Daughter of the Emperor
It was apparent why Ferdel called for me.
It must be a fearful turn of events trying to prevent another one of Caitel’s outbursts, so calling me was a precaution and Ferdel’s way of creating mischief.
In fact, my dad’s temper didn’t drop in a day or two, but it was refreshing for me to care. It was evident that he summoned me since the Emperor of Praezia had come for talks with the neighboring nations’ representatives. Even Ferdel had trouble thinking about this one.
However, what could be the reason why an Emperor would come here in person?
Honestly, I thought that they might’ve gone crazy. A mistake in the meeting was enough for war to be declared. What kind of a crazed man would enter the enemy’s palace to talk? At best, a prime minister would be sent as a representative of the delegation. Everyone was shocked to hear that the Emperor of Praezia came in person.
Well, Ferdel seemed to be more nervous because of how complicated the situation turned.
“Why are you here?”
Caitel was walking ahead with a frown on the way to the conference hall while I just smiled.
‘Why am I here, dad?’
If I had something in mind, I could have thought of the reason.
Of course, I was there for my dad!
“It is a reason that everyone knows about.”
I did say it, but Caitel already knew the reason, so he just frowned.
Me being me just shrugged it off. That was why I was there, but couldn’t I go back? I wanted to know more, so I followed Caitel into the conference hall.
I thought he would say something and send me back, but he didn’t, which was unexpected.
I followed my dad and stepped inside the room. I could see the minister tense up at my dad’s arrival.
The conference hall was a lot bigger than I thought.
I gasped after seeing the vast hall.
It’s been only a day since the delegation arrived at the palace, and they wanted a meeting right away. No matter how hardworking they were, it was always nice to start with less important things; having an appointment right away seemed rude to me. Was I the only one thinking that? Only me? Of course, if there were urgent and important matters at hand, I would understand, but it was essential to live, eat, and sleep before a meeting.
God, was it so hard to eat and live! But it wasn’t like I could understand the situation right away.
Whether I wanted or not, the meeting began immediately in a solemn order once Ferdel entered.
Well, Caitel didn’t say anything. And it was the same for the Emperor of Praezia.
“There are two leaders here.”
No, it was supposed to be three with me.
In the beginning, the delegates hadn’t decided on anything apart from how they would seat. It was confirmed that the meeting was supposed to be based on the two foremost leaders, but Ferdel and the prime minister of Praezia led the entire thing from start to finish. It was natural for smart men to spearhead the meetings.
I had to admit that I was nervous initially, but I relaxed after twenty minutes.
‘Who am I? Where am I?’
If I knew that things would go on this smoothly, I would have brought my paperwork and worked on it.
Sighing, I turned my head to see Emperor Havel looking at Caitel.
Now that I had come to think of it, this was the first time I had officially seen the Emperor of Praezia since I was never welcomed to any delegations before. It was all because of my dad; even yesterday’s welcoming party was canceled.
It wasn’t right to stare at the Emperor of a country that could become our future enemy, so I only stole a few glances at the Praezian Emperor.
‘Is it someone else?’
Well, he wasn’t a close friend, but he looked familiar. Was I mistaken?
“Is he really someone else?”
The name he gave me in the past was very similar.
Wasn’t his hair black then? Why did it turn red? Havel had dark hair and dark eyes in my memory, but the Emperor in front had red hair and dark crimson eyes.
Not a single thing in his appearance could connect me to the child in the past.
Did he have some kind of birth secrets that were revealed to me? Or did he awaken some hidden instincts and change? Did he dye his hair?
I was staring at him to see if I could find something, but suddenly, the Emperor of Praezia met my gaze. I was shocked at how suddenly our eyes met.
Should I turn away my head?
I had no idea what to do since I missed the timing to avoid his gaze. I was staring blankly at him. When I first looked at him, I should have pretended not to know him and divert my gaze, but I was too shocked to react.
What to do!?
While I was sweating profusely, Emperor Havel suddenly smiled. He showed the same ridiculous smile my dad often did.
Uh, huh? Did that guy just laugh at me?
“Then, let’s take a 20-minute break.”
Should I feel bad? Should I be grateful that he didn’t mind? I couldn’t get a hold of myself. Fortunately, we were given a break.
I was really fortunate. There were some situations that I wasn’t very familiar with, and I was weak at responding to them. It felt heavy and stuffy, like the feeling of wearing clothes that didn’t fit well with our bodies. It always got me thinking, how could Ferdel even manage to laugh in such situations?
