Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 191: Twenty-second Episode: Chapter 1
Chapter 191: Twenty-second Episode: Chapter 1
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The residence of Baron Bernadot Ogerio was situated at the Northern suburbs of Dulin. It was a small castle which was built with yellow bricks. To its left, there were greeneries of grasses, shrubs and woods, and the broad massive leaves made the castle which was only a little bit bigger than thirty meters cube appeared even narrower.
A stony road which could only accommodate a single carriage turned to Baron Ogeiro's residence from the left of the highway leading to the highway of University Town. The gardeners in the residence had planted white and yellow roses on each side of the stony road. One would be overwhelmed by the fragrance of the roses while walking along the road.
Baron Ogeiro was not the good type of man who looked after his family. If the Baroness did not enter the city, most likely she could not meet her husband often throughout the four seasons of the year. This was all due to the Baron's occupation.
As the primary Historical Records Officer of the Morisette Dynasty, the Baron was required to follow the empire's ruler closely, just like the Imperial Confidential Secretary, recording every single word and action of the emperor as well as the chronology of events in the entire palace and country.
Of course, the things that he had documented were all materials which could be publicized to the outer world, or in other words, they would be able to remain within the world through the historical documents. In certain setting and during some events, Baron Ogeiro would often be excluded from the scene as the country's ruler often had many matters that were unknown to the public which could not be recorded down in history.
On the third day after the crowning of Her Majesty the Empress, the Baron had returned home, bringing along His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette who held great authority and power. The Baron sat in the high-quality carriage of the Andrew family, while His Imperial Highness the Prince was seated just opposite him. In the beginning, the conversations between Bernadot and the Imperial Prince were absolutely joyful. The easy-going O'Neil Andrew Morisette was not at all conscious of his positions as the royalty, Imperial Prince and the Marshal of the Guards. This greatly surprised Baron Ogeiro, but after that, things had changed.
Bernadot was the empire's Chief Historical Records Officer, and he was familiar with the famous His Imperial Highness the Prince. Of course, what the Baron was familiar with was not the individual self but the matters and events of His Imperial Highness the Prince. The Historical Records Officer sized up the Imperial Prince's facial expressions. He could not tell what it was exactly but Bernadot only thought that he had said the wrong thing. How he wished the God of Light had some pity for him. In their previous conversations, he had said nothing more than introducing his own wife, who was Countess Hanning, and his old father-in-law who had been the former warden of Damorga Prison.
"Have I offended you?" Bernadot could not hold it in anymore. He must sort things out! Otherwise, as misfortunes came from one's mouth and with omen of the pen's tip breaking, if he happened to offend any influential figure or had written anything inappropriate, the consequences would be "quite" grave.
"Oh, no!" Oscar recovered from his stance abruptly, "I'm the one who should be apologizing. I was distracted!"
Bernadot said no more. He just sized up His Imperial Highness the Prince' demeanor questioningly. He was a Historical Records Officer, and his vision was as sharp as his feather pen. Prince O'Neil's response could only mean one thing --- he had some problems.
After a long silence, the Baron suddenly laughed. He thought of the purpose of His Imperial Highness the Prince's trip here, and it was interesting.
"Your Highness, if it's okay for me to ask, how did you become interested in the Slovenian Empire? Slovenia implements free religious policies, and its king forbids any interaction with every single religion country in the Westland."
Oscar waved his hands in dismissal, "It's fine. There had been numerous conflicts of different scales between the Narcissus County and the Southern Army Group during the defending war. I still recall that Titan had a clear territorial agreement with Slovenia previously. However, I've searched through all military files but unable to find any relevant information. Then, someone recommended me your family library, of which I've heard that there are various reading materials here."
Bernadot chuckled with pride, "You've praised me too highly. That's the wealth my family's ancestors have left but the information regarding Slovenia, we'll try our luck! To be honest, regardless of the significance, I have some faint memories of all the historical events of the Morisette Dynasty. As for the territorial agreement you've mentioned earlier, I've not the slightest idea of it. So, it's probably a document of the previous dynasty of Titan."
