Meeting Alice Again (2)
“Your highness prince Claus, can you grant an audience to my family’s young miss?” The old butler asked.
I wrinkled my brows. With a serious tone, I asked. “Alice?”
“So your highness remembers my young miss. It’s an honor.”
I scoffed inwardly. It would be strange if I don’t remember someone like her.
Beside me, Lena frowned displeased. “Who is it now? Always interrupting my time with brother…”
“An old acquittance.” I smiled wryly and explained Alice’s background.
When she heard my explanation, Lena’s first reaction was to shot me a suspicious look.
Little sister, your brother swears that I’m innocent this time.
I ignored Lena’s gaze and spoke towards the butler in a sarcastic tone. “Do I need to follow you today too?”
However, the butler feigned not to understand the meaning behind my words and bowed apologetically. “I’m sorry, but my young miss is a bit sickly so she is unable to show the prince due respect?”
I snorted. Do you think I did not realize you are trying to take down a notch?
However, it shows Alice’s inexperience. Showing off her arrogance will only make others warier of her.
Normally, I would not have bothered with it and I would have followed the butler, after all, I don’t care very much about formalities and things like that, however, I’m a bit displeased with Alice today.
Putting on a cold look on my face, I opened my lips. “Tell your young miss that I will wait five minutes for her. If she doesn’t come before then, then we don’t need to talk.”
“… I understand.” The butler replied indifferently, not at all bothered by my attitude.
As I expected, less than three minutes later Alice appeared before me followed by the butler and the knight girl that always accompanies her.
“Long time no see you, Prince Claus.” Alice curtsied politely and showed a weak smile.
“Miss Alice is as beautiful as always.” I replied with a small smile and invited her inside the carriage. Alice agreed with a smile and entered with the butler and the knight. I did not bother to stop her two followers from entering.
Once she was inside, she bowed towards Lena respectfully. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Princess Lena.”
“Hmph!” Lena snorted and looked away. Despite it, Alice kept her respectful smile.
Once she was done with the formalities, Alice looked at me. “Will Princess Lena heard our conversation?”
I replied with a smile. Before Lena could react, I touched her forehead and induced her to sleep.
Holding Lena’s small body on my arms, I put her on my lap and stroked her head gently.
“Prince Claus sure loves the princess.” Alice giggled.
“Please stop with your games, Alice. Go straight to the point.”
“Okay okay, so serious.” Alice giggled again and pouted. “It looks like the prince is dissatisfied with me.”
“You know the reason.”
“… So I was discovered, huh. But it helped me to confirm that you are not simple, prince.” Alice chuckled, not the slightest embarrassed that I saw through her plot.
I remained silent and refused to answer.
Seeing my expression, Alice put a finger on her lips. “I’m curious though. What gave me away? I’m sure I don’t leave any trace behind… Could it be, are your eyes like mine? Perhaps that is the reason you can fool my eyes.”
“You are mistaken, I’m not a seer.” I replied. “However, I have seen someone like you before.”
Alice was startled. “Another seer? Does that seer taught you to hide from our eyes?”
“You can say that I learned how so I could hide from her.”
“How interesting. Hey prince, can I meet her?”
“I don’t think so.” I shook my head and looked right into Alice’s clear eyes. “Alice, go straight to the point. If not, we will end this conversation here.”
“How impatient.” Alice pouted and raised her hands with a helpless expression. “Okay okay, I’ll talk. Prince, what do you think about joining hands with me?”
“Think about it.” Continued Alice. “With my abilities and your talent, I’m sure we can surpass everybody in this world. Can’t you see it? We two can conquer the world! Nobody will be able to stop us!”
“… So it came to it huh.” I heaved a tired sigh. Seers are always like this.
Seeing my expression, Alice misunderstood. “You don’t like it? Or maybe you don’t trust me? I don’t mind marrying you if it allows you to trust me. In fact, you are the only male I have met that I consider worthy of marrying me.”
