Episode 5: This Is Way Too Explicit – Chapter 20.1
Calian took his hands off his face and looked up.
His face was hardened in anger. It was only to be expected. Calian was the one who ought to be the most enraged in this situation.
Of course, it was merely an expression that Calian had created to show the others. Calian’s true feelings were the exact opposite. He could even kneel and praise Franz’s tongue for saying such things out loud. For once, Franz, you’re being helpful!
Calian glanced at Rumein. What Calian wanted from Rumein wasn’t for him to be enraged and punish Franz. It was just the opposite—he wanted Rumein to turn a blind eye. That would bring him the most good.
As if Rumein had read Calian’s wish, he really didn’t do anything.
He didn’t scold Franz or warn him of a later punishment or stare at him with disgust. He merely turned to the front and nodded at the grand chamberlain to signal the start of the second act. Silica bit her lip.
It was as if Rumein just showed everyone that he did not, and would not expect anything from Franz even in the future.
Calian once again smiled to himself.
How far will you take this, Silica? He was sure that Silica would somehow try to cover up the situation. Calian was looking forward to how it might happen.
The fan broke with a crushing noise in Silica’s grip. This stupid child… I told him to stay put!
Rumein was well aware that Franz was misbehaved. There was no way that he wouldn’t know, considering that he even banned Franz from drinking ever since he stood in front of the public while drunk. Therefore, he could brush off Franz’s rudeness to Calian as part of his usual personality.
However, he had crossed the line by insulting Freya, the late royal concubine, in public by bringing up her origin—and moreover, in front of Rumein who loved Freya dearly.
Franz… Silica glanced at Franz. He must know what he had just done. That’s how she had raised him.
When Silica met Franz’s eyes, chills crawled up her spine.
Franz didn’t look surprised or regretful.
…you did it on purpose.
One corner of Franz’s lips was turned up ever so slightly.
That was when she realised that he had said it on purpose. It was clear that he was pulling this stunt to protest her visit earlier this morning. Silica’s silent cry fell short to Franz.
Why today, Franz?!
Alan Manassil had visited the palace. Calian’s name was included in the noblemen’s discussion about the next crown prince. On the same day, Franz made an irrevocable mistake.
Nothing needed to be said about what the nobles who were straddling the boundary of Brissen’s line of power would think and do.
Silica bit her lip once again and faced the front. Although the second act was well on its way, nobody in the reserved seats were paying attention to it. Silica and Calian both continued on with their trains of thought—Silica to mend this situation, and Calian to use it.
* * *
At the same time but at a different place, Melfir sighed upon finding something. It was both a sigh of relief as well as surprise. In front of him lay a halfway-cut rope.
“If this had fallen on top of His Majesty…!”
Just the thought of it was enough to make him feel as if he was being suffocated. Melfir quickly began taking measures so that the rope would not be damaged any further and guarded the rope so that nobody could approach it until the end of the show.
When he finally had the room to breath, Melfir turned and looked down. The black-haired prince who had warned him so that he could prevent this accident—hence saving his life—was sitting in his seat with perfect composure. Melfir recalled the face that Calian had made when Melfir told Rumein that he must give up sitting next to the King after taking Calian’s advice to heart.
The expression of the youngest prince was akin to that of a teacher who was watching his student successfully solve a difficult problem.
Moreover, he didn’t seem to be concerned at all about what was going on up here. Calian didn’t seem anxious about Melfir heeding his warning and solving the issue.
Even if today goes by without any trouble, His Highness won’t look for me again.
Melfir instinctively realised that Calian hadn’t saved his life expecting something in return. Yet, Melfir was born a merchant, and he had never engaged in a trade without a price.
“Dear lord…” gulped Melfir.
* * *
The show was over, and the basket didn’t fall.
I guess he took care of it properly. Just in case, Calian stood up and bought some time by talking to Yan. Calian only left the reserved seating area after Randall and Franz had left. As expected, the accident didn’t happen.
When they walked down the stairs, Melfir was waiting for them.
“It was a good show,” complimented Rumein. He didn’t say anything about Melfir’s failure to stay by the King’s side. In fact, he was relieved that Melfir wasn’t there to see Franz’s ill behaviour.
“I’m glad that you enjoyed it, Your Majesty.” Melfir remained humble.
Meanwhile, Calian glanced not at Melfir, but Silica—who was, in turn, eyeing Melfir. Although a small flash of curiosity took refuge in Calian’s eyes, it wasn’t so obvious for someone to notice.
There’s no reaction from Silica.
Indeed, Franz had caused trouble today. However, that aside, Silica would never look past an accident that should have already happened. She wasn’t so stupid as to forget about something so important just because of Franz’s blunder. Silica wasn’t even paying attention to Melfir’s words of gratitude.
She doesn’t seem to be caring about the accident at all. If Silica doesn’t even know about the accident… that means that it was all just Lennon’s plan.
Calian’s thoughts tangled and intertwined with each other once again.
“I hope to see you at the ball, then,” said Melfir, looking at the three princes.
Although his words were specifically aimed at Calian, Calian acknowledged Melfir’s greeting with no particular reaction and seated himself on Raven’s back.