That evening.

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At the Central Palace Tetra.


The Emperor, who had been more active outdoors lately, had returned from a long-overdue inspection of the continent.


Leaving most of the state affairs to Empress Charlotte, he had been roaming around outside.


On his way back, the Emperor called all of his children for dinner.


It was a simple meal with his three children, without their mothers.


A solemn silence flowed through the dining hall.


Prince Rune was naturally quiet, and Amelia and Priscilla merely exchanged glances, as they had heard something earlier that day.


The Emperor cut a few pieces of steak and put them in his mouth, quietly observing the silent atmosphere.


"My precious little ones…"


"Judging by the ominous atmosphere here today."


"Again, it seems like you've been fighting quite a bit."


"Amelia, is it you again?"




Amelia pursed her lips at the look.


The Emperor glanced at Priscilla's hair.


"Priscilla, you've been bitten quite hard again."


"No, not too much…"


For some reason, when Priscilla spoke hesitantly, the Emperor widened his eyes in confusion.


"Wasn't it your turn to say that your hair was almost ripped out…?"


"No, it wasn't that bad…"


Somehow, Priscilla seemed more docile than usual today. Watching her, not only was the Emperor flustered, but Amelia too looked at Priscilla with confusion.


She wasn't usually like this.


On a normal day, she would immediately run to the Emperor's side, crying and complaining.


It was a daily occurrence for her to exaggerate that, even when her toes were stepped on, she'd act as if a wild boar had broken her foot.


But today, she was unusually quiet.


The Emperor observed Rune, who was silently enjoying his meal with a fork and knife.


The youngest son, who was the only one among the children who didn't cause trouble.


However, his future was a great concern.


Since trouble-free individuals usually end up causing significant issues later, the Emperor was more worried about his quiet and gentle son than his two daughters, who already showed rowdy tendencies.


Rowdy tendencies could be corrected over time, but a late-learned thievery could be frightening.


It seemed like he would end up causing significant trouble.


In other words, a too-pretty youngest son.




At his father's intense gaze, the prince tilted his head, looking at the Emperor.


The Emperor's feelings were a mixture of love, adoration, and an urge to go crazy in various ways.




Not knowing what to worry about, but feeling extremely worried, the Emperor sighed deeply.


The prince continued to eat his meal while also cutting small pieces of meat to feed the cat.


However, that was a matter for later. The Emperor looked at his two daughters.


"Anyway, my precious daughters, I called you because I have a request that I hope you'll listen to."


"…A favor?"


"…What is it?"


"I know that you two leak secrets like a sieve. Whose daughters are you? Of course, you do, and it can't be helped. You must have taken after me. I know that even if I leave you alone, you both leak secrets separately, but when you're together, it's not just leaking, it's completely shattered."


Amelia, because of the life and death separation she experienced in her childhood.


Priscilla, because of Amelia.


Both of their personalities had become severely twisted.


"It's understandable for princesses to fight with each other, grabbing each other's hair."


"After all, children grow up by fighting."


"It seemed a bit excessive for such a thing, but... Anyway, I'm saying it's alright."


"If we're inside the palace, we can manage our mouths. Everyone seems to accept that now."




"Please, just..."


"Is it necessary to fight in the Temple...?"


"It's not like I’m asking you to hold hands and pretend to get along."


"Can't you just ignore each other like watching cows and chickens...?"


"What's with the constant stories of you two fighting in the Temple, crossing the boundaries of different school years? How do you keep running into each other?"


"Rumors are spreading throughout the Empire that the two of you, grabbing each other by the hair, are on such bad terms that you fight."


"Rumor has it that the First Princess Amelia is a madwoman who beats her younger sister like a rat."


"And the Second Princess Priscilla is rumored to have a sharp tongue when speaking to her elder sister."


"Now, it's even spreading across the continent...!"


"Is it alright that every time I meet someone, I hear rumors about how troubled my children are?"


"Everyone says that...!"