Oscar nodded understandingly. At this moment, the castle which shone in orange under the illumination of the sun had become visible outside the window of the carriage.
Baroness Rolanda…Ogeiro had already been informed by the servants. She stood in the hallway of the castle, waiting for her husband. However, the appearances of the Guards' cavalry troop on the stony road puzzled her greatly.
"To welcome the emperor?" Rolanda was bewildered. Could it possibly be that Her Majesty the Empress who had just been crowned as the emperor had arrived?
"Why are you still in a daze?" the Baroness turned toward the servants by her side who were just standing there blankly. Only then the servants had recovered from their stance. Luckily, there had indeed been a few Titan rulers who had visited the little castle of the Chief Historical Records Officer's family in history. Otherwise, they would faint from the shock they experienced due to the emperor's abrupt arrival.
When Oscar's carriage entered the gates of the castle, the Imperial Prince saw the now-wedded Rolanda. Similarly, Baroness Ogeiro had also recognized the grand carriage which had countless embroideries of Narcissus flowers.
Bernadot was the first to hop off the carriage and kissed his wife on the cheek with excitement as the visit of His Imperial Highness the Prince was indeed something his family would be proud of. While the Historical Records Officer was very satisfied with his wife's decorations, he did not notice the sorrows in Rolanda's eyes and her numb limbs.
Oscar got off the carriage, his military boots landed on the brand new red pig-skin carpet. Facing his former…Oscar had no idea on how he should be addressing Rolanda's identity. His only memories of her were the drinking gathering right before he had been released from prison, as well as some snippets of their studying years.
"Your Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette!" Bernadot extended one of his arms toward the Imperial Prince and gently touched his wife who stood there blankly with his other hand.
Rolanda suddenly recovered from her stance. She picked up her dress and turned toward her …Rolanda was not sure how she should face Oscar. This man before her had torn apart her bra, kissed her bosoms and lips, but…Rolanda was clear that in comparison with her feelings for him, his efforts and feedbacks were so little to the extent that it was just depressing. However, these were all in the past. Was there still a need to rant about the encounters in her younger days?
Oscar had said nothing and felt overwhelming awkwardness which he had no way of describing. The Chief Historical Records Officer's wife extended the back of her palm toward him, and he robotically pulled it to his lips, and gently pecked on it as if he had no idea of its taste.
"Oh…" Oscar touched his nose in repetition. This gesture of his had brought forth the Baroness' memories, and she recalled that he would only touch his nose when he was speechless or had done something silly. Rolanda smiled softly. Since it was all in the past, she allowed the memories to fade away calmly.
"It's been four years since we last met!" Oscar recalled the date of their last separation only after thinking hard.
"It should be three years, ten months and twenty days!" Roland responded with absolute confidence.
"Both of you…know each other?" Bernadot was bewildered, but he immediately held his forehead.
"I remember now! You two must know each other since my wife and Lady Sasha Nedgabel Andrew had been course mates of Dulin University's history studies. Both of you must've met during that time?"
Just when Oscar was about to explain, Rolanda competed to respond first, "Yes, that's right. His Imperial Highness the Prince and I had met each other that time!"
His Imperial Highness the Prince said no more. He sized up Rolanda's face in detail, and then followed the Baron into the huge house of the Historical Records Officer's family.
Before lunch, Rolanda and her husband had brought the Imperial Prince on a tour around the main house. Bernadot's family was not rich. This could be seen from the plain interior decorations. The new spokesperson of the new moon was not pathetic as Oscar had discovered that the greatest wealth of this family was their countless reading materials. If the handwritten scrolls which had been preserved since the mythical ages were to be auctioned now, they would probably be sold at an unbelievable price.
Before entering the dining hall, Rolanda's husband ran to the kitchen to check the kitchen's offerings. Oscar had finally gotten a chance. He held the Baroness' arm and asked, "How have you been all these years?"
However, Rolanda responded by saying that it was only her alone most of the time and thus asked for His Imperial Highness the Prince's understanding of any flaw in her hospitality.
