If the Emperor Does Not Die
Earl Carson, Prince Alan, and the others arrived at a luxurious restaurant followed by their respective guards and servants.
Once they reached the restaurant, two waiters greeted them respectfully with a bow.
“Your highness, Earl, please follow us.” One of the waiters said.
The earl and the prince nodded and followed after the waiters.
They were led to a private room on the last floor, far from other people’s ears and perfect for a secret meeting.
“Young master and miss Alice are waiting for you inside.” The waiter said. Earl Carson nodded and proceeded to enter the room followed by the prince the others. Each one of them was followed by a personal servant, so a total of eight people entered the private room.
When they entered, they saw a young man and a white-haired girl seated in front of a table. An old man and a young female knight were standing behind the white-haired girl, and an ice-cold looking woman was standing behind the young man.
Seeing the group enter, the girl and the young man stood up respectfully. The white-haired girl curtsied elegantly and let out a small giggle.
“Your highness Alan, Earl Carson, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“The pleasure is mine, Miss Alice.” Prince Alan answered. His eyes shone with a spellbound look when he saw the sickly beauty of the white-haired girl. “You are much more beautiful than the last time we met.”
Alice covered her mouth and giggled innocently. “Your highness has also become much more handsome.” She then shot a brief look to the clearly displeased Christine (Alan’s fiancée) and a peculiar light flashed through her eyes.
“Allow me to do the introductions.” Changing the topic, Alice looked at the young man beside her. “This young master is Albert Carmell. He arrived at the capital recently on behalf of his family and accepted my invitation to this meeting.”
The young man smiled. “How can I reject the invitation of a beauty like Miss Alice?”
Alice giggled and remained silent. The prince, on the other hand, looked deeply at the young man.
Earl Carson raised his eyebrows when he heard the young man’s name. “So young master Albert is someone of the Carmell family huh. It explains young master Albert’s exceptional bearings.”
“You flatter me, Earl Riea.”
The group then started some small talks about different topics and conversed cordially. Soon, some servants brought various kinds of dishes and beverages to the group.
Alice started to eat happily, tasting a bit of each dish. Afterward, she looked at the earl and asked in an innocent tone.
“Right, Earl Carson, it’s rare of you to arrive late to a meeting. Did something happen?”
The one who answered was Prince Alan. “Nothing important. We just met my little brother on the way here.”
“Oh? Prince Bryan?”
“No, it was Claus.” Alan said indifferently, but his words carried a slight trace of disdain. “He came to play in the new attraction with my little sister.”
Alice’s eyes flashed. Many thoughts passed through her mind in an instant, showing her thousand of different results.
“Prince Claus huh. I met him before.” She finally said.
“Oh?” Earl Carlson showed an expression of interest. “What do you think about him, miss Alice?”
Alice was waiting for that question. “Very handsome and mysterious. Actually, I would like to meet him again.” She smiled innocently and spoke with a slight blush on her face. Her expression was the perfect image of a girl in love talking about her crush.
An awkward silence fell into the room. Prince Alan and young master Albert furrowed their brows in displeasure. Earl Carson, on the other hand, seemed to be thinking about something.
“… Thinking about it, he truly was an interesting young man.” Mia, who had not spoken from the start, suddenly opened her mouth. “Even although I talked to him only for a few minutes, I got the feeling that he is not simple.”
Earl Carson looked at his wife in doubt. “Why do you think so?”
“… I don’t know, just a feeling. Right, he asked me to thank you for the gift you sent him.”
“Gift? What gift?” The Earl wrinkled his brows.
“I don’t know. He did not explain.”
The Earl put on a thoughtful expression. Claus’s words seemed to indicate something, but no matter how long he thought, he could not discern anything.
Prince Alan, seeing Alice’s interested gaze and his uncle’s serious expression, could not help but interject.
“You are overestimating him too much. Actually, simply by the fact that he chooses this kind of time to go around playing with my sister means that he doesn’t have a good future. Anyone else, after learning that he will be exiled in five years, would be trying to find a way to avoid the exile. But that little brother of mine is still coming to see the newest attraction of hidden cave. Or he is very confident in his abilities, or he is a fool.” A smile of derision appeared on Alan’s face.
Alice’s eyes flashed with a cunning light. “The new attraction huh. I heard that it’s an array that uses illusions to simulate enemies.”
“That is right.” Young master Albert said with a hint of pride. “It was created by an array master of our family to train our troops.
The illusions are very realistic and attack the people inside the array using many different methods. Although they can’t cause any kind of injury, the feeling when you fight them is very real.”
Alice grinned. “… However, I find the attraction a bit dangerous.”
“Oh? Why is it?” Asked Albert.
“You see… An assassin can use the illusions as cover to kill his target and then escape without anyone noticing anything.”
“Huh? Now that you say it, maybe it’s possible. I guess I have to tell my family about it.” Albert smiled at Alice, but it was obvious that he did not take her words seriously.
However, someone else did.
Without anyone noticing, the servant behind the prince left for an instant before returning.
Seeing that, Alice smiled mischievously, but her smile disappeared in the next instant.
She then looked at the prince and the earl and opened her lips.
“Earl, prince, I think it’s time for you to tell us why did you invite us here?”
Prince Alan looked at the earl. Once seeing him nod, the prince took a deep breath.
“… As you know, I was chosen as the crown prince a few days ago, so it’s necessary for me to forge ties with the different noble families. Think of this meal as an opportunity to talk about future cooperation between your family and the empire.”
“Mmm… However prince, I think you are not qualified to talk about cooperating with my family.”
Prince Alan froze. He looked at Alice and narrowed his eyes sharply. “… Care to explain the reason?”
“After all, the emperor is still alive and young.” Alice stared right into prince Alan’s eyes and smiled bewitchingly. “With the emperor’s age, he can live easily another 40 years.”
Looking at Alan, the earl, and young master Albert, Alice chuckled gently.
“… And if the emperor does not die, nobody else can become emperor.”
Strangely, nobody found anything wrong with her words.
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