"Then, I'll be taking my leave now, brother," Alexandra said in a gentle tone of voice as she smiled at him sweetly, her face beaming with joy after they had their conversation. Christian smiled at her while waving his hand, "Come visit again, Alexandra," Said by him as he waved. Alexandra smiled widely, "Will do, brother," She answered before she turned around and started walking back. She went towards the stairs and went down, heading towards the door in a straight path.
Upon reaching the door of the library, Alexandra looked at the railings of the second floor where she saw Christian smiling at her, she smiled back and waved. Carlos opened the door for her and she stepped outside. As she continued walking, she recalled the conversation they had earlier which gave her hope to continue her plan.
Carlos smiled gently, "They are like that from the start, they are hostile towards other people but as you get to know them, they will open up to you," He said. That's what father also told me, she thought to herself. Alexandra opened her mouth to speak but it ended up as a whisper, "I hope so." The problem is, how could she talk with Calixander if what she felt towards him was pure hatred and anger from what he called her and from what he did in the past. Maybe, she'll need to be careful when she's with him.
"Just trust yourself that you can do it. I can't help you that much but I can only tell you some information about them," Christian was too kind for her. She even wondered why he was doing this, she stared at him as she remained silent. Christian showed a gentle yet sad smile, it was the first time she saw him smile like that, "Don't worry, I was somehow like that," He blurted out which made Alexandra shocked and confused at the same time. He remained silent and he looked at the knight in the corner of his eyes, indicating her that he's about to discuss something private with her. Knowing that Carlos served under the emperor and might tell him everything they discussed, Alexandra asked Carlos to leave first.
"Carlos," She called out to him first.
"Yes, Miss Alexandra?" He asked with a gentle smile on his face.
"Please leave first, I don't like it when someone listens to our conversation or something like that," Somehow her tone of voice seems like she was ordering her which was the first time she did. Carlos looked at her like he was deep in thought before he nodded and did what he was asked. His light footsteps were heard and when they were sure he was gone, Christian finally spoke.
"After mother died, somehow, our family became distant with one another," Christian started and Alexandra's eyebrows knitted. She stared at him, what does he mean by that? She thought to herself and waited for him to continue. "What I heard from the maids was that after mother died, the palace became gloomy and cold, it wasn't lively nor bright anymore. The emperor became cold just like before and my brothers became distant. Since I was still a child, I didn't notice those, I thought it was just natural," He continued and his expression was gloomy and dark. His warm and gentle eyes were now emotionless and blank. Alexandra felt a pang in her heart, it feels like a sword was stabbed right through her.
"Our family stopped eating dinner together, celebrating New Year nor winter star, we are family but we didn't treat each other like one. The only times that we are together are when it was one of our birthdays and a party is held, when there are buffets, and such events that need our presence," That must have been heartbreaking and lonely for Christian. Alexandra somehow blamed herself because of it but Diana's words rang inside her head:
"But you see, it isn't your fault. What happened wasn't your fault," A gentle and sweet voice whose words rang inside her head multiple times to comfort her.
"Nobody knew that this day would come, it was unexpected but they need to accept it," The same voice said.
Alexandra didn't felt lonely at all when she was at her palace and before she met her father. That's because the maids celebrate her birthday together, they would bake a cake and would play with her all day, they would celebrate New Year and Winter Star together like a family, Harrison would sometimes visit her at night and accompany her before she sleeps, they played at snow, and other things which she enjoyed very much. She was happy and carefree when she's with them especially with Diana who is like a mother to her.
But somehow, she was able to relate to him. Back at her previous life, after her mother died, she was left alone and was sent to one of her relatives who took care of her, her relative enrolled her at a school and taught her many things in life but then died soon after because of a disease. Alexandra was sent to an orphanage after because no one would take care of her, there she battled against kids for survival. She soon escaped the orphanage after and tried to survive on her own by entering part-time jobs and living in a small run-down apartment and when she was about to buy some food, she got hit by a truck and died.
Alexandra clenched her dress and looked at him, a hint of sadness can be seen from her eyes which Christian noticed, "You did nothing wrong," Christian said while smiling at her to assure that she was innocent. He disregarded what they said about her and what might happen to him if he continues to go close with her. But so far, with many people getting close to her, it was sure that she didn't bring bad luck to them since nothing bad has happened. I wonder what the Elders will say if they met Alexandra.
