The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin chapter 67

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Chapter 67: To the Imperial City (4)

It’s not something I’d brag about, but wherever I went, there was something I always heard.

That my face looked stern, always appeared somber.

I still didn’t understand why people said such things about my face, but looking at this girl before me now, I felt I could grasp a bit more what they meant.

She wore her cool, sky-blue hair in a short ponytail.

A face so adorable it would make any father, fearful of exposing her to the world.

Yet, those who harbored ill intentions against such a girl would surely retract their malice and flee upon meeting her gaze.

A look so dark and piercing it could be considered ominous.

I found myself feeling a little sympathetic, wondering if this is how others felt when they looked at me.

Do you know her?

Not at all.

Through my current life in its entirety, I’ve never even passed by someone remotely resembling her—this was our first encounter.

Nonetheless, this girl had just called me by my name.

That must mean she knows me.

“Do you know me?”

I asked her calmly, matching her approach to our secluded table with my composed inquiry.

“Yes. You’re a third-year student at the Royal Academy, aren’t you? How could I not know someone as renowned as you?”

Her tone was calm yet crisp.

Honestly, if I was famous for anything, it would only be for my absences.

Without betraying my thoughts, I replied.

“Ah, well, famous is an overstatement. So, you’re an academy student as well?”

“Yes, I’m a sophomore. Please, call me… Lunév.”

A sophomore, so not a new intake, but she was offering just her first name, omitting the family name? Odd as it seemed, not my business – so I let it slide.

“Sorry, but I don’t make it a habit to remember each junior’s face.”

“It’s fine. Truthfully, I’m rarely at the academy due to my frail health.”

It was a bit disconcerting to have her share such unasked-for information.

“Now that you’ve addressed me as a junior, can I address you as ‘senior’? Senior Sian?”

With that, she sat down unreservedly at the empty place before us.

Was this friendliness, or lack of manners?

I wasn’t particular about formal titles, so I let it slide.

Her gaze shifted to Nana and Bryan sitting across.

“!”

While her lineage was unknown to me, given she’s part of the Royal Academy, there was a high likelihood she was a noble.

Nana and Bryan shrank under her stare.

“It looks like a maid and a guard you have here. You seem quite close? Sharing a meal together……”

“It’s more convenient to sit together than apart, don’t you think?”

“An unexpectedly sound argument. You may be more compassionate than you seem.”

It was hard to say if her comment was a compliment or an insult, but I noticed a sparkle in her eyes, so I took no offense.

“Excuse the disruption.”

Two waiters approached to serve our food.

With more than ten plates being served, it took quite some time.

Lunév watched with keen interest as the table filled with dishes.

“Are you really going to eat all that?”

“W-well, yes. My attendants have hearty appetites……”

In reality, it was for Nana.

“Bon appétit! Father… I mean, my lord!”

As usual, Nana voraciously tucked into her meal.

The girl named Lunév watched Nana eat with a bemused and faintly admiring gaze.

On closer inspection, her robe seemed familiar—reminiscent of the blue glow that emanates when mana is manifested.

I hadn’t seen the back of her head, so I couldn’t be sure, but only one place on this continent held those stylish clothes.

“You’re with the Garam Kingdom’s Magic Society, aren’t you?”

Lunév responded with a flat gaze.

“Yes, you’re right. How did you know?”

“I figured from the robe you’re wearing. That mana robe isn’t available just anywhere.”

“You have a keen eye.”

An elusive excitement seemed to play across her raised eyebrows.

“But why would you, renowned for staying at the academy even during breaks, be here in the imperial city?”

For a moment, I was puzzled that an outsider, a foreigner no less, would inquire about my whereabouts. Truthfully, it was a question I should have been asking her.

Despite the curiosity, I answered since she asked.

“I’m here to attend a banquet I was invited to by the imperial family.”

She tilted her head, intrigued.

“That’s unexpected. I thought you’d be a hermit not fond of such places, so it’s a relief nonetheless.”

Why would my attendance be of any relief to her?

Before I could retort, she pulled out a familiar envelope.

“I also received an invitation to the imperial banquet. I really didn’t want to come, but my grandfather insisted. At least it’s a relief to see you here.”

To an onlooker, this exchange might suggest we’d been close for over a decade.

Her use of the word ‘relief’ tempted me to enlighten her about its actual dictionary meaning, but just then, several individuals dressed in blue robes like hers appeared around a corner, presumably her entourage.

Some of them grimaced or failed to maintain their composure upon setting eyes on me.

“Sorry to interrupt your meal. Enjoy, and I hope to see you again at the banquet, Senior Sian.”

She bowed politely, and I wasn’t sure how to react – I awkwardly waved back.

