At the same time, Siegfried appeared and walked over to Cesar’s side.
“Tatiana, there’s no need to be nervous.”
“Are you nervous, kid? Aww, what’s there to be nervous about?” Kirios chuckled and patted me on the back.
The three of them were busy soothing me.
“Long time no see, you three.”
A deep voice rang out.
‘Huh? This voice?’
I reflexively turned my head.
A middle-aged man was smiling at us.
A red cape with fur around the trim, a crown worn on his head, and even medals hanging from his chest.
It was an attire proclaiming ‘I am the emperor’ with his whole body.
Standing beside him was the queen, who looked much younger than the emperor, and a boy who looked exactly like the queen.
But I didn’t pay attention to the emperor, the queen, or the prince who looked like the queen.
No, it was right that I didn’t have the energy to pay attention.
I froze, staring at the boy who stood a couple steps behind the imperial family.
Gorgeous blonde hair with a reddish undertone, and crimson eyes that shone like rubies.
That beautiful boy who stood out even though he was standing in the back….
‘Ha, so this is where we meet Lakius….’
Lakius Kaser el Descartes.
The first prince of the Descartes Empire, and the only legitimate son of the imperial family born to the emperor and the empress.
However, as the empress, who was from a foreign country, died unexpectedly, the new queen, who came from a powerful family in the empire, took her place as the new mistress of the imperial family.
Perhaps even now, under the initiative of the queen and under the acquiescence of the emperor…
He must be secretly being bullied inside the imperial family.
‘He’s probably very uncomfortable in this position.’
Lakius was the main character of my favorite novel, and I liked him the most.
I couldn’t help but have a bitter taste in my mouth.
‘No, is this the time for me to pity anyone?’
I clicked my tongue.
Cesar carefully lowered me to the floor.
“Greetings Your Majesty the Emperor, Your Highness the Queen and the two Princes.”
Starting with Siegfried’s greeting, Cesar and Kirios followed and put their hands over their hearts.
I clumsily lifted the hem of my dress with both hands and bent my knees slightly.
It was the court etiquette that Siegfried had hastily taught me.
The emperor smiled broadly and accepted our greetings.
“I’m so pleased that the three of you are here today.”
I slightly tilted my head.
Although his lips were clearly smiling, the emperor in front of us had a strangely displeased expression.
‘Did I see it wrong?’
Just in time, Siegfried replied smoothly with, “You’re too kind.”
“All mankind owes you their lives, and I cannot thank you enough.”
Hmm, I wonder if that praise is too much for the emperor’s liking? From the looks of it, my guardians didn’t really like this kind of party.
The emperor looked down at me.
“By the way, Duke of Orleans, what about this child?”
“Her name is Tatiana.
She was suffering at the hands of the demons, but we happened to save her and bring her back with us.”
Siegfried added the next words as if he had seized the opportunity.
“She is now under my protection, staying in the townhouse from Orleans.”
……Somehow, I felt like there was a lot of emphasis on “under my protection”.
Is it my delusion?
After looking at the atmosphere for a while, I nodded my head in agreement.
‘Hmm, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my ears, right?’
No wonder Cesar and Kirios were staring fiercely at Siegfried.
Of course, Siegfried shrugged off those fierce glances with a gracious smile…….
Meanwhile, the emperor looked a little surprised.
“Is she so dear to you to the point that you would bring her here?”
“Yes, that’s right, and that’s why I’m asking, do you mind if I take my child and leave for now?”
“She’s not used to court etiquette yet, and I’m worried she’ll make a mistake.”
For a moment, the emperor’s brow furrowed.
Even though he used me as an excuse, it was clear that he didn’t want to talk to the emperor anymore.
But honestly, I wouldn’t want to talk with him either.
It’s been a month since they’ve been back, so what’s the point of throwing them a victory party now?
However, the displeasure was short-lived.
The emperor smiled politely and nodded.
“Okay, do as you please.”
Let’s go, Tatiana.”
As I walked, surrounded by warriors, I glanced back.
At the same time, I felt my heart sink.
The emperor, queen, and second prince were enjoying the banquet together.
And Lakius had disappeared without a trace.
……as if it was never there in the first place.
* * *
After stepping down from the emperor.
Regardless of age and gender, they all had a light in their eyes as they tried to somehow get to talk to my three guardians.
‘Ugh, this is overwhelming/burdensome.’
Swallowing hard, I tugged at the hem of Kirios’s robe as he stood beside me.
“Tati’s legs hurt.
I want to go to the break room.”
“Really? Then I should take you there.”
Kirios hugged me.
In an instant, my eye level rose, and I was once again the recipient of some very intense gazes.
‘Ugh, I feel like I’m going to get sick.’
But Kirios didn’t bat an eye at the stares.
He has a gorgeous beauty that could be recognized at a glance from afar, and he also had the status of the master of the mage tower in the empire.
Maybe he was used to this kind of attention because he already received too much of it?
“Should I be with you in the break room?” Kirios asked, gently rubbing my back.
I hated the idea.
No! What would happen if you followed me? I’d have to deal with all those stares, right?
“No, I can stay by myself.”
“Oh, but how can I leave the kid alone?”
“Do you want me to stay with all the maids?”
Common sense dictates that if you’re old enough to attend an imperial banquet, you must be a child of a noble family, right?
Surely there are some nursery maids around to look after the children.
“And it’s too noisy and bustling with the warriors around,” I added dryly.
I must have hit the nail on the head.
The three warriors fell silent, side by side, and meekly escorted me to the guest lounge.
But what could I do about it when it’s true?
* * *
After arriving at the break room, I waved at the three warriors.
“Tati will wait here, so go have fun!”
“Hey, are you sure you want to be alone? I’d rather be with you…….”
Siegfried asked me once more, as if he couldn’t let go of his lingering feelings.
“Ah, the kid says she’s taking a break!”
Kirios pulled Siegfried away immediately.
“And where do you think you´re going to sneak off to? Without you, I would have to accept all the ladies’ dance requests by myself!”
He actually looked pretty desperate, with his eyes pleading.
I narrowed my eyes.
So, it’s a lie that women are too shy to make the first move on a guy.
Is it because there are only a few men who are attractive enough to approach them first?
On the other hand, Cesar was repeating himself over and over again to the nursery maid.
“Please take care of our little Tatiana.
I’m afraid because she’s still very young.”
“Yes, yes! I will treat her with the utmost care!” The nursemaid blushed and nodded again and again.
“Take a good rest, Miss Tatiana.”
“Kid, if you want to see me, you can always send a maid.”
“Kirios, understand the topic.
Why should she want to see you? I wonder if it’s you that wants to see her.”
“……When is everyone going?” I asked, narrowing my eyes again.
The three warriors walked away, glancing back again and again.
I sank down into the comfortable chair.
As my body relaxed and my surroundings became quieter, I couldn’t help but think of Lakius.
Come to think of it, where is Lakius?
It seemed like he was being ostracized by the imperial family earlier, so I felt…
‘Huh? Wait a minute.’
I squinted my eyes in confusion.
Am I seeing things here?
That reddish-blonde hair that shimmered like it was spun from gold thread, those red eyes that shone like rubies.
That angelic beauty, like it was painstakingly sculpted by a god……!
‘No, why is Lachias here?!’
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