hurt.
Ohhh Helot and Ariene together??? Sounds interesting 🙂
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