I was not confident enough. I didn’t know if I could stay calm if he ignored me again. Should I just pretend to be sick? Maybe I could injure myself… I lifted my head to look at their eyes as they both gawked at each other. Huh? What’s wrong?
Surprised by the sudden call, I took a step back. This wasn’t good. An ominous hunch came upon the tip of my toes. Elene smiled sweetly.
“Princess, give this to His Majesty.”
What Elene gave me was a white handkerchief. The letter “A” was inscribed on the end.
“What is this?”
“It’s your handkerchief.”
My handkerchief? Since when did I have one? They both laughed, not caring about my puzzled look. What’s with the energy around them right now? I feel like they’re plotting some sort of evil conspiracy.
“Why a handkerchief?”
I asked her back with a puzzled look. Serira smiled brightly as she took a handkerchief from Elene’s hand and gave it to me.
“You have to give it to His Majesty.”
I was so surprised that my voice grew louder. No, but all of a sudden, what was she talking about? Why should I give my handkerchief to him? It was true that I was surprised at the unexpected news, but I was so surprised by the loudness of my voice that I closed my mouth shut. My head suddenly felt complicated. Serira replied quietly, touching my hair like in a gentle way with a tender, gentle voice. Perhaps that’s why my heart, which was suddenly pounding, had gradually found its own pulse.
“It’s to bid farewell and pray for his well-being.”
“You’re bidding to his Majesty to ‘come back safely’.”
No, I knew that, but why do I have to do that?
“It’s a tradition for a lady to give a present to her knight.”
Serira smiled and said, but I let go of the handkerchief immediately.
“No. I won’t do it!”
Who cared if he came back or not!? I didn’t want to see his face today. No, it’s more of horror to me that I should face him than that. I just wanted to get away with it. It’s awkward to go out to see him, but he wanted me to hand him this? Did he think he’s gonna get it if I gave it to him? Perhaps I should now leave this princess’ seat to live like the emperor’s bastard and an illegitimate child. I had been here all these years with the favor I had been getting from him. No, other than that…
What if he rejected me in front of the crowd? It was a very different kind of fear.
“Go ahead. This is something only you can do, princess.”
They didn’t even understand how I felt! This was a serious problem. If I was disgraced there, all of them done, too! Still, Elene and Serira were forcing me through.
“Normally, the Empress should be doing this, but since there is no empress at the moment, you must do it. Don’t you think so?”
“Princess, are you will send your father without a token of goodwill? He’s going to a ruthless battlefield.”
“If he leaves, you won’t see him for at least 6 months!”
Two women are tightening from the sides. Even if I struggled to avoid going, it was me who was exhausted after hours of a scuffle. Why was my opinion always ignored!? I wanted to be respected, sob.
It was in Estela Palace, whose name was not familiar to me, where I went with much impatience.
A loud roar rumbled my eardrum. From the nobles I saw for the first time to the nobles I often encountered, the court members were all present. They wanted me to give him a gift in front of all these people? Were they crazy!?
Looking back, Serira smiled and held me.
‘Let go of me! Let me go!’
By the time I arrived in the middle of a scuffle, the ceremony was already coming to an end. However, where the hell was my mom taking me? This entire ceremony was crazy! It’s as crazy as a marriage!
Oh, shit. Tens of thousands of troops, who had broken ranks below the podium, were at a crossroads. The nobles gathered, in addition, Caitel was wearing his uniform. It was my first time seeing it. The midsummer sun shone intensely. I gulped down my saliva.
“Quickly now, princess.”
Serira’s urging was already out of my hearing.
What was I supposed to do? Run? Fortunately, Caitel was standing against the sun. I couldn’t see his face. That was rather fortunate, indeed.
Maybe I would hand it to him and run before he could reject me. Right, that seemed like the best option. For some reason, my hands were sweating, but I couldn’t even think of cleaning it. I went to stand in front of Caitel. Someone, please save me.
“This is a gift…”
I tried to run away, but I froze up; I couldn’t move. Why wouldn’t they just turn my head? The eyes of all the people here felt like they were poking me like an awl. I felt like I was standing naked. What was I supposed to do?
Meanwhile, that darn father of mine wasn’t responding. Would I be ignored again just like yesterday?