"Look! My sandcastle!" The tiny girl in front of me said as she tugged at her dress with one hand and pointed at her artwork with the other.
I looked at the sandcastle she made. It could not even be called a sand dune, it's just a lump of sand.
"Do you like it?" she smiled shyly.
"This is not a sandcastle," I told her the truth.
"This is not? You don't like it?" She seemed to look lost and frightened.
Why? Why did words come out this harsh when never meant it? I did not know how to talk to little girls. No matter what I said, I'd upset them in the end. Like my cousin and the girl in front of me, my fiancee.
"The gate... is here." Her voice shook a bit and she looked at me with watery eyes. "The... moot?"
"Moat," I supplemented.
"I'm sorry." She lowered her head in defeat.
"Stupid son! What are you doing? You scare little Liana with your serious face. Smile!" Words formed on the sand in front of me, Mother's power. Mother was angry.
Smile? Would that work? Smile, how did one do so? I tried tipping the corners of my mouth upward.
Liana stared at me, blinking her watery eyes. She looked stunned. Then she continued talking.
"I... I like the sea. Lots of water!" she made a huge circle with her hand. "I like water. Do you like water?"
"No." I did not feel anything special towards water.
Liana was tugging at her dress non-stop. She was going to ruin her dress at this rate. Why did she do that?
"Stop that, your dress is going to be ruined," I reminded her. The blue dress looked good on her, but if she continued tugging it, the lace on the dress was not going to last.
"I am... sorry..." her voice was wobbly. Tears dropped from her eyes. She quickly wiped them away.
Why did it turn out like this? Every single time. What had I done wrong?
She squatted back down and tried to pile more sands on top of her 'sand castle'.
She looked like she was still sobbing. I wanted to comfort her. But how?
I did not know how to interact with her.
I knelt down next to her.
She was building a sandcastle, maybe I could show her one.
"Liana," I called her and she looked up from her work. "Let me build you a sand castle."
"Can you build one with three towers?" she brightened up immediately.
She clapped her hands and said, "I can't wait! Quick!"
I used my power. Father said I should hide it, but Liana probably would think it's only some magic. And little girls seemed to like magic.
Sand started piling up in front of us. A castle with three towers started to form. Bits by bits, layers by layers. Finally I added a seashell at the very top. It's all an illusion.
I glanced at Liana. She was staring at the castle, eyes widened, mouth gaping. She then clapped her hands excitedly.
"Sebastian! You know magic! You're really cool!" she smiled brightly. The happiest I had seen her today.
Under the influence of her smile, I gave her a small smile in return.
"Sebastian, you look beautiful when you smile. Like a fairy prince in the story!"
"I am a prince."
She tilted her head as if she could not connect me with the word prince.
"But princes in storybooks smile."
"Not all princes are like that."
"But... I like your smile. Very much." She made the same gesture as she had when she said she liked the sea.
For some reason, I asked a foolish question without thinking. "As much as the sea?"
"Umm..." she seemed to be in deep thoughts. "I think I like your smile even more than the sea." She gave me a shy smile and ran away before I could say something in return.
I chuckled. What a strange girl. But I did not detest her.
Aren't they cute when they're small???? Hope you like this special chapter, see you tomorrow!
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