Before Liu Yue was born, she never imagined that what ran across the plains outside wouldn’t be horse carriages but tin trains. The mana-powered trains were ubiquitous in the North. The railway network that was packed closely together was the same as a massive spider web that covered the entire North. Not long ago, trains could officially go to and fro Hilles City.
Ling Yue and Liu Yue had to squeeze around at the bustling train stop. Liu Yue was a bit lost when she first stepped onto the platform, but then a young girl dressed in a white uniform immediately walked over to salute the two of them. She respectfully said, “Princess Ling Yue, Miss Liu Yue, welcome to the Imperial City. His Majesty could not make it today due to a meeting, so he had me come to welcome you and take you to the palace. Please come with me.”
The young girl nimbly bowed and made an invitational hand gesture. Liu Yue looked at the suave young girl enviously. When she went to go with her, her mom looked at the young girl with a displeased look and complained, “What business does he have? His daughter hardly ever visits, and he won’t even come to welcome her himself.”
“Sorry, Consort Ling Yue. His Majesty does indeed have business.”
“We told him we were coming ages ago, and he didn’t even make time today? He must be checking out another woman and forgotten about us! I’m going to teach him a lesson! I bet his attention is with those two women or those sisters!”
“Princess Ling Yue, His Majesty planned to come today, but something sudden came up, and it is very important, so he is holding a meeting with Princess Freya. I hope you can be considerate.”
Liu Yue tugged on her mom’s sleeve. Ling Yue grouchily shut her eyes. Liu Yue was a bit disappointed, but she felt that since her dad didn’t come, then he truly had very urgent business. As his daughter, she had to be understanding of her dad’s work.
The two of them entered the horse carriage. There were trains, but horse carriages were still used within the city as transport, nonetheless. The escort slowly entered the city district. Liu Yue adjusted the position of her tail. She checked out the bustling crowds outside and neat houses: “I never thought there were so many people in the Imperial City. I remember there weren’t this many people when I was young.”
Ling Yue looked at the extremely slow moving escort and sighed: “Indeed, it’s not a good thing, either…”
It was already noon by the time they arrived at the Imperial Palace. Liu Yue hopped off the carriage and snuck a glance at Ling Yue with her back to the carriage. She quickly whipped her tail. It was so comfortable she almost moaned. When her mom turned around, she quickly curled it back up underneath her skirt.
As soon as she turned around, she saw two girls come running out from the hall. One of them had a bright smile. She had her skirt bunched up in her hands as she quickly ran over. She had black hair splayed out similarly to a flag. The young girl behind her with a strange smile pressed her hands down on her own blonde hair and ran over.
“Nona. Vera.” Liu Yue smiled and extended her arms out to the two coming over.
Nona tightly hugged Liu Yue. She patted her back with a smile: “I’m so glad, Liu Yue. You’re finally here. We missed you so much! Vera said that we can start our plan once you were here.”
Liu Yue reacted with puzzlement, “Vera’s plan?”
Nona wrapped her arm around Liu Yue, and then frowned, “That’s right. As long as you’re back, we’ll be able to go and see Dad. Dad hasn’t left the conference room in ages, so we intend to barge right in! However, Vera said that we’ll get kicked out if it’s just the two of us. She said that we need more people for it to work.”
“For now, let me ask, when you say that Dad hasn’t left the Conference Room in ages, are you talking about half a day or several hours? Also, why is there only the two of you? Isn’t there Daisy, too?”
“Daisy said that we’re being stupid, so she’s not joining us. However, Dad has indeed been in there for half a day. He didn’t even welcome you when your return is so important. That’s why we need to barge in.”
Liu Yue sighed when she saw the way Nona frowned. This elder sister of hers was full of life and energy. Nona was always running at the forefront regardless of what it was they were doing. Nevertheless, she admittedly did really want to see her father. Plus, she could put the blame on Nona if it went wrong the same way Vera did every time.
“Hello, Liu Yue.”
Liu Yue looked at Vera, who always wore the same smile, and responded, “Hello, Sister.”
“You’ve just arrived, so you haven’t had lunch yet, right? Go to the kitchen to look for some food first. Then, we’ll regroup at the door of the conference room.”
