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✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Forgotten Princess Chapters Continuation ✍️✍️✍️✍️

PHYSIENTS WILL ALWAYS OFFER BEST STORIES AND LIVE STREAMING ALL TIME

Side Story (Satiana and Jack) (1)

(Satiana's POV)

As Duke Matias has planned, the fight to claim back the throne of Jennovia has started. As the duke had said, my brother Gladiolus has no claim to the Jennovia throne because he is not my father's son but the son of my mother's former lover, her brother. Because of that the only one who has the right to rule over Jennovia is me, the legitimate daughter of my deceased father.

The uprising was planned by the loyal aristocratic faction of Jennovia. They wanted to dethrone my mother the current empress of Jennovia, Queen Patricia. As they have said, she was the one that cursed this land to have an eternal winter that made it into a wasteland uninhabitable in most parts. The people suffered over twenty years and they have had enough.

Duke Matias had sought help from Grandcrest's King Regaleon, the one that is currently in war with my mother. The king had promised to help with one condition, that Jennovia would consent into the merger of all the countries in this continent to create a new empire that he and his wife Alicia will govern. King Regaleon had promised to leave the governance to me, the rightful heir to the Jennovian throne. The duke agreed to these terms, making me the grand duchess of Jennovia after the creation of the empire.

We are now currently at the last leg of the civil war. With the joint forces of the army that Duke Matias had rounded up and the army that the king of Grandcrest had sent to aide us, my mother's forces was pushed back into the capital city and inside the palace.

"As you now know, many of the Jennovian soldiers under the queen's command had now defected to our side." Duke Matias said.

We are currently in his mansion that has became a stronghold for our forces. It was late at night and they were discussing the plans on the assault on the Jennovian palace. There was a table at the center of the room where a huge map of Jennovia is placed. There was chess like pieces that were placed at the Jennovia palace. The pieces that represent our forces are currently surrounding the palace.

"The queen's forces that stayed loyal to her have now retreated into the palace." Jack said while pointing to the palace in the map.


"They have made their last line of defense at the palace's walls." Duke Matias' son Alfred said. He was a young man that just turned eighteen years old but has shown outstanding contribution leading our forces in this civil war.

"We should not our guard down in our assault on the palace." Duke Matias said. "As you know, the ones that remain loyal to the queen are her fellow Atlantian people. They are people that use magic in combat."

Jack and Alfred both nodded in agreement. The three of them together with some men that leads our forces were deep in their discussion. The night was starting to get deep, and I tried to fight my yawn coming out but was unsuccessful. Tears came out of my eyes after that, and I wipe them off. Jack might have seen me yawn and walked to my side.

"Sati, if you are sleepy, you can go to your room and rest for the night." Jack said with a hint of worry,

"Well, I want to stay here." I replied. "At least I want to know what will happened. All of you are fighting and I cannot do anything to contribute to the battle."

"You know that you are the most important piece in this war. You are our queen." Jack said giving me a sweet smile. "It is our job to protect you, the future monarch of Jennovia."

My heart skipped a beat after seeing Jack's sweet gesture. He had a way with words, making my heart thump fast.

"Do not worry princess." Alfred said, seeing us. "You go and tuck in for the night, I will brief you of our plans once morning comes. Would you like me to escort you back to your room?" he asked politely.

"Well I…" I was about to decline when Jack butted in.

"You do not need to worry your lordship." Jack said with a generic smile. "I will escort the princess back to her room. After all, I am the one tasked by Princess Alicia to guard the princess."

There was an unusual friction between both of the men. Alfred gave in first and sighed.

"Very well." Alfred said. "Have a pleasant night princess."

"Thank you, Alfred." I replied awkwardly. "You as well." I nodded a goodnight.

"Let us go princess." Jack ushered me out of the office.

We were both walking along the corridor that was completely silent because it was nighttime. All I can hear are our footsteps on the floor.


"I think Duke Matias' son is vying to get the position as your husband?" Jack broke the silence. He looked irritated.

"W-What?!" I was surprised with what Jack had said. "No way. I mean… that is impossible." I waved my hand left and right rejecting the idea.

"Why is it impossible?" Jack asked. "You are the future monarch of Jennovia and many will want to have the position as your husband. That means anyone that will be your husband will have the title of grand duchess' consort, giving them power together with the title."

"I-I guess you have a point there." I cannot contest to that.

My future position is something that comes with power. Many will try and get my favor just because of the title I would be having. I felt sad that I would need to be wary of people coming close to me.

"Well, it is not only that, princess." Jack scratched his head thinking that what he had said made me sad. "I mean… you are a beautiful young lady right now. What more when you grow up. I am sure many suitors will line up to you in the future."

"Y-You think I am beautiful?" I blushed hearing Jack's words.

"Well yes, of course." Jack replied instantly. "I mean you have beautiful brown hair, and your eyes shines like emeralds when they are hit by the sun. I am sure you will be more beautiful when you come of age."

I was screaming internally after hearing Jack's words. There is still four years left before I come of age. Jack is right when he said that suitors will start to flood when I reach that point in my life.

