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    The Goal Is To Survive

    Chapter 20

    Chapter 20: Homecoming

    Translated by SkyTL
    Edited by SkyTL


    Chapter 20: Homecoming
    There was a knock at the door of the Executive Office of the Noble Academy. After waiting for an answer, it was opened by Serion Granquiece
    “Master Serion!”
    Amanda-Rejon was the first to jump up and shout.
    “Hey, Serion, you’re finally back!”
    Inside sat four or five mid-level members of this year’s Executive Committee.
    “I’m sorry I’m late for school. I’m going to enter today.”
    “We’ve been looking forward to it. I heard your brother is having problems?”
    “Yes, he got very sick on the trip. He recently got settled back in and I came back first.”
    “I’m glad you joined the executive committee. I was looking forward to working with you.”
    The members of the Executive Committee warmly welcomed Serion.
    The Second Prince smiled at Serion.
    “Welcome back, Serion.”
    “Welcome back, Master Serion!”
    Amanda, of course, stood next to the prince and smiled brightly at him.
    “I am sorry to have caused you so much worry. Your Highness.”
    Serion bowed respectfully.
    I apologize for my letter the other day. Now that he’s settled in, I came back alone.
    “Your brother has had a hard day. Thank you also for your hard work.”
    “I thank you for your kindness. My sister will stay with my brother for a while to take care of him and then return to school later.”
    “Ah, yes.”
    replied the prince simply.
    I see.
    Serion chanted in his head.
    He was slightly disappointed by the cold answer. No wonder the lonely Faritina didn’t rely on the royal family.
    “As for my role as a member of the Executive Committee, as I told you in my letter, I have a lot of personal business to attend to, so I am unable to play a full part. However, if I should disturb you, please do not hesitate to exclude me.”
    Serion’s worried tone made the others in the room look incredulous.
    Well, Serion. I’m sure the Executive Committee has been informed of your situation. Of course, being involved is enough without being a burden. The faculty and students in your cohort have confidence in your abilities. Just knowing that you are here is reassuring.
    The prince said, trying to calm the situation.
    Even before he entered the academy, he was said to be an uncanny genius, and Serion’s talent is outstanding. In the past year, his accomplishments have been well documented, and the methods and use of demographic research he has spearheaded have been reflected in national policy.
    The team Serion formed has consistently received high praise from the Academy for the good coordination and exemplary behavior of its members.
    The privileged members of the academy would not let Serion escape under any circumstances.
    Serion had informed him that he would not be able to attend school in the new school year due to his brother’s illness and that he would not be able to actively participate in the role he had already accepted, as he was to officially take over the Duchy in the near future, although he was still at the Academy.
    However, the Executive Committee does not want to lose the genius of Serion. Especially in the time when the second prince of the royal family is in charge, he is considered a talent who will later be part of the second prince’s entourage, so the ambition to increase his prestige at any cost was obvious.
    For this reason, Serion’s refusal was not accepted.
    Therefore, Serion was asked to accept the fact that he would not be able to fully participate in the event.
    “It is a shame. Master Serion’s research on the measures up until last year was really great, and we were looking forward to having him there this year.”
    Amanda said with a sigh.
    “Yes, that’s right. But you’re taking over the Duchy so early. I don’t think there was any talk of it before last year.”
    Said the prince.
    Originally, I wanted to take over the duchy right after I graduated from the academy. For one thing, I was able to skip another class this year, so depending on my grades, I might be able to graduate this year. For another, my youngest brother has been sickly and unstable for a long time, and my siblings are restless, so I want to relieve my mother as much as possible.”
    “Ah! “What an act of filial piety!”
    Amanda clasped her hands in admiration, her eyes shining.
    Loud woman.
    Serion cursed in his heart.
    The prince is the highest-ranking person here. Next in line was Serion, who had been chosen to be the next duke.
    The others held back out of respect for their rank. That is the unwritten etiquette in a society of rank.
    But Amanda, the lowest-ranking woman in the room, echoed Serion’s words.
    Serion is uncomfortable in the atmosphere of natural acceptance.
    Really. Even as a deputy, a duchy would have been a burden for a woman with a young child. Besides, a sickly child would have been a cause for concern. But it is comforting to know they are in good hands.”
    said the prince sympathetically.
    “My father died suddenly, and I am not used to territories and political appearances. My youngest brother is very fond of my sister, so I can leave that to her without worry. However, I still have other younger siblings, so I don’t have enough time to take care of their education as well.”
    When the topic of Faritina came up, the mood in the room changed a bit, and Serion felt it firsthand, looking gently at the members of the club.
    “Speaking of which…”
    Serion turned to Amanda and made eye contact with her.
    “I heard that you and my sister got into trouble at His Highness’ birthday party the other day. I don’t know the details, but I apologize for disturbing your party.”
    Then he bowed to Amanda and the prince.
    “Oh, no. It is not for you to apologize to Master Serion.”
    Amanda raised her eyebrows sadly and looked to the floor.
    “Yes, Serion, I accept your apology. Please don’t talk about her too much in front of Amanda. She’s been in a lot of psychological pain since then and it’s really upsetting.”
