On Luca’s sixth birthday party, right when Lyra was being cornered by the nobles upon Luca and Kiri’s absence…
Luca didn’t have any idea how scary and two-faced those noble girls can be like, so he submitted to his thirst and went to take some drinks while Kiri was also gone.
After taking his share of drink, Luca quietly attempted to walk back to where Lyra is. Along the way, he’d greet the nobles who were calling out to him. He’d even stop by a bit to make a small talk with the noble adults who wanted to talk with him for a while.
Geez, even going back is such a hassle in this kind of occasion.
Luca thought to himself while entertaining the nobles who spoke to him. After a few words, if the other party didn’t seem like to stop, he would excuse himself and quickly walked back.
When he went back, he could see that the condition has become unpleasant. The prideful and dominant noble girls are ganging up on Lyra! What’s more, they were too focused on one another that they didn’t notice Luca’s presence.
Luca tried to come closer and listened in their conversation.
“But why would you get all the special treatment?!”
“You’re even acting all intimate with him, calling him [Luca]! Just admit it if you’re intending to get to his good side and hog him so that you’d be the future queen!”
“N, no, I didn’t mean all that… This is just the way I am…,” Lyra’s timid answer caused Luca to furrow his eyebrows.
That almighty Lyra is actually scared by those baseless accusations? I thought she could easily fend off those foolish arguments of the nobles…
Wait, Kiri… Did you get lost on your way to the restroom?! Why are you taking so long?!
Seeing Lyra’s troubled self, Luca walked closer.
At that moment, he could feel the strange atmosphere around Lyra. The heavy atmosphere was weighing his mind down—perhaps that’s why the noble girls are distancing themselves from Lyra, instead of standing so close to her.
Wait a second, this kind of feeling, this heavy atmosphere…
Luca had a hunch. He approached Lyra full of determination and the closer he got to her, the heavier the atmosphere became.
“What? I can’t choose who I want to be friends with?”
Luca’s cold voice that came from their left side—caused all of the noble girls who pressed on Lyra to turn pale.
“L-Lucius-sama, ah, no, this is… we just want Lyra-sama to be honest to us instead of…”
One of them tried to give an explanation, but Luca’s already seen through her.
“Is it wrong for her to be talented? Even if she did train to be a great noble lady, is it something wrong? I think it’s something commendable,” Luca stood in front of them, next to Lyra.
“Y, yes! We think so, too, so that’s why we wanted her to tell us the truth so we can learn from her and praise her!”
Luca turned to the girl who dared to give another argument back.
What’s with this shameless girl?
They seemed to think that Luca was a child that they could easily fool, but they didn’t know the whole story behind the royal family’s inherited “gift”…
In that instant, all of the other noble girls nodded and cheerfulness returned to their faces. Of course, that made Lyra feel more uncomfortable.
Luca noticed the whole thing and sighed. It was then that he decided he’s had enough. The heavy atmosphere also kept bothering him.
“Well, well, then why don’t we all just become good friends?” Luca smiled. His smile was unchanging, it was his usual business-like smile.
But for some reason, all the nobles felt chills running through their body, so they shuddered as they felt fear.
“Ah, yeah, that’s a good idea!”
“W, well, I think it’s been too long for us to be hogging Luca-sama to ourselves, so…”
“Please excuse us!!”
They timidly left Luca and Lyra alone, unable to bear with the unknown fear they suddenly felt.
Lyra was taken aback by the sudden turn of events—and admired Luca in her heart for being able to tame this situation that even made her speechless.
And at that very moment, the heavy atmosphere surrounding them disappeared.
Luca slightly frowned as he observed Lyra.
Could it be…?
He had some speculations, but it needed further observation.
“Luca, Lyra, I’m sorry for taking so long, I got lost along the way—huh, where’s everyone else?” Kiri hurriedly returned and was surprised that the horde of nobles surrounding them suddenly disappeared like that. Not even a single soul stayed.
That’s weird… It looks to me that they were planning on hogging Luca to themselves.
Kiri kept that thought to himself and swallowed the rest of his words back.
“Oy, how come you’d get lost here? You’re really…,” Luca lightly flicked Kiri’s forehead.
“Hwaa, there are too many people that I felt overwhelmed…”
“Geez, you really…”
When the party was almost over and when all of the nobles started to say their goodbyes, Luca parted ways with Lyra and Kiri. Since it seems that his father would take longer than his mother to say their farewell to the guests, Luca went to his mother. And his hunch was proven to be correct. Leticia was already dozing off, so Shaula tried to quickly go back to take Leticia back to sleep on her bed.
“Mother, I’m done, too. Shall we walk together?”
“Sure,” Queen Shaula smiled and held Luca’s hand with the hand that she didn’t use to hold Leti.
Near their rooms, after making sure that nobody was there, Shaula started to speak.
“Luca. You don’t think that Mother wouldn’t notice, do you?”
She still had a smile on her face, but for some reason, Luca felt that his mother’s smile was quite… pressuring.
“E-eh? W, what do you mean, Mother?”
Even the prideful Luca couldn’t win upon being pressured by Queen Shaula—his mother.
He didn’t expect his mother would still remember that—especially after the sudden uproar following right after that.
“You used it, didn’t you? At that time, when you were with Lyra.”
“Eh? How did you notice…?”
“Well, sometimes I would glance your way to make sure everything is alright. And well, their behaviors at that time… I’m positive you induced—“
“Y, yes, Mother! I did cheat a little back there. I mean, there were some persistent ones that wouldn’t back off even after I told them off coldly, signaling them… They thought I was just a child that they could easily fool…,” Luca pouted.
He may try to keep his image around the others, but he didn’t hold back sulking in front of his mother.
“Alright, I’ll let it off this time, but you should learn more. As the future king, you should develop your communicative skill so that your opponents would act as you want to, instead of relying on your magic…”
“I get it, Mother! But you made me learn fear inducement for this kind of situation, right, right?”
Shaula lightly hit her son’s head.
“No, Luca. I didn’t make you learn it for today’s situation… Although well, you can indeed use it in that kind of situation, too,” Shaula sighed.
This son of hers—he really took after his father’s personality.
…and maybe hers, just a littleeeee bit.
“Both you and your father possess quite a strong [Insight], so I’m sure that you’ll soon be able to handle that kind of situation with ease. Just… don’t be too manipulative, okay?” Shaula patted Luca’s head.
“But Father said that a ruler must be crafty and manipulative so they can deceive back those who intended to deceive them!”
…Just what did Titus teach Luca behind her back?!
“That is not wrong, but… keep it moderate, and be careful, okay? Unlike your father, you have [it], as you inherited [that power] from me, so…”
“Mmhmm, I get it~ don’t worry, I won’t ever get swayed to the dark side, Mother! I will be a good king for my people!”
“That’s nice to know,” Shaula ruffled Luca’s hair until it gets messy, and Luca only giggled back as his response.
“Will Grandmother and Grandfather stay for quite a long time?” Luca asked.
“Well, probably not that long. So, if you want to talk a lot with them, better start from tonight,” Shaula said, “so quickly tidy yourself up and get changed, then let’s greet them in their rooms.”
“Alright~,” Luca said cheerfully as if he has forgotten his mother’s short lecture just now.