It was a perplexing encounter, to say the least.

What exactly did she want from me?

Well, now that she’s gone, best to concentrate on my meal – I thought, grasping the spoon.

“And my name is Lunév Rainriver……”

“……?”

“Please remember it. Senior Sian.”

With a smile that seemed to hold no particular meaning, she said her full name and then disappeared from my sight.

My right hand, now holding the spoon, hung in the air motionless for a while.

“Rainriver……?”

* * *

After the meal, I haphazardly checked into any nearby inn to find a place to rest.

In the imperial city, they would provide a guest room without my having to ask, but I saw no reason to settle within their domain.

I intended to attend the banquet right on schedule.

Sitting in a chair and looking out at the moonlit night, I couldn’t help but be troubled by that girl I had encountered in the evening.

The Garam Kingdom’s Magic Society.

A gathering of madmen undeterred to pursue any manner of research for the sake of magic’s advancement.

The very head of those madmen was the Rainriver family.

Regens Rainriver.

A detestably mad man known for not hesitating to experiment on his own family if it served his purposes.

Lunév Rainriver……

I had no clue who she was when I heard only her given name.

I had thought she was just a daughter or granddaughter from a prestigious household within the society.

But I never expected she’d be a scion of the Rainriver house.

Recalling faint memories, I remembered her as a rare holder of attributes—not leaning towards any one side, but rather possessing an equal 20% in fire, water, wind, light, and dark—a considerable talent able to wield all five elements’ powers evenly.

Perhaps she was even rarer than someone like me, who was skewed towards one attribute.

The variety of magic she could wield was much broader, after all.

Though each attribute had a ceiling of ability beyond which one couldn’t progress.

Regardless of her potential and her prestigious family, she had been absent from my memories.

The reason for that was simple—she had died young before she could blossom.

Her frail health was probably a fact as she had succumbed to illness before even graduating from the academy.

At the time, I paid it little heed, but I couldn’t imagine she was that girl.

But this was none of my business.

Whether she attends the banquet or not, that’s up to her.

I’m not the sort of senior with the leisure to care for sickly juniors.

“……”

Suddenly, I sensed a familiar presence brushing against my intuition.

I stood up and started to prepare to leave.

“Where are you headed, my lord?”

Bryan, who was exercising, asked as he saw me.

“Just out for a bit. Watch Nana while I’m away.”

Nana had long since drifted off to dreamland.

I stepped out of the inn and directed myself towards a dark alleyway untouched by moonlight.

As I made my way, cutting through the chilly night air, a man soon appeared.

“It’s been a while, Lord Sian.”

It was Kelvin Diego, a faithful servant of Eshel.

“There’s no need for a lengthy greeting. Just tell me what you’re here for.”

Undeterred by my brusque response, Kelvin continued.

“In about 10 minutes or so, a number of infiltrators will close in around you, Lord Sian.”

“Who sent them?”

“Lord Eshel.”

I couldn’t help but let out a sardonic laugh.

“If they knew what forces I command, they wouldn’t dare. Why now, then?”

“It seems they’re using the imperial city to their advantage. Much like us, they likely didn’t expect you to engage in a fight here.”

Every land has a significant starting point, and Sebelinus is no exception.

The royal household does not tolerate crimes within their city.

Were one to be foolish enough to commit murder here, they would find themselves entangled in the troublesome eyes of the royal surveillance.

Is this an opportunity for them to watch me?

It’s not so much a trap as the timing is well-chosen.

“Understood. Make sure you observe everything and report back.”

“Understood.”

Upon receiving the order, Kelvin nodded.

Yet he didn’t turn to leave, continuing to fix his gaze on me.

“Is there something else you want to say?”

Kelvin asked hesitantly.

“Is there another reason for you attending this banquet?”

Should I explain further, it’s evident Kelvin’s personality has been altered.

His previous self, who planned on dedicating everything to Eshel, now lies dormant—in its stead, a new persona I’ve instilled is taking over.

Meaning his question was purely out of concern for me.

However, there’s no need to reveal everything.

“What if there is?”

I parried with an evasive question.

“I don’t know what you plan to do, but perhaps you should postpone it.”

“Why?”

“I’m not sure about the specifics. But there seems to be some scheme between the First Prince and Lord Eshel at this banquet.”

A scheme?

That was something I couldn’t ignore.

“What scheme?”

“Assassination.”

A brief surge of incongruity dilated my pupils.

Assassination?

That was peculiarly amusing.

“Who’s the target?”

“Lunév Rainriver.”

That name, while not entirely unfamiliar, couldn’t be overlooked.

At this moment, extraneous thoughts faded, leaving one encompassing contemplation.

Are they insane?

(To be continued in the next episode)

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