    said the prince in defense of Amanda.
    He squeezes Amanda’s hand on his knee as she tries to support him.
    “Oh. That’s… In the end, I couldn’t ask my sister for details, so I thought I’d ask Miss Rajon.”
    Serion said in a sweet, caring voice, and a tear fell on Amanda’s hand.
    “Amanda,” someone called out, sitting down next to her and patting her on the shoulder.
    You don’t have the pride of a noblewoman.
    Serion hid a cruel grin and raised his eyebrows in annoyance.
    “I will tell you what happened, so please don’t ask her directly. And I’m sorry to tell you this, but try not to mention her name in this room. She is not a member of the Executive Committee and has no business being here. I would like her to stay away from the others, if possible.”
    “Yes, Your Highness. I am sorry to bother you like this.”
    Yes, that’s all right. As long as we have you here to accompany us.
    The prince gave Serion an annoyed smile, then looked kindly at Amanda.
    Serion suppressed his urge to smile with his molars and left the room.
    You be careful, too, Serion.
    Suddenly he remembered Faritina’s worried voice.
    “…Elder Sister.”
    He muttered to himself while looking out of the corridor window into the blue sky.
    Faritina had not told him about the interaction with Amanda that had taken place at the birthday party. He hadn’t even remembered that until she met Amanda.
    As a duchess, it was not uncommon for Faritina, who was not well received by the people around her, to become a source of ridicule among the ladies. It’s not often that this comes directly to Serion’s attention, but this time it stood out because of the place.
    I heard the whole thing from my acquaintances who were there.
    Normally, Faritina would have been annoyed by the rudeness of the situation. But it was easy to see that this would not be the case.
    It is rumored that Amanda-Rejon is the prince’s lover and that she will become his princess when she graduates.
    This latest fiasco has only added credence to this rumor. The fact that Amanda’s claims were taken into account instead of asking Faritina about the truth of the matter.
    It is believed that the current Executive Committee headed by the prince will eventually become his aides and interfere in the affairs of the entire kingdom.
    The Prince’s original fiancée, Faritina, has been eliminated and his lover Amanda is strongly favored.
    And Serion, the legitimate son of the Granquiece, has been brought in.
    Be careful, Serion.
    Faritina said.
    “Granquiece is still a mock duke with a young heir and an acting duke. And this breach of trust must not have escaped the surrounding lords. Especially our uncle who live next door to us.
    “Why can’t we tell him? It is a duke’s family, which used to be his own family. Maybe they can warned mother.”
    “That could be. But it wasn’t enough warning to change it. If I were Uncle, the Earl of Granquiece, I wouldn’t stop her. It’s so easy to figure out something so poorly done. Then it is quite simple. I won’t have anything to do with the Dukes, and I’ll sell the relationship at a high price if it breaks.”
    “Sell it?”
    “Yes, to the highest bidder. If I am to marry into the royal family without being released from my betrothal, then to the royal family. If there are forces that want to get rid of me and get the prince, go to them.”
    Serion rolled his eyes and looked at Faritina.
    How could Faritina think such a thing when she had said the engagement was safe because of the contract?
    “Anyway, he’s probably trying to find a good time to sell it. It remains to be seen how the Prince feels about our engagement. If he can’t handle it emotionally or physiologically, he probably won’t want to get married, no matter how many contracts we have.”
    She licked her lips a little.
    Her skin and lips had lost their luster due to fatigue and lack of sleep. Still, the gesture was strangely arousing.
    “In this situation, it is very likely that he will try to break the engagement. Don’t you think so?”
    “You mean Amanda-Rejon?”
    Faritina nodded.
    “It seems word has spread through the social circles. And my notoriety as well. I believe the royal family has come to cut me loose. And I want to keep you on board. Isn’t that why you couldn’t turn down the Executive position?”
    Faritina’s insight made Serion shudder.
    How could she, who rarely attended the soirees, know that?
    “Who will be the best and most expensive buyer of this situation? I think the Counts of Granquiece are waiting for that. You are indispensable. No one else can offer you that talent. We don’t want to be caught in our own trap. But as it is, there’s no reason to condemn you. So…
    Faritina looked him in the eye.
    “Take care, Serion. You’ll be busy once you get back to the Capital. A lot of people will be coming to you to try to get in with the next duke. More than ever. It’s still a good idea if you can be incorporated into a force that will pay a high price for you. Don’t just lose your life along with the Dukedom. It would be better for you to abandon your will and pride and become someone’s puppet. No one can destroy your talent. When this ugly news fades with time, you will be able to return.”
    Faritina laughed.
    “Don’t hesitate to cut me loose. I’m sure you’re not the one who’s sentimental. I’d rather you looked at Granqiece’s survival under better circumstances.”
    “What do you take me for? Gemini and the rest of the siblings won’t be happy to let you die. We will all fall if we are taken out. As long as you’re alive, you’ll come back even if you’re not a noble. In the meantime, I have nothing to lose if my siblings resent me and stab me.”
    Serion said to Faritina, complaining that he was considered a model of cold-bloodedness.
    Faritina just smiled.
    So fragile.
    And yet with a lithe strength.
    I don’t have time for the farce of the academy.
    For the sake of the siblings he had left behind in the psyllium, Serion put on the mask of a beautiful smile.

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