Chapter 52: The Snake and the Boy
I woke up and Audrey and the maids were helping me change out of my nightgown.
Audrey takes off my nightgown first.
The morning sun poured in through the window on my muscular body.
My body was wiped down, and fragrance was rubbed in.
As usual, I barely moved, leaving Audrey and the maids to get ready for the day.
“Hmm? What’s wrong?
“Is there anything troubling you?”
“…… How do you know?”
“Your expression isn’t quite what it should be.”
“You’re quite observant.”
“It’s Noah-sama’s face that’s why.”
Audrey replied with a smile, but with a slight blush on her cheeks.
I am used to hearing these kinds of words, but I don’t feel bad when they come from my wife.
“You’re right. I was wondering about the Apophis, a gift from His Majesty.”
“The serpent’s staff?”
I nodded clearly.
Audrey knew about Leviathan and the others, so I skipped the premise and told her what I was curious about.
“He hasn’t submitted to me yet. I am thinking of doing that today.”
“Oh, really? Well, is that something I can watch?”
“You want to watch?”
The expression on her face showed a strong yearning and pleading.
“I’ve heard stories about Noah-sama’s weapons, but I’ve never seen when they submit to you.”
“Oh, sure then.”
I remember now that she mentioned it.
All of these were before I had actually met Audrey.
When I was still in the capital.
“I see. …… good.”
“Thank you very much!”
Audrey looked very happy.
In the meantime, I got dressed and went to the dining room to have breakfast with Audrey, who was in a good mood.
Afterwards, I took Audrey and the maids out to the garden.
In front of the pavilion in the garden, I had a box of Apophis brought out in advance.
I approached it and opened the box.
Then, picking up a staff in the shape of a snake, I held it in front of him.
Then a message came back to me.
It was an inexpressible message.
“Are you all right, Noah-sama?”
“No problem. I’m just a little underestimated.”
“He told me if I wanted him to obey me, I had to defeat him. It wouldn’t be possible for a power-hungry child like you, he said.”
Audrey raised an eyebrow, angry as if it were her own.
I looked at the cane – Apophis.
It’s very easy to understand, but what Apohpis conveyed to me was that I was “Just a kid who got swayed around having SSS abilities”.
I was dismissed from the role of Prime Minister, and my abilities returned to normal.
That’s why, I was being looked down upon.
On the other hand, it was fast.
“Should I just take you down?”
I spoke to Apophis again.
And the response was, once again, a mocking but determined “Yes.”
“Good. Then I’ll lend you this.”
I put the Apophis back in the box, took off the Armor Ring, and put it in the box with the Apophis.
The next moment, Apophis changed.
The Apophis linked with the ring of armor and transformed into a giant snake.
The giant snake swallowed the staff whole, opening a mouth that could have easily swallowed a human.
“Come, greenhorn, boy.”
Speaking in sloppy manner, it opened its mouth menacingly, and its tongue quivered.
I pulled out my Leviathan and slashed at it.
The Demon Sword’s slash, which trails a light blue light, is repelled by Apophis’ scales.
Apophis made a smug face for a moment and then tried to bit me.
I kicked the ground and stepped back.
Apophis attacked me again.
The long body of the snake undulated as it rushed forward, circling around me – tightening its grip.
I held Leviathan in a sideways position.
And the tightening clutches at the Leviathan.
Letting go of the leviathan, I jumped up on the spot and escaped the snake’s grip.
After escaping, I shrunk Leviathan.
When it stretched, it was a contest of strength, but when it shrank, there was no problem.
After shrinking to the size of a needle, Leviathan fell to the ground.
The constriction cut through the air, and the snake spun around for a moment, but it quickly extended and came at me.
Dodging it, I retrieved Leviathan and returned him to his original size.
“You, weak. You, cannot cut me.”
The snake chuckled, tongue lolling out.
“Will, finish. Swallow you, whole.”
The snake lunged at me, opening its mouth and trying to bite me.
I held up my leviathan and parried the snake.
The snake quickly turned and lunged again, but I was able to fend it off without difficulty.
Audrey and the maids cheered.
I see, they understood.
I set aside my strength and fought with only my technique.
It had become part of my morning routine to “not slash” the banyan tree with my sword.
In most martial arts, there are two styles: soft and hard.
What I was practicing was a technique that could be called the ultimate in softness.
I used it to fend off the snake’s attack over and over again.
“You, petty. Boy, There’s more.”
I didn’t respond to the obvious provocation.
As I kept fending it off, I suddenly realized that there was a part of the snake’s body that would get latched onto if I passed it off at a certain angle.
I tried a few more times.
The tug became more obvious.
I tried to cut there.
The snake quickly turned and lunged at me after I parried its lunge.
I timed my lunge to coincide with its timing.
The snake, which had constantly taunted me until now, looked surprised to see me.
The other side’s momentum and my own strength.
Then, I angled the blade properly and plunged it into the latch.
