‘How could there be a punk like this?’
Alberu Crossman was looking at Cale with such a gaze.
However, he just seemed young to Cale.
‘His situation is completely different from the Alberu Crossman that I know.’
The crown prince’s clothes were made of luxurious material and the design was elegant. However, it looked quite old. It was also not ironed properly.
‘I guess it can’t be helped.’
There were only a minimum number of royal servants and royal maids to maintain the palace in the first prince’s palace right now. There were no attendants.
Cale’s gaze headed toward the tray in his hands. He had heard that the kitchen in the first prince’s palace had stopped functioning a few weeks ago.
Cale had heard from a royal servant prior to walking into this room that was being used as a study.
‘His highness has kicked out most of the attendants.’
‘The chef was kicked out as well. Actually, that-’
The royal servant looked around before quietly informing Cale.
‘I think it was because of poison. Since he doesn’t know when he might die……’
Fifteen years old Alberu seemed much fiercer than the adult who smiled elegantly.
It was probably because he was short and skinny for his age.
Of course, he was not extremely skinny. However, he was definitely below average. He probably seemed even more like that because his clothes were lacking compared to the other princes.
“Why are you dawdling around like that?”
He heard the sharp voice again.
Cale pushed the tray forward.
“I will at least leave this here even if I have to go out, your highness.”
He put the tray on one side of Alberu’s desk.
Pen, books, etc… Everything was of the highest quality, but had clearly been used for a while. Cale even peeked at the bottle of ink before taking about two steps back and bowing toward Alberu who was observing him.
“Your highness, I have been assigned to this First Prince Palace starting today. I will do my best to serve you as best as possible.”
Alberu openly scoffed. He sounded as if he didn’t believe Cale at all. He had a sneer on his face as he looked at Cale.
“Whatever. I don’t wish to know your name.”
He didn’t even ask for Cale’s name. He didn’t wish to hear. He said the following instead.
“I’m curious to know when you will leave.”
He heard an immediate response.
“I will leave soon, your highness.”
Cale smiled at him.
Fifteen years old Alberu slightly frowned. This clueless looking attendant… He was certain that this guy was new and the fact that he had no colors on the upper part of his uniform symbolized that he was the newest of the newest attendants. He clearly seemed to know nothing about this palace.
However, that clueless look had disappeared and his overall appearance suddenly seemed different the moment he smiled.
Alberu scoffed in disbelief before looking away from Cale.
“I hope you leave as quickly as possible.”
Cale simply bowed instead of responding.
“May I please go see the Chief of Staff for a moment?”
Alberu smiled as if he had expected this and responded.
“Take care of things like that on your own without asking.”
“I will make sure to be back quickly, your highness.”
Cale quietly walked out of the study like a proper attendant.
Alberu did not touch the cold soup until that moment.
The study door closed and Cale exited the palace.
‘It’s definitely lacking.’
The garden surrounding the First Prince Palace was quite lacking compared to the other palaces. This garden was of course much fancier than the gardens of the nobles, but it was basic compared to the other gardens which were attended to on a daily basis.
Cale heard someone stop him as he left the First Prince Palace to go see the Chief of Staff.
It was the royal servant who had informed Cale about the attendants and chef earlier.
The royal servant peeked toward the First Prince Palace and stealthily asked.
“He’s kind of on the edge, isn’t he?”
The servant did not specify who, but it was obvious that he was talking about Alberu.
Cale smiled and responded. His smile seemed extremely clueless.
“Not at all. I’m sure he was a bit sensitive because his food was delivered so late.”
“You truly have a big heart, attendant-nim.”
The royal servant sounded full of admiration before he looked around. He then gulped and took another step closer to Cale.
“…Please be careful.”
The royal servant tightly clenched on his dirt-covered gloves as he continued to speak.
“I have nowhere to go, but it should be different for you, attendant-nim. This First Prince Palace is dangerous.”
Cale’s face turned serious.
He observed the royal servant’s face with a stiff look on his face before nodding his head.
“I will take your advice to heart.”
The royal servant seemed satisfied with that response as he nodded his head and smiled.
“I hope I didn’t hold you here for too long. Please be on your way.”
“Yes, see you later.”
