“Well, I don’t see what you’re talking about. Aren’t you my younger brother?” Celine shifted in her boots.
Al wasn’t a good liar. He had no reason to do it before, so he couldn’t even tell if it was the right time to lie or not.
Jonathan seemed to trust him, and it was a little intimidating. The other people close to him in his kingdom were like Hephestion. Most of them were great knights, but none of them were more skilled than himself.
Jonathan was at least helpful, but his motives and powers were mysterious. Not to mention, opposing Darius for almost no reason was just an act of escapism.
Al remembered that Jonathan said that he’ll let him go after it was over, but was it possible for him to do anything else?
He didn’t know anything about the world outside of the city, and he would have learned more if Darius hadn’t tried to kill the royal family. To make matters worse, Celine’s face was also very recognizable, so it wasn’t like he could simply run away and start again.
Anyway, the problem at hand was how to answer to Jonathan. So, I should just go for it, he thought.
“Alright, then let me you know your true name first.”
“Huh,” Jonathan’s eyes widened, “Well, I guess it was a matter of trust. I would know about trust. Wait. Wait a moment. Could it be? I know exactly what to tell you.”
“What do ever mean. I’m extremely confused, brother. You’re going to have to explain slowly and fully,” Yes, total success, Al thought.
“Okay. We are homunculi. Artificial humans. So in that case we wouldn’t be siblings at all, but instead you’d probably be younger than me. Darius is already an enemy of me and you and that’s why he placed that curse on me I tried to challenge him directly and it ended poorly. Anyway, a variety of techniques was used to control me by the royal family. I don’t have all the facts but they seem to benefit by having us believe we’re successors to the throne.”
“Let me stop you there. When Darius burned down the palace, he said that I gave up the throne in his favor.”
“That was a straight lie. He probably wanted you to believe that because he was in contest with his parents, it seems. If you’d let me finish…”
“Ah, of course. But can’t we go somewhere else first,” Al remembered the hot climate in India and wanted to be outside for the least time as possible.
“Fine. Hold my hand,” Jonathan simple said the words and it was enough to teleport back to Magon, albeit not very precisely. They had to sneak and run back to the Smith family restaurant and only luckily did they find a safe room without disturbing the owners.
“Where were he?” Jonathan asked, “You’ve been hypnotized. The whole thing had happened to me and I wouldn’t have realized that I am not ‘of this place’ if it were not for outside help. It was clear that there was a long-standing conflict within the house.”
“Um, I understand. I was just feigning ignorance so I could get some more information.”
“I don’t appreciate that. Now, give me your name. we might be from the same world,” Jonathan was angry but not as angry as he should have been.
“I am Alexander III of Macedon.”
“I am Julius Caesar.”
“Wait a moment,” Julius suddenly said. You’re quite famous. I think I looked up to you when I was younger, or something.”
“Really, but this is not the time for it. Continue on,” Al half-yelled.
“Yes, we’re hypnotized into thinking we’re our royal personas. I still don’t understand why that would help them in anyway though. Darius is doing whatever he’s doing because he thinks along those lines.”
Al waited a moment, “I have a question, and you must answer it.”
“Anything, I mean, if it’ appropriate.”
“When you came to in this world, what were you doing?”
“Well, I’m glad that your brought that up because that’s one thing I do know. I fainted when my memories returned. It was obviously not an organic thing, so I became ill and disoriented. They took me to a physician but it was really a trick to repress my memories again.”
“Huh,” Al was shocked.
“Yes, those personas, Celine and Jonathan, didn’t exist at all.”
“Heph,” Al whispered. Heph could also talk nonverbally to him, and now that they were away from the interference, they could finally talk.
“I’ve been passively listening. It’s best for me to communicate with Caesar’s amulet,” but he stopped, “no response.”
Al then said, “Caesar, what about the companion amulet on your neck. Mine contains a person I knew in life.”
“No, the one I have is empty,” he gripped it in his palms, “I only keep it to remind me who my best friend was.
He settled down, as if to tell a story, “I was betrayed just as I was about to usurp power. I know he had the right motives and beliefs, but still, it was painful. I died brilliantly, ritually murdered, practically. It was just about the worst thing that could have happened for the Roman people too.”
“Died! Anyway, can you tell me about my death, if I’m so famous,” said Al.
“Well, no one know how you died, unlike me. You made it back home when you got sick, but that’s all I know. It could be that you died before and the dynasty was just keeping face.”
“So, it means I did die before I was summoned to this world.”
“Huh, is that so,” Al sighed.
Heph didn’t expect to hear back but he muttered, “You seem relieved. I guess you care more about that one girl. At least you’re not using another’s life, I guess.”
“One more thing Caesar,” Al felt a little cooler, “What did you mean that you were envious of me?”
“I’m much older than you, but I’m stick in this kid’s body. Then again, at least it’s the right gender. Anyway, I’m going to claim by crown in Magon city. You need to think about what you’re going to do.”