Eric whom I haven’t seen in a long time also became quite a lot older.
「Eric, you too grew older」
「Isn’t that a given? Well, you on the other hand did not. More like, did you become younger?」
「Is that so?」
As I said that, Gran and Eric both nodded.
「Rakku, you look way too young」
Saying that, he gave me a mirror.
「I can’t really tell myself……. Don’t I look as I always do?」
Since they said I didn’t age, that might be the case.
「10 years have passed. Not changing since then isn’t normal, you know」
「Rather than not changing, I feel like he’s younger now」
「Well, it really does feel like that」
It’s probably because of the place I was in. Either that or it’s due to the vitality absorption ability of Drain Touch.
I could make money out of a space beauty treatment or a Drain Touch beauty treatment.
While thinking that,
「10 years have passed, huh…… 10 years……」
Eric was at a loss for words.
「Thank, thank god you came back…… Uuuuuuu」
「D, Don’t cry, please!」
Continuing from Gran’s bawling, Eric started his own crying concert. (TLN: ….I exaggerated a bit)
Eric looked calm so this surprised me. He might have been faking that calmness.
As expected, an old man crying is really troubling.
After a while, I explained to Eric who had stopped crying about my 10 years.
While I was drinking the gruel he brought over.
The rice gruel is unbelievably delicious. Might be because of the 10 year fast.
I’ve just narrated it to Gran so I could explain it smoothly this time.
Even though Gran just heard it a bit earlier, he’s nodding as he listened.
After my recital, I drank up the gruel.
「I didn’t think that rice gruel could be edible, but this is really good」
「I see. You must be really hungry. Even though you starving, for the sake of the world, you……」
Tears start welling up in Gran’s eyes again. His tear glands have loosened up a bit too much.
Must be due to old age.
「For you to defeat the Devil King we all failed to kill…… Hey, Eric」
「Yeah. I’ll have to think up some medal of honour」
Said he with a serious expression.
「No, there’s no need to go that far」
「There’s no way we can just let it slide. Relax. I’m the king right now」
「……You’ve gotten really successful in life, haven’t you」
The Hero Eric was originally a prince. He wasn’t the crown prince though.
He should have been 5th from succession.
「To reward Eric’s meritorious deeds, His Majesty the late King stepped down for him」
「Eric’s the king now, so what are you, Gran?」
「I’m the adventurer’s guild’s Grand Master」
It’s good that both Eric and Gran are successful in their lives.
As a friend, I’m happy for them as much as I can be.
「Rakku. Just tell me your wish. I’ll fulfil it as much as I can」
「Uun. I don’t wish for anything in particular」
When I said that, Eric and Gran made troubled expressions.
「Anything’s alright, you know? Money? Honour? I can even give you a territory」
「Nothing’s really hitting the nail」
「Don’t say that」
「Well, I can’t think of anything right now. Let me think for a while」
「I see, you’ve been in that place for 10 years, after all. You should ponder upon it after settling down」
After that, Gran took out a leather bag. Within it were gold coins.
「A million Rakkus. Putting aside the prize money, you need living expenses, don’t you?」
「That really helps, no, wait. ……1 million Rakkus?」
I can’t pretend I didn’t hear the currency unit.
「Is a million not enough?」
「That’s not it. What do you mean by a million Rakkus?」
「Ah, that’s right. You didn’t know that the currency unit’s changed, huh. A million Rakkus is equivalent to a million gold. Is that not enough?」
If it’s a million gold, then it’s plenty.
With that, a man wouldn’t be able to spend all of it by himself within a year if he lived thriftily.
But that is not where the problem lies.
「It’s not about it being enough or not……, it is enough though. But why Rakku?」
Eric showed a look of triumph at my question.
「That was the first thing I changed when I became king」
「Are you serious……」
This is a royal pain in the butt for the citizens. I wonder if there was confusion in the economy sector.
I feel uneasy.
