This Bastard is Too Competent - Chapter 16
“What do you think? Will you give him to me?”
The Duke was speechless at Ian’s confident voice.
Who wanted whom now?
“Are you out of your mind? You want me to give you a knight instead of a soldier?”
The Duke’s voice naturally became harsh.
Needless to say, giving Galon, who was not just a mere knight but was capable enough to be called one of the Three Great Knights of the Continent, to be the prince’s escort?
‘If it weren’t for me, wouldn’t you have stayed living as a serf in a rural village?’
It was Ian who had not yet been officially acknowledged as a prince.
To be honest, there would be no problem if the Duke ordered Galon to kill him out of annoyance.
For a moment, an ominous thought rose from the bottom of the Duke’s heart.
‘Should I kill this brat?’
But that feeling quickly disappeared.
It was only natural.
‘The First Prince is dead. Now, he is the most important horse for the succession war.’
No matter how wealthy a duke was, if the monarchy changed, damage was bound to happen. To make matters worse, the closest candidate for the successor position was the Second Prince, which was backed by the family of the kingdom’s second duke, the rival of Duke Garcia. Lavaltor of Might.
At least, all the guardians of the other successors had been decided.
For now, instead of killing this lowly bastard, his priority was to appease him. Yes, it should be enough with a few words.
“I’m sorry, but I think that will be difficult. Sir Galon is supposed to be in charge of…”
“I heard there’s none.”
The Duke stared at Ian.
Ian smiled brightly.
“Didn’t you assign him to bring someone like me from the countryside? If you’re going to make him do odd missions like that, why not just give him to me?”
The Duke was speechless.
He turned his eyes and looked at Galon, but.
Galon had his head bowed without saying a word. It was the evidence that Ian’s words were not wrong.
The Duke was dumbfounded.
“I sent him there because I believed him the most.”
Of course, it could have been seen as an odd job for close aides and other subordinates. But he also entrusted him with the most important task in the succession war.
However, he didn’t seem to feel that way.
‘They go along well together. Why don’t we just put him at his side while we’re at it?’
‘There is no need for such a lowly bastard. He’s from a lowly family, perfect to protect a prince from a lowly mother…’
The Duke could tell by the expressions of his close aides and servants all around. Everyone wanted to send away Galon.
The Duke sent a pathetic look to his aides.
‘It’s easy to put down this matter, but…’
What if he didn’t send Galon away as the prince wished and words about this incident spread out among the vassals under his control?
Definitely, complaints would break out.
The Duke and all of them were extremely pure-blooded nobles.
Galon was the only exception. Problems would arise if any internal dissatisfaction was to be put to rest by force.
‘That’s why I can’t achieve what I aim for.’
Besides, Ian was also a problem.
He’s the guy he would use as the horse for the succession war.
Ian said it was for his own safety, but if the Duke refused, it would be difficult to plant a bad image on the prince.
He had to be Ian’s official guardian, but only when he was on the blacklist would he be able to hand over his guardianship to other nobles.
And Ian knew exactly that fact.
‘Because he is pure-blooded, he never uses Galon seriously. He’s now only going around doing menial tasks. When the opportunity arises, I will use it properly.’
So he would steal him.
To prevent the Duke from getting one of the biggest forces he would have in the future.
But it wasn’t like he wasn’t nervous.
‘If I make a wrong move, Galon will become a card that cannot be earned anymore.’
Ian pretended to be calm, but he was still walking on a tightrope.
He made it because he had to do it at this moment, but by a slight slip, all the plans could have gone down the drain.
After the Duke stared at Ian for countless minutes.
“Okay, I’ll give him to you.”
At the consent, Ian beamed a pleasant smile. It was a great success.
However, the Duke, who didn’t know this, raised the corners of his mouth.
Of course, he didn’t mean to let Ian go easily.
‘I’ll give him to you now, but I’ll get him back someday.’
He could appoint a different knight to the prince sometime.
Galon would have no one else to be loyal to anyway.
Still, this left a bitter taste in his mouth.
“Then I’ll get going.”
It was when the Duke turned around to get out.
Ian asked with a bright smile.
