Chapter 3

 


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The men were assassins sent by Empress Margaret. They could not make a sound because their mouths were gagged.

 

When their eyes met Theodore’s, they were terrified.

 

Theodore quietly raised his hand. Then a swarm of white light streamed out from his fingertips. 

 

Thud!

 

The bound assassins fell to the ground below.

 

Theodore landed gently on top of the men, who lay face down on the damp earth.

 

He came close to the Empress’ palace to give her a warning. The large tree looked good to hide at first glance.

 

On the way to the tree to hang the half-dead men, he found a small girl sleeping peacefully.

 

Theodore closed the mouths of the assassins and motioned for his subordinates to retreat. Then he looked at the girl.

 

She had long, thick eyelashes that were tinged with silver, as were her gently wavy silver hair. Her eyes were closed but her facial features still stood out beautifully.

 

The girl was beautiful. She was as beautiful as a doll.

 

The way she slept with her eyes closed was so beautiful that he couldn’t leave her for a moment, but when she woke up and opened her eyes, she was even more beautiful.

 

He recognized her at a glance as he looked at her bright white silver hair and crisp green eyes.

 

This girl was the youngest daughter of the Chernicia, the family was well known in the world.

 

“She was very beautiful, wasn’t she?”

 

Theodore smiled as he spoke to the assassins, who were lying on the floor with their bodies  bound.

 

But the assassins, who were gagged, couldn’t answer, of course.

 

Not that he didn’t understand that, but Theodore tilted his head and extended his hand toward the air.

 

“Why don’t you answer? Wasn’t she beautiful?”

 

The swarm of golden light that flowed out from his fingertips turned into the shape of a long sword.

 

Instantly, the men’s bodies trembled. They remembered how the boy had cut down their colleagues with that sword only a few hours ago.

 

They had managed to survive by revealing that Empress Margaret was behind the attack, but they couldn’t afford to slip up and lose their lives here.

 

“I’ve never seen such a doll-like beauty in my life…………”

 

One of the assassins nodded in agreement to the boy’s mumbling.

 

And at that moment.

 

Whoosh!

 

It happened in the blink of an eye.

 

The long sword that Theodore had made with his power cut the man’s head off.

 

 “How dare you have a dirty mind towards her.”

 

Theodore instantly burst into laughter.

 

He then approached another man who was trembling in fear next to him.

 

“What do you think? She was really pretty, right?”

 

The man, who had witnessed the death of his partner before his eyes, cried out and tried to say something, but his mouth, sealed by Theodore’s divine power, could not make any sound.

 

The man shook his head roughly, his eyes bloodshot and red.

 

Theodore raised an eyebrow at the man’s answer, which was the exact opposite of his companion who had died earlier.

 

“…………… Are you denying what I said?”

 

And so it was before his recitation was even finished.

 

Whoosh!

 

The sword with blood had yet to dry, cut off the remaining man’s head.

 

Tsk, tsk.

 

The sound of the small tongue clicked rang in the vacant lot.

 

He tried to show mercy by saving one or two people, but he killed them all. Theodore threw the sword in his hand at random.

 

Then the sword, which had formed by golden light, scattered and disappeared into the air.

 

As Theodore wiped the blood from his cheek with the back of his hand, a man in a knight’s uniform approached him.

 

The man paused when he saw the bloodstains, and soon bowed his head, bending his knees in front of Theodore.

 

“Your Highness, as you said, we have found all the men of the Empress that have infiltrated your palace.”

 

“Send them to the Empress’s Palace.” Theodore glanced at the still-cold corpses.

 

“Now? The Empress’s Palace’s a bit noisy. I heard that the second Prince’s guest disappeared…………” The man in uniform said.

 

“Yes, now…….. ah….”

 

Theodore spoke halfway then paused.

 

“Lyndon.”

 

Theodore called the man’s name in a rather overwhelming voice.

 

“I think I’m in love.” (Theo)

 

“What…?”