"W-Will you stay by my side until then?" I asked shyly. I know that Jack only promised to stay with me until I take the throne of Jennovia from my mother. But I was expectant that he will stay by my side even after that.

"Would you like me to stay?" Jack stopped and faced me directly.

"O-Of course!" I replied with force. "I mean… you are one of the people I can trust. I wish you stay with me until I am confident that I can stand on my own." I reasoned out.

'Ahhh… Satiana, why can't you just tell him your feelings?' I scolded myself. 'But what if he thinks that I am still young and tells me that what I am feeling now is just a passing crush. No, let us wait until I come of age. Then, I will confess my feelings to him.' I promised myself.

"Then I will stay." Jack replied.


"What?" I was pre-occupied with my thoughts that I was surprised with his reply.

"I said that I will stay by your side if you need me to." Jack gave me a huge grin. "I am happy you serve, you know. Princess Satiana." My heart was racing seeing how he was looking directly at me.

"T-Then I am under your care, Jack." I replied with a blush. "M-My room is just around the corner. I will take my leave then."

I rushed out of there, thinking that is I have stayed then Jack will hear my heart thumping out loud.

"Good night princess." Jack yelled from behind.

I opened and closed the door in a hurry. I ran to my bed and jumped on it, burying my face on the soft matters. I screamed out loud, having the mattress muffle the sound. My heart was still racing inside my chest.

'This is not a simple crush anymore.' I thought to myself. 'I am really in love with him.'

Edited by: nalyn
________
Side Story (Satiana and Jack) (2)

(Satiana's POV)

The planned attack on the Jennovia palace was successful in many ways possible. We were able to get back the Jennovian palace and push out my mother's forces, but we were unable to get her. My mother and brother have left the palace long before we were able to lay siege on them, only a handful of soldiers that were discarded by the queen were left to defend a palace with no one inside. The civil war in Jennovia has ended and I was crowned queen of Jennovia just before the empire was established.

Because I was still young and has not come of age, Duke Matias was tasked to be my guardian. He became a good teacher and advisor to me in terms of politics and governing. Jack who had promised to stay by my side until I come of age had honored his promise. With Duke Matias' suggestion, I had given Jack a title of marquis and a piece of land here in Jennovia. Not only that, but he was also appointed as my personal knight that stayed by my side.

Time passed by quickly and many happened. Regaleon and Alicia won the war against my mother and the empire was established. My title was changed from queen to grand duchess, something that has been promised with the king of Grandcrest. I have diligently learned under Duke Matias and other teachers of my duties as the grand duchess that oversees Jennovia.

I was also informed of my mother's death. I was quite sad because I was not even able to talk to her. I would have wanted to at least talk to her one last time and ask her if had she ever loved me as her daughter. I was ready to face whatever my mother would have told me, even if she tells me that she never loved me from the start. What I really wanted was closure in that chapter of my life, but I was not given the chance to do so.

It was autumn at this point in time and my coming of age was quickly approaching. On top of my duties as grand duchess, I was also busy with the preparations of my coming of age ceremony. And not only that, many letters from well known aristocratic families have been sending invitations to tea parties and such. As I know, these families have sons that are near my age hence I can see their plan on inviting me in such gatherings.

I sighed seeing a pile of documents and unopened invitations letters on top of my work desk.


"It really is tough, now that your coming of age ceremony is coming near." Duke Matias said, looking at some closed invitation letters. "These families have sons that are in your age. Hmm, they have quite high ambitions."

"I know, right?" I sighed once more.

"Our grand duchess is quite popular these days." Jack who was standing by my side had a teasing smile on his face.

"it really is quite troublesome you know." I replied to him. "They just want to introduce their sons to me, hoping that I will take them as consorts. I have no plan on making a harem you know." I said with irritation.

"Well, you father had at least three consorts. And your grandfather had seven." Duke Matias smiled teasingly. "It is common for Jennovian monarchs to have side consorts."

"I know you are teasing me uncle." I told the duke. "Grandcrest was also similar in the past, but King Regaleon had already demolished that in his reign. I also do not plan on following in my ancestors' footsteps."

"That is true." Duke Matias replied. "It will only have problems with choosing an heir in the future."

I blushed hearing the word 'heir' from the duke's mouth.

'Yes, I as a ruler I am also tasked to bore an offspring to continue my lineage.' I thought.

I took a peek at Jack, imaging what if he would be my consort. What would our children look like?

'I will be happy if our children had his red fiery hair.' I smiled.

"But it would be best to select an escort for your coming of age ceremony." Duke Matias said. "it would be wise to choose well, grand duchess. As you know, many eyes will be on you and your escort will be looked at as a potential future consort."

I sighed knowing what the duke meant by his words. The aristocratic faction has kept an eye for me for the whole time of my governance. As I am new at this, some with ill intentions can nitpick on my short comings. A rebellion or uprising is possible with a weak ruler. And so, it is a must to get a consort that has a good standing and will be able to help me in governing in the future.


