"I see that you've been doing well, Diana Marionette Florangel." He wore no expression on his face, his gaze still pierced like a sword.
"Blessings for the Queenilia Empire," Diana said in unison while she bowed before the man who was sitting on his usual golden throne composed of shining and twinkling gems and jewels of many kinds. Alexander also wished to see the maid who decided to take care of Alexandra up until now, his reasons? Unknown. Was it to see how she's doing? Catching up? No, the emperor wouldn't do that.
"I have been neglecting Alexandra because of the reasons that you already know. But she still has grown into such a healthy and cheerful kid, the credits belong to you." He simply said and stared at them with a cold expression. Alexandra flinched at his words. Yeah but you still threatened me. Diana clutched the side of her dress, Alexandra told her that her father threatened her when they first met with a test. She was still a child and she was his only daughter, even though it was unusual how she was born in an all-male bloodline, he should still love her. But Diana couldn't blame anyone, nobody knew that this would happen and this was very unusual, that's why they thought of Alexandra as bad luck. But look at them, Alexandra met her father 3 times already but still, nothing bad happened to her except for their 1st meeting.
"It's a pleasure, your highness," Diana answered still bowing her head while Alexandra stared at the man. Alexandra just stood still and stared at Alexander's eyes which was beautiful yet cold, his gaze was like a sword. "Alexandra caught my interest and as of today, I will also be looking at her well-being. There will be no need to worry, I will not hurt her or do anything that will harm her just like what we compromised." Diana flinched at his words, especially at the end. She still remembered herself begging and kneeling in front of the emperor to not kill the child and just follow what the Elders said, to place her somewhere far but not that far away from them. A distance where they could easily reach her. She still remembered everything, how the emperor looked at her coldly and how he threatened her.
Alexandra knitted her eyebrows. What? Diana and Father compromised about not hurting me? Alexandra thought to herself as she clenched her fists, her nails digging in her palms. Alexandra started to call him Father because of yesterday and what she planned. It looked like he was fine with it, maybe. The emperor looked at her, the coldness of his expression and his sharp gaze all softened and became warm for a moment before he looked back at Diana. What was that? Alexandra asked herself what just recently happened repeated inside her mind just like a one-second song in repeat.
"I-I'm glad, your highness." Diana stuttered out and raised her head, a brave yet worried expression on her face as she stared at the emperor. So far, these two added to the lists of bravest girls he met. "Alexandra will still remain at the current palace." He said and Diana nodded, "Yes, your highness," Diana said.
Alexandra remained silent for the whole time. Is he treating her like a daughter starting from now? Or he just accepts her as someone who has the Everly blood running through them? Is she not a curse in his eyes? Those questions remained unanswered inside Alexandra's mind. This was too much to process for this week, her life became more complicated when she met the emperor. She was having mixed feelings, she was happy yet worried but at the same time annoyed or angry. She can't describe what she's feeling, what she only knows is that starting from the day she first met the emperor, she knew her days will not be the same anymore.
After they went out of the throne room to go back to the palace with the knight who will guide them even though he is not needed because Diana already knows the way, "You'll be okay, your father will not harm you. I assure you." Diana said while she hugged Alexandra tightly not wanting to let go. Alexandra hugged Diana back, her mind wandering off to somewhere.
The emperor wishes to see them later afternoon, after lunch.
"You looked thinner than before, you look like a stick," Alexander stated as he stared at Alexandra who was staring up at him with a smile on her face. She looked like an idiot, an aggressively brave yet friendly idiot. If he was Harrison, she would punch, hit or slap him because of insulting her appearance and comparing it with a stick but she was in front of the emperor, her father. Alexandra doesn't know what to respond and just smiled at him widely, her smile beaming with joy.
Lysander and Diana who was standing a few feet away from them watch the scene unfold. Diana held a worried expression while Lysander was calm and cool as always. "Papa is like a flower!" A withered flower, she wanted to add. While she was glad that she meets her father, she also felt hatred because of what he did.
Diana gasped at Alexandra's answer and almost choked. The emperor looked at her but she quickly returned to her calm expression while standing still. Alexandra was very brave, comparing this iceman to a flower was something unexpected but Alexandra doesn't know what to respond. This man hates her being quiet.
This man is more complicated than she thought, she was getting crazy on what to answer him. Complimenting him, being friendly around him, and maybe being an idiot could do, she thought to herself still smiling as he stared at her.
