176.1 The Abduction of Princess Natalie
As a princess, she had neither great power nor beauty.
While she was of a noble lineage, there were many who were above her. She was of the lower echelon. At best, she could only behave in a way that wouldn’t bring shame to her title and pedigree. She was obedient to the extent that she wouldn’t create any inconveniences.
Of course, she was aware of her shortcoming. Once in a while, she’d act stubborn, even if it was to no avail. That was because she couldn’t do much.
Sometimes, she felt as if she were wandering aimlessly through a maze.
Otherwise—where, why, and what should I do?
What could I have done?
I wish I had a passion, a wish, or a dream that I couldn’t give up on.
Natalie Theos Rave lived with such thoughts.
“Your engagement has been decided.”
At the words of her uncle, Natalie’s future was set.
In the capital of Rave Empire, Raelm, at the imperial castle, that was the first line her uncle had spoken upon her summon to the emperor’s office. As they were wary of attacks, all the windows of the large office were covered with curtains. The room itself was dim.
To Natalie, who was rendered speechless, her uncle asked.
“Why are you dissatisfied? Or is there someone else in your mind?”
“N-no, that is not the case.”
She understood that it wasn’t just a conversation between an uncle and his niece. Therefore, she answered with honorifics.
Natalie was a princess. Therefore, having her engagement suddenly be decided wasn’t strange. She knew the day would arrive someday. If she had any use, then it was probably to become a tool in a political marriage.
Still, the timing surprised her.
“I’m surprised by the timing. That is all.”
“This is the best timing. We have to solidify the foundation of the Rave Empire.”
To the befuddled Natalie, her uncle spoke.
The Rave Empire was presently undergoing a civil war. Although, to her uncle, it might be considered a revolution. Her uncle, Georg, had named himself the new emperor. He was rebelling against her half-brother, Hadith.
Natalie had only heard of the story after she was tossed into the back palace. She was unaware of her dangerous situation. Albeit worried about the possibility of a major battle unfolding, she heard that Hadith had disappeared. The imperial army, which her uncle had taken control of, was searching for him. However, they couldn’t find any traces of him.
Upon investigating whether or not Hadith was hidden somewhere, it was discovered that the he didn’t have any backing. He didn’t appear to be relying on anyone, nor did he even show any signs of raising troops.
As it was, Georg might be crowned as emperor.
As the peaceful days passed, such rumors began to spread.
Natalie’s life soon resumed its normal course.
Her engagement might be her uncle solidifying his foundation.
Natalie, having gone to watch the dragons, felt that something was amiss.
The dragons are behaving somewhat strange…
The change was subtle. Nevertheless, she could feel it on her skin. The eyes of the dragons were different. Natalie, who had been observing the dragon her whole life, felt that she was being observed.
They were being tested by the dragons.
It wasn’t logical. However, humans with long involvement with the dragons might feel the same. If it’d only affect the imperial castle, then it was alright. But what if it were to affect the entire Rave Empire?
Her uncle was inciting the wrath of the dragons. The dragons wanted them to admit that Hadith was the Dragon Emperor while his uncle as the false one. But no one could openly admit that—not even Natalie.
While her uncle was the obvious winner, she felt as if her half-brother, who had fled, was mocking and ridiculing them from behind.
“I’m sorry, but the engagement has already been decided. That’s why, we can’t take too much time. You have to prepare yourself. The departure is tomorrow.”
Georg returned to the main topic. Natalie had no choice but to nod.
“…Well, that was easy.”
“It’s for the sake of the Rave Empire. Although, I doubt mother and brother will understand.”
With a bitter smile, Georg made the expression of an uncle for the first time.
“I will talk to them. Still, I feel guilty. I wanted to let you have some more freedom.”
“It’s alright, uncle, I’m already 16-years-old. I’d be happy to fulfil my duty as a princess.”
“When it comes to fulfilling your obligations as a princess, you are the best.”
“By the way, am I the one who’s going to meet the other party? What, is my partner an old man who can’t stand on his own, anymore?”
I’m sure anyone can do this, but as long as I can help…
Thus, she joked about it.
“Your partner is Geraldo de Kratos.”
***T/N: Oh DEYM are we getting sneak peek on Geraldolt’s personality? I’m excited as heck, usually the history arc always deliver in term of FEELS! Buckle up, folks!