It has been a while since the people saw something different than a thick cloud that spits out snow.
Instead, today, they saw the sunlight hitting the ground, although the light was weak, it caused green luster to appears from the snow. Warm wind also begins to breeze…
The animals that couldn’t get out due to the cold started to come out…
The Natra winter was about to end.
Natra Kingdom princess, Princess Franya Elk Albarest immediately covers her mouth which was about to yawn due to the warm atmosphere.
*Please don’t notice that just now.* As Franya prayed like that, the elderly man standing in front of her had already glared at her with a terrifying gaze. His name was Cladios. He was in charge of her education.
And of course, her pray didn’t come true. For someone who had the experience of teaching many aristocrats child, her little act won’t miss from his observation.
“It seems my class is boring huh?”
“T-That is not the case, Cladios.”
Franya did her best to pretend.
“I properly listen to your lecture. I’m sleepy because of a lack of sleep. What happened recently, you should’ve known about it as well, no?”
In response to his impudent student who tried to rebut him, Cladios speak with childish revenge…
“Then, your highness, you said you understand what I taught you just now?”
While answering, Franya rushed to open up her textbook. Up until here that she realized she had been ignoring too much of Cladios lecture.
“It’s about Nariavine, the native birthplace of King Salema, the founder of the Natra Kingdom, right?”
Cladios glanced at Franya. The way she said it with such vigor was impressive but, Franya herself also gazed at him with confidence.
And when Franya was started to panic waiting for his response– Cladios laughed.
“I see, it seems you’ve listened to my lecture properly. I made a mistake. Please forgive me, your highness Franya.”
“… No, it is fine, Cladios. Everyone makes mistakes…”
Franya smiled while feeling relieved, For her, she had done her best, but looking at her, she looked like a small animal standing in tiptoe and tried to pretend to be tough.
Cladios who saw her growth smiled and non-clamantly turned the page of the textbook on his hands. The page he turns to was the page where the entry about Nariavine was written. Since she said she had heard the lecture was up until there, he decided he should start from there.
“Now then, let us continue the class. … Around 200 years ago, there were two princes, Galea and Salema, in the kingdom of Nariavine in the western part of the continent. The two princes had a very close relationship with each other, and the people had praised them as the Vine’s swords pair.”
One of them, Salema, was the founder of the Natra Kingdom. In other words, he was Franya ancestor.
“However, the two princes were too excellent. As a result of that, it caused a problem. Your Highness Franya, do you know what the problem was?”
There were several answers appeared inside Franya’s mind. After thinking for a while, she responded with the most likely answer.
“The successor, it was hard to decide which one shall succeed?”
Cladios nodded his head.
“That is correct. Since the two of them had equal great achievements, each of their factions grew exponentially until the princes themselves couldn’t control them anymore. It was said that the two princes were deeply worried about their undesired conflict because originally, they had a close relationship with each other.”
“But wait a moment, the princes should’ve had dad, the King, no? Why not let him decide who should succeed and clear the situation?”
“The popular view was that the King himself also could not control the situation anymore… But, according to King Salema, our country’s founder, it said that King Nariavine feared the two princes’ power, and to protect the throne, he had tried to tempt the two princes to fight against each other…”
Those words made Franya confused…
“To protect the throne? From those who sooner or later would inherit the throne?”
“Even though it was an inevitable fate, it was the nature of humans to wants to keep a great power to themselves. The King’s fear caused him to forget the feeling between parent and child, and even the duty as a King.”
Franya then grimaced. For her, the royal family, herself, her brother, and her father, she was convinced that both her father and brother were wonderful people.
She could not accept the fact that the same royal family was fighting among themselves and the father encourage that.
“Whichever the truth may be, the reality was that the factions continue to fights against each other, and it was overheated without any intervention by the King, and before long, the neighboring country was about to aim at that gap. However, even with such news, the factional dispute didn’t end. Salema, who thought that the country would perish if they stay as they were, finally made a final decision.”
“I know, he left the country, right?”
And then, Salema who settled in some area established Natra—. However, in response to Franya answer, Cladios shakes his head.
“No, if he did that, another kind of dispute would begin once again. Even without that, the power struggle between the father and the prince would soon begin, and their country won’t be able to deal with the foreign enemy. Salema thinks it was necessary to unify domestic power as soon as possible.”
“So what did he do?”
