Picking Up the Exiled Prince
Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 27: Nightmare
Hot and Red …
It was just hot and red.
In front of him, flames were spreading as far as his eyes could see.
While the soldiers and people around him were desperately trying to come to grips with the situation, he could only watch helplessly as the scene unfolded in front of him, falling to his knees.
His family was left trapped in the flames. Only he and one of the maids had managed to get out safely. The maid told him that someone had attacked and set the house on fire.
He figured this must be true. There was no way that his father would have left his family behind if it was something as simple as their butler accidentally setting something on fire.
Without realizing it, tears started falling from his eyes.
It was so sudden that his mind couldn’t keep up, and he muttered to himself in a daze.
“…Who did it?”
Such a thing…
He couldn’t understand that.
The reason was probably because they were a family that served the royal family while bearing a heavy karma within their family. There were several people who bore grudges against them. He had no idea who the culprit was at the time, and he had nowhere to turn.
He was still too young to accept the cruel reality of being left alone, and he slammed his hands on the ground as he screamed.
In the past, and even now, he has never been as emotional as he had been at this moment.
Danis woke up with a huff and a gasp. He was sweating, and he felt sick all over.
He took slow, deep breaths and tried to compose himself. It was the same nightmare he has always had. This incident from his past was the very reason that he was seeking revenge.
Danis started to get out of bed but paused when he saw Alan, who was sleeping peacefully and defenselessly on the bed beside him. He slowly got up so as not to wake him, then put his coat on his arm, grabbed a cigarette and box of matches, and walked out of the room.
Outside the inn, Danis walked over to where Chris was keeping an eye out for anyone in pursuit.
“My shift isn’t over yet, is it?”
Chris called out to him before he could make his presence known. Perhaps he’d noticed him from the sound of his footsteps.
“…I’m sorry. I can’t sleep… Let me take over the watch.”
Chris turned to Danis with a suspicious expression, as if he thought it was strange for him to say something like that. Then Chris nodded and headed for his room, as if he had realized something after looking at his face.
After walking a few steps, Chris stopped.
“You really are… No, nevermind.”
Chris cut himself off, shook his head, and then headed for the room again.
Danis lit a cigarette, not really caring, and slowly sat down on the steps outside the inn.
He knew what Chris was going to say.
If he really was a survivor, wasn’t he supposed to be the heir, “Renius Orbright?” He must have wanted to say something like that.
The answer to that question was both yes and no.
This was not the time to answer that question.
Eventually, the time would come when he’d have to tell Alan about his identity. But it didn’t have to be now.
He smoked a cigarette to calm himself down and let the night breeze cool his head.
On the day his family was murdered, he happened to be the only one out running errands. Originally, Danis had not planned to go out that day. When he returned to the mansion at night, he found that the flames had already engulfed the place in front of him.
Unable to accept the reality of the situation, Danis had to be dragged to safety by his maidservant.
There were survivors out there.
In order to keep it a secret from others, he decided to live in hiding, and was unable to hold a proper funeral for his family. He didn’t remember how he’d survived for a while, he was so shocked.
By the time he’d finally recovered, he was standing in front of the tomb that had been built by the king, and holding the only remaining pendant of his family in his hand while vowing revenge.
After that, he changed his name to avoid being recognized, and he abandoned his position and power.
Even though he had inherited the right of succession, it was meaningless if he didn’t show it. The tattoo on his arm was nothing more than a decoration.
After abandoning everything, Danis gave his surviving maid a new job and then immersed himself in the underworld as it was the best place to gather information.
He was fortunate that he was the successor to the Orbright family. He knew a lot of information about the underworld, and no one in the underworld knew that he was a member of the Orbright family.
In this way, he steadily and cunningly continued to survive, and before he knew it, he had become the head. It was quite laughable that he has been living his life just to desperately seek revenge.
When he became the head, he finally figured out who his family had been up against back then.
He found out that there were often underhanded deals going on in the underworld, regardless of their rules. The aristocracy, in particular, had been gathering at one point, though often cleverly hidden.
That point was the Prime Minister, Gabriel.
It was part of Orbright’s job to crack down on excessive backroom dealings between the nobility. With the death of the family who had been the watchmen, the number of such cases increased.
He could see… who benefited the most from his father’s death.
And when he finally found the person who had actually committed the crime over the years, he was able to identify the person who ordered it. However, the criminal had committed suicide, and the only witness they had for the Orbright family was lost.
He was frustrated, but then one rainy day he had spent some time walking around and thinking about how to get revenge on Gabriel.
Yes, on that rainy day, he met Prince Alan again in an alley.
Danis, who’d had a grim expression, relaxed his shoulders and exhaled slowly from his cigarette.
He thought he would never see him again.
When he remembered Alan, he let out a breath and smiled.
“It hasn’t changed now and in the past …”
He never thought they would have this kind of relationship.
He knew more than anyone else how absurd it was. The other party was a prince, someone who had to bear the heavy weight of the country’s future.
He heard footsteps approaching and turned around to see Alan there.
“You still can’t sleep?”
His big eyes, which had been watching Danis with concern, looked a little sleepy. He had tried to be careful when he left the room, but apparently Alan still woke up.
“What? It happens all the time.”
It was true. He’s been seeing them in his dreams almost everyday since he’d lost his family. For some reason, he saw them less often or felt better when experiencing skinship, so when he was hopping from place to place, he would hire prostitutes at the brothels in his jurisdiction to make up for it.
After meeting Alan, it was a little strange that he was able to sleep deeply.
Alan sat down next to Danis.
“We have an early day tomorrow. You’d better get some sleep.”
“I’ll go back inside soon.”
He hunched his shoulders and then leaned his head against Danis’ left side. He looked a little groggy, and Danis thought he should return to the room, but he didn’t say anything because of the warmth he felt from where Alan was leaning on him.
As he silently smoked his cigarette, he felt the weight of the body leaning against him increase; when he looked back at Alan, he saw that he was breathing deeply and had fallen asleep.
“You’ll catch a cold.”
He sighed as he said this to Alan, who told him in his sleepy voice to stay put. He put his own coat on Alan’s shoulders.
There were only so many times he could stay like this.
Danis quietly laughed as if to ridicule himself for feeling a little sorry for the warmth on his left side.
T/N: This chapter is so sad T T
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