Chapter 12 – A Fool’s Errand
The lecturer Ardelheide was almost frightened by the irony of the words, but she mustered up all her pride to rally back.
“T-that’s enough for now! The next subject is geography!”
Her shoulders were quivering, but her eyes were filled with renewed determination as if she wanted revenge for the shame she had experienced beforehand.
“As king, it is only natural that you should know every inch of the land you rule! Especially in a political discussion concerning a particular region! It would be a king’s huge shame if the subjects went into a heated political battle over a region, and then you say, “where is that region you are even talking about” as if you have no idea what’s going on!”
From here, Schild suddenly stood up and grabbed the pen on his desk.
Then, he went over to the side, in front of the large vacant wall, and suddenly started drawing graffiti.
“Your Highness, with all due respect, stop such uncouth behavior! Especially in the middle of a lesson where the future of the-“
“You want me to show geography, right? I will show my answer through this, so be silent for a moment and let me finish. Or are you telling me that Salena University’s way of teaching doesn’t include entertaining feedback from their students, just a one-sided lecture?”
“V-very well, Your Highness. But be forewarned that I will be strict in grading you.”
And so, Schild went on with his “graffiti” while also withstanding Ardelheide’s glare.
Serenea and Greidia were also perplexed by this, but soon, their perplexed faces were replaced by surprise and amazement when they saw the full extent of Schild’s work.
It was a detailed map of the country. So detailed that even Ardelheide, who was all glares at him, couldn’t help but widen her eyes.
After all, it wasn’t just a detailed map. The names of the roads connecting to various regions, towns, and villages scattered throughout the country were written down on an accurate scale that they would never believe was freehandedly drawn by a single man.
“Eeeeeeeh? This is so detailed! And he did it without even looking at anything for reference!”
“Don’t underestimate a traveler. I’ve been to most of the places marked on this map, so I assure you its accuracy. That also goes for their distances to each other, as I remember not only with my eyes but also with the soles of my feet. Hell, I can even travel to these places blindfolded, as there were times that I walked in really bad weather with poor visibility.”
“But wait! I see minor discrepancies with the map currently used at the university……!!”
“Let me see……are they serious? How many decades old is that edition? This town has been attacked by monsters and moved, and this mountain road was made obsolete by a new bridge. Ah, by the way, isn’t there a story about this great nobleman’s downfall in this area?” If yo u ar e abl e to r ea d th is mess a ge, yo u are rea di ng f rom an una ut horized agg r ega te si te. Rea d at my Wor dPres s at sta bbin g wi th a syrin ge. h ome. bl og to su pp ort me an d m y tran slati ons.
“What? Oh, that, that……!”
“What, you don’t know? If this is what you are teaching in your current curriculum, then I guess Salena University is only worth this much.”
This time, it was Schild’s turn to have a blatant disappointment in his tone of voice. A tone that is sure to wound the lecturer Ardelheide’s pride.
“Uhm, I have only thought about this lightly, but……”
This time, it was Sister Greidia who spoke.
“I know that it’s too early to say this, but……Mas-err, Your Highness Schild, aren’t you already too smart to even need a tutor?”
“I just know a lot of things. That does not necessarily mean that I’m smart.”
For a moment, Schild sounded like he was only being modest, but there was a hint of something else in his tone.
“Knowledge and wisdom are two different things, and each must be cultivated. Surprisingly, few people know this. Those who have knowledge but not wisdom will only be a hindrance on the battlefield……Now then.”
Schild turned around. Toward his lecturer Ardelheide, who was now frozen on the spot.
“Thank you for your help today. I have learned a lot from your class.”
At first, Ardelheide thought it was a cheap sarcasm, so she prepared to rebuke, but Schild’s next words to her made her unable to say anything.
“I think I know now what the people who sent you here are up to.”
“They wanted me to think I’m just a mere idiot, a mere plebeian in the streets who just got lucky. To make me lose confidence in myself.”
“Wh-what do you mean? I don’t understand.”
“You don’t understand? Then let me lecture it for you. Your plan is to make me “realize” how a buffoon I am by making me sit side by side with a well-educated person. Then, after dealing me a blow to my confidence because of your harsh teachings, those nobles behind you will come up and support me like they’re some kind of Samaritan they are, That way, I will earn them a favor, which in turn they could use to demand a high position when I become king.”