Cladios was silent for a few seconds before he continues…
“He told the King, he wants an audience, he had an important matter to talk about. And when Prince Salema come close toward the throne where the King sits– He killed the King with the hidden knife he had…”
Franya opened her eyes wide.
“K-Kill you say? The King? His own father?!”
“That’s right. There was no doubt about this since the news was soon spread across the continent.”
Cladios then continued while glancing at Franya who looked astonished.
“Salema was caught right away. The history said that he didn’t even resist. Naturally, killing the King was a great betrayal, thus his factions soon collapsed. After the King had died, domestic powers immediately gather under Galea. And Galea was able to unify the confused aristocrats, and succeeded in obstructing the foreign invasion.”
“No way… To protect the country… Killing his own father…”
She tried to imagine it. Whether or not she could do it herself.
The father she loves and respect come to her mind. And she imagines that she swung a knife toward that figure.
… She can’t… She can’t imagine it… Impossible.
But at the same time, Franya realized. She had the blood of the person who had done the impossible inside her.
“Your Highness, are you alright?”
“… Yes, I am fine. Continue, Cladios.”
Cladios was worried for a bit but he decided to continue after seeing Franya serious gaze.
“After the war against the foreign power, Galea was crowned as the King, and he immediately issued an amnesty for Salema who was being sentenced to death, and deported Salema out of the country. And then, Salema wandered to this land where there was nothing at the time, together with those from Nariavine who stay loyal to him, eventually founded the Kingdom of Natra.”
“… Did Galea Know the reason for Salema’s action?”
“According to the memorandum, they had discussed it beforehand. There was also the fact that Nariavine secretly supported Natra when it was first created. There was no doubt that the two of them worked together.”
*I see.* Franya sighed…
“Somehow I feel a complicated feeling…”
“I believe that action was something that Salema himself didn’t want to do. But the royal family sometimes requires to make a harsh decision.”
“But, I don’t think I could do that…”
“If that is the case then, your highness Franya, what are you going to do if you are in such a situation?”
When she was finally asked, Franya couldn’t answer immediately.
Factions that couldn’t be controlled. Obstruction from their own father. Imminent foreign enemy. Was there anything she could do in such a situation?
Yes, there was… Only one. The most clever answer…
“– I will consult with my Onii-sama!”
When she declared that vigorously, even Cladios couldn’t help but open his eyes wide.
And after a few seconds, he laughed out loud.
“I see, I have to admit, that is indeed a wise decision. If it is his highness Wayne then, he should be able to come up with the best solution.”
“Of course. He was my brother after all.”
Franya throws out her chest as if she was boasting her own achievement.
At that time, she could hear noise coming from outside the window.
*Ah…*, Franya immediately runs toward the window to see outside. Then when she saw the group of people in front of the royal palace…
She immediately turns around and saw her teacher nodded his head.
“I understand. Let us end the lecture faster than usual…”
As soon as he said that, Franya jumped out of the room.
She pinches the bottom of her skirt and goes down the corridor with cute steps. Some officials and the palace maid who saw her like that couldn’t help but open their eyes wide. However, Franya didn’t care about their gaze.
She knew that they would return today. That was why she couldn’t sleep well last night. She finally arrived at the entrance hall while feeling her throbbing heartbeat. The group that was in front of the royal palace before was already there.
Franya noticed one of them…
The one who turned around after being called was a girl with white hair and red eyes. Her name was Ninim Raleigh. A vassal who serves the Natra royal family, in Franya eyes, Ninim Raleigh was like her elder sister.
“Oh my, your highness Franya. I’m very happy to be welcomed by your highness personally.”
Franya smiled at Ninim who immediately kneeled on the spot.
“It is fine, Ninim. I’m glad you’ve come back safely. More than that—….”
“I know. Over there, your highness.”
When Franya turned her gaze toward the place where Ninim pointed. She saw a young man talking with some people…
He who looked a little bit older than Franya was someone she respected and trust the most.
He was the Prince of Natra Kingdom, Wayne Salema Albarest.
As soon as she recognizes Wayne’s figure, Franya jumped at him without hesitation.
In response, Wayne then caught her in midair and makes a round of rotation on the spots before putting her down. After that, he smiled at Franya and speak…
“I’m home, Franya.”
“Welcome Home. I’m glad you’re alright, Onii-sama!”
Franya squinted comfortably as her brother strokes her head.