Chapter 1. Prologue
Nanuk, who was clearly mistaken about something, handed me a raspberry juice and urged me to explain with his eyes.
I tried to explain the situation just now, even using hand gestures to clear up his misunderstanding.
“That’s not it, I said that I liked calling him Master because he told me to call him by his name.”
Nanuk looked at me then Young Master Vanitas and nodded, as if trying to confirm the authenticity.
“Master Vanitas, let us talk for a bit.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Following Nanuk, Master Vanitas headed to the corner of the garden. I sipped on the raspberry juice to quench my dry throat.
This is good.
By the time I had finished half the juice, Nanuk, who was talking to Master Vanitas in the corner of the garden, returned to my side.
Master Vanitas, who followed from behind, said goodbye to me and went back to the Bijou Hall. Nanuk, who was staring at me, suddenly asked.
“Do you like him?”
Nanuk quickly caught the glass of juice I dropped in bewilderment. I quickly shook my head.
“No, I don’t.”
What kind of feelings should I feel towards a teenage boy. Also, Rosiane is probably only nine years old?
“Okay. If you ever find someone you like, bring them to this brother right away.”
He was probably going to kill anyone I brought, so I just slightly laughed.
“Shall we go back now?”
Even though it was obvious that I was changing the subject, Nanuk let it slide. This time I grabbed his hand and we went back into the banquet hall.
Erdos, who was sitting on the throne with a bored look on his face, came up to me and hugged me.
“Rosiane, are you feeling better now?”
Certainly, as the gazes were not as burdensome as before, I nodded.
He smiled with a gentle gaze as he sat on the throne while hugging me.
Then there were performances that entertained the eyes and ears. Personally, the most enjoyable performance was the sword dance of the masked dancers from abroad.
Should I also learn how to use a sword?
I think it would be good to learn to protect your body. After the banquet, I should secretly ask Erdos.
After all the performances, the gift ceremony followed. The rare gifts brought by the empire’s prominent nobles were gradually piling up on one side of the banquet hall.
It is a great pleasure to have prepared such gifts for Bernique and Rosiane, but I couldn’t help but not like any of it because I could see the ulterior motives.
“This is my son.”
“The youngest son who is so intelligent…”
“This one, my son went to the academy…”
“My very kind son……”
“This gift is from my first…”
The nobles, who had sons of Rosiane’s age, gave gifts and showed off their children.
To be honest, there was no better bride in the empire than the princess. Aside from the story that Esteria will unify the central continent because of a princess.
Although there was the daughter of a Duke, Anisha de Abdrach of the Duke of Abdrach who was close to the imperial family, she had already been informally appointed as Nanuk’s Crown Princess, so there would be no other woman with such a high status except me.
Naturally, as a nine-year-old my marriage partner hasn’t been decided yet, so it was obvious that all of them were making themselves look a little better.
“My second child–.”
Exactly on the sixth time that someone tried to talk about their son,
“From now on, I’ll cut off your tongue if the word ‘son’ or any similar word comes out of your mouth.”
Erdos, in a scary tone, blocked it. It goes without saying that the Marquis, who had just opened his mouth, shut his mouth at those words.
As time went by, expensive silk, animal fur, and jewelry brought in from abroad piled up like mountains.
Bernique’s were, as Melissa said, weapons such as swords and bows or paintings of famous painters.
He looked back at me and smiled. When I smiled back at him,
“I see the light of the Empire.”
The Duke of Vanitas appeared with his two sons. Usually the lower nobles give their gifts first, so it was quite a while before he came out.
Standing behind him, the servant stuck out a small jewelry box. It was about the size of my palm.
The gift was clearly smaller than that of other nobles, and everyone’s curiosity turned to the unknown object in the box.
“What is this?”
Erdos who was focused on it asked, then the Duke of Vanitas paused for a moment.
“It’s Elf’s Elixir. Your Majesty.”
At that moment, a heavy silence fell on the visual hall. The Duke of Vanitas opened the box himself and showed the contents.
In the middle of the fluffy-looking cushion was a small glass bottle about the length of a finger.
The glass bottle was full of clear liquid, and at first glance, it did not look much different from water.
“You got something precious, Duke. It will be a good present for the princess. May the blessing of Esteria be with you.”
At Erdos’ words, murmurs spread through the quiet hall. Esteria’s greetings are often this structure.
When a noble says to the Imperial family, “I see the glory of the empire,” the Imperial family responds with, “May the blessing of Esteria be with you.”
It was the first time today that those words came out of Erdos’ mouth, because he had an inhumane personality.
It was proof that this gift was that precious. Elf’s elixir huh.
I was staring at it with a strange feeling, and I felt a stinging look somewhere, so I raised my head.
Simad de Vanitas was looking at me with an unknown look, and smiled as our eyes met.
As I avoided his stinging gaze, three people entered and left, and the next one to enter was Duke Abdrach.
“I see the light of the Empire. I, Orlando de Abdrach sincerely congratulate you, on the birthday of His Highness the Prince and Her Highness the Princess.”
Behind him stood a girl about Simad’s age.
Shy, downward eyes, brilliant blonde hair, purple pupils that are a bit bluer. I noticed who she was at a glance, looking perfectly like the novel description.