Alexandra just smiled as a response and shook her head, "Maybe. Just continue what you are saying," She said and Christian heaved a sigh before he continued. "My brothers despised you very much because of that but Older Brother Gilbert was very quiet and doesn't give a care, it's hard to tell if he also hated you or not but he wasn't open to others, so maybe if you tried to talk to him, it seems like you are talking with the wind," He said and somehow that made Alexandra chuckle at what he said.
"But when you came," He said and that made Alexandra look at him curiously, what did I do? She asked herself waiting for him to speak once again. "Everything changed, the once cold and quiet palace became lively and bright. Perhaps, I thought that you can make them change," Christian said, his eyes were back to normal again, it held warmth and happiness as he spoke. It seems like he was hoping that Alexandra could do it. "R-Really?" Alexandra said and Christian nodded.
"But I'm not pressuring you or something, I just thought that you can make their heart change and everything will be like it was before, everything will be just like before, it will repeat, everything will go back, and you are the only person who can do it," Christian said and that made Alexandra smile but what he said at the last sentence somehow bothered her or something.
"I can't turn everything back like it was before, I think it will not be a good idea. It seems like we're stuck in the past if we do that. We need to move forward, we need to step forward to the future," Alexandra said and that made Christian's head tilt sideways as he looked at her confused but somehow interested and amazed. "I will create and not repeat, I will take a step forward and not look back," Alexandra said and smiled at him with a determined expression. She was acting like her older self but she doesn't care, she wanted to voice out her thoughts. That's because if I do what he asked, I will just be a replacement, a decoy, or a rebound. They will think of me as a replacement for my mother and will love me as a replacement. She wants to be loved and accepted as a daughter, she wants them to acknowledge her as their sister and daughter, she wants to make them believe that she wasn't a curse nor bad luck, she wants to experience the things she didn't feel at her previous life, she wants to be happy this time.
Diana's words rang inside her head once again:
"Because the young miss is sweet, kind, brave, and gentle just like your mother and someday, your father will love you too just like how your father loved your mother. He will love you not as her replacement but as his one true daughter. And if your mother sees you right now, she must be glad, proud yet sad at the same time." The voice encouraged her to go on, to move forward, and to have hope.
"I'm sure that your siblings will grow to love you too although they might be mean or act cold to you at first, they will gradually open up. Just have hope and remember that I'm always here for you if you have any problems," The voice which helped her take a step forward, the voice which guides her, and the voice which give her light.
Christian was in a daze, he looked amazed at what Alexandra said. He smiled at her and walked towards her. What is he going to do? She asked herself and suddenly, she felt a hand gently caress or pat her head, "You're younger than me but your way of thinking is way above your age," He laughed, his mellifluous laugh resonated inside the place and it sounds very gentle. Alexandra giggled and the atmosphere that surrounds them was a light one, she felt comfort and love. The way they treat each other was like they were already siblings.
Alexandra heaved a sigh and couldn't help but to smile as she recalled their conversation. For the first time, she talked with someone sincerely and whole-heartedly and she was glad that it was with Christian. He treated her like his sister and he already loves her as a sibling. Alexandra felt cherished but she can't let these emotions make her soft, she still has battles to finish.
Another sigh escaped her lips, Carlos noticed her sigh multiple times already. "Is there something troubling you, young miss? If it is about earlier with your siblings, I can talk with the emperor and tell him that they were stressing you out or something like that, I'm sure he will help you or so," Carlos asked, curiosity laced his voice as he spoke. Alexandra shook her head as a response, "I appreciate your concern, Carlos but it is just nothing," Her voice was gentle and sweet as she spoke as if she was showing gratitude through it.
"If you say so," He said and silence surrounded them once again. As they walked, they encountered someone which Alexandra doesn't know but Carlos knows.
Carlos stopped in his tracks and when Alexandra noticed that there was no other sound of footsteps other than hers, she also stopped and looked back at him. Somehow, she was shocked to see the expression on his face as he stared at the man not far away from them. He had a dark expression, his guard was raised, and his eyes were narrowed like he was glaring at the man 10 steps away from them. He had a serious expression on, his gentle smile was wiped away from his lips. That made Alexandra curious and look in front of her also, she saw a man in his mid-20s with a gentle smile on his face but he had the aura of a tiger.
He opened her mouth to speak, "It has been a while, Carlos" He grinned mischievously, his voice was cheerful but Alexandra can feel hatred from it. The way he blurted out his name, it was laced with venom. He spoke it out with hatred and that sent a chill down Alexandra's spine. Great, another bone-chilling encounter, she thought to herself annoyed at everything that happened already.
There are so many character debuts, it's somehow stressing me out trying to create their personalities and such things for the story. I hope you liked this chapter! Thank you for reading!
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