Young Girl’s First Meeting with the Prince
The front of the Imperial Palace was a lawn that was neatly trimmed and maintained. The planning was neat, and the design was perfect. Behind it was a flower garden. Aforementioned flower garden was Vyvyan’s personal flower garden. It was situated between the imperial guard’s and Shadow Squad’s camps. Although she wasn’t against outsiders entering it, everybody respected her; nobody dared to enter on their own accord unless she explicitly said they could.
Lucia admired the various flowers in the garden. She cheerfully walked around on the lush grass and shrubs. The air in the garden was very fragrant. Her eyes took in an assortment of flowers. It was as if all of the unique and precious plants in the elven lands were there in the flower garden. The fragrance in the flower garden relaxed one’s entire body. Lucia really liked flowers and plants, so the garden was essentially heaven to her.
Lucia continued walking forward. Behind the long corridor built from trees was a soft lawn. In the centre of the lawn was a huge flower. Lucia had never seen such a pretty flower. The flower petals were as colourful as a rainbow. It had seven flower petals that were all different colours. The flower was pretty and seemed to emit a crystal light underneath the sunlight, too.
“Wouldn’t this be a lamp at night?” thought Lucia.
Lucia looked at the flower and ran over. The closer she got, the more prominent the scent of the flower grew. While the scent was very prominent, it didn’t cause one to suffer nasal irritation. It was as if it turned the air close by into the scent. Every breath intoxicated her. Lucia couldn’t resist the urge to approach the flower and stroke the petals.
The flower petal jolted. It seemed as though the crystal light shinned onto her face. She could see this world at this close range. Lucia couldn’t resist the urge to take in deep breaths, taking in the fragrance of the flower. The flower seduced her to touch it and smell it. Lucia couldn’t hold herself back from reaching out and grabbing the stem. She then yanked it out.
Just as Lucia went to smell the flower, a despairing cry came from ahead: “What are you doing?!”
Lucia jolted back to reality. She panicked in her mind: “What am I doing? I just plucked a flower from Her Highness’s garden out. How could I do that? This is basically an offence. What on earth am I doing?!”
“I… I…” stammered Lucia.
Lucia was so frightened that she almost dropped to her knees. She instinctively threw the flower away without a thought. The young boy in front of her reached out to catch the flower she threw away. The young boy with a childish face wept as he looked at the flower in his hands.
“It took months for me to grow this flower! I took care of this flower for many months! Why did you pull it out?! Why did you do that?!”
Lucia looked at the young boy in front of her, who was crying. She had no idea what to do. In a shaky voice that was on the brink of crying, she apologised, “Sorry. Sorry… Sorry… It was my fault… I am sorry… I… I…”
Lucia wanted to say, “I’ll compensate you,” but her words were stuck in her throat. She looked at the flower in front of her with a stupefied look. She knew she couldn’t compensate him. The growth of plants had to follow a certain process even in the elven lands. She couldn’t re-plant the flower, or make a flower instantly sprout from a seed. She had no means of making up for her mistake.
The young boy tightly gripped the flower. What he said was completely unlike somebody of his age. He ran off while crying: “I’m going to tell my mom! I’m going to tell my mom!”
Lucia blankly watched his silhouette from the rear. The young girl could no longer control her tears due to fear. She couldn’t imagine what would happen to her next. She knew that she had to compensate the boy, but she didn’t know how to. Such a pretty flower must’ve been very expensive.
“What are mom and dad going to say…?” pondered Lucia, worried. The young girl’s bliss and excitement turned into fear within an instant.
Lucia sat down onto the lawn in a daze. She buried her head in her knees and wept. The flower stem without petals next to her swayed in the wind as though it was teasing her. Lucia didn’t know what to do; but nonetheless, she couldn’t run. She knew it was her mistake. She had to bear the consequences except she didn’t know what the consequence would be.
The young boy’s crying and shouting could be heard: “Mom! She plucked my flower! I took care of this flower for a long, long time! This was the seed you gave me, Mom!! My flower! My flower!”
Lucia raised her head. Her heart virtually stopped. She could see the bright blonde hair and white and emerald dress despite her watery eyes. She looked in Vyvyan’s direction with a blank look. She didn’t freeze up. Nevertheless, her legs had gone so weak that she couldn’t stand up.
