Finally, the redhead took a deep breath and sighed, “As much as I am against it, Your Highness, I believe we should look further into this situation. It is my duty as a naval officer to secure the safety of our country and its people from both realized and potential threats, and if what they say is true ─ that the assassin is plotting something even remotely sinister ─ we should heed their warning and take precautions against it.” Whispering in the prince’s ear, she added, “And you have duties of your own, don't forget. You'll have to face your parents eventually, so why not speak with your uncle first?”
“Ha, you don't know my uncle.”
“Maybe he'll intercede for you, if you tell him about the flute; let him know that he should increase his security.”
“Still, it's worth a shot.”
“I don't kno─”
“Excuse me," the princess interrupted their private conversation of mumbles, “if you agree that something should be done, do you think we could come to a compromise?” The prince was ensnared in her electric blue gaze; the sense of familiarity washed over him as it had before, but the faint wisp of a memory that danced on the edge of mind was just out of reach.
He sat up straighter. “Of course, Miss Hataru. Do you... uh... have any suggestions?”
“We’ll sneak in underground,” Levi interjected, stroking his bare chin as he began forming a new plan, “if I'm not mistaken, there are catacombs under the city that connect to the vaults. Then we─”
“That’s supposed to be classified information. How did you…?”
“Well,” the pirate shrugged, a smug grin splattered across his face, “it would seem that your uncle's mansion just so happens to be one of the many locations that I've... visited in the past.” He sank comfortably into his chair, placing his hands behind his head and splaying his legs. “Ahh, yes, I suppose you never forget your first raid. Do you remember, Firious?” he glanced at his first mate.
“Aye, you were just a squeaky little pip back then.” They shared a smile.
Tarin, Elden, and Hataru all blinked in unbelief at the pirates’ blitheness, but Levi continued, not taking any notice, “Of course, we'll need time to figure out which of the vaults contains the flute, so we'll need a distraction to keep the Chancellor busy... that's where you'll come in, Your Highness.” He pointed to the prince with the index finger of his clawed hand, the sharp blade glinting ominously.
“Wait a second! I never said I’d help you rob my own uncle. I’ll… I’ll just go and speak with him…”
“We don’t have time for savoir faire with the Chancellor. The assassin and his men could make their move at any second.”
“Good! Then let them get caught and thrown in prison!”
“Don’t think for a moment that whatever defense system your uncle has now will stop them. When that killer wants something, he is certain to get it, so we need to get to the flute before he does.”