"If I may, I would like to suggest my son Alfred." Duke Matias replied. "You have known him for quite some time now and I am sure you have an idea of his affection for you. He will make a good partner in the future. I can vouch for him as his father." He bowed his head solemnly, showing his sincerity.

"I know that young Lord Alfred is a good man." I replied to him awkwardly. "But… I have not thought about taking a consort. For now, I want to focus on my coming of age ceremony and get through with it without any problems. But thank you for your suggestion uncle. I will keep that in mind." I smiled.

"I understand." Duke Matias replied. "I know it is rather difficult, because it should be a mother that is tasked to make preparations for a daughter's coming of age ceremony."

I felt a prick on my chest hearing the duke words. It is true that a mother should be the one in charge of the preparations but unfortunately, I do not have one.

"Please mind your words in front of the grand duchess, Duke Matias." I heard Jack said with a chilling voice.

"Ah yes… I am sorry. It was insensitive of me." Duke Matias quickly apologized.

*KNOCK KNOCK*

There was a knock on the door of my office.

"Come in." I ordered.

The door opened and an attendant came in.

"Your grace, Duchess Leticia of Alvannia and Grand Duke Gladiolus are here and wants to meet you." The attendant said.

"Aunt and older brother?!" I was surprised.

Aunt Leticia had maintained contact with me through letters, but we were busy to have time and see each other. My brother Gladiolus on the other hand have not contacted me for since the time he left with mother. I was so happy that he was here to meet me.

"I will meet with them." I stood up and smiled happily. "Bring them to the lounge area where we take important guests." I ordered.

"Understood your grace." The attendant retreated and closed the door.

"I will finish these documents later." I said. "You can call it a day uncle."

"Then I wish you a good day ahead, your grace." Duke Matias bowed.

"Come Jack, let's go to the lounge area immediately." I said with joy.

"As you wish, your grace." Jack smiled back and he escorted me out of my office.

Edited by: nalyn
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Side Story (Satiana and Jack) (3)

(Satiana's POV)

Aunt Leticia and my brother Gladiolus were sitting in the lounge area. The maids have brought them refreshments while waiting for me. Before entering, I took a deep breath and walked inside.

"I hope I did not make you wait." I said while entering the lounge area.

"Not at all." Aunt Leticia turned around and gave me a warm smile. She looked exactly like my mother that it made me pause for a moment.

"I am happy to see you again, Aunt Leticia." I walked towards her. She gave me a big hug when I approached.

"Oh my. You have grown into a fine young woman." Aunt Leticia complimented. "I hope you are doing well."

"Yes, I am doing fine." I replied fighting the tears that were trying to come out of my eyes.

"Why are you crying my dear?" Aunt Leticia saw my mask and that had broken any defenses I made to fight the tears.

"A-Aunt…" I bawled while hugging her. "I-I just can't believe you are here right now. I-It has been so long since I have seen any of my family." I cried in her arms.

"Oh dear." Aunt Leticia patted my back to comfort me. "If I knew you were lonely, then I should have visited a long time ago. It is just that Alicia's father had been so hard to deal with sometimes. Well, you know, he wanted me for himself." She whispered.

"Hahaha…" I giggled hearing how Alicia's father had taken off with Aunt Leticia. Alicia had also mentioned in a letter to me that she was not able to see Aunt Leticia for months because her father had selfishly alienated aunt, saying that they were on a tour around the continent.

"But there are no excuses to this brother of yours." Aunt Leticia pulled away and gestured to my brother Gladiolus. "I am also here because he asked me to accompany him in meeting you. He was afraid that you had a deep grudge against him and asked me to help him patch things up between the two of you."

I looked at my brother Gladiolus with warm eyes. We have not met for a couple of years now and he his appearance had changed a lot. His long hair silver silky hair that was always tied at the back is now short. He now has a more muscular body than the last time I had seen him. He had matured finely over the years.

"S-Satiana…" Gladiolus awkwardly called out my name.


"BROTHER!!!" I quickly ran towards him with tears falling. Gladiolus was surprised with the suddenness of my action and he was ready to catch me with open arms.

Gladiolus caught me with no problems. He wrapped his arms around me, and I felt his warmth in an instant. I felt the love that I have so long for when we were apart.

"W-Why… Why did you show yourself just now?" I asked, my tears were now flooding like a river.

"I am sorry Sati." Gladiolus wiped the tears on my cheeks affectionately. "I just… I did not know how to face you after I abandoned you. I know you are mad at me, and you have a right to be." I shook my head violently, denying his assumptions.

"No… I was never mad at you to begin with brother." I replied. "I missed you… I missed you so dearly. You are my one and only brother and you had taken care of me since we were kids. I know you love me as your sister, and I will always love you as my brother."

"S-Sati…" Gladiolus was in a loss of words. I can see some tears starting to fall from his eyes. He hugged me tightly and I felt the love I missed so much.

**

After our tearful reunion, the three of us talked about a lot of things. I was happy to know that they will be here until my coming of age ceremony. Aunt Leticia will help me in the preparations as a stand in for my mother and my brother will be the one to escort me at the ceremony, helping me prevent rumors of future consorts.