"This wretched father is so ashamed that he can hardly bear it!"


"As both your father and the Emperor, I implore you!"


"To my precious and noble princesses, my daughters, I beg you!"


"Please... don't fight outside!"


"If you must fight, do it inside!"


The emperor trembled with anger. The two princesses remained silent with their mouths tightly shut at his words.


In truth, anyone could see that if they happened to run into each other at the Temple, their arguments would escalate into full-fledged fights.


"Furthermore, Amelia, it's not just the two of you. You go around hitting other children, don't you...?"


"…They deserved it, I guess."


"You did hit them, after all...! And Priscilla, you keep forcing strange medicines on your classmates, don't you?"


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"…It's good for the body."


"How can you be so sure! You can't give them that...! It's illegal!"


"Father, you used to make your friends create such things without any issue back in the day."


"That was... that was different..."


The emperor looked at his troublemaking daughters with a drained expression.


There were so many sins committed that he couldn't persuade them even when he was right.


"…Anyway, I don't ask for anything else, just behave inside the palace. Let's not advertise that the imperial family is in shambles by fighting in the temple. Is that too difficult a request?"


The emperor knew that saying it wouldn't help; his words fell on deaf ears.


It wasn't the first time he had said such things.


Priscilla pursed her lips.


"…What right does a father, who isn't even our mother, have to say such things?"




Amelia also let out a hollow laugh, as if she couldn't believe it.


"Father, you used to beat up kids when you attended the temple, didn't you? And you said it wasn't even comparable to what I do."




The only perfect exception was the first prince.


The emperor was not an exception either.


No, in fact, it was even worse.


"I did, but...! Your father had reasons for it back then...!"


"I had reasons for hitting them, too. Why do you think I didn't?"


"That, that is..."


"I also made sure the things I gave them were harmless, you know?"




The daughters were aware that the scolding was baseless and showed no understanding of the situation.


"So, why did you beat up the kids when you were at the temple? And I heard that those who got hit by you back then are now all successful in various places."


"Right, I'm curious. Just how much did you beat them up for you to become a legend in the temple? You didn't even graduate. I even heard you hit your seniors, too."


At the mention of the emperor, the two sisters who didn't get along united in a rare display of camaraderie.


"Yeah, mom told me. She said you even tried to hit her when you were at the temple. I heard it all."


Upon hearing this, not only the emperor but also Amelia's face turned pale.


"What? You tried to hit the witch... I mean, the Archmage?"


"Yeah, for real. You can ask her later. You tried to slap her cheek."


Amelia was so shocked that she opened her mouth wide.


"How could you... try to hit such a kind person...?"


"I didn't hit her! I didn't!"


"So, you're admitting that you tried to hit her...?"


"Well, Amelia... there was a situation... it was the turbulent times... at that age..."


"It seems true. How could you... that's too much... no, why did you marry her...?"


Amelia's eyes were unfocused, and she mumbled to herself.


In fact, it was no lie.


He had actually threatened to slap her cheek if she said something wrong.


"Hey, kids... that's not the kind of story I wanted to tell..."


"Just mind your own business, what are you talking about?"




The emperor tried to admonish them but ended up being verbally beaten by his daughters.


The emperor was actually not to be trifled with, but what could he do?


Emperor Reinhardt was not treated like a proper father.


-Nyang nyang


The white cat was eating the meat that Rune cut for it.


Its softly swaying tail seemed to be finding something very amusing.




The emperor tried to scold his daughters without knowing the subject and was pushed out.


It happened all the time.


But he couldn't just leave his daughters' misbehavior unchecked, so he repeatedly mentioned it, only to receive an upshot and say nothing more than to mind his own business.


On their way back after finishing their meal.


The emperor's three children were riding a magic tram heading to the Spring Palace.


As always, Priscilla had Prince Rune sitting on her lap, tightly hugging him, and Rune was hugging the cat just the same.


Amelia was sitting on the opposite side, looking out the window.


