Author: Tam Editor: Genie

Gulp, Serdel swallowed automatically. 

 

She replied as calmly as possible. 

 

“Serdel Robbesta greets His Highness the second prince.” 

 

On the other hand, he did not answer. 

 

He just looked down at her. 

 

His shadow, which was hanging over her partially, completely covered her. Serdel, trapped in the dark shadow, couldn’t even step back. 

 

“I was curious what the Young Lady’s expression would look like when you saw me.” 

 

Unknowingly, his gaze ran up her body. A dark arc was drawn on the corner of his mouth. 

 

The dark emotion that filled his golden eyes was his interest in her. 

 

“It’s fun.” 

 

After saying that, he turned around. 

 

Cartal, who had hardened his eyes, took the lead in following the prince. 

 

Long after, Serdel, Redan, and Damon followed him. 

 

“What’s going on?” 

 

Redan’s chin was tense asking about the situation. 

 

If Damon wasn’t next to him, all sorts of words would have come out of his mouth. 

 

“Did you have anything to do with the second prince?” 

 

Unexpectedly, Damon also showed interest. 

 

Serdel internally swallowed a sigh, she looked away and her eyes met his. Some kind of message was transmitted from him through his serious look. 

 

Redan’s eyes looking between the two alternately became fierce in an instant. 

 

If they hadn’t arrived at the meeting room just then it might have been quite troublesome. 

 

“Damn it. Talk to me later.” 

 

“Let’s talk about it later, Young Lady.” 

 

At the same time, Redan and Damon looked at each other for a while and turned their heads without saying anything to each other. 

 

***** 

 

As they sat around the round table, the butler and the maid placed refreshments in front of each person. 

 

“First of all, before the full-fledged meeting begins, Your Highness, I would appreciate it if you could look at this first.” 

 

Damon handed the prince a bunch of documents. They were documents related to the exploration and development exchanged between the two royal families. 

 

“I’m sure you’ve heard from time to time, but the details are—” 

 

“Ah, it would be more helpful in understanding the upcoming meeting to read these for yourself.” 

 

With an indifferent look Prince Falden looked at the documents that were handed to him. 

 

“Hmm.” 

 

Starting with one short, heavy groan, Falden’s eyes and fingers moved quickly. 

 

Only the sound of flipping papers filled the air. 

 

Raising his head again, he crossed his arms. 

 

Suddenly, his eyes changed. 

 

Knock, knock. 

 

Just in time, the butler opened the door to the knock. 

 

“Forgive me for being late.” 

 

It was Addis. 

 

As if she had come in a hurry, she greeted Prince Falden first, wiping off the sweat on her chin. 

 

“That’s enough. Just sit down.” 

 

Sitting next to Serdel, she greeted Marquis Spendar and Damon. 

 

Then she whispered to Serdel a little. 

 

“How have you been?” 

 

“I’ve been doing well.” 

 

“Your complexion seems to have brightened up a lot.” 

 

“You seem to have gotten a lot better, too, Sister.” 

 

The conversation did not flow smoothly. It was more awkward to deal with Addis than before. 

 

It seems like it’s because it’s been a while since she has been back. 

 

“Ah, Your Highness. The captain and I decided to join outside the castle on the day of the expedition.” Addis added.

 

Falden nodded. 

 

“Now, I think everyone is here, so let’s start the meeting.” 

 

He gestured at Cartal and Marquis Spendar to begin. 

 

His attitude was arrogant. 

 

Then Damon got up from his seat. He first handed out the newly prepared documents one by one. 

 

“This is the expedition schedule. Please take a look first.” 

 

It was full of contents inside. Just looking at how tight the plan is, it makes her exhausted. 

 

“Since Elbash Forest is an unknown forest, there is a high chance that things will not go as planned—” 

 

“If you know that, you shouldn’t prepare it like this, don’t you think so?” 

 

Falden, who put down the documents, suddenly argued. 

 

Marquis Spendar’s eyes narrowed. 

 

“Of course, in theory, it’s perfectly safe.” 

 

He lazily buried himself in the chair. 

 

“Moreover, it makes me want to applaud you just for being aware of the possibility that things won’t go as planned. But even so, it doesn’t change that you’re going to move on based on this plan, right?” 

 

Falden sneer at him. 

 

“What if we fail? What are you going to do then?” 

 

“We have to move according to the situation.” 

