65 Skyhaven City - Emperor Valinor (1)

Pristine white tiles prevailed as the flooring of the enormous hall that served as the entryway to the Eridan Imperial Palace. Built based on what appeared to be Aregard's version of Greek architecture style, it commanded a sense of majesty and insignificance to all those who felt its effects. Grand candelabras hung from the ceiling, illuminating the hall in sync with the wall torches, giving off a feeling of imperiousness to its decor. Expertly crafted windows stretched from the floor to the ceiling, each bearing the imperial symbol in its centre, a greatsword emblazoned with a crest of the sun and moon on its blade.

Seran, who had seen such architecture in his previous life, such as the ancient Parthenon in Athens, Greece on a vacation, along with those he found on the internet, felt the natural aura it possessed as soon as he entered the hall. While he had already experienced it once before, he always appreciated the feeling of dignity that such style pervaded. "Your ancestor certainly knows how to design a palace, Andrew."

The prince, who was walking just a bit ahead of the demigod, smiled wryly, "Outside of a few additions by his word, most of the palace wasn't designed by him at all. We have the famous architect Alessandro to thank for the palace's creation. Almost the entirety of the Eridan Imperial Palace was designed by his hand alone, and, upon his passing at the age of one-hundred-thirty-five, no alterations have been made to it following, as deference to his legacy. Famous architects are incredibly rare, and those recognized universally as such are even more so. The Oracle at the time pronounced Alessandro as an equal to the designers of the Sisterhood of Fate's Monastery, all of which were legendary figures in their own right. A figure of him at his desk as he designed the palace was cast in stone and placed in the palace's library, the location most frequented by him during his time."

Johann sighed, "It's a shame that he never passed on his teachings. His only construction in his life was the palace, and it may never be replicated as well as the architect himself."

"Many great men are stubborn until the end and prefer to take their secrets to the grave. He may have tried to, but it is very difficult to pass on a lifetime's knowledge with only teachings." Seran clasped his hands behind his back, shaking his head slightly, "Enough about the past. We have an errand to run."

The quartet, Rexus included, strode through the hall and into the corridors, with the prince in the lead. The imperial descendant inferred that the prime minister was likely to be in his office, built on the western side of the palace. As they walked, Seran thoroughly took in the decor and architecture, dedicating it to memory. In the future, he hoped to speak with Alessandro's spirit and ask to acquire his architectural legacy to pass it on. Without the creator's will, he would not do such, as it would afront the man behind it.

A wizened old man, his age looking to have exceeded 500 years a long time ago, took an eagle's quill pen through numerous documents with the ease that comes from countless years in office. Fine metal wire glasses adorned his face as his eyes skimmed the paperwork faster than most could read regularly. Hearing a knock at the door, the prime minister, without looking up, spoke, "Enter." As the quartet entered the office, the prince customarily greeting him as his senior, the old man continued his work, "As you can see, I am quite busy. Unless it is important, please do not waste my time. Some of these documents need to be cleared today, which is quite a tiring matter."

Having experienced the frank personality of the prime minister when he was working many times before, the young prince just smiled, "Sir Johann has come with me to visit you in accordance with your message earlier today."

"Oh? It hasn't been more than an hour since I sent that letter. What, pray tell, is the meaning for such a quick response?" Other than the quirk of an eyebrow, the old official did not react much more.

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The Juneau Clan descendant stepped forward respectfully, bowing to the person of higher stature, "Prime Minister Wyndham, I came immediately after receiving your message due to the subject of it having arrived much earlier today."

This caught the old man's attention, his bespectacled eyes peering over the paperwork at the guild master, "Truly? And where is... I see." As he began to ask where the aforementioned subject was, Wyndham spotted the demigod that stood beside the prince. Setting his quill aside and sitting up in his chair, lacing his fingers atop the desk, the old official sagely viewed the white-haired lad. "His Imperial Majesty, the Founding Emperor had said you'd arrive by tomorrow, but I doubt even he was clear on the depths of your abilities."

"One can never truly understand another being, wouldn't you agree?" The demigod smiled, the depiction of peaceful but lively.

The response of the boy caused the uncrackable visage of the old prime minister to grin just a little, something which surprised the other three witnesses, as it was known that Wyndham did not smile while on duty. "Wise words indeed. At this point, these documents can wait a little longer." Grunting with mild effort, the old man stood from his desk, cane in hand, and strode to greet the demigod, his aged yet strong hand stretched out to him, "A pleasure to meet you, Sir Greenwood. I am Wyndham, the 4th Prime Minister of the Eridan Empire."

Giving the prime minister his hand in return, Seran responded in kind, "The pleasure is all mine, Sir Wyndham. My apologies about distracting you from your duties."

"Nonsense, this is also a part of my duties. Foreign delegates to the imperial palace should be greeted in kind. If not for my inability to leave the palace due to innumerable documents to process, I would have come to greet you in person."

"Not a problem at all. If anything, I would worry that you would hurt yourself with your advanced age."

The prime minister couldn't refrain from breaking into a short fit of laughter, a stunning sight to three viewers on the side. "Other than His Majesty, Emperor Valinor, my children and grandchildren, and a few of the imperial family, you're the first to tell me that. I'm not going to keel over that quickly. I may not look it, but I retain a quarter of my Elven heritage. I might not live as long as my ancestors, but I will persist until the very end."

"Well said," chuckled the young demigod, who found this old man a delight from the beginning.

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