Chapter 14: First Journey.
It was right at midnight when Kenley arrived at the Imperial Palace of the Jadeite Empire, and there was always a strange feeling whenever he comes back to the place that he should call home.
Is there anyone waiting for him to come home? Yes, maybe the imperial prince. But has he ever welcomed his brother home? Never. The Imperial Prince, Jaden, more frequently asked about work and Kenley’s report.
After glancing at the report on his hand while stepping into the Imperial Prince’s office that somehow felt so heavy, he recalled his conversation with Liam yesterday.
“Your Highness, should I write about young lady Celine in the report?” Liam asked after they arrived from the Greedy Forest.
“Can I ask why?”
“Just put nothing regarding Celine.”
Liam, who really knew Kenley, let out a sigh before he replied.
“You still doubt her identity, right?”
Kenley put on his sly smile for the first time in a while.
“I just want to keep her for now.”
Liam nodded and clicked his tongue. “Tsk. I knew it.”
“May the Sun bless you and the Moon support you in the Dark, Your Highness Imperial Prince.”
Kenley bowed while putting his right hand on his chest.
“I told you not to be so formal, brother.”
A teenage prince, with golden hair that shone under the moonlight and his hazel pupils that had a gentle and steady gaze, twisted his lips into a smile as he sat on his desk elegantly. Prince Jaden focused on Kenley’s dark-brown pupils before he started to speak.
“How was your trip?”
“Just... like usual.” Kenley approached him before handing a report that was in his hand.
Imperial Prince Jaden nodded a couple of times, observing Kenley’s shabby-looking appearance. He was curious why he suddenly came late at night with that appearance—but he didn’t want to ask about it because Kenley would just answer with a terrible excuse.
Jaden shifted his gaze down to the paper, starting to read it.
There was nothing special and weird regarding the report, but something caught his eyes as he was about to read the last sentence of the report.
“Humans trafficker? Not only in the Sapphire Kingdom and the Emerald Kingdom but now in Rayen?” Jaden’s disbelief voice broke the silence, and Kenley just nodded as an answer.
“Yes, Your Highness. But the one who started the human trafficking in the Rayen Kingdom is still unknown. The trace and everything was so clean,” explained Kenley, taking a step back and observed Jaden’s complicated face.
Jaden let out a sigh, brushing his face, and lifted his gaze towards Kenley before he started to speak. “What do you think the reason the Magic Tower needs this many humans? Do you have any clue?”
“Whether it’s for experiments or slavery... but we still have to take care of the Magic Tower—before the war began,” said Kenley, slowly twisting his lips into a smile before he continued. “I just got a piece of recent information that the Kacper is the Magic Tower’s biggest source of money.”
Imperial Jaden raised his chin as if he motioned Kenley to continue his explanation.
Kenley let out a brief chuckle, looking his gaze away to the window before slowly shifting to Jaden’s hazel pupils.
“The Kacper is clearly connected with the Greedy Forest. On the other hand, the Kacper gives full support to the Crown Prince Herbert to be the next King of the Rayen Kingdom. Therefore, Prince Herbert would also get support from the Julien Kingdom.”
He then could see Jaden’s corners lips started to lift before he continued.
“Everything is just... connected to that household.”
Imperial Prince Jaden put down the paper and asked, “So, what do your hunches say, brother?”
“The alliance of the northern kingdoms also has a connection with that household,” Kenley paused, looking to his left side.
He then captured the sight of a black sword inside the glass box. That black sword is owned and guarded by the Empire, which is a divine weapon and also a key.
“And they might aim for that key,” said Kenley, heading his gaze back to Jaden.
“Shit.” Jaden blurted out, brushing back his hair, and let out a sigh. “But the only one who could use that sword, only someone from the Erland Clan.”
Kenley didn’t reply. Instead, he took out a roll of paper from his pocket and handed it to Jaden.
“It’s an ancient text. It’s about black magic and the other dimensions,” he said, and Jaden read it immediately.
“I couldn’t read these words,” Jaden admitted, pointing to the text written in strange letters. “But, what’s with 5 keys and black magic?” Asked Jaden in confusion, trying to process all of the sudden information that Kenley brought to him.
“Your Highness,” Kenley focused his gaze on Jaden’s hazel pupils. “Red hibiscus… why do you think Rayen Kingdom’s symbol is hibiscus flower when our continent is a land of jewels?”
Kenley took a step forward, pointed his finger to the ancient text that he gave to Jaden.
“Here,” Kenley shifted his gaze back to Jaden and read out the context he pointed on. “5 keys, and one sword represents the 5 petals and one core. They, who have the blood of 5 people not recognized by God, have to protect the gate to prevent the night conquer the day.”