Although they would bicker every time they met and eventually end up in a fistfight, today neither of them had such thoughts.


After hearing about Amelia's childhood experiences, Priscilla realized that there was a reason for her previous misbehavior, even though she couldn't fully understand Amelia.


Amelia felt the same way. She knew that what she had done so far only worsened the situation.


Her mother had made such a request, and she knew that making the situation worse would not make anyone happy.


In the end, Amelia knew she was wrong.


So Amelia decided to do something she had never done before in her life.






"You didn't whine as much as I thought you would when you got hurt."


"…It didn't hurt that much, you know? Do you think I always just make a fuss?"


Amelia held back the response that naturally tried to come out, agreeing with her sister.


"What... well, thank you."




Priscilla's eyes widened at Amelia's words.


She had never imagined hearing such words from Amelia's mouth.


"What did you just say?"


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"Do you really want me to repeat it?"


Amelia averted her gaze.


Priscilla could be sure she hadn't misheard by Amelia's slightly reddened face.


However, their long-standing emotional baggage led to misunderstandings in this situation.


Did she take some kind of drug?


One couldn't help but wonder why Amelia would suddenly act like this.


"...What are you thinking?"


"I'm not thinking about anything."


In the midst of an awkward silence, the tram slowly moved along.


Priscilla gave up on trying to understand.


Amelia was as fickle as she was crazy, so Priscilla simply assumed Amelia felt like acting this way today.


If she continued to behave like this, getting along wouldn't be so difficult.


Lost in her thoughts, Priscilla looked at Rune, who was nestled in her arms.


Although Amelia was trying to avoid looking at Rune by staring out the window, she couldn't help but glance over, as this was the first time she had ever said such a thing.


And of course, she saw it.


Priscilla's expression as she smirked, looking at Rune.


It was clear that she was indulging in some perverted thoughts.


Admittedly, Rune was cute and pretty, and even Amelia's heart would flutter when seeing Rune dressed up like that.


But when it came to Priscilla, she was undoubtedly insane.


Rune was so quiet and timid; it was obvious that he didn't like Priscilla's behavior.




"...What now?"


"Everything about you is fine, but can't you stop dressing up the kid in those weird clothes?"


At Amelia's words, Priscilla's brows furrowed.


"What's with you? You didn't care before, so why pretend to care now?"


"No, the kid obviously dislikes it."


Amelia found Rune adorable, but when she tried to increase her affection for Priscilla, it waned whenever she saw her engaging in such antics.


"How would you know?"


As if to say, "Don't interfere," Priscilla pulled Rune closer to her.


How would she know? It was clear just by looking.


"Hey, kid."




"If you don't like it, say so. Your silence is making her think you enjoy it."


"What! Why are you suddenly talking to Rune instead of me? Don't speak to him!"


Ignoring the increasingly irate Priscilla, Amelia looked at Rune and asked.


Amelia was partly to blame for this situation.


Priscilla forced Rune into such ridiculous acts because he always remained meek and submissive.


"Kid, if you don't like it, say so. If you like it, say so. What do you think?"


Priscilla swallowed hard.


Rune had never once openly said he didn't like it, even though he clearly didn't enjoy it.


Encouraged by Amelia, Rune hesitantly spoke.


"...I don't like it."


"See? He doesn't like it."




At Rune's small reply, Priscilla couldn't help but bite her lip.


However, Rune's answer wasn't the end of it.


"But... if sister likes it... then I like it too."




Amelia couldn't help but be taken aback by Rune's response.


Neither could Priscilla.


He didn't like it.


Although he clearly disliked it, the reason he kept silent was not that he was a man of few words or expressed little emotion.


He was just being well-behaved because his older sister liked it.


No, if his older sister liked it, then he liked it too.


Amelia and Priscilla could not help but be taken aback by the unexpected response.


What a deep and lovely child he was.


Amelia's face flushed, her lips trembling sweetly.


