59 Skyhaven City: Prince Andrew (1)

Well rested, Seran walked into the Adventurers Guild the next morning, dressed in very casual clothes: just a t-shirt, a pair of shorts and slip-on shoes, all of which had been bought back at Greenwood City. Yawning, he walked past the line of people and went to the end of the receptionist desk to the one girl he'd talked to yesterday, "Sorry to interrupt, but do you mind if I head on up to Johann's office?"

While the adventurer she was helping was less than pleased, she briefly said, "Of course, go right ahead. He's expecting you, after all." She smiled before returning to her work.

"Thank you very much," Seran replied as he walked behind the desk and into the teleporter.

As he left, the adventurer at the desk leaned in to ask, "Who is that kid? I thought the guildmaster rarely let anyone into his office."

"He doesn't, you're correct. However, Seran is an exception." She waved off the question before simply saying, "Just remember that he's one of the 3 most important people on the continent, and you'll be fine."

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"Really? The three most important? I have trouble believing that..." The adventurer certainly sounded doubtful.

"If the World's Strongest Demigod isn't that important, then nobody is."

"Wait, that's him? Seran Greenwood, the Greenwood Demigod King?"

"I said his name earlier, you know. Yes, that's him. He's going up there to meet with one of the princes, Prince Andrew. As for what about, I don't know."

The adventurer hissed as he inhaled, "... He looks even younger than the posters said..."

"He's only 10, of course he's young. Now then, let's finish up here." The receptionist scrapped that topic and moved back to helping the man, who quickly remembered the reason he was here in the first place.

--

When Seran arrived in Johann's office, the first thing he did was nonchalantly wave his hand and say, "Morning, Johann." He then moved to take a seat, only to discover the seats were occupied.

In one chair was a teenage boy, not much older than 13, with jet-black hair and blue eyes, and a face that was bordering on mature, but still had some of the baby-face appeal to it. He had a fair complexion, bordering on 'spoiled white kid' pale. The teen wore clothes made of silk, very noble robes of purple and blue, and he gave off a feeling of both nobility and youth, both of which matched his status.

The second chair was occupied by a much older man with brown hair, wearing the armor of an Imperial Knight, silver plate metal emblazoned with purple stars. Resting beside the chair was a longsword with a dragon-head pommel with a small black orb in its jaws. Based on William's information, the sword was well-made, most likely by a Master Blacksmith, and was possibly enchanted by a Master Enchanter as well. Such a sword, even at the most mediocre of its kind, would still sell for 5cg at a minimum. That still didn't include his armor, which was certainly worth 10cg or more. Based off a well-placed guess, this man was the teen's guard, and his appearance certainly made it a good choice.

Johann had on much better robes compared to yesterday's old grey ones, and he had taken time to make himself look decent as well. Seeing Seran's entrance, and his ever-casual attitude, he rolled his eyes and chuckled, "Good morning to you too, Seran. May I introduce young Prince Andrew," he gestured first to the teenager, "and his loyal guard, the Imperial Knight Rexus."

Seran politely bowed as fitting for a noble, "Greetings, Your Highness, and Sir Rexus. I am Seran Greenwood, a pleasure to make your acquaintance."

While Rexus was impressed with the young demigod's impressive manners, he instinctively huffed, "You do not kneel to a member of the imperial family?"

Seran did not look up, but he said gravely, "Would someone of my status need to kneel to anyone but a god?" He began to radiate his natural aura, the aura of a powerful demigod. In the current empire, only a handful of people had experienced a similar aura, and it was from the Founding Emperor himself. While he may not be an actual demigod, a Blessed One, like Barnett, with sufficient power was close enough to being one that even some real demigods would lose to him. So, it wouldn't be wrong to call Barnett a pseudo-demigod.

The young prince had once felt his ancestor's aura, weakened and from a distance, but he knew it; it had been ingrained in his memory ever since. Such a familiar feeling of dominance and overwhelming power, along with an inherent aura of divinity, was impossible to replicate, so he knew the white-haired boy wasn't a fake demigod. Prince Andrew gave Rexus a look, "Enough, Rexus. He doesn't need to kneel to me. In all actuality, only the gods could make him kneel, and even then, I'm unsure." After the knight's glare lessened and he looked away, the prince continued, "My apologies for my guard's attitude now, the Imperial Knights are very serious about their duties. I hope you can understand."

Retracting his aura, the young demigod smiled, "No worries, I understand. Having such loyal subordinates is Your Highness's good fortune." He stood up straight again, looking nothing like a powerful demigod now.

"Thank you, it means a lot to me. Loyalty is hard to come by." The young prince's smile widened, "As Sir Johann has said, I am the 13th Prince, Andrew Eridan. Getting to meet a real demigod is already more than I could have asked for, let alone the officially titled 'strongest in the world'."

"Being strong is not the most important thing in the world, Your Highness. What matters is how you use your strength. A true leader knows how to use his strength, and when it's best to use and not use it. Otherwise, you are likely to make a mistake that could cost you everything." Seran shrugged with a grin, "Out of curiosity, what is your current standing among the princes? In terms of 'in line for the throne'."

"I'll be honest, out of the 20 princes, I am the 20th. That's only of the current Emperor's line. Counting my uncle's as well, then I am completely in last place out of the 37 of us. Even my royal father has given up on my growth, and all I am now is an extra. Why do you ask?" The prince was less than pleased with his status among his relatives, but he wasn't ashamed to admit it. If anything, his acceptance of it was already brilliant that he was capable of understanding his chances.

Seran's grin became a giggle as he said, "The lowest overall? That doesn't make sense. With your talent, you should be able to become top 5 easily. I want to know how your progress has stagnated so badly, even with talent as great as yours." His eyes had a look that Johann was familiar with by now: pure interest and curiosity. When he had that look, like so many others, he would go all-in on investigating whatever had intrigued him. The old man sighed, knowing that Seran was likely going to do something crazy again.

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