“Ah? Sis Vera, are you seriously planning to barge into the conference room? I thought it was Nona’s idea…”
Vera squinted. With a smile, she asked, “Why not? In reality, we can enter as long as you’re here. Liu Yue, be honest, do you not want to see Father? Don’t copy Daisy, wanting to see Father so badly, yet acting as if you don’t care. If you go there now, you might even catch Daisy loitering by the door of the conference room. You want to see?”
Liu Yue couldn’t help but reveal a mischievous smile when they mentioned Daisy. Her sister, Daisy, liked to imitate the noble’s mannerisms, acting regal and mature. She also always scoffed at what they did together, but she’d always follow behind them. Pure Nona aside, Liu Yue and Vera loved to tease Daisy.
“Let’s go eat later, then. Let’s go to the conference room first… Mom. Mom! I’m going with Vera and Nona!”
“Don’t give your father any grief you three.”
Though she said that, just an hour ago, Ling Yue was angry over her husband attending a meeting instead of picking her up.
The three girls arrived at the floor of the conference room. Vera pulled her two sisters back and made a “hush” hand gesture. The two poked their heads out from behind the wall. It was just as they thought. They saw a small silhouette pacing back and forth at the entrance, and occasionally stopping at the door. She looked at the big door to the room feeling anxious and eager.
“So Daisy is here, after all. She thought we left,” remarked Vera.
Vera chuckle; she looked as though she found her pet. She glanced at her two sisters, and then they suddenly appeared in the corridor. In loud voices, they shouted, “Daisy!”
“Aaah!!” Daisy shrieked in a high-pitched voice then fearfully looked in their direction. If there wasn’t a “no running in the corridors” rule, Daisy might’ve bolted off. Her face was totally red due to embarrassment. She explained herself in a loud voice: “No! I just passed by! I passed by!! I just passed by!”
“Ah, in that case, all four of us are here.”
The four of them stood at the door. They looked at Daisy’s red ears and face as well as her attempt to keep up her act. Liu Yue couldn’t help wanting laugh. Daisy would probably stare her to death if she did, though. Daisy looked away and toward Vera. Vera looked at the guards at the door. Before they spoke, one of the guards let out a heavy sigh: “Princess, even if you are all here, we cannot let you in. There is a very important military meeting going on inside right now. General Tanya came over specifically to see His Majesty when she returned; therefore, you cannot enter.”
Vera shook her head: “No, I won’t go in. Can you call Gerald for me?”
“Mr. Gerald? You are looking for him?”
“Yes. I have something very important to say to him.”
“It appears the Princesses won’t get off us if I don’t find Gerald,” thought the guard, sighing.
He ordered the guard next to him to not let them in. The guard nodded. He walked to one side then turned around to check, because he was worried: “All right, then. I shall go look for him. As you can see, don’t let them in.”
Once Vera saw the guard disappear at the end of the corridor, she glanced over to Liu Yue and shouted, “Liu Yue, do it!”
Liu Yue was befuddled by the sudden shout, but when she saw Vera press the remaining guard up against a wall using some weird power, she understood what Vera meant. She whipped her tail and created a few fire balls around her. She then slammed them on the Conference Room door.
The expensive door exploded with a boom. Tanya drew her sword at her waist, but I pressed my hand down on her. I gave Tanya a helpless smile, “Don’t fret. That’s either Ling Yue or Liu Yue. I knew this would happen when I didn’t go and pick them up.”
After the smoke dispersed, I heard warnings from the corridor, in addition to the sound of quick footsteps. However, inside the smoke were four shadows rushing over while the guards were powerless to stop them.
“Ah, Sorry… Tanya. I guess I need to play with my daughters for a bit, first,” I said with a helpless smile.
The four girls leapt at me the next second. My daughters wore pretty smiles. They tightly hugged me around my chest and gleefully smiled. I noticed that I was smiling happily, too, despite them having just destroyed the door to my conference room. But who cares? I was their father.
Freya, who was standing to one side, gave Tanya a hopeless smile: “Nothing we can do, Tanya. I’ll continue with you in a bit. Onii-sama won’t work seriously for some time now that Liu Yue is back.”
“That can’t be helped.” Tanya smiled a little, and then watched me leaving with my four daughters clinging to me. She tugged on her cape then said, “Let’s continue. Even without Brother, we need to continue. In regards to the safety of the route Brother established twelve years ago, we need to deal with the pirates operations below.”
“We need to discuss it with Mistress, as well, then.”
*Mistress – Not the type of mistress from an affair but a title.