Being seated at the dining table, the atmosphere had relaxed slightly. As a patriarch of a noble family who emphasized on traditions, Baron Benadot Ogeiro had cultivated the great habit of not speaking while eating since he was young. Moreover, this was only an ordinary meal for the family, and nothing would change even if an Imperial Prince had visited them. Such circumstances suited Oscar's preference and wished to leave the place as soon as he had finished his errands. He was still wondering had he happened to bump recklessly into the God of Light? Otherwise, how would he encounter such indescribable situation?
Since it was a family meal, the Baron family's lunch was nowhere near grand. From the dishes, Oscar had picked some fresh smoked fish with jam and cut a small piece of white bread. In the end, he could no longer resist the Baron's enthusiasm and had taken a serving of butter-fried mushrooms.
Even before the Baron and Baroness' plates became empty, Prince O'Neil had already ended his "battle", which greatly puzzled Rolanda and her husband. "Are these dishes not of your liking?" the Baroness inquired worriedly.
"Oh! Not at all! In contrary, I love mild flavors like these!" Oscar explained while holding his tummy which was bulging slightly. "Did you know? The Deiss people had once cut off some of my intestines so, I've not been able to eat much since then."
The Baron and Baroness scrutinized the plump physique of His Highness Imperial the Prince in disbelief.
Oscar felt their lingering gazes and could only be explained, "What I've been saying is all true! The methods of the Deiss' doctors were as outdated as the kingdom's production methods, leaving me with indigestion problems after recovering from that. As for my body fats right now, I can only say that it's dictated by nature!"
"Your physique is absolutely balanced and fit! It's nothing like what you've described!" the Historical Records Officer clarified immediately. He had not meant that His Imperial Highness the Princess was very plump.
"Of course!" Oscar wiped the corner of his mouth in glee. "Compared to Sir Marquis Almodovar Godzilla, I'm "quite" weak!"
Bernadot laughed aloud in joy. Compared to "Sea Creature", there was no need for the people in the world to be concerned about them being fat. The Baron chuckled while turning toward his wife. He thought that Rolanda should have had some response to the prince's joke too. However, his laughter had instantly died down as his wife's eyes had reddened as if she was about to cry.
"Ugh…I'm sorry!" the Baroness pressed hard on her tear glands with her fingers. She would not allow herself to cry in front of them, "I'm…I'm not feeling well!"
Staring at Rolanda who had left in a hurry, Oscar and the Historical Records Officer shared glances with each other. The Imperial Prince was worried that her husband notices something and Bernadot was puzzled…was his wife still in love with His Highness?
"I've heard that Rolanda had been staying in your Dulin University residence when she was still studying!" the Historical Records Officer said while looking a little troubled.
Oscar waved his hands, "This is just part of the truth, she and I…"
"I know!" Bernadot cut off the Imperial Prince's words. "I've blessed with a pure wife and I know what you're trying to explain as well, so, you don't have to be bothered by this."
Oscar touched his nose again and again. He could only say, "Shall we have some alcohol?"
The Imperial Prince and the Historical Records Officer were quite similar in nature. They would never consume liquor under broad daylight on working days, but the situation today was special.
While enjoying the taste of the wine which the Baron had brewed himself, he asked the question only after the lingering taste of the alcohol had risen to his head and condensed in between his eyebrows.
"You and Rolanda…how long have you been married?"
Bernadot shrugged, "It's been three years! Which was…when you were in trouble in Deiss!"
Oscar responded with an "Oh", and continued to ask, "How did the two of you know each other?"
The Baron looked at him with a puzzled expression. The prince sounded as if he was interrogating him.
Oscar quickly waved his arms, "I don't mean anything else…it's just that…oh…just treat it as I'm curious!"
Bernadot nodded understandingly, "It was on the first ever alumni gathering of Dulin University! I saw Rolanda sitting all alone at the corner. She was so beautiful, so lonely! So, I went to invite her to dance and, in the end, I'm sure you know what normally happens on the first invitation. I've been mercilessly rejected!"
The Historical Records Officer furrowed his brows again, "Do you really plan on knowing?"
Oscar chuckled twice dryly, "Why not?"
