Tasha walked down the long, golden halls of the luxurious castle. Her steps were light and a gentle smile was spread across her face. Anyone could tell that she was in a particularly good mood today, and for good reason.
Why wouldn’t she be happy when she finally got to visit her one and only nephew?
The castle security had gotten a lot stricter thanks to the on going war, and she had also been rather busy taking care of things inside of the underground city. There were a lot more people there now since the White Star’s attack on the Dubori Territory and because of that, things had gotten quite hectic.
However, she was now standing in front of the door to her nephew’s office and she honestly couldn’t be happier.
It didn’t matter to her that she had to disguise herself as a maid going up to serve her master tea once again while pretending to be an ordinary human or that she could only stay for a few minutes at best to personally report on a matter that Alberu had requested for her to handle personally. As long as she got to spend time with him, she was happy.
She missed the little punk-
Tasha took a deep breath and knocked on the door to the office three times.
Alberu’s voice could be heard from the other side of the wooden door. “Come in.”
Tasha skillfully pulled the doors open while pushing in a cart that had teacups, a teapot, and a small plate of apple slices.
Tasha didn’t exactly why Alberu had requested for some apples to be delivered up to his office of all things, but she brushed it off and figured that maybe he was just trying to be healthy and watching his health. Based on the ungodly amount of coffee he apparently drinks everyday, she couldn’t really blame him-
The dark-elf disguised as a human smiled brightly at the blonde prince, who hadn’t yet looked up at her and was still organizing his paperwork.
She quickly closed the door shut behind her and walked over to Alberu. She set the teacup down onto the desk before speaking.
“Alberu, seriously, you-”
Then she stopped and stared wide-eyed towards the direction of her nephew- specifically, towards his lap. She blinked then rubbed her eyes with a hand. What the…
This- was she hallucinating?
“Is that… is that a rabbit?”
There, on the crown prince’s lap, laid a peacefully sleeping bunny with long, floppy ears that dropped down the sides of its head, a fluffy little tail, and silky looking dark red fur. The bunny was laying on its side with its head nuzzled against Alberu’s stomach.
What exactly has my nephew been up to?, Tasha couldn’t help but wonder.
Then finally, Alberu realized that someone else was in the room with him and looked up at his aunt, a perfected and bright smile on his otherwise tired face.
“Oh, Aunt, it’s good to see you,” Alberu greeted in a respectful tone. He may be a prince, but this was his aunt he was talking to.
“It’s nice to see you as well,” Tasha nodded shortly towards him before looking back at the sleeping rabbit on his lap, “Care to explain why there’s a random rabbit on your lap, Alberu? Actually, where’d you even get this little guy, I want one of my own.”
Tasha said the last comment jokingly, but she was curious.
“Oh, that,” Alberu looked down at the small creature with floppy ears on his lap, a look of annoyance flashing through his face for a brief moment before he turned back to his aunt and smiled once again.
“Let’s just say I found this little guy in a pile of trash and decided to take him in on a whim. Somehow, in some way, I have grown attached to him even though he keeps running off and causing all sorts of trouble and always- always somehow manages to have close calls with death and narrowly miss it each and every time. For now, he has tired himself out and I have forced him to take a rest. He complied but now stubbornly refuses to leave my lap and now I’ve been sitting here for the past hour without moving.”
Tasha stared and blinked at him in surprise as she listened to him rant. She’s seen Alberu get annoyed and irritated before, but this time, he seemed particularly peeved.
“Uh-huh… this is… quite the situation you’ve found yourself in, huh?”
“No need to remind me,” Alberu sighed, “Please give me the full report on the situation.”
Tasha nodded and her expression turned more serious. She began reciting the full report on everything, making sure to not forget even a single detail about the information they had gathered.
While she spoke, Alberu listened to her tentatively, closely paying attention to every word she said. However, about half way through, his hand had instinctively went to pet the small rabbit on his lap, stroking his fur as gently. Though, his eyes never left his aunt.
He looked like an evil mastermind sitting at a chair with such a serious look on his face. Although, instead of a clever looking cat with sharp eyes, he was instead petting a lazy little rabbit with big floppy ears.
The cute rabbit and the cunning, scheming prince really did look odd together-
Little do they know, the cute rabbit also evil-
“- and that’s about all the information we’ve gathered so far.” Tasha looked back at her nephew as she finished.
“Good, good…” Alberu said, nodding his head while grinning, “You really are amazing, Aunt Tasha.”
“Of course I am, I’m your aunt after all.” Tasha smirked before looking up at the large clock that stood at the corner of the room. “Ah, I should probably get going now before any suspicion arises.”
Alberu looked up at the clock as well before sighing and nodded his head. He did want to spend more time talking to his aunt, but it couldn’t be helped. These were the circumstances he was born into, and he couldn’t really do anything about it at the present time.
“Get back safely, Aunt.”
“I’ll try to pay you a visit soon, okay? Preferably when that little guy isn’t sleeping.” Tasha smiled at the prince before turning around and taking a hold of the food cart. She was about to push it to head out when she stopped. She picked up the plate of carrots and grinned.
“Now I know why you requested for apples.”
After his aunt left, Alberu leaned back against his chair and stared blankly at the stacks upon stacks of documents on the table. He then looked back down and gently pet the head of the rabbit that was actually his sworn little brother.
Cale had snuck into the palace again and had managed to get inside of his office. He had then stubbornly refused to leave, claiming that Choi Han made a mess in the kitchen again and now the whole house smelled like burnt cheese (Alberu was confused as to how an entire castle could smell like cheese, but he chose not to question it-) and had hopped onto his lap to watch him do paperwork.
At first, Cale was actually helpful and helped Alberu sort out the documents and identify which were important and which were miscellaneous- and then Cale suddenly fell asleep in his lap, rendering Alberu completely unable to move for the duration of however long the little red rabbit slept.
He may like to annoy his brother, but he wasn’t mean enough to disturb him from his sleep when Cale obviously needed rest the most-
And also because he didn’t have the heart to wake up his sleeping brother, but he’ll never say that out loud-
So, that led to Alberu’s current predicament.
His legs were going numb and his thighs were starting to hurt. His body was also starting to ache from their limited amount of movement thanks to the sleeping devil disguised as a rabbit-
Alberu stared at the sleeping rabbit Cale’s face and grumbled.
“What a troublesome little brother you are…”
Then, a thought occurred to her.
“Doesn’t he wear the same expression sometimes when he’s with Young Master Cale?” She questioned out loud, and that got her thinking.
Has she ever seen a rabbit with fur as red as the one she saw today? Actually, were there any red rabbits in general? Now that she really thought about it, the rabbit’s fur was an identical shade to Cale’s own dark red hair, and it exuded a frail yet powerful aura just like the young master of the Henituse Household did.
Could it be that the rabbit is…
Tasha pondered on the thought before laughing out loud.
“No way, there’s absolutely no way! I must be out of my mind. There’s absolutely no way that rabbit was actually Cale Henituse- just the thought of it is absurd!”
Tasha laughed and brushed it all aside. She headed for her bed and turned off the lights.
Maybe a good night’s sleep would help straighten her mind.