Daughter of the Emperor

Chapter 407

Chapter 407: The Emperor’s Daughter 407

Since the princess was out at night, the palace maids were curious about what was happening. I, being fully aware of the havoc I was causing, turned a blind eye towards them; the only thing I wanted was to see my dad.

Eventually, I managed to reach Solay, my childhood home.

“What the hell is going on in here on this day?”

“Dad!”

Even before the now surprised Caitel could ask about the commotion, I jumped into his arms.

When I jumped in, my puzzled dad took me in for a hug. My trembling body relaxed after inhaling my dad’s familiar scent.

It was a strange feeling.

Just a few seconds before, I wanted to cry, cry myself in someone’s arms; never would I ever imagine it to be my father’s arms.

It was just, just… plain comforting.

My desire to cry disappeared.

Now that my mind had settled, I could see my surroundings again.

It looked like dad wouldn’t sleep anytime soon. When I was still sharing a room with him, he used to turn off the lights and lie beside me.

“Let’s go for a walk.”

“A walk?”

“Hmm.”

When I looked at Caitel’s eyes, I saw an unusual expression.

He didn’t want to.

Maybe I disturbed him.

“Do you want to sleep?”

I wasn’t asking to know. If he wanted to sleep, I could walk back to my room, but after seeing my face, which seemed to be drowning in a mixture of pity and sadness, he sighed.

“… let’s go.”

I got up right away.

Our path had always been the same ever since I began walking.

Sometimes I would go on unscheduled walks, but we both trekked the same path for almost 17 years.

Familiar people, familiar places, and familiar smell.

Nothing to say, no conversation, it wasn’t like I was in a crazy happy mood either, but the fact that I was walking beside my dad made me feel good. That was enough to make my heart flutter but with ease.

I looked at Caitel, my dad. I fell in love with a blunt, careless, and nasty man.

Yet, I am proud that this person was my dad.

In the past, I would sometimes walk alone or run just to keep up with my dad, but now, he was adjusting his speed according to my pace.

Just that one considerate change made me feel overwhelmed.

“Dad.”

“Huh.”

A short answer.

However, his short answers didn’t feel harsh anymore. They only made me smile.

“I love you.”

It was a sudden and absurd confession, but Caitel, who was walking, stood still. His embarrassment jumped at me, and yet, I was feeling good.

My shocking confession of love had been the same since I was seven years old, yet, my dad would always respond to my confession by acting petrified.

I laughed after seeing him like that.

“I! Love! You!”

I wasn’t repeating it because he didn’t hear me. I did it because I liked seeing my dad like that, embarrassed and still.

Dad turned his head and looked at me. As he looked at me, my laughter continued.

“I love you, Caitel! I can’t live without you! Caitel, as pale as a glass of milk! I can’t live without my dad!”

“From where are you learning such things?”

It was his way of talking to me, not that he hated it.

I pouted.

“Why? Do you hate it?”

There was no way he could hate it.

Caitel looked at me and smiled, which made me smile even more.

Reaching out, I grabbed dad’s hands and pulled him towards me. Although it seemed to annoy him, Caitel didn’t notice how much I loathed acting all cute.

“So, dad, what’s your answer?”

Caitel glanced down at me. I stared into his eyes, not backing down.

Eventually, he surrendered.

“Me too.”

Yipee!

I was pretty, cute, and lovable; how could my dad not love me?

With a confident expression, my arm held onto dad’s, and our walk resumed.

The night breeze was as cold as ever, with the stars meeting us along a moonless night sky.

The garden was a beauty during the day, but now, it transcended the very essence of beauty itself.

I felt so blessed for living in such a place.

“Dad, I got an invitation from Ancief.”

“Oh.”

He only responded just to let me know that he had heard me, so I looked at him.

“An invitation came.”

“No.”

“…”

It seemed like he noticed my indirect request, which meant I cried for nothing.

“Uhhh, I want to go…”

I tried to put up a sad expression, but Caitel was hard as stone.

“No.”

“Tch.”

I knew it wouldn’t work, but I had hope. Still, I knew it wasn’t possible.

I pouted.

My dad was perfect, but when it came to me, he would always act cheap. No, I wasn’t just any five-year-old-kid, I was more than capable of holding a relationship, and I had hope. It was too mean of him to prevent me from going out of the Imperial Palace and holding me like a hostage here.

