Chapter 19: People are treasures
In the late afternoon on a sunny day, I came to Cobalt Street with Shirley.
“T-This is ……”
Even in the flourishing capital, Cobalt Street, which, by the nature of dealing in antiques, attracts the rich and noble especially.
Shirley, who just came from a village where there is not even a doctor, was dumbfounded by the buzz of a hundreds of people.
“Don’t be a dimwit and just follow me.”
I jumped off the carriage at the entrance to Cobalt Street and walked in with a newly knighted Shirley in tow.
I wander around at random, looking for treasure.
There were all sorts of things that caught my eye at a glance, but none of them were flashy.
The reason I came here is to find a gift for my brother Henry.
Even though it was ordered by His Majesty, technically he subdued Almeria on my behalf.
I need to show some sentiments.
So I’m looking for the treasure to do just that……..
“Mmmm, there’s ……”
“What’s going on, Your Highness?”
“Let’s go into that store!”
Shirley followed behind me, wondering.
I took her into a store.
I’ve been there before with my brother Oscar.
“Oh, well, well, well. His Royal Highness the Thirteenth, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Alan Bardsley, right?”
“Yes. This way, please.”
The moment we walked in, the owner, Alan, greeted us and invited us into the back of the store, keeping a very low profile.
We were ushered into a VIP room.
Immediately afterwards, the shopkeeper brought us our drinks.
I could tell by the smell alone that it was a pretty good tea.
By the way, Shirley stood behind me with her hands clasped behind her back.
There is no seat for a knight when you are with the Lord. Alan, who does business with the aristocracy, of course knows this and treats Shirley as if she were an air.
“Can I help you with something today, sir?”
“I want to give my brother something to thank him for, something good.”
“Is it His Royal Highness the Eighth Prince?”
“No, it’s my brother Henry.”
“You mean His Royal Highness the Fourth Prince! I just stocked up on something the other day. Would you please wait a moment?”
I nodded and Alan left the room once.
We waited for a few minutes, and then he returned with some servants.
Each of the servants had something with them.
Perhaps it was a jewelry box, or a picture in a frame, or something big enough to fit in a wagon.
They probably brought a whole lot of treasures that can be sold in this store.
In the midst of all this, my eyes were glued to one thing.
It was placed on a table in a wagon and covered with a cloth on top.
I was curious, so I pointed to it and asked Alan.
“What’s that? The atmosphere is clearly different from the rest.”
“Oh, Your Royal Highness the Thirteenth, you saw through it at a glance.”
Alan looked half business tongued, half plain amazed.
He made eye contact and had a servant take a cloth.
What came out was a statue of a goddess which was transparent.
“Is this …… glass?
“As you said, it’s correct.”
“A goddess made of glass and not crystal? I didn’t know you could make something like this.”
” The surprise is understandable. This is the legacy of Lindsey, the master glass artist. Lindsay was the only one who could make a goddess statue out of glass, a now lost skill.”
I stared at the statue of the goddess.
I knew – it’s a little bit out.
A little bit of something similar to that grimoire.
I saw it, so I asked to be the first to see it.
“It is said that Lindsey herself has few works, and that there are only two goddess statues left in the world.”
“Okay. So, I’ll take that.”
“This will be 10,000 reens……”
I took out a leather bag from my pocket and handed it to Alan.
“There’s more than ten thousand in there. The remainder is my reward for you bringing a gift for my brother.”
“Thank you very much!”
Alan received the leather bag with a big smile on his face.
“That goddess statue, later at home–“
“There you are, Noah.”
As I was about to say, a man came in from outside.
It was the Eighth Prince, Brother Oscar, with his trademark gentle smile.
I stood up and gave a quick bow to Oscar.
“I heard Noah was here when I went into the store. Found some good treasure–or ……”
Oscar looked at the glass goddess statue and froze in place.
He looks as if he has seen something unbelievable.
“What’s the matter with you, brother?”
“This is the Statue by Lindsey. Is it real?”
Me, who replied, as if that wasn’t enough, Oscar looked at Alan.
Alan nodded, puzzled.
“I-It’s authentic. There’s no way I would offer your highness a fake …… something poorly done.”
Oscar sighed and sat down in a nearby chair.
“Damn, so I guess that means there are only two of them and they’re both coming out at the same time.”
“Do you know about the other one?”
“I have it.”
Then, Oscar, this time with a wry smile.
“It’s a glass statue of Lindsay, I know it was made in two, but I didn’t see it here on Cobalt Street, so I thought I had the last one in the world. I didn’t know there were any more of them.
I can understand why Oscar laments.
The fewer the number of treasures, the more valuable they are in their rarity.
Among them, “there is only one” is of tremendous value.
When there are two, if the value of each is 1, the value of one is more than ten times higher than the value of the other.
This is what treasures – antiques – are all about.
“Yeah, what is it?”
I silently approached the glass goddess statue, lifted it up – and smashed it to the ground.
“Y-Y-Your Royal Highness!”
As Alan panicked, I took out another bag of about 100 reens from my pocket and gave it to him.
“Don’t worry, you can keep the money for what I paid you for earlier. And here’s your wages.”
“The second statue came out, but it broke. I want you to spread the word, but only in Cobalt Street”.
Oscar nodded with an impressed look on his face.
“Wow that’s amazing, Noah. If you broke it and even shed the fact that you’re the one who broke it, the statue I have will certainly increase in value.”
“The sooner the treasure is found, the better. And if only brother Oscar have it, it would be worth more.”
“I’m surprised you knew how to do this, and even more so that you actually did it. Amazing. I only reached this point after I came of age and entered the fiefdom.”
Oscar stood up and gave a glimpse of the cracked statue.
“I’ll thank you, in due course,”
With that, Oscar walked out of the store.
After telling Alan to clean up and choose the next treasure to present to the house, I left with Shirley.
“Oh, uh, your highness ……?”
After leaving the store, the busy Cobalt Street.
Shirley called out to me as if she were afraid.
“Why would you do that?”
I looked around.
Everyone around me is a stranger, and I don’t have to worry about being heard.
“It’s just a thing, after all.”
But it’s a very expensive treasure?”
“A real treasure is not like that.”
Shirley was puzzled.
I saw my status, always visible in the corner of my vision.
My own personal status with a “+” behind my normal status.
I have this one.
“A real treasure is not something like that, it’s people.”
“People who are loyal to me. Like you.”
Yes, to me, the real treasures are people.
Breaking one of those glass goddesses is a small price to pay for a happy memory of brother Oscar.
“What’s up Shirley?”
“I’m impressed! You’re saying the same thing as the great men in the story.”
“It’s amazing, Your Highness. …… I’ll follow you forever!”
I broke it down to make Oscar’s memory a happy one, and as a bonus, Shirley’s favorability seems to have increased.
I took Shirley with me out of the junk-covered Cobalt Street.
Somehow, I remember what Oscar said.
Becoming an adult, entering the fiefdom.
The time will come for me to join Almeria.
In the Empire, it’s usually when the royal family comes of age.
Until that time, I had a clear goal in mind to collect more treasures.
Join me on discord to get update notifications and release schedules.