 

“Now I know what the word “love at first sight” means.” (Theo)

 

Then Lyndon, the escort knight, looked up at Theodore with the expression of someone who had heard the scariest story in the world.

 

‘What the hell did I just hear? Love…?’

 

My god, that’s the word most unfit for the Prince.

 

How could such an emotional and soft word come out of his mouth?

 

 But Lyndon soon lowered his head to the ground, flinched and startled by Theodore’s gaze on him with a cold expression.

 

****

 

The sky was getting dark.

 

When I returned to the Empress’s palace, there was a mad scramble to find me.

 

Ernst came running, sobbing, at the news that they had found me.

 

“Yvonne…..hic…hic.”

 

Ernst, with his swollen eyes and red nose, came towards me and hugged me.

 

“Ernst?”

 

“I couldn’t see you all of a sudden…..hic hic….I thought something happened…..hic hic….”

 

 When I saw Ernst crying sadly, I felt a little sorry and gave him a hug.

 

After a few light pats on the back, Ernst slowly stopped crying.

 

“Why does Ernst look like a child?”

 

When I saw Ernst crying like a child, I felt like that boy I met earlier was more mature and out of character.

 

‘Come to think of it, I didn’t ask for his name.’

 

That day with the nameless boy had made a deep impression on me.

 

Since then, I thought about him often.

 

The golden eyes that folded beautifully like a crescent moon every time he smiled, his gentle and soft voice, his sweet and warm speech…

 

The afterimage remained for a long time and did not disappear.

 

When eating, studying, and even when wielding a sword with brother Richard…….

 

“Yvonne!”

 

“Ahhh.”

 

I squeezed both eyes shut and flinched my shoulders at the sharp, deafening voice.

 

“There you are, wielding your sword again!”

 

Grandmother Gransy, who had a charismatic voice, was the wife of grandfather Gunther, the owner of the house.

 

I called her “grandma” when she came into the mansion three years ago.

 

I avoided her sharp gaze and hid behind Richard.

 

But I could not avoid Grandmother’s nagging.

 

“I told you to dress up and meet the second Prince but you wasted your time waving your sword around like this!”

 

Grandmother, who did not understand the Chernicia family’s tradition, was very unhappy that I was learning swordsmanship.

 

She wanted me to be a good lady to have a future with Ernst.

 

But I liked learning swords like my brothers and sisters.

 

“What do you mean ‘wasting time’?”

 

“No, it’s not.”

 

It was brother Richard and sister Helga who spoke up for me.

 

“We, the Chernicia, are a distinguished family of swordsmen who have long held the pride of the sword of Albrecht, and have learned swords regardless of gender.”

 

Richard’s neat voice caused Grandmother’s eyes to raise.

 

“Yes, grandmother. Even if Yvonne becomes the Prince’s wife, she will still be the daughter of Chernicia. We must not prevent her from learning swordsmanship.”

 

Their hands wrapped warmly around my shoulders.

 

Just a while ago, I was intimidated in front of Grandmother, but now I stuck out my chest proudly.

 

Grandmother clicked  her tongue at the sight of me and left, shaking her head.

 

“Anyway, it’s Chernicia………..”

 

We giggled as we watched Grandmother’s back.

 

I was under the strong protection of my brothers and sisters, and I was proud that I was Chernicia.

 

***

 

However, near the end of the summer of that year.

 

I had to stay for a month as a guest of the Empress because of grandmother’s order.

 

As Ernst and I were sitting at an outdoor table drinking tea and eating snacks, I felt the servants of the Imperial Palace stare at us strangely pleased.

 

Feeling somewhat pressured, I suddenly remembered the boy I had met on my last visit to the Imperial Palace, a boy whose name I did not know.

 

“Hey, Ernst. Have you seen a boy this tall?”

 

“Huh?”

 

“He has dark brown hair and golden eyes, but he’s very beautiful…………”

 

Ernst tilted his head, but quickly replied, “I have no idea.”

 

‘Indeed, how can a Prince who is going to be the next emperor know a random boy work in the imperial palace?’

