Episode 5: This Is Way Too Explicit – Chapter 18.2
“Don’t be late… today or ever.” Silica folded her fan and stared into Franz’s eyes once again. “I will not let anything get in your way.”
Silica turned around brusquely and left. The door slammed shut and Franz dropped his hand that was pointing at the door.
Franz stared blankly at the glass of unfinished alcohol in his hand. He clenched his teeth and hurled the glass at the wall.
The glass shattered into a million pieces and scattered all over the floor. Some of the shards bounced off the floor and cut Franz’s hand, causing it to bleed. The attendants and maids who were hesitantly waiting outside the door all rushed in when they heard the crashing noise. Franz hung his shoulders low as he gazed at the droplets of blood that dripped from his fingertips.
“Your Highness, your hand is bleeding. We must tend to—”
“Out! Get out! Piss off!”
* * *
After lunch, Calian changed into his ceremonial attire. The antidote seemed to be working, considering that he could breathe more easily now. The fact that he didn’t drink his morning tea thanks to Alan’s sudden visit must have also added onto his improved health.
While the maids brushed Calian’s hair and did a final check, Yan explained the schedule for the final day of celebration. “You will soon be heading out to watch a horseback riding show. The venue is about an hour away from the palace. From 8pm, you will be attending a ball.”
The reason as to why the princes were all taught how to ride horses and why the King was heading out to watch a horseback riding show on his birthday was simple: Rumein loved horses. In any case, Calian also enjoyed spending time with Raven. He had no qualms with the King’s tastes.
“Is that the show that Brissen Merchantry had to cancel?” asked Calian.
“Yes indeed. If you would remember, Viscount Brissen had visited to join Your Highnesses for dinner as an apology.” A show large enough for the King to attend was usually organised by a large merchantry. Part of it was because there was no theatre company with that large, and another part was because most large stages were owned by a merchantry. “It was decided that Pollun Merchantry would be in charge of the show this time. It’s our first time watching a show that isn’t organised by Brissen.”
“Pollun?” That name sounds familiar. Calian knit his brows and closed his eyes. After thinking for a while, he opened his eyes in a sudden realisation. “Baron Pollun.”
Yan nodded. “Yes. He’s a young baron called Melfir Pollun. I heard that he’s quite a clever and able man. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it’s almost as if Brissen yielded the show to them.”
They gave it to Pollun because they didn’t want to get hung to death. Instead of saying his answer out loud, Calian’s eyes sharpened as he finally remembered what had happened. Calian remembered Melfir Pollun from this one famous incident that had spread its news all the way to Secretia.
A member of the royal family—moreover, the first prince—was injured during this incident.
When the royal family was leaving the grounds after a horseback riding show, a temporary structure that was built for the show collapsed. Randall, who was walking down the stairs, was struck by the falling structure and fell to the floor below. Although the injury wasn’t fatal, he broke his leg and had to rest in Tensil for about a month.
So that’s supposed to happen today, huh. Since Rumein watches so many horseback riding shows, I never even thought that it would be today.
Calian tapped his finger on his knees. It wasn’t simply an accident. They later found that the rope that held the structure in place was tampered with using a sharp object. Although that in itself wasn’t a good enough evidence to conclude that Melfir tried to harm the first prince, Randall was the grandson of the King of Tensil. After Tensil’s strong complaints, Rumein sent Melfir to the gallows.
Upon hearing about this incident, Bern had had a discussion with Chase about the verdict being too rash considering that the deed was too sloppily executed for it to have been targeting a member of the royal family. Chase seemed to have figured out something, but he didn’t tell Bern what he had realised. Bern remembered this incident because he had been trying to guess what it was for a long time.
It’s extremely unlikely that Pollun was the culprit.
Only an idiot would leave such a crucial evidence behind in his own show venue after targeting a member of the royal family. If he really was a clever and able man as Yan had concluded, he would use this show as an opportunity to connect with the royal family—not as a stepping stone to being executed.
Brissen is the most suspicious after all… why did he target Randall? It was only to injure him, too. Or was he just after Pollun Merchantry?
Did Pollun even pose that much of a threat for Brissen to involve Tensil and the royal family?
Bern nor the Old Calian remembered much about the merchantry. Calian frowned.
“Your Highness…?” said Yan hesitantly. When Calian turned to face Yan, he asked in a soft voice. “Is something bothering you?”
He must have been concerned since Calian was frowning at the mirror without saying anything. Calian smiled and shook his head.
“No, I was just lost in thought.”
Calian noticed that Yan always seemed uneasy whenever Calian took his time in front of the mirror. Just how many mirrors did the Old Calian shatter?
Calian stood up and assured, “You don’t need to worry about the mirror anymore.”
“Yes, Your Highness,” muttered Yan, embarrassed that his thoughts were read.
Calian pretended not to notice. Instead, he asked, “Will Baron Pollun come and greet us during the show today?”
“During a show, the host usually sits next to His Majesty. He will greet you before the show begins.”
Calian could not stop himself from being suspicious about Brissen’s intervention. Something fishy was going on.
I’ll save him first and find out what’s going on.
The first thing that Calian must do was to ensure that Melfir Pollun wasn’t executed. Grasping the situation would come after that.