[NEOMA, four years old]
WHEN Neoma was sure that the maid assigned to babysit her already left the room, she got up and stretched her arms.
[It's time to practice.]
Thanks to her little legs, it took her a while before she successfully and carefully got down the king-size bed that she shared with Nero.
[Speaking of my twin brother…]
Nero was in the study now with his teacher that was in charge of basic learning (read and write). Her poor brother's schedule for today was tight because of other his classes like math, history, etiquette and swordsmanship.
Yes, at four, Nero already had to learn how to hold a sword.
Lucky for her, she only had two classes: basic learning and etiquette.
After her lessons, her nanny called Marie would force her to sleep so she could secretly meet with her lover (a kitchen staff in the palace).
[Marie will return before dinner so I have a few hours to myself.]
Neoma sat in a lotus position on the carpeted floor in front of the floor-to-ceiling glass window. She was facing the huge but dull garden that was poorly kept by the gardener. But thanks to that, she was confident that no one would see her meditating.
She closed her eyes while her hands were clasped together as if she was praying.
The source of this content is no/vel//bi/n[./]net'
Female de Moonasterios were born weaker than the males. But still, they were still stronger than average people with Mana. Because according to the legend, the royal family was descendants of Yule– the God of Moon that their empire worshiped.
Since they had Yule's blood, they were physically stronger than average humans. Plus, once a de Moonasterio reached twenty-five years old, they would start to age really, really slow. Aside from that, they were also blessed with physical strength and immunity from common spells.
[Well, that's the case for de Moonasterio men.]
Neoma remembered that from her childhood as a princess, she was told by her teachers to suppress her strength and Mana. Because according to them, a girl didn't need to be strong or powerful. That her main purpose was only to be a "good wife and mother."
But since she was a naïve little princess then, she believed them.
And as a horrible result, she didn't have the chance to utilize her power as a de Moonasterio.
[If I knew I would be betrayed, I would have made myself stronger and killed every b*tch that hurt me in the past.]
Oh, she had that chance now.
Neoma opened her eyes when she heard a knock on the door at the same time she heard Nero call her. "Come in, Brother," she said in her cutesy voice. "Neoma is awake."
The giant doors opened.
She stood up when she saw Nero enter the room. He asked the maids to wait outside the room. When they were finally alone in the chamber, she ran towards him.
"Neoma, don't run," Nero lightly scolded her while walking towards her. "You might trip."
As soon as he said that, Neoma tripped on purpose.
She wasn't hurt but she sniffed and pretended to cry anyway.
[Behold my acting skills, my dearest brother!]
"Are you hurt" Nero asked when he got down on one knee to check on her. "Let me see your knees."
She nodded then she sat down and stretched her legs. Fortunately, she was wearing high socks so her knees weren't scraped. "Neoma isn't hurt, Brother," she assured him. "Don't worry about Neoma."
"Why did you run" he scolded her again. "I told you not to, didn't I"
"Neoma just wants to be with Brother the fastest," she said in a sad voice while looking up at him with tears. "Neoma missed you, Brother."
He smiled shyly. "Do you like me that much"
She almost rolled her eyes at that.
Also, she remembered that she and her brother could talk normally to each other. But in reality, in adults' ears, they were speaking like how babies their age would talk.
"Yes, Brother," she said in an annoying pitchy voice. "Neoma likes Brother the most in the whole world!"
He looked pleased with that.
"Brother, can you tell Neoma stories" she pleaded while giving him puppy dog eyes again. "Neoma wants to hear what Brother learns." She acted like she was making a huge circle in the air. "Neoma wants to know how Brother makes sparkles this big."
She was talking about his Mana.
Her twin brother once showed her a silver hole that he made from his Mana. She wanted to learn how to manifest her Mana as well so she was sucking up to him.
[That's my life for the past year.]
"You're too young to understand but since you're begging me, then I'll tell you," Nero said with a proud look on his face. "I'll tell you the basics."