"There was a rare collection of books."
"Did you know anything about the God of Moon, Ogeiro?" Rolanda was holding a big bunch of roses which she had just plucked. Her grinning face was even prettier than those flowers. "To be frank, I've never heard that there's such a story in my husband's family before we've gotten married. After I've known, I've even thought that I've gotten married to a pagan!"
"Hahahahaha!" the two men laughed together.
Oscar was the first to wave his hand about, "I've also only heard of the myths of Ogeiro, the God of Moon, I think it's…two faces?"
Bernadot corrected immediately, "Your Highness, the accurate saying is that the God of Moon, Ogeiro, has front and back faces! The front view is the full moon, a sustenance for…"
"Fine, it's enough!" Rolanda cut off her husband without feeling sorry. Then, she turned to face the Imperial Prince, "Once a guest has visited our house, he'll always have this lengthy explanation to the guest. Don't be bothered by him!"
"That's right! That's right!" Baron Ogeiro laughed at himself and kissed his wife on the cheek. Every single time when he had mentioned the ancient worships of the pagans, his wife would always say like this.
"I'm sorry Your Highness, I can't accompany you here anymore, you know, since Alanis I Her Majesty had just been crowned, a Historical Records Officer is required at every public setting and I must rush back to the city! Furthermore, I'll have to sit in the military expansion meeting of the Guards tomorrow. So, I have to make some preparations here and there!"
Oscar glanced at the Baroness opposite him. He did not know the reason as to why Bernadot was doing this, and he still recalled that he had said that he could finally relax for a while in the carriage.
"You…don't have to be like this…"
Ignoring the words of His Imperial Highness the Prince, the Historical Records Officer had already walked toward the entrance of the castle along with his wife. Oscar observed the silhouettes of the husband and wife. He thought that there was nothing unpleasant about it so there was no need for him to be awkward, let alone feeling guilty! Since it was all in their teenage years, he should not feel down even if he had regrets.
He was O'Neil Andrew Morisette. It was time for O'Neil Andrew Morisette to progress in his career!
Facing the Baroness who was sending her husband away, Oscar lifted his document folder, "Mistress, I wish to look for information regarding the territorial agreements between the empire and the Slovenian Empire."
Rolanda sized up O'Neil Andrew Morisette whose aura had suddenly changed. She said to him while smiling, "Now, this is the Imperial Prince, the Marshal of the Guards! All this while I've thought that you're still the silly brat who only knew how to blabber about!"
"I was like that but not anymore!" Oscar presented his arm to the Baroness.
The Baroness then held on to him, "Come with me!"
The Ogeiro family had a library which was three-stories high. It occupied the castle's side where it was facing the morning sun.
The library stored several hundred books which were arranged according to their categories, ranging from printed editions to limited versions. However, there were more of Titan's historical readings which the God of Moon's spokesperson had collected for a long time. Rumors had it that the history books in Ogeiro's family were, even more, complete than all the empire's archives. This was because the Historical Records Officer of the Morisette royalties viewed these historical data which entailed the empire's majesty as a precious inheritance of his family. It could also be said that Ogerio was the witness of the rise and fall of the Morisette royalties.
"It should be this!" Rolanda moaned and pulled out a dusty goat-skin scroll from a huge bookrack where the sunlight could not reach on the library's third floor.
"Hold on, let me have a look!" Rolanda placed her finger on her lip, "Oh! This looks like the right one. This entire rack is filled with information on the Slovenian Empire. It's no wonder that it's being placed at such a secluded spot!"
Oscar took the goat-skin scroll from the hands of the Baroness, "Are you the one who's usually doing the cleaning?"
"Yes!" Rolanda jumped down the wheeled stairs which was used to climb along the book racks. Then, she patted her hands nimbly.
"Most of the time, Bernadot won't be at home. Just like what he has said just now, the emperor can't be away from his side in public settings as it's his job to record the events."
The Imperial Prince looked at the scroll in his hands and glanced at the Baroness who had a normal facial expression. He thought that Rolanda had probably fallen in love with this kind of life. He still recalled that the prison warden's daughter loved to study history.