Cale smiled back at the royal servant and quickly walked away.
However, once he got a bit away from the First Prince Palace…
He slowed down.
Cale stopped walking and looked up at the sky. The emotions on his face disappeared.
Fifteen year old Alberu, a lacking meal, the silent palace, old items, a royal servant telling him to go elsewhere, and the other royal servants and royal maids avoiding him…
Cale’s mouth slowly opened.
He started to laugh.
One corner of Cale’s lips twisted up as he slowly lowered his head.
“He’s no joke. Our hyung-nim is no joke.”
Sharpness appeared in Cale’s gaze.
The royal servant who had stopped Cale just now…
Cale knew his face.
That royal servant had currently changed his skin and hair color.
That guy was a Dark Elf mage who was by Alberu’s side with Tasha.
“…To use the ink bottle, even I was almost fooled.”
The black liquid inside the ink bottle…
That was not ink.
It was dead mana.
Cale could tell that the liquid tightly sealed in the ink bottle was dead mana because he had come into contact with it a lot, but regular attendants, officials, and even the knights probably could not tell it apart.
Cale turned around.
He could just barely see the roof of the First Prince Palace.
‘He kicked them all out on purpose.’
First Prince Alberu Crossman.
The fifteen year old had kicked people out of his palace on purpose.
The remaining staff members were all disguised Dark Elves.
Why did he do that?
It was obvious.
‘In order to grow stronger.’
Of course, the view of Alberu in the palace did not seem good based on how the Chief of Staff was acting.
This was because the other princes’ backings were wary of him and trying to prevent Alberu’s growth as much as possible.
As a result, his clothes, his appearance… Everything made him look like a lacking prince.
“I knew it would be like this.”
Cale had no idea since when King Zed Crossman’s affection had turned toward the third prince. What he did know was that Alberu did not have the king’s affection right now.
Furthermore, the current Alberu…
‘He’s sharpening his sword.’
He knew that it would be like this.
Looking at it objectively, the crown prince should have faced a lot of indignities around now.
‘He’s probably preparing along the way. He’s preparing for his counterattack.’
Of course, the test probably picked Alberu as the target because objectively speaking, the amount and level of indignity he faced was serious.
However, Alberu was facing a different kind of indignity than Raon.
‘Is this what they call < the MC is hiding his strength >?’
Alberu was feeling indignity, but growing and moving forward.
In order to create the future that he wanted.
Cale started to calculate the things that Alberu had done.
The empty kitchen? Food?
The Dark Elves would naturally bring him nutritious things. However, he was probably maintaining the minimum physique required for sword arts because he needs to look skinny on the outside.
The old things?
Cale was certain that Alberu was using them for a long time on purpose.
Would the Dark Elves who created an immense Underground City in the desert not have wealth? Would they not have money to help Alberu?
They did have it, but they were not using it on purpose.
The palace only with basics?
What was the point of decorating it? He needed them to not pay any attention to him so that he could study magic and spear arts in the underground training ground.
Cale started to walk again.
Alberu was currently working hard to overcome his indignity and his efforts were not a waste.
However, he is probably lonely and in pain.
He only had a few of his own people, and there were enemies all around him.
That was the truth.
“Hmm. Should I start making a move too?”
Cale headed toward the Chief of Staff’s office.
* * *
“So, you’re saying…”
The Chief of Staff looked at the clueless attendant who had been annoying him since this morning and asked.
“There were no attendants when you went to the prince’s palace. You came to see me to tell me that?”
“Are you trying to say that it is difficult to work alone or something?”
Attendant Cale peeked warily at the Chief of Staff before he cautiously answered.
“No, sir. I was just wondering whether I am working in the First Prince Palace today-”
“Of course you are! Why else would I have told you to go deliver his food?!”
The Chief of Staff must have been frustrated as he slammed his hand on the desk.
Cale purposely flinched and the Chief of Staff smirked after seeing him looking scared. It made him feel a bit better.
“So, Chief of Staff-nim…”
“Hurry up and say it! Stop dragging things out! It’s frustrating! I’m a busy person.”
The Chief of Staff had to hurry over to the Third Prince Palace.
