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Chapter 4: The Capture Targets
In the Royal Family’s office situated at the center of the castle, sunlight poured in through the windows facing the courtyard.
With his back to the window; seated on a comfortable chair and elbows on the mahogany table; sat the Crown Prince Vikram with a pensive look on his face. Beside him was a lovable girl, her long black hair flowing down her back.
Her name was Nasha Laturi. Born and brought up in a village in the outskirts of the Kingdom of Palcemith, Cofone; she was the current holy maiden. Timid parents, two older sisters, a younger twin sister, and a sickly brother made up her family of seven. They were by no means affluent, in fact, they were poor enough to be hard-pressed for dinner on some days. Yet Nasha did not loathe her life in Cofone village and modestly lived her daily life.
One day, knights claiming to be messengers of the royal family appeared in her house and took her away to the capital in what seemed to be almost a kidnapping. She was shocked when the smirking Head Priest Malacia told her that she had been chosen to be the Sacrificial Priestess to be offered to the Dragon.
Even the luxurious room she was given, the luxurious food she was presented, and the position of being waited upon by even the royal family failed to comfort her. Even if she wished for a mere glimpse of her worried family, she could never do so.
Yet she did not give up.
She spoke to the Crown Prince and the Imperial Knights who came periodically to meet her in house arrest. She succeeded in building a relationship of mutual trust with them, and they would take Nasha outside at times.
In her world that had grown just the tiny bit wider, she desperately searched for a way to free herself from her predicament.
She knew lamenting would change nothing. She looked straight ahead, fighting against overwhelming powers and her sorry fate. Her figure touched the hearts of the crown prince and his aides.
Before long, Nasha fell in love with the crown prince; overcame the obstacles brought by the crown prince’s fiancee; the Dragon Priestess Julieta, and at last overturned her fate.
“But still, it’s unexpected…”
The one who broke the silence was a blonde-haired boy with a beautiful face that could be easily mistaken for a girl’s, sitting on the two-person sofa opposite the crown prince’s desk. Wearing an informal robe with a dragon-shaped brooch on his chest; his name was Morino Swettso. Despite having commoner origins, he was a child prodigy who had passed his bachelor’s examination, which was under the direct purview of the royal palace at only six years of age. He was currently the brains behind Crown Prince Vikram.
“Indeed. Even though the plan was to have her running around me.”
Sitting on the sofa beside Morino, was a youth seemingly lost looking up at the frescoes on the ceiling. His name was Lutora Milca Oswein. The most adept at scouting amongst the Royal Knights, he was a young man with short-cropped gray hair and a wise air around him.
“I never thought the Prime Minister would not respond to such provocation…we have to rethink our plans.”
“I was certain that he would be seething in rage and raising hell and then go to make necessary arrangements with the powerful nobles after that, but…”
“I intended to dig up the nobles with deep connections to the Prime Minister, but the results were contrary to our expectations.”
“Sigurd, do you have any idea? Why did the Prime Minister act in such a manner?”
On being called out and asked a question, the masculine-looking young man who was standing behind the Crown Prince, gazing at the courtyard beyond the window, quickly shifted his gaze onto Lutora.
“You think I understand that man’s thoughts?”
“Well…that is true, but-“
“Stop, Lutora. Sigurd must hate it.”
“Hehe, Morino sure is tough…”
Due to the pestering of his close friend, the Crown Prince, he, Sigurd Isys Asbal, became the Crown Prince’s Imperial Knight from the candidate to be the next Knight Commander. Sigurd was the eldest son of Prime Minister Anderheim and the Dragon Priestess Julieta’s older brother. At the back of his head, he carelessly bundled up his beautiful black hair that he had inherited from his mother, Yurikano. His hazel eyes seemed to hold a powerful light, an impression far removed from the gloomy Anderheim. Sigurd, who was turning twenty this year, loathed the prospect of being the successor to his father’s tyrannical rule and left home. After showing his talent in sword at the age of ten, he entered knighthood. Just when he had begun to learn the way of the sword, he met the crown prince. The two built up an unshakeable trust in each other. Even when the Crown Prince made moves to ostracise his father and sister, he was unwavering and promptly decided to ally with the Crown Prince.