"I am happy that I can help you with your coming of age ceremony." Aunt Leticia said with delight. "I was not able to do this with my Alicia, but at least let me fill in the role that my sister has left."

"Thank you, Aunt Leticia." I replied with a smile.

"I also want to tell you something Sati." Gladiolus said with solemn eyes. "It was one of the last words our mother had said before dying."

"M-Mother?" I asked hesitantly. "She left a message for me?" I was afraid on what the message will be.

"Do not worry Sati, if it were something offensive then I would keep it for myself and not speak of it." Gladiolus reassured me and I nodded in understanding. "It was short, but meaningful."

*FLASHBACK*

"G-Gladiolus…" Patricia was in her last breath.

"Mother… please…" Gladiolus held his dying mother.


"P-Please relay my message to your sister…" Patricia said. "Tell her… Tell her I am sorry. I am so sorry for not showing her the love that a mother should give to her child. My heart was tainted black because of what her father had done to me and that hatred was unfortunately extended to her as well."

"Mother…" Gladiolus replied. "Please tell her that yourself."

"Hmmm… I know I cannot." Patricia shook her head. "Tell Satiana that if ever there is a next life, I will make it up to her. In the next life I will… I will treat her well for sure."

*END OF FLASHBACK*

The tears that have stopped a while ago started to flow once more. I had the closure I had longed for from the message that my brother had just conveyed.

"Thank you… Thank you so much." I displayed my gratitude.

"I hope that these words had helped you." Gladiolus said.

"Yes, it did." I said with a smile. "It brought me closure that I have longed for. Now I feel complete. Thank you, brother."

"I am happy then." Gladiolus replied.

This was such a good day. I am sure that I will become happy with my upcoming coming of age ceremony together with my loved ones.

Edited by: nalyn
_________
Side Story (Satiana and Jack) (4)

(Jack's POV)

Satiana's birthday and coming of age ceremony is tomorrow. All the preparations are in full swing now and Satiana herself is quite busy moving around in the palace. As her personal knight, I was always behind her every step of the way.

"Have the tables and chairs arrived? How about the linen and curtains?" Satiana was talking to the head maid and butler.

"Yes, your grace." The butler replied. "The tables and chairs have just arrived and are now being stored at the west wing."

"The curtains and linens are all ready as well." The head maid replied. "I have instructed the maids to change everything before the day ends."

"That is good." Satiana said in relief. "I think I need to double check with the caterer for the food and the band that will play at the ceremony. Oh, and the flowers. Have you checked with the florist on what time they will deliver the fresh flowers tomorrow?"

I cannot help but smile seeing how busy Satiana is right now. I have been by her side for so many years now. We both have experienced many ups and downs together and I was happy to see her grow from a child into a hard working adult now. I cannot but help see how she had blossomed into a beautiful flower.

"The flowers will be here in time Sati." Leticia came walking along the hall towards us. "The flowers are the ones you carefully grown yourself. The only thing the florist will do is to arrange them beautifully. Now, let me handle all of this. What you need to do is rest. You have a big day ahead tomorrow."

"B-But Aunt Leticia…" Satiana was about to protest.

"Now, now…" Leticia scolded. "This is my job. You go and have some cup of tea or something. Jack, take my niece and make sure to let her REST." She emphasized strongly.

"Of course, madam." I replied curtly with a smile. "Now let us go your grace. It is the duchess' orders."

"Really? Is it okay to take a break?" Satiana said while I pulled her from working on the preparations.

"Of course, it is okay. You deserve a break before your big day." I replied.

"Then I guess it is okay." Satiana smiled sweetly at me and my heart started to thump hard inside my chest.

'How odd…" I thought to myself. 'Why did I suddenly feel my heart thump like that?'


We were walking towards the green house where she always goes to relax and drink tea when an attendant came in front of us and bowed.

"Your grace, young Lord Alfred want to have an audience with you." The attendant said. Hearing that name put a frown on my face.

Alfred was Duke Matias' son that helped us with the uprising against the late Queen Patricia. As expected of a duke's son, he was well mannered and an honest person. He has no faults or whatsoever, but I just do not like him one bit and I do not know what ticks me off.

'Maybe it is because of how he has eyes for Sati.' I thought to myself.

Alfred has been open with his affection for Satiana. I am sure Satiana is not dense and knows of the young lord's feelings for her, but she has always evaded the topic for the past years saying that she is still a minor.

"Alfred is here?" Satiana asked. "Then please lead him to the green house. I will meet him there. Please tell the maids to bring refreshments for two."

"Yes, your grace." The attendant bowed and was on his way while Satiana and I continued walking towards the green house.

"When have you been in first name basis with the young lord of the Matias family?" I had one of my eyebrows arched up.

"Oh, he asked me the last time I met to call him by his name." Satiana replied nonchalantly. "He requested it saying that we have known each other for many years, and I still address him with his title. I thought it was alright because we have grown close to be friends."

"Grown closer?" I looked at her curiously. I was always by her side and she always had an aloof relationship with Alfred.

"Well, I have known him for so many years and I think we have grown closer to be friends." Satiana replied.