Attendant Cale looked clueless as he rolled his eyes before he hesitated and answered.
“Umm, since I am the only attendant there, does that mean that I am in charge?”
Cale then put on a slightly greedy expression.
The old Chief of Staff’s eyes clouded over for a moment.
‘Look at this punk.’
The Chief of Staff barely held back a sigh while looking at this new attendant without any rank being greedy for the title of the attendant in charge of a palace.
Things should have been obvious while looking at the condition of the First Prince Palace, but this guy’s eyes had rolled over just at the title of ‘Attendant-in-charge.’
‘If I use this punk properly… he might be quite useful.’
Putting such a clueless punk next to the first prince should prevent his growth.
“Yes, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that you are in charge.”
This newbie attendant looked shocked but excited.
“Yes. However, you will need to inform me of any special situations for the first prince to discuss a decision with me since you are still lacking experience.”
“Ah, yes, yes, sir! Of course!”
Cale fervently nodded his head.
“In that case, may I take it that you have assigned me as the attendant-in-charge, Chief of Staff-nim?”
“Tsk. Don’t make me repeat myself. You take care of the First Prince Palace.”
The Chief of Staff barely held himself back from sneering.
‘Things are going to go very well.’
This clueless fool, the idiot who didn’t even know the first prince’s age, would be in charge of the First Prince Palace. Forget chaotic, he would turn it into a total mess.
“You don’t need to do anything difficult. Only take care of the basics like you are doing right now.”
“Yes, sir! Thank you very much!”
The Chief of Staff emphasized the word, ‘basics,’ so that the attendant does not do anything crazy. The basics that a new attendant would have learned would be things like taking meals over and maintaining clothes.
“Well, you seem promising. I believe you can become a great attendant. That is why I am giving you an opportunity like this, you know that, right?”
“I will work very hard with gratitude, sir!”
Cale respectfully said goodbye to the wickedly smiling Chief of Staff and walked out.
He started mumbling as soon as he was alone.
“Like hell I know.”
His footsteps were light as he quickly started moving around.
“Let’s work hard~.”
Cale first headed toward the best kitchen in the royal palace that was responsible for the king’s meals.
“A lunch feast for his highness?”
The sous chef slightly frowned toward Cale who answered with a clueless expression on his face as if he didn’t know anything.
“Yes. Please get it prepared. The Chief of Staff-nim has left me in charge.”
“Hmm. It’s going to be tight. A feast for the prince……”
It was indeed a feast for a prince.
It was for the first prince.
But Cale did not tell the chef which prince he was talking about.
He simply used the Chief of Staff’s name to his advantage.
The sous chef imagined what he wanted to imagine.
“I will come back on time if you let me know when it will be completed.”
“Hmm. I understand.”
Cale’s footsteps were light as he exited the kitchen and headed toward the royal palace’s material goods department. He pulled out a list he had written.
“…You need all of this by tomorrow morning?”
The low-ranking official working the desk opened his eyes wide.
The list mentioned a desk and all sorts of other things made with the most luxurious materials.
Cale sternly nodded his head.
“Yes. These are things that were determined to be necessary for the Prince Palace, and the Chief of Staff-nim left it to me to handle.”
‘Yes, yes he did. The Chief of Staff told me to take charge of the First Prince Palace so I need to work hard to get the basic things done. I’ll completely change the First Prince Palace around.’
Taking care of the necessities of the person you serve. Wasn’t that the basics for an attendant even if he wasn’t in charge?
The low-ranking official looked at the list and frowned.
There was nothing on there that he could not procure right away, but he would need to work very hard to get everything ready by tomorrow morning.
‘It’s probably needed for the Third Prince Palace or the Second Prince Palace if the Chief of Staff told him to get it.’
The low-ranking official decided he could get into the good graces of the Chief of Staff by doing this, and then peeked toward the new attendant in front of him.
‘He looks dim-witted and seems to have no experience.’
There was no way such a punk would know these highest quality goods and create a list.
Of course, he was wrong.
Cale Henituse, as a member of the House of Henituse that was the wealthiest of the wealthy nobles, knew very well what was expensive. It was just that he wasn’t picky and used anything that was there.
