Volume 7 Chapter 3 Part 6

For all I know, that might have been the case, but a the same time, I might be completely wrong with that speculation of mine.

Right now, the Earl of Selmar was waiting for what the Duke’s response to his words was going to be.

「I-I guess you do have a point there. 」

「Right? So with that being said, I think it would be perfectly reasonable of you to show me that your intentions are sincere and that you’re not trying to fool me. Just for a little bit.」

「And what exactly would you have me do in order to prove my sincerity?」

Uhm, Duke? I think the answer to that question is actually quite simple. If you really want to show to the Earl of Selmar that your intentions are sincere, there is no simpler way to do it than to prostrate yourself before him somewhere on the ground here. In Japan, this is a method that usually yields the best results…. But then again, I guess a noble like the Duke is not going to prostrate himself and grovel on the ground before just about anyone since his pride will probably not allow him to do it.

But if he cannot show his sincerity in such a way, then how can he do it, exactly? Ugh, why do things always have to be so needlessly difficult whenever the nobles are involved?!

「You don’t have to prove anything, but it would be I lie if I told you that there is still not a little bit of doubt in my mind. That being said, I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt on this one.」

「In that case, does that mean…?」

「Yes, exactly.」

A satisfied voice of the Earl of Selmar echoed throughout the throne room.

It was most likely thanks to the Duke’s attitude, but it looks like the Earl of Selmar is confident that I am an Adventurer.

Most likely, the Earl of Selmar is confident that I am an Adventurer because of the Duke’s attitude. The question now is: does he intended to press this matter on for some sort of concession between him and the Duke?

The Duke made me testify that Heinz had the Ring of Determination, and he Earl of Selmar pointed out that I was an Adventurer and I shouldn’t have been brought along to the throne room. Are both of them going to pull out and declare a draw, or is there perhaps something that I can do here to improve the Duke’s situation?

I mean, I don’t really care about their petty squabble or whether or not both of them have their own reasons for not backing down, but at this rate, their pointless bickering is only going to cause trouble for Cassia, and seeing her bothered after she went through such great lengths to organize this entire meeting in the first place is the last thing that I want to witness.

Therefore, I raised my head and spoke out.

「All right, I understand. I’ll have my Intelligence Card checked if it will help clear your doubts, your lordship.」

With that said, I slowly walked to the Knight who was standing at the back of the throne room.

「You don’t have to do as he says, Lord Michio! I won’t allow you to be insulted like that!」

「It’s okay, I don’t mind.」

「You might be fine with it, but I’m certainly not! Because forcing you to do that is not only going to be an insult towards you, but also towards the Adventurer’s who came here with us and towards Cassia who only invited you here with the best of intentions in her mind as well!」

Even though it is not possible for the Duke to know that I am actually not an Adventurer and that’s why I think nothing of it, he was clearly enraged by this whole situation, and that is the first time that I have ever seen him act in such a way before. However, that would have to mean that the Duke’s speech that he delivered to the Earl of Selmar was a bluff.

With how the situation has escalated, I won’t be troubled even if I’m going to have my Intelligence Card checked by the Earl of Selmar, but it is definitely going to place the Earl in the troubled position. Well, since he has already taken the bait, so all that is left for us to do is to make sure that he won’t let go of it so that we could pull him out of the water together with the line and the float, thus causing him to drop out of this absurd little game that he and the Duke have been playing with one another ever since we came to the throne room.

I wonder what is he going to do now? Is he going to prove that he’s as much of a political personality accustomed to negotiations as the Duke and is going to proceed with the checking of my Intelligence Card, or is he going to try and weasel his way out of the proceedings now that I have expressed the desire to have my Intelligence Card checked myself.

「No, there’s no need to go that far. The Duke and Cassia need to bow to me and apologize. That is all that I’m asking for.」

「I don’t want to offend your Lordship with my words, but with all due respect, I won’t allow the Duke and Lady Cassia to bow their heads because of me. I am the suspicious one here, so please, go on ahead and check my Intelligence Card.」

My bold declaration cause the Earl of Selmar to be stunned speechless for a brief moment, and I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I certainly hope that it’s not going to lead to anything bad happening, because I don’t want to be remembered as someone who caused a war between the two neighboring territories because he couldn’t keep his big mouth shut.

「Lord Michio, nobody here wishes for you to be subjecting yourself to such discrimination. Unless that was your intention here all along, Earl of Selmar?」

「N-No, but…..」

The Duke and the Earl were apparently having a battle of bluffs with one another in order to see who’s going to have a more advantageous position during this meeting, but unfortunately for them, I am not bluffing.

I simply extend my left arm to the Knight in front of me.

「Like I said just now: I cannot have the Duke and Cassia bow their heads for me. Now please, go ahead and check it.」

Cassia stares at me with the eyes filled with anxiety, and the Duke watches me in silence while maintaining a poker face.

「… Do it.」

Did the Earl of Selmar see through Cassia’s and the Duke’s bluff from the change in their expressions? Did they lose the chance to go on the offensive? Or does that mean that the Earl lost his ability to pull back when he still had the chance?

Whatever the case here might be, the Earl gave the order for his Knight to proceed with the checking of my Intelligence Card while the Duke looked up to the heavens above. If he thought that this little game between him and the Earl was a lost cause, he would have definitely done something more besides that, like holding his head in his hands, but that reaction of his showed me that he still must have some hope for a positive outcome. Whether this little gamble of his is going to be of advantage to him or something that’s going to be his undoing, I guess we are about to find out.

The Knight then proceeds to read my Intelligence Card.

「Michio Kaga, a Freeman. He is an Explorer.」

The Knight announces the result of the check loudly so that everyone gathered here could hear him clearly.

Of course it’s going to say that I’m an Explorer. There is no way it will show me as an Adventurer, because I am not an Adventurer.

The Duke and Cassia have turned around towards me with surprised looks on their faces, and the Earl of Selmar was literally frozen solid.

「I will inquire with you further regarding this matter some other day. But for today, allow us to excuse ourselves.」

The Duke turns on his heel and goes toward the exit in large, springy steps, and Cassia chases right after him.

The Knight who read my Intelligence Card, hurriedly runs to open the door for them, and then the Duke’s two Knights who were waiting outside of the throne room immediately rushed to his and Cassia’s side to escort them back.

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