Aboard the carriage waiting outside the mansion, Wayne spoke to Zeno, who looked sad and in despair as they head toward the next saint lord’s mansion.
“Don’t worry about what he said… That is what I wanted to say but, that is King Guryuel words. It is not the will of the entire saint lords…”
Zeno barely responds, but still has no power…
“Chance… and Time… I guess I do have those before huh? Though we do have them but…”
After Zeno murmured those words, Wayne gave up any further interference. Wayne had a lot to think about right now.
Wayne could only pray that the next saint lord would bring a piece of good news for Zeno.
The duke of the kingdom of Vanhelio, a major power in the western part of the continent.
His age was still young in mid-twenties, and he had neat and attractive features, attracting many women… He was good at politics and also accomplished in both the literary and the military arts. Above all, he was well known as a patron of the artists, and his territory was the home of many artists from all over the continent.
Looking at that, he seems to be a perfect nobleman but– There were unsavory rumors that spread around about the otherwise a perfect nobleman.
“–… I’m honored to be able to meet you, prince Wayne. I’ve seen you at the previous meeting but, this was the first time we have the time for formal greetings…”
Steyr greeted Wayne with a gentle smile and a handshake.
“It is nice to meet you as well, Duke Rosso. Rumors that you’re the duke of art even has reached Natra.”
“Hahaha, if you say that, the crown prince heroic tale has also reached our country. Among the artisan that I’m sponsoring, the anecdote about your tale of causing Marden to withdraw with just a small number of soldiers had left me with a deep impression. Right now, they are currently drawing about that you know? When it is completed, I will make sure I sent you one.”
“That is… I’m very happy but also feeling a little bit embarrassed.”
“Fufufu, it is the fate of a hero to be loved by the common people in various ways…”
Both of them might be close in age. The conversation between them making it looked like they were old-time friends, and the talks also started smoothly.
“This is a good opportunity, Duke Rosso, I was wondering, if I had the chance, I would like to ask this question, about, why would you sponsor the artists so much?”
In this era, artisan and powerful people were inseparable. There was a shortage of food across the continent, and it was not uncommon for people to die from hunger. And the artisan who works in non-production work, they could not survive if they didn’t get rich by being close with rich people.
As for the people with power and money, they were always hungry for entertainment, and the works created by those artisans was something that could comfort their mind.
That was why, it was not unusual for the powerful and rich people to support their favorite artist’s life, but what Steyr did was on a different scale. In the city under his rule, most of the residents were engaged in some sort of artistic activity.
“Why is it?… If I have to answer it no matter what then, it would be I’m currently in search…”
“A deep emotion in which would make me an artist.”
(What the hell is that?)
Toward Wayne who seems unable to understand his words, Steyr continued in playful tone…
“When a person faces an event that shakes one’s heart, if there is a stage, the person would become a dancer, if there was a pen, the person would become a writer, musician if there was an instrument, a painter if there was a paintbrush. The source of art, in other words, those deep emotions—…”
“The words of a painter who took the world by storm 200 years ago, Rachel.”
“You know of it? That is exactly right.”
Steyr said happily.
“These Rachel words are said to speak of the artist’s roots, but I believe I found another fact from there…”
“One can make an artisan.”
Wayne thought the meaning of his words for a while and eventually convinced. If one would become an artisan when something moves their deep emotion, then a person could become an artist if one prepares the deep emotion artificially.
“As I realize that, I begin to wonder, what is the deep emotion I am looking for. And the conclusion I’ve drawn is that deep emotion consists of two elements.”
“Indeed. One was an achievement. I’ve given many challenges to the population in my territory. When they survived the task, it would create a sense of accomplishment in songs, pictures, pottery, and literature. And then I was wondering how much my heart would shake due to those works…”
Steyr looked euphoric, remembering those artworks…
“Then, as a result, I give them the reward they wanted. The golden cup, the scenery of the secret world that no one knows, a beautiful and gentle wife… And with those remunerations, it would make people strive for further challenge and give birth to another art…!”
“Ah—… I see. But then, what is the other one?”
Feeling that the conversation would be derailed, Wayne returns the conversation a bit forcefully.
But the next moment, Wayne regretted his decision.
As he said that, Steyr’s gaze moved eerily. Turning from his bright eyes to that of gaze without light in it.
“When you get something, and when you lose something. That is what moves people’s emotions the most.”
A terrible unpleasant question then arose inside Wayne’s mind.
“… Duke Rosso, I don’t believe it but, have you try to do it?”
Steyr said without hesitation.
“The memento that was more important than one’s life, the scenery of one’s home town, the wife and child waiting for the husband to return. I’ve trampled on it, burned it down, and torture them to death, in front of the artist.”
“Especially the painters whose families were killed were wonderful. What would they do if I gently give them a paintbrush and canvas, their curse, their anger, their helplessness in themself, the hatred… After tearing off one own scalp, they would use their blood and meat for the coloring, then after that, they died with a paintbrush in their throat. That was… Ah, that was really impressive art.”
Steyr Rosso took pleasure in killing innocent people.
Wayne had heard such a bloody Steyr rumor, but— It didn’t seem to be a mistake.
“I’ve always wanted to become an artisan since a long time ago… However, I’ve never felt deep emotion by the spectacle of the natural world. I only felt deep emotion from artifacts such as, architecture, paintings, and others…”
“… Because of that, comes the gathering of artisan…”
“Indeed. It was my purpose to make them compete, impress and create an art that would make me do artistic activity… How’s that? It was just a small thing, no?”
“I’m not sure about big and small but… I guess, it is unique?”
Choosing his best words and speaking, Steyr smiled and took Wayne’s hand.
“Wonderful… Many people whom I have a talk with about this had been showering me with repudiation, but as expected, the prince is different. As I’ve expected, you have the potential to become an artist.”
Was that a praise? Wayne endured the question he had almost asked…
“If you wish to become a saint lord, I will cooperate. The current member of saint lords are mostly people who have a poor understanding of the art, but surely, with you there, we should be able to change it. We could make this western continent full of arts!”
After shouting that, Steyr suddenly tune down.
“I’m very sorry, I’ve been a little bit too excited, I haven’t met people who could understand me for so long…”
“… No, don’t worry about it. I’m very pleased with the cooperation in the matter of saint lord election.”
“Prince Wayne must’ve plans to meet the others. It is a shame but, let us end it here for now. Please do contact me anytime if you need anything.”
“Thank you for your kindness, Duke Rosso. Also, thank you for your time today…”
Wayne and Steyr exchanged a firm handshake.