16. [Day 1 (12)]
Unable to hide his frustration, Aslan boarded the carriage.
He roughly closed the door and draped a thick curtain on the window.
It was as if he were in an isolated space.
“It’s better not to let anger control you—for it’ll be bad for your physique.”
“How noisy, shut up…!”
The young man who had just boarded the carriage let out a sigh with a cold expression.
Without caring, Aslan roughly scratched his gold hair with his gloved hand.
Then, his golden hair slipped off and fell onto the seat.
“…Your disguise is ruined.”
“I don’t have to disguise myself in front of you.”
“While that may be the case, someone else might see you.”
“Who cares. Anyway, there’s no point in disguising myself like this anymore.”
Aslan roughly scooped up the black hair that was hidden beneath the wig.
“Kaiser, what’s the current state on the count?”
“He’s truly a bad father. He acts like he was lamenting for the death of her daughter, but he’s actually drunk in self-pity.”
“So, it’s worse than we thought?”
“Yes, the count’s servant has protested his plight. But at the same time, he was scared. It seems that Lorona’s efforts will be rendered meaningless.”
Aslan pounded on the seat with a clenched fist.
The impact shook his body, causing his mask to fall onto the floor.
Kaiser picked it up in a hurry and presented it to Aslan.
“Your Highness, the mask.”
“Don’t refer to me like that.”
While distorting his red eyes, the young man quietly glared at the white mask.
The inorganic, pure white, mask wasn’t only a disguise for him, but also his only shield for protect himself.
His peculiar appearance—black hair and red eyes, announced his identity to his surroundings. If it was merely black hair, he wouldn’t be conspicuous. However, when combined with his red eyes, they had a special meaning on that continent.
“That won’t do. You’re Prince Astel. Even if you’re undercover, you’re still His Highness.”
Astel, who stopped his pretense as ‘Aslan’, tightly shut his eyes.
Astel was the third prince of the Stella Empire which was adjacent to the Kingdom of Nirna.
The Stella Empire was a kingdom that had expanded its territory through battle, but it had a long relationship with Kingdom of Nirna due to having the same belief.
Even in the previous war, the Stella Empire was able to obtain great results only with the aid of Kingdom of Nirna. Even today, their peaceful exchanges continued.
Hence, Astel was able to hide and live in that kingdom.
Astel’s mother was a low-ranking, fifth, concubine. He lived a quiet life—away form the struggle to inherit the throne.
Kaiser was the son of his nanny, and the two friends grew up like brothers.
The first prince born by the second princess was truly competent, and the second prince born by the queen was as mighty as her.
Astel believed that after one of his brothers was crowned, he’d gain a new title, and descend to be his vassal.
However, the situation changed significantly when he was 12-years-old.
Both of his excellent brothers died of illness in quick succession.
Astel suddenly became the top candidate for the throne. As such, he became a target.
As a result, Astel’s mother died, and his life was also in peril.
It was Kaiser’s mother, his nanny, who helped Astel escape. With the guidance of his nanny, whose parents’ house was in the Kingdom of Nirna, he left the empire with Kaiser.
In the empire, it was said that Prince Astel was being treated for serious illness, and as such, had to leave the stage. As there was no corpse to be found, the people had no choice but to believe the tale.
His black hair and red eyes were the trademark of the Stella Empire’s royal family.
As soon as he stepped out without a disguise, his identity would be revealed. His whereabouts would reach those who wanted to eliminate him.
Thus, Astel concealed him identity with a golden wig and a white mask. He also lived under the name ‘Aslan.’
“Why… why did you die, Lorona?”
Deep sadness bled into Astel’s red eyes.
Kaiser seemed to understand that his lord was mourning. He had deep wrinkles between his eyebrows, but was quiet.
“It’s my fault. At that time, I should’ve followed Lady Lorona immediately.”
“…It’s not your fault. It’s mine. If I knew that I’d regret it this much, I’d have just abducted Lorona.”
“I feel sorry for her. I didn’t even realize that she didn’t want to become the crown princess.”
At the graduation ceremony, Astel wanted to claw out his heart after remembering how Lorona accepted her annulment with dignity.
Astel secretly participated in the event with Kaiser.
He had previously been informed that Velbutte and Lumina were going to force the engagement to be broken off with Lorona.
He intended to reach out to Lorona. He despised the idea that she was in trouble. Conversely, he wanted to hunt them down. On top of that, he intended to confess to Lorona.
However, contrary to Astel’s expectation, Lorona wasn’t upset at all. Like a goddess, she accepted everything and took her leave.
Because he was unlucky, he couldn’t even catch up with her.
At the same time, it was also due to the respect and dim joy that occupied his heart as he saw Lorona walking away from the tumultuous venue.
Like that, there’d be no obstacle for him. After all, Lorona had obediently accepted the annulment of her engagement.
After her engagement had been officially dissolved, he could follow the proper steps required to propose to Lorona and obtain her.
He had been preparing for that.
He wanted to save Lorona from the pit of her sorrow and create a happy future for her.
Astel’s naivety cruelly robbed him of his first love.
“What are we going to do from now on?”
“…How about doing something that Lady Lorona couldn’t?”
“Reforming the count’s family? That’s too reckless.”
“No way, the opposite. Give the suffering she experienced to those who trampled on her kindness and innocence.”
Kaiser frowned Astel’s at distorted smiled.
But he didn’t fault or stop him.
At the direction of Astel, Kaiser had been watching over Lorona for a long time.
He knew that Lorona always did her best to remain levelheaded.
He wanted to relieve her remorse.
The two of them shared the same sentiment.
“…For starters, that prince. Just because he’s the prince of the kingdom, he was able to become Lorona’s fiancé. Let’s start with him.”
Astel had a terrifyingly beautiful smile as he narrowed his red eyes.
***T/N: Idk which one is more dangerous, Astel or Kaiser, either way, I’m glad Lorona didn’t fall in love with any of them.
*Kaiser: Aight let’s finish Lorona’s unfinished business!
*Astel: You mean by help her family realize the errors in their ways?
*Kaiser: by crushing them, of course.
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