Jaden leaned back while having a complicated expression on his face. Looking at how calm his brother was, he asked a question. “And black magic?”
“Black magic is forbidden magic because it’s connected with dark beings. Since we got one piece of evidence if the Magic Tower has a connection with the dark beings, what do you think The Kacper’s true connection with the magic tower?”
Jaden raised his eyebrows before answering Kenley’s question. “To cover up the dirty things the Magic Tower did?”
“In conclusion, The Kacper is the core of everything. They’re playing with us, using as many pawns as they could collect.”
“Bastard…” Jaden commented while looking away and started to wonder.
‘Now, how should I approach that bastard, Crown Prince Herbert?’
“I guess I need to visit the Rayen Kingdom once in a while.”
<I will depart to the western continent tomorrow, and I want to be the first to congratulate you on your birthday.
Happy Birthday, Selena.
I will try my best to keep in touch with the western continent.
See you again.>
Selena threw the letter to the corner of her room before touching the back of her neck as she felt the chill whenever she read Carter’s letter.
A sigh escaped from her mouth before shifting her gaze to Milo, the cute creature. Then her mood rose in a blink.
“Who is the good boy? My good boy, Milo!” She caressed, kissed, and hug the cute creature with love… much love.
It’s been 2 days since she visited the greedy forest, and the cute creature named Milo became even lovelier after Selena and Nessie were taking care of him.
His dark blue fur was getting softer and brighter. He loved eating human food rather than fruits, just like our Selena, and his favorite food is roasted chicken.
And yes, Milo is a male.
Milo always followed Selena wherever she goes, except to the bathroom. Milo was a shy, calm, cute, and lovely cat-dog. He can meow and woof whatever he felt like to do—and he would join Selena’s first journey in this weird fantasy world.
Who are the participants of the journey?
Our handsome and calm, Kenley, the strict and awkward, Liam, the brave and passionate, Selena and last… the lovely, Milo.
Those three people and 1 cute creature would go to the Nusa Islands, in the Julien Kingdom. Actually, Selena wasn’t the original participant. But when they were in the Greedy Forest, she offered herself to join Kenley’s adventure. And of course, Kenley accepted her happily.
Kenley’s plan in the Nusa islands is to find the traces of human trafficking carried out by the Rayen Kingdom. Because most of the humans trafficked by the Rayen Kingdom came from the Amory clan. It is the clan originating from Nusa Island.
It took two weeks if you travel by land, but Selena and her small group would go by ship.
“Are you okay?” Kenley asked, approaching Selena, who held Milo in her arms while looking at the sea.
“I’m glad that I met you, Kenley,” replied Selena, without looking at Kenley as she was still mesmerizing by the view of the sea.
Milo, who was in her arms, also couldn’t stop staring at the sea. It was in the morning. The breeze, the weather, the smell of the sea, and the view — just made both Selena and Milo amaze as it was their first time seeing the sea.
Kenley let out a chuckle, offering a hand for Selena to help her get on the ship. “Let’s go. You said you need to come back before a month, right?”
“Yes, there’s a stupid event that I need to attend,” answered Selena, receiving Kenley’s hand before shifting her gaze to Liam, who approached her.
“Kenley and… y-young lady Celine, it looks like we have to stop by the Gili island on our way to Nusa islands,” informed Liam, fidgety and awkward like always.
Selena had a frown on her face as she wondered why Liam still awkward towards her, and it made her subconsciously ask a question.
“Are you still uncomfortable with me, sir Liam?”
Liam flinched and stuttered to answer her blunt question. “N-no, young lady Celine. I always am like this.”
He even forced himself to put on a smile while recalling his conversation with Kenley before.
“Why would you bring young lady Celine too?”
“I have a feeling if she is from the Kacper.”
“What? Are you sure? Then, did she lie to us-, no, to you?”
“I do not understand yet, but The Kacper always have something under their sleeves. Whether or not she really is from the Kacper, I want to find out everything on our trip.”
“What do you want to do if she really is from the Kacper?”
After looking at Kenley’s sly smile, Liam already understood what he was thinking. Well, Kenley isn’t a person who does something without a reason.
“You sly bastard,” commented Liam.
However, Liam woke up from his reverie after hearing Selena’s question.
“And what’s with Gili Islands?”
“Barbaric clan,” answered Kenley briefly.
Liam, who was thinking how bad the Gili Islands is, flinched after hearing Selena’s excited voice.
“It must be fun…”
It was March 30th, 1318 when Selena started her first journey, and she will turn 15 years old tomorrow. Thus her first birthday in this weird world will be held on the island of barbarians.
To be continued...