The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin chapter 27

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The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin Chapter 27

Chapter 27: To the Academy (1)

At the very end of the hallway on the fifth floor of the mansion was a silver door. A robust man dressed in the mansion’s staff uniform approached the door.

-Knock knock-

“Come in.”

It was late, a time when even the designated servants wouldn’t visit, but the room’s owner granted entrance. As soon as the man faced the room’s owner, he bowed his head. Aschel was there, sitting in a chair, leisurely reading a book.

“I have confirmed the location of the second young lady, as you asked.”

While still fixing his eyes on the book, Aschel asked in a calm tone, “Where was she?”

“In the northern part of the continent, within the territory of the White Elves called ‘Fruina’. It seems she has been settled there for quite some time now.”

“Fruina… With a race that detests outsiders, her adaptability seems remarkable indeed.” Aschel closed his book and looked out the window at the moonlight, smiling enigmatically. “Keep an eye on her and let me know if she shows any signs of returning to the empire.”

“Understood.”

Watching Aschel’s demeanor, the man cautiously inquired. “Have you received some good news?”

“Why do you ask?”

“It’s just that your face looks unusually bright today. Did meeting your sibling excite you that much?”

At the mention of his sibling, Aschel’s smile widened into a chuckle. “Exciting, you say… I suppose you could put it that way depending on the situation. But, Kellin, you’ve got it wrong. I’m actually in a very bad mood…”

His eyebrows arched sarcastically, and his lips were set in a firm line, presenting a countenance starkly different from when he spoke of his sibling.

“I apologize for being unable to discern the feelings of Lord Aschel.”

The man quickly bowed his head.

“It’s alright. If hiding my own thoughts is this difficult, how much harder must it be to understand the thoughts of others? Let alone a boy who has only recently gotten the smell of milk off himself…”

It was said that even if one knows the depth of waters, the heart of another remains unfathomable. Aschel had been irked by his interaction with Sian just a few hours before.

“May I ask what discussion you had with your sibling, Sian?”

“Nothing much. We simply caught up and exchanged pleasantries. But… why does this make me feel so displeased?”

A negative emotion clung stubbornly to Aschel’s face, which had hardened even in the reflection of his eyes.

“He was quite surprised to see me…”

“Well, it’s only natural to be surprised after such a long separation, isn’t it?”

“There was no ‘long separation’. I had never once exchanged a single word with him face-to-face until today.”

The age difference between Sian and Aschel was seven years. Aschel had never shown any interest in Sian, and given his character focused on necessity, it was unlikely he ever would.

“It was like seeing an enemy from a past life. The look in his eyes… It was like he could kill me on the spot, though he has no recollection of me in his head…”

A brutal will to kill. At that moment, Sian’s eyes seemed not human but demonic.

“He’s an undeniably troublesome sibling. We’ll have to keep a close eye on him to ensure he doesn’t stray.”

The man instantly understood Aschel’s words.

“…I’ll assign someone to him.”

Aschel responded with silence.

Once the man had finished his business, he promptly left the room. Alone, Aschel stood up and absently gazed up at the night sky. The dense curtain of darkness, not a star in sight, enshrouded in a faint mist. Even the bright moonlight couldn’t penetrate the strange scene, as if it evoked the memory of someone.

* * *

(Date: 986th Year of Creation, February 18th)

On the third day since his return to the mansion, in the dawn as chores were being finished, a coach and knights prepared to depart were already standing by in the yard.

“Huh…” The dawn air was crisp and breaths turned to steam.

The scene contrasted with Kranz’s departure two days earlier. Except for the coachman and knights, the rest of the mansion residents likely assumed I would leave around midday.

Not wishing to receive awkward attentions as Kranz did, I deliberately misled them about my departure time and left alone in the early hours.

All except one person, that is.

“You actually managed to turn up, Emily…?”

Emily stood in front of the coach, glaring at me with fiery eyes. Her cheeks were puffed with displeasure, seemingly ready to burst at any moment.

“I’m really disappointed in you, young master…”

“I told you, it’s not possible to bring personal servants to the academy. It’s not that I won’t take you; I can’t take you.”

“Why didn’t you just say so from the start? Why did you only tell me the day before?!”

Was she afraid of my hysteria? I had intended to tell her as soon as I returned to the mansion, but an unexpectedly dire encounter made me forget.

That it’s impossible to bring personal servants is, in fact, a lie.

According to the academy’s laws, servants are nominally forbidden. However, there are ways to circumvent such principles. If a companion’s status is not a servant but a guardian knight, then the story changes.

Given that nobles from all over the continent gather at the academy, there’s no telling what may happen, so the academy does not limit personal protection. Taking advantage of this, nobles disguise their servants as guardian knights to gain them entry, a tactic commonly used.

I could have employed this trick with Emily, but I chose not to. After all, the academy might be a far more dreadful and vile place for her than a battlefield teeming with demonic beasts.

“Still, I’m genuinely grateful for everything you’ve done. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have lasted in this mansion.”

