HAPPILY EVER AFTER(10)
Jerome, who was usually there to oversee their meal, was nowhere to be found. Her husband didn’t outright asked where he was, but his eyes were obviously looking for him, so Lucia said.
“I told the butler to go back early today. He seemed worried about his sick child.”
“Is it very serious? Was the doctor called?”
“Yes, a while ago. According to the doctor, her fever has gone down a lot, so it’s not very dangerous. It looks like babies have fevers for no particular reason. Eve was also like that; it surprised me many times.”
“True. You were crying and weeping that Eve is going to die.”
Lucia was embarrassed and cleared her throat. Even when she thought about it now, back then, she had thoroughly lost her reason. She screamed and cried at her husband to make her better somehow, even though her husband wasn’t a doctor. But it was thanks to him keeping his composure and consoling her that she was able to come back to her senses and not be devastated.
“Does Princess Selena still come here frequently?”
“It’s almost every day. She gets along with Eve very well.”
“Mother. The princess isn’t an issue but as for Jude and Prince Ethan, shouldn’t we stop them from coming at this point?”
“Stop them? Why?”
“I think it’s past time for them to keep playing together like they did as children.”
“Past time? I think it’s still okay.”
Damian felt his mother was going to just pass over his serious suggestion, so he decided to ask his father for support. When it came to Eve, his father’s thinking was far more rigid than Damian’s.
“Father. Eve told me Jude asked her to marry him. That is, she received a marriage proposal.”
How dare that cocky little midget—!
Hugo immediately turned to his wife and spoke with a grim aura around him.
“His entry is forbidden. Right away, starting tomorrow.”
Knowing that whatever she said right now would go in one ear and out the other, Lucia obediently replied.
“Okay, I’ll do that.”
Looking at the father and son who were now focusing on their meal as if they were finally satisfied, Lucia gave a wry smile.
“Why did His Majesty suddenly want to speak with you?”
“The discussion was long, but the conclusion was simple. His Majesty wants an engagement. Between Selena and Damian.”
At the same time Lucia exclaimed in surprise, Damian dropped the knife he was holding, and it fell on his plate with a clatter.
Lucia glanced at Damian’s flustered figure and a playful smile crept onto her lips.
“Her Royal Highness did mention such a thing to me a while back.”
“Is that so? Then I suppose the offer wasn’t made on an impulse.”
“What do you think?”
“It’s not a bad offer. The dowry doesn’t have to be too much either, just enough to keep up appearances. Damian, if you want, I’ll let you marry.”
Damian made a long face. Princess Selena was only eight years old. She was just a year older than Eve. Sure, in ten years, the children would grow into beautiful ladies but that was still in the distant future. If there was an eighteen year old who saw an eight year old as a marriage partner, then that person was honestly crazy.
Bruno was doing his utmost best not to burst into laughter. Images of the tiny princess he saw earlier spun through his mind. The little girl that was playing pretend noblewoman and speaking in a manner that didn’t suit her. When he imagined her becoming Damian’s fiancé and standing beside Damian, he felt like he was about to howl with laughter. His hand holding his fork trembled so he placed the fork down and picked up a glass of water.
“That is absurd. Think about how old Princess Selena is.”
Hugo looked indifferent as he received Damian’s objection.
“Who said it had to be done now? You can get engaged and then marry when the princess gets older.”
Lucia supplemented from the side.
“As a matter of fact, Damian met the princess earlier, on her way back to the Royal Palace. I suppose there would be no need to set up an introductory meeting.”
Damian’s face, which was changing between pale and red, turned dark. It was natural for children to marry according to the arrangements made by their parents. A union between the ducal house and the royal family was obvious a perfect stratagem.
As Damian’s expression stiffened gravely, Bruno’s face also sank even though he had been grinning endlessly. Bruno looked at Damian and inwardly clicked his tongue.
‘If you don’t like it, just say so. This foolish guy.’
The Damian that Bruno knew would never oppose his parents. When you saw him dealing with things as the Shyta of the Academy, you would think he was very stubborn, but before his parents, he was a very obedient son. Even if he collapsed inside, as long as his parents wanted it, he would not only marry Princess Selena but do more than that without any complaints.
‘They aren’t the type of people to push their son into something he doesn’t want because of greed.’
Should he expose his friend’s dating issue? While Bruno considered what to do to pull his friend out of the mire, Lucia spoke first.
“Damian, since you’re taking this so seriously, I can’t tease you anymore.”
Lucia spoke warmly to her somber son.
“I do not plan on forcing you into something you don’t want. How can we decide something like marriage that concerns your life?”
Damian looked at Lucia with an expression like he had come back from death’s door. Seeing Damian looking at her like she was some kind of savior, Lucia found it so adorable and smiled. Her big son still had some traces from his childhood left.
Lucia felt happy as she looked at the black lion who was still keeping his position as king even though he’d grown older, and then at the young black lion who was no longer a cub but still had much left to grow. Two of her most beloved men were just as lovable as ever.
“Your father is also of the same thought. Isn’t that right? You originally didn’t want to have a marriage with the royal family.”
Hugo snorted when he saw Damian looking at his mother eagerly. His wife was too overindulgent with Damian. A child should listen to their parents. However, Hugo didn’t reveal what he was thinking inside and wrapped his words up in a pretty package.
“I won’t force him into a marriage he doesn’t want.”
“What did you say to His Majesty?”
“I suspended it because it wasn’t the right time to discuss it. I said if the boy doesn’t have a woman by the time the princess makes her debut at fifteen, I’ll think about it.”
“Why make such a promise…”
“Damian, you have no confidence in getting a woman in seven years?”
Damian couldn’t give a reply.
Hugo decided to act like he knew nothing when he saw his son feigning ignorance. He already knew that his son had a woman from the reports of those planted in the academy.
“That isn’t something that can be solved with time.”
Lucia took to her son’s defense.
“By the way, why are we only talking about Damian’s engagement? How about our Eve. There are three princes to pair her with.”
“Not a chance.”
“That can’t happen, Mother.”
“It’s too early, Mother.”
Lucia laughed incredulously when she saw the three men uttering similar words at almost the exact same time. In this ducal residence, there were three men who became idiots when it came to Evangeline.