I wanted to see my home!

My home was too huge. I liked to sightsee, to discover beautiful scenery, to meet new people.

Maybe he noticed the change in my face, he asked in a low voice.

“It’s safest here inside the place. Not all places are as safe as this one.”

“I know. But what’s the worst that could happen?”

It wasn’t like I didn’t know what he was trying to say.

I was born into an extraordinary life. I had enough money to clog my breath, and I was born in a family that always looked after me. I just needed one trip around the world! I couldn’t hold myself back anymore; do I have to live in such a gloomy corner of the world!

I was all grown up now.

Caitel coughed as I bit my lip.

“Hmmm.”

I really wanted to ask but ended up going against it; I didn’t want to ruin the good mood.

My dad loved me.

I could understand. Try to understand.

Though, I was whining as if I couldn’t understand.

“Dad.”

“What’s up, kid?”

This man!

I treat him with such devotion, but he calls me a kid. I frowned right away.

“I am not a kid.”

“Right, kid.”

“Ahhhh!”

‘Dad, I hate you!’

“I am not talking to you anymore.”

Letting go of his hand, I walked ahead. I kept trying to think nicely of him, but he always had to do something like this!

Calling me a kid was just too nasty.

As I thought about it while walking ahead, I could feel my dad closing in in the distance.

“Daughter.”

I was not going to answer!

“My daughter.”

Why did he call me a kid if he knew that I was his daughter?

“Ariadna?”

‘I won’t! I won’t! I won’t!’

“Ria!”

“What!?”

I didn’t want to answer, but Caitel stopped walking, so I looked back unwillingly. Caitel smiled as he saw my response.

His smile was all I needed to let go of my anger.

Caitel reached out. We were pretty close; when I saw his hand inch closer, my heart wavered.

“Come here.”

Who comes for whom?

I was the angry one.

“You come here, dad.”

Dad was the one who needed to come over, not the other way around.

I was more than willing to run into his arms in the past, but now, the situation differed utterly.

Unexpectedly, my dad did walk towards me. There was still distance between us, but my dad managed to reach me in a snap with his long legs.

I looked down at Caitel’s big, warm hands, holding my hand as I casually walked alongside him. I couldn’t help but laugh at myself.

What was that?

Maybe I smiled too brightly, which made Caitel ask.

“You like this?”

“Hmm.”

I nodded as enthusiastically as I could.

“Very, very much.”

I could see a smile spread on Caitel’s face. His smile wasn’t as bright as mine, but it was still a great response, right? Putting pressure in my hand, I pulled my dad closer.

“Does dad like this too?”

“Well…”

Huh, what kind of an answer was that?

My frown only made Caitel laugh as he patted my head with his other hand.

“Well, there is nothing I hate about this.”

It wasn’t the satisfying answer I was waiting for, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to slap away his hand or let him do it some more.

I somehow thought that his hands were full of kindness.

“Your dad will always protect you.”

… This wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

And I never really felt nervous or anxious.

Still, hearing those words made me feel relieved.

Right, if not Caitel, who would protect me? I never knew that a dad was someone who was supposed to make me feel safe.

His words had knocked me out, but my heart was at ease like the fool that I was.

I was ruined. How did he manage to make me feel this emotional with just those words?

Tears were forming in my eyes for no reason; it wasn’t like I felt emotionally touched, definitely not! But I felt like I would cry at any moment.

“Tch, does dad still think of me as a child?”

“It is because you are young.”

Caitel stroked my head as he responded.

“You are still smaller than me.”

No matter how good the gene was, I still didn’t seem to grow much!

Dad laughed, noticing the discontent in my gaze.

What was so funny about that!? Hell!

Caitel, who seemed to enjoy it, responded.

“Show me your smile.”

I was no longer your young daughter, who would smile just because you asked!

“Nope.”

“Smile.”

Hmph, my smile was expensive as hell!

I responded to dad by slapping away his hand, which was still on my head.

“Then, you smile too.”

Caitel’s expression returned to its usual blunt state. I looked up at my dad, waiting to see what would happen. All I saw were his familiar crimson color eyes.

How long was I supposed to stare at him?

Right then, after staring at each other, we laughed out loud as if I made an appointment for it.

Ah, just like fools.

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