Chapter 66: Eighth Episode: Chapter 2
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

The days seemed to have returned to the norm. Oscar did not know what date it was today. He had been a little muddled for the past few days; following the young lady for a stroll in the woods, picnicking, accompanying Her Imperial Highness The Princess in the interview with the Veteran Club of Narcissus County, chatting with a stranger mother, accompanying the bride of his second brother to pray at church. In short, the people saw the teen rushing in and out relentlessly, yet they did not know that this youngster’s heart was like a wasteland, like a trapped beast, fretful and lonesome.

Oscar was aware of the fact he was not suited for this sort of tranquil life. Although this kind of life was what the noble class wholeheartedly yearned for, the youngster thirsted for something new that could sufficiently pique his interest. It would even be a good choice if he were to participate in the "Military History Seminar" at this time.

"We are going to leave this place!" Early in the morning, Her Imperial Highness The Princess, having returned to her dignified beauty of her former days wearing her short-sleeved dress, burst into Oscar’s room with her face flushed.

"Oh goodness, gracious!" Oscar carelessly tugged a shirt over his body, "This is great news, but you should have waited until after I’ve gotten up from bed to tell me this."

"No!" The Princess eyed the young man up and down teasingly. It seemed that she did not plan to step back, "we are not welcomed here, and the earlier we leave, the better."

"Really? I couldn’t tell that you were unwelcome." Oscar gave a strange laugh. He vaguely sensed that this issue was not as simple as it appeared.

Alanis shrugged, ‘Perhaps, but I don’t care; being welcomed is good, and it also doesn’t matter if I’m unwelcome. My duty has already been completed. The letter of our Emperor father summoning us back is in my bedroom. When do you plan to leave? How about tomorrow? Oh god! To be honest, I feel like leaving tonight."

Oscar burst into laughter, "I apologize, Your Imperial Highness Princess. You have hurt my self-esteem as a member of Andrew. This is my home, even if you’re fed up with it, you should at least feign delight."

"Just like you?" The Princess shot a look at the teen teasingly. "Forget about it, there is absolutely no place for you here. As compared to me, the Princess’ you, the prince, are the one who is truly not welcomed here. Oh god! Look at their disapproving faces! They are only too eager for us to beat it!"

Oscar burst into a hearty laugh, amused by the princess’ choice of words. He already did not care what his family thought of him. He had no guilt in his heart so he absolutely did not have to care about those people who held a grudge against him.

"‘Beat it’, I like this phrase. From where did you learn it? Had the people in court heard this, believe me, my beloved Alanis, you would have been caught in His Majesty the Emperor’s hands and had your bottom beaten."

"He wouldn’t dare!" Alanis jutted out her chin in retaliation, "If he dares so much as to even touch me, I will go to the tomb of the Emperors and keep a vigil over our ancestors, and at the same time lament to them!"

"Hahahahahaha!"

The two youngsters laughed presumptuously. After going through the journey from Dulin to Andrew Haila and experiencing this considerably carefree period, they already rarely added honorifics into each other’s address. These two young hearts were continuously drawn closer together, perhaps they themselves were not even aware of it, but the Prince and the Princess already realized that they had a considerably tacit understanding between them, especially the latter. Alanis was overjoyed upon this discovery, but she was unsure whether it was just because the little Prince and she were absolutely similar individuals. Their ambitious and callous minds were still concealed beneath the young and childish skin.

The Prince and Her Imperial Highness The Princess unanimously decided to set off first thing the next morning. This meant that they were going to be extremely busy today. Oscar had to pay an official call to a few elders while Alanis had to pack up the gifts she received. The gifts that this Princess received were sufficient to make up for the losses of the raid. These gifts included servants, maids, clothes, jewels, but among these things, only one caught Alanis’ eye, which was the one received from a young gentleman of the Andrew family. This gentleman was evidently a remarkable hunter. He had given to her an entire set of special pairs of scissors particularly to trim the fingernails of large beasts. Her Imperial Highness The Princess no longer had to worry about the little bobcat, LeFou’s claws, which were growing sharper and sharper.