"If…I'm saying that if it's alright, it's better for you to call me Oscar!"
Rolanda grinned softly, "Yes Oscar, I'll call you Oscar then!"
Oscar said no more. In contrary, Rolanda had pulled him to the sofa without minding anything and brewed him a pot of high-quality black tea.
"Well then, do you plan on reading them here or bringing them with you?"
Oscar pondered for a while, and said, "If I stay, will I be interrupting you and bringing you any inconveniences?"
"No! Not at all!" Rolanda waved her hands quickly. She might be having the same mindset as the man before him. Both of them had some kind of anticipation regarding this unexpected rendezvous of theirs, but at the same time, they did not know what exactly they are anticipating or what they wanted.
After that, the Marshal of the Guards had begun to drown himself in work again. He had brought along several capable men from the Military Intelligence Bureau's Mapping Division and Intelligence Analysis Division. Upon seeing this, the Baroness had been quick to comprehend the situation and left the place. The soldiers then sat down in the spacious, bright main hall of the library. Following His Imperial Highness the Prince's criteria, they had recorded various text and information and captured any valuable information. These included the Slovenian Empire's societal structures, royalty histories and territorial summaries. Even though this information were antiques from four hundred years ago, Slovenia which was situated in the depths of the Eastern sea bay had not changed much of the fact that it was still behind times and reclusive. Some said that it was a paradise while others said that it was a reservation for the sinners. However, from the current situations, the most probable saying was that it was a "future battlefield" as the Andrew family or even O'Neil Andrew Morisette himself had their eyes on the kingdom's geographical location and its ocean territories of several hundred kilometers.
"Reporting Marshal!" a Military Intelligence Bureau staff suddenly called out in delight, "This should be the one you're looking for!"
Oscar immediately took the dusty and stained scroll.
"Rome…Slovenia…the Southern East border…" Oscar turned his head back abruptly, "Magnifying glass! Magnifying glass!"
A staff quickly handed him the magnifying glass.
Oscar studied the blurry writings in detail and it was only in the end that he put down the map in elation.
"Do you believe it? This was Church's year four, the raw map where the holy Rome had permitted Slovenia to detach itself from Titan's control! Now, have a look at these few signatures signing off the map, oh heavens! You won't believe this!"
The Military Intelligence Bureau officers who were present all gathered forward. They each took a magnifying glass in their hand and leaned onto the table surface to study in detail, "There's this religious emblem right here, albeit a very complicated emblem but the names behind it have all blurred." A staff said, "There's a person's name here…Nerora. Who's Nerora?" Another staff voiced out his discoveries, "Look at this!" The discoveries of the final staff seemed to be very direct, "Grand Duke Abisimo, the official seal and emblem, everything's here!"
Oscar chuckled and patted his subordinates on the shoulders, "It's exactly because that you lot have studied too little, which is why I'm the Marshal, while you guys are still officers!"
The young Imperial prince pointed at the complicated religious emblem, "This is the personal stamp of the last archbishop of the holy Roman Empire, also the emblem of Saint Roflan. Roflan had definitely established the foundations of the upper construction formats of the Roman Vatican, and he's more like the very first religion, but he hadn't managed to remain alive until the main sect has been established."
"Now look at this!" Oscar pointed at the second hint which had appeared on the map. "Nerora! His surname would follow exactly that of the emperors of the holy Roman Empire. In history, he was by far the most famous mental patient, the emperor of Byzantine's ending eras, and had been driven to insanity by the Persian pagans!"
"Lastly, this…" Oscar moaned momentarily, it seemed that this final hint was extremely problematic, "Grand Duke Abisimo, he was the earliest king of Slovenia, but his family line was not associated with the current royalties of Slovenia at all!"
The military officers around the prince said nothing anymore. If the Slovenians which had testified the legality of this map back then were not the royalties, it would be perfectly fine for the Slovenians to ignore Titan's impending requests regarding the territories.
"But, why should I be bothered so much?" Oscar grunted coldly, "If these three blurred signatures are to be put onto the market, they can at least be sold for ten thousand Golden Tis, but its value right now is a kingdom!"