For some reason I feel irritated with the word 'grown closer' come out of Satiana's mouth. I felt my mood drop the entire walk towards the green house.

Once we arrived, Alfred was already there waiting inside. He was looking around, surely admiring the plants.

"Your grace." Alfred greeted with a bow. He was holding a bouquet of red roses. "This is for you."

Alfred handed the bouquet and Satiana received it with a smile.

"Thank you, Alfred." Satiana replied. "They look beautiful."

"Not as beautiful as you, your grace." Alfred said in a cheesy way that I grimaced.


"T-Thank you for the compliment." Satiana replied awkwardly.

"But the flowers are nothing compared to the ones you grow here in your green house." Alfred said. "This is the first time I have been here. I am sure you only invite precious people to come here. I am honored." He extended his hand to escort Satiana.

"I am glad you like it." Satiana took Alfred's hand, and she was escorted to her seat before Alfred took a seat as well. "We are friends and I thought I would like you to see one of my hobbies since I was small. This green house is the most precious to me because father had built it for me."

"I see." Alfred smiled. "I am happy that had the privilege to be invited here."

I can see how Alfred was flirting with Satiana and it irritates me even more. My mood has been down since the time I heard he was here.

The maids arrive with refreshments and snacks. The two of them started to chat while drinking tea.

"Then what brings you here, Alfred." Satiana asked at last.

"Well, it is rather personal, your grace." Alfred them looked at me that made me raise an eyebrow. "Can we talk privately?"

"Sir Jack is my personal knight as you know Alfred." Satiana replied. "He cannot just leave my side. I am sure that whatever you will say here will stay between us." She assured.

'Heh, tough luck kicking me out.' I thought smirking internally.

"If that is what you wish, your grace." Alfred then knelt in one knee in front of Satiana. In turn, she was surprised with the sudden action of Alfred. "Your grace Grand Duchess Satiana, I have fell in love with you since the first time I saw you and I have shown you my heart since then. I have been very sincere with my affection and courtship for you. And before your birthday tomorrow, I want to ask your hand in marriage. Will you marry me, your grace?"

Satiana was in complete and utter shock with Alfred's confession. Yes, it is true that Alfred has been open with his affection for Satiana for a long time now. No one in the aristocratic world does not know of this. But Satiana had always shown disinterest with his courtship. I cannot believe how brave Alfred is to ask for marriage after all of Satiana's polite rejection of him.

"A-Alfred…" Satiana replied awkwardly. "T-This is a bit… sudden."


"It is not sudden because I know you have known my feelings for you since before." Alfred replied.

"I know but… I mean… marriage is a bit… sudden." Satiana's eyes was darting all over the place.

"I promise to you that I will be a good consort." Alfred said in a solemn way. "I will help you govern Jennovia. I will give you a proper heir because I am quite confident with our genes."

'What the f*ck are you saying!' I screamed internally. I can see how flustered Satiana is right now.

"Young lord, I believe you are giving her grace a hard time." I quickly interjected.

"Marquis, it is not nice for you to interject with other people's business." Alfred stood up and confronted me. We are now standing face to face, staring with each other coldly.

"It is not just other people but her grace's business." I replied back. "I am her personal knight and I have a right to get in the way of her grace's business if I can see that she is being burdened."

"Burdened? I think her grace just said that my asking her hand in marriage was sudden and not a burden." Alfred replied back.

"If someone that you only think of as a 'friend' suddenly asks for your hand in marriage, then that will become a burden." I threw back the words at him. Both of us were staring down at each other, not wanting to back down.

"N-Now, now you two." Satiana was getting flustered with the standoff between Alfred and me. She does not know what to do.

"What is happening here?" I heard a familiar voice coming inside the green house.

Gladiolus was walking tall and looking at us with an intense gaze.

"B-Brother…" Satiana had a pleading face towards her brother.

"I think that my sister will need her rest for the big day tomorrow." Gladiolus said when he arrived where we are. "Sir Jack, why don't you escort my sister back to her room to rest."

"Yes, your grace." I bowed and extended my hand to Satiana and she took it without any questions.

"Umm, before I leave…" Satiana turned to Alfred. "Let me think about your proposal first." Alfred beamed a smile after hearing her words.

"Of course, your grace." Alfred replied. "There is no pressure."

"You know that any suitors of my sister will have to go through me first." Gladiolus looked at Alfred with chilling eyes.


"Pfft…" I cannot prevent a chuckle from coming out of my mouth when I saw how frozen Alfred was with Gladiolus' stare on him.

I quickly led Satiana out of the green house before her brother would lecture Alfred even more.

Edited by: nalyn
_________
Side Story (Satiana and Jack) (5)

(Jack's POV)

The day of Satiana's birthday finally arrived. It was a very busy day not only for Satiana but to all of the employees working in the palace. Satiana was cooped up in her room since early in the morning getting ready for the day ahead. As Satiana's personal knight, I should close by watching her, but the maids were adamant not to let me in and even see her. Leticia came out and gave me the task of receiving important guests this morning, the emperor and empress of the united empire.