 

I pondered as I picked at the cake on my plate with the fork in my hand.

 

Albrecht had three major families that protected the empire.

 

Chernicia, a famous swordsmanship family that had been raising fine knights for generations.

 

Ferdinand, which had produced excellent wizards.

 

Leobrante, who blessed the empire with their incredible divine power. Hermelinda, the birth mother of the first Prince, the former Empress, was the illegitimate daughter of Lord Leobrante.

 

Childless, Lady Leobrante adopted her husband’s illegitimate daughter as her daughter and made her Empress, but she hated her terribly and cut ties with her after her husband died.

 

Apart from political interests, Lady Leobrante couldn’t stand the Empress’s presence.

 

After the Empress died, Ferdinand’s daughter, Margaret, took her place.

 

The new Empress Margaret gave birth to a son shortly afterwards.

 

Her son was Ernst. Ernst was raised with the full support of Ferdinand and Empress Margaret.

 

On the other hand, Theodore, who did not have the support of his mother’s family Leobrante, became a distant relative.

 

The situation of the first Prince was even worse because of the vicious rumors surrounding him. 

 

Everyone was convinced that the second Prince, Ernst, would be the next emperor. 

 

It was hard to believe that the crybaby Ernst would later grow up to become the emperor………….

 

“Your Imperial Highness, it’s time to study.”

 

A servant approached and announced Ernst’s study time.

 

Ernst stood up with a look that said, “I really don’t want to go.”

 

“I’m going to take a walk and then go home.”

 

“What if you get lost again, like last time?”

 

I felt a little sorry for Ernst’s worry.

 

“Because the last time I played hide-and-seek and disappeared, it wasn’t that I got lost. I hid because I was lazy to play.”

 

But frankly speaking, Ernst was bound to cry louder, so I had to lie.

 

“It’s dangerous to take a walk alone!”

 

In the end, I had to take a walk with the Empress Palace’s maidservants, whom Ernst had assigned to me.

 

The maids followed me at a distance, so it wasn’t too uncomfortable.

 

I wandered around the vast garden and found the boy under a large tree a little away from the garden.

 

“Huh? You…..?”

 

The boy with dark brown hair slowly raised his head upon hearing my cry.

 

Then, as soon as saw his face, I rushed to him.

 

The boy was pale and his blue lips were quivering.

 

“You, you…Are you okay?”

 

“Oh…”

 

My eyes met the boy’s and he smiled.

 

“Hi.”

 

He frowned as if he was in pain.

 

“Kakkkkk”

 

He avoided my eyes and coughed dryly. Then he crouched and trembled like a person with chills.

 

“What’s wrong with you? Are you sick?”

 

“I’m fine. Just a cold, kakkkk. I’ll be okay…..kakkkk”

 

“Now is not the time to be greeting each other like this!”

 

I yelled and raised him up.

 

“Go get the doctor quickly!”

 

The boy grabbed my arm as I tried to take him to the Empress’s Palace.

 

“I don’t want to go there. Let’s go to the first Prince’s palace.”

 

I hesitated and the words that my siblings said to me one day echoed in my ears again.

 

[When you go to the imperial palace, you have to be careful not to run into Prince Theodor]

 

‘But it’s false rumors, right?’

 

What my siblings passed on to me were rumors among people.

 

And I had a witness (the boy-Theodore) who worked directly in the first Prince’s palace, said the rumors were false.

 

The boy’s condition was not good for me to hesitate.

 

“All right, let’s get you to where you’ll be comfortable.”

 

I supported the boy and began to walk. The maids who had been following me from afar approached and stopped me.

 

“Lady Yvonne. Um…..”

 

“What’s going on?”

 

“Well, um………!”

 

The maids fidgeted, their lips quivering, then quickly ran away with pale faces.

 

‘What’s the matter, is it because of the rumors about the first Prince?’

 

The behavior of the maids was strange, but I didn’t have time to pay attention to them. Because the breathing of the boy became weak as if it would stop at any moment.