An hour after breakfast, when Kieran was perfecting his plan, thinking of flaws and things he might have missed out on, he heard Mary’s footsteps in his ears.
Rushed footsteps followed by a similarly rushed knocking on the door.
Dok, Dok, Dok!
Kieran opened the door and Mary strode in. On the young princess’ face was a rare expression of anger. She then passed the letter in her hand to Kieran.
“This is the secret letter that Rover sent me,” said Mary.
Kieran opened it and saw the content.
To Her Respectful Highness:
All men will pledge allegiance to your valiantness on the battlefield; All men will love you because of your wisdom, but some aren’t men, to begin with.
They acted domineering in normal times but fled during times of danger.
Now they have returned!
Not only do they seek to get their positions back, but they also want to scheme and plot for the fruit.
They even sent me an olive branch.
I refused but I believe someone else will not.
The greed of the human heart is much scarier than Your Highness thinks.
Please be vigilantly aware.
Royal Wizard Rover.
Kieran swiftly went through the content of the letter and looked at Mary with a smile.
“This is exactly what we expected, isn’t it?” said Kieran.
“Um. Even if it was to be expected, I am still shaken by these shameless bastards.” Mary nodded, her words filled with anger.
For the young princess, the nobles were always a prestigious address.
She still remembered that time when her mother explained the term to her for the first time.
It had been winter at Swurster Castle and snow was dancing beautifully outside. The castle had a furnace with sufficient firewood, thus the flames expelling the nasty cold.
She had crawled over to her mother’s lap, listening to that kind, pleasant voice.
“True nobility doesn’t just fulfil duties and protect the people of the land, they are also the mightiest knights when armors are worn and the most mannerly people when beautiful dresses are donned. Their nobility comes from their mercy and honor.”
“Mother, are you a noble, then?”
“Great! Then I can inherit your identity!”
“That will be bad! If my daughter is only seeking the so-called inheritance, the title of ‘noble’ will be tainted.”
“Then, what should I do?”
“Learn, train and never stop strengthening yourself. Then, even without inheritance, you can acquire a similar identity of your own.”
Just to acquire a similar identity, Mary had clenched her teeth through her mother’s teachings and endured through the training, thus her rapid improvement.
Before she left Swursters Castle, she always thought a noble had a strong sense of honor and would step up in the face of difficulty without a second thought.
But in reality?
They were hypocritical, sinister and despicable.
All these words describing a noble weren’t at all overextending.
Back then when the nobles fled faster than the civilians at the start of the Prairies invasion, it struck a clear image in the young princess, showing her how different the nobles of the reality were from her impression.
Kieran looked at the angered Mary and couldn’t resist the urge to place his hand over her head.
“Nothing stays the same. When Warren was first built, those nobles that relied on military achievements and war kills to ascend to their positions might have really been the nobles your mother described. They were brave, indomitable and fearless against danger. But that was them alone. When it comes down to their sons and grandsons, the excellent living conditions and the extravagant materialistic enjoyments have already corrupted their hearts,” said Kieran slowly.
“Isn’t there a way to change this?” Mary asked with furrowed brows.
“There is, of course, but… you have to do it on your own. After all, you are Warren’s future queen.” Kieran smiled.
“2567, I want you to rule Warren with me,” said Mary.
“That will be hard for me. I can’t do it, so it’s better for you to take up the role. Me, on the other hand? I’ll try my best to settle the easier things for you.”
Kieran then walked out of his room.
Mary looked at Kieran’s back with a blank stare.
Then, the smart princess immediately thought of something and her face changed.
“2567, wait! There has to be a more stable way to do this!” Mary quickly chased after Kieran while calling out to him.
“Yes, we really do need a more stable way, but it will be much too slow. I can’t wait anymore.”
Kieran didn’t stop. Quite the opposite, as he walked even faster as a giant white wolf crawled out of the void beside him. Its tall and straight body was exceptionally magnificent under the sun. It lifted its head up at Kieran’s order and howled loudly.
Amidst the long howl, the giant white wolf started to sprint.
Kieran leaped up and rode on the white wolf, vanishing from sight quickly.
Mary did her best in giving chase but her speed wasn’t on the same level as the white wolf’s. All she could do was watch as Kieran and the white wolf sprinted out of her sight.
She didn’t give up though, or should it be said, giving up was never in her dictionary.
The young princess panted heavily, her steps growing heavier. Although she was using the secret technique her mother taught her to recover stamina, it was not enough to compensate for her consumption.
Suddenly, Duke Zilin appeared beside her.
Looking at his distant cousin and seeing how persistent she was, Duke Zilin took in a deep breath.
“Maybe I shouldn’t say this but… I am jealous of you. Sir 2567 is greater than we all expected. He is going against all of Warren just for you,” said the young duke.
He knew what Kieran was going to do and knew what kind of consequences would follow.
And because of that, he became even more respectful toward Kieran because it was something that he could never achieve himself.
“No wonder he became this generation’s White Wolf. Only a man like him could. Rumour had it that the Prairies King was the White Wolf, but I was blind for believing that.” The young duke sighed.
“Y-Yes! You are blind, that’s why you are saying things like that.”
Panting, Mary was having a hard time speaking properly but she tried to make her intonations clear.
The young duke looked at the young princess in confusion.
“A-Against all of Warren? With me here, h-how will he be going against all of Warren?” Mary squeezed out each and every word from her panting mouth.
Duke Zilin was stunned and looked at his distant cousin with an unbelievable gaze as if, at that moment, he finally knew what kind of person Mary was.
He was astonished for almost 20 seconds.
Mary was already a hundred meters ahead of him by the time he regained his senses.
He looked at her persistent, young back, bowed slightly and said softly, “Of course, what you are saying is correct… Your Majesty.”