However, with that said, Her Imperial Highness The Princess started to grumble again; those wretched, ignorant people of the mountain, these people’s minds were as low as their status; LeFou was not a bobcat after all. According to the gentleman of the house of Andrew who had dealt with all sorts of vicious beasts before, LeFou’s was truly an exceptionally precious clouded leopard in all Westland. This type of leopard had a noble nature. They only roamed the alpine cliffs where no man was capable of reaching, and it was said that they even captured hawks.

The Princess was in mild distress, but it was understandable. She was hugging an extremely unsafe leopard to bed each day! No wonder! As it turned out, LeFou was basically a ferocious nocturnal beast through and through.

"How large will it grow?" Oscar teased about the "Bobcat" discreetly. Ever since he found out that this was a leopard, he dared not challenge its claws and sharp teeth anymore.

"How large? That older cousin of yours said that it could at least grow to two meters. Oh god! By that time, I won’t even be able to carry it anymore!" Alanis said while combing the LeFou’s back fur. The "Bobcat" closed its eyes contentedly; it was not bothered to entertain that bored little fatty.

"Really?" Oscar gaped, "that would be a little troublesome, this little creature has yet to reveal its true, extremely ferocious nature. Believe me, Alanis, let us not talk about the distant future, and let’s say that once this creature gets a little bigger, it will learn how to hunt on its own. It will tear all those little animals caged in the court gardens into shreds and then drag them to your bed to slowly relish them."

"Oh my goodness!" Alanis made a gesture as if she was about to faint, "My Imperial Highness Prince, you are scaring me."

"No, what I speak of is the truth. It is your son, it would definitely carry the spoils of war in its mouth to show off to you!"

"Oh no!" Alanis imagined the scene of her bedroom that was about to have blood dripping all over. "Don’t tell me that there is no other way!"

"Or else, how will you want it? Bring it up a vegetarian?" Oscar enjoyed teasing this beautiful, respected young lady, he was cheerful, enjoying the moment the whole time, ‘My princess, it will not cooperate with you, if you starve it mad, it will not mind having you as an appetizer!"

Seeing the teen smirking, the princess finally somewhat figured it out! "You jerk! You keep teasing me!"

Oscar dodged the princess’ attack, but little LeFou, seeing some motion from its "mother", was already racing forwards. It leaped onto Oscar’s back and used its teeth to tear at the youngster’s hair frantically.

"Oh god! Quickly chase it away! It wants to bite off my throat!" Oscar cried for help loudly. He held onto Alanis, but very quickly, LeFou made the two of them fall. The Princess laughed until she was gasping for breath. She did not mind that she was being squashed under the youngster’s body at all.

"Your...Your Imperial Highness!"

Both of the top-notch Imperial household members sprang up from the ground while LeFou also shot a watchful glare at the unexpected guest who showed up at the doorway.

"Ahem...Is something the matter?" Oscar attempted to conceal his awkwardness."

The officer was still in shock at what he had witnessed, "Uhh...The Duke requests for you."

***************

The days during the eighth month at Narcissus country was unbearable to the people. The rainy season persisted until now, approached its end and next came the excruciatingly dry and scorching heat. By the time it was the end of the 11th month, you would feel that winter had already started before autumn even came because once the dry season ended, there would not be any more showers. The God of Light allowed the Narcissus County to begin snowing immediately.

"I love winter," Murat sat gloomily in the tent with his Chief of Staff and the three regimental commanders. They unbuttoned their jackets, revealing their broad chests that were full of hair.

"Of course, beautiful winter! All of us love it." The Chief of Staff of the Red Tigers, Colonel Théleau Kleiner, wiped the sweat off his forehead and swept it to the ground impatiently.

"Commander, is there a special matter that you ordered us here for?" Major Frank Pablo of the Red Tiger Heavy Cavalry Corps said while fanning himself vigorously.

"Put that thing used by the ladies down, I can even smell perfume!"

"Shaw Shorenstein, your rangers are loafing around like you; please just shut up!" The regimental commander of the Heavy Cavalry Corps shot back at the Commander of the Rangers without the slightest hesitation.

