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The One to Lead (3)
“It looks like something important is happening here, can I ask what it is?” Alan’s voice reverberated in the camp.
Looking towards him, I noticed he was accompanied by Christine and two other students. I could not see the last beyond-twelfth-layer practitioner or the black-dressed men, but my senses picked that they were nearby.
“Your Highness Alan, you are here!” Cole stared at Alan in obvious relief. He then explained the situation to him quickly.
I could see Alan’s expression changing several times, mainly when he heard about my oath of loyalty. He was just as surprised as the others when he learned about it, and for an instant, he even wondered what if I was plotting something again.
With how his plans had been going awry recently, Alan had become extremely paranoid.
When he finished listening to Cole, Alan turned towards me.
“Little brother, it has been a while since the last time we met.”
My respects to your acting skills, my dear eldest brother. Anyone else would be gritting his teeth in a rage after being played by me recently.
Just look at Christine. She seems like she wants to devour me with her gaze.
… Mmm, should I test how good your acting skills are?
“Long time no see you, eldest brother,” I said with the most genuine-looking smile I could make. “By the way, where is second brother? I thought he was with you.”
Then, my smile turned malicious.
“… Could it be that something happened to him?”
Alan’s calm expression stiffened. For an instant, I could see anger, fear, and confusion in his face. He probably was wondering if I had something to do with Bryan and the two powerhouses’ disappearance.
In fact, Alan was almost convinced that I was related to it. Otherwise, why did everything happen only after I appeared?
The problem was, he could not understand what I did.
Plus, if I had the means to take care of a fourteenth-layer powerhouse and a thirteenth-layer powerhouse, why did I run away when we met last time?
These questions flashed through Alan’s mind briefly, before disappearing as though they were a lie. Then, he returned to his calm façade.
“… Bryan is not with me. I’m sure he will appear soon enough.”
“Is it so? I’m sure he must be in a better place.” I said while suppressing my laughter.
Alan frowned feeling stifled. Seeing the smirk in my face, he madly wanted to take out his sword and cut me into bits.
Unfortunately for him, he could only ignore that feeling and focus on the current situation.
“Let’s talk about another thing. It looks like there are disagreements about who must lead this group.”
“It doesn’t concern you, Alan,” Dina said coldly. “Or are you thinking about becoming the leader?”
“Why not? I’m the crown prince, don’t you think I’m the most suitable for this situation?”
Dina frowned. This was the worse situation possible.
However, I was already prepared for this.
I glance briefly to teacher Tear and used my gaze to tell her something. Tear nodded and took a step forward.
“I’m sorry, crown prince. But we are under orders from the headmistress to follow Princess Dina. The headmistress designed Princess Dina as the leader of this group, so we, as teachers of the institute, will follow only her orders!”
Alan frowned. He then looked around and smirked.
“Is that the opinion of all the teachers?”
But then… Nothing happened.
Alan was startled. By now, the teachers on his side should have appeared to support him.
But when he looked around, he could only see our mocking smiles.
Only now Alan discovered that he could not see any of the teachers that were supposed to be on his side!
Before he could understand what was happening, he heard Tear speak again.
“I forgot to tell you, Prince Alan, but the headmistress discovered several teachers who were directly involved with the current situation, so she cleaned up the institute of all the traitor teachers and sent the rest here. Currently, the headmistress is fighting the beyond-twelfth-layer powerhouse in the daemons’ side.”
Alan’s expression changed. He was smart enough to understand the meaning behind the lines of Tear’s words.
She was telling him that all his henchmen had been killed!
“Too bad, eldest brother.” I chuckled amusedly. “It looks like no teacher is going to support you.”
Several expressions flashed in Alan’s face at the same time. Doubt, confusion, anger, humiliation.
At this point, Alan finally realized that we were playing with him.
However, I still needed to give him the last hit.
“What are you going to do, eldest brother? Without the strength of the teachers, what are you going to use to repel the daemons? Although if you insist on your wrong ways, I have a proposal.”
“… Do tell.” Alan said, suppressing the rage that wanted to consume him.
I smiled. “Well, if you want, we can divide the group into two. If any student wants to follow you, you can form a second group with them. We can avoid having divided opinions that way.”
Alan narrowed his eyes. Instinctively, he realized that something was wrong.
… My proposal was too good for him.
As the crown prince, he was sure that a sizeable number of students was going to support him. In fact, he could see that Dina seemed worried and nervous after my words. If not by the fact that she trusted me unconditionally, she would have stopped me.
But Dina’s trust in me was greater than Alan’s thought.
Thus, after looking at me briefly, she took a step forward and agreed to my proposal despite her confusion.
“What are you going to do, Alan? Follow my orders or leave the camp!”
… Girl, that sounded so cool.
Alan was hesitant. He was aware that this was most likely a trap, but he could not see where the problem was.
In the end, he could only grit his teeth and agree.
“The ones that want to leave with me, take a step forward!”
Several people moved instantly, including Cole, Al, and the others of the club committee.
But in total, there were less than ten people.
Alan was astonished, but he did his best to keep his expression under control. Taking a deep breath, he repeated his words again.
This time, though, there was nobody else stepping forward.
I chuckled softly and stared at Alan as though he was a fool. “Eldest brother, sister Dina has led this group since yesterday, rescuing many students and repelling the daemons successfully. What were you doing meanwhile? Why would the students follow someone unreliable like you instead of the much better prepared Princess Dina?”
Actually, I used a bit of suggestion on the students just now, making them subconsciously think that Dina was the best option to follow. Otherwise, although not all of the students would have left, at least a third would have departed with Alan.
But Alan did not know it. Thus, the way he saw it, the students themselves believed that Dina was a much better leader than him.
Moreover, it was the same as the students siding Dina and my faction instead of the faction of the crown prince.
The sorry gazes that the students were like painful stabs to Alan’s pride. His prestige as crown prince was on the ground.
Alan closed his eyes and took a deep breath. However, he was unable to hide the shaking of his hands from me.
Hehe, are you angry? Great!
At that moment, Dina gave Alan the final hit with a scornful smile.
“What are you going to do, Alan? I’m a compassionate woman. You can stay if you want. Just make sure to follow my orders obediently.”
Alan looked fixedly to us before moving his grudge-filled gaze through each student in the camp. Finally, he turned around with an ice-cold expression.
Good luck, eldest brother. You are going to need it.
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