Alan’s Nightmare (1)
The Arcadian Empire, Narita City.
This city was the border between the central region of the empire and the territory of the Carmell Family. It made this city a popular place for trade and transportation making it a very prosperous place for many years.
However, the previous prosperity of the city could barely be seen now.
Instead, the city was desolate, with few people on the streets, and soldiers patrolling the place and searching every houses for fugitives.
The reason behind this change was the war that just took place in the empire.
The civil war between the troops of the Empress, Dina Quintin, and the troops of the previous Crown Prince, Alan Quintin.
The Empress had the support of the Ferret family, one of the three strongest families of the empire, plus the support of the Fourth Prince, Claus Quintin, and many nobles of the empire.
Alan Quintin, on the other hand, was supported by the Riea Family and the Carmell Family, the remaining two of the three greatest families of the empire.
The battle was very fierce, with thousands of people dying from both sides and powerful beings beyond imagination facing each other. But in the end, the rebel army was completely decimated.
Almost nobody from the rebel army managed to survive.
But fortunately, Earl Carlson Riea and Crown Prince Alan Quintin managed to survive after they were saved by Claus and thrown inside Narita City.
But it didn’t mean that their situation was good.
Quite the opposite, now, they could only hide from the empire’s soldiers like rats.
Inside one house in the city, Earl Riea was walking back and forth in the living room with an anxious expression.
Someone came out of a room at that moment. He was a young man with blond hair, blue eyes, and a handsome appearance. But strangely, he seemed gaunt and tired, as though he did not sleep well in the last few days.
Nobody could have related this gaunt young man was to the man that was once the crown prince of this empire.
“Still no news from Al, uncle?” The young man, Alan Quintin, asked.
Earl Riea shook his head with a solemn expression.
“It has been almost two hours since he left. I’m afraid that he could have been caught by the soldiers.”
“Don’t worry, uncle. Al is smart. He won’t let himself get caught.”
“I hope so.” Earl Riea sighed.
The pair waited anxiously for a while, and when Earl Riea was about to lose his patience and go out to search for his son, someone knocked on the door.
“Father, it’s me.”
Earl Riea sighed in relief and hurriedly opened the door.
The next second, a young man with similar features to the earl entered the house and closed the door behind him.
“Nobody followed you, right?” Alan asked.
Al shook his head. “Don’t worry, cousin. I was covering my face, so nobody recognized me.”
“That is good.”
Al was lucky to not participate in Narita City’s battle, so he managed to survive when almost the entire rebel army was decimated. Afterward, he entered Narita City searching for the whereabouts of his father, and he managed to find him.
But unfortunately for him, the situation inside the city was very tense.
The soldiers of the empire seemed to know that the Earl and the crown prince were inside the city as they soon forbade people from entering or leaving it. Besides, every day, soldiers searched the houses in the city searching for both of them.
Several times, the earl and the crown prince were close to being caught, but fortunately, they were lucky to escape every time.
“How is the situation outside?” The Earl asked.
Al shook his head. “It’s very bad. There are posters with your faces over the entire city, and the soldiers stop any suspicious person to interrogate them. Also, I heard that the city walls are being watched by powerful soldiers in case someone tries to escape through there.” The Earl sighed.
“It means that we can’t leave the city. What about supplies? Did you manage to get anything?”
“Just a bit of flour and water. It’s very hard to find food in the city. We will have to do with this for now.”
Earl Riea and Alan put on complicated expressions.
“Dammit! It’s Claus and that bitch’s fault! I should have been the emperor, not Dina, that bitch!”
Earl Riea sighed.
“We lost, prince. And we lost completely. Who would have imagined that Claus was that strong? All this time, he was playing with us.”
“Then, are we going to give up!?” Alan snarled.
The Earl fell silent, but after several seconds, he shook his head.
“As long as there is life, there is hope. Our priority now is to survive.”
“Life, huh.” Alan smiled bitterly.
Just then, someone knocked on the door again.
Al, Earl Riea, and Alan became tense immediately.
“… Who is it?” Al asked with a wary tone.
“… It’s me.” A female voice replied from the other side of the door after a slight pause.
“Christine!” Alan’s tone became excited. He hurriedly opened the door, finding a beautiful girl with auburn hair and brown eyes outside. “You are finally here.” He hugged her excitedly.
“Alan, you look so gaunt… Here, take this. I brought you food.” Christine smiled sadly when she saw Alan’s state. She then gave him a bag with food that she was holding.
“Thank you.” Alan was really thankful to see the food. He had no eaten much in the last few days, so seeing food lifted his mood a lot.
He could swear that he had never been so happy seeing his fiancée like today.
But before he could grab a bit of food, the earl stopped him and looked at his fiancée with a suspicious gaze.
“… Christine, why did you take so long to come? We sent you the message a few days ago.”
“Sorry. I was afraid that I was being followed, so I waited for a while before coming.”
The earl narrowed his eyes, but Alan’s became displeased.
“Uncle, please don’t doubt Christine. I trust her. I’m sure she will never betray me.”
The earl sighed and nodded. “I hope so.”
“Right, Earl Riea. I brought a message for you. It’s from my aunt.” Christine suddenly said.
“Mia!? What did she say?”
Al and Earl Riea were surprised. They looked at Christine anxiously, as though they were afraid she was lying.
“She asked me to tell you that she is in the city and perhaps she can help you,” Christine then told them the place where Mia was staying.
Earl Riea’s expression became complicated. On a hand, he was happy that his wife wanted to help him, and on the other hand, he was suspicious of her.
After all, they did not part in the best way. In fact, their relationship had been rocky for a while.
Christine seemed to understand his feelings and smiled.
“Don’t worry, Aunt will not betray her family.”
Earl Riea’s expression became bitter.
“That is true.”
He then hesitated for a while, before putting on a determined expression.
“I’m going to see her.”
“Now?” Alan was surprised.
“Yes. Perhaps it’s my last opportunity to see her. I should be able to reach where she is staying without meeting the guards if I’m careful.”
“I’ll go with you, father,” Al said, and the Earl nodded.
After deciding to go to Mia’s place, the pair of father and son wore two coats to hide their features and left.
“In the end, uncle still loves his wife,” Alan sighed with a complicated expression.
Christine fell silent.
At that moment, Alan hugged Christine from behind and kissed her neck before muttering something with a dejected look.
“Thank you for coming, Christine. Really, thank you for not abandoning me after I lost everything. Thank you.”
Christine’s expression was complicated. She opened her mouth to reply, but just then, the door was knocked on again.
“Huh? Could it be that uncle forgot something?”
“I’ll go to see.” Christine furrowed her brows and went to open the door.
“Okay. I’ll eat something meanwhile.” Alan nodded and grabbed the bag with food that Christine brought.
At that moment, he heard the door opening. He was about to turn around to ask Earl Riea if he forgot something, but to his horror, he heard a voice that sent shivers to his spine.
“Long time no see you, eldest brother.”
Alan’s face turned ashen. He slowly turned around, only to see the face that recently appeared in all his nightmares.
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