"Save it, we are already unfortunate enough as is." The combat commander of the Red Tigers, Major Will Madrid, was getting a little annoyed, not towards his colleagues, rather, towards the Sun in the sky, and the string of events that took place recently.

"Commander, I suppose you called us here is because of those men who are applying for a transfer?" Colonel Shaw Shorenstein shot a look at the Combat Corps’ Will Madrid.

"Yes, I did not expect so many people to request a transfer from the Red Tigers. This is bad! Even those men who squeezed in, by all means, have a change of heart, like ladies." Murat took out a large bundle of letters from who knows where and threw them onto the ground.

"Commander," The combat corps’ Will Madrid stood up, "You know, if the Red Tigers had followed His Imperial Highness The Prince to Dulin, then I fear that it will not be easy to return once again. I do not wish to end my fighting career, I belong here, so..."

"Okay Will, I do not blame you!" Murat waved his hand, "Do I still not know you? You are like a wild beast that thirsts for blood. This is your recommendation letter, bring it to the Front’s Military Command Center; I believe that the Commander will give you a pretty good position."

"Commander..." When the time he really had to leave arrived, Will Madrid was a little reluctant to go.

"So what do I do with these?" The Chief of Staff indicated the pile of letters on the ground, "the battle backbone of the Division have literally all handed in their applications for transfer, if they leave, it will be the end of the Red Tigers."

Murat scratched his head; "I have prepared recommendation letters for all of them."

"What?" The two regimental commanders and another Chief of Staff cried in unison.

"If not, what else could I do?" Murat shrugged, "If they are willing to offer their lives on the battlefield, there is nothing I can do about it."

"But...But we are the direct division of His Imperial Highness The Prince, those jerks are avoiding their responsibilities, this can be likened to that of getting cold feet as war approaches!" Lieutenant Colonel Shaw Shorenstein had his mind fixed about this.

"No, Shaw," Murat shook his head, "just as Will said, the fighting career of the Red Tigers may well be over, we can’t say for sure. Let’s set aside the elite soldiers for the Front, I only need a capable captain and head of soldiers, the remaining young men all have experience of actual combats, so long as they are trained again, then they are still pretty good!"

"You could put it that way," Théleau Kleiner let out a heavy sigh, "But speaking of it indeed makes one worry! We still do not know whether there is a place for us there in Dulin, we still do not know how the Capital’s Security Division of the Imperial Guards who are brimming with the bureaucracy of the nobles will see us, we also don’t know..."

"Okay, okay!" Murat was impatient, "Cheer up, there’s nothing that can stump the Red Tigers!"

"Commander," the combat commander who had already left office stood up, his former colleagues shot him a glare. "I would like to know to whom you will hand the men under me over. You know...I...They..."

"Kamille Rayen!" Murat sighed, he knew how it felt like to leave the soldiers he had brought up, "Colonel Kamille Rayen the Paladin requested to personally appoint the Red Tigers. You should have heard of him, he would not bring disgrace to the name of the battle group."

"Oh..." Will Madrid agreed casually. He had handed over his group to another person and didn’t know whether those men would actually forgive him.

For a moment, an atmosphere of dismay and gloom settled in the tent of the Commander of the Red Tigers. Of course, no matter how Murat imagined it, he definitely would not have thought that the Red Tiger Assault Division who were ‘about to end their fighting career’, would continue to grow stronger along with the growth of Prince O’Neil. They will become the Red Tiger Cavalry Corps, the Red Tiger Front, the Red Tiger Cavalry Column; and ultimately, when the Red Tiger Cavalry spread out a military flag sufficient to obscure a part of the sky, the length that was taken up in the history of Titan’s Military Affairs was sufficient to match the birth of the Red Tiger Army Group of the Narcissus Knights!

Once the Cavalry Commander of the Andrew dynasty, Marshal Murat finished his memoir, he said, "May the God of Light forgive me, my Red Tigers have brought to every corner in Westland blood, swords, soldiers and fire."

