This Bastard is Too Competent - Chapter 11
Ian was surprised and uncloaked the masked man’s clothes.
Both Nathan and Galon were startled at the sight.
“Don’t touch him recklessly!”
However, Ian ignored them and reached out to the masked man. And what he held in his hand was an amulet that looked like a necklace.
It looked too expensive to be owned by an assassin.
Of course, Ian didn’t do this just for that reason.
‘This can’t be.’
The end of the cross-shaped amulet was cracked.
Still, the symbol of a shield and a pickaxe was exquisitely drawn on it, with a black jewel embedded in the center gleaming brightly.
Galon and Nathan were startled by the appearance of the object in Ian’s hand.
It must be an impressive thing if they knew it.
“What is that necklace?”
“Isn’t it the emblem of Marquis Bellona?”
In particular, Nathan, as a nobleman, broke in a cold sweat.
“That’s right! It’s a treasure close to the heirloom of the marquis! Could it be that the marquis was the one behind these assassins?”
But Ian narrowed his eyebrows.
‘I never thought I’d get this here.’
This item was [Amulet of the Sky].
It was one of the treasures of Marquis Bellona, who was said to be the owner of the northern mines, and it was such a great item that could only be handled by the family head directly.
In particular, it was one of the keys to the succession war in the future.
‘And it’s one of the things I need more than anything else.’
However, Nathan, who was not aware of that, scrutinized the amulet’s pattern.
He had no choice but to do so.
“Could it be… Has the marquis noticed the prince’s existence already? That’s why he hired the assassins.”
The probability of it was high.
“Right now, they are pushing the Third Prince as a candidate for the throne.”
Regardless of the royal blood he had, the bastard Ian would be a thorn in his eyes.
So, of course, he would try to get rid of him.
But at the whispers of the knights, Ian inwardly shook his head.
Marquis Bellona was a family that contributed to the founding of the kingdom, boasting power that was not inferior to that of the Duke…
‘It’s not the work of the marquis.’
That’s right, these guys were the <Secret Special Force>.
The particular outfit they had, armed with special relics and treasures, so they could be recognized at a glance.
In addition, the tattoo branded on the neck.
The pattern of a beast with black wings.
And they were professional assassins who would not hesitate to assassinate even the member of the royal family.
They were madmen who appeared several times during the succession war.
So, of course, Ian had no choice but to take notice of them.
‘The marquis has nothing to do with these guys.’
Rather, the marquis would be later exterminated by these men. At least, Ian knew who the owner of this secret force was.
But it was at that time.
“I! I will send an investigator to thoroughly investigate the marquis!”
Seeing the amulet, the centurion approached Ian with an anxious face.
“So, please hand me the amulet first, Prince.”
When the centurion reached out, Ian smiled lightly and took the amulet back.
“I think you’re the one who needs to be investigated.”
Upon meeting Ian’s eyes, the centurion stepped back in startle.
But Ian chuckled instead of answering.
‘The secret force is owned by the Duke.’
Of course, the secret force at this time was not the subordinates of the Duke yet. They were merely collaborators.
However, Ian was very familiar with the method of the Duke and the Secret Special Force.
‘He must have used the marquis’ treasure to hook these guys.’
Ian didn’t know how he got a hold of the marquis’ treasure.
Even if these guys got caught, the marquis would take all the blame.
That’s what would happen for sure.
For some reason, Ian smiled and brought the amulet to his ear. A certain part of the amulet was tweaked as well.
Then the black jewel, the center of the amulet, gradually began to turn green.
‘At present, only the protective function is known.’
As Ian smirked, a sound began to flow out from the amulet.
[“Soon the bastard prince will arrive at the Count’s castle. All the mercenaries by his side are to be killed and hide yourself. Do not touch the soldiers as much as possible.”]
There’s no way Ian didn’t know who the owner of that voice was.
‘A close aide of the Duke.’
At the suggestion of the Duke, the voice of a man who later became Ian’s close aide was heard.
Ian grinned at the voice as if it was as expected.