She wanted to hug him right away, as if she couldn't bear it.


On the other hand, Priscilla became triumphant.


"See? It's fine! It's good that he likes it! You understand, don't you?"


"You crazy girl… Even after hearing that answer, you still plan to do that nonsense in the future?"


I don't like it, but it's okay because my sister likes it.


Shouldn't that be enough to make her stop?


Amelia's expression couldn't help but contort at Priscilla's response, which implied she would continue because he liked it.


Human beings were truly disgusting.


As expected, she was not wrong.


It was impossible not to think that the second princess, Priscilla, was a vile person.


"What? I won't do it anymore. That's good enough, right? It's funny that you pretend to know without knowing."



Of course, naturally, Priscilla was also moved by Rune's words and had no intention of forcing him in the future.


In reality, Priscilla did more than just torment Rune as she hung around with him.


It was quite significant that she always stayed with Rune, whose reputation was inevitably bad because he was a bastard.


She taught him about life in the palace and always played with him.


After Empress Harriet, it was Priscilla who helped Rune adapt well to the palace.

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So it was absurd for Amelia to act like this now.


When Rune found the palace unfamiliar and scary, she had done nothing.


This was outrageous.


Amelia's attitude, pretending to care for Rune now after never having shown concern before, was infuriating.


Humans were truly disgusting.


As expected, she was not wrong.


Regardless of her circumstances, the first princess Amelia was always like that.


"From the beginning, Rune never had any interest in you. It's too late for you to pretend to care now."


"What did you say…?"


"Am I wrong?"


The friendly intentions of the two were bound to crumble after just a few words.


"Rune, it’s funny don’t you think? What does she think she’s doing, pretending to be a sister? Hmph."


As Priscilla asked a question seemingly looking for an answer, Rune hesitated and opened his mouth.


"I... like... my elder sister..."


At that single sentence,


Priscilla's eyes lost focus.


"What did you say…?"


“What did she ever do for you up until now?”


Naturally, Amelia only expressed her affection for Rune when they were alone, so Priscilla had no way of knowing.


Amelia laughed at Priscilla's reaction.


Her flustered appearance was delightful.


Very delightful.


"Where on earth did you get the confidence that he would only like you? Huh? On what basis? You tormented him by putting him in strange dresses. He was just being kind and patient, but in reality, he probably doesn't like you that much."


"Is that true, Rune…?"


Priscilla looked at Rune with a pale face.


"Is it... really... that you don't like me? You like... her more?"


He had just been kind and patient until now.


Had he been fed up all along?


"Both... I like... both..."


Upon hearing Rune's words, Priscilla felt as if her fallen heart had been reattached.


But she was still angry.


He liked that one too.


Amelia smiled with interest at his words.


She then stood up from her seat and approached Rune, sitting down in front of him.


It seemed like a wicked question had come to her mind.


The corners of Amelia's mouth curved up maliciously.


"Tell me, little one."




"Do you prefer me or her?"


"What kind of question is that!"


It was a ridiculous question.


Surely it was obvious that he would choose her.


She had taken care of him so much.


But the fact that she was forcing Rune to do something he disliked didn't change.


That's why Amelia thought it was a gamble worth trying.


If Rune preferred her, who had done nothing, Priscilla's soul would crumble to dust and disappear.


How satisfying that would be.


"Of course, it's me!"


"Well, I don't know what the little one will answer."


Amelia didn't mind if Priscilla were to be chosen, as long as he was honest.


After all, she felt happy that Rune had told her he liked her too, even though she had only occasionally hugged him. It made her want to hug him so much that it was unbearable.


Amelia's deep blue eyes stared intently at Rune.


"Quickly, who is it?"




Amelia grinned wickedly as she looked at Rune, while Priscilla watched Rune with desperate eyes, hoping he would choose her.


In the end, as was always the case with such questions.








The young prince couldn't bear the situation and burst into tears.