I fell silent for a moment. Perhaps, five hundred lifetimes ago this offer would have been enticing. But for me now, this is nothing more than a joke.
“… You are the same as her, Alice.”
“Ambitious, proud, arrogant, thinking that you are the protagonist of the world… Thinking about it, it has been a long time since the last time I saw her.”
“… What are you talking about?” Alice asked confused, but I did not answer. Instead, I let out a sigh and put on a cold expression.
“I’ll give you a word of warning. Don’t plot again against the people around me. The next time you do it, I’ll kill you.”
Alice was startled, but in the next second, an ice-cold look flashed through her eyes. “Who do you think you are?”
Instantly, powerful killing intent filled the carriage. From behind Alice, the old butler seemed ready to unleash his sword.
However, I remained unaffected. Slowly, a hidden and destructive intent spread out from my body, freezing the three of them in their places.
“Maybe you don’t understand.” I said coldly. “The reason you are still alive is that you remind me of an old friend and rival of mine. But my nostalgy can help you only this much. If you try to touch one of my people again, I’ll kill you without fail.”
Without giving them time to respond, I waved my hand.
A chain-like thing emerged from Alice’s head. I then did a pulling motion with my hand and brought it in front of me.
“Consider this a small punishment.” I said, and then, I crushed the chains.
But nothing happened.
Alice’s two subordinates were startled. They did their best to release themselves of my pleasure and looked at their young miss worriedly, but they failed to find anything wrong.
Alice, however, had turned completely pale.
“… Now get out, I have an afternoon tea to spend with my little sister.”
With another wave of my hand, the three on the carriage disappeared.
One second later, Lena woke up.
“… Brother? Something happened…? Did I fell asleep? What about the girl?”
“She already left.” I said gently while stroking Lena’s head. I felt a bit sorry for putting her to sleep, but I didn’t want to show her this side of me.
As her brother, I wish she can keep her innocence for a bit longer.
Not much later, the carriage returned to the palace.
In another place of the city, in a carriage.
Three people suddenly appeared.
“Huh?” A startled expression appeared on the blonde knight beside Alice. She looked around unable to process what happened.
“Young miss, this…”
“We are back to the carriage, Hannah.” Alice resolved the knight’s doubt. “Prince Claus sent us back.”
“Impossible! Something like this…”
Alice simply shook her head and sighed. “It looks like I still underestimated him. He is more of a monster than I expected.”
At that moment, the butler spoke.
“Young miss, why did you stop me from attacking? If the two of us fight together, I’m confident in defeating the prince.”
“You don’t understand, uncle Aaron. The prince, he is unfathomable… Even when I was in front of him, I could see only a slightly more talented fourth-layer swordsman. In fact, if not that I’m sure nobody else could have defeated the assassins, I still would suspect if he is truly so powerful.
“Besides, even if we can defeat him, fighting against him now will only benefit the old men in the palace… Fufufu, I’m much more interested in him now.”
The butler sighed. “How I expected, you are not going to give up in the prince, right Young miss?”
“Of course not.” Alice smiled savagely. “Only someone like him deserves to be my enemy, my rival, and my partner. But… Uncle Aaron, make sure that none of our plans targets the people close to him.”
“… Are we going to stop our plans against his businesses?”
“It’s not necessary. I got the feeling that Prince Claus enjoys this kind of game. Just make sure of not going overboard and it will be enough.”
Alice then fell silent for a moment before staring at the knight beside her. “By the way, Hannah, are you interested in joining the Imperial Institute?”
“Huh? Me? Wait young miss! I’m n–”
“It’s decided then, you will join.” Alice interrupted Hannah with a smile, deciding on her behalf. Maybe she could learn a bit more about him that way.
Thinking about the mysterious prince, Alice curved the corners of her lips up.
“I wonder what the prince did to me… I have the feeling that I lost something very important, but I don’t know what it is…”
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