Chapter 134. Long Time (8)
Silica had devised this scheme to trap Romain.
She had intended to object if Romain announced that he would appoint Callian as the Crown Prince, accusing him of being biased. If he declined to do so, she had planned to ask for a guarantee. If Romain delayed his answer, she had meant to question him about the motive behind relocating the Knights of Caera.
But ironically, Romain had put Silica on the spot by simply declaring that he would make Romain the Crown Prince.
“Please leave if you have nothing else to say. Before I make any final decisions.”
With that, Romain signaled to the servants near the door, and they opened it. Silica had no reason to linger any longer. Silica rose from her seat and, after a few unnecessary steps, walked towards the door.
“You may be arrogant for now, but you will regret how you treated me one day. I swear it.”
Romain had been regretting the day he had married Silica to gain Brissen’s power after the death of his previous queen, Aisha. However, he kept these words to himself and acted as usual.
Silica left Romain behind and stormed out.
‘I’m glad Count Brissen was sent back.’
Callian thought this as he watched Silica’s back.
If Gray had arrived in the capital under such circumstances, a civil war might have erupted right away.
Romain, who had dismissed Silica with a phrase he had picked up from Allen Manasil, looked at Romain and spoke with a serious tone unlike when he was talking to Silica.
“I didn’t mean to hurt you with those words. I don’t see you and the queen the same way, so don’t get me wrong.”
He was worried that Romain might care about the story he had told Silica. Romain replied calmly.
Romain nodded his head, his eyes scanning the quiet atmosphere.
“You all must be aware of your uncle’s character.”
Callian’s uncle referred to Romain’s own older brother. It seemed like Callian was the only one who didn’t know his current situation. The faces of both of them were not very pleasant.
Bern had no reason to care about how the elder brother of another nation’s king was doing. And since the previous Callian never even imagined becoming a king, he deliberately ignored how Romain rose to the throne or what became of the other brothers. To be curious would only mean learning more about his own bleak future.
‘I should ask Yan.’
Callian knew that Romain had a brother, but he wasn’t free enough to notice how that person was living now.
“I wish none of you have to go through a life like that. I wish the same things don’t happen again.”
With that, Romain stopped talking and got up from his seat, exiting the room. Since they had no appetite to finish the meal, the princes also got up.
Yan, who had been standing outside the banquet hall, came closer with a concerned look after finding out that Silica had entered.
“Was dinner alright?”
“Yes, it was smooth, so don’t worry.”
Callian smiled at Yan, seeing the ease in his look.
A bit later, Callian, the last one to reach Chermil, said.
“Let’s go for a walk. I need to digest.”
Yan was well aware of how much food Callian ate and digested as he started to grow taller. However, instead of showing a doubtful look, Yan just said, “I see,” and walked with Callian.
While walking by the lake for the second time that day, Callian mentioned something that Romain said before.
“Do you know what happened to His Majesty’s brother?”
Yan, with a somewhat complicated look, answered.
“Normally, the princes who are excluded from the throne leave Kyris when they turn twenty. They get their own lands and live there. They can’t form an army, but the royal forces are sent to them. Besides that and the rule that they can’t stay in Kyris for more than five days, there are not many limitations.”
This was about the princes who didn’t compete for the crown.
“I know that, but if His Majesty mentioned it, it seems like the result was different this time.”
“Yes, it was.”
As expected, Yan continued his explanation.
“In fact, not many princes have followed that life in the past. Most of them, after their sibling became king, had their names covered with Rencita leaves on the square or… ”
That meant being killed or locked up.
It was a hard topic to talk about, so Yan stopped for a moment before going on.
“They live their lives in faraway places.”
“Faraway places, you mean.”
“The late king had an incurable disease even with the blessings of Sispanian. That’s why they chose the next crown prince early, and that person who was chosen is the current king.”
“Right after the Crown Prince was decided, His Highness, Prince Asnan, opposed that decision. Prince Asnan, who is His Majesty’s brother, is now living in a tower deep in the Beraka Gorge, even further south than Siegfried’s territory.”
Hearing these words, Callian nodded silently.
It seemed that Yan was anxious about the future, but he said with a smile.
“Don’t worry. If Your Highness can’t enter Camillon, I plan to take you to my home.”
Callian laughed out loud at Yan’s plan that he proudly made.
“For that to happen, Siegfried would have to become a kingdom, not just a duchy.”
Unless Siegfried broke away from Kairis and fought a war, they wouldn’t be able to host a prince who had been removed from the Crown Prince position.
“Is there anything we can’t do?”
“Are you saying that too casually?”
Callian finally laughed out loud at the words, which were meant only for Callian.
“Anyway, His Majesty must have told you to be friendly with your brothers and not to fight, bleed, or die, right?”
“Is that realistic?”
After a brief thought, Callian shook his head.
“That will never happen.”
Being on good terms with those two right now.
It was a claim that would be hard to realize even in a dream.
Callian was in a daze for a moment.
Yan’s soft voice summoned Callian.
When Callian looked at Yan, his eyes were on Callian’s waist.
Following Yan’s eyes, Callian’s eyes narrowed. There was a red light coming from Callian’s jacket pocket.
Callian was well aware of what was inside.
It was the black pebble he had gotten from the elf Luca. He had always kept it with him in his pocket, as Sispanian had ordered, but he had never seen it shine like this before.
Callian was nervous at the unexpected situation and made a shield in front of Yan, worried that something like a blast might happen. Soon after, Callian cautiously touched the gem and frowned again.
A small flower branch that grew under a rose tree in the edge of the garden. A single red rose blossoming alone on this cold day had drawn his attention.
If it had been a normal flower, he might have just ignored it and moved on. He would have walked by, wondering how this small flower had bloomed so late.
But that was not the situation. So Callian’s voice, full of questions, emerged.
The rose was radiating a light of the same hue as the gem. A crimson color akin to Callian’s eyes.