Published at 30th of November 2020 09:57:48 AM
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!”
“Yes . ”
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?”
“Ah . ”
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 guess . ”
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?”
“Yeah, probably . ”
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 . ”
“Hah . ”
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 see . ”
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 .
“Brother . ”
“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” .
“… . . I’m impressed”
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 . ”
“Yeah . ”
I nodded .
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 . ”
“I see . ”
“It’s amazing, Your Highness . …… I’ll follow you forever!”
“Ah . ”
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 .