His words froze not only the Duke but also all people in the audience room.
“Have you paid your respect to me?”
For a moment, silence fell in the audience room.
Inside the audience room, after Ian and the others had left.
In a place where all the servants were sent out except for the head butler.
“Pu ha ha ha ha ha!”
“Your Excellency, please compose yourself.”
The Duke put away his cold expression and doubled up in his chair, dying from laughter. No matter how much he thought about it, it was because of Ian’s absurd words.
“He asked if I had paid my respect to him. Did I hear that correctly, Head Butler?”
The head butler could not answer the Duke’s question.
He was dumbfounded, but he never thought there would be anyone who would dare say such a thing inside the Duke’s castle.
Of course, the Duke eventually did bow to him.
“It doesn’t matter. I just bowed my head to the crest, not the prince.”
It’s also an informal greeting with a nod of his head.
However, the head butler and other close aides didn’t view it the same way.
‘Damn prince. How dare you make the Duke bow his head.’
He felt like rage was building up inside his mind.
Of course, it wasn’t Ian’s fault.
When meeting the royal family, it was natural to pay respect to them as their subject. Rather, it was just a word that no one could say because of the Duke’s mighty power.
However, the Duke’s eyes quietly glinted.
“Indeed, a lion’s cub is still a lion.”
The Duke was not laughing because he felt awful. He wasn’t laughing because he was dumbfounded either.
It was because of Ian, who lived as a serf only a few days ago but had transformed himself as soon as he realized that he was a part of the royal family.
He caught him off guard and snatched Galon, one of the best knights of the kingdom, only with a few words.
‘Meanwhile the king and his heirs only managed to set their sights on Galon.’
But the head butler said with a determined face.
“A mere prince dared make you bow. If you give me the order… I’ll take care of it…”
“No. On the contrary, if he is that shrewd, he will be of great help to the cause.”
“If Galon had eyes, he wouldn’t take that kind of guy as his master. So, who’s going to be in charge of that bastard now?”
“If it’s the way it is, the second young master…”
It was then.
The Duke’s face, which had been bright so far, turned frighteningly stiff.
The Duke could not hide his discomfort.
“I don’t understand how he gets so immature while I’m out of the house.”
This was not a matter of leaving it to a child easily swayed by a prince who was a serf until just a few days ago. He was the prince who even made the Duke give his own son a blow.
He couldn’t even send him such a useless bastard.
So he shot the butler a beastly glare.
“Attach the third to the prince.”
“Pardon? Master Karan? Not the first young master?”
“He will soon go to the royal castle when the competition for successors begins anyway. It’s enough to put the first on him only then.”
The eldest son was known as the successor of the Duke. No matter how extraordinary Ian was, it was not a big deal for the first son to have a former-serf young child under control.
‘No, it’s rather overkill. The first young master is just that outstanding.’
The first young master was called the elite of the family, and the Duke was going to put the third son in place of such an outstanding man.
‘It’s definitely better than the second young master, Young Master Heinley, but…’
Heinley was actually capable, but flawed in his character.
However, the third young master Karan had a much more serious problem than that.
‘The greatest genius since the foundation of the dukedom of Garcia, but a loose cannon at the same time.’
Needless to say, he never listened to anyone, and at the end of the day, he fought hard with one of the royal family members and made them stay in bed. The queen cried and begged him to stop. It was fortunate that it ended only with a ban on access to the royal palace.
The third son of Duke Garcia narrowly got away with the punishment and the crime of treason that would have remained after his execution.
‘If such a young master meets the prince…’
Rather than doing well, it would be a relief if he didn’t cripple the prince.
Physically and mentally.
However, the Duke sent a cold glance to the head butler’s objection.
“Are you disregarding what I’m saying now, Head Butler?”
The head butler replied in a hurry.
“I will do as you say.”
The Duke finally relaxed his face.
Then he remembered the ferocious prince whom he had just bowed to.
“He has quite a backbone, but for the sake of the cause, I have to keep him under my thumb as much as possible.”
In fact, that’s the reason he purposely attached the third one.
No matter how bold Ian was, he would not be able to make a squeak in front of him.