This amulet made in the Kingdom of Magicians had a hidden function.
One of them was [Memorize].
It was an object that could store magic in advance if this was the Kingdom of Magicians. A treasure transcending heaven and earth that any wizards would risk their lives for.
But for those who couldn’t use magic like people from the Kingdom of Swordsmen.
[“… Do it.”]
It could be used as a recorder.
And it was obvious that the secret force members noticed the recording function and hence recorded it to make it a weakness of the Duke’s family.
‘Only a few minutes, but it holds the most important key.’
That was enough.
This was not to be used as evidence that the Duke targeted Ian and the mercenaries anyway.
And it was then.
The knights were stupefied as they stared at Ian standing alone with the amulet on his ear, wondering what he was up to again this time.
The centurion shouted in anger.
“Prince, if you touch the evidence like that—!”
However, Ian calmly shook the amulet.
“I hear an interesting voice. What is this?”
“Voice? What do you mean?”
The centurion, who approached Ian, was surprised.
It was because of the familiar voice coming from the amulet.
[“So, attack that bastard prince! Kill all the mercenaries in the attack as well.”]
[“You want me to kill the prince?”]
[“Who told you to kill him? Just scare him. Once he feels the dread of almost dying, he’ll come to his sense!”]
The centurion’s face turned ashen.
This was because the voice heard from the amulet was none other than his own voice.
The centurion was literally sweating all over his body.
‘When did these guys do this…’
And Ian, who played only the last part of the recording, smiled coldly.
“So, you ordered it?”
The centurion was terrified and almost going nuts.
And worse of all, if the evidence of Ian’s escort conspiring with the assassins was known…
‘I’m… really going to die. No one can help me.’
It was natural for the centurion to tremble in fear.
Nathan, who was quietly listening next to him, chimed in with a smirk.
“Gosh. If the Duke finds out about this, you’ll die right away. It’s been fun so far, Centurion. Bye~”
“Oh, no. That’s…!”
The centurion looked around.
Only these two people knew this fact.
“Please… Save me, please. I just do what I was told to do.”
The centurion banged his head on the ground.
‘Once I get out of this crisis… Then, even at the risk of pleading the Duke for help…’
However, Ian snickered as if he had read his inner thoughts.
Then he put something on the centurion’s wrist.
It’s a golden precious-looking bracelet.
Galon was startled.
There was no time to ask Ian when he took it.
Neither Nathan nor Galon showed any particular suspicion for the bracelet on the centurion’s wrist.
“Prince? Why do you have it?”
“The assassin owned it.”
“No, I didn’t ask that. I mean…”
Galon stopped talking.
And the centurion stiffened at the expression of the two knights.
“Why? What’s this?”
Ian replied cheerfully.
“It’s probably a tool for killing themselves.”
“Usually, it’s used by assassins in the underworld. To keep things a secret, you see.”
“Wh, What do you mean?”
Instead of answering, Ian took out a set of a bracelet and a ring.
These types of magic tools were the number one thing contributing to the fame of the Secret Special Force in the future.
Of course, the tools might have a difference in power compared to the future that Ian remembered.
“Can you see this ring? This is connected to the bracelet. If you press it, the bracelet you’re wearing will go ‘bang’!”
The centurion fell on his butt.
No matter how young Ian looked, it never sounded like a joke.
“There was once an incident when assassins rushed into our village. Oh, I know. If you want, shall we show you a demonstration?”
“No! You don’t need to… No! Who would believe such a foolish lie…”
Nathan, who was next to him, added.
“Wow! Is this real? What will you do? If you don’t get rid of it quick, you’re gonna be in big trouble.”
When Nathan said so, the centurion froze.
However, what Nathan said held completely twisted credibility.
As he had been mobilized for many dangerous missions, he must have encountered assassins frequently.
After reading his gaze, the centurion begged Ian.
“I will do anything. Please… please release this from me.”
Ian flashed a benevolent smile.
