He sat within a simple chair that rested on top of a high-quality mat, with one leg crossed over the other and a cup of steaming hot tea in his upraised hand. His other arms elbow rested on the table with his knuckles placed on cheeks.
At this time, his sights were set onto the figure of a strong-looking middle-aged man in a yellow suit, who slightly bowed and spoke, "Alan Lawson offers his greetings to Prince Erickson."
"At ease," Prince Erickson replied, allowing for Alan to return to standard posture.
After this was done, Prince Erickson spoke again, "Manager Lawson, it's been a while, I take it you've been well."
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"I thank the prince for his concern, yes, I have been doing well, and my injuries are now a bit healed," Alan replied.
After sipping his tea, Prince Erickson's eyes flashed as he smiled and replied, "That's good to hear, now then, shall we get down to business. I trust you know why I've summoned you for a meeting."
"The prince speaks correctly, I believe it should have something to do with your majesties guests," Alan spoke with a slightly deeper tone.
"Indeed, it so," Prince Erickson said as he turned his eyes towards the window, peering towards the sky. Although it was daytime, the split in the cosmos with the myriad stars was slightly visible.
Prince Erickson's eyes shone in a cold light as he spoke, "It's been half a year since they arrived, and they've claimed that they're here to save our world and that a disaster will occur at the end of this month. Yet, we know nothing of their origins, neither how many of them there are in total. What even strikes me as odd is how my father and eldest brother have readily accepted them into our palace. I do not want to leave my fate into the hands of such so-called 'guests.'"
Alan nodded as he spoke, "The prince speaks wisely. Indeed, I had found their activities these past months to be rather strange. After diving in deeply, I had fortunately managed to avoid a pitiful end, narrowly surviving a region they call a - Lesser Space."
Prince Erickson was shocked at this revelation, he spoke out of character, "What? I had found it hard to believe when I heard the news, for someone of your caliber to be wounded and forced into a narrow escape was simply beyond my measure. How could this be? What is that space you speak of?"
Alan hearing this showed a strange marking on his hand as he spoke with eyes that shone with a hint of fascination, "It is a strange place, one connected to a world like that of a fantasy that I found when I had followed a few of those individuals. Inside of it, there are monsters like which I've never seen in all my years of life, boars more than twice the size of savage boars in our mountains and even odd beings. I was forced to fight against all as if it was some trial, and upon narrowly surviving, I was given this crest."
Prince Erickson was shocked, but he did his best to calm his emotions as he inquired, "What is that crest? Does it have anything to do with that impending disaster?"
Alan nodded as he replied, "This crest is called a Crest of Awakening; it carries within it a power that can allow its user to grow infinitely stronger. If I look it and will for it, I can see my own physical capabilities almost like a screen of sorts. When I got this crest, I had found come across a few key pieces of information; they are as follows:"
"One - The disaster is, in fact, an event that will affect more than our continent. It is a calamity that will befall the entire world, for you see much like that Lesser Space that I've entered recently. There are hundreds of thousands, maybe even more scattered across the world. On the day of the disaster, each of these spaces will activate, creating something akin to a global trial. If anyone isn't able to conquer these spaces within a particular time frame, then the spaces will erupt, releasing a horde of monsters onto our lands."
"Two - The only way to fight these monsters and grow stronger is to awaken by conquering these spaces and earning a crest. The more you fight, and stronger monsters you face off against will allow for your strength to increase proportionally."
"Finally - Those mysterious guests, they are far more dangerous than we'd thought. None of them are from our world, and they've all come with the same objective. That which is to expedite the process of the disaster. Now, their influence and forces are scattered amongst all major forces of the world."
After hearing all of what was said, Prince Erickson's face turned ashen. He knew full well that things were far more than he'd initially imagined, forcing him to remain in silence as he contemplated.
Alan looked at Prince Erickson with a sad expression as he sighed and spoke, "Dear Prince, what do you suggest for our course of action?"
After a short while, Prince Erickson gripped his fists as his eyes shone with determination when he spoke, "We proceed with the same plan."
Alan was a bit surprised. He asked, "Are you certain? With things as they are now, it would be troublesome if they catch wind of it."
"No, it would be far worse if we sit back and do nothing, my will is decided. We need allies, loyal... or rather, like-minded individuals who are both strong and capable. If anything, we only need to make a few slight adjustments to the plan." Prince Erickson said decisively.
He looked at Alan and inquired once more, "That space... can more than one person awaken inside of it?"
Alan, hearing this now had an idea of what the prince was planning his eyes beamed as he spoke, "That's right, the trials are like separate instances. I believe it should be capable of allowing others to awaken."
Prince Erickson's eyes beamed as he heard these words, he spoke, "Excellent, since it's like this, we should proceed to find these kinds of people. Do your best to keep this under the wraps from my father's and brother's influence. If you can't hide it from them, then try to come up with a suitable reason for our actions to keep them from over-analysing it."
"Understood, I shall address the others at the various areas," Alan replied while taking out his mobile phone.
"Also, I would like to use this week to awaken myself. Can you take me there?" Prince Erickson asked.
Alan, hearing these words, nodded as he spoke, "A wise decision my prince, with your current skills after a bit of guidance and my foreknowledge, you should be capable of doing fine."
"Great." Prince Erickson said with a nod, he then looked at Alan then hesitated before he spoke, "One more thing, I would like for you the finalize the enrolment procedure. I'll attend the institution one week from now."
"Eh? Is your highness still planning to attend that college?" Alan asked in a tone of bewilderment.
"That's correct; I need to keep myself busy and also put up a front to distract my father, brother, and those guests from my actions. Plus, while I'm at it, I can also take the chance to look around for myself and see who I can recruit." Prince Erickson said.
Alan remained silent for a while before he nodded and replied, "If it is your wish, then it shall be done."
Prince Erickson smiled at this and stood up and spoke, "Perfect. We can be said to be finished here, and it's about time I head back. Manager Alan, do send me a notification when you're ready to escort me towards the location of that space."
"By the wish of the prince," Alan replied with a courteous bow.
Prince Erickson was about to leave the room, but it was at this time, Alan's voice sounded from behind him, "Ah, I had forgotten to mention, but I had not too long ago come across a rather peculiar fellow."
Prince Erickson halted his steps as he looked at Alan curiously, he spoke, "Oh, who is it?"
Alan smiled as he shifted his eyes outside the window and replied, "An unusual fellow around your age group. I had my subordinate inspect his details, and if I recall correctly, I believe that his name was Evan. Evan Cross..."
Prince Erickson's eyes lit up as he spoke, "Please, tell me more."