"Your Highness! To be more precise, it's a sovereign kingdom!" a staff said cautiously.
"Things will be much easier to proceed if the ruler of Slovenia calls himself as a Grand Duke, but the problem now is that the person is a king and he possesses the country's sovereignty and the legal imperial system."
"Yes, your Highness!" another staff also entered the conversation, "Regardless of the fact that the Roman Vatican and the primary sovereign countries on the Westland all bear negative impressions of Slovenia's religious policies, they will still not support our actions and might even launch an intervention war with the name that we've offended the country's sovereignty!"
"Moreover…" the final staff planned to provide further explanation, but he realized that the Marshal's demeanor was not a cluster of rain clouds. Thus, he quickly swallowed his words back into his throat.
"Speak!" Oscar was losing his patience. He was never a stubborn person who liked to stand firm on his thoughts. In contrary, he loved discussing with people.
That staff coughed dryly, "Judging from the current situations, it won't be long until the death of His Grand Eminence the Pope Radriere VI. The main sect has already finalized their candidate for the new pope but that candidate is a Faran! I'm guessing that the new term of sect won't give us good looks either since we've beaten the Farans in such a terrible manner at Shawob River!"
"Oh, they've caused these trouble themselves!" Oscar got extremely upset that his eyes widened at the mention of the Farans. At the same time, he thought of an imbecile named Karlchette.
The Military Intelligence Bureau members in the library no longer dared to speak further. Some had directed their focus onto the documents on their hands while the Commissioned Officers surrounding the Marshal just stood at the same spot in silence.
Oscar inhaled a few deep breaths. He had long passed the age where he would be easily triggered but it was just that he had experienced quite a few vigorous emotional fluctuations today.
"Alright! Everyone don't be so nervous!" His Imperial Highness the Prince relaxed his demeanor and pushed the empty tea cup in his hand slightly to the frightened officers, "Go and find a seat, everyone, let's get seated! Now let's discuss and see if there are any other ways that are more practical!"
The military officers let out a long breath and got themselves seated respectively. After enjoying a few cups of sweet black tea, the officers' tension had subsided eventually, and the atmosphere of the conversation was no longer stern and nervous.
"Your Highness, if we don't consider taking physical action against Slovenia for the mean time, there are still quite a lot of ways to go about!"
Oscar chuckled, "I just know you guys will definitely have some solutions!"
Upon hearing this, the officers laughed in a silly manner. The Military Intelligence staff who had just spoken knocked the raw agreement map which "had surmount value". "We can put this thing up in the market and just like what His Highness had said earlier! Auctions, collections, in summary, we just have to make the outer world aware of the existence of this piece."
"Then?" Oscar opened his cigar box and distributed them to the people there while he spoke.
"Then…" the staff chuckled in menace, "Then, the people can say whatever they like! Since the traditional territories of the Ancient Roman Empire and Slovenian Empire had really existed in this world, the controversies will definitely invoke various reactions. For example, the Titan Empire wants to reclaim the territories illegally occupied by Slovenia or that Slovenia wants to give up on the lands outside of its traditional territories or that Slovenia today is already a country for the pagans and many more! As such, the rulers of Slovenian Empire will naturally have headaches and there will be internal chaos within their upper ranks. In contrary, this chaos will be very advantageous to us. Amidst the anarchy, we will be able to identify our friends and locate those who despise the pagans, are dissatisfied with the royalties, or anyone who's scheming to overthrow the throne!"
"Has everyone heard that?" Oscar turned to the people near him.
The military officers all nodded in affirmation, "Very brilliant, absolutely realistic and extremely safe!"
Oscar his arm in dismissal, "How is it very brilliant, absolutely realistic and extremely safe? Yes, to some extent…"
"Am I interrupting you? It's already dinner time!" the slim Baroness suddenly appeared at the door.
"Not at all!" Oscar stood up immediately. The military officers following him had also left their seats like rabbits in shock.
When the wife of the Historical Records Officer, who had also been the daughter of the prison warden, saw the smoke flowing from the house, she could not help but furrowed her brows. She flipped over the signage on the huge library door and wrote "no smoking" on it with big red letters.
