Author: Lara

The royal palace’s audience room was very quiet. King of Nieta stood opposite the throne, with five princesses lined up behind him.

 

After that, the attendants, the maids, and Helio’s knights surrounded the audience room.

 

Helio sat cross-legged on the throne as if it was natural. He seemed only in his mid-twenties, but he had a sense of intimidation that could overwhelm the audience.

 

Helio tapped the throne’s armrest with his fingernails and shook his head.

 

“The throne is too small.”

 

It was a chair for the king of a country. It could never have been made small. But for the emperor of the Carlo Empire, it must have been a very small, shabby, and unsightly chair.

 

There was no malice in Helio’s voice. It was as natural as saying that the sky is above your head and the earth is under your feet. That made King of Nieta even more ashamed, but there was nothing he could do.

 

Helio looked around and stared at Liliana’s pink hair. Then he laughed in a low voice.

 

“I just saw something very interesting.”

 

King of Nieta bowed his head like the king of a defeated country and asked politely.

 

“What did you see?”

 

“Didn’t I tell you to send the princess? I was planning to take the princess to the empire and make her the concubine.”

 

“Our Kingdom of Nieta was honored and wanted to send a princess. Even though she is my daughter, she is beautiful and clever….”

 

Helio clapped his hands together and made a noise. Clap! Everyone shuddered as the sound resounded in the silent auditorium.

 

The man in front of him was the one who could destroy this country at any moment. The reason for not doing so was simple. Because he didn’t have to go that far.

 

Helio bent down and pulled his body forward. As his sculpture-like beautiful face approached, King Nieta watched in fear.

 

“The beautiful and clever princess ran away and just ran into me.”

 

“Pardon?”

 

The King of Nieta asked like a fool. Either way, Helio continued what he was going to say.

 

“That’s why I was worried. A princess who dared to abandon her country and run away. I wondered if the king had given me any princess from so many options.”

 

“T-that can’t be. That’s not true. Princess Liliana is my youngest daughter, whom I adore very much.”

 

Standing behind King of Nieta, Liliana had a face as if she chewed on shit at those words. What did he mean by adore, he didn’t even know her name until today.

 

Liliana had no idea that Helio was looking at her because she was bowing.

 

Helio was watching with great ease as Liliana’s fine brows wrinkled. That alone clearly showed King of Nieta was lying.

 

‘What shall I do?’

 

Helio grabbed his chin and opened his eyes languidly.

 

It didn’t matter which princess he took. If the kingdom that had been driven to the brink of destruction were released for nothing, the whole continent would look down on the empire, and then it was dangerous for the empire if that happened.

 

However, if he just took the mana stone, the Kingdom of Nieta would be ruined, so it was no different from destroying it now.

 

Besides, Helio needed a woman who would become the concubine. It would be fine if it were a woman who was not affected by the empire, so it didn’t matter if he took any princess.

 

If possible, it would be better if it was Princess Riley, who was the king’s favorite and had the highest rank of succession to the throne.

 

Knock, knock, knock.

 

Helio tapped the throne’s armrest several times. The ringing sound of his soft fingertips made everyone’s mouths dry. Including Liliana.

 

‘Please take another princess!’

 

Liliana prayed earnestly with her hands clasped under her navel.

 

And Helio was also watching her actions. It was ridiculous to see her white hands clasped so tightly together until they turned red. He wondered if that was what a desperate hamster looked like.

 

Helio smiled softly, then returned to his arrogant face and looked at King of Nieta.

 

“If the king truly cares about Princess Liliana, he will do this.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Let the child born between the princess and me be granted the right to the Kingdom of Nieta throne.”

 

King of Nieta widened his eye. No one here would have known that King of Nieta had such big eyes. He barely closed his eyes, which seemed to pop out at any moment, and bit his teeth tightly.

 

“That, it doesn’t make sense…”

 

King of Nieta managed to pluck up his courage to refute it, but Helio didn’t even listen.

 

“It doesn’t have to be the first. It doesn’t even have to be the second. Hmm, the third one would be good enough.”

 

The inside of the audience hall was filled with astonishment. There were no cases of handing the right of succession to the princess’ children who married abroad, or even the third child. There were four princesses in their country.

 

However, as it was said many times, Kingdom of Nieta was on the verge of destruction, so even this had to be taken as the emperor’s grace. What can’t the emperor do if he already decided it?

 

Therefore, King of Nieta had no choice but to bow his head politely while biting his molars.

 

“I’ll do that. Your Majesty the Emperor.”

 

***

 

Liliana realized what rising in status felt like.

 

Until now, the palace had never been interested in Liliana. But now, they talked about her wherever Liliana stepped, and she was given a fancy dress that was supposed to be only her spectacle worn by other princesses.

