The One to Lead (2)
“I think I heard that some of you are dissatisfied with my sister.”
My ice-cold killing intent filled the surroundings. Instantly, all the voices were shut up, and even the forest itself was silent.
I could see fear and trepidation in the faces of many students. Even although I just released a small bit of my killing intent, it was enough to overwhelm some of the weaker students.
“Claus, you are here!” Dina smiled happily when she saw me. At the same time, her eyes showed a hint of relief.
I nodded at her to indicate that everything was alright before fixing my gaze again on Alan’s henchmen.
The ringleaders of the people that were against my sister being in charge of this group were people that I already knew. In fact, the last time I saw them was just one month ago.
Arami, Harry, Cole, and Kyle.
In fact, I could also see Al among them, but he hid in fear as soon as he saw me.
They were the same people that faced us in the duel of one month ago.
Of course, it wasn’t as though my sister was without support of her own. Besides Andrea, I could also see Katherine, Rose, Clara, Louise, teacher Tear, and many more teachers and students.
Due to that, the situation between the two groups was rather balanced.
If I would not have appeared, the end result could have been debatable.
Of course, it was only If I was nor here.
Arami and the others frowned when I arrived. They knew that the situation had turned much more complicated now that I was here.
However, they were not planning to give up.
The one to step forward was Cole. He endured the ice-cold killing intent I was emitting and stood in front of me.
“Your Highness Prince Claus, it’s good to see that you are alright.”
I smirked scornfully. “Really? Why do I feel you would have preferred if I don’t appear?”
Cole fell silent. However, he soon shook his head.
“I’m a man loyal to the empire. I would never wish for something detrimental to the empire.”
I chuckled amusedly. That is a pretty good way to insinuate that I’m detrimental to the empire.
“In other words, the best for the empire now is to chastise my sister, huh.”
Cole frowned, however, he did not relent.
“Your highness, I have nothing against her highness, however, it’s a fact that she is not the most indicated to lead this group. Last night, during the attack, seven students were killed and several more were injured! With a better command, I’m sure our losses would have been less!”
I could feel Dina frowning. At the same time, many of the students seemed to agree with Cole’s opinion.
In the end, Cole and the others were powerful upperclassmen, famous through the entire institute and with a high position between many nobles.
Even when they were defeated in the duel recently, the influence they had in the institute was not something that Dina could easily ignore.
I stared at Cole fixedly before nodding.
“In other words, you think that my sister is not qualified to lead this group.”
My lips curved into a smile. I then turned towards teacher Tear.
“Teacher, can I ask, how many students are in this place?”
Although Tear was confused about my question, she nevertheless answered. “… More than seventy percent of the students are gathered here.”
“Good.” I nodded. “Then, how were they gathered?”
“Well, Princess Dina sent teams around the forest when she realized that something was wrong.”
“And only seven students died, right? How was the strength of the daemons?” I asked again.
This time, it was Katherine, the leader of the students’ guard who replied.
“Twenty daemons between the sixth layer and the ninth layer. We managed to kill ten of them thanks to the quick reaction and orders of the princess and the help of the teachers, but the others escaped.”
“… Okay, and how many of them were killed by our friends here?” I said while looking at Cole and the others.
Katherine was startled. One second later, she curved her lips contemptuously.
I smiled icily. “In other words, these people are criticizing my sister, who gathered this high number of students and organized them to defend against the daemons, when they have done almost nothing?”
Cole furrowed his brows when he heard my words.
“Your highness, what do you mean with this?”
My expression turned ice cold. “Just like I said, young master Cole. Do you know how many dead students I saw on my way towards here? Thirty-four. Thirty-four students that died because there was nobody to organize and help them! My sister, on the other hand, managed to defend against a group of twenty powerful daemons with just seven deaths. Tell me, what do you think I mean with my words?”
Cole wrinkled his brows. He could see that several students seemed shocked and wavering after hearing my words.
He quickly searched in his mind for a solution, and soon, something came to him.
“Your Highness, I’m just saying that her highness is not the most qualified for this position. She is a woman for the love of the goddess! How can she lead us to fight against the invader daemons!?”
I raised an eyebrow in surprise and amusement. Man, you have just dug a giant pitfall for yourself.
… And almost instantly, this pitfall showed its fangs.
Before Cole’s words finished, he felt several ice-cold stares fixed on him.
And the first one to step forward the ice-cold leader of the students’ guards, Katherine.
“Are you saying that women are less than men!?”
These words seemed to ignite the rage of all the females around. Her anger-filled gazes were focused on Cole, waiting for one wrong word to pounce on him.
Cole’s expression turned dark. Having realized his mistake, he hurriedly tried to find a way to defuse the situation.
In the end, only one thing came to his mind.
“… Prince, don’t you think you can do a better work leading this group that the princess?”
Almost instantly, all the gazes were fixed on me.
I chuckled inwardly. Smart.
In normal circumstances, these words would have checkmated me.
If I say I cannot, it means giving up a good opportunity to gain prestige before the battle for the throne. Besides, word that I admitted being inferior to my sister would spread through the empire.
But If I say yes, I would admit that Cole was right, and at the same time, I would gain the enmity of all the women in this group.
I could see the smug grin on Cole’s face. At this point, he probably thought he won.
Unfortunately, he miscalculated something.
From the start, I was never interested in the throne.
I looked straight into Cole’s eyes and smiled. Then, I turned around and walked until I was in front of my sister.
Before Cole and the others could understand what I was doing, I kneeled on a knee and bowed.
“I, Claus Quintin, swear my loyalty to Dina Quintin. I swear that I’m going to follow her orders no matter what she says and be the sword that clears her path. May the goddess witness this oath.”
My words were said clearly and loudly, reaching the ears of each student in this camp. Many students gasped in surprise, while others opened their eyes wide. Even Cole and his friends have their eyes open in disbelief.
Dina was also looking at me with an expression of astonishment. Although I had told her that I was going to support her in the struggle for the throne, she never thought I would do something like this.
It was the same as publicly admitting that I consider my sister more suitable for this role than me.
Moreover, this was the first step to tell the empire that she, Dina Quintin, could be the emperor too.
Dina’s eyes were trembling. Her beautiful black eyes had turned wet, at the edge of erupting in tears. If not by the fact that she needed to keep her dignity at this moment, she probably would have cried and thrown herself to my arms.
Instead, she just took a deep breath to calm down, before nodding and helping me to stand up.
With these words, the frozen time in the camp returned to normal.
Many students were looking at each other unable to believe what just happened. In fact, some of them pinched themselves to make sure this was not a dream.
I smiled gently at my sister and turned around, smiling at Cole.
“Does that answer your question?”
“You…” Cole was completely frozen. He never expected the situation to develop in this way. “You are crazy.”
I shrugged. “You are misunderstanding something, young master Cole. Don’t you know my nickname in the empire? It’s [Sword Fanatic]. Although my strength is indeed higher than my sister, I admit that I’m not as good as her when it comes to leading people.”
That is a lie, but the students here don’t know it.
Thus, when they heard my words, the way they looked at my sister changed.
The fact that another prince, moreover one whose strength was widely known, admitted that she was better than him, was shocking for them.
Dina opened her lips to say something, but before she could speak, another person intruded in the conversation.
“It looks like something important is happening here, can I ask what it is?”
When that voice sound, many students’ expressions changed. While others looked at each other as though to witness a good show.
Crown Prince Alan was here.
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