Lucia blankly watched Vyvyan walk over. Vyvyan stroked the young boy’s head with a smile and walked up to Lucia. She bent over looked at the young girl, whose face was covered in tears and unable to stand. She smiled and stroked Lucia’s head. Voice soft, she said, “It’s all right. It’s all right. Troy didn’t ask me to punish you. He just wanted to restore the flower. You didn’t do it on purpose. This flower is indeed very attractive to elves. However… mm… it seems your mana level isn’t very high. Elves with high mana purity won’t be attracted to it, but it’s all right.”
Vyvyan placed the flower onto the stem. After she let go, the flower appeared on the stem once again and emitted its faint light once again. Lucia looked blankly at the revived flower in front of her. She was so astonished that she was lost for words. She knew magic, but it was the first time she’d seen revival magic. After all, her parents didn’t often use magic.
“Okay, okay now, Son. It’s okay now. It’s okay now. The flower has been restored.”
The young boy in front wiped his tears, and then looked at the flower. A cheerful look appeared in his bright black eyes again. He looked toward Lucia, and then said to Vyvyan, “It’s all right, Mom. I don’t blame her. I’m happy as long as the flower is okay.”
“But even so, Lucia, you still must be punished.”
Vyvyan extended her hand out with a smile. She was smiling, but Lucia could see intense anger in Vyvyan’s eyes. It was such a frightening sensation that Lucia almost dropped to the ground again. Vyvyan took out a few new seeds from her pocket and handed them to Lucia: “As compensation, plant a flower for my son.”
“Yes… Yes. Yes, Your Highness…”
Lucia accepted the seeds as though she was spared from death. She slowly went down on her knees, and then dug up the mud. A shadow was suddenly cast over her. A gentle pair of hands grabbed hold of Lucia’s hands. Shocked, Lucia looked up to see the young boy. The young boy gave her a smile: “Let me help you. You’re a girl. Though I’m a little upset… The flower has been restored, so I don’t mind now.”
“Ah, oh, Mm…”
Lucia shyly lowered her head, not daring to make eye contact with the Queen’s son.
“I’m Troy, Troy Galadriel.”
Lucia looked at the hands in front of her. She then raised her head to meet with a cheerful smile, gentle pair of eyes and a face covered with mud. Despite that, his pair of hands was warm. Lucia blankly held his hands. It was the first time she experienced how it felt to have a racing heart…
“Lucia… Lucia Echte…”
A clear and refreshing breeze gently carried the fragrance of the flowers and grass over, blowing the young girl’s hair and line of sight toward the side of the face of the young boy. The young boy was still a child; he still had the smile of a child. The two kids’ fingers hooked onto each other by accident when they were digging the dirt up. The young boy paused for a moment then looked up at her with a smile.
Lucia looked at the young boy’s smile and spaced out. Shy, she lowered her head. Despite being shy, Lucia didn’t move her finger Troy was holding onto…
The young girl obtained her most cherished birthday present that day.
“See you again, Lucia. Remember to come see me often from now on. Come play with me often!”
After that, the young girl dropped her habit of lazing around in bed.
Ten years later at Duargana.
“Your Highness, those two flowers growing on the lawn do not seem to like it too much. How about we move them and grow them somewhere else.”
I glanced over to the two lonely flowers in the ground at the flower garden. I placed my cup of tea down and nodded: “Do as you please. You’re the gardeners. Do as you judge would be best.”
“We will start, then.”
I nodded. The place the two flowers were planted was very strange. I wondered, “Why plant two flowers on the lawn? And why has nobody dug them up after so many years?”
I silently sat in my chair and drank my tea. I felt the clear, refreshing and fragrant breeze from the flower garden blow onto my face
The two flowers were soon dug up and taken elsewhere. All of a sudden, I heard hasty footsteps behind me. As soon as I turned my head, I saw Lucia’s stunned and sad expression. She panted and pointed at the gardener. She blustered, “Your Highness! Why did you dig the flowers up?! Why?!!”
“Because it’s not suitable…”
“Have you forgotten? Those were the flowers we planted together when we first met!!” exclaimed Lucia. Her entire body quivered. Her tears poured down her face. She looked at me and cried, “Have you forgotten?! Have you forgotten?!! Those were the flowers we planted together when we first met! Have you forgotten? Have you forgotten?!! That’s when I fell for you! Have you forgotten?!”
I immediately froze in place…
In my mind, I answered, “I didn’t forget… I didn’t know…”
Dumbstruck, Lucia sat down to one side and sadly cried. I stood up and stroked her head. I grabbed her hands and, in a soft voice, said, “Sorry… Sorry… Let’s… plant them again. Lucia, let’s go. Let’s go right now. Let’s plant them again!”