"Hah…" I sighed sadly. "And I was planning on giving my gift to her first thing in the morning while greeting her a happy birthday."

I took out a small box from my pocket and opened it. The box contains a gold necklace with a heart pendant, with green leaves circling around it. The leaves consist of emeralds like Satiana's eyes, and flower was made of crimson rubies.

"I hope she likes the gift." I smiled closing the box once again and putting it back inside my pocket.

I walked towards the entrance of the palace where I will receive our special guest. I was not waiting long when I saw a convoy of knights on horses with carriages following behind. A logo of Grandcrest's royal family is etched on the carriages, letting us know who the passengers are. When the convoy got near, I saw a familiar face amongst the knights at front, it was William. A smile crept on my face seeing him after such a long time. The carriages stopped in front of the entrance, and I walked forward to greet them.

"Sir William." I greeted. "It has been a long time." William came down from his horse and walked towards me. I stretched out my hand and he shook it in an instant.

"Yes, it has been a long time." William greeted back with a smile. "I hope you are doing well. I heard you have obtained a title of marquis and have your own piece of land here in Jennovia. My greeting might be a little late but congratulations."

"Thanks." I replied sincerely. "It is nice to not be looked down upon being a commoner near her grace, but even if I still am, I will never be ashamed of my status and will never leave her graces side. Just like you, you are still by her side I see."

"Yeah well… deep feelings are not easy to uproot I suppose." William said with an awkward smile. "I guess we are the same in that regard."


"Pardon?" I asked in curiosity. I did not understand what he meant when he said, 'we were the same in that regard'.

"Jack!" I heard Alicia's voice calling out to me. I looked at the carriages and see that King Regaleon had come down and was now helping Alicia down as well. I quickly walked towards them and bowed.

"I greet his majesty the emperor and her majesty the empress." I said with utmost respect. "I am here on behalf of her grace Grand Duchess Satiana. She is quite busy getting ready."

"It is fine. Raise your head, Jack." Alicia said. I saw her shining platinum blonde hair being blown away beautifully by the wind, looking like silver waves. "I missed you so much." I was surprised that she gave me a hug out of nowhere.

"Umm… uh… I missed you to, Alicia." I said with an awkward voice. This should be an innocent greeting like between family, but I can see the emperor looking daggers at me. "I am glad to see you so healthy." I pushed her carefully fearing that my life will be in danger if the hug lasted even a second longer.

"How was your journey by the way?" I asked. "I bet you had a tiresome journey. Your lodgings are ready, I will show you the way. Let the maids bring your luggage." I made a hand gesture to the maids that were assigned to wait on the imperial family to start helping them with their luggage.

"Yes, it has been a tiresome journey by carriage." Regaleon replied. "Because we travelled with the twins and my wife does not want to part with them, we cannot travel on Tempest and opted to travel by carriage. We left Leon in Grandcrest because he is still so little to travel."

"Of course, we cannot leave the twins to travel by carriage alone and get here on Tempest." Alicia scolded Regaleon. I believe she is the only one who could do that, knowing that her husband is the emperor and the highest one of all in this continent. "Do not worry, I am fine. Just a little tired." I can see her massaging her back hinting that it was sore. Regaleon sighed seeing her acting okay.

"Let us go to our room to have some rest." Regaleon took his wife's hand and assisted her gently. "Marquis Jack, please lead the way."

"Yes, your majesty." I replied at once.

"Oh, but what about Alphonse and Aerith?" Alicia asked hesitantly.


I looked at the next carriage opening and saw Tricia and a maid coming down with a baby each in their arms.

"Do not worry your majesty, they are sleeping soundly." Tricia replied. "I will take care of the prince and princess. Please be rest assured and take a rest."

"Thank you, Tricia." Alicia replied.

I quickly led the imperial couple to their quarters while the other maids led the imperial children to theirs. While we were walking through the hallways, Alicia started a conversation.

"So, tell me Jack, how are thing with you and Sati?" Leticia asked with a bright tone.

"Me and her grace?" I asked in a confused tone, not sure why she is asking such things. "Well… good, I guess. I am still by her side guarding her and she is doing quite well while growing up."

"You mean, nothing changed between the two of you?" Alicia asked in disbelief.

"Yeah, why?" I asked rather confused.

"Hah…" Leticia sighed deeply.

'Well, that was a deep sigh.' I thought to myself.

"I never knew you were this dense." Alicia said.

"P-Pardon? Me, dense?" I asked in disbelief. "Why would you say that?"

"You know that Sati is not a child any longer, right?" Alicia asked.

"Of course, I know." I replied. "I saw her grow into a fine young lady myself."

"Then you know that she will need to find a husband not long now. Someone she can depend on in governing Jennovia." Alicia said.

"Of course, I know that." I replied. I just met a persistent b*stard yesterday wanting to offer marriage.

"What do you feel if Sati finds someone like that?" Alicia asked. "What if Sati finds someone she fell in love with and marry him?" She looked at me with prying eyes.

