Chapter 8 – I tried buttering up to the villain
This cumbersome grandpa asked me again with a suspicious smile.
“Who am I?”
I was trembling for fear that he might have noticed what I was saying, but then I realized this.
‘What if he knows? Would it make any difference?’
There are only a few words that I could say anyway. I answered casually.
“You have a nice voice.”
‘Really? I think it’s an ordinary baby’s voice though. He said in a firm tone as I blinked.
“But my rank is lower than you, princess, so you shouldn’t call me grandpa. You should call me Lord Raphael instead.”
Why does everyone cared about their rank here?
‘And I didn’t even call him grandpa!’
“Babui! Babui! Babui!”
As I said,I tried to call him Lord Raphael, but the only thing that came out of my mouth was a meaningless babble. After biting my lips a few times, I lowered my head and became discouraged. Pupu appeared and laughed softly above my head.
[It must be frustrating to have a short tongue! So, let’s grow up quickly!]
Who wants to be a one year old like this? Lord Raphael’s wrinkled face lit up as he saw the ray of light on my head.
“It looks like your familiar is here.”
[Pupu likes this person!]
‘You like them when they have a high rank, this easy cat!’
I glanced at Pupu, who was running around excitedly without understanding the situation.
Lord Raphael, who was looking at the lights, turned to Lucinda who was holding me.
“Ah, this must be your aunt.”
General Raphael came from the most prestigious family in the empire. Lucinda knew she had to be careful of him and answered while lowering her eyes.
“Yes, please speak comfortably.”
“I heard that you raised the baby by yourself, so it is fair that I respect you. If it weren’t for you, she wouldn’t have been able to come back healthy.”
“Ariel is my family. Of course I have to protect her.”
“You’re also humble.”
I don’t why, but Lucinda’s answer seemed to make him very happy. General Raphael had a softer expression on his face. His large palm touched my hand.
“From today onwards, the princess has been officially appointed as the only princess in this country. The celebration is set next month, but all the rights and obligations as a princess will be implemented from today.”
His pleasant voice said the good news, but all my nerves were focused on his large hand that could crush my head. Then, his hands returned to their positions. I held the heavy ring he gave to me in the palm of my hand. General Raphael asked with a curious expression, as if testing me.
“Do you know what this ring is?”
‘My father’s memento.’
I carefully fiddled with the large ring. It was the ring that I sent to the Imperial Palace by Pupu.
I raised my head to meet General Raphael’s eyes.
It’s my father’s, grandpa.
Even though it was a simple word, General Raphael seemed to understand.
“You are a special person.”
At this point, I wondered if General Raphael, who had the ability to decipher my babble, was more special. He bowed in front of me. It was quite a symbolic act.
“From this moment on, you could speak comfortably to me. Because there is no one in this empire higher than the princess, except for one and only His Majesty, the Emperor.”
This ring on my finger is a proof that I am the princess of the Empire.
Before I could understand what he meant, he grabbed my hand with his big hand and snatched the ring.
General Raphael, who was approaching me, asked in a low voice,
“So, Princess. This little hand now holds great power. What would the princess want to do with it ?”
Isn’t that a bit cynical for what a powerful person to say? I blinked my eyes. Actually, there wasn’t need to worry. Because there’s always been one thing that I want.
He guessed my words, which had been difficult to predict. I swallowed my saliva.
‘What do you want, old grandpa?’
If I continued dragging myself along while this grandpa was guiding me, I thought I would have a serious accident. So what can a one year old baby do!
‘Ah, I don’t know!’
I jumped like a frog with a loud noise and hung around General Raphael’s neck.
After the babble, Amelia hung around General Raphael’s neck. General Raphael’s body hardened like a rock for the first time today.
‘What is that?’
General Raphael was born in a prestigious family and served the country as a general all his life.
‘Have he ever had such close contact with his children?’
Not only children, let alone his three grandchildren, had never hugged him. Duke Raphael glanced at my curly, gleaming golden hair.
‘This baby is no ordinary baby.’
Lord Raphael was a living witness to the history of the Empire, watching both the childhood of Emperor Lloyd and Tessa’s. A familiar is influenced by their master. Therefore, many accidents occur when the master is young.
But what about Amelia’s familiar?
‘They said she used her familiar to announce her existence. There was even times when the familiar would convey her words.’
To be able to use a familiar like that meant that their master was able to make reasonable judgement.
‘Is that possible for a
one year old baby ?’
But at the same time, this baby was more like a baby than anyone else, seeing how she fearlessly hugged the man that everyone was afraid of.
‘What kind of a baby is she?’
General Raphael’s gaze slightly lowered. The sweet scent of milk wafted from Amelia. Awkwardly supporting Amelia’s back, General Raphael smiled.
“Hoho, this is totally different from what I imagined.”
“I’m sorry. But Ariel is usually a calm child.”
