Daughter of the Emperor
Chapter 415: The Emperor’s Daughter 415
Having dinner with the officials of other countries was uncomfortable.
Fardel and Assisi had a meal as usual, but knowing that it wasn’t a meal with just the family was enough to make me feel odd about it.
However, attending a formal dinner like this and having to show off my elegance was my duty as the princess of Agregiant. Plus, it was incredibly embarrassing.
Not only did I have to pay attention to holding the spoon or knife, but I also had to control the amount of food I placed in my mouth. I shouldn’t talk with food in my mouth and meet people’s eyes when I smile.
The basic of the basic etiquette!
There was an option to come up with witty answers to some of the questions asked.
It wasn’t a job interview, ugh. I couldn’t even eat the quantity of food I wanted to.
I did come in with enthusiasm to eat dinner, but then I felt weak, and I just wanted to head back to my room and sleep; however, I ended up eating anyway since it was delicious.
What a miracle.
Maybe while experiencing such a miracle, I left for Solay palace.
… I couldn’t have horrible luck.
Right in front of me, I met him, but even before I could avoid him, we were too close; I held onto the hem of my dress.
Havel came over my way, and I was ready to greet him.
Ehh, couldn’t I just greet him and walk away?
However, I couldn’t execute my thoughts. He came close to me; it was impossible to avoid Havel.
I should have just run! Now, everything had fallen into ruins!
Seeing me restless, Havel laughed.
What was the guy doing?
However, I could see where his eyes fell.
“I thought it would go well with you.”
Havel’s hand raised naturally and touched the hairpin on my hair.
“It really suits you well.”
Obviously, it would suit well; anything goes well with me… always! But I was still in shock. I knew this wasn’t a gift from Caitel or Assisi, but him?
“I wonder, did Your Majesty send this?”
Before I could hope for his denial, he had already answered with a nod.
I felt bad. I didn’t know what kind of person sent it to me; I showed myself off in the mirror and called it pretty.
It was confirmed that he had given it to me.
The hairpin was beautiful.
“Your expression says otherwise.”
Keen eyes, he should have just let me be!
As if he was aware of my thoughts, he laughed. Looking at his smile, I could feel the heat rise into my cheeks.
No, no, no!
I didn’t stare for long but feeling my eyes on him, Havel smiled again. My face stiffened. Whatever he did, I was the one feeling thirsty.
Ahh, damn it.
I couldn’t stop staring at him, probably why he stopped smiling.
Did he acknowledge me? However, when I heard the next question, I had to do my best not to talk back.
“It looks like the princess is a very busy person.”
… was he trying to mess with me?
I seriously pondered. Was he asking for a fight? I could send him flying, you know!?
“Then, would you like doing some work for me?”
Havel laughed as he heard me talk back.
There was a saying that one couldn’t spit on a smiling face, but that was all false; no one should believe that. I really wanted to spit every time he smiled. Very!
However, I was in the palace! Above all, in Solay, the Emperor residence! I was the princess of the country.
So what if I was a princess? Even if I was one, I couldn’t do anything.
Havel still smiled, almost as if he was asking for a beating. I hated it.
I tried to reason with myself. What would happen if someone saw me doing something wrong? The princess standing in front of a man, without her usual grace? Not a sight to see.
The most horrible thing was that, when I faced him, my only pride as the princess seemed useless.
This man didn’t respect me like the knights, nor did he obey me like the nobles who secretly checked me out. He most definitely did not adore me like my dad or Assisi.
Ah, that’s it!
I wasn’t sure how to treat him.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
As I spoke, Have’s gaze landed on me. At first, I looked at his eyes reflexively, but the more I looked at them, the harder it was to understand what his eyes were saying. There was something terrifying beneath his eyes.
Havel took a step back to give me some breathing space.
“Just like that.”
“Am I that pretty?”
I threw it as a joke, but Havel didn’t smile.
Seeing his face stiffen, even I went rigid. What was it?
