She was going to borrow the Emperor’s authority to make it quiet and settle the matter, but behind Dimitri’s back, a firecracker was soaring. Particles of light flashed by Asha’s cheeks. Asha held her breath and asked again.
“…The snack you just ate, was it good?”
Dimitri had a face that wanted to bite his tongue and die, but Asha didn’t mind and put a piece of brownie from her pocket into his hand.
Dimitri tried to crush and throw it away, but Asha shouted faster.
“The snack that His Majesty said was delicious!”
“You just cursed, didn’t you? Did you curse when it was a snack that His Majesty said was delicious?”
“Oh, no! No!”
But what can a child just ten years old do here? Ultimately, Dimitri had no choice but to take the brownie Asha had given him and put it in his arms.
“Go home, Uncle Maxim uncle… Give it to Lord Maxim, okay?”
‘It wasn’t just that, uh, I was just going to attack it as Phoebe said… ’
<You should have done it!>
‘Be quiet, foolish bird.’
Maxim’s son, who was helping the family having trouble coming to ends meet, was Dimitri, so she thought of it and endured.
After that, it was a quick dissolution. Dimitri was loaded into the carriage with a face that he would rather die, and the other cousins hesitated and soon got into the carriage as if they were running away and hurried out of the palace.
‘But he became calm quickly when I fed him some snacks.’
<It’s because it’s a snack you made.>
Asha tilted her head. Phoebe’s words were strange.
‘Because it’s the snack I made? Is that what the Emperor said it was delicious?’
<What does it matter what the Emperor said? Because you made it.>
Asha was silent momentarily at the expression ‘Emperor’ and then hurried to think.
“Do they become calm if they eat the snacks I made?”
<Because it makes them feel good.>
‘…Feel? Why? I… don’t think anything like a drug coming out of my hands…’
<Isn’t it human to feel good when you eat something delicious?>
Asha, who was urgently asking, was disheartened. But Lise appeared when she tried to shoot back a word at Phoebe.
Lise was rushing in from afar, calling her, and at that moment, the servants stepped back and bent down.
“Uh… Uh… Lise…”
As soon as the wreath appeared before Asha, transparent amethyst particles poured like a waterfall.
‘Now I know for sure. That amethyst color is worry.’
“Your Excellency, I hope you are safe… Oh, my God. You got a scar on your cheek. No, what is this…”
Lise hugged Asha and looked back at the remaining servants.
“What’s going on here? What is this wound of Her Highness?”
The soft voice, always directed at Asha, was nowhere to be seen, and Lise questioned the servants coldly and fiercely.
The servants hurriedly explained the situation as if they were making excuses. Asha hastily grabbed her by the collar as the purple air floating around Lise showed signs of an angry dark red.
“L, Lise, I’m fine. It’s my fault too. Let’s go now, Lise.”
“…did you, Your Highness?”
“Yes, yes! I’m more curious about the new room than that. I want to see it quickly.”
Asha pulled her by the collar with her eyes shining. Lise looked alternately at the ruined courtyard and Asha and then corrected her collar with a sigh of relief.
“You can’t keep going out alone, Lady. I was going to pick you up when the room was ready…”
“It’s okay. What’s going to happen inside the palace? Don’t worry.”
“Something happened a while ago.”
“Hehe. It’s a kid’s joke.”
“Your Highness is still a baby.”
Asha smiled a little when embarrassed and held out her arms after much consideration. She thought her father, Yuriev, would be happy at a time like this…
“You’re still a baby.”
Without hesitation, Lise hugged her as if to surround her with pampering behavior. Happy pink particles were coming out of Lise.
Crystal decorations hung from the silhouette curtains by the window, scattering the light beautifully. And the room that the curtains were wrapped around was too broad and empty.
Asha only pursed her lips. The beds, tables, tea tables, and drawers were similar to those in the old room, but the size was more significant than before. Nevertheless, the room was spacious enough to be empty.
“The room is very spacious, isn’t it? Now I will fill this in with more and more of his stuff. Or a decorative cabinet, a console table, or a carved chair for you.”
“It’s okay if you don’t have that.”