"Yehey!" Neoma said in an exaggerated happy voice. Then, she hugged her twin brother tight. "Thank you, Brother!"
[GOSH, Nero sucks at teaching stuff.]
Neoma couldn't concentrate while meditating because she couldn't understand what Nero said to her the other day.
This was how her twin brother explained how he managed to create a manifestation for his Mana: ["Just imagine that you're standing in front of a full moon. Then, slowly wrap your arms around it. Once you feel the warmth throughout your body, that's it. When you open your eyes, you'll see your Mana manifest in a silver hole."]
She didn't get it but she'd give it a try. That was why she was sitting on her favorite spot in her room in her usual lotus position.
[Let's imagine a full moon.]
Surprisingly, she was able to imagine it easily. She saw herself floating in an endless dark sky. In front of her, she saw a full moon as small as a tennis ball.
[Is it supposed to be this small]
She wrapped her tiny arms around the small moon. When it touched her chest, she felt a different kind of warmth that flowed throughout her body. A few heartbeats later, she suddenly felt like her whole body was on fire.
She opened her eyes and when she did, she thought the room was spinning.
Then, she fell on the floor while catching her breath. She still felt like she was being burned alive. Worse, her throat was too dry to scream for help.
[What's happening to me]
She closed her eyes tight and tried another way to ask for help. And at that moment, only one person came into her mind.
[Brother, help me…]
She was hoping that Nero could hear because they were twins. In their past life, they didn't have a strong bond and a link in their minds. But her twin brother seemed to like her enough in this lifetime.
Maybe this time, their minds would be somehow connected.
She was relieved when she heard Nero's voice.
When she opened her eyes, she smiled weakly when she saw him running towards her with a worried look on his face.
That was the face of a big brother who was worried for his little sister.
[Ah, he already fell for my charm.]
"Neoma," Nero called her again when he kneeled beside her. Then, he gently lifted her head and put it on his lap. "You have a fever. Where's your nanny Why are you alone here"
Neoma just smiled and touched his chubby cheek with her tiny hand. "Neoma only needs Brother."
"I know that," he said. "But a little girl like you shouldn't be alone like this."
["Little girl" Pfft! We're the same age, Nero.]
"How long have the servants been treating you this way" Nero asked in a cold voice, his face suddenly turned serious. For a four-year-old boy, he seriously looked intimidating. "Come to think of it, you were also alone when I went to visit you the other day. Don't tell me your maids leave you to fend for yourself when I'm not looking"
[Yes, Brother. They're treating me like I'm invisible when you're not around."
But she didn't voice that out. Honestly, Nero's angry face was scaring her at the moment. And she was too exhausted to speak.
"They must have lost their mind," Nero said, still angry. Then, he looked up at the servants in front of her. There were three maids and three knights in the room. "You," he said rudely to the servants.
She blinked in surprise at her twin brother's sudden change of attitude.
[Just last year, he was a shy crybaby. What happened in the past year]
Did he mature fast because she was depending on him too much
[Gosh, did I create a monster!]
"Find Neoma's nanny and bring her to me," Nero said with a murderous look on his little face. "If she doesn't kneel and beg for my sister's forgiveness, chop her limbs off one by one."
"Brother!" she exclaimed in a panicky voice. She was so shocked by his words that she was able to use her voice even though her throat hurt like hell. "You're saying something scary."
She wasn't the only one who felt that way.
Just before she looked up at her twin brother, she saw the servants shiver in fear. It was scary how a four-year-old boy was able to make adults feel that way. And it wasn't just because of her brother's words.
The room was actually heavy because of the silver aura hanging above…
… and it was oozing from Nero's tiny body.
In her past life, her brother didn't have this kind of power yet when they were kids.
[What have I done]
"Don't worry, Neoma," Nero told her with a smile. But the glint of evilness in his eyes made the smile look creepy. "I'll protect you, remember"
It was official: Neoma's plan backfired on her this early.
[I have to fix this ASAP!]
Yeah, but how!
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