But before that.
“The prince is full of spirit, but I wonder why my baby is like that, Head Butler?”
The head butler, who was in charge of the second son’s education, closed his eyes to the cold gaze of the Duke.
Ian was on his way to his accommodation at the guidance of a servant.
However, he was covering his ears with both hands. He had no choice but to do so.
“So! Why! Only Galon!”
It was because Nathan was whining right next to him.
He questioned why Ian asked the Duke to give him only Galon and not him too.
Ian ignored such boisterous Nathan.
“I am the prince!”
As Nathan was busy clinging to Ian, Galon, who was following, suddenly stopped.
Then he asked Ian.
“Will you be okay with me?”
“I mean, you asked the Duke to give me away.”
Ian was taken aback.
He wondered if perhaps Galon had said such a thing because he did not want to be under him.
Galon answered with a pale face.
“Sir Nathan will be more helpful to the prince than me.”
Ian was at a loss.
What was the guy who was famous among the Three Great Knights of the Continent even in other countries saying now?
But Galon continued his words calmly.
“If you’ve heard rumors about me, you’ll know, but…”
At that moment, Ian could tell. What Galon was troubled about right now.
‘Ah. That’s right, this is the time when Galon is largely ignored by other people.’
Come to think of it, Galon’s fame would come only a little later.
No matter how skillful Galon was.
No matter how deep his allegiance to his own master.
The Duke’s castle was a place where only pure-blooded nobles were treated well.
The reason Galon recommended Nathan was not because of their closeness as friends, but rather because of his superior status. Unlike Galon, who was a commoner, Nathan inherited the bloodline of a marquis.
At Galon’s words, Ian stared at him with a face asking if that was all.
“I’m sure the other knights won’t like it.”
Even so, Galon was serious.
Ian could certainly be the ideal monarch. But if his existence didn’t help him…
It would be more useful for him to disappear early.
But it was at that moment.
“I believe in what I have seen rather than rumors.”
“And if it’s Sir Galon that I’ve watched and been through things together with, I can trust my back and leave it to you.”
Galon felt his chest tighten at Ian’s serious eyes.
What on earth did the prince see in him to have such a faith?
He never received that kind of gaze from the Duke.
However, Ian smiled and added a word.
“And also because I was a serf lesser than a commoner, Galon.”
Galon laughed unwittingly at the answer.
But it was that moment.
“Then why is it Galon and not me!”
Nathan suddenly cut in.
As Galon dragged him away, he kept crying why he was left out though he had been with him so far.
“Just ask for one more person! Let me join you!”
Ian flashed a bitter smile.
‘That’s because if I asked for two knights, I’d be asking for a fight.’
He couldn’t provoke the Duke any further.
In fact, it was still very depressing.
‘One misstep on my part, the Duke might kill me before I even go to the royal capital.’
No matter how much he needed him, Ian knew his life would end up in jeopardy if he provoked any further.
And another reason for it…
‘I still don’t know what that person is thinking of by pretending to be friends with me.’’
It was because of Nathan’s behavior, which was way too different from the past.
There was something dubious about him, but Ian needed to keep an eye on him if he was pretending to be friendly.
At last, when Nathan was about to throw a tantrum on Ian.
The servant pointed one room in the hallway to Ian.
“This is your room, Prince.”
Then he disappeared with a bow.
This was a place where Ian would hone himself in competing for the successor position in the future.
Ian was burning with determination.
‘Now I am a child whose existence the king is not aware of yet. In order to be recognized by the king, I must first master everything as a royal family.’
Ian asked the Duke to bow to him, but he only barely did that.
And now it’s his position.
‘From now on, don’t let your knees touch the floor, Ian.’
Of course, there was something more important than that.
‘First of all, surviving the first day is the priority. If I can’t hold out, I’ll die.’
In the past, Ian was really lucky to stay alive from Heinley’s harassment. However, there was no guarantee that this would be the case again.
‘I have to make sure before the incident happens.’
Ian pushed the door of the room he would be staying in henceforth with all his might.
It was then.
“What’s with this room?”
Galon and Nathan. Their expressions turned serious.