Episode 1: This Life Is Truly A Joke – Chapter 4.1
Quite a strange day had passed.
He wondered if he opened his eyes if he might find himself back in Secretia–or perhaps in the afterlife. The unexpected sound of Yan’s bell woke him and shattered his thoughts. Nothing had changed after all.
“Did you have a good dream, Prince?”
Calian sat up and savored the morning tea Yan brought him, then returned the empty cup. After washing his face in the basin, he spoke.
“I’m going to cut my hair.”
Yan’s eyes widened and he blinked in surprise, wondering if he heard wrong. Calian repeated himself again so it was unmistakable.
“My hair. I’ll cut it.”
He motioned with two fingers and pretended to cut his fringe. However, Yan hadn’t misheard Calian. He replied straightaway, wondering what this was about.
“Yes, Prince. I’ll make the preparations right away.”
Before long, the royal hairdresser was brought to Calian’s room. He carefully held his scissors in hand, and also queried Calian again of his decision.
“Are you sure you want to cut it?”
A frown appeared between Calian’s brow.
Like most knights, he didn’t like to repeat himself, and he especially didn’t like that he had to repeat himself three times in a row that he wanted to cut his hair. What the hell where they so hesitant about? Calian pointed at the scissors and spoke.
“Do I have to cut it myself?”
“No, Prince. My apologies.”
Only then did the scissors become busy, and after several careful snips Calian shook off the loose black hair so it no longer covered half his face.
Calian took a good look of himself in the mirror.
Calian’s mouth broadened into a smile.
It was not a lie to say that he resembled his mother Freya, who was said to be the reincarnation of a goddess.
‘Is this face not a fine legacy of Freya?’
Calian nodded with satisfaction, and even Yan looked impressed. However, his voice turned subdued in anxiety.
“You look great, Prince. But if…”
Yan was worried about how Franz would take it, considering how he reacted at yesterday’s breakfast from simple eye contact. Calian, oblivious of what his attendant was worried about, stood up from his seat with a grin.
“One shouldn’t keep looking like a fool.”
Yan looked surprised at the uncharacteristic words and demeanor of his master.
Calian bore a confidence Yan had never seen before, and he was uneasy about this sudden change. Not that this newfound assurance was bad, of course, but he was worried Franz might become even more belligerent.
Calian, sensing Yan’s nervousness all the way to the dining hall, sought to reassure his attendant.
“Don’t worry, I can handle it.”
He went to the dining hall and took his seat, and it wasn’t long before Franz appeared. Franz walked in with his distinctive hazy eyes, and he looked at Randall’s empty chair before turning to Carlisle.
Those thin, light-blue eyes gazed down at Calian’s red ones. Calian did not flee from his sight. He looked straight at Flanz with his face no longer hidden behind his fringe.
Franz let out a laugh then turned away. Yan hurriedly concealed his surprise.
‘Is it over? He laughed and it just ended like that?’
It was indeed incredible, and Franz sat down in his seat without saying a word and no longer paid attention to Calian.
Calian lifted an eyebrow. He had the same thoughts as Yan. For some reason the mad prince was sitting quietly, and he couldn’t fathom his whims.
The quiet tension seemed to stretch out for ages until Randall walked into the room. He sat down as usual and glanced at Calian’s face. The meal was served, and the three focused on their own food.
Yan was relieved that breakfast was going to end without any trouble.
However, it was not to be.
There was only one opponent here that Franz would talk so rudely to. And that one opponent acted as if he could not hear anything, and continued to eat with perfect etiquette. Of course, he couldn’t have truly missed Franz’s voice in this quiet hall.
Franz’s lips thinned harshly when Calian refused to look at him, a sign that his temper was about to explode. Yan could feel his heart pounding all the way down at his stomach.
But Calian’s face was completely tranquil. He looked like he couldn’t care less.
“Hey, bloody eyes.”
Franz bad-mouthed him again.
Calian, who was thinking over whether to ignore it once more, finally glanced up at Franz. When Franz was about to say something, the third prince interrupted.
He spoke quietly, and took a piece of sliced bread with a fork.
“…That’s my name.”
Randall was the first to react to this remark. Both of his hands, which were moving in silence, stopped. Randall raised his head and turned to look at his brother, whose attitude seemed to have changed overnight. But that wasn’t all. Calian was not the type of person who would interrupt someone. Randall soon made his hands busy again and continued his meal.
Franz’s mouth twisted up. He closed his eyes very slowly and wondered for a moment how he should react to what he had heard. Then he looked at the knife in his right hand and tapped his fingers on the table with his left.
“Alright. I’ll call you by your name.”
Calian’s answer came straightaway. He took a sip of water.
Tap tap. A little louder, Franz’s fingers tapped threateningly on the table.
The blood drained from Yan’s face.
‘Is this what you meant by ‘doing things on your own way,’ Prince? What exactly are you trying to do on your own?’
Franz laughed once again. A childlike smile spread on his face, making him look more eerie.
In a flash, Franz flung the knife in his right hand toward Yan.
He intended to take his anger out on Calian’s attendant.
In a moment, Yan raised his hands to shield himself but stopped himself from doing so.
He thought if he tried to block it, Franz’s anger would then be directed at Calian. Instead of covering his face, Yan closed his eyes.
At the same time, Calian’s arms moved swiftly.
Faster than a blink, Calian put down the glass in his hand and his hand shot out to catch the knife in midair. Franz’s gaze went the glass of water on the table.
The water remained steady in the glass even though it was quickly put down.
Ttuk, ttuk, ttuk.
Red blood droplets slipped from Calian’s bare palm where it was wrapped around the dull blade of the knife.
Upon seeing the scene, Franz couldn’t help but utter,
Yan’s eyes widened as he took in the details one by one: Calian’s back, Calian’s hand, the knife in his hand, the blood flowing down the knife, and Franz’s shocked expression.
He felt a sensation of bewilderment.
Not because Calian caught the knife, but because he feared the situation would soon spiral out of control.
Calian stood up. He took the blood-stained knife and set it quietly in front of Franz. Then he looked at Franz and smiled face to face.
The meaning of the words were strange.
Don’t worry about my injured hand. It’s okay.
I’ll forgive you for your rudeness.
A few drops of spotted Franz’s clothes.
Calian strode out of the dining hall.