Lucinda apologized and took Amelia back into her arms. He felt a little empty, maybe because her warm body temperature had gone away. Lucinda said with an awkward smile.
“I think General Raphael is good.”
No one, even a child, likes him. It was a word he had never heard in his life. Amelia clapped her hand loudly, as if she agreed to it.
“Babuu, baba! Babui!”
“I enjoyed today. I want to see you more often.”
Did he really mean that? Amelia’s expression looked grim, so he probably did not mean that. But it was just Lucinda’s interpretation.
He was excited for nothing, General Raphael shut his mouth and looked at the baby hanging on her aunt.
‘Am I too old?’
He suddenly became soft-hearted after seeing that baby.
‘Anyway, it’s worth keeping an eye on her. If possible, it would be better if she is on my side.
It was worthwhile to make unreasonable demands, even against Tessa’s intentions. General Raphael trusted his insight. He reached out and pointed to the young man who was following him. That was the reason he came all the way here. The first is to examine what kind of person Princess Amelia is.
“Now, you become the second most important person in this country, you should pay attention to your own safety.”
The second was to make sure he kept a hold on Amelia. He wanted to appoint the people around her by himself. So, the first person to be appointed was the captain.
“This is my first son, Alexander. He is serving as a guard.”
At his introduction, a man with blue hair, who was as tall as him, stepped out and bowed his head.
“From now on, I will be in charge of escorting Princess Amelia. I look forward to your cooperation, Princess.”
Unlike General Raphael, Alexander was a man with friendly eyes and was not intimidating. But Amelia and Lucinda were still wary at the appearance of a stranger. General Raphael reached out again and grabbed Amelia’s small hand.
“I hope this relationship lasts for a long time and I hope to see you more often.”
The old man kissed Amelia’s back of the hand. General Raphael stared at Amelia and said,
“I wish you all the best, Amelia.”
Amelia shuddered as if she was disgusted.
* * *
After Genetal Raphael had left I felt relieved, as I lay my back on the bed and groaned.
‘I don’t know if I did well.’
First of all, I think it was a good thing that the grandpa went back with a big smile.
‘No, but how can I butter up the villain? If my memory is correct, I think there’s often a confrontation between that grandpa and uncle Tessa.’
General Raphael also harassed Lucinda at the beginning of Spring Came to the Dry Land. In the second half, he even scoffs at Uncle Tessa who falls for Lucinda.
Thinking of General Raphael, Suddenly I felt strange.
‘Now that I think about it, something is a bit strange.’
Why did he act like that? Did he want me to take his side?
I closed my eyes and exhaled briefly. There was no way I could get an answer by thinking about it. Because I don’t know much about him.
‘It’s not a bad situation anyway.’
General Raphael heard me and laughed. He asked us to see each other more often in the future.
‘He also put his eldest son as my escort.’
I glanced at the man standing in front of my door. He was a big man with short blue hair and blue eyes.
‘He is the youngest member of the royal knights in the story.’
Hence, he was an important figure.
“What is it, princess?”
Is it because I’m staring at him? Alexander gave me a warm smile.
‘I can’t believe he’s the General’s son.’
He had a big body, however, I could tell that he was a good person in 10 minutes after we talked.
“Are you bored? Should I tell you something interesting?”
‘Oh my, how can a one year old understand you?’
I narrowed my eyes and looked at Alexander as he approached and hugged me. Contrary to my expectations, he held me as if he was used to it.
‘Did he have children?’
He looked so young. At best, he seemed to be a couple of years older than Lucinda.
‘Maybe because it’s a custom for a noble to get married early.’
Not knowing what I was thinking, Alexander said at ease.
“Once upon a time, there was a terrifying monster, and a brave knight….”
‘Is he really going to tell this terrifying story to a baby?!’
I didn’t want to hear the story at all, so I struggled in his arms to find my aunt.
“Ah, I think you want to meet your aunt. Come to think of it, your aunt is late.”
I listened to him gently as I sucked my thumb.
‘Did anyone disturb her again?’
Thanks to General Raphael’s respect for Lucinda, those who openly disregard Lucinda have disappeared.
‘But still, I can’t be at ease.’
As I recalled the back stories about Lucinda, I automatically became depressed.
‘I want to shut all those mouths.’
I wanted to give Lucinda money and a position that no one could ignore. There is only one person in this country who can do that. Emperor Tessa Illuminas.
‘I have to meet my uncle too!’
“Are you talking about His Majesty?”
Now everyone around me understands that when I say “mama” I meant my aunt, and when I say “papa” I meant my uncle. In fact, I didn’t expect to be able to meet Tessa right away just because I wanted to.
‘He’s the emperor, and it’s hard to have an audience, isn’t it?
But the answer was unexpected. Alexander smiled brightly.
“Let’s see him. It is time for His Majesty to be in the nearby garden.”