ASTRID glanced at his brother who was pedaling the bike with a serious expression on his handsome face. He had been silent ever since they left the clearing where the lake was. He was probably still shocked to find out that the person he admired for his strengths and skills turned out to be such a shameless man. If Astrid was in his shoes, he probably also wouldn"t be in a mood to talk.
When the prince – he still felt a bit awkward calling him that – revealed his identity, of course both he and Reas didn"t believe it. How could that prince suddenly appear in their family"s land? And they remembered the rumor about the prince being missing. Add that to his white hair and golden eyes, which matched the description of the prince, and that bald man calling him "general", they started to believe what he said by 50 points. But they were still not fully convinced.
So, the prince told them that they could easily look for news about him on their Terminals. Then they could see how the prince of their Empire looked like.
Although the prince didn"t like his picture to be taken, there would still be stolen shots of him posted here and there. So, when Astrid reluctantly opened his Terminal and searched for news about the prince, it didn"t take long for him to find his picture. The result was pretty obvious.
After knowing his identity, they couldn"t exactly just refuse him. So, without much choice in the matter, they let him and his subordinate to follow them back to their home.
He wondered how their parents would take this.
He glanced at his brother again and asked, "Reas, are you okay?"
"Yeah. I just realized what you said about the… prince being a good for nothing lowlife is actually true."
Astrid raised one of his brows. He"s pretty sure that"s not how he said that. He remembered just saying that the prince was not a good role model. Considering the prince"s level of physical strength, he probably heard what Reas said just now. And knowing his brother, he probably did it on purpose. So, to cooperate, Astrid didn"t say anything.
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What Astrid thought was correct. Wulfric and Edmund really did hear what Reas said.
Edmund who was sitting at the rear seat of the weird contraption they were riding glanced worriedly at the general. Of course, he was not worried about his feelings. The general had been called worse and he didn"t care at all. Well, not exactly didn"t care. Because those people ended up in a hospital or they just completely vanished. So, what he was worried about was the general going berserk and beating the kid with ice-blue hair.
The general might be more violent this time. Since according to that kid, the one who originally thought of the general as a "good for nothing lowlife" was the black-haired boy. Especially since it"s quite obvious that the general found the boy interesting.
But to his surprise, the general seemed completely unaffected by what they heard. He was still humming a happy tune.
Wulfric was indeed not mad. How could he not see that the annoying kid was doing that on purpose to rile him up? In normal times, he might indeed react. But he was having too much fun riding this contraption that Aster called a "bike". He actually long wanted to overtake the people in front. But because they were leading the way, he couldn"t.
It would have been better if Aster was riding with him. That way, the other could tell him where to go and he could go as fast as he could. But Aster was very adamant on not riding with him. He actually had an urge to just tie Aster to him so he couldn"t refuse even if he wanted to. It took everything in him just to resist that urge. He didn"t even know why he should resist it. He just knew that he should.
Seriously, what a weird feeling.
When the road widened, Wulfric pedaled beside the bike on the front. "Twinkle, are we there yet?"
The corner of Astrid"s lips twitched when he heard that embarrassing moniker. He took a deep breath just to calm himself. And then he answered with no expression on his face, "We"ll be there soon, Your Highness."
Wulfric wrinkled his eyebrows. "Hey, Twinkle, no need to be so formal. I"ll allow you to call me Wulfric."
Astrid turned to Wulfric. He smiled but it didn"t reach his phoenix eyes. "How generous of you, Your Highness. But I must respectfully decline."
Wulfric was irritated by how Aster was acting. He was being respectful but it was clear to him that the other was putting a barrier between them. And he didn"t like it. Not one bit.
Reas too was irritated by the interest this prince was showing to his brother. So, he pedaled faster. Leaving the other bike behind. But soon, the other bike came close beside them again. That"s why he pedaled even faster. But it didn"t even take long for the other bike to arrive beside them once again.
This happened again and again which caused them to arrive at their destination much faster than expected.
Reas stopped the bike. Although he didn"t feel out of breath, he sweated a little bit. He glanced at the annoying prince and saw that there wasn"t even a drop of sweat on his face. Truly annoying.
He turned to Astrid whose hair was now completely messy because of the bike ride. He suddenly became worried. What if he caught a cold because of his recklessness? "Sorry, I shouldn"t have ridden the bike that fast."
Astrid smiled at his brother. "It"s fine. It"s good that we arrive here faster."
Wulfric stared at that smile. It was completely different from the perfunctory smile Aster showed him earlier. That one wasn"t special, he didn"t even feel anything when he saw it. But this one was unlike that. It"s like a blooming flower in Spring. Very beautiful and fragrant.
Wulfric felt a thud in his chest. Before his brain could react, his body was already moving. He reached for Aster and pulled him to his side. And he just found himself saying;
"Don"t smile at him."
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