Then the blade, which had been too stiff and slippery to pass through, went through as easily as if it were cutting tofu.
I continued to charge forward, pushing forward with the leviathan.
After completely passing each other, the snake’s body snapped open like a fish opening.
“The game is over, isn’t it?”
The snake was stunned by the slash and stopped moving completely, though it was probably not painful since it was embodied in the ring of armor.
After waiting for a while.
“You, strong. Be your, servant.”
The snake’s demeanor changed drastically and it became very calm.
Is it some kind of trap? As I thought.
Name: Noah Ararat
Minister of Justice
Level: 10 / ∞
The status “+” in the corner of my eye, Darkness, went all the way up to C, so I knew it truly became my subordinate.
“Looking forward to working with you.”
The snake nodded its head up and down nicely, and then released its embodiment.
Where the serpent had been, the ring of armor and the serpent’s staff – Apophis – had fallen.
I picked them up.
“As expected, Noah-sama!”
Audrey, who had been keeping her distance until then, approached me with an impressed expression, having sensed correctly that it was over.
A few days later, in Gaien’s study.
Although I had already been dismissed as the Prime Minister, I kept the study that I had remodeled to make it easier to use in the course of my political duties.
In that study, I was receiving a report from Don.
I asked Don as I looked at the list after receiving the report.
“These are gifts sent in the joint names of the governor of Ararat. All of them are local products of Ararat region.”
“Yes, a gift for their new lord, Your Highness.”
“Oh, that’s common then.”
Although this was the case, it was actually my first experience.
I got Almeria as my fief when I was just a baby, and the adults around me handled all of these things.
So, this is the first time they’ve actually sent one to me.
“No, no, it’s not common.”
“This list is twice as big as usual. I’ve never seen a list this big before.”
“Some of the items on the list appear to be from the general public. The political affairs during His Highness as the Prime Minister, the flood control of Almeria Nisir. They must have heard rumors about Your Highness and sent them voluntarily.”
“With Gilbert, it was about a third of this.”
Don, who had once worked for the First Prince, said with a wry smile.
“That’s why, it’s really amazing.”
“But I can’t help it if I get this much. Anyone there?”
“You wanted to see me, sir?”
A boy opened the door and walked in.
Unlike the inner garden, the ban on men was not as strong around this study, which was located in the outer garden, and there were male servants.
The boy looked new to me, so he must have joined the estate recently.
“Distribute this among my subordinates. Evelyn likes to drink, so I’ll give her one tart of brewed wine and one tart of distilled wine. Shirley, who is in the Imperial City, will take two of these cold iron swords, and Foster and Howard will take one each. Dylan, who has a daughter, send him a whole lot of silk. Byron gets a bottle of brew, and Cindy gets a jar of all four honeys.”
Distribute the gifts according to the taste and status of the household members.
Especially those who were out of the house, not in it.
When I had finished, I wondered if I had omitted anyone.
“I understand. Evelyn-san got one tart each of brewed and distilled liquor. Shirley-san will take two swords of cold iron, and Foster-san and Howard-san will take one each. Dylan-san will take silk. Byron-san will have a bottle of brew, and Cindy-san will have a bottle each of four kinds of honey. That’s it.”
I looked at the boy, a little surprised.
The boy flinched a little when I looked at him.
“I-Is there a mistake?”
“No, it’s the other way around. Well, I don’t know how you could have remembered everything in that one moment, just from hearing it once.”
The boy was relieved to know that he hadn’t been scolded or anything.
“What’s your name?”
“My name is Gran, sir.”
“How long have you been in the mansion?”
“About a month, sir.”
“Why did you come here?”
Immediately after I spoke to the boy, Don wanted to say something, but when he saw that I was asking for personal information about Gran one after another, he closed his mouth.
On the other hand, when asked, Gran answered my question with some confusion.
“My parents are sick and my brother doesn’t make much money, so I was looking for a way to make some money, and there was a recruitment for eunuchs.
Eunuchs receive a certain amount of money at the beginning of each month, in addition to their monthly salary.
Because of the castration, or the cutting off of the male genitalia, the eunuch would receive a large sum of money as compensation or a favor.
“So, your parents are ill”
“Though they’re a little better, they’re still ……”
Gran turned a little down, his face darkening.
‘Fumu. How much do you get paid now?”
“5 reens a month.”
“Let’s raise it to 50.”
Gran looked at me like he had no idea what was going on.
“So you will be under Don from now on. You understand?”
The last word went to Don.
Don nodded quietly.
He understood that I was counting on Gran’s memory and was going to use it.
“T-thank you so much! Thank you very much! Thank you very much!”
Gran bowed again and again, before leaving the study to distribute the goods.
Don who remained turned to me.
“As expected, sir. From now on, I’m sure he’ll be so grateful to you that he’ll risk his life for you.”
“No need to risk your life.”
“People are treasure. Serving someone is good, but you have to live to serve them.”
“Very good, sir.”
Don bowed to me with a look of complete and utter admiration.
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