The truth about them so-called Jesters were separated by a film of messy rumours. Since the true origin of this group had relation to the king, in the pretext that it would arouse fear in the people, the entire incident had been kept a secret from being publicly declared. This was done together with the aid of his close aides or those who were involved in it 11 years ago. They were the only few that knew the truth about it.
Once, the skyship the king was on board almost sunk due to these unusual mages. That day he would not forget. Not because he tasted a close death experience, but that his wife's life had been toyed with.
It was a group of 5 mages who call themselves the Jesters. There were casualties, but fortunately, the ship managed to land safely in Trinity Kingdom. It happened during the ruling Sartus' father's era, back when he had yet to ascend the throne.
Prince Herlock looked at the king in absolutely shocked despite his tone.
Only Rozel and Haital had been frequenting contacts with each other about the matter as a whole. Trinity Kingdom had not really been involved—oddly enough. An unorthodox mage was a term coined by Rozel Kingdom after discussing the matter with Trinity Kingdom. Trinity Kingdom had only to dictated the Jesters on the watchlist without carrying out a thorough investigation.
King Sartus had heard before; Rozel kingdom having a secret bodyguard, a mage. The news the kingdom received a few years back that referred this bodyguard as the one who destroyed a sub-section of Rozel Kingdom all by himself. Then when he was known, he became Rozel's 'special forces'.
"By Jesters, are you referring to what we call unorthodox mages? I believe the term Jester only refers to their code name."
"Code name? So could that mage be related?" The king's eyes blazed.
"That... I have no idea," The prince claimed. He knew what the king was suggesting. His past, the near loss of his significant other. Prince Herlock wanted to bring up the possibility that Louise may know about it, but he bit his tongue because to say it may cause unnecessary trouble. "In fact, he turned himself in. Having no ill intentions towards the kingdom, contrary to what we thought at first. His main reason for taking action against an entire district was for the sake of Louise. Without us realizing, the princess managed to escape outside the castle again," Prince Herlock reminisced, "She was lucky to be brought back alive and well. We arranged a search party after she went missing, and for 2 days brought no results. That was when the ice calamity struck."
The king rolled his seat over and took a seat while listening.
"A giant ice formation appeared in the commoner's grid. A few hours after that, when my sister returned with 'him', everyone was shocked. Pressing her to confess what had happened, it was then we realized we made a fault to toss him into the dungeon."
"So the story goes deeper than I thought.."
"This part of the story wasn't known outside Rozel. If I'm not mistaken, Your Highness would be the first person besides the people in Rozel who have heard the true incidents of this aftermath."
"So because of him, Rozel was able to remove the crystal ice formation so quickly. No wonder, I had though Rozel had perfected an excavating tool that could remove the ice."
"Your highness, may I know what's troubling you," Herlock realized that the king had patiently listened to his story as if trying to find a hint.
"Young prince, your wisdom if you do. What would be the best course of action if not one, but three of these unorthodox mages were to appear at the same time."
"Three?!" hearing that, Prince Herlock voiced his shock. He closed his eyes to contemplate. "Have you asked about their reason?"
"By that I mean, why they came to Haital. What are their motives?"
"I see... I did not. They were sent to the dungeon similarly when discovered as the perpetrators of the destruction caused in the noble's sect," The king leaned against his chair, "From my assumptions, they could easily turn the prison into dust," pausing a moment, "Why didn't they?"
The king properly thought through the reasons for their actions after Prince Herlock reminded him about the destructive capabilities each individual possessed within them.
"I implore you to consult with them properly, as soon as possible," Prince Herlock warned. He had no clue how long the unorthodox mages the king mentioned had been staying in prison. But keeping them in for so long may breed negative implications.
"May I ask you for that mage's motive? The one who turned himself in and became a body guard," The king made a mental note and decided to accept Prince Herlock's suggestion. The earlier the better.
"I believe it is because the princess," the prince drawled in a mellow tone after thinking for a moment. "The mage insisted on becoming the princess' bodyguard."
"Could he.." the king purposely left it hanging
"I think he likes the princess, for all I know," the prince had a far-away looking his face, he curled a smile, "A weapon capable of destroying an entire kingdom being wielded by my little sister is quite hard to imagine."