***************

"Your Imperial Highness, please come this way!" the young officer who was leading, stood at the side of the corridor respectfully.

Oscar hated the headquarters which was like a maze. He had heard that the former Shanvelor Palace was not like its current state, at least there weren’t any winding corridors that led to who knows where.

"We are here, Your Imperial Highness Prince, please hold on a minute." The officer leading the way came to a halt.

The youngster assessed his surroundings. This was not some weird place, it was only a corner of a staircase, and in front was a towering wall. The staircase was on the left and the patio was on the right. If we were to state what the difference was between this place and the other places in Shanvelor Palace, it would be that this place did not have a single guard, and it was so quiet that not a single bit of sound could be heard.

The officer seemed to have turned some mechanism on the handrail of the staircase. The walls let out a rumble. Oscar perceived that his destination should be a secret room, hidden behind the wall.

The youngster was irritated. Annoyedly, he discovered that on the other side of the rotated wall was another flight of stairs.

"Your Imperial Highness, you may go on up, the distinguished Duke is waiting for you." The officer again pressed on a certain location on the handrail.

Oscar ascended the stairs tactfully. He once again heard the rumble of machinery and felt that he was rotating together with the staircase. Soon, the rotation of the staircase came to a halt. Oscar climbed up the last step and found that he had entered a hall that was large enough to accommodate a hundred people. In the hall, there was a rectangular table that was about 20 over meters long. More than ten elderly men were seated on the chairs on both sides of the rectangular table, his father naturally seated on the main seat. The weird thing was that Mom Celia was seated in the first seat on her husband’s right hand. Oscar did not know that the status of women in the family was that dominant.

"Good day father, mom, and fellow grandfathers." Oscar greeted them casually.

"Very good child, you are finally like a prince!" Duke Dortmund Andrew Nedgabel laughed composedly. He hated this child’s indiscretion; it was like this young lad really thought that the family was excluding him.

"Thank you father, this is the first time I hear you speak sarcastically of me." Oscar went ahead and sat down on the main seat on the other end of the rectangular table.

"O’Neil Andrew Morisette! Get up, I tell you!" Vedaan finally could not take the teen’s disrespectfulness anymore.

"So what if I don’t get up?" Oscar smirked, it seemed as though he intended to rebel until the end, "Beloved Grandfather Vedaan, would you like to come over and beat me up? Then do as you please, after you’ve finished beating me, I will go to the Hall of Heroes to keep a vigil for our ancestors, at the same time lament to the ancestors by breaking down each of the faults of the adults here and the wrongs which I have suffered." It seemed that our Imperial Highness Prince had resumed his true colors of a rascal, he had completely imitated Princess Alanis’ trick.

"You...You little scoundrel!" Vedaan was so furious that even his beard was quivering.

Dortmund grabbed hold of the chairperson of the family elders’ conference who was about to lunge forwards, but the Duke was actually laughing gleefully.

"Hahahaha! Uncle Vedaan! Forget about it! Let him off just this once, don’t you think that he resembles the young version of you a lot? Moreover, as what I have said earlier, the things that we have done cannot be concealed much longer, this child would want to understand eventually. Am I right? My little Oscar!

Oscar gave a chuckle and stood up. He walked to his father’s side; he already noticed earlier on that the seat on his father’s left was vacant and from this, he could tell that his position in the family elders’ conference was not one subject to questionings and punishments.

The youngster stood still by his father’s side. He gave a respectful bow to Vedaan and the whole crowd of elders, "Grandfather Vedaan! Fellow senior granddads, little Oscar is about to leave the family again and he longs to receive blessings from his relatives."

Vedaan’s anger had subsided because after all, it was he who had hurt the child’s feelings. Just as Dortmund said, this child was extremely sensitive, he also had an extremely clear grasp on the nature of matters; this child would at the end receive blessings.

"Before that, could you explain to us why must you challenge us old men?" Vedaan did not intend compromise with this child just like that, that would tarnish his reputation.

Oscar opened his eyes widely, feigning astonishment, "Grandfather Vedaan, have you made a mistake? I thought the crowd of elders called me here to explain to me about certain matters, why are you turning that against me?"

