Mommy Villainess Chapter 40
40 The Sought After Elusive Hear
[This is the wedding day and the reception party through Princess Nia's eyes.]
NIA was amused by the number of nobles that attended Lady Prescott's wedding despite her recent dispute with the other noble ladies.
[Are they curious about the real score between Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho?]
It wasn't like she didn't understand.
When the High Priest announced the prophecy about Captain Kiho's future son, her brother chose Lady Prescott to fulfill the divination with the captain. Duke Maverick Prescott, as a loyal subject of the royal family, accepted the order without even consulting his daughter. And of course, as a knight, Captain Kiho couldn't and wouldn't refuse the emperor's "request."
To simply put, everyone in the empire knew that it would be a political marriage between Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho.
[I thought so, too.]
But Captain Kiho's shameless display of affection for Lady Prescott caught everyone off-guard. Who knew that the stoic "monster" and cold-blooded assassin would slay giant sea monsters just to get his lady a fine pearl for an engagement ring?
Not only that.
The captain of the Black Serpent Knights also stood by Lady Prescott's side during her scandal with Captain Denver.
[Even if Lady Prescott didn't call the reporters, I'm pretty sure that she'd be proven innocent either way. After all, Captain Kiho would have probably murdered anyone who dared to speak gibberish about her.]
The emperor quickly brushed it under the carpet but she heard that Captain Kiho went to Baroness Alphonse's mansion and froze her knights.
[Aku treats Captain Kiho like his younger brother so I knew he'd protect his reputation.]
The emperor even arranged an interview for Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho for the pearl engagement ring. Her brother did that to distract the people from the previous scandal involving the two.
[Thanks to that, I wasn't able to touch Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho for the meantime.]
And thus, the peaceful wedding between them right now.
"What are you thinking so deeply about, Nia?" Aku, who was sitting next to her in the balcony of Eclis Church, asked her. "You've been silent since we arrived here."
They were watching the wedding from the top so they wouldn't steal the spotlight from Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho. After all, they were surrounded by knights. Captain Sherwood and Lahara were the only 'visible' guards behind her and her brother.
But that didn't mean there were only two knights around.
The others were simply in "stealth mode."
"I find their relationship amusing," Nia said. She was watching Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho in the altar listen to the priest who was officiating the wedding. Everyone below was quiet since the ceremony was wedding. But they were in the balcony and there was a protective barrier around her and the emperor. In short, no one could hear them talking. Well, except for Captain Sherwood and Lahara. "It started as an arranged marriage but look at them now. I never thought that the stoic captain can make a face like that."
Captain Kiho's face would soften up every time he would turn to Lady Prescott.
"He lost," she continued in a light tone. "The captain lost because he fell in love first."
Aku laughed heartily. Good thing they were required to put a protective barrier every time they were outside the palace. If not, everyone would have heard the emperor laugh in the middle of a solemn wedding ceremony.
[He can be so immature sometimes.]
"That's true," Aku said. "It seems like I should welcome Kiho to the "losers' club.""
"Why are you calling yourself a loser, Aku?"
"You said it yourself, Nia. The first one who falls in love with their partner is the loser," he said playfully. "That makes me a loser, right?"
Nia smiled even though she wanted to puke inside. "Aku, behave," she lightly scolded him. "We're supposed to focus on the newlyweds instead of ourselves, remember?"
"Alright," Aku agreed, then he turned to the main couple of the hour. "We should make our wedding grander than this."
"THEY really spent a fortune for this," Nia said while admiring the beach side where Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho would "exchange vows."
The floral arch was beautiful, and so were the arrangement of seats.
But it wasn't just the stage that looked pretty.
The makeshift pavilion made for her and Aku was also wonderful. They even had a table before them. The menu prepared for them was also different from the one served to the guests.
On either side, there was a long table filled with a wide variety of food. Most of them were seafood. When she checked the menu earlier, she was surprised to see some unique choices like "bite-sized lobster rolls." Majority of the food presented were finger food and easy to eat.
The selection of refreshments was surprising as well because tea and coffee weren't included. Instead, they got water and different flavors of juice to choose from. She'd say they were good choices because even though it was autumn, the weather today was hot.
[It's especially warmer here in the island.]
