"THANK you for the generous offer but I have to turn it down, Your Holiness," Neoma said. Then, she sipped her sweet tea first before she explained. "I mean, what's the catch Why do you need to gain my favor"
"Princess Neoma, I'm just fond of you because you resemble the late Princess Royal," Saint Zavaroni said. "She was close to my heart and since you are her one and only niece, I want to give you a present in her place."
[Miss me with the b*ll**, Saint Macaroni.]
The source of this content is nov/el/b/in[./]net'
Well, at first, she really felt like she could be friends with the saint.
But just now, she felt her warning signs ringing. She wasn't saying that Saint Zavaroni was a threat to her. She just felt like he was hiding something from her and that was a deal breaker.
Plus, Saint Zavaroni told her that she couldn't simply trust anyone.
[I'm just following his advice.]
"If you really feel that way, you would have been by my side since the day I was born," she told him coldly. But still, she said those words with a smile. After all, princesses were supposed to smile all the time, right [Of course not.] "You know how princesses in the royal family are treated. If you really care about me, you would have at least showed your face once. As the saint, I'm sure you have the power to visit me even though our birth is supposed to be a secret. But if you don't have that kind of power, then I pity you." She put down the tea cup on the saucer before she smirked at the saint. "I don't need a powerless saint by my side."
If she was in the modern world, she would have even acted like she was dropping a mic after saying that bad*ss line.
It sounded bad*ss to her, at least.
Saint Zavaroni, after falling silent for a few seconds, smiled before he spoke again. "After losing Her Royal Highness Princess Nichole, I told myself that I wouldn't get too attached to any member of the royal family again."
"Alright," she said, then she sipped her tea again. Now her hunch that the saint needed something from her was practically confirmed. If he decided to stay away from the royal family, there must be a reason as to why he was trying to get her favor now. "So, what made you decide to get close to me this time"
"I saw a prophecy, Your Royal Highness," the saint finally confessed. "Your role in the empire is going to be important in the future."
[Ah, so that's why he wants to "take care" of me now.]
The saint would probably benefit from that prophecy or something.
She would admit that she was kind of disappointed to know that the saint really had a hidden motive for acting friendly with her. But at the same time, a bulb lit up in her head when she realized that she could use that "prophecy" to her advantage.
"Your Holiness, did you tell His Majesty about that prophecy"
He nodded. Judging by the way he looked at her, she could tell that he already knew what she was thinking. "Yes, I did," he confirmed. "I know what you're thinking and you are correct, Your Royal Highness. Because of that prophecy, His Majesty wouldn't try to kill you for now."
"I already told His Majesty that we could use your Mana as a temporary solution to Prince Nero's predicament," the saint said. "As long as the prince's doesn't worsen again, the emperor wouldn't try to sacrifice your life to extend Prince Nero's life."
That meant that when the time comes that Nero would seriously need her life force, then the sc*mbag wouldn't hesitate to sacrifice her despite the prophecy.
Well, at least the prophecy would buy her some time.
"Can't you really not do anything to undo the black magic in Nero's body, Your Holiness" she asked curiously.
"As of now, there's nothing I can do for His Royal Highness except to slow down the harmful effect of the curse," he said. "But I am and won't stop looking for a way to completely heal him."
"Then, I will entrust my brother's life to you, Your Holiness."
He paused, then blinked several times. "Princess Neoma, aren't you going to ask more about the prophecy that I mentioned"
"I don't believe in prophecies," she said with a sweet smile. "Only I will decide what I'm going to do in the future."
"Are you saying that you can change the future on your own, Princess Neoma"
She laughed heartily at the silly question. "I already did, Your Holiness."
His furrowed brows made it obvious that her statement confused him. "What do you mean by that, Your Royal Highness"
"No comment," she said, then she covered her mouth with her hands when she yawned. "I believe that it's already my bed time, Your Holiness. Can we start transferring my excess Mana to Nero now I want to go back to the palace as soon as possible."
After all, she was worried about Lewis.
[I hope the sc*mbag's men didn't hurt my butler.]
"I will prepare the necessary arrangements now, Your Royal Highness," the saint said, then he gave her a curious look. "Princess Neoma, my offer still stands. I know that you hate the reason behind what I offered. But my blessing can help you protect yourself."
"I know that I don't have the luxury to be prideful given my situation," she started carefully. "But still, I don't want to receive a blessing from someone whom I don't fully trust yet. I can get by without enhancing the things that I have right now. Maybe if you offered something more tempting, I would have considered it."
"What can be more tempting than the things I offered, Your Royal Highness"
"If you offered me the blessing of gaining the heavens' favor, I would have gladly accepted it," Neoma said with a smile. "Only something as enormous as the love of the gods could satisfy my greed, Your Holiness."
Saint Zavaroni looked surprised. But after a while, he smiled as if he was satisfied by what she said. "You're definitely a de Moonasterio. Only the royal family members can be as greedy as you are," he said with a hint of amusement in his voice. He also spoke casually to her, but she let that slide. "But I'm glad to know that you won't settle for less, Princess Neoma."
NERO thought he was having a nightmare when he saw Emperor Nikolai's grumpy face as soon as he woke up.
Annoyed, he closed his eyes again.
"Open your eyes before I get angry, Prince Nero," Emperor Nikolai said in a menacing voice. "One insolent child is enough."
Nero opened his eyes to give the emperor a cold look. "Neoma isn't an insolent child, Your Majesty. She's kind, well-mannered, and very lady-like. My sister is a proper royal princess."
"I think the black magic is already causing you brain damage," the emperor, who sat on a chair beside his bed with his arms crossed over his chest, deadpanned. "And perhaps, blindness."
He just let out a deep sigh. "Why are you here, Your Majesty"
"You know why I'm here, Prince Nero," he said coldly. "Why did you want to tie your life force with Princess Neoma If she dies, you'll die as well."
"I thought I already told you that if my sister dies, I'll take my own life as well"
The emperor let out a frustrated sigh. "Now I understand why some people think that the maturity that the royal children possess is a curse."
Nero's teacher also told him before that the royal children could never be treated as normal because their brain develops faster than the average kids their age. That was why their empire had produced the youngest emperors in history without backlash from its citizens. After all, everyone knew that a de Moonasterio heir was a cut above the rest.
According to the books, their early maturity was a present from Yule– the God of Moon. Their history suggested that Yule blessed the royal children with maturity because he knew that a lot of people would always be after the life of a de Moonasterio. In short, it was to ensure that the royal children could protect themselves at such a young age.
"I consider it as a blessing though," Nero said. "After all, thanks to this brain of mine, I can protect Neoma properly."
Frustration was now written all over Emperor Nikolai's face. "Nero," he called him casually but in a firm manner now. "It's not a crown prince's job to protect a mere princess's life. Wake up, will you You're my heir apparent. And one day, you're going to inherit the throne."
"How can a man who can't even protect his twin sister become the emperor" he asked his father bitterly. "Can an emperor who can't even save the life of one person protect the lives of his people"
The emperor who looked stoic for most of the time, looked shocked right now.
Of course, he asked those questions with the intention of attacking his father. Unlike his innocent twin sister, he knew the dark history of their family…
… including the story of Her Royal Highness Princess Nichole.
[Our father's older twin sister.]
"I'm going to grow up as a better brother and a better emperor than you, Your Majesty," Nero declared, then he closed his eyes. "Mark my words."
Of course, the prideful Emperor Nikolai just scoffed. "Let's just see where your arrogance will take you, Prince Nero."
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