"Uhh...Dortmund, look at your good sons; first, it was that little brute Figg and now it is little Oscar. Why do your sons enjoy targeting us, the seniors?" Having reached his wit's end, Vedaan could only shift his anger onto the child’s father.

"Hold it Vedaan!" One of the elders finally stood up and spoke for the child, "Do not pull us into it; the one who cannot get along with the child is you alone and furthermore, you have lost this round. Little Oscar has won beautifully, and you have to admit that."

Vedaan smacked his lips, unable to utter a word. The rest of the family elders had broken into a joyous laughter, particularly the first Madame of the Duke, Celia was actually laughing heartily, it could be considered that her son had helped take her revenge.

"Child, hurry and sit down, don’t you want to listen to our explanation?" Berkley spoke up, although he did not know why he was being pushed out to converse with the child.

"I apologize, you are..." Oscar only thought about this issue after he was seated. He did not have any memory of this grandfather.

"Oh...My public identity is a veteran soldier, you can call me Grandfather Berke." Berkley knew that he was speaking with a younger generation so he refrained from the somber expression.

"Oh! Then your identity which isn’t made public..."

"Oscar!" Oscar interrupted his son, "Your Grandfather Berkley is in charge of the family’s secret wars, do you know what that means?"

"Yes, I am very clear!" Oscar did not plan to continue probing; it was evident that his father was warning him about prying too much into the issue.

Berkley glanced towards Duke Andrew. The Duke nodded his head, indicating that it was okay to begin, "So, child, I believe that you have already guessed the true intent of the act a few days ago?"

"Yes, Grandfather Berke." Oscar nodded his head.

"Then can you tell me your answer?"

Without giving it any thought, Oscar blurted out, "You all just wanted to see my mom angry and anxious, speaking in my defense."

"Haha! Celia! What did I tell you? Even your young son has noticed!" Vedaan hooted, with little awareness of his position as chairperson of the Elders’ conference.

Feeling as if she was being teased again, Celia was already almost furious beyond reason, but Vedaan was an elder, she could only resort to releasing her anger on her son. The family mistress had forgotten about the occasion; she reached her body out, stretched out her hand and grabbed her younger son’s ear.

"What...What are you guys doing?" Dortmund had had the last straw.

Celia withdrew her hand embarrassedly. She apologized to her husband and all the elders, not forgetting to shoot a glare at Oscar in the end.

"Oscar, hold in your frivolity from now onwards!" Dortmund warned his young son who was going overboard.

"Very well father. Going back to our topic, I found fault in Mom Celia’s words. Mom, do you still remember? In the end, you said that next time we have all the time to probe into my problems, so I suspected that before that, all of you had already probed into it before! So I intuited that that was an act that the princess and I had to cooperate on.

"A very brilliant judgment!" One of the seniors cheered for the child. "Celia’s answer had already been discussed over by us and we didn’t expect that you would have gotten clues from it."

Oscar rose slightly from his chair in response to the praise from the elder. Having been hampered by depression day after day, his heart was now being flooded with confidence.

"These few days I have been pondering over why all the elders would want to put on such a show and more so when my father was absent. I deduced that the most probable conclusion was that everyone wanted to confuse Alfa III. I think that when His Majesty heard from her daughter about the conversation, he will surely believe that our family’s situation isn’t looking too good."

All the elders’ interests were sparked. They started whispering to one another, discussing just how the child was undeniably sensitive, yet also extremely wise and farsighted.

"That’s right child, you have completely grasped our intentions." Berkley did not praise little Oscar, but he was feeling more and more at ease. Perhaps it was because of his lack of understanding of the child, but Berkley had started to have an intuition that if this child grew and matured a little more, there will come a day when he will completely break away from the family’s control.

"Right now the family can only do so much for you, do you understand? Our assuming the stance of rejection was for your own good, and the Emperor will therefore further mold you until your powers have grown to a stage where the family is unable to reject you."