Hearing Prince Herlock saying something so frank, the king made a hearty guffaw. "So he must be in this kingdom right at this very moment is he not?"
"Your right, he is."
"I would like to meet him if possible," the king got up from his seat that made a faint squeak. "If he doesn't mind," the king smiled. Sartus walked to the exit of the conference room.
From this, both of them knew in their hearts that, they're maybe more of these unorthodox mages around the world. Not just the four they knew about currently. Perhaps one day, they will reveal themselves in their light.
"Have you prepared it?" The king didn't walk out, Prince Herlock already stood up thinking that it was over. "Young prince, it isn't over. The main course has just begun."
Form behind the door, the king revealed in his hands a roll of think bundled papers. On his face a gluttonous smile.
"What kind of surprise could this be?" The prince could feel a radiance emanating from the king.
"Take a seat, the main event is this here," waving the bundle of paper in his hands, "The information about a new piece of land found."
"What?" First, the king talked about the three unorthodox mages, now this? What luck did he have to have both these events coincide during his visit? Moreover, this was the second pillar in Haital that had emerged from the abyss in only 10 years.
"Don't look so surprised. After all, the news about finding three Jester-related people should be more shocking shouldn't it?" The king held back his laughter. Of course, he knew how ridiculous the news was, "From a briefing, I was given before this, the land is under reclamation. We decided to develop this land. However, I was told a hostile pillar guardian was living on the archipelago."
"Should I query about the purpose of bringing this up?"
"Of course. What do you think about a new joint venture project? Both Rozel Kingdom and Haital Kingdom would develop the land together, as the bridge connecting both nations. Wouldn't it be a great opportunity?"
The prince fell deep in thought, for a moment he thought maybe he should just accept, but he should ask about the details first. This came as an unexpected deal, something he would need to consult his father, the current king of Rozel Kingdom with before accepting. "May I know the details?"
The king had started to scrutinize the information present in the documents presented. "The pillar has a low altitude of approximately 122 meters above the corrosion field, located close to the border between Rozel Kingdom and Haital. It has a diameter of about 40 kilometres, the size of 3/4 of the pillar Haital is built on, or 1/4 of Rozel kingdom," turning the pages, "It will be a connecting hub between the two nations to exchange resources and manpower, also serving as an intermission zone for adventurers. The accurate location is in between the west border of Rozel's domain and to the east border of Haital."
"The location looks to be quite favourable, but why not decide to turn it into a farm? Sorry, I spoke too soon. I just remembered Your Highness saying that the size of the pillar is 40 kilometers in diameter— I understand the decision."
King Sartus nodded at Prince Herlock's self-assessment, "Accepting this decision isn't something you can do alone, this I put into account. It will require the agreement from your father, the renowned king of Rozel Kingdom," finishing the last paragraph of the document, "Since your stay will be for another fortnight, please think about it. I will prepare the agreement and contracts required before you depart. The rest, I will depend on you."
"I believe wholeheartedly that this would be a wonderful opportunity if it was to succeed. I will do my best to mediate the matter between Your Highness and my father."
Researchers believed that new pillars came from the abyss. Pillars below the caustic barrier would gradually rise to the surface. Thus why the new pillar found was still at a lower altitude. Another reason why this theory gained acceptance was that the general elevation of all pillars increases every few years. The age of a pillar can be determined by its distance from the caustic barrier. High Peak Kingdom, for example, was built on one of the oldest pillar clusters found in Monarch Empire.
After this, the king will arrange a rough outline regarding resources and man-power distribution. Including the use of a double-council system to balance the power struggle between the nation if one were to occur.
"May I know the name of the founder?" bringing up a related question outside of the topic.
"I apologize for I did not take notice of his name, but his contribution has been properly recorded by the Ministry of Land Management. However, I know that the founder is from Croquel guild."
"I praise Your Highness for the handling of this," it sounded like flattery, but considering the bloodbath that went down the time someone found a new pillar a few years back, the king made good preparations and vastly improved on protecting the rights of the people.