Dahlia blinked, and her eyes slowly filled with astonishment. Then, after pondering over Jurgen’s words, she jumped up.
“What are you talking about?”
“You told me with your very own mouth. Once you saved a little boy.”
“Then, do you mean that child was the crown prince?”
“He recognized me? We were both so young back then!”
“Well, I can’t say for certain. But he’s sure you’re Liberty.”
Dahlia thought of the face and voice of the prince who asked her to try guiding him. But now Reynon was so different from the little girl in her memory.
She—no, he— was smaller, thinner, and his hair was long enough that she mistook him for a girl. Besides… after recalling him more, she remembered how sweet his voice was.
But he said that child was Prince Reynon.
Dahlia massaged her forehead, feeling a headache coming on.
Cayena Lake was a place that no one could enter. How could she forget the blonde, light-skinned child who had collapsed in such a place? She had been intrigued by a being who, like herself, had none of the features of a Southerner.
Even if she didn’t remember her clearly, she knew that she was definitely a girl her age and had guided her carefully. She was so severely wounded she just wanted to save her.
“Well, if he knows that I saved his life…. . Won’t he help me?”
Dahlia looked up at Jurgen with a glimmer of hope and soon gave up her expectations at his pitiful expression.
“More likely the opposite. The prince will put a leash around your neck. He’ll keep you by his side and have you only guide him, like a caged bird. Freedom? no… . No matter how strong you are as a Sentinel, you’ll be helpless in front of Imperial power.”
“… How can you be so pessimistically certain?”
Jurgen snorted and declared:
“The Reynon von Leonardo I know is quite… he’s crazy.”
With a leisurely smile, Jurgen approached her as she froze and looked stunned. Then he took her hand with his ring on it and lifted it up.
“Therefore I’m the only one in the Empire who can help you, Dahlia.”
His lips pressed lightly against the back of her white hand. Dahlia took in the sight of him kissing her hand, donning an elegant aristocratic mask, as she bit the flesh on the inside of her lip.
“At the end of the day, I’m back to square one.”
“I… . I just wanted to live a normal life.”
“It is an unattainable dream.”
Indeed, it very well may be unattainable.
If she could, she would have abandoned both forces and the proposal. However, even though she had the power of a Sentinel, she couldn’t go on subjugation missions because she was a lady and her guide’s ability she couldn’t use at will.
No goals nor dreams. A life where she could never reach her potential and fully unfold her abilities.
How nice it would have been if she had been able to live the rest of her life lazily in Tezeba’s Blenheim mansion, otherwise called paradise.
“At least if I get married, I will be free from the temple’s interference … . so I will…. get married.”
Dahlia shook off his hand, sat back down, and picked up the pen he had put down. Then he remembered an unresolved problem.
‘I should join the Knights too. And it will be fine if the imprint is removed. Isn’t that right, Edelred?’
The crown prince had formally invited herself to the mysterious group that stirred up the entire empire, including the capital.
What should I do?
The black ink formed and swelled at the end of the pen’s tip and dripped onto the paper. Jurgen’s fingertips then touched her chin. When he turned her head, she met Jurgen’s burning red eyes that filled her vision.
She couldn’t read the complex emotions in his deep gaze.
“You have too many thoughts.”
The smile on his face with the corners of her lips pulled up was so captivating, charming, and beautiful. He wrapped his hand around hers that held the pen and scribbled a graceful signature beneath the ink stains.
Jurgen Axel Edelred.
Her brow wrinkled slightly.
“We haven’t finalized it yet.”
After signing the poorly written marriage contract, this time, he naturally pressed the nib under it.
“You can include as many terms as you like. However, there is no backing out now, Dahlia.”
After taking off his thin gold-rimmed glasses, Reynon tore the letter imbued with divine power in half and set it on fire.
The letter burning with blue sparks was a precious thing sent from the Grand Temple of Everdio in the capital.
“As soon as the Sentinel promotion test is over, put the name of the Count’s Dalia Von Klose’s name on the knights’ list.”
Winster Richardson, the eldest son of Count Richardson, gulped dryly as he watched the letter burn.
Winster, the prince’s assistant, and longtime friend, asked with a worried expression.
“Are you serious, Your Highness?”
“There will be protests from the temple. Even so, the priests will come and ask for a discussion.”
“So before we meet the temple, we have to act first. Should I have what is mine snatched away?”
Winster lowered his head in obedience, but his mind was complicated.
No matter how strong the imperial power was, it was the right thing to avoid a head-on collision with the temple. According to the sacrosanct pact, the imperial family could not interfere in the internal affairs of the temple. The imperial family and the temple approached the negotiating table as equals, and they were instrumental to the revival of the Great Central Empire of Markania.
However, since several years ago, the prince hadn’t shied away from clashing with the temple. Just looking at the events during the day put the guides’ lives at risk.
The temple immediately sent a letter of protest to the crown prince who opened his Sentinel’s power recklessly and designed a dangerous moment.
But instead of answering the letter, Reynon tore it up and set it on fire.
The madman in front of him wouldn’t know how guilty he felt to see divine power burning blue.
Winster endured by grinding his teeth and held out letters from foreign diplomatic missions.
“It seems that everyone is very interested in the Sentinel Knighthood. These are letters requesting an invitation to the inauguration ceremony.”