Oscar was at a loss for words, "The things that you have said, I...I don’t really understand. Why won’t the Emperor set me aside? There is no place for me in Dulin. What’s more, my age has determined that there’s no way I can take up a post in the government anytime soon."

"I am talking about the future," what Berkley was worried about was this child’s future; he had no idea what kind of changes this Prince, who had a promising future, could bring to the family. "Child, you will grow. Moreover, you already have a stroke of luck that only comes once in a blue moon. Could it be that you have forgotten? Allow me to remind you, the Emperor’s Military Affairs Chancellor, Marshal Vann Hewitt Alan’s military intelligence Bureau has handed over the organizational constitution to His Majesty the Emperor. According to the news from the palace, the Emperor would now clasp that document and mull over it daily. This is an opportunity for you to accomplish your goals. Not to mention, what the family wants is to conform to the Emperor’s wishes and to push you up into this extremely promising and prominent position.

"Yes!" Vedaan’s eyes shone a meaningful ray, "Child, we should recognize Marshal Alfa’s outstanding intelligence, instead of letting off this significant position to others, why not we fight hard for it ourselves?"

"But is there any use?" Oscar indeed had a hard time believing in the elders’ words, "let us not talk about how Alfa III will handle my problem, you should only be talking about that still non-existent Military Intelligence Bureau. Are all of you forgetting those tyrannical factions from the capital’s noble circle? Would they let such a prominent position slip off? They..."

"Hold on, child!" Berkley interrupted little Oscar’s words, "It’s not that we look down on those tyrannical nobles in the capital’s circle, it’s because they absolutely do not have any faction. If you insist, there is only one faction which is the imperial faction! This is because of the fact they are all aware that the Emperor has given them everything, and so they will adjust their interests according to the Emperor’s intentions."

"I get it… somewhat," Oscar muttered to himself irresolutely; it seemed like he had to properly research about the Imperial power’s sublime ideas, "You are saying that it is absolutely meaningless to fight since everything is still determined by the Emperor’s intentions."

"That’s right!" Berkley nodded his head, "What you need to do is to convince the Emperor that using you would conform to the Imperial household’s interests."

"But...But I have done nothing up to now! I also don’t know what I should do!" Oscar complained loudly.

"No, child! Your excellence already speaks for itself. Since you do not know what to do, so much so that you have not done anything at all, then let Grandfather Berke tell you, the family requests you to start off from the "Military History and Theory Seminar", improve your knowledge steadfastly, enrich your mind continuously, and I believe that one day you will become the pride of the family."

"Yes Grandfather, I would have done that without you telling me to. However, you have not told me, my so-called powers that have grown to a stage where the family is unable to reject me, what is that about?" Oscar could not make sense of it no matter how hard he tried, "You are saying that the Emperor will mold me into a tyrannical person who will surpass the Andrew family? This is absolutely impossible! Although I am a member of the Imperial Household, I am also a child of Andrew. No matter how the Alfa III molds me, I will still be mindful of my other identity! Hence I believe that there is a limit to the benefits he will bring to my future."

Barkley nodded his head, "That’s right child, Alfa III will not paint your future limitlessly. However, there is a problem with your understanding, the purpose of this Emperor tying you up by his side is to use you to control the family. Think about it, you are the Prince of the Empire, the Princess’ consort and even the future Chief of the Military Intelligence Bureau. When Duke Andrew retires, or if a mishap happens to befall him, logically, you will step into the position of Commander-in-chief of the family. This is because the family already has no other successor who is on par with your status. That is why I say that at that moment, they have no other choice but to accept you as the leader."

"What do you mean by ‘when the Duke retires, or if a mishap happens to befall him’?" Oscar realized the seriousness of the issue.

"You should be very clear!" Dortmund replied his young son’s question, "However, from how I see it if Alfa III believes that the time is right, the likelihood of mishap befalling me will be even greater, I believe that he absolutely cannot wait until my retirement!"

"Do you mean to say he will plot out an assassination?" Oscar’s tone had already changed.

"Do not be angry, my son. This is politics, the politics where two parties cannot coexist!" The Duke said all this in a very calm manner.