He had half-mixed up the truth with lies, but there would be no problem snaring him. Of course, it was surprising that Nathan went along with his words as it was.
“Don’t worry. If you follow my instructions well, I’ll tell you how to get rid of them.”
Far from releasing it, Ian put the ring that acted as a detonator on his finger. When the centurion saw it, he felt like the sky had come crashing down.
It’s the same as being Ian’s slave, not anyone else.
As the centurion sighed in resignation.
‘Great. I got a spy with this.’
Along with the marquis’ [Amulet of the Sky], he also obtained several magic tools from the Secret Special Force.
But there was something else more important than them.
‘Why did he order to kill all the mercenaries?’
A few people dying would have been enough to frighten Ian. But was it necessary to annihilate the entire mercenary group?
‘Maybe there is something about this mercenary group that I don’t know.’
There was a high possibility of that.
The Duke never wasted his heart on meaningless things.
So, if Ian could get his hands on it first before the Duke got rid of it…
It would definitely become a great help.
‘First, investigate the mercenaries. And if it exists, then…’
He would have it.
After the battle. The investigation had been closed for a while.
The party cleaned up the surroundings and started moving toward the Duke’s castle again.
Ian overheard others while inside the carriage.
“By the way, I never really thought that a marquis would have done such a thing.”
“I know, right? Isn’t that family on the Crown Prince’s side? I guess the succession war had really begun…”
Galon and Nathan had already confirmed the [Amulet of the Sky] as the treasure of the marquis. Everyone was pointing a finger at the marquis as the culprit.
However, Ian did not correct it as wrong information.
‘A fight between the marquis and the Duke. And in the middle of it, there is definitely a benefit I could reap.’
No matter how inferior he was to a duke, he was a royalist. Naturally, he couldn’t get along well with the aristocratic Duke.
Furthermore, the marquis was related by blood to the Crown Prince.
Although he would become Ian’s big enemy in the future…
‘The marquis may agree to negotiate with me if I use this card well.’
The marquis’ [Amulet of the Sky] had fallen on his hands.
Then Nathan approached the carriage.
“You must feel really bored. A few more days and we’ll reach the Duke’s residence.”
He smiled widely as if he wanted to get close to Ian.
However, Ian quietly ignored him and closed the carriage window.
‘It’s strange. Why do you keep pretending to be close to me?’
Of course, he knew well the qualities of Nathan who was capable enough to become the Duke’s enemy.
Although he’s annoying, it was manageable until at the very least the first day Ian entered the Duke’s residence.
‘It’s good to have someone of my own before I am assigned with a close aide.’
The day he entered the Duke’s residence, the first night he would experience something terrible.
‘But I don’t know yet if he’s reliable.’
The figure of Nathan, who was following the Third Prince and trying to kill him, still lingered in his mind clearly.
His face distorted terribly as if he deliberately shoved poison down to his throat. Compared to Galon, it felt like he was going to be bothersome.
After marching for several more days.
“Tomorrow, we will arrive at the Duke’s residence.”
Ian had arrived at the Duke’s residence where he would experience the first problematic night.
And as soon as the mercenaries reached the Duke’s castle, they were supposed to leave as the contract had ended.
In other words, today would be the last day.
Since Ian was close to the mercenaries, he visited them to greet them for the last time.
But an unexpected person talked to him.
“Prince, I have something to tell you.”
That was none other than the mercenary captain Gerard.
No, he wasn’t alone.
“Thank you so much for saving my life, Prince Ian…”
There was also Line, the youngest member of the mercenary group, who had his life saved at the hands of Ian.
He was still barely able to walk with his crutches, but fortunately there were no sequelae, so he probably wouldn’t be disabled in this lifetime.
Unbeknownst to whether Line realized it or not, he was sincerely expressing his gratitude to Ian.
“Is there anything you want to say?”
“I have something important to tell you.”
It seemed strange, but there was nothing wrong with hearing it.
As Ian watched Gerard in waiting.
Gerard suddenly knelt to Ian.
Then, he took out an object in his hands that he had been fiddling with since before.