the author’s will

Chapter 6: Newborn

There was one thing she knew for sure – and that was the fact that the original Irene Cherliann, was described as having ruby red eyes, just like her fathers. Hanna herself had written that countless times in her novel, so why on earth were her eyes gold here?

Was something amiss? None of the other characters appeared any different from what she had described them as. Could this be an effect of her reincarnation into her own story?

”Hm? Whats wrong, Rene? ” Her brother prodded her face lightly, confused by her completely dazed expression. Luckily, he thought she was simply staring mindlessly as babies often did, and laughed as he pinched her cheeks gently. His blue eyes glistened like a pellucid stream, and it almost instantly erased her worries.

(Im sure my eye colour is minor anyway.)

”Ray, please don squish her cheeks too much, ” their mother chuckled, as she paused her conversation with the other noblewomen. ”Shes still small, so it might hurt. ”

”But they
e so soft! ” He protested, leaning in toward Irene and rubbing his cheek against hers. That was the closest Rayvis had ever gotten, and now she could tell that her brother was all over her. Of course, Irene didn dislike having him around at all. (If we keep this up, maybe we can grow up as close siblings later on.)

The women at the table chortled – seemingly taken by the pair of siblings. As Irene glanced at them, she tried to turn away her attention from her brother to listen in on their conversations. Thankfully, one of the guests offered Rayvis a slice of cake to occupy him.

(I need to gain information on whats going on in the world right now.)

”It is so very unfortunate, what happened to their majesties, ” one of the women sighed. ”My husband has been so busy dealing with the unrest thats happening… ”

”Thats to be expected, my husband is the same, ” another sighed. ”The empty throne is going to be difficult to handle. Laydel would be under the threat of invasion if it weren for Cherliann and Ferventia. ”

”Thats true, ” Sarah sighed softly, strands of her white hair falling over her shoulder as she glanced down at Irene. ”All of the dukes have had their hands full restoring order now that we have no Emperor… Even though its been a year since their deaths. There is a lot of uncertainty among the people. ”

e talking about all the unrest happening because of the absence of a ruling figure…) Irene thought, glancing down. Although it was a very serious time for the empire, she was sure that nothing big was going to happen yet. The four dukes were anything but incompetent. In her original story – by cooperating together, they had protected and watched over the nation for eighteen years, all the way until Daniel was crowned Emperor.

The first and most powerful Duchy – Atlan, oversaw all of the government affairs and ensured that peace and order was maintained through rules and law. Atlan was known for having support from both the temples and the court, ensuring unity in the parliament and acting as the brain of the empire. And soon, they would come to raise Prince Daniel, who was a baby right now living in hiding alongside Mikael.

The second most powerful duchy – Cherliann, was in control of all military aspects of Laydel. After the royal guard moved under the guidance of Rudien — the deadliest warrior and strategist in the country, they helped to repel any other nations from invading or attempting to seize the throne of the empire. They also controlled the guards and soldiers within the nation, ensuring the safety of the citizens.

Nothing could get past the army of soldiers raised by this man — which was what made him so dangerous. Not only was he a powerhouse all on his own, but he was talented at passing his knowledge on to his men, conditioning them to perfection as knights who could protect and fight. Ensuring the safety of a prosperous empire without a ruler, for almost two decades, was no easy feat. Irene never really processed just how amazing her father was. He couldve seized the throne himself if he wanted, but luckily Rudien wasn that kind of man.

Although, because of his intensely work-focused lifestyle, the Duke of Cherliann was quite the unloving father and husband.

The third most powerful duchy, Firventia, was left in charge of all international affairs and trade. A dynasty adept in compromising, building friendships and bargaining, as well as geniuses in social networking. Firventia were known for their merchant guild and trade ships, always exchanging and producing goods with their partnered dukedom – Einfred. They were also usually the ones to send delegations or be involved in receiving guests from other countries.

House Einfred was the fourth duchy of Laydel – and also the family who would come to adopt Isabella in the future. They were the centre of the economy and oversaw all monetary matters, distributing and investing money into institutions or facilities that would benefit the people as well as their society. Irene knew this house very well – for she had written much of their feats when she was Hanna.

Duke Alden Einfred was a man who was very fair and gave people equal opportunities, often donating money to charities he knew to be legitimate, as well as listening to the common peoples requests. He was not only the richest man in the nation after the emperor, but also the most generous and optimistic. Furthermore, he had a growing interest towards mages — wielders of magic who he would invest into, hoping for the development of industrialised magical use.

Each of the four dukedoms played a vital role in ensuring the perfect flow of Laydel. Hanna had always taken care to make the empire a wonderful place, different to the reality she lived in. Even without a ruler, the empire prospered with the cooperation of the four dukes.

It was then that Irene finally started to identify who all of the women here were. They were the other duchesses married to the dukes, with the exception of two women – who were married to Marquesses. One, was Marchioness Perchent, whose family was famed for their production of luxuries – such as wine, jewels and noble fashion. The other was Marchioness Drevera, whose husband was a genius doctor producing medicines and regulating hospitals.

(There are so many important people here…) Irene thought to herself.

As the women continued to chatter, Irene listened for any useful information she needed to hear in order to help her with understanding the world around her. But the women had moved on to trivial topics, such as how cute their children were, or the new dress stores that had opened up, or talking about their husbands. Such matters weren important to Irene right now, so when her brother finished his cake and started to play with her again, she decided it would be nice to bond with him.

Irenes days continued to go idly by as a baby, as she continued to develop and grow as quickly as she could. She would often meet with the duchesses of the other houses, since the women would all come over to socialise. In this society, wives of aristocratic background were expected to mingle and make connections with other houses. But it seemed like these six women, including Irenes mother, were all bonded as friends.

Irene couldn help but find it odd though – that she hadn met her father at all since the day she was born, all the way until she could finally crawl at 6 months old. (I get that hes a busy guy, dealing with all the military in the country and all… But six months? What a heartless father!)

Then again, she did realise that this wasn exactly an unusual occurrence. From what she had heard around the manor, as well as her own mothers words, it seemed like Rudien was the type to disappear into his work for months on end. Apparently, he wasn even present when Rayvis was born, and had only first met his son two years after his birth.

Irene found it amazing that her mother could be married to such a man. But whenever his name was brought up, Sarahs mood would seem to die slightly. She would wear a look of disappointment or longing, and that was one huge point on the mental list of red flags Irene kept.

Sarah would always appear miserable whenever Rudiens name was brought up, and Irene was sure it was a sign of her mothers dissatisfaction towards how things were with her husband. (Im not surprised. Having a husband like him would make me want a divorce.) She thought to herself, as she crawled over to one of her toys in her playroom. Just the idea of Rudiens cold shoulder was enough to turn the baby red-faced with irritation. (Honestly, how can any man ignore someone as wonderful as Sarah? He must have a screw loose.)

”Oh my, the Princess face is red again. I think she may need a fresh diaper. ”

”Again? But we just changed it… ”

Irene wailed in protest. (I didn poop, Im just mad!)

Just then – a sudden thud resounded from the doorway, startling her and also the maids hired as her nannies.

As they all turned to see the figure at the door, Irene was so shocked, she almost did ruin her new diaper. Standing imposingly at the door of her nursery, was none other than the tall, silver-haired duke who she hadn seen since the day she was born. And his steely, indecipherable gaze was directed at her with an intensity that made her want to cry.

(Rudien Cherliann?!)

(Whats he doing here all of a sudden??)

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