Lise only smiled quietly as if it was because little Asha didn’t know anything yet. Then, a door on the inner wall came into Asha’s eyes. I’m sure it’s Alexei’s room next door…
“Lis, where’s that door going? Don’t tell me…”
“Oh! It’s the door that leads to the room of His Majesty the Crown Prince.” They chose the connected room on purpose. Come and see him anytime.
Lise opened the door. She saw a door on the other side across a short corridor. That door would be led to Crown Prince Alexei.
‘I think the cold air is leaking through that door.’
Asha tried her best to draw a smile.
“You know, Lise. I think. His Highness Alexei…”
“Yes, he can’t wait to see you. That’s why he asked you to study with him. How sweet he is.”
While Asha looked shocked, Lise arranged her clothes, cleaned up her bedding, and removed the leaves from the flowers on the tea table.
“He told you to start studying tomorrow, and His Highness Alexei asked you to join him in the class.”
“Starting tomorrow? What should I study? I’m studying…”
Lise bent her knees and swept Asha’s cheeks and hair.
“If you study hard, even His Majesty the Emperor will take good care of you.”
“All I need is my mom and dad! Anything else…”
She didn’t know how she would die if His Majesty, the Emperor, started to love her wrongly!
Asha had no choice but to hold back what she wanted to say. The Emperor could take her for granted and be her doom. But that also depended on the words of the Emperor. How old was the Emperor? She was the last granddaughter of the youngest son to be seen by the Emperor.
‘After Alexei, the crown prince ascends the throne… ’
Asha didn’t even know Lise thought she was about to faint from the recklessness if others heard her. Lise did her best to appease Asha.
“I’m sure it’s going to be fun because it’s a class you’re taking with His Highness Alexei.”
“Ah, no, for me, maybe, but His Highness Alexei might not find it fun. I don’t study… I’ve never done it before.”
“You don’t have to worry about that. His Highness Alexei asked you to join him first.”
‘Why would you have asked me to join you?’
They’re trying to figure out what level she was at! He was trying to figure it out and decide whether to kill her!
Asha clung to Lise with a tearful look, but her class was never canceled.
Sitting in a chair by the window was a boy with blond hair and cold blue eyes. She thought he was around 14.
Throughout the whole time, Asha wondered if she had a class with her cousin, who would become the next Emperor, but she still could not solve the question.
‘But here… Isn’t it the study where the Emperor was the day before yesterday?’
The palace was so vast that she didn’t notice at first sight because she only wandered here and there every time, but when she reached the deep place, she could see a familiar figure.
“Anastasia, are you here?”
Alexei spoke while Asha looked around. Asha turned her head and faced him. Alexei’s face seemed to smile softly, but the spirit in the blue eyes in the folded eyes was indescribable.
She knew why Alexei was sensitive. If half of the support for his status as the Crown Prince was because of his spirit king, Fire Dragon Fafnir, and the other half was the support of the Emperor. He must feel like sharing that support with a cousin he was seeing for the first time.
Asha cleared her voice to start a good conversation first.
“Well, Crown Prince…”
“Even if you don’t call me that, I’m also a grandchild, so there’s nothing to worry about.”
Alexei answered, turning the pages with a smile. At first glance, it seemed kind, with slightly drooping eyes, gentle and smooth like a deer, but what was inside was very cold. Fragments of blue emotions that would make you feel cold just by touching them floated around him like drifting ice. The knife didn’t seem to be sharper than this.
For now, Asha decided to accept Alexei’s words.
“Then Brother Alexei…”
“Brother, do you need to be so formal?”
Asha opened her mouth for a moment, closed it quietly, took a breath, and said.
Then Alexei looked up. Asha threw it out in anger and swallowed her saliva secretly. If a grown-up adult looked at her like that, she might have hiccups.
“You didn’t want to be called Crown Prince, and you didn’t want to be called brother…”
“Oh, you don’t like Alexei either? Then Alyosha!”
The moment the smile disappeared from Alexei’s face for the first time, the study door opened. It was the scholar who was conducting today’s class. The scholar, who was coming in with a soft look, stopped when he noticed that the air in the room was tense.
“Your Highness Crown Prince…?”
“…No, come in.”
Alexei immediately greeted the scholar with a smile again. Alexei didn’t look at Asha until the class was over. Asha pretended not to know Alexei’s attitude until the end.