The caravan still needed another two days to arrive at the meeting place arranged with the Carmell family.
These two days were oddly peaceful, so peaceful that they were a little boring. I was expecting the general to send assassins after us or something like that, but nothing happened.
That made me even more curious about what they were plotting this time. Why are they so confident they can kill me even with a ‘fifteenth-layer’ powerhouse as Ysnay beside me?
I did not bother to investigate it, though. What is the fun of that?
When we finally arrived at the meeting place, the Carmell family’s men were already waiting for us.
Just like last time, the meeting place was arranged to be outside a city, in a plain where we could see everything several kilometers around us easily.
It was in part to avoid an ambush of the other party, and in part due to the sensitive nature of our trade.
To my surprise, the person receiving us this time was an old friend, Albert Carmell.
Well, although I call him an old friend, it’s my first time talking to him As Prince Claus.
Last time I met him I was using one of my alter identities.
Aunt Dayana, Aunt Sera, and I left the carriage and walked towards the people of the Carmell family, with the men of Eternity’s Fangs led by Lina following closely behind us, ready to attack at any time.
This time, I did not bother to hide my identity as Prince Claus. It will make things easier and reduce the risk of the Carmell family burning the bridge after crossing it.
It’s not as though I’m afraid of the Carmell family, of course. Just that I don’t want to start a confrontation with them right now and mess my plans.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Prince Claus.” The young man leading the Carmell family’s men, Albert Carmell, greeted me with a polite bow as soon as he saw me. “I did not think you would come to this place personally.”
I returned the bow with the same courtesy. “The pleasure is mine, young master Albert. It’s normal for me to come considering what is at play.”
“Hm? You know about me?”
“Just a little bit,” I replied without explaining anything.
The young man narrowed his eyes, but he decided not to insist when he saw I did not plan to explain. Instead, he put on a polite smile and extended his hand.
“I’m flattered you know about me, your highness. Anyway, I think it’s better if we go straight to business. None of us wants for something to go wrong at this point, right?”
I nodded and looked at Aunt Dayana, signaling her to pass the storage ring with the military gear to the young man of the Carmell family.
When Albert received the ring, he was very surprised. He then looked at us with a look of admiration.
“To think your highness would find a ring able to store such a big amount of military gear. As expected, it was the right decision to entrust this to you.”
“You don’t need to flatter me,” I replied. “I’m sure you could have found other ways to transport the gear even without our help.”
“Perhaps, but it would have not been so easy. In fact, the current result has surpassed our expectations a great deal.”
Upon saying that, the young man signaled to one of the people behind him, who stepped forward and passed another storage ring to Aunt Dayana, containing the money for this transaction.
When Aunt Dayana received it, she checked the ring briefly before nodding and returning to my side.
With this, our transaction was complete.
But precisely because of that, the atmosphere between the two parties immediately turned much tenser.
Both the men of the Carmell Family and the men of Eternity’s Fangs started to release slight bits of killing intent, looking at each other with utmost wariness.
After all, we were not friends. In fact, we could not even be considered allies. We were enemies momentarily tied together due to similar interests.
In the middle of that tense atmosphere, I coughed.
“It looks like our transaction has finished. It’s time for us to leave then. I wish you luck with your plans, Young Master Albert.”
After saying that, I turned around and walked towards my carriage followed by Aunt Dayana and Aunt Sera.
But when I was about to board my carriage, young master Albert stopped me.
“Mm? Is anything wrong?”
“Prince Claus, I don’t think you are a fool. You know the meaning of this transaction, right?”
I chuckled softly. “Of course I know.”
“Then, it means you are also expecting this… To be honest, I’m curious about what is going through your mind. You don’t look like someone greedy for money or blinded by revenge.”
“Is it so? What is your opinion of me then?”
“I don’t know…” Albert said with a pensive expression. “But my father thinks highly of your sister and you… He said that if Dina becomes the next emperor, and with you supporting her, the empire will see a generation of stability.”
I narrowed my eyes. That is a pretty high evaluation.
As expected, many people have already noticed our intentions. Well, we stopped trying to hide them for a while already.
However, I’m curious…
“Why are you telling me this? Judging by your family’s movements, you don’t plan to support us for the throne. Heh, your goal is the throne itself.”
Albert Carmell squinted his eyes. He stared at me for several seconds as though examining me and grinned.
“However, as the future rulers of this empire, we need qualified subordinates to follow our orders. What do you think about that?”
I looked at Albert as though he was a fool.
“Very funny joke.”
“… It looks like your highness is not interested.”
“Yeah. You see, I don’t think we are weak enough to lose against you. Plus, don’t you think you are a bit too confident? The Quintin family has been the ruler of this empire for generations. It’s not so easy to overthrow them.”
Albert just shrugged without answering. However, I could feel the extreme confidence hidden in his gaze.
“It looks like we are destined to be enemies then.” He said with a chuckle. “That is good. It means I will have an opportunity to fight the man Alice likes. To show her that I’m better than you.”
I raised an eyebrow in surprise. Hey, when this turned into a love drama from a political intrigue?
And Alice, why are you using me to reject your suitors?
“Is it so?” With a wry smile, I boarded my carriage.
Before I left, though, Albert told me one last thing.
“You should pay attention to the capital, Prince Claus. I don’t think your sister is in a good situation right now.”
I could not help but let out a soft laugh.
So they finally moved, huh.
However, I don’t need to worry.
We were already expecting this.
It looks like I will have to return to the capital for a few days.
Current schedule: 10 Chapters/week