Chapter 5

Chapter 5


"Where are we going?" Asked my advisor, Frederick. At first, I try to ignore him but it's the fourth time he asked since we got into the car. He was surprised when I told the driver that I want to drive on my own.

"You do know that you're not authorised to have the maids vehicle and went for a joy ride to the city? And where the hell did you get such clothes to wear?" He asked.

"Well I can't walk around the city wearing my own clothes, am I? I don't want to create unnecessary trouble for public citizens." He sighed heavily.

"My emperor, your action will not make the current situation better. It will only make it worse. Please, tell me where are we going?" When we stop at a red light, I finally face him.

"I'm craving for something and none of the cooks at the palace knows how to make it like this particular eating place just outside the imperial city," his eyes widen.

"Outside the city?! Are you mental?! We can't leave the city just like that! We need to inform the guards, your parents, the council members! Everyone actually. This is the matter of your safety," I sighed heavily before continue to drive.

"You know, this is why I hate to bring you out and about. You're always so ... formal and live your life by the law too much," I shake my head.

"You think I like being a Betty buzzkill? I have an obligation when it comes to being the emperor's advisor. And since the emperor himself is not someone who obey the rules, I need to be the one who does." He finally snapped.

"Hey! This is my second time breaking the law of the palace," he just glares at me after saying so.

"Oh really? Need me to remind you of that crazy trip you took when you knew that your favourite Korean girl group having their first-ever concert at the neighbouring kingdom?" that trip was fun. I had such an amazing experience being a regular person for a night.

"Hey! They're life. Even if it kills me, I will go to their concert." I was determined. I mean, TWICE is life, right? I'm pretty sure I'm not the only ONCE here. Hell, even the author of this book is a ONCE!

"I will never understand how can someone as dignified as you could even go this far for a girl group. I mean, you have the power and money to bring them to your kingdom. Why not do that?" He just doesn't get it huh?

"It's different. If I did the things you just mentioned, it won't be the same. The feelingS I mean. Once they were informed that the emperor wishes to see them, they will do whatever it takes to be as poise as they can be. I don't want that." He just doesn't see my logic.

"But you're the emperor. They should bow down to you," I shake my head no.

"You just don't understand. Forget it. Anyway, we're here." He looks outside the window and was surprised to see the place.

"You actually went here alone the last time? Do you know where we are now?" He asked while I find a spot to park the car.

"Yea. I am aware of it," I smiled when there's a car that's about to leave.

"And it didn't cross your mind that these people might have grudges on the imperial family? I mean most of the people who reside in this part of town are someone who against your ideology. What if they know who you are?" I turned off the engine and face him.

"We could only plan but God is the one who has the last say. If it's my time to go, it's time. But if it's not, it's not. Let's not assume they're all bad people. Who knows, some of them might be quite nice to be friends with," his expression changes.

"Please don't tell me you made friends here." I didn't wait for him to say another word when I got out and leave him behind.

"Emp- ... Al! Wait up!" I shake my head when he was this close to calling me by my title.

"Oh hey! You're back ... with a friend?" Dolores greeted me when I walk into the small restaurant.

"Yea. This is Fred. Fred, this is Dolores," I introduced them. Fred, being a gentleman, gave her a little bow.

"Well ... that's a first. It reminds me of when we first met. You gave me that little bow as well. I am certain that you two came from ... the city?" I place a finger on my lips.

"I thought you said you could keep a secret?" Dolores waved it off.

"As long as you two bring business to my place, I don't mind at all. But, need to remind you two that not everyone as friendly as I am. Some of them here really despise those who came from the city." I gave Dolores a little nod and ordered the food I always have here.

She smiled before leaving us to make our meal herself. I choose to sit by the window so that I could look at the view outside that's totally different than what we have in the Imperial city.

"Hey, we're really in big trouble if these people know who we are," Fred leaned forward towards me.

"Do you have any idea how many targets are actually on your back right now?" I pushed him back to his seat and smiled at him. He needs to chill or they will know who we are.

But, that actually interest me. Why are there people from the Resistance group out and about like they're free to do anything in public? I thought this town doesn't allow them to be here. Something is going on and I have a bad feeling about this.

This town existence shouldn't be known to anyone. It's different for me because I'm the emperor and since this town never causes any trouble for the Empire, I just let it be since it suddenly became a safe haven for those who are unfortunate.