 

She had only one maid, Sophia, and suddenly her maids increased to ten; and when they made a fuss about taking care of her, it was so hectic that she was dying.

 

‘Perhaps because of the right of succession that Emperor Carlo mentioned.’

 

The word was nothing short of a threat to eat the whole country if it didn’t like it at any time.

 

One way or another, Liliana suddenly became a person with the potential to become the king’s mother. It was natural for the treatment to change.

 

The unconventional treatment continued until the day she left the Kingdom of Nieta.

 

King of Nieta gave Liliana the most luxurious carriage he had, but Helio saw it and immediately dismissed it.

 

“It’s junk. Bring me something else.”

 

The best carriage in the kingdom was thrown into a corner, and a much larger and more luxurious carriage was placed in front of Liliana’s palace.

 

Liliana felt too burdensome to step on the carriage, so she had to pick up her courage and get into the carriage. She was very confused when she put on her buttocks because she felt like the soft cushion would eat her.

 

Sophia, her maid of honor, got into the same carriage to attend Liliana and said.

 

“The dragon’s tail is better than the snake’s head.”

 

Certainly, it was better to be the imperial concubine than the defeated nation princess. King of Nieta, Liliana’s father, even showed tears because he didn’t want to let go of his other daughter he loved; in this way, she looked much better as a hostage.

 

‘If I’m not destined to die after giving birth…’

 

Liliana leaned against her carriage window and laughed at her situation. What should she do now?

 

A tall man was standing out at the front of the envoy. Liliana sighed deeply as she looked at the beautiful golden blonde hair.

 

A lunatic father in childcare novel.

 

That was what Liliana thought of Helio.

 

***

 

No matter how luxurious the carriage was, the journey was difficult. The sound of infantry’s footsteps and the cavalry’s hooves also made her head ring, and her hips ache as she continued to sit in one position.

 

Liliana wanted to be abandoned and return to her quiet palace.

 

“I want to go home…”

 

“That’s difficult.”

 

A voice was heard by the carriage window, which had been left open for a while due to motion sickness. Liliana was so startled that she jumped off her butt. Helio smiled faintly at her.

 

“Why are you so surprised?”

 

“N-no.”

 

Liliana clumsily pulled herself back. She hurriedly tried to close the window. However, she was forced to stop in haste as a large hand slid through the window frame.

 

Liliana then looked out the window properly. Helio was riding his brown horse and looking toward her carriage. His blue eyes, which impressed her from the first time she saw him, were full of doubts.

 

“Are you thinking of running away?”

 

“What?”

 

Liliana pulled out her head and looked puzzled.

 

“You denied it like that. You already have a record.”

 

“That’s because I wasn’t fully prepared!”

 

Liliana said as if she was really wronged. Helio exhaled a long breath and made a curious expression.

 

“What does that mean?”

 

“Even if I ran away from here, would I be able to survive on my own? I may have lived in a shabby palace in Your Majesty’s eyes, but I lived my whole life as a princess. I don’t know how to make a bonfire, I don’t know how to build a house, I don’t know how to sew.”

 

Liliana bent her fingers one by one and counted what she couldn’t do to survive alone. She then said, as if she remembered something, with her eyes twinkling.

 

“I can cook a little bit. Oh, I don’t know if it’s possible in a world without a gas stove, but…”

 

The previous words were clear and confident, but the latter words grew smaller, so he couldn’t understand what he was saying. Helio unconsciously listened to her and asked.

 

“What did you just say, princess?”

 

Liliana shook her hands and smiled awkwardly.

 

“In conclusion, I have no reason to run away. If I had jewels, I would be able to live well on my own… but Your Majesty has confiscated them all.”

 

He couldn’t tell whether she was a woman who was scared or not to speak such words in front of the party who confiscated it.

 

Actually, Liliana was more timid than she is now. She lived like a shadow in the royal palace, so it was only natural for her to be like that. However, as she regained her previous life’s memories, the world spread out like a letter and she naturally became bolder.

 

Her maid, Sophia, was terrified because Liliana was doing something she wouldn’t do, but Helio just thought of her as a strange princess.

 

‘I heard she was an abandoned princess.’

 

There was nothing strange about her dismal. However, as she responded with eloquence without deviating from courtesy, he became interested in where the personality originated. When Helio didn’t leave around her carriage, Liliana saw it as an opportunity.

 

“Excuse me, Your Majesty.”

 

Liliana put her hand on the carriage window and leaned closer. Helio replied with a short ‘Hm.’

 

“I’m really useless. You saw it at the palace, right? My father, King of Nieta, is so uninterested in me that he doesn’t even remember my name. Your Majesty may have already noticed.”

 

“Therefore?”

 

“It means that I have no value as a hostage. Any person that you are not sure if you’ll be able to send back? And who is that? I’m that kind of princess.”

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