As the youngest sibling shed tearful pearls, the two sisters were at a loss for different reasons.


Priscilla's brow furrowed.


"Hey! Your stupid question made Rune cry!"


"Ah, no. I, I didn't…"


Amelia didn't know what to do, as she hadn't expected the child to cry.


While Priscilla and Amelia were at a loss for how to console the sobbing youngest sibling.


He muttered through his tearful voice.


"I like both of my sisters…sob…why can't you get along?"






"Do you have to fight…?"


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Upon hearing his heartfelt words, Amelia and Priscilla stared blankly at each other.


What were they doing in front of a child?


It was a young sibling pleading for his sisters to stop fighting.


Even going so far as to make him cry with a question about who he liked more.


Was this really right?


Was this what a person should do?


Both Amelia and Priscilla thought to themselves.


They didn't know about the other.


But for now, it seemed like neither of them were human.


Both had the same thoughts.


"Ah, we won't fight. We won't…yeah."


Priscilla hastily spoke and glared at Amelia.


"Uh, um…little one. We won't fight. We should get along."


"Then hold hands…"


At Rune's words, the two instantly grabbed each other's hands.


Holding hands awkwardly, they vigorously shook them, as if showing Rune.


"We, we'll get along from now on, right? Th-that's enough, right?"


"Y-yes! Of course! We'll try! Yeah! Rune, I'm sorry."


As the two of them awkwardly held hands and forced a smile, Rune wiped the corner of his eyes with his sleeve.


Then, he smiled brightly as if he had never cried.


"We should continue getting along like this, right?"


Seeing his smile, the sisters thought to themselves.


Whatever else might be uncertain,


if they could see Rune's smile like this every day by just getting along,


"Of course!"




They could get along well even with a distance of a thousand miles between them.




The tram arrived at the Spring Palace, and Run walked a little behind his sisters, who had moved ahead.


The two of them were still holding hands as they walked toward the palace.


Seemingly unable to bear it any longer, they glanced back, trembling.


They were checking on their youngest sibling.


With Rune's watchful gaze on them, making sure they held hands until they entered the palace, the two sisters finally resigned themselves to walking hand-in-hand.


Rune watched them until the very end, as they let go of each other's hands and went their separate ways the moment they entered the palace.


Rune hugged the white cat and smiled quietly.


"You're right, Mother."




"It's incredibly easy."




As if to praise him, the cat licked Rune's cheek a few times.


Why couldn't they get along?


To answer his question, the cat, who had transformed back into his mother, cautiously embraced her son and whispered,




'Yes, Mother.'


'If they ever fight in front of you again, just cry.'




'Then everything will be resolved.'


Rune didn't understand why crying would resolve everything.


'Why should I cry?'


Unable to comprehend his mother’s question, his mother replied,


'Rune's sisters may be very different from each other, but they have one thing in common.'


'The same thing...?'


'They both love Rune very much.'




'Seeing Rune cry will hurt their hearts, so they won't fight anymore.'


It was a simple answer, and Rune couldn't understand his mother's words.


'And Rune is adorable.'


'What does that have to do with it...?'


Responding to Rune's question, the cat who had become his mother stroked his head and said,


'Sometimes, just that alone can solve problems in the world.'


Rune didn't know what his mother was talking about.


However, just as his mother had said, the situation was resolved when he simply cried.


From then on, if it seemed like they would not get along, he could just cry.


Whether or not they understood each other, the youngest's tears resolved everything, and would continue to do so.


"Being cute is a good thing."


However, the youngest prince discovered that he could use his cuteness as a weapon.




The white cat felt a chill as it seemed to see a shadow flickering in the prince's smile.


"Right, Mother?"




Perhaps she had taught her son something she should never have taught him.


The white cat couldn't help but tremble in fear in her son's arms.


No one knew what would happen later.


Nevertheless, the spring palace, which used to echo with the sound of the sisters fighting, pulling each other's hair, was undoubtedly going to be peaceful for the time being.