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Chapter 53 – Duke of Arnold
The next day. Ares headed out to yet another old acquaintance of his, the residence of Duke of Arnold.
[Reizen-dono often visited esteemed father and played games with me when he’s still alive…it’s really been a while since then. I wonder how Kevin is doing?]
There is no stranger that doesn’t know about prestige of Duke of Arnold in the capital. They have such a large presence in the capital due to the late former prime minister Reizen. After all, Reizen was widely acknowledged as the biggest contributor to the development of the capital.
Kevin was Ares’ childhood friend, as well as an alumnus of the Imperial Academy. Always watching over Ares warmly…to Ares, he can be considered a good friend just like Elan back at the Schwarzer Territory…..that is Kevin.
Kevin was originally a very serious person. Unlike Ares who often ditched classes, Kevin attended and took every class seriously. To the point that he’s always top ranker in each class. He’s been deemed by many as a brilliant mind, especially in terms of politics, even being compared to a genius like [George Walter].
However, after taking the post as the Duke, a mysterious disease struck him. Currently, he’s still resting and under treatment for his illness. It was Reizen’s younger brother John who took over the post as acting duke.
[Anyways…..the main purpose of my visit is to check his condition. Hopefully he’s fine….]
Carrying some gifts with him, Ares proceed to Duke of Arnold residence.
Immediately after arriving, Ares was allowed to enter Kevin’s room.
[Ah, Ares. It’s been a while. Are you well?]
Kevin spoke as he got up from the bed.
His bright brown hair and his clear blue eyes were still as lustrous as usual. However, his complexion was a bit pale. His current appearance would remind people of a wax doll.
[Don’t overdo it, Kevin. I’m here because I want to see how you are faring.]
Ares also took a seat in a nearby chair.
[I heard about Ares’ arrival in the capital a couple of days ago. You really took your time to finally visit me, didn’t you?]
Ares smiled wryly at Kevin’s words.
[Sorry. There were lots of things I needed to do.]
It was just an excuse though.
[Then you are here to…gather information?]
Having said so, Kevin handed over a booklet to Ares.
[This is a summary of the aristocrats’ recent movement. I think some of the information recorded here has been reported by Balzac…but that’s not all. I want you to look through it.]
Ares gave it a read….it was indeed a record on recent movement of the major aristocrats.
[Nothing less from the Duke of Arnold’s intel.]
[What can I say, the intel came from the『former』prime minister’s cousin himself.]
After laughing that out, Kevin’s face turned serious as he spoke to Ares.
[By the way…seeing you returned to the capital this soon, does this mean that you’ll soon start your move in earnest? I want to talk about that.]
Kevin fell ill a few years after Reizen passed away. The young, well-favored, and highly sought after Kevin was appointed as the duke of Arnold tasked with the Capital’s development on the first year of his career. But his illness plagued him.
So instead, Reizen’s younger brother John became the acting Duke…but he never proceeded with the capital development plan.
Unlike his brother Reizen, John was prone to give in to his selfish desire and was not a well-educated person himself. However, he’s still a person belonging to the clan of the duke.
Not proceeding with the capital development plan, the title of Duke of Arnold was truly wasted on him.
After Reizen’s death and with Kevin taking a rest, the prestige of Duke of Arnold plummeted sharply. But John was too proud to change his attitude as he is currently the acting duke. He never got in contact with Kevin, and instead placed guards outside the residence, making Kevin a prisoner in his own abode.
[Uncle would be really happy if I died all of a sudden. After all, what he really wanted is not merely the post as acting duke, but to be assigned as a proper official duke.]
Kevin let out a small sigh as he said so.
[As for me, I don’t really mind giving up the position if that will free me from this place.]
Apparently John had repeatedly requested to take over Kevin’s position due to the latter still suffering from his disease. Kevin had also sent similar request as well. But Emperor Sephiros stubbornly rejected the notion.
[The current me couldn’t be bothered with jealousy or such. What is His Majesty thinking….]
Kevin let out yet another sigh.
[This disease may worsen in the future. Although you have helped me to lessen the symptoms, there is no telling of what will happen in the future.]
When all other doctors gave up on Kevin’s illness, it was Ares who came to aid him. Ares pulled out all of his available memories on alchemy, and fashioned a medicine that could stabilize Kevin’s condition. But that’s the limit of the current Ares.
[It’ll be alright…..I’ll definitely…..do something about it. I need your strength. I will definitely cure this disease.]
Kevin let out a small laugh in response to that.
[How strange…..when Ares said it, I couldn’t help but to think that it’s possible. Well then, I guess we just have to work even harder, yes?]
After that, Kevin changed the topic.
[Now then, Ares. Enough talk about me. Let’s continue with your story. What are you planning to do after this?]
And thus, Kevin and Ares talked until the day passed.
Ares once asked Gilbert in his dream. Is there a cure to Kevin’s illness?
Gilbert’s reply was unbelievable.
[I’ve never seen these symptoms before. Without me understanding the symptom…it’ll be hard to concoct a medicine.]
But he added.
[However…..there is this ancient drug, Elixir, which probably can completely cure him. I myself have only seen this elixir once in my whole life.]
A legendary drug that was said to be capable of even reviving the dead. Perhaps there is one in the imperial palace or the temple’s treasury…..but even someone from the Archduke clan does not have the right to take it out.
[Even so, I’ll find one……there is no way I’ll let my friend be killed that easily. No matter the cost.]
Having said that, Ares renewed his determination as he returned home.