Snuggling up beside Sigurd was a girl with a face that greatly resembled Nasha’s. She was Melia Laturi. She was a girl with a strong sense of justice who came to the capital to rescue her missing twin. On her way to the capital, she was attacked by some rouges and taken to their hideout. Just as she was about to lose her chastity, she was rescued by Sigurd and the others. Surprised to see a face the was the same as Nasha’s, Sigurd took Melia to the royal castle and the sisters had a reunion.
And as the two supported the Crown Prince and Nasha’s love from the shadows, Melia’s love for the honest and taciturn man awoke. Sigurd too acknowledged her feelings to cut off his faintly smoldering feelings towards Nasha.
“According to Thomas, Julieta returned to the shrine today with that man. I do not know of their conversation within the shrine, but there is no doubt that he met the Head Priest.”
“There is holy magic cast inside the shrine after all…it can’t be helped.”
“At any rate, it is a matter of great celebration for Nasha to no longer be the Sacrificial Priestess.”
“Yeah. With this, there should be no problems at the engagement banquet five days from now. Once Nasha’s safety is secured, we can look for evidence to drag the Prime Minister down.”
“That is true, but…I don’t want to suffer a disappointment.”
Vikram who had a pensive look all this while, took the hand Nasha had placed on his shoulder in his palms. He then looked at the man opposite Sigurd, standing at the door to the office.
“Knight Commander…Is my worry unwarranted?”
Facing the Crown Prince who had called him by his title on purpose, the handsome man, wearing a fleek outfit, showed a slight smile at the corners of his lips. The man, Jolga Von Oswein, hid a tempered body beneath his military uniform. He was Lutora’s father and the present Commander of the Knights of Palcemith Kingdom. On his waist was the sword that generations of Knight Commanders had inherited, the [Commander of Dragons], Questasis. For the Crown Prince, he was the man to have hammered sword fighting into him, his instructor.
“A king should consider every unforeseen possibility. You Highness’ worries too have a role as a statesman. However, this Jolga and the Knights that protect you will protect you from all perils that you shall encounter. Please go ahead with no fear.”
Hearing the words of the knight who had rescued him from countless emergencies from childhood, Vikram smiled at last. Nasha too was all smiles and slowly approached Vikram to cuddle with him. Morino and Lutora, who sat on the sofa opposite them, revealed a momentary sadness on their faces, but soon returned to normal. The conversation began flowing in the office once again.
“Hng…As expected of Esteemed Father! The weight of your words hits differently!”
“Please emulate the example of the Knight Commander a little more!”
Seeing Lutora playfully hook up his lips in a smile, Morino hit his head with the corner of the thick book he was holding in his hands.
“Ow! You- I’m still a nobleman! My status is different from yours!”
“If that’s so, behave more respectably! Look at Sir Jolga and Sir Sigurd! People like them, who value manners, are the ones who ought to be given respect!”
“I am also my father’s son!?”
Listening to the banter between Lutora; who screamed at being suppressed; and Morino, Vikram smiled as usual. Nasha and Melia glanced at each other and burst out laughing. Meanwhile, Jolga and Sigurd hid their urge to hold their stomachs and laugh under the pretense of frequent coughs.
Jolga and Sigurd’s pretense had a peculiarity.
Despite being completely unrelated, their pretense seemed oddly similar.
It almost seemed as if they were father and son.
Related by blood.
Hasr11: The Corona situation is getting worse in my city. Hopefully, I can get enough chapters in stock before it hits me.
Good news though, the plot picks up in a few chapters! And it’s a pretty tight plot.
This one’s an early release coz the Kofi goal was reached~ I’ll release the regular update tommorow