Chapter 12. I Haven’t Grown That Much (5)
The evening meal was to be held in another building, and so Calian finished preparing for dinner early and climbed one of the two carriages in front of Chermil Palace. The other carriage had to belong to either Randall or Franz, who had not finished preparing yet. Another carriage seemed to have already left.
‘The grounds are so expansive on must travel to the buildings by carriage.’
This was all due to Sispanian. Calian shook his head as he remembered that Sispanian had said that she couldn’t live in a small place, and so Hatsua had built these massive grounds.
The carriage passed through a long path surrounding the Chermil Palace, as well as a fountain garden that formed the boundary between the living and the council spaces. Then after some distance, they came across Arpia Palace, which held the king’s study, and the Narsil Pavilion, a workplace for aristocrats who did work related for the royal family. Finally they stopped.
The Ceignes Pavilion was used for small events with nobles, where the setting sun shone on a white marble building with gilded columns, creating a stunning view.
“Your Highness, we have arrived.”
Yan procured a short staircase at the door of the carriage and guided Calian so he avoided stepping onto the hem of his clothes. A servant then led them to where the gathering would take place.
Dinner was served in a garden behind the Ceignes Pavilion, lit by magic lamps providing a soft and atmosphere glow.
Calian walked across the garden and sat in a chair, waiting patiently. Randall had already been present before Calian’s arrival, and Franz seated himself soon afterwards. The usual silence among the princes descended.
Suddenly, a strong fragrance drifted into the air.
It was the scent of Ranieri flowers, a flower most valuable as it only bloomed once a year. Although they were in the open air, the perfume still stung the senses. Calian had never smelled Ranieri flowers nor meet its current wearer before, but he knew immediately who had arrived.
Calian turned his head to see Queen Silica and Lennon Brissen walking alongside her. Silica’s gaze also turned to Calian. Then, as if on cue, they turned away from each other at the same time. Randall watched the scene for a moment and shifted his eyes away.
Silica took her seat next to Franz as if nothing had happened. Despite the arrival of his mother and uncle, Franz sat there without giving his formal greetings.
Silica frowned delicately but held her tongue as Calian and Randall were there.
“It has been a while since I’ve seen you three royal princes,” Lennon greeted to the young men. His eyes fell on Calian’s face, and his expression changed to surprise. The boy seemed changed somehow. Lennon was about to say something to Calian, when Silica’s hand made a swift motion.
Her purple silk fan snapped open.
Lenon sensed Silica’s discomfort and shut his mouth awkwardly.
Dinner began with an appetizer. There was the occasional conversation between Lennon and Silica throughout the meal, before Silica shifted her gaze to Calian.
”You’ve grown up.”
Calian took immediate notice of the question. She clearly was not referring to his height. A moment passed before he responded.
”I haven’t grown that much.” Then he added with a relaxed smile, “But I will grow more in the future.”
Silica’s eyes hardened. That wasn’t a face a fourteen-year old boy could make. Calian had never smile that way in the past, and something about it made her uncomfortable.
Lennon, oblivious to their prickly exchange, interjected between the two.
“That’s right, My Prince. There’s still some growing you need to do!”
Lennon shut his mouth once again.
‘Interesting. Just as rumored.’
There were many necessary skills needed to run as an elite. Among them, good judgment, and at the very least, some basic sense. Lennon clearly seemed to be lacking in both aspects.
‘He seems to have a hard time at the top.’
Silica glared icily at Lennon.
“The chef has put much effort into preparing this veal steak. Please it enjoy it, Elder Brother.”
It was a blatant way of saying ‘shut up and eat.’
It was unclear whether Lennon understood her implied words, or was scared by the fire her eyes. Fortunately, he seemed to have understood Silica’s words this time and quickly stuffed his mouth with steak. Franz, who was watching from the side, laughed openly.
Silica’s eyes turned to the sound of her son’s laugh. She was finished with her conversation with Calian anyway, so she spoke to Franz.
”I heard that your horse doesn’t follow you.”
Calian saw Randall glance at him. So were they really talking about Raven, or perhaps Calian? Calian ignored Randall’s gaze.
‘But she’s not the kind of person to care if a horse has a violent temper.’
So they were likely speaking about Calian, not Raven. That would mean the change in attitude they were talking about was Calian to Franz.
“You should have informed me in advance.”
Franz shook his head. His eyes mirrored Silica’s pale green eyes, the same as his own.
”What?” he said, his voice tight. He didn’t want to broach the subject.
Calian should have lived quietly, and like his mother disappear like a speck of dust before he could become a bothersome thorn in Silica’s throat. Even Franz understood what this meant.
“I’m sure you were already told.”
Only Franz’s servants knew that his every move was watched and reported to Silica. Therefore, what else was she talking about except Calian?
Of course, Silica knew that Calian had changed. Rumors had begun to spread throughout the royal palace after he cut his hair, and even more so after the incidents at the dining hall and the horseback riding class.
At Franz’s reaction, Silica spoke in a tone of disappointment. “It’s completely out of your hands. You didn’t tell me.”
Those red eyes contained no more fear at Silica’s presence. It was not just Calian’s appearance that had changed, however, and Franz should have mentioned it himself.
”So what are you going to do?” Franz said.
“I’ve already done it.”
Franz’s mouth held a mocking smile. “Then I’m sure I must have already told you.”
Franz leaned back into his chair as if he didn’t want to talk anymore. Silica smiled at the sight of her son.
“It seems like I don’t remember,” she said.
Her smile changed subtly. It was a childlike smile with a perfect resemblance to Franz just before he threw the knife at Yan.
“Franz. You’ve always been like that. But don’t worry too much. You won’t miss anything and you won’t get anything back.”
Calian took a sip of water and continued his meal. Silica continued.
”It shouldn’t be long.”
Franz turned his head and closed his eyes carelessly. Calian shifted his gaze to the knife, his expression turning cold.
To bring up such a subject in front of him! It must be amusing.