 

“You talk lightly. If that’s the case, is there any need to gather here?” 

 

His words struck straight to the bone. Falden looked around everyone. 

 

Damon’s words continued before his mouth opened. 

 

“I’ve never said this plan is perfect, we don’t even have a map of this place. We are fully aware of the possibility of failure, as we have mentioned earlier. Nevertheless, we need to set the order of priorities.” 

 

“Hoo.” 

 

Damon remained unshakable even when a slow burst of laughter poured out. 

 

“We can’t go into a mess without measures, can we? Don’t worry about failure. We have prepared a number of measures. Here are these documents—” 

 

“Ah, you really know nothing about the world. You think that the world you devised is the whole reality. You don’t even know there’s a frog in a well.” 

 

The atmosphere in the hall became cold as if cold water had been poured on everyone. 

 

“The measures that Sir spoke of. How long do you think it will work in a real forest? Let me just ask one thing. What if you fail even after using every contingency plan you’ve thought of? What do you think will happen then?” 

 

“….” 

 

“Everyone dies. They might die as they panic and can’t remember the new plans. That’s the danger of an unknown forest.” 

 

Silence fell. 

 

Falden pushed forward the first document he had looked at. 

 

“Now, shall we discuss realistic matters? First of all, there are too many people on the expeditions.” 

 

“It’s better to put as many people as possible to check it out quickly—” 

 

“No. If it were me, I would reduce the number of personnel and focus more on subjugating monsters. Do you know how negatively it affects their mentality if people die from the start?” 

 

Damon’s words were forcibly cut off by the prince. 

 

“In addition, the forest was stimulated to aggression by hunters who first found the mine.” 

 

“….” 

 

“It means that there is a high possibility that the nerves of the monsters are sharp. But what if a large number of people wander around again? Do you think they will stand still?” 

 

Damon’s grip on the documents was tense. 

 

“Monster-related countermeasures are not bad. No, it was rather good to deal with it in detail because I didn’t know how many monsters there would be. But if there’s one thing that I’ve overlooked, it’s their intelligence.” 

 

Tok. His finger hit the desk. 

 

“Just because it’s a monster doesn’t mean they don’t have a brain. Smart ones like them sometimes play with humans. If that’s all they do, that’s a relief, but what if they don’t?” 

 

“As it is an unknown forest, there is a high possibility that many races that we’ve yet to encounter are hiding.” 

 

Serdel’s murmur drew everyone’s attention to her. 

 

“You understand what I’m saying quickly. Right, as the young lady said, what if you encounter a race that uses magic or spirits? That’s when the battle gets more complicated. In that sense, your plan is too unrealistic.” 

 

When it comes to it, monsters were like a species in the forest. They were more sensitive to the energy of nature than humans, and they accepted it quite freely. 

 

There are probably a few, not many, of them who are born with this ability. 

 

“If that’s the case—it would be advantageous to quickly explore with the right number of people, gather as much information as possible, and start subjugating immediately.” 

 

The original plan was to go back for subjugation a month after the expedition was over. 

 

She thought this was too slow. 

 

Unexpected situations may happen suddenly, a month would be too long. 

 

“Yeah, don’t give them any time.” 

 

Serdel narrowed her forehead. 

 

‘Is this the reason why the damage was great in the past?’ 

 

At that time, three months had passed between the expedition ending and the subjugation beginning.

 

Because the imperial family withdrew in the middle of the three month gap, the subjugation team had no choice but to take replacements. 

 

Morale gradually fell, and the manpower gathered as replacements were not well absorbed into the existing force, although their skills were also good. 

 

In the end, quite a few people were needlessly sacrificed. 

 

She had previously believed that the cause was that the imperial family did not give them any help at all. 

 

‘But if the cause of the failure was the time difference, the damage would probably have been similar even if they had been with the imperial family.’ 

 

Soon, there was talk of going back for subjugation two months after the expedition. 

 

Serdel watched Falden again. 

 

Due to the restrictions of the Empress, the mother of the 1st Prince, he was never able to stay in the palace for long. 

 

He was always sent somewhere and had to fight with his life at stake. 

 

This occurred so frequently that he had more experience on the battlefield than the knight Addis. 

 

Damon, on the other hand, had never been driven so far into a corner that he needed to take action himself. 

 

The differences were obvious especially now when this side is only discussing a rigid plan, Falden immediately grasped obvious holes in the plan and added a sense of reality through his extended experience.

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