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Chapter 289: Unpopular

 Chapter 289: Unpopular

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

Hui Wei tended to let his emotions dictate his actions. Normally, he was a quiet and reserved man. However, he could become very talkative if he found someone or something that interested him. When he was fully engaged in a conversation, he would talk about everything from legendary weapons and powerful, ancient warriors to ancient civilizations and deities.

Hui Wei thought maybe he was talking too much and wanted to end the conversation, but he was too excited to do that. Normally he never talked as much as this for fear of reprimand and trouble, but he found Anfey to be a very engaged listener. It was rare to find someone who would listen to him talk about all his thoughts.

After Hui Wei finished, the two returned to Saul's place. The meditating mages showed up as well and were chatting in the living room.

"Christian!" Hui Wei called, walking over to the young man.

"How was it?" Christian asked. "What did you think of the academy?"

"I've never been there. Are there pretty girls?" Blavi asked, grinning.

"I didn't notice, but I did hear some interesting news."

Anfey sat down on an empty chair and glanced around, looking for Suzanna. He didn't stop Hui Wei because he knew that Yolanthe must be ready for Christian to reveal himself if the students in the academy knew the rumor.

"What is it?" Sante asked. Out of everyone, he and Blavi enjoy gossip the most.

"Christian," Hui Wei said, staring at Christian. "Should I keep calling you Christian, or should I call you Rodhart?" Hui Wei raised his voice purposely so everyone could hear him.

Everyone in the room hushed and turned around to look at Hui Wei and Christian. Niya and Suzanna walked into the room just in time to hear what Hui Wei had said and froze in their tracks.

Christian looked at Hui Wei and sighed. Then he smiled and said slowly, "Rodhart is only my baptismal name. Christian is my real name and I would prefer if you still call me Christian."

"Wait," Blavi asked, "you are Rodhart? The Rodhart? As in, the third prince Rodhart?"

"There's already two princes. I am the unnecessary addition. I hope you can still treat me like one of you," Christian said, lowering his gaze.

"You're really the prince?" Feller asked, his eyes wide.

"Alright, alright," Anfey said, standing up. He grabbed two apples from a nearby plate and sat down next to Christian, tossing one of the apples to Christian. He took a bite of the apple and said, "What? Are you scared now that you know who he really is?"

"No," Feller said, shaking his head.



"If you were a prince, would you want us to salute do you?"

"Of course not."

"Why not?"

"Because you are my friends."

"Christian sees us as his friends as well. How do you think he would feel if we all act careful around him?"

"But..." Blavi opened his mouth but did not finish his sentence.

The atmosphere suddenly became very awkward. Even though Anfey's words made sense, Christian's real identity came as too big of a surprise. It was hard to imagine being friends with a prince.

"So you're Rodhart, huh?" Niya said. She ignored the awkwardness and did not change her way of speech. "Why didn't you tell us?"

"There are a lot of reasons," Christian said. "It's a long story."

"Who would have thought?" Entos said as he appeared in the living room. No one noticed him before and no one knew how much he had heard. He glanced at Christian and smirked. "I'm impressed. You fooled even me."

"I didn't want to fool you," Christian said.

"If I remember correctly, you've been here since you were six. How did a six-year-old learn how to lie?"

"Like I've just said, I didn't want to lie to you. I've never been to Swordbury Principality and I've been living here ever since I can remember."

"Christian, didn't you say Rodhart is your baptismal name?" Anfey asked, rubbing his chin.

"Yes. I was baptized. You have all met the man who performed the baptism."

"Slanbrea?" Anfey asked, surprised.

"Yes. But of course he had forgotten me."

"Of course," Entos said, smiling. "You were only a child then." He paused for a moment then said, "I remember that, though. His Majesty had allowed the Church of Light to build a church in Swordbury Principality. It is said that the prince has good relations with the church. Who would have thought the real prince was suffering elsewhere."

"I've never suffered," Christian objected. "I'm very satisfied with my life right now."

"That other Rodhart is brilliant, though. He fooled almost everyone, including the church. He must be good to fool those missionaries for so long."

"It's actually not that hard," Christian said with a shrug. "He's been taught for his entire life that he is the real prince. He needn't actually fool anyone."

Anfey lifted an eyebrow, then nodded. This was indeed a successful lie. Christian's stand-in didn't know he was not the real prince and had no chance of making mistakes.

"I don't care if that Rodhart knew or not," Entos said. He took a few steps forward and smirked. "You, though, you're different. I've always treated you like a little brother, and that won't change. You may be a prince, but you are still my little brother. You've fooled me for over a decade. I'm hurt by your lie. What are you going to do to make it up to me?"

"My birthday is in three days," Christian said slowly. "I can make it up to you then."

"Even your identity was fake. How am I supposed to know whether your birthday is real?" Entos asked, shaking his head. "If I had known this, I wouldn't have spent all that time finding your gifts."

"The birthday's real," Christian said earnestly. "Don't you remember my baptism?"

"It's so long ago," Entos complained. He frowned as he tried to recall the event, then turned his gaze to Christian again. "Fine. You have to make it up to me though."

"I swear!"

"There will be consequences if you don't satisfy me," Entos said, glaring at Christian.

"Of course, of course," Christian said, smiling.

"Christian," Anfey said, tapping him on the shoulder. "I haven't spent as much time with you, but I trusted you. Shouldn't I also get whatever you are preparing for Entos?"

"He's right," Niya said, walking over. "You lied to me too. I'm hurt. You should make it up to me, too."

Christian looked at the two of them and shook his head. "Fine," he said. "I won't forget you two."

"Did you forget about me?" Suzanna asked. She patted her sword and said, "I put my life in your hands."

"It's my birthday," Christian sighed. "Shouldn't you guys be giving me presents?"

"Are you dishonoring me?" Suzanna asked, frowning. "What are the rules for duels here?"

"You should ask Riska that."

"Fine, fine," Christian said before Riska could answer the question. "Alright. Everyone gets a gift, alright? Stop tormenting me."

"You're saying we all get a gift?" Riska asked, grinning. Everyone relaxed after seeing Christian act so embarrassed and the recent revelation began to fade from their memories.

"When Entos was gone, you were the elder brother," Blavi said, shaking his head. "We all trusted you."

"I feel like you are all teaming up against me," Christian said, looking down at the ground. "And I thought I was popular." He snuck a glance at Entos and smiled gratefully. Christian knew that Entos was trying to ease the tension, and he was thankful for it.

"You won't be until you earn our forgiveness," Blavi said with a wide grin. Then he suddenly turned to Anfey and said, "By the way, Master said he wanted to see you in the labs."

"Why didn't you tell me sooner?" Anfey asked.

"I didn't know Hui Wei would tell us such a big secret the moment he walked through the door," Blavi said with a shrug. "You should probably go there right now."