Also, the array of desserts looked delectable. They were colorful and the presentation was cute, probably appealing to the ladies.
When she asked the chef who decided the menu, he said it was mostly Lady Prescott.
That quite surprised her.
[I didn't know that Lady Prescott is this good at organizing events. Even though she's a duke's daughter, she never hosted a tea party of her own. I thought it was because she can't be bothered to use what little amount of creativity that she has. But looking at the beautiful setup of this reception party, I guess I'm wrong.]
But when did Lady Prescott become a responsible adult?
"Nia, Lady Prescott and Kiho just keep on breaking traditions for their wedding, huh?" Aku said in amusement. Like her, the emperor was also admiring the whole setup. "Usually, the reception party is held at the newlywed's manor."
"Yes," Nia agreed. "But it's not like they're breaking any rule."
"That's true," the emperor said with a soft laugh. "I bet this kind of reception party will be the next trend among the nobles."
She nodded in agreement.
Tilly could see that every guest was very satisfied. After all, they were pampered from the start. Even boarding the ship was a delight. Aside from the trendy and chic clothes that were prepared for them, the snacks served in the ship were also very delicious.
"Lady Prescott has just set the bar high for reception parties," Nia said. "But as the royal princess and the so-called "Queen of Social Circle," I can't lose."
Of course, she just said that because she knew the emperor wanted to hear that from her.
"Spoken like a true Moonchester," Aku said with a smile. "I'm looking forward to our own reception party, my dearest Nia."
NIA didn't expect that she'd get emotional listening to Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho's exchange of vows.
Their promise with each other was obviously genuine and filled with love.
Watching the newlyweds made her feel like there was a hole in her chest.
[I envy you, Lady Prescott. You were able to marry your beloved. Not everyone who has the same status like you has the freedom to do so.]
Now Nia wanted to destroy Lady Prescott's happiness even more.
AFTER the exchange of vows, Nia was once again surprised by what Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho prepared for the guests.
"We are very grateful to everyone here for joining us during this joyous moment," Lady Prescott said. Her voice was being amplified by the spirit stone embedded in the choker necklace that she was wearing. "Please accept the little token of gratitude that Captain Kiho and I prepared for all of you."
Their token of gratitude was anything but "little."
Each guest received pearls. A set of jewelries for the ladies was given. While the gentlemen received pearl cufflinks and tie tacks with pearls.
[They're being so generous.]
More like, they were showing of the vast wealth of House Prescott.
But maybe it wasn't just Lady Prescott's fortune. After all, she knew that Aku pays Captain Kiho a large sum of money for every kill he'd made.
Her thoughts were cut-off when Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho went to their pavilion.
"Greetings to the moon and the brightest star of our Great Moonchester Empire," Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho greeted them with their heads hang low.
"Rise," Aku said. When the newlyweds raised their heads, the emperor smiled. "Congratulations on your beautiful union, Lady Prescott and Kiho."
Nia smiled at the couple. "We are very happy for the both of you."
"Thank you, Your Majesty and Your Royal Highness," the newlyweds said in unison.
"We're very blessed to have been graced by your presence during this special day," Lady Prescott said. "Please accept our humble offerings for His Majesty and Her Royal Highness."
Kiho signaled the servants who each held a box in their hands.
Captain Sherwood received the gift for Aku while Lahara received the gift for her. After that, the two carefully placed the boxes in front of her and the emperor.
[Again, their gifts weren't humble at all.]
Nia received the same jewelry set that the other ladies got. But the pearls used in each jewelry were the rare black ones. She could also tell that they were very high-quality.
The same went for the cufflinks and tie tacks that Aku received.
"These are beautiful," Nia said genuinely before she looked up at Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho. Then, she gave them a kind smile. "Thank you, Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho."
"You're welcome, Your Royal Highness," the newlyweds said in unison, again.
[Well, you can't just talk freely to the royal family after all. So anyone would just be polite.]
"I didn't know that pearls can be used like this for cufflinks," Aku said in amusement. "Is this your idea, Lady Prescott?"
"Yes, Your Majesty," Lady Prescott said, excitement visible in her eyes. "They're going to be a part of the men's accessory line that I'm planning to launch soon."
