Favored By The Villain - Chapter 148
After the carriage door opened, with the help of an escort Aurora stepped out onto the ground of her hometown.
Her long brown hair fluttered in the wind. Brushing it back behind her ear and lifting her head, she smiled while looking at the ones who’d come out to meet her.
Before she knew it, she was standing with both feet planted on the ground. After moving one foot back, she grabbed her rounded skirt with her fingertips to bow gracefully,
“Hello, all! Aurora Vale Kraiden.”
Her long curved eyelashes became gentle and her bright blue eyes were revealed. Then a deep and welcoming smile spread across her face.
“You must be tired after such a long trip.”
“Lidan, my brother.”
“Did you all hear that? Oh, my. How long has it been since I heard that?”
Aurora covered her lips and laughed when Lidan let out an exaggerated sigh. Her eyes gazing at the surroundings stopped on Levisia only for a brief second.
“I see some new faces. And many more familiar ones. I’m glad to see you all haven’t changed.”
Levisia’s uneasiness slowly subsided when her eyes breezed past her. Whew. While she let out a sigh, Aurora quickly found someone who was not there.
“By the way, where is Merril?”
“I’ll tell you when we get inside.”
Cassian, who perhaps would rather not talk about it outside, made an eye gesture. Aurora opened her eyes wide, tilted her head, and soon nodded.
“Good. I want to sit anywhere.”
“Oh please. You sat down during the entire ride in that carriage,” said Lidan, recreating the sounds of a galloping horse. Aurora smiled gently and slapped him on the shoulder with the end of her fan.
Though they quarreled from time to time, they had a good brother-sister relationship.
“Rather, you should first say your greetings to His Majesty.”
“I didn’t forget, Elizabeth.”
Elizabeth took the lead with her head, and Aurora followed without losing her smile.
Levisia stared at Aurora as she followed behind.
Like her, the other unnamed imperial family members who’d come out to meet Aurora together seemed busy looking at her.
“Everyone seems to be on good terms with Princess Aurora.”
“It’s amazing… Even after spending so much time away from everyone.”
Levisia could hear all of their whispers.
‘I don’t think there is anything I can’t hear from the Kraidens.’
She thought while purposely dragging slowly behind the others.
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‘Still, they all really are on good terms with each other.’
Perhaps because Aurora had returned, the Kraidens, who had seemed somewhat drafty for another member, now looked complete. If only Merril were here, they would be perfect.
At that time, Siaphyl, who smiled while talking with Aurora, glanced behind him.
…think our gazes met. Or am I mistaken?
His eyes moved about as if following an invisible curvy line before turning back around. It had only been for a couple of seconds, but Levisia had no choice but to stop and stand for a while.
If I have to think about it this much, I didn’t mistake it.
For a long time, she couldn’t erase the feeling of being struck through her chest with a jousting stick.
* * *
“All right. So how did you say your academy was?”
Aurora laughed at the emperor’s question as she set her teacup down.
“It’s quite helpful. I’ve learned so much about things I never used to know when I was here.”
“You don’t regret your decision?”
Academies in Kraiden were, in other words, breathtaking.
But Aurora was stubborn about studying abroad, and so many people could not understand why she had chosen such a difficult road.
She, however, had left at a young age despite all their gazes. The emperor wasn’t used to being around her but was proud of his daughter, who had been away since childhood.
“Regret… Of course, sometimes I felt dizzy because of weak thoughts. But since there is more to learn, I think my time there is regretful.”
With warmth in his eyes, the emperor looked at his daughter who had grown so maturely.
“It must be a shame that you came here without completing your assignments.”
“Though it’s a shame, I had no choice but to rush through them.”
Aurora, who’d been talking and smiling with her eyes lowered, slowly brought her eyes up.
“There is a crisis in the empire.”
The emperor was looking at his smiling daughter with a weird look in his eyes when he nodded in agreement.
“That is… As much as this is an issue, do you know how much it has bothered me for you to be outside the empire? Well, I’m glad you’ve come back looking healthy.”
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“I have something to say. I think there were some faces I’ve never seen outside.”
“Are they also your children?”