Chapter 119. Find (3)
Calian’s maid, Marilyn, opened the door and said,
It was Alan, who stepped inside Calian’s empty room. As soon as he was inside, Marilyn silently closed the door behind him.
Alan, walked to the safe next to the bedroom, and with practised ease, opened the door. He noted that due to the business regarding Lennon, the safe was emptier than before.
He placed some cheques and documents inside the safe – it was part of the profits from the former Brissen Merchantry – now of course, part of the Pollun Merchantry.
Although Melfir Pollun’s name had been used to purchase the merchantry, the actual funds for it had come from this safe – therefore, Melfir, who was reluctant to receive things without paying the appropriate price from them, decided to send a portion of the revenue from the merchantry to Calian of his own will.
Since he was also someone who understood the art of the trade, Alan felt that Calian wouldn’t refuse Melfir’s idea and so had come to deliver the the money to the prince’s safe himself.
“Our prince never seems to be short of money.” he murmured to himself.
Alan smirked, thinking back to how surprised he had been when he had looked into this safe for the first time.
It wasn’t the kind of surprise that could be compared to how he had felt seeing the bathtub made of onyx stone.
Having concluded his business with Calian’s safe, Alan came out of his room and and headed to the stairs – it was just as Marilyn had finished locking up the room behind him that Alan bumped into someone walking up the stairs at the same time.
At the very same moment as Calian spoke the words back at Reddington Castle, Alan bit his tongue on a similar sentiment,
‘Can there be such coincidences?’
Light green hair could be seen emerging from the stair railings followed by teal eyes. It was Franz.
Franz, who had been climbing the stairs, paused when he noticed someone stood at the top of the stairs, following the legs up, his gaze landed on Alan.
Although the other person was the second prince, he wasn’t exactly someone Alan found difficult to deal with, so he smiled and greeted him leisurely.
“It has been some time, your highness, Prince Franz.”
Franz did not respond, staring straight up at Alan without a shift in expression – despite only a few seconds passing, it was quite a long time to be staring at each other silently.
Even though Franz was a prince, the person stood before him Alan Manasil. He was someone that even the Marquis of Brissen – no even, the King could not treat carelessly. So just as the attendant that had been following Franz began getting anxious that Franz wasn’t greeting Alan –
“Mage. Did he change because he met you? Or did you meet you because he changed?”
Franz finally opened his mouth.
But what had come out was not a polite greeting.
Before Calian had left for Roselita, he had mentioned to Alan that Franz was suspicious of his identity. Thus, Alan immediately understood that Franz’s question was related to Calian, however whether he was being vague on purpose because he was conscious of the ears around them or whether this was simply the way he normally spoke – he was cryptic enough, that Alan could smile and ask him,
“Change? I wonder what you mean by that?”
Looking at Alan, who seemed determined to act ignorant, Franz said,
“It seems my dear little brother has changed a lot. Since I haven’t been able to hear about how this change came about, I wondered if you might know,”
If he had really intended to answer, Alan would have said ‘Callian changed and so was able to meet me’ – however Alan had no intention of making things so straightforward for the little prince. Instead, he smiled gently,
“Are you thinking too much because you stepped away from alcohol, or perhaps did you step away from alcohol because you had so many thoughts, your highness?”
For the second prince of the kingdom, the only people who had even commented on his drinking habits were Rumein and Silica – and only once, Randell.
That was just was rude Alan was, to say something like that.
Of course, if it had been Rumein, he would have simply sighed and accepted Alan’s comments as part of his somewhat aggravating personality but Alan’s attendant stared at Rumein in warning.
However Alan’s gaze did not move from where it was fixed on Franz.
Franz, who understood Alan’s gaze, raised a corner of his lip in a smirk that didn’t reach his eyes and said,
“…So there is another person here who is disappointed.”
The only other person who would be disappointed that Franz had quit drinking and acting like a scoundrel was Randell, who Alan understood that Randell too must have made a comment about Franz’s drinking habits at some point.
And so he gave an answer to Franz’s first question.
“Everyone changes eventually, your highness.”
Franz gazed up at Alan in silence again. There was still doubt in his eyes.
“Whether the changes is to stop drinking alcohol, or to stop fearing the elder’s brother’s madness – is there a difference?”
Another long moment of silence passed between them due to Alan’s unexpected vitriol
“Ha.” Franz let out a false laugh.
Alan continued to look down at Franz from where he stood, with his eyes narrowed and sharpness in his gaze.
“Since anyone can change – that is all there is to it.”
With those words, Alan bent his neck towards Franz in what just about passed as a bow and continued on his way down the stairs.
Instead of getting angry, Franz stared after Alan, and continued to stand there for a long time after the clicking of sound of Alan’s shoes as he walked away had faded.
And he reflected on Alan’s vicious words once again,
“Madness you say…”
For a long time, Franz did not move.