"Then, I'm looking forward to it," Aku said to Lady Prescott. When she just smiled and bowed, the emperor turned to Kiho. "You married a great businesswoman, Kiho."
Kiho's eyes shined. "Your Majesty, I never thought that the day I'd say this would come but thank you for meddling with my love life."
The emperor laughed at that.
Lady Prescott whole face turned red but she couldn't hide her smile as she lightly nudged Kiho in the stomach.
Kiho then turned to her with a small smile.
[I didn't know Captain Kiho can smile like that.]
Nia hid her hands under the table and clenched them hard.
[I really want to rip out your heart right now, Lady Prescott.]
"YOUR ROYAL Highness, His Majesty ordered me to accompany you to the palace."
Nia looked at Captain Sherwood who opened the carriage's door for her. "Oh. It's a surprise that he left you to accompany me even though Lahara is with me."
Aku had to leave ahead of her because of an urgent matter that he had to attend at the palace. To get back quickly, he used the portal in the castle connected to his residence.
She had to stay until the reception party was over, of course.
After saying goodbye to Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho, she went to her carriage that would bring her to the dock.
"The island is far from the royal capital so His Majesty probably wanted you to travel back home as safely as possible, Your Royal Highness," Captain Sherwood told her with a smile. "But to be honest, I'm not sure how to protect a person who's stronger than I am."
"You're being modest, Captain Sherwood," she told him. "You're the de-facto leader of the Four Orders. If I were you, I wouldn't underestimate myself even in front of a Moonchester."
The captain just smiled and bowed to her as a show of his gratitude.
She then entered the carriage.
Lahara and Captain Sherwood joined her inside. While Lahara sat across her, Captain Sherwood sat directly beside her. Then, he held her hand.
"Look at this," Captain Sherwood said while shaking his head. He was looking at the little cuts on her palm that she got from clenching her hands tight a while ago. "Why did you have to do this to yourself, Princess Nia?"
"I'm surprised you noticed," Nia said. "And I'm even more surprised that my brother didn't notice that you were watching me the entire time."
The captain smirked. "I'm good at being discreet," he said. Then, he gently touched the little cuts until they were gone. "There. Your hand is good as new."
"Thank you," she said before pulling her hand away from him. "You act like a feral child whenever my brother isnt around, Noel."
Now that there weren't prying eyes and ears around, she dropped the formality.
"It's stiffening to act so formal around you all the time," the captain said while moving his shoulders. "His Majesty keeps a close eye on me."
"You acting so familiar with the princess is the reason why," Lahara said with a soft laugh. "Just be grateful that His Majesty didn't kill you."
The carefree captain just laughed it off. Then, he turned to her. "So, Princess Nia. What's the next plan?"
"We'll leave Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho alone for now," she said. "Lady Prescott has to give birth to a child first. The protection of the heart of female Fire Mages weakens after child birth. We'll wait for that opportunity before we make a move."
"Just like what we did to Lady Marianne Prescott when she gave birth to Lady "Tilly" Prescott, right?" Lahara asked with a smirk. "It became easier to steal Lady Marianne's heart when she had Lady Tilly. Too bad her heart wasn't the one we're looking for."
"But how sure are we that Lady Prescott owns the heart that can summon the sky beast?" Captain Sherwood asked.
"I'm taking my chances on every Fire Mage I'll meet," she said. "I need that heart to get rid of my "unbreakable" bind with Aku."
"You should be careful, Princess Nia," Lahara warned her. "I'm not the only mage who can make a device to detect Fire Mages. And we're surely not the only ones who are after the heart."
"We'll be fine as long as Lady Prescott's true Mana doesn't awaken yet," Captain Sherwood said casually. This guy really never worried about anything. "And thus, we have to protect her identity as a Fire Mage descendant."
She turned to Captain Sherwood with a raised brow. "Noel, I'm grateful that you're on my side. But I have to say that your reason for joining my side is kind of shallow."
"It's not shallow, Princess Nia," Captain Sherwood said, his boyish grin still plastered on his face. "It has always been my dream to see the sky beast with my very own eyes."
"I don't understand what's special about a flaming red bird but if that will keep you by my side, so be it," Nia said before turning outside the window again. "Just make sure that Aku won't catch you betraying him."
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