After a few seconds of staring, he called out to the knight beside Diana, "Lysander,"
"Yes, your highness?" He responded calmly. "I'll be having tea with her, tell the maids to bring the food," Alexander told Lysander. Lysander bowed and turned around heading back inside the palace to inform the maids about the emperor's order. Diana stood still and watched them, Alexander turned his back against them and before he started walking, he spoke: "Let's go"
Alexandra started to walk, following him behind like a dog with a cheerful aura. They started to head towards the courtyard where they ate 2 times and Alexander tested her and asked her another question days after he tested her. Alexandra climbed up the chair and adjusted herself to be more comfortable while Alexander simply sat on his seat staring at her blankly. One week and 2 days until Harrison returns, Alexandra thought in her mind. Wait, if this man is going to look after me also and somewhat take care of me, will I also celebrate the winter star with them? She asked herself. Alexandra was so focused on her father that she forgot that she also has brothers. What would they think of her? Will they act like Alexander, being cold and threatening her? Will they be kind?
Christian, who was half the reason why this started, he was the one who brought Alexandra here in this palace causing her to meet her father, was one of her brothers. Because of his silver hair and gem blue eyes which their bloodline is known for. He was kind and gentle but whenever Alexandra visited the palace, there were no signs of him, maybe he's inside his room or did Alexander grounded him? Alexandra stared at her father, a smile plastered on her face. He just propped his head up using the palm of his hand while he stared at somewhere, maybe a tree.
Silence surrounded them once again. Alexandra doesn't know how to start a conversation, so she just kept quiet while waiting for the food to arrive. After a few minutes of silence and waiting, the food finally arrived, a different maid delivered them while Lysander walked towards the side of Diana and stood still while he looked at the two who were sitting at the table silently. Alexander must have thought that it was getting boring and silent that's why he spoke, "Who taught you?" He asked not making it clear what he was referring to.
Alexandra stared confused, "Taught?" She asked calmly. "Manners, writing, speaking, and other things," He said coldly. "The maids at the palace but they stopped because they already taught me everything I need to know," Alexandra smiled sweetly as she spoke in a sweet voice. Her smile triggered a memory inside Alexander's mind, his cold expression became calm and his piercing gaze became warm, it's like what he did earlier. There it is again, she thought to herself when she noticed the change of expression by her father.
"Papa..?" She called out gently and his expression became cold once again. I shouldn't have called him, I hate his cold expression, she thought to herself and took a bite from the cupcake she was holding, "What?" His voice was cold, it sent a shiver down Alexandra's spine. She swallowed the cupcake in her mouth, "N-Nothing," She simply responded and continued eating.
"Starting from now, you will have your own personal tutor," Alexandra almost choked at the food she was eating when she heard him spoke. Is this for real? Is he really going to give me a personal tutor? Alexandra stared at her father wide-eyed, shocked at what he said. He just stared back at her coldly and Alexandra's features soften and she smiled, "Thank you, that would be wonderful, papa!" She said, her face beaming with joy. Was that the reason why he asked me that question? She asked herself still smiling while eating the slice of cake in front of her.
And just like that, their tea party ended peacefully and Alexandra was able to go home fine.
"Young miss," Diana called out to Alexandra and sat beside her, she tilted her head to look at her and showed a faint smile. She looked happy yet worried at the same time. Alexander, Alexandra's father, suddenly appeared in her life and started to look after her when in the past, the moment, Alexandra was born, he despised her so much that he wants to kill her. Diana closed her eyes and heaved a sigh.
"Yes?" Alexandra responded while wondering why Diana looked worried. "I'm happy for you," Diana answered making Alexandra confused. I'm happy that your father starts to acknowledge your presence and will look after you but I'm also worried about what he might do to you, Diana wanted to say but she held it back. "Be brave, everything will be okay," Diana added while she caressed Alexandra's cheek gently and lovingly. Alexandra nodded as an answer although she doesn't know what she's worried about.
Diana started to sing Alexandra a lullaby,
you'll be fine,
the journey might be tough,
but you'll be fine,
an angel will guide you,
till the end,
till your death,
everything will be fine."
It feels like Diana's lullaby was dedicated to her and made for her only. Her voice, as usual, was like silk, it was smooth, her voice was gentle like the sea breeze and it was calming. Her voice conquered the whole room, the beautiful voice was the sound only heard. Alexandra's eyes slowly started to close and she was slowly being pulled into the paradise of dreams.
Exams are coming! I will update 1 chapter per day if I can, sorry. Hope you liked this chapter! Thank you for reading!
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