“I understand. Which palace should I send it to when it is ready?”
“Ah, I will get here early tomorrow to guide you, sir!”
The low-ranking official chuckled at this clueless noob who obviously just wanted to be involved and nodded his head.
“Do whatever you want. It’s always nice to have an extra set of hands to move things.”
“Yes, sir. I will be back tomorrow.”
The clueless attendant Cale walked out of the material goods department.
‘I took care of his food and shelter, so should I head over to take care of his clothes now?’
Cale’s third stop was at the royal tailor to order a ton of clothes.
Of course, he once again did not mention which prince it was for and used the Chief of Staff’s name.
The outfit designer had no choice but to trust Cale’s words.
Trendy design and most luxurious materials… There was no way that a new attendant would know the special materials used for the royal garments.
Of course, Cale Henituse knew about them.
The designer watched Cale walk away and mumbled to herself.
“It must be for the second prince.”
The physique seemed to match the second prince’s physique.
“Is the Chief of Staff extending his reaches to the second prince as well?”
‘Should I use this opportunity to ride the coattails as well?’
One corner of the designer’s lips curled up as she got to work on the outfit.
Cale headed toward the Royal Palace Library after stopping by all three places.
He asked for books from the library and all around the royal palace while he was there.
“You’ll be here for them tomorrow?”
“Yes, sir. His highness asked us to get them.”
“…And the Chief of Staff trusted you to take care of it?”
“Yes, sir! Please trust me! I am trying my best to work hard!”
“Sounds good. I will get them as quickly as possible.”
The librarian had a thought as Cale walked away.
‘I guess the third prince is going to properly learn the Disciplines of Kingship.’
That must be why the Chief of Staff was stepping up to take care of things.
The librarian had no thoughts at all that it would be for the first prince.
They had not had any request for books from the First Prince Palace since he was ten years old.
“Mm. Where shall I go next?”
Cale went all around the royal palace like that.
‘One or two places might check with the Chief of Staff.’
The people who were thorough or could not trust Cale would do that. However, other places might proceed with things trusting what Cale said without getting verification.
He would normally never do something this rash.
‘It’s not reality.’
He would need to think about a lot of things if it was reality, but Cale did not want to sit back and watch his people suffer even in an illusion.
‘And I need to make it big if I’m going to flip things over.’
That would make people think that this attendant was a crazy bastard and not mess with him.
There was a simple reason Cale could be so confident.
He did not do anything wrong and simply did his best to take care of his basic duties as instructed.
It was just that the basics that the Chief of Staff was thinking about were different from Cale’s thoughts about the basics.
“Then should I do one more thing?”
Cale moved to where the attendants mainly roamed.
It was where the rumors for the Royal Palace were created.
Cale started walking over and thinking about the rumor he would spread.
The message was simple.
‘The Chief of Staff is supporting the first prince!’
Nobody would believe it now, but who knew what would happen after tomorrow?
Cale really did not like the Chief of Staff. Putting the political relationships aside…
“He should at least feed the young boy properly.”
And based on the things he had learned while walking around…
It was true that Alberu’s food had been poisoned.
However, that incident was quieted out.
‘Would the king know about it? Or maybe it didn’t reach the king’s level?’
Either way, the Chief of Staff was responsible. The Chief of Staff was the one responsible for the administration of the palace after all.
“Poison in his food? You can’t do that to a kid’s food.”
The corners of Cale’s lips twisted up.
* * *
“What… is this?”
Alberu Crossman raised his head after seeing his dining table that had not been used in a while, full of food.
“I prepared a light lunch for you, your highness.”
Cale smiled brightly. Behind him were the attendants and royal servants from the King’s Palace Kitchen, standing confused with trays in their hands. Their pupils were shaking and their minds seemed to be quite chaotic right now.
It was the same for Alberu Crossman.
“Please eat before it gets cold. Your highness.”
Only Cale was smiling brightly with the clueless look on his face.
Anybody could tell that this was an accident caused by a clueless bastard who had no idea about the political relationships within the palace.
In the quiet palace where many things were taking place under the surface…
One attendant was slowly lifting the veil on what was going on under the surface.
He was doing it while smiling brightly as if he had no idea about anything.
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