「The country, no the world, is grateful to you. After all, the large army of devils could have caused major damage to the world」
「That’s right. The world might even be destroyed」
「……That’s a little embarrassing, but…… No wait, on the contrary, it’s more troubling for me if you made my name the currency unit」
Not minding my embarrassment, Gran said,
「By the way, Eric erected a stone statue of you」 (TLN: But you said bronze earlier D:)
「The one in the central plaza?」
「Oh, you saw it? Isn’t he a fine man?」
Eric made another expression of triumph. I feel like hitting him a little.
「It’s too big, and moreover, isn’t it over beautified!」
They’d become disillusioned if they saw the real me. This is very troubling.
Seeing my angry expression, Eric and Gran both started spouting excuses.
The person in charge of creating the stone statue had never met me.
Because of that, he had to create it based off verbal descriptions from Gran and Eric.
And that was the result. This is extremely troubling.
They decided to change topics. Gran then said this with a smile.
「Oh yeah! It’s been 10 years right? Your adventurer’s card should have expired. I’ll reissue a new one for you」
「Oh right, it expires within 7 years, huh」
Adventuring is a dangerous job. It’s not rare for someone to go missing, his life or death unknown.
Because of that, if they go missing for 7 years, they would be marked as dead.
I lost my card in the midst of the battle with the devils.
Even if I didn’t lose it, it’d be the same.
「The name will be Archduke Rakku Franzen. Your job will be great sage, the saviour of the world, the strongest S-rank mage. Is that ok?」
「Wait a minute」
「What is it? No doubt that we were A-rankers, but with your history of killing devils and the subjugation of the Devil King, a promotion to S-rank should be adequate, no?」
「That’s right, both Gran and I are S-rankers now. There’s no way you who accrued more meritorious deeds than us can stay an A-ranker」
That’s not the point. Wait, that is of course important as well.
S rank isn’t a permanent rank. It’s a special rank where those who have achieved throughout history can be counted.
Rather than that, it’s the great sage, saviour of the world, or the strongest mage parts’ that are weird.
However, there is something that I need to retort before all those.
「What’s with the archduke? No, before that, what’s with the Franzen」
Gran’s calming me down, but how can I?
You’re just appointing me a rank on your own, and an archduke, at that?
Moreover, this is my first time hearing of a Franzen. I’m not an aristocrat, so I don’t have a surname.
「It’s to reward you for saving the world. I’ve already gave you a rank. Eight years ago」
「It’s what Eric did after erecting that statue」
Gran added on. Is it okay for this guy to be the king?
I feel uneasy.
「Since you were bestowed a rank, you’ll need a family name as well, right?」
「That’s where Franzen comes in」
I’m getting tired delivering all these retorts.
「Well, that’s good enough for a family name……. Even so, you really just went ahead and named me archduke, huh…… Was there no resistance?」
「Nope. We thought you were dead. There’s also the fact that you do not have a kid nor a family」
To the nobles, it must have felt like giving honour to a dead person.
Not like he’s really becoming a real archduke.
In other words, it was nothing more than an extra line in the records.
If i had family, then someone would succeed the archduke’s house, and a new archduke would arise.
That would be serious. The powers will shift.
Of course, that would increase the number of nobles opposing it.
「The archduke rank is a little troubling」
「Certainly, if they knew you are alive, they might be okay with you being a count, but an archduke……」
Eric made a troubled expression. However, Gran doesn’t seem to understand.
He tilted his head to one side.
If they knew I was alive, the number of archdukes would increase by one.
An archduke is not the common aristocrat. It’s distinguished even among nobles.
In that case, the pack of nobles wouldn’t shut up. There’s a high possibility that I would be dragged into a power struggle.
They may even send assassins at me.
I explained that to Gran.
「I see, so that’s how it is. But if it’s just assassins they send at you, then it doesn’t matter, does it?」
「Of course, they can’t hurt me, but I don’t want that. It’s a pain in the butt」
「I see. That’s true」
Gran seems to have realised the trouble within this situation.
「I think it might be better for them to not know that I’m alive」
I persuaded Gran who was against it, and decided to register as a novice adventurer under a different name.