[I'M BABIE but not baby.]
Neoma reminded herself that despite being a super duper cute five-year-old princess, she was still an adult inside.
[An adult who got crept out by a child's smile? Hah! You're an embarrassment, Neoma de Moonasterio.]
Her thoughts were cut-off when all of a sudden, the pocket watch in her hand rang.
[Gosh, that surprised me.]
She took a deep breath, then she picked up Nero's call by opening the lid of the pocket watch.
"Neoma, what's wrong?" Nero asked with a worried look on his face. "Why did you hang up on me?"
[Oh, he looks normal now.]
"You scared me a while ago, Nero," Neoma said seriously. Her twin brother looked shocked by the sudden change of her mood. Still, she continued. "I understand why you're worried about me. I'm very cute, charming, and loveable. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that I can get any boy that I want. You're worried that Lewis might fall in love with me, right?"
Nero nodded even though he looked confused by everything that she just said. "Yes. I don't want you to be romantically involved with your butler."
"Brother, I'm only five," she reminded him. "Don't be silly."
"But you're too lovely, Neoma."
She smirked haughtily. "I know, Big Brother. But don't worry," she said while waving her hand in dismissal. "I'm not attracted to Lewis, and so he is. We just have a mother-and-son bond."
"A what?" her twin brother asked with furrowed brows.
"Lewis is my son," she declared proudly. "I'm raising him to be a decent human being."
Nero fell silent for a while before he broke into a wide smile. "Ah, I get it now," he said while nodding his head. "Anyway, I need to go since Duke Quinzel is waiting for me. I just wanted to see your face. Have a good night, Neoma."
She smiled and waved at Nero. "Bye-bye, Big Brother."
After that, she closed the lid and plopped on the bed.
[I should do something about Nero's protectiveness], she thought to herself. [It's good for me that he likes me. But I don't want to be choked by his love].
Who was it that made Nero love her to death again?
[Me], she answered her own question. Then, she wrapped herself in the blanket and rolled around the bed while kicking her short legs in the air. [Gosh, this is what I get for being too charming!]
She turned to Lewis with a confused look on her face. "Hmm?"
"Princess," Lewis said, then he pointed at her. "Worm."
Was it because she wrapped herself in the blanket while wriggling on the bed?
"I'm not a worm," Neoma complained lightly. "I'm a burrito."
"NERO, you seem to be in a good mood."
Nero smiled at Duke Quinzel's remark. "I talked to Neoma and my misunderstanding has been cleared."
Right now, they were in the carriage. Since he was already okay, he decided to go home with the duke. He would just come to the temple again if needed.
"What kind of misunderstanding is it?" the duke asked curiously.
"It's about the fox boy," he said. "I was worried that the fox boy might try to seduce my Neoma. But after talking to my precious baby sister, I realized that she doesn't even see the fox boy as a human."
Duke Quinzel's brows furrowed in confusion. "Then, how do Her Royal Highness see Lewis?"
"A pet that she has to raise," Nero said with a proud smile. "From now on, I will treat the fox boy as Neoma's second Soul Beast."
NEOMA was surprised when she was summoned by Emperor Nikolai for tea after dinner.
Since it was already night time, they had tea in the royal tea room. Sir Glenn and Lewis both stood by the door.
Anyway, she wasn't a fool to think that he just wanted to have tea with her. It was okay though. She wanted to talk to him anyway about her having her own stamp. That was why she brought a sketchbook and a pencil with her.
"I heard that you gave the chef of your palace a new recipe," Emperor Nikolai said while elegantly placing his tea cup on the coaster. "He sent a letter to my palace to ask my permission if he can cook the dish for you. Attached to his letter was the recipe that you made."
She wasn't surprised that the palace chef had to ask her father for that kind of permission. After all, she was the "royal prince" and her diet was very important. The food that was being prepared in the royal kitchen was tested first for poison before being served to her.
"I want to eat that, Papa Boss," Neoma said while putting sugar cubes in her tea. She got so used to sweetened tea that she couldn't drink it normally now. "I'll call the dish 'Beef de Moonasterio' instead."
[Sorry, Mr. Wellington who invented beef wellington.]
"Who gave you the right to use the royal family name for that?"
She let out a frustrated sigh. "Fine. Let's just call it 'Beef Nikolai.'"
"Excuse me?" he said, obviously offended. "You know that you can't use my first name carelessly, don't you?"
"Fine," she gave up. "Let's just call it beef wellington."
Thankfully, the emperor didn't complain this time.
"I have a job for you and your foxy boy," Emperor Nikolai said. "I want you to be close to House Thompson and House Alberts using their children."
Ah, so that was the reason why the emperor gave her "too much" gift during her tea party.
"Okay, Papa Boss," she said. "What do we need to do?"
"House Thompson and House Alberts are both known to produce the brightest scholars in the empire," the emperor said. "Although they pledged their loyalty to the royal family, they still have a lot of things that they hide from us. Can you guess what it is?"
"If they are families of scholars, then the thing that they must have been keeping from the royal family is knowledge," she said while nodding her head.
"Oh," Emperor Nikolai said with a faint smirk. "I'm impressed. For a girl, you're quite smart."
"Girls are smart, strong, and awesome. You're just too misogynistic to see our potential," Neoma retorted with a smirk. "Papa Boss, I bet I can run the whole empire better than you do."
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