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“So…” Sefiren spoke while lying at the edge of one of Elyrdir’s deep lakes, his gaze fixed on the Melcryl Cathedral, faintly visible from their position. To unleash Sylenvia’s wrath. What had his father meant by that? He thought to tell Sivrial about it, but he wouldn’t; he couldn’t. “Um… it’s a really nice day, don’t you think?”
“It sure is,” she replied. Another moment of silence followed.
“And… you know…” Damn! Say something, anything, he told himself as he turned to look at the princess. To his amazement, Sivrial was also looking at him, and their gazes met. They did nothing but stare at each other. It was until a soft breeze blew across Sivrial’s hair that Sefiren turned to look at the cathedral once again. She gently laughed. “Wha-What’s so funny?” asked Sefiren as his face turned to a bright shade of red.
“Look at you. You’re blushed. You haven’t changed a bit.”
“I-I... no, I have. I’m stronger... and...”
“I’m not talking about that. You’re still that cute shy boy I remember from ten years ago.” She looked at the city. “You know, I’ve missed Asaia-Laégel.”
“Because it’s so different to Aldi’theliga. Life here feels… real. Don’t take me wrong, I love my home. It’s just…” she paused for a moment. “I’ve never been able to be entirely myself within its walls.”
Sefiren felt very word. That had been his life as well; always following commands and living a feigned reality. It was comforting to see he wasn’t the only one, but frustrating at the same time. Life shouldn’t be this way.
“Sivrial, do you really want to become queen?” Sefiren asked.
The princess stared at the blue sky; her eyes challenging its beauty. “Hmmm, I haven’t really thought about it.” She paused for a brief moment. “I suppose so,” she answered with a sigh. “I really can’t say. I rarely left the palace, so I know almost nothing beyond its walls. My tutor, he practically raised me to become queen; taught me all there is to know about politics and religion. I suppose I have never considered taking any other road.” She turned around, her gaze meeting Sefiren’s. “And what about you? Would you be willing to take you father’s place as the Emperor?”
“I don’t think I could handle it.”
“What do you mean?”
“The Emperor embodies his nation, so he has to be strong, courageous, determined, and charismatic. He holds the world together and must make decisions that will change the lives of thousands without doubt or fear, to stand firm, unwavering in the face of overwhelming odds. It’s too much responsibility; too many expectations to fulfil.”
“But look at your father.”
“I don’t have my father’s strength of will and I don’t think I ever shall,” he harshly replied.
The Princess giggled. “I still think you would make a great Emperor.”
Sefiren shook his head. “I want to live a normal and quiet life, doing whatever I wish to do, away from this life. Wouldn’t you like that too? To live to the fullest?”
The sparkle of a dream illuminated her face, extinguishing shortly afterwards. “That sounds nice, but we can’t. We can’t flee from our responsibilities.”
“And where does that leave you? Isn’t there something you’ve always wanted to do or a place you’ve always wanted to visit?”
“The Moonlight Fields to the north,” she confessed with a smile. “I’ve always wanted to see the blossoming at midnight.”
“Then let’s go,” he swallowed hard, “together. I-I mean... I’ll take you... If you want it, of course.”
“Do you promise it?”
“Yes,” he answered from the depths of his being.
Not a word was uttered after that. They simply stared into each other’s eyes.
Sivrial smiled and took off her necklace. “Open your hand.” Sefiren obliged. She placed the necklace on his hand. Sefiren looked at the object in confusion. “I’m giving it to you. I’ve had it since birth; a family heirloom as I understand it,” said Sivrial as Sefiren examined the necklace. It was of white gold with a beautiful sapphire suspended in between several entwining curves and a pair of wings emerging from its sides. “I’m giving it to you so you always remember me. So you never forget your promise to take me to the Moonlight.” Sefiren looked at Sivrial’s face. To him, she had a smile second in grace and beauty to none. “Consider it your lucky charm.”
“But this belongs to your family. It’s important to them.”
“Don’t worry,” she said with a smile across her face. “If that bothers you, be sure to return it to me after you’ve fulfilled your promise.”
Without noticing it, their faces moved closer and closer, being separated by a couple inches. Their mouths came even closer.
“Your Highnesses, there you are!” The two of them quickly got away from each other. The soldier stopped to catch his breath. His face was colourless. Sefiren helped Sivrial to get on her feet. “Your Highnesses, His Imperial Majesty has ordered me to escort you back to the palace.”
“Why?” Sefiren asked. “Is something wrong?”
The soldier dropped his gaze. “Please, follow me. The Emperor is waiting.”