Freya glanced behind her with a charming smile. She said, “All right, then, according to our plan, the nobles and financial groups will all participate in your coronation ceremony. Also, Mr. Alex will supply the food. Onii-sama, do you have any special requests for your crown? Of course, even if you said ‘yes’, it would still be too late.”
I shook my head: “I don’t care how the crown looks, since I don’t intend to wear it for very long. I’m fine as long as it isn’t heavy.”
The two of us were walking in the corridor. It was an afternoon where we had no work, which was very rare. The bright sun outside appeared as if it could melt our glass panes. The passageway connected two towers. On both sides of the passageway were glass panes. If you looked down below, you’d see flowers competing with each other. Despite looking through a glass pane, you could still seemingly smell the scent from below, where the sun shone down on brightly.
Freya noticed me looking outside. She giggled: “Would you agree it is very beautiful, Onii-sama? It is tough to imagine, right? You would see such a beautiful flower garden if you looked down outside your room in humanity’s lands. Empress Elizabeth personally prepared that flower garden for you. It is just that you rarely go down there to check it out. However, even if you did, those flowers are not blooming for you, but these flowers are blooming for you.”
I softly chuckled: “I never thought such bright flowers would sprout from the land I personally destroyed. I never imagined this day would come, either. Not only have the flowers bloomed, but haven’t the flowers by my side bloomed, too?”
Freya lingered. She titled her head in puzzlement. Wearing a smile, I asked, “Freya, you’ve grown, haven’t you? You’ll be an adult in a few years’ time. Mommy Elizabeth gave birth to me at your age. Freya, do you have somebody you like?”
Head still angled, Freya smiled and asked, “Somebody I like? Do you still not know who I like, Onii-sama? I think this should just be buried forever. Are you telling me you want to put it out there? I am very sorry, Onii-sama, but I am genuinely afraid of Miss Nier. Genuinely.”
I scratched my nose: “No, that’s not what I meant. What I meant was do you have somebody you fancy? For example, you look as though you had fun chatting with Alex.”
I didn’t look outside because I liked looking at the flowers below. It was just that I was a little embarrassed to look at Freya.
Freya narrowed her eyes, and then revealed a mischievous smile. She swiftly wrapped her arm around mine, and then pinched my face. With a smile, she said, “What is the matter, Onii-sama? Are you a jealous right now? Did I not do it for what we initially discussed? Still, I am quite happy.”
“Not jealous but I just felt you would eventually get married. I was thinking about when you’d get married and who you’d marry. To be honest, I can only think of letting you marry somebody I know, and he must really like you. That’s why there are only two people I can think of. One is Alex and the other is Gerald.”
I scratched my head: “Honestly, I might be thinking about the lives of others, since my own life has been decided. Freya, I never thought about it before, but we will definitely live here in the future; hence, I suddenly thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to get married here.”
Freya shook her head. With a smile, she replied, “Frankly, you are thinking too much. I do not even have plans to get married. In my opinion, neither of the two you suggested are good candidates for marriage, as I do not have any feelings for them. Alex and I have only met twice, and the naïve boy is not my cup of tea. I prefer somebody more mature. As for Gerald, sorry, Onii-sama, but I have no feelings for that bodyguard. Our communication is truly very good.”
“Well, Nier hated me initially.”
“But Gerald does not possess your shameless character.”
“Was I initially that clingy toward Nier?!”
Freya grinned: “No, what I meant was you did not get angry no matter how Nier spoke to you. I genuinely admire that sort of shameless technique. If you did not use that method, Miss Nier, I mean, the Royal Princess would not have remembered you, right? The same goes for Gerald. Gerald is just a bodyguard; he is not suitable as a lover.”
“What’s on your mind, then?”
Freya shook her head. She touched her hair then smiled: “If I have somebody I love, why must I get married? Onii-sama, you would not marry somebody you do not love, would you? Thus, I will not get married unless there is a second person who can capture my heart. Otherwise, never, Onii-sama. I do not care if I never get married, either, for I am always by the side of the man I like. That is enough to me. So then, Onii-sa-”
I got attacked from behind before Freya could finish. Lucia leapt onto my back and wrapped their legs around my waist. I heard her cheerful voice and felt her familiar warmth at the side of my face. She kissed the side of my face and cheerfully exclaimed, “Your Highness, the weather outside is terrific. It reminds me of Duargana. I asked Queen Vyvyan to look after the girls, so let’s go out for a stroll. We’ll go for a stroll in the flower garden first; then, we’ll go to the market! I haven’t played around in the markets yet!”
“Okay, okay, okay,” I responded.
I grabbed Lucia’s hand with a smile. Lucia dexterously hopped off my back. The North was a foreign place to her, as she was unwell upon arriving in the North; then, she took care of the girls the entire time. She never had time to go outside for a spin. The same went for Nier. Nier didn’t seem interested in anything besides the flower garden, though.
I decided to take Lucia out for the afternoon: “We won’t be going for just an hour this time, though.”
Lucia grabbed hold of my hand. I looked at Freya. Freya made a goodbye hand gesture. I smiled, and then said, “Let’s go then, Lucia. If you want to play for the entire afternoon, then let’s play all afternoon.”
Freya watched her brother leave from behind and sighed. She then turned around to look at Gerald, who was leaning on the glass pane of the corridor and looking down to satisfy his interest. She called out to him and he looked over to her. He quickly jogged over to her side.
Freya ignored him and looked forward with a strange smile. She said, “Onii-sama just asked if I have any plans to get married. He also suggested two candidates. One was Alex, and the other was you.”
“So… what is your opinion?”
“My opinion is I choose neither.”
Gerald scratched his face and looked away due to embarrassment. In a soft voice, he said, “Truthfully… I hope you can choose one…”
“I won’t. The man I like is right by my side. I will not choose another. It does not matter to me that I have to be a sister and cannot be his wife. Moreover, the North still needs me. I cannot abandon the North due to pregnancy, so I will not get married.”
“So, you are not getting married for a greater cause?”
“And for my Onii-sama.”
Freya turned away and didn’t look at Gerald again. She looked ahead with a serious expression. In spite of being a child in her teens, the stern look of hers resembled an adult’s.
Gerald went silent for a short moment. and then rubbed his face. From the bottom of his heart, he said, “That is fine, Miss Freya.”
Freya froze for a brief moment. She then turned her head to look at Gerald with a smile. She asked, “What are you talking about? Did something happen to me?”
“No. What I wanted to say was… I am your bodyguard… Since you have chosen to protect the greater cause and your Onii-sama, I shall protect you. Since you are not willing to marry, I shall stay by your side forever, because you need somebody to protect you!”