Anisha de Abdrach.
She was nominated as the crown princess, but she ended up losing her life because of her greed. She was the villainess of the First [Prince] series.
Her eyes bent shyly as she looked at Nanuk. That sight gave me goosebumps.
On the surface, she seemed to have a complete crush on Nanuk, but in fact, it was because she was aiming for something else.
A symbol of the Empress and a national treasure of the Empire that grants power equal to the Emperor when worn.
Anisha is a power-hungry figure who was never satisfied with the Empress’ position, and her final goal was to use ‘Ardhel’ to allow her family to devour the empire.
She was, so to speak, the seed of rebellion. One good thing was that she grew up spoiled in the arms of her family, so she only had a big goal and had no definite plan, so she only devised stupid schemes.
When Anisha, who had been carefully watching, went back, Leav rose from his seat and gestured to the servant.
Leav, who handed over an unidentified accessory to Bernique, stood in front of me.
“Happy birthday, sister.”
What was in front of me was a scroll with a red ribbon tied up. Le Hav continued as he was mulling over something.
“It’s a spirit summoning scroll.”
A murmur spread inside the hall. My curiosity arose because there was not much mention of spirits in the novel.
“It can only be used once, but it’s useful in an emergency.”
“Thank you very much, Leav. I’ll use it well.”
“I’ll teach you how to use it after the banquet.”
I got up from my seat and hugged him tight. Certainly, it will be very useful to me right now, when I have no power.
He blushed and went back to his seat, and then Bernique rose to my front.
It was a canvas the size of my upper body that a servant brought after being called. Bernique put the picture before me, blushing from embarrassment.
“Happy birthday my dear sister.”
Erdos’ satisfactory voice was heard. It was rare for him to express his feelings to his sons.
The canvas had an oil painting of Rosiane in it, and I had no choice but to stare at it.
And I hugged Bernique’s body tightly with the belated realization.
In the picture, Rosiane was a little smaller than now. And with her eyes closed, she looked pale and motionless.
It also meant that Bernique visited even before Rosiane woke up and painted her while asleep.
The painting, expressed with delicate touches, seemed to be alive, making me imagine how much time he had spent painting Rosiane.
Somehow, I was heartbroken so I hugged him more strongly, but he was not the rabid dog of Esteria for nothing if he stood still when he saw this.
“These cute little things!”
He stood up straight in his seat and pulled me and Bernique in his arms.
I, who was suddenly caught between the two of them, struggled to get out, but I could not defeat him because of his ignorant strength.
Eventually, Erdos’ fiery gaze fell over his head and I was able to escape.
“This is my present!”
Eryte who put his hands on both of his sides, laughed and shouted Mwahaha. Hugs. It’s not a bad present. Except I almost died of suffocation.
As he rushed back to his seat in the fierce eyes of Erdos, Nanuk, who had been sitting still, rose up and stood in front of me and Bernique.
Like earlier, the servant brought two bracelets with identical designs.
The bracelet, designed to adjust its length with a lock, had a gemstone with unique light, embedded in the center.
Nanuk handed me a bracelet with passionate red jewels like Bernique’s hair color and for Bernique, a bracelet with silver jewels with moonlight like my hair color.
“Is it perhaps, a spirit stone?”
At Bernique’s question, Nanuk nodded.
Spirit stone? Unlike me, who tilted my head when I heard the name for the first time, there seemed to be no one in this room who didn’t know the meaning of the name, causing another commotion.
“Spirit stones resonate with it’s the same gemstone. It tells whether the wearer is alive or dead.”
“Alive or dead?”
“Yes, if the wearer dies, both the same stones will be broken.”
Erdos explained calmly. There are so many fascinating things in the fantasy world. I can’t believe this little gem plays such a role.
I curiously fiddled with it, and when I saw Bernique reacting the same way as me, I smiled a little.
Not noticing me, he looked up and said to Nanuk.
“I really like it. Brother.”
“Thank you. I’m so happy.”
I added with a grin, and he smiled subtly.
“Then I’ll give you my present and you’ll be done.”
“You already gave it to me, didn’t you?”
At Erdos’ sudden words, I turned to look at him and pointed to the tiara on my head.
Then he smiled, the look on his face as if asking what I was talking about.
“There’s still a lot left.”
Erdos’ fingers pointed to the balcony. Everyone’s eyes went out to the window.
When he snapped his fingers exactly three times, a colorful flame embroidered over the darkened sky.
The balcony was crowded with people who came out to see the view. I also came out on the balcony in Erdos’ arms.
No one came to the balcony of the same line as the platform, so it was just me, Erdos, Nanuk, Eryte, Bernique and Leav, so only us the…. family.
The word family is very awkward. To the point where I wonder if I could even mention it.
I looked back at them once and turned back to the sky. It was my first time seeing it.
I looked up blankly, realizing that I had never had this much free time in my life.
The waves of color were flooding the evening sky.
Flames of various colors, such as red, yellow, green, and blue, were shot up and scattered in the air.
Whenever I felt bad thinking that it was already over, it burst out again and gradually added to the splendor, my heart started racing with a pounding sound.