When Varian and Isadora returned to Hortus through the space gate, they were exhausted. Hazel fainted long ago and wouldn’t seem to wake up until a week.
Watching her taken on stretchers, Isadora snickered. “She’s just like a chicken.”
“…” Varian didn’t even bother to argue against her analogy. Only fools argued with frustrated people, much less frustrated women.
He returned to the palace, took a warm bath and was greeted by Sarah.
Without a word, he carried his wife to bed and hugged her to sleep.
When he groggily opened his eyes a few hours later, his head was resting on the Queen’s thigh.
While brushing his hair without thinking about it, Sarah was holding a meeting with the ministers of the Empire.
She was using a mouthpiece that directly transmitted her voice to the channel without disturbing him.
The participants in the meeting could only see her cold and serious face.
They would’ve never imagine the Queen of Radiants would be conducting the meeting on her bed, with her husband on her thigh no less.
Varian wanted to tease her a bit and push her to the limits of her self-control. But he chose not to.
‘I will only tease her when it’s us. She needs respect in front of others.’
And feeling her soft hands gently caressing his head, he closed his eyes. ‘I love her so much…’
*** *** ***
“How is she?”
That was the first proper word Isadora said to her sister after five hundred years.
“Older now. But she’s fine.” Sonya replied with a wry smile and lowered her head. “I know nothing justifies what I did but if it means anything, from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry.”
Isadora sighed and raised her hand.
Sonya flinched and leaned back instinctively.
But instead of a tight slap she was expecting, it was a gentle pat on her head.
When she opened her eyes in surprise, Isadora had already removed her hand.
But the warmth was real.
“It’s been so long since I had a proper talk with anyone. It’s hard for me to socialize now.” Isadora shook her head. “I think even Enigma is better than me at it now. Falling that low is an achievement in and of itself.”
“If you still consider me your sister, well, you have two more sisters. Enigma and Sia. Their origins are a bit complicated but…”
Before she knew it, Isadora was talking at length about their behavior, their antics, her frustrations with them and her worries about their future.
“Was I wrong to behave so violently? Yes. Trying to kill their husband is indeed a bit excessive, but they still hold a grudge! Don’t they see I’m their sister! I should be the number one!”
It didn’t matter what the topic was, Sonya was simply happen to listen and be treated normally.
But in a corner of her heart, she felt a tinge of jealousy for these two who won over her sister so much.
“Is he really your husband?” She bit her lip.
“NO! No way! No damn way I’m falling in love with him!” Isadora denied.
But Sonya, who knew about her sister enough, opened her mouth in surprise.
If the same question was asked but with another man, Isadora would’ve just scoffed and gave a disdainful chuckle.
Most likely, she hadn’t fallen in love with that man. But she was seeing him differently comapred to other men.
Even without knowing, she had already given him a special place in her heart.
‘I must be seeing things!’
Then Isadora started talking about Varian.
It wasn’t anything secretive but mainly about his behavior, personality and how he always annoyed her, pissed her off and became a person she couldn’t just walk away from.
The more Sonya listened, the more she affirmed her hypothesis.
Nothing had happened yet, but the foundation was already being laid.
“…And he dares flirt with me. Me! How dare he? It’s so annoying. But I assure you, none of his words are going to come true. It’s all useless fantasies of a teenager. Why would a Princess like me ever fall for a hilbilly like him?”
As the topic closed, Sonya spoke up.
“How do we deal with the kingdom’s response?”
Isadora rubbed her forehead and let out a deep sigh. “It’s all my fault. I started it all with impulsive killing of that stupid bitch.
As much as he’s annoying, Varian was right about this. I started this. So, I want to end it somehow.”
“Two princes dead, the common favorite and orthodox favorite. It won’t be taken lightly.” Sonya bit her lip.
“Yeah. It can be taken lightly only if something bigger happens…” Isadora leaned back and crossed her arms.
“Don’t take any risks, Sister. This place and people can be abandoned in the worst case. But I don’t want to lose you again.”
“I cannot take any great risks,” Isadora showed a helpless smile. “Even if I want to, I will not be allowed. Overprotective, possessive bastard.”
“I’ll think of a plan. But until then, you’ll have to prevent the kingdom from moving, okay?”
“Absolutely!” Sonya almost replied with a military salute. “Leave it to me.”
“I’ll talk to Reina.” Isadora stood up and walked to the door.
Watching her back, Sonya took a breath and shouted. “Sister, I’m sorry for everything.”
Isadora paused, shook her head and stepped out.
*** *** *** ***
Prince Sohan held his younger brother by the shoulders and looked at him with a cathartic smile.
“You suffered a lot…I’m sorry for leaving without telling you anything.”
“It’s okay, it’s okay! I only feared you…” Shak shook his head but the corners of his eyes turned wet.
As they walked into a private park, the brothers sat down and began a small chat.
“I was on a secret mission, alright? It’s a dangerous place and I had to cut off contact with rest of the world. Unexpected things happened and I had to attend a big investigation later. I only got relieved now.” The Prince said with a smug smile.
“Then how do you have that?” Shak pointed out to the bracelet Sohan was wearing.
“I met that guy…” The Prince’s expression was complicated. “What are the odds? He met in an unlikely place, in an unlikely time.”
“You really met him?” Shak’s eyes widened in disbelief. “Weren’t you in a dangerous place? If even you call it dangerous, how can a mere Sovereign powerhouse get there?”
“Sovereign?” Sohan’s expression turned weird. “What are you talking about?”
“Maybe level or maybe Sovereign. I ventured into a Synthetic World that time. It doesn’t allow any celestial to enter. They tried fooling the system by restricting their ranks but it doesn’t work.
Only non-celestials can enter. It was five months ago, I guess?”
“What the fuck?!”
— — — —
A/N: End Of Volume
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