“Just go and take care of yourself, young master.”

Although Emily waved me off, she couldn’t hide her flushed face.

Seeing her like that, I unwittingly smiled.

She’s like a slightly less wise but good-hearted older sister. Whether in my past life or now, she was more than just a precious maid to me.

Given the distance, returning to this place from the academy would be uncommon. While I don’t know when we’ll meet again, I hope she remains healthy and well.

“Well then, I’m off, Emily. Stay out of trouble!”

“Make sure you don’t get ostracized there! Don’t get depression or social phobia and end up doing something drastic like suicide!”

“…”

Truly a fitting maid of mine, chasing away any residual warmth with her peerless charm.

Without any further attachment, I boarded the coach.

“Hyah!”

With a spirited command from the coachman, the coach set off, followed quickly by the guardian knights.

My destination was the city of Luwen in the southeast of the empire, where the Royal Academy was located. Being at the very edge of the empire’s western border, it was virtually the furthest place I could go.

Due to the tight schedule, I needed to make haste to avoid being late to the enrollment ceremony. Though, in reality, it would hardly matter.

I’m not aiming to be an honor student, am I?

Irrespective of the academy’s title as the premier educational institution, I had already mastered those lessons in the past.

While revisiting old knowledge is crucial in life, I am not a senile old man who needs to review lessons akin to multiplication tables.

Of course, my personal standards apply here, and I’m not implying that the academy’s curriculum is that elementary.

My quest to the academy is not for education, but purely for my own objectives. As long as I get my business done without drawing too much attention, everything should be fine…

But who knows, it might turn out to be more taxing than life on the front lines.

-Thump thump-

Before long, the coach left the estate and was racing across the vast plains, closely guarded by precisely six guardian knights.

Hmm…

It seems I might see blood before this journey even truly begins.

* * *

The sun was setting in the western sky.

The continuous gallop of hooves ceased, rousing me from my rest. Mid-yawn, a knock resonated at the door.

“Young Master Sian, I believe we should camp out here for the night.”

I kept my composure and asked, “How far have we come?”

“We’re near the central city of ‘Saphern’. We expect to reach the city by tomorrow morning.”

It was a lie.

There’s no forest near Saphern giving off such a pungent smell of grass. It would at least take another day.

“Got it. Let me know when you’re finished setting up.”

“Of course, young master.”

The knight’s footsteps gradually receded, and along with it, Kerym emerged from my embrace.

“You knew, didn’t you?”

“Of course. I spotted it even before we started.”

“Why are you making enemies left and right from the get-go? If you live like that, you’ll be disgraced again and meet an early end, won’t you?”

“Once is enough for a prodigious end. Isn’t it strange for an assassin to not attract enemies?”

It’s all for survival.

Truthfully, I had foreseen this, but I hadn’t expected it to happen so quickly.

We were in a dense forest valley, a place where anyone could disappear without a trace.

I chuckled at how blatantly obvious their intentions were.

-Thud, thud-

After a short while, the sound of the knights’ footsteps approached from behind the door. They halted right outside my door without moving away.

These knights weren’t here to escort me.

They had me surrounded.

“Young Master Sian, you may come out now.”

Since they’re kindly asking, I suppose I should oblige.

I opened the door and stepped out without hesitation.

Six knights encircled me, making sure I wouldn’t run.

They each had a variety of expressions and looks, but they all seemed pitiful in their own way.

Do they pity me now?

First, with an unaffected face, I inhaled the fresh air of the mountain valley deeply.

“Nice air, huh? Was there such a forest near Saphern?”

The knights said nothing.

I asked casually as if following the flow of water.

“Whose orders are you following…?”

Though some knights’ eyes wavered, they remained silent.

“Have you all turned into mute bees? Your young lord is speaking, and you don’t answer?”

“Snicker…”

At 3 o’clock from where I stood, a long-haired knight with a black mole under his eye chuckled mockingly.

Laughing?

I barely restrained my temper from flaring up.

“…There are no personal feelings involved.”

One of the knights in front of me finally spoke.

“I didn’t ask about your feelings. My question was different, wasn’t it?”

“We’ll honor our last duty to you, sending you off with as little pain as possible. You can close your eyes peacefully and drift into sleep.”

What kind of ridiculous non-answer is this?

Yeah, you do what you’re told like puppets, so what fault could you hold? But then again, being reduced to such puppets might also be their fault.

Even being unlucky can be a fault too.

But still, shouldn’t you at least answer my question?

“This is the fourth time I’ve asked you. For the last time… Who’s behind this?”

The answer came unexpectedly from elsewhere.

“The dying need not know…”

Really? It’s getting unbearable.

The knight with the black mole, who had just mocked me, added another comment. That finally snapped what little restraint I had.

-Shlick-

In less than a second, and just five steps away, a pleasing sound accompanied the splash of red across my face, and a sizable head fell to the ground.

The ashen faces of the knights looked rather amusing in an instant.

(To be continued)

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2 responses to “The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin chapter 27”

  1. beat them up

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