"However, if it’s that way, we still can’t say that the Emperor has achieved his goal of controlling the Andrew Family. I will not turn my back on the beliefs of my family, even more, I will not let the Narcissus County become a backyard of the Hamilton palace, that is only Alfa III’s wishful plans. What more is there to say if he really hurts my father, then I will use my own methods to demand justice! No one can violate the House of Andrew and still live freely in this world!" Oscar justified, using his own reasoning.

"Child, if it really came to that, then it is already too late!" Vedaan interrupted. He was the chairperson of the family elders’ conference, this issue was only best addressed by him.

"Do not forget, according to the current situation, Alfa III has already handed over his most beloved daughter to you. So when you become the family’s leader in future, the princess will undoubtedly become the mistress of Andrew because her status is nobler than any of the ladies of this world, this is something we do not wish to see but must nonetheless accept! Moreover, both you and Her Imperial Highness The Princess are first-rate Imperial Household members, so your children...Oh god! Just thinking about it is terrifying. The status and lineage of your children will be as noble as the Morisette dynasty’s prince! Using a successor such as this to control Andrew, this is the true intention of Alfa III. He wants to obliterate Andrew through the bloodline; this is the most horrible means! And it’s precisely because of this, we only believe that the Emperor will definitely do his utmost in molding you!"

At that moment, Oscar was speechless, if he and the Princess’ wedding were to become an established fact, then the things that Grandfather Vedaan said would come to be in succession.

"Little Oscar, the words that you said against Alfa III makes me, as a father, feel very, very gratified!" Dortmund used his large hand and patted one of Oscar’s shoulders, "However, this way of thinking is dangerous, it’s extremely dangerous! The Imperial Household fears Andrew’s strength, and us Andrew are afraid of the strength of the Imperial power. Just a slip of your vengeful thoughts and it may lead to a civil war. Do not forget, there are still natural enemies of ours in the East! An Andrew that is encircled by enemies is destined to perish! You cannot..."

"That’s enough father! What are you saying to your own son? Since you know perfectly well that Alfa III will take actions, could it be that you are still expecting me to cheer for him by the side?" Oscar shook of his father’s hand, he was already fuming!

"I’ve just said it a moment ago, this is politics! If a day such as that really comes, the family can only accept it. I hope that you can hold your tongue!" The Duke stared at his young son with a glint in his eye.

"Father..." Oscar was choked with emotions! He suddenly stood up! "Then what about this, I will return to Dulin and tell that Emperor that I no longer want his daughter, to hell with him! To hell with his wretched strategy!"

"Oscar, sit down!" Dortmund subdued the cries of his young son, and he again used his hand to push him back down onto his seat.

"Listen to me, son, the things that the other elders and I said just now was the worst case scenario. Don’t tell me that when you have obtained power that surpasses the family’s, you will not think of other means?"

Although Dortmund’s last sentence was so soft that it could barely be heard, all the people seated there still heard it very clearly. They stared at their family’s Commander-in-chief alarmed! They really dared not affirm what Dortmund was trying to suggest to his son!

Oscar, on the other hand, did not notice the change in the crowd’s demeanor; his full attention was focused on trying to digest his father’s words.

"Other methods?" The youngster thought hard.

"There is always a way, we need not hurry about that now." Berkley interrupted little Oscar’s train of thought. "Child, the most important is to seize the present, don’t you already know what you should do? Don’t tell me that you have forgotten? That Military History and Theory Seminar! Regardless of how the future turns out, your growth comes down to your studies. When you have outstandingly completed your studies, venturing into these issues then is still not late."

Oscar nodded his head slowly. Grandfather Vedaan’s words did not help to ease his worry. The youngster felt as if a huge, heavy boulder was pressing down on his heart.

"Oscar!" Dortmund caught his young son’s attention, "When you once again leave the family, when you are about to receive the family’s blessing, I hope that I can verify with you about one matter."

"Father, please tell me!" Oscar stood up; he knew that the final moments were about to arrive.