I wanted to legalise this town as one of the duchies in my kingdom but the 'duke' said that he prefers to be neutral when it comes to politics. But from the things I see today, letting these Resistance people into his town tell me something else.

"Here you go. Just like you wanted. Enjoy your meal." Dolores served us and it immediately brings joy to my stomach.

"Dolores ... can we talk after this? I actually wanted to ask you about ... something." Her eyes follow mine and look at the group of people just behind me.

"Oh ... sure. No problem." She winks before excuse herself.

"Well .. Fred .. dig ..." to my surprise he's already digging into his food.

"In ..." I shake my head before giving thanks. See, told yah the food is nice.


"The duke is joining the Resistance?! Why?" It gave me quite a shock when Dolores told me about this information.

"It's not just this town, there's other illegal town as well. From what I heard from my customers, they're trying to double their forces so that they could ... finally catches your attention, my emperor," Dolores winks at me. It catches my attention alright.

And it's not good.

"This is bad. If they manage to gather that much ally, we're in big trouble when they decided to attack the imperial city." Fred's input doesn't help at all.

"The border incident was just a starter. Soon they will gather more forces and then will finally launch an attack at the imperial family. They will demoralise your people and make them turn their backs on you." Both of us turn to look at Dolores.

"What happened to you?" Fred asked, wondering. I should've stopped him from asking so much but I was too late.

"Who, me? Well ... I used to be a nobility like you are. But my father was dumb enough to be persuaded by those Resistance goons and then got his backstabbed in return. Our wealth was taken from us, my mother decided to kill herself. Speaking of my father, he was killed when the riot happens at the border." Fred swallows the huge lumps in his throat before facing me.

"Why didn't you tell me?" He asked, avoiding looking at Dolores's piercing eyes.

"You didn't give me a chance to say anything," I replied.

"Anyway, I suggest that before that happen, maybe you could do something to prevent it from attacking the imperial city and the other duchy. Pretty sure not everyone likes the way you rule your kingdom, my emperor. Age-wise and how your way of thinking differs than your father, they will really have your head if you keep doing what you're doing." That's a warning.

"A wedding would be nice," Dolores smiled when I look at her.

"That is true. A wedding always brings happiness to everyone. Since it's a matrimony between two people who have no idea what kind of futures holds for them as a married couple." Fred is being annoying again.

"What is up with you vultures and weddings nowadays? I feel like everyone is pressuring me to get married soon," this is no joke. Even my parents said that I should get myself settling down by now.

"Because you're not getting younger, my emperor. I'm sure princess Madeline and the others have the perfect candidate this year," Dolores smirk at me after saying so.

Why am I having a bad feeling about this? Knowing my sister and two of my cousins, they ought to be too ... how do you call it? Possessive? No. That's not the word. Hmmm ... persuasive? Maybe.

"Do you know something that I don't, Dolores? It's not good to lie to your emperor, you know." Dolores shrugged her shoulder before patting my shoulder.

"Even if I do, I won't be telling you." Before I could say something to say, Fred suddenly gasped at us both.

"What's wrong with this boy?" Dolores asked, confused.

"Dolores Knight! The only daughter of Duke Frances and Colleen Knight!" He just realised who she was?

"Is this normal? I mean, I told him my identity minutes ago and just now he realised who I am?" I waved it off. For him to even realised who Dolores was is a step up. Usually, he just brushes everything away.

"That explains how you two seem close to each other. You're childhood friends!" I smiled. Way to go for staying the obvious, Sherlock. I gave Dolores a small apologetic smile when she turns to me.

"I can't believe that this clueless guy is your advisor. How did that happen?" For that, I need to recall way back to the past. Even I had forgotten how it happened truth be told.

"Let's not dwell in the past, shall we. It's time to go, my emperor. I was informed by the palace woman that your cousin, grand duchess Annabelle has arrived and she wants to see you in person." Annabelle? That's odd.

"To see me? Why?" Fred shrugged his shoulder. Knowing Annabelle is waiting for me back at the palace, I bid my goodbyes to Dolores and wish her well. After giving her a small smile, I put on my hat and walk out from her small office towards the entrance.

"Let me drive." He took my keys and went to the driver's seat. I was so baffled by his sudden action that I need time to process them before getting into the car.

"Do you know why Annabelle asking for me?" Fred shakes his head lightly.

"No idea. But I guess it's important since she insisted to see you, the emperor. Let's not keep her waiting shall we?" I nod in agreement.

Nothing good ever happens if we made her wait too long.

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