"I didn’t know that the crown prince of Jennova will come by this early in the morning." Regaleon said with a sarcastic tone.
"I asked to have breakfast with the princess." Gladiolus replied with a smile.
"Well that’s okay. Knowing that this will be the last time you see Alicia." Regaleon smiled back.
Regaleon took the seat right next to me.
"I am sure this won’t be the last time I will see Alicia." Gladiolus retorted back to Regaleon’s words.
The two held each other’s gaze for a while. I feel some tension rising in the air.
"Your highness, your coffee." Tricia carefully places a cup of coffee in front of Regaleon.
Thank God for Tricia’s little gesture, the gazing battle was broken and the tension was elevated.
"Thank you Tricia." Regaleon smiled.
"Here, let me put in some sugar cubes." I said.
Regaleon liked his coffee black with two sugar cubes in it.
"Thank you Lili." Regaelon sweetly smiled at me. He took my hand a put a gentle kiss on its back. His gesture made my cheeks feel hot.
Regaleon lightly caressed my burning cheeks with his fingers and smiled teasingly at me. "You continue eating. You will need your energy for this afternoon."
’Cough couch’ Gladiolus lightly coughed. "Hmm sorry, something got stuck in my throat." He looked irritated.
I felt a little awkward knowing that Gladiolus was just in front of Regaleon and I, watching the scenes.
’Regaleon is doing this on purpose.’ I thought.
"Oh please prince Gladiolus, don’t mind us." Regaleon hooked up one side of his mouth into a smile and took a sip of his coffee.
The tension between these two princes started once again. It was like they were engaging into an internal battle with each other with words.
"So prince Regaleon, I heard that you are called the ’Black Devil’ in your country." Gladiolus said. "This gives me an impression you are feared in your country. It is a little bit different in my country where I lived alongside with the common people."
I look at Gladiolus with wide eyes. Is he trying to pick a fight with Regaleon? Saying that he is a benevolent prince while Regaleon is a tyrant ticked me off.
"That nickname was given to me by my enemies." Regaleon replied with a smile. "Grandcrest is a big nation and internal conflict is unavoidable within the royal family and the nobles supporting different factions. To be on top, being ruthless is necessary and fear is needed to keep those enemies at bay and in line. Being a good ruler isn’t just being benevolent, you also need to strike fear to keep the peace and protect the whole country."
’Really well said Leon.’ I gave him a thumbs up internally.
"Is that so?" Was all that Gladiolus replied.
There was a moment of silence and we continued our breakfast. After we finish our breakfast, the kitchen staff came in to clear the table. Gladiolus and Regaleon remained seated, not one budging from their respective stations.
"Would the two you like to take a stroll outside the garden?" I tried to elevate the tensed mood. It looks like Gladiolus doesn’t plan on leaving yet.
"If that’s what you wish then I am happy to." Gladiolus replied instantly.
Regaleon stood up from his seat and offered his hand towards me. I smiled at his gesture and placed my hand on his palm and stood up from my seat. He carefully escorted me outside the dining hall. Gladiolus followed behind us.
It was getting a bit cold now that autumn has just arrived. Regaleon took my coat Tricia was holding and carefully draped in on my shoulders. I look at him wearing his own coat gracefully. When our eyes met, I smiled at him as a thank you and he smiled back.
Regaleon and I walked hand in hand while Gladiolus was walking just a few steps beside us.
"The garden is starting to wither, what a pity." Gladiolus said. "But it is still a blessing that you have four seasons. Jennova is in the far north of the continent that it is always cold. Majority of the land there is a barren ice land. That is why I always strive to work hard for my people."
Hearing Gladiolus talking about his country made me feel something positive about him. I have heard the living conditions in Jennova are hard with the cold temperature.
"It is good to think that the crown prince of Jennova is thinking of his subjects dearly." Regaleon said. "I hope you make decisions that are the most beneficial for them."
I can’t help but feel that Regaleon’s words had more meaning in them. Gladiolus stopped walking and faced the two of us.
"I heard that the crown prince of Grandcrest is the best swords master in your country." Gladiolus’ smile seemed a bit off. "I would like to test my skills against the best swords master of Grandcrest. That is if you permit me." He bowed his head humbly.
"You are suggesting sparring against me?" Regaleon hooked one side of his lips up. "Then I accept your challenge."
"I am happy to hear that." Gladiolus looked up with a smile on his face. "Let’s meet at the clearing in the garden after thirty minutes?"
"Of course." Regaleon replied. "That’s ample time to get prepared."
After their exchange of words Gladiolus left with his assistant.
"Dimitri, prepare my things." Regaleon ordered.
"Yes your highness." Dimitri who was standing a few feet from us replied and left.
"Leon, are you sure you want to spar with him?" I looked at him worried. "I mean the both of you are crow princes of different countries. Won’t this bring some conflict?"
"Don’t worry Lili. A duel is inevitable between us." Regaleon said. "If only such duel can stop a more serious problem from happening." His face had a trace of worry in them.
I think Regaleon is talking about the top secret investigation. ’Is there some conflict against the country of Jennova?’ I thought.
"Your highness." Dimitri came back in no time carrying Regaleon’s sword, vest, and gloves. Regaleon nodded in acknowledgement.
"Don’t worry Lili, I will be okay." Regaleon reassured me. He planted a gentle kiss in my forehead and walked towards Dimitri. I stood in place while looking at Regaleon putting on his things.
"Don’t worry Alicia, I’m sure the prince will be fine." William said while walking towards me from where he was standing. He stood just behind me.
"I know Regaleon is good with a sword. I am just not very sure of his opponent." I said.
"I don’t know if you understand, but sometimes men have to talk with their fists to settle things. Well in this case, with their swords." William replied. "The more they trade blows, the more they can understand each other and the more they know who will be the winner."
I looked at William with my eyebrows scrunched. "I really don’t understand you men using violence to settle things." I guess men will be men.