The officers moved immediately. They all knew that His Imperial Highness the Prince's behaviors toward this lady were extremely unique. Regardless, to find an ashtray in Ogeiro's family library was a mission near impossible. However, the Marshal of the Guards' actions had reminded them. Oscar pressed the cigar against the center of his palm, and then nonchalantly wiped the black ashes in his hand onto the military uniform of a nearby officer.
"Oh heavens!" Rolanda exclaimed in shock and trudged toward the Imperial Prince with quick steps.
"What are you doing? Have you not gotten rid of your old bad habit? You just like to simply wipe the stains on your hands anywhere, and I still remember that your Polar Bear Sofa has recovered its original shade of snow-white only after Annie and I had cleaned the sofa for a long time.
Oscar was slightly puzzled. He thought that it would fit the situation better if Rolanda had grabbed his ears.
Upon hearing the crisp sounds of the closing door, Rolanda paused her lectures. She turned her head back and discovered that all the soldiers in the room had disappeared.
While the Baroness still had her head turned away, Oscar grabbed the opportunity and closed the "confidential" document which was being spread out on the table surface. When Rolanda had turned back to him, he extended his arms and acted as if nothing had happened.
"Look, my subordinates are all hilarious people who knew how to act appropriately in certain situations too!"
Rolanda looked at all directions and retrieved a military rehearsal map which was filled with symbols and red pointers, "How I hope that they won't be as clumsy as you!"
Oscar took the map quickly and held it in his embrace! He was a little troubled, this thing was the overall map of the military rehearsal of the "lighthouse" plan, how could he have forgotten about it?
"Right…" the Baroness got closer to the sofa and demonstrated her sitting postures as a standard royalty, "I've mentioned Annie just now, how has she been? I miss her so much!"
Oscar smiled forcefully. He was also concerned about this question, how was Annie?
"She's at the South, accompanying Sasha E. at Vielonna."
"What about Sasha E.?"
"She's waiting for me there!"
"Are you leaving?"
"I can't tell for sure!" Oscar sighed internally. "It'll be the Military Expansion Meeting of the Guards tomorrow and the arrangement of schedules will have to wait after the meeting has ended."
"What about the Persian princess?" Rolanda blinked. "I've heard that the princess of another country is even more beautiful than our empress and your Young Lady!"
"I have her portrait with me," Oscar chuckled bitterly. Arayna had shoved it to him forcefully. Moreover, her drawing skills were not that good either.
"If you're free, come be my guest at my place."
The Baroness shook her head in low spirits, "Only by being here, you're Oscar and I'm Rolanda. Once we're out of this small castle, you'll be the empire's sovereign prince while I'll be the wife of Baron Ogeiro."
The Imperial Prince was speechless. He took out a cigar but had kept it back helplessly after seeing the notice on the door despite his desires.
The day was getting late. The afterglow of the sunset shone through the small windows of the palace, condensing into a faint red pillar in the dark corners of the interior. A unique fragrance and faint scent of the dirt flowed from the ancient books. Upon closer inspection, one could even smell the pig oil which was used to preserve the books. A lone lamp, a cup of black tea, the setting sun, and a comfortable sofa. Oscar stared at the beauty in front of him. All of a sudden, he was having some hallucinations and thought that only days like these would be worth living for. He pondered about the details of his life from the beginning to the end. Getting out of prison, granted the position, being ambushed, revenge, engagement, studies, attacks, defeated, bleeding, enslaved, being near the brink of death, and victory. As for what had happened after these, Oscar could not remember clearly. He did not understand why he could recall the events of the past in such detail but his memories of the changes in the world in the recent one of two years were blurred.
"Am I getting old?" Oscar thought along this line. "Or is it that I no longer know how to think? Making judgments with my survival instincts and adapting myself to the competitions in the reality with my will to survive! But I've done so much! Fought for so long! Battled so fiercely! Shed so much blood! All for what? Just wanting to stay alive? Is staying alive so difficult?"