Well, somehow, it turned out well.
Assisi also came out to the common room not far from the conference hall and headed over to Podere Palace’s garden for a drink with me. Seeing the lush garden stretch to the horizon, meeting the blue sky, I felt a sense of relief wash over me.
Gasp, the stuffy feeling inside me disappeared.
I wasn’t keen on caring and loving nature. But as I grew up, I spent quite a bit of time in the garden, probably why I felt good looking at the green scenery before me. After all, this was a place that gave me comfort.
I had to head back in 20 minutes, but I decided to relax. Since I would turn restless once I entered the hall…
I couldn’t stay bold like the king; I didn’t have the aptitude or talent for it. No talent. Just like dad said, all I had to do was stay quiet beside him. I think marriage was the only option I had; it sucked.
“I hope the meeting ends well.”
That was all I could think.
The peace I enjoyed didn’t come to an end anytime soon.
Some might say that it was boring and useless, but I liked my life, even though it wasn’t an adventurous one. I didn’t have to struggle to get something. I always did my best at any given task, so this life was precious to me. Daily life’s simplicity felt more glorious to me than the people who enjoyed gossip and drinks every day.
Well, it was why I was here at the meeting.
“I will do everything for what I care about.”
As always, I believed that Ferdel would take care of it. He wasn’t my teacher for nothing. After all, I knew how well Ferdel could manage people.
I must have felt at ease. My mind was wandering around about other situations.
It was time to return.
That was when…
Someone suddenly pulled me from behind.
Shocked by the unknown touch, I held my breath.
It happened so quickly that I couldn’t even speak. Reflexively, I pulled away.
When I turned back, I saw the most unexpected person standing there.
Why was that man here?
“… is there something you need from me, Your Majesty?”
‘Please, he isn’t here to criticize me for looking at him in the hall, right? That can’t be why, but if it really is because of that, my confidence will break.’ I looked at him.
Havel’s expression crumbled upon hearing my question.
What, did I say something wrong?
Why was his reaction like this? Did I say something wrong? Then…
“The most dignified and noble Majesty?”
N-not this too.
His reaction turned a lot colder. It wasn’t a sneer.
Havel’s eyebrows raised slightly before smiling. It was great to see his smile; it made me wonder what I was seeing. What?
“You talked well in the past; why so formal now?”
“When did I talk so we…”
I decided to go silent upon remembering a memory flooding my mind.
Was he talking about the first time he saw me?
I felt so stupid that my eyes widened. Looking at his face, I knew what I thought was correct!
It was amazing how well I remembered it too. Of course, I remembered it, but I thought he would have forgotten it. We hadn’t met in ages, a real encounter with no purpose. And the most important thing was that he was pretty much the same as he was back then.
I wanted to put my head in a hole after remembering how I acted the first time I met him. Why did I have to live and see this day?
What did he mean by a lot? Cheeky much?
He gulped and spat out his next words.
What Havel said was unexpected.
“Grew a lot.”
It was impossible not to be nervous. Everything felt new.
Ten years had passed since the first time I saw him, and I did grow up well.
Havel said it; I grew up a lot. So did he with how his red hair and eyes changed from their former dark hue, but aside from that, he changed a lot.
180cm tall, moderately broad shoulders, a slim body with well-defined muscles, and the thin lines on his face which gave him a delicate look.
To be honest, he looked good.
I thought my eyes were getting strained because of his overflowing charm and handsome face.
“You grew up a lot, too, Your Majesty. I was a kid back then.”
It was refreshing to say it out loud, but Havel didn’t seem to like it when I referenced his younger self.
“You, too, were a kid back then.”
“What said that!”
This made me feel like I was back in my childhood.
It made me remember the feeling of knowing everything about the world.
I thought he would say something else, but surprisingly, Havel said nothing. Instead, his eyes stared at mine.
Ugh, his eyes…
I thought that I could always hold other people’s gaze, but when I saw him up close, I didn’t know why, but somehow, his eyes made me feel shy.
Ah, it was getting hot. Was it summertime already?
I could feel the heat rising up to my cheeks.
“It’s nice to see.”
What did he just say?
Nice to see?
Before I could even ask what he meant, Havel continued.
“I missed you.”
Havel said that and walked away. Probably because the break time was done, but even after realizing that, I couldn’t get myself to move.
First things first, I took a heavy breath and raised my hands to cup my burning cheeks.
I… what did I just hear?