“Y-your Highness, that is just preposterous thinking……”
“Making me realize I’m a complete buffoon by making me sit side by side with a well-educated person. Then forcing me to answer questions from a field of knowledge I may have never been exposed to further emphasize my mediocrity and make me look down on myself. Lastly, going even further to call me a monkey just from hearing my background, just to crash my remaining pride. I can go on in more detail if you want?”
“Then, after you are finished playing the role of the “bad guy”, your bosses will swoop into the picture to cheer up the would-now-be-unconfident me so that they could play the “good guys” of the story.”
“I’m not done yet. After the “heroic rescue”, they will play the role of a “good advisor” until they gain my trust while also nurturing me into a spineless puppet behind the scenes until they are sure I could not do anything without them. So that after I become king, I would then place them in important positions close to me, like the prime minister’s position, for example, to easily seek their “help”. Not knowing that this overdependency would be the start of my doomsday being taken full advantage of by them later on.”
In one go, Schild has brought all the evil nobles’ plans to the light.
It was another perfect score that even a student from the most prestigious university could not come up of a comeback.
“You are not sent here to make me smart. But to make me a fool of myself.”
“No, you’re wrong! I-“
“I’m sorry to make you return with no results after coming all this way. That said, leaving you as it is would leave a bad taste to us, as it would make us look ungrateful. So as a thank you for your efforts, I will be behaving as you wish here.”
“Oh my, what a fool I am! Ms. Ardelheide’s classes are too lofty for a fool like me to follow!”
After saying those lines, Schild started to make exaggerated gestures as if he was performing on a theatre. Th is c hapt er tra ns lati n is ma de pos sib le by stab b ing wit h a sy ri nge tran slatio ns. ch eck on ly u p-to -da te trans lat ons on my Wor dpre ss s ite.
“Ms. Ardelheide has made me realize I am just a bufoon! An idiot that has been too arrogant of myself and should have no rights to be in the throne! I have lost confidence! Totally! and because of that…..I will now be giving the rights to the throne back to Cymbium.”
At the exact moment Schild said that last line, his tone abruptly made a big shift, from a theatrical one to a cold-blooded one that is enough to make an ordinary person shiver up to his spine.
“Tell this to your employer. Because of what you’ve done, I no longer have any interest in becoming king. And that Cymbium will now become the next ruler of this country instead of me……Make sure you tell that and only that, or else you’ll find your head on the guillotine’s basket for insulting and comparing to a monkey a legitimate member of the royal family.”
After receiving that threatening speech from Schild, Ardelheide went and ran out of the room and reported to her employers about what happened.
Of course, she reported only the ones that were permitted by Schild to report, to save her own neck.
“What have you done, Ms. Ardelheide?”
Naturally, a shout went up. It came from one of the employers who hired her, and she could see it in his tone that he was nothing but enraged.
It wasn’t only him. it also applied to several people that surrounded him.
They were all aristocrats trying to take advantage of Schild to gain a higher position of power.
Now, they are all staring at her, demanding an explanation of what she’s done.
“All we wanted from you is to teach Prince Schild his place so that we can properly take the reigns of power! And yet……!”
“You’re telling us he has lost all his confidence and has totally given up on being a king just like that!? Are you really serious!?”
“What kind of incompetent bachelorette are you! And to think you’re from the Salena University, no less!?”
A storm of hypocritical words and language of abuse flew off one after another towards Ardelheide, who only did her job.
To rub more salt to the wound, what she received was insults much harsher and more painful than the one she had used on Schild.
“People, people! Now is not the time to complain about such things, as we have a bigger problem to handle – this matter has already been brought to the First Princess Cymbium! And they are now demanding an explanation from the one who brought the undesirables to Prince Schild!”
It was only then when the report of this newcomer was finished that the lambasting of Ardelhiede ended, and the pointing fingers game began.
“You were the one who recommended this idiotic bachelor, weren’t you, Viscount Akhlaki? So, take responsibility and get an audience with Princess Cymbium alone!”
“Why am I on my own now!? Also, Marquis Sambani, weren’t you the one who has taken charge of it? At the very least, you have to come with me! Or rather, all of us should come even!”
“Why should we go with you? Wouldn’t that also spread the bad impression to us?”
“I take no part in this! In the first place, I was originally opposed to this kind of attempt!”
And so, just like that, the greedy nobles each participated in a verbal battle of trying their best to save their hides.
And in the middle of it was Ardelheide, who had no choice but to watch, while also keeping silent about the fact that the man they are trying to outwit has already outwitted them.