The Emperor’s Daughter Chapter 68
68 Coming Back To The Palace
The carriage came into a stop in front of my courtyard and Leon helped me get down.
"Sister!" I hear a young lads voice. Once I turned around I see a young lad that looks quite familiar.
"Richard?" I was not sure at first because the young lad was taller than me by some inches. Richard is only fourteen years old but the young lad running towards me has a body of a young man.
"Sister, I have missed you so much." Richard gave me a bear hug.
"I-I missed you too." I said with a muffled voice. "R-Richard, y-you are crushing me."
"Oh my, I'm so sorry." Richard said.
As I thought, Richard is now a few inches taller than I am. His body is well toned and his voice is starting to become deeper. Grandpa is surely giving him the spartan training.
"Look how big you have grown." I said. "How are you?"
"I'm fine sister." Richard said with a huge smile. "How about you?"
"I am also fine." I replied. "I missed you so much." Richard gave mea huge grin as a response.
I would like to pat him on the head like I always do but looking at him now who is taller than me, it will only look awkward.
"Where is grandpa?" I asked while looking around searching.
"Oh, he's waiting in the throne room." Richard said. "Actually I came here to fetch you. Everyone is waiting for you there."
"Everyone is waiting for me?" I asked rather curious.
"You just came back so you need to greet king father formally." Richard explained. "Mother and my other two elder sisters are also waiting. They said they also missed you. Heh." Richard snorted.
'So they miss me?' I snickered internally. 'Who would have thought that they will miss bullying me?'
"Well then let's go." I said. "I don't want king father to wait long."
"Princess, are you going to be okay?" Tricia asked worriedly. It was a family only gathering in the throne room so Leon and Tricia will stay here on my courtyard.
"Do not worry Tricia." I gave her a reassuring smile. "I can handle them."
"Be careful okay." Leon walked beside me. "Your sisters are snakes just waiting to bite."
"I know, do not worry. I can handle their venomous attacks." I reassured him. "Tricia, please arrange my things inside the manor while I'm gone."
"Yes princess." Tricia nodded.
"Leon." I looked at him. "You can have your free time while I'm there. You can do your personal businesses if you have any."
"It's getting late so I can do my business some other time. I'll be right here waiting for you to return." Leon gave me a bright smile.
"Thanks." I smiled back at him. His smile never fails to let my heart skip a beat.
"Are you ready sister?" Richard asked.
"Come, let us go." I answered.
Richard and I are now standing in front of the throne room's door.
"Well, are you ready?" Richard asked.
"Ready as I will ever be." I took a deep breath.
"I'll just warn you." Richard said. "Elizabeth's hatred for you didn't subside these past two years. And her face has evident scars of that day."
"I at least expected that much." I said. I am sure that she harbors deep hatred against me.
The steward opens the doors and announces our arrival.
"Crown prince Richard and third princess Alicia has arrived." The steward announced.
Richard lends me his arm and I took it for support. We walked towards the throne area. On the throne was my king father sitting sophisticatedly with my step mother the queen by his side.
Richard and I stopped a few meters away in front of the throne.
"Greetings king father." Richard slightly bowed down.
"Greetings king father." I gave my curtsy in front of my father. "I, third princess Alicia Von Heist, has returned. Wishing king father a prosperous life and good health."
"Arise." My father ordered.
Richard and I both looked up at him. In a moment I see my father's surprised reaction while looking at me. It has been two years since we last saw each other, I suppose I look more like my mother now. The queen was concealing her anger but I can see her clenching grip in the throne's arm rest. She was looking back and forth from father and then to me. This made me smile internally.
"It has been two years since you have left the palace." Father started. "How have you been?"
'I never imagined that he would be asking me this question?' I thought.
"I am doing fine father." I replied. "The countryside's weather has been good for my health. I am recovering well."
"That is good to hear." Father said. "You know why I have summoned you back?"
"Yes father." I gave a sweet smile.
I look at the side where my two step sisters were sitting. Veronica and Elizabeth were looking at me with daggers. But I maintained my sweet smile.
"It is elder sister Veronica's birthday. And a debutant ball will be held in her honor. Esteemed guests will be arriving from other countries to attend." I said.
"That is correct." Father said. "Some guests are from the royal families of the other two countries. I want them to see that our family is strong and complete. I would also like to take this opportunity to let you and your sister Elizabeth to make amends from the past mistakes. Let's be a happy family and show the other countries that we are strongly bonded."
'Strongly bonded? As if the queen and her daughters will accept me as their family.' I sneered internally.
"I am willing to make amends if Elizabeth is willing as well." I smiled.
"Elizabeth?" Father looked towards her. Elizabeth's sour expression flipped into a smiling face in no time.
"Of course father, I am willing to make amends with my little sister Alicia." Elizabeth said with a fake smile.
"That is good." Father said. "Now let me see the two of you reconcile and hug as sisters."
I saw Elizabeth clench her fists but maintained her fake smile. I was laughing internally.
As I am the younger of us two, I was the one to approach Elizabeth. Now that I am near her, I can clearly see the scars that Snow's nails left behind.
"Let's reconcile sister." I lied between my teeth. I gave her a hug.
"Yes, let's reconcile younger sister." Elizabeth replied.
I knew that my sister was swallowing her pride now just to show face in front of father.
"That is good." I hear father said. I ended the hug and gave Elizabeth a knowing smile. She smiled back but her hatred was evident in her eyes.
"Alicia, you can take the sit next to Richard." Father said.
This was the first time father didn't dismiss me right after I gave my formal greetings. I looked at Richard who was now sitting at the opposite side of my location. He was waving at me and pointing in the sit next to him. I see grandpa sitting at his other side.
I walk towards him remembering to be elegant as sophisticated. I see to it that my step mother and sisters see me with a bearing of a true princess of Alvannia. I know why my stepmother never gave me princess lessons and that is to make her own daughters shine and leave me as a laughing stock for noble guests.
'I will not give you that satisfaction.' I thought.
I take my sit carefully beside Richard. The witches were looking at me with discontent.
"You have grown to be a proper lady." Grandpa complimented me and smiled.
"Thank you grandpa." I smiled.
"Looks like my mother and sisters are not happy with your performance." Richard whispered. I just gave him a knowing smile as a reply.
"This is just the beginning." I said with a smile.