I was caught of guard with Alicia's questions. Yes, I know that Satiana will marry someone eventually. It is inevitable for her to find a partner that will help her in governing Jennovia. But hearing Alicia say about Satiana falling in love rubbed me in a different way. I was speechless.

'What if she does fall in love with some noble man?' I thought to myself. 'Should I not be happy if Sati get to marry someone she loves and have a good relationship with him. But why am I feeling conflicted?' I frowned.


"I see." Alicia said while looking at me intently. I looked at her, confused with her words. "Your face tells me everything. All I can say is, I hope you are not to late when you realize your own feelings."

"My feelings…?" I said with a confused look.

We arrived in front of the room that was designated to the imperial couple. Alicia first entered and Regaleon paused at the door for a while and turned to me.

"My wife is rather fond of her cousin the grand duchess and want her to be happy." Regaleon said. "I believe you are not that blind of her feelings for you."

"Feelings… for me? The grand duchess?" I asked in disbelief.

"If you do not harbor the same feelings then I guess it is fine just to stay quiet." Regaleon said. "But if you harbor the same feelings, then I suggest that you make a decision and fast. I heard that the grand duchess is considering the marriage proposal from the son of Duke Matias. How will you feel if you see her being intimate with someone else? Think carefully." Then he entered the room and closed the door in front of me.

I was dumfounded with Regaleon's words. I was out of sorts and when I came back to my senses, I was already in front of Satiana's door.

"Sir Jack… sir…" The knight standing guard at the door was calling out to me.

"Huh…" I replied when I cam back to my senses.

"I was calling out to you a couple of times sir." The knight replied. "There was nothing to report. Her grace was inside her room the whole time you were away. Her aunt, her highness Leticia is in there as well."

"I-I see." I remembered telling the knight to report to me everything that happens while I was away receiving our important guests.

I opened the door slightly ajar and thought of knocking when I heard Satiana and Leticia's voice. From the crack of the opened door, I see both of them seating side by side on the couch.

"Are you sure about these, my dear?" Leticia asked.

"Yes aunt, I am quite sure." Satiana replied. "I will accept Alfred's proposal. He is the best candidate to be my husband. As the grand duchess, it is my duty not to only govern but also produce an heir for the next generation."


"I understand that he is the best candidate and I know the duty that is also a burden to your shoulders, but to marry just for obligation is a bit… too old fashioned." Leticia said. "I mean, I know you also want to marry for love, correct?"

"Of course, aunt. I also want to but…" Satiana trailed off. "Marrying for love is a luxury for us nobles. I am just happy that you and Alicia were able to marry for love. I think that faith is not for me."

"Oh, my dear." Leticia pulled Satiana into a hug. I can hear low sobs.

"But I believe feelings can be developed in time. I mean Alfred is a great guy and he loves me." Satiana said. "Maybe in time, I can learn to love him as well."

"I understand." Leticia patted Satiana gently in the back. "When are you planning on accepting the marriage proposal?"

"I will accept it later at the ball." Satiana replied while sitting back up. "It will serve as a public announcement as well."

"I see." Leticia replied. "If it is your decision then I cannot stop you. Have you told your brother?"

"Not yet." Satiana replied. "I still do not know how to tell him. I am afraid that he will accept it after I saw how he treated Alfred back at the greenhouse yesterday, hehe." She giggled.

"Well, she is your big brother, of course he will see suitors to be enemies." Leticia giggled as well. "Tell your brother before you make the public announcement, okay?"

"Yes, I am planning to." Satiana replied with a smile.

I was standing by the doorway speechless from what I just heard.

"Sir Jack, are you not going in?" The knight replied.

"I-I will get some fresh air for a while." I said and turned around. "If her grace asks for me, tell her I will be out for a while because of an emergency."

"Yes, sir." The knight replied.

I walked away in a hurry. My mind was now full of Satiana. Alicia and Regaleon's words now resonated inside my head. My heart was beating so fast, and it felt painful hearing the Satiana will accept that b*stard's marriage proposal.

"Why… why do I feel pain and anger?" I asked walking towards a secluded place in the palace. I saw a big tree and punched it nonstop with my fists. "She is marrying him of all people, that b*stard. If it were someone else…"

What if it were someone else, will I be okay with someone else marrying Satiana?


"No… no I am not okay with anyone standing by Satiana's side." I answered my own question. "What is wrong with me? Why am I feeling this way?"

'I hope you are not to late when you realize your own feelings.' I remember Alicia's word from earlier.

"My feelings… I have feelings for her." I realized just now. "Hah… hahahaha! No wonder Alicia called me dense. What a fool you are, Jack." I hit my head on the tree trunk. I can feel blood trickle from my forehead.

"I had been by Satiana's side for so long since she was young and thought that my feelings for her is what I would have for a little sister." I told myself. "I only just realized that what I am feeling right now is love towards the opposite sex. Hah, maybe I was deluding myself the entire time because I met her when she was still young, and my conscious was preventing me to realize my true feelings. But Alicia is right, Satiana has now grown into a fine young lady. I do not need to be conscious of the fact that she is a minor."