Why didn’t he laugh at a joke? This sucks. At his earnest gaze, I turned my head away unknowingly.
Oh, there were so many stars in the sky today.
“Don’t you feel embarrassed when saying such things?”
“I was speaking the truth.”
Trying to hold myself high, I supported my words, but Havel realized what I did and laughed.
My eyes widened in anger, this guy!
Maybe he felt my anger, for Havel, who was laughing, suddenly went silent.
It was probably because I was looking for a way to get away from him.
“Are you going back?”
I could walk away.
I just wanted to ignore him, but I just couldn’t move. Both my hands and legs were free to walk away, but I couldn’t get myself to move away! It would be rude to the Emperor, so I gave up and smiled.
‘Haha, water is water, and mountain is mountain.’
“Agregiant is peaceful.”
“Well, we are on the peaceful side.”
Even if peace remained unseen, our country was indeed a peaceful one.
This peace was all the effort that Ferdel had made over the past ten years.
Most of all, when Caitel took down the nobles who declared civil war, Ferdel had taken damage because of the shortage in human resources.
Of course, now new noble families had arisen, and the other countries’ nobles had joined, so everything settled down, but in the past, I used to wonder if our country would be ruined. Ferdel did think so once.
Now that I had come to think of it, ours wasn’t the only country that had gone through a civil war.
My gaze returned to Havel.
“Pretiza will soon be at peace.”
“It is an extravagant story for now.”
I had said it sincerely, but Havel had a bitter smile on his face.
I knew he would react like that; I couldn’t hold back my bitter expression. Pretzia’s reality was hard to overcome.
I admit it. Agregiant wasn’t a good neighbor to have.
It had been a long time since I heard the news about how Havel captured and killed most pro-Agregiant nobles who agreed to sell their estates over to our country.
Havel glanced at me.
His red eyes looked into mine, and I smiled.
“What do you plan on doing?”
I guess it was a bit of a shocking question. Havel titled his head.
“We haven’t concluded yet. Don’t you think it is too early to ask for that?”
“I am a curious person.”
I smiled while shrugging.
Havel, who went silent as ever, was thinking of an answer.
A deep silence fell between us.
Everything around us felt still, but it wasn’t weird.
“I can’t stop purging. Even if we become independent, I think I will live a life basked in blood for a while.”
I already knew that.
Havel seemed to be shocked by my calmness.
“What is with that?”
The mood subsided. In fact, for a second, I felt like I saw my dad in him.
“No, just that…”
Caitel had a hard time getting himself to smile. Havel wasn’t too deep in the path of bloodshed, but his mood and the way he carried himself overlapped with Caitel’s pattern.
However, after careful considerations, it was starting to look like Havel was trying to walk down the bloody path similar to Caitel.
No, I didn’t want anyone else to experience that bloody path again. I knew that the continent wasn’t a peaceful place to live in… but I hoped that we would find a real pace one day—he couldn’t go down that path.
“Would you like to walk with me?”
With a smile, I looked at Havel and asked.
I had no idea as to why I had suggested that. Somehow, seeing how it turned out, I had to go along.
I smiled. Covering my mouth with my hand, I spoke in a low voice.
“The path to my palace isn’t well lit.”
I wasn’t proud of it, but thanks to my dad, the garden was worth seeing even in the day or night—my favorite flowers, and the wild grass growing out the large shade for summer. At night, a vast number of stars would pop in the black sky. The path was quite popular among the nobles who visited the palace.
“You will walk with me, right? Don’t tell me you’re going to let a lady walk herself back at such a late time? You are too strict.”
Havel laughed at my attempt to make him accompany me.
He could probably see through my trick.
As Havel held my hand, I smiled. He was the child I met when I was young, but now, he was the one looking after me.
His hands, which held me, were rough. The boy who said his hands bleed because of his sword training now had calluses on his palm.
I didn’t know what kind of a life he had to live through but feeling his hands made me want to look at the boy instead of the man.
There was no way that could happen, though.