"Can you hold fast to your belief and loyalty to the family? Regardless of whatever untold dangers and challenges that you may encounter in the future, and regardless of whatever people or matters that you may come across!"

"Yes, I can! I will use my life to uphold the beliefs and honor of the family. I am a member of Andrew by birth; I am a chosen warrior of God by birth! No obstacles can wear down my spirit, no person or matter can shake my determination!"

"Then..." The Duke stood up, followed by all the elders of the Andrew Family.

"As the Duke of Andrew, the family’s supreme Commander-in-chief of the armed force, on behalf of all the members of the family, I give my blessings to O’Neil Andrew Morisette, who is about to set out. May he grow fitter in the upcoming journey, may his footsteps be all the more steady in his future journey, and may his heart be ever stronger for the upcoming journey, in the name of the God of Light..."

"In the name of the God of Light!" All the members of Andrew had their hands placed firmly on their chests.

"...Andrew prays for his child!"

"Thank you…" Oscar embraced his father, his mother and all the people present there.

The staircase of the secret room once again rotated, Little Oscar who had received his family’s blessing had already left. The moment the revolving staircase was securely closed, the elders of the House of Andrew could not help it any longer but start questioning the head of the family together!

"Dortmund! What do you mean by those words you said to the child?"

"Yes Dortmund! You are instigating a revolt!"

"Dortmund, you have already influenced the child. Those kind of words is not for you to say, more so it should not have been said by Andrew!"

"Everyone, calm down a little!" An old voice suddenly bellowed out.

The crowd was stunned, they watched old Berkley, who was in charge of the family’s secret matters, stand up slowly!

"Allow me to explain this matter!" Old Berkley seemed to have aged a lot in just one second, "In half a month ago, we received confirmation that The Great Khalifah had suddenly met his demise from the intelligence that came from the Persians’ capital, Baghad West. This Emperor did not leave any successors, his younger brother seized the Imperial palace immediately after and executed the Emperor’s nine sons, but this Emperor has just too many sons. Our intelligence indicates that more than ten of the princes had fled the capital and are already beginning to mobilize each tribe in their respective fiefs."

Dortmund let off a sigh, "When the ancient Persian Empire fell into the hands of this current Emperor, it had already faced many challenges, one after another. Their conflict with the Eastern dynasty had gravely shaken the country’s foundations, but their country’s Western territories are still better. It is said that they can no longer find a fully-grown man in their Eastern territories! Now a long and drawn-out civil war is about to break loose, I have reasons to believe that our natural enemy is about to meet their end! If we absolutely have to put in a deadline for this, I cannot say precisely, but I dare say that within ten or twenty years, the huge Persian Empire will thoroughly collapse. My fellow uncles, can anyone tell me what this signifies?"

"This signifies...signifies that Andrew’s historical mission will...will..." Vedaan sat back down, trembling, "end" He was having trouble uttering that word.

"Is the news accurate?" One of the elders grabbed hold of old Berkley’s collar.

"Yes! Is the news accurate? Since unrest has taken place in their capital, why then would the Mirzai and Mogadishu tribes still attack us? They should be too busy attending to the West!"

Dortmund gave a bitter laugh, "I do not know why they still insist on attacking, but please, believe me, these kinds of attacks will get lesser and lesser until you will finally realize that there is not a single Persian at the borders!"

"Then...Then should we have a celebration?" One of the elders suggested.

"Celebrate what?" Dortmund glared wide-eyed at the elder before him.

"Celebrate our natural enemy’s collapse!" The elder said like it is a given.

Dortmund gave a menacing smile, "That’s right, our natural enemy will sooner or later collapse, this is indeed something worth celebrating over. But when the Morisette dynasty suddenly realizes that the threat from the East has already vanished, when the Emperor suddenly realizes that the four hundred thousand Narcissus knights are already staying idly at home, have you ever thought about what this would again signify?"

Dortmund paid no attention to the elders whose faces had changed abruptly; he only focused on answering the question that he himself had thrown out.

"Fellow elders of the family, this signifies that the day the Persian country disappears from the world would be the moment when the Andrew and Morisette dynasty lay down their cards!"

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