At last, O'Neil Andrew Morisette could only conclude his thoughts after seeing too much fresh blood and conspiracies that his heart had become numb.
"Hehehe!" the Baroness suddenly giggled after the long silence.
Oscar was shocked from him deep thoughts, "What happened?"
Rolanda waved her hands, "Have you heard of this? Whenever the Farans' discussions have plunged into utter silence, they'll say that an angel is passing them by!"
Oscar looked at all directions but he did not see any angel, "Is that an excuse to mask the silence?"
Rolanda shook her head, "No! I believe in the saying! Whenever a conversation stops abruptly, it means that an angel is passing by us while praying for our happiness and solving our troubles." Oscar put his hand on top of his former lover. He was finally willing to address Rolanda like that and there had been once when he had been so in love with her, "Is there anything that I can help you with?"
The Baroness shook her head again, "No! You should be able to see that right now, I'm really happy and joyful!"
Oscar did not say anything further. He just continued caressing the woman's hand.
Rolanda looked at the book rack on her left and gestured at those books slightly, "Do you know why I had abandoned the desires in my heart and gotten married to a person who loves me without any hesitation?"
Oscar stayed perfectly silent as he did not have the rights to make her love him nor did he have the qualifications.
"It's because…" Roland turned to the books again, "I've discovered a treasure here and history has taught me a lot of things! A man like you doesn't belong to me!"
"Me?" Oscar was getting a little curious. "Is there anyone else like me in history?"
"Yes, there is!" Rolanda nodded firmly, "And there have been many!"
"Who were these people?"
Rolanda pondered for a moment, "There were heroes who either had fierce ambitions or were scheming. Aside from that, there were the temporary heroes who had faded after a short span, the emperors who had ruled for eternity and there were also the commanders of thousands of troops. Well, you might not be like them but all of them do resemble you! There was passion, energy, physical strength, desires, and especially their stories with women which were as interesting as your encounters."
"Hehe!" Oscar laughed on his own. "What do you think? With so many choices, what should I do?"
The Baroness shook her head, "History will never give the same comments to two different people. You're O'Neil Andrew Morisette and if you're thinking what to do, just behave as your true self!"
"Hold on!" Oscar was a little puzzled, "Are you saying that the current me isn't O'Neil Andrew Morisette?"
Rolanda let out a sigh, "To be more precise, you're no longer the O'Neil Andrew Morisette whom I knew!"
Rolanda pointed that Oscar's chest where his heart laid, "Because it's now all empty right there! It's no longer burning like how it did many years back and it no longer has the warmth I'm familiar with and no University Town…do you still remember University Town? You back then had been full of ambitions, you would want to get the champion cup in your hands today and begin your expeditions to Persia the very next day. But what about now? Your champion cup is being abandoned in your residence with a layer of dust and your Persian expedition is about to end with you being the victor! With that, your heart will be stranded!"
Oscar stood up subconsciously. He had never liked being cut open by people and disliked even more being seen through by people as if he was as transparent as glass.
"Now, it's time for me to take my leave!"
Rolanda grinned softly. She stood up from her seat and clung her pair of fair arms onto the man's neck.
"If I insist for you to stay, will you do something about your teenage regrets?"
Oscar hugged the Baroness' waist, "I think there's bound to be regrets in our lives! Furthermore, I'll never dare to offend the spokesperson of the God of Moon, Ogeiro, I'll be hit by karma."
The woman giggled softly and retracted her arms. While she might only be joking with the man, the disappointment in her eyes was real.
"Kiss me! I'm leaving!"
Rolanda Getha, the wife of Baron Ogeiro, pecked softly on the man's lips. She felt that this was sufficient.
When the moon had risen up to the sky, Oscar had gone his way and got into the carriage. In front and behind the carriage, they were all his knights who would only follow his lead. Separated by the window with his former lover waving at him, Oscar suddenly felt an impulse to cry. In the end, he waved back at the woman as if he was bidding his farewell to his past youth. On the other hand, a new era had descended in the nearby forest, anticipating that O'Neil Andrew Morisette would eventually understand what exactly he was looking for.