I took out the box that was inside my pocket. I have ordered this necklace from the best jeweler in the continent. I specifically chosen the best gems there was. Now I know why I have chosen the heart design with leaves circling it as the pendant, in my subconsciousness I know that my heart has already been ensnared by her and her alone.

"I love her… I love Satiana." I told myself.

Now I am sure of my feelings, and I just need to make sure that I am not too late.

"I will not let anyone else marry Satiana." I said with determination.

Edited by: nalyn
___________

Side Story (Satiana and Jack) (6)

(Satiana's POV)

It was already nighttime, and the hall is now open for my birthday. Guests are now starting to arrive as I have heard from one of my maids. While the party is about to start, I am still here getting ready to wear my gown.

I looked in front of a full-sized body mirror and saw myself dolled up beautifully. I was wearing the right amount of make-up on my face. My hair was beautifully decorated with butterfly and flower ornaments. My lips were tinted with the same red as Jack's crimson hair.

"I have not seen Jack the whole day today." I asked the maids helping me prepare.

"I have already asked the knight standing guard outside your grace." One maid replied. "Sir Jack had left a word that he will be away for a while because of an emergency."

"An emergency?" I asked. "I hope nothing bad happened." I felt worried in an instant.

"Do not worry your grace, I am sure the marquis will be fine." The maid replied. "He is such a strong and capable man, that is why he is very popular with the female employees in the palace." She giggled.

"Jack is popular?" I asked out of curiosity.

"Of course, your grace. He is such a handsome man and one of the sought of bachelor's here inside the place." Another maid replied. "And with his witty remarks, no girl would not fall for his charms, hehe." She giggled.

"But unfortunately, the marquis only has eyes for you, your grace." The maid replied.

"M-Me?" I asked in disbelief. "You must be mistaken. I mean, he only sees me as a younger sister."

"What do you mean younger sister, your grace?" The maid looked at me questioningly. "The gaze the marquis has for you is filled with love and affection that is impossible for I to be feelings for a younger sister."

"Yes, yes." The other maid nodded. "If you can just see how the marquis' eyes follows you everywhere validates his romantic feelings for you."

"I am not sure about that." I replied with an awkward smile. "Well, he is my personal knight so of course his eyes would follow me everywhere, right?"

"I think not your grace." The other maid replied. "I mean, the gaze of the marquis has for you it is hot and burning. If I can be bold, I will say it is quite dreamy. How I wish someone would gaze me the same way the marquis gazes you your grace."


"She is correct, your grace." The other maid replied. "Majority of the female employees inside the palace would had seen it and they also yearn for someone like the marquis to look at them like that. But do not get us wrong your grace, every one of us is rooting for the two of you. We hope that romance blossoms soon for the both of you."

"That is ridiculous. I am sure you girls are just jumping into conclusions and fantasies." I giggled.

"But we wish the two of you the best, your grace." The maids said. "We truly wish for your happiness."

When the conversation ended, I realized I am now wearing my ball gown for the night. It has the tender color of yellow green. It is adorned with light green emerald gems that gives a subtle color to the gown.

"Oh my… you look so beautiful your grace." The maids each complimented.

"Thank you." I told them. If not for their hard work since this morning, I will not have been this beautiful.

'I might say, the process of beautifying is quite tiresome.' I thought while remembering what they did since earlier this morning.

*KNOCK KNOCK*

"Your grace, her majesty Empress Alicia and mother is here to see you." The knight guard said from outside.

"Please let them in." I ordered.

When the door opened Aunt Leticia and Alicia came inside. They were both wearing their ball gowns and are so beautiful.

"My dear niece, you are so beautiful." Aunt Leticia crossed the room and gave me a light hug.

"Thank you, aunt." I replied and hugged her back.

"You are quite exceptional, Sati." Alicia complimented. "Tonight, is your night." She hugged me.

"Thank you, Alicia." I hugged her back. "You are so beautiful as well."

"Nothing compared to you, hehe." Alicia giggled. "By the way, are you sure about your plans for tonight. Are you not going to think twice about this?" She asked.

I have exchange letters with Alicia about the plans on my marriage. I have consulted her many times, and I have come into a conclusion that is best for the land I am ruling.

"Yes, Alicia." I replied with a sad smile. "Unfortunately, I never had the courage to tell him of my feelings. I am afraid that he would reject me, that he will say that he only sees me as a little sister and nothing more." I tried to stop tears from falling.


"How about you try and tell him first, Sati." Alicia encouraged. "You might not know, what if he has mutual feelings? I suggest at least give it a try."

"My daughter is right, Sati." Aunt Leticia said. "There is no harm in trying. Jack is now a marquis, and I cannot see anything that can stop the two of you from getting married."

"I-I think you are right." I replied. "At least I want to tell the feelings that I have for him."

"That is right, Sati." Alicia said. "If ever he rejects you then tell me, and I will surely give him a punch or two." She said brandishing her fists.

"Hehe, thanks Alicia, Aunt Leticia." I hugged them both.

"We are a family. Of course, we are here for you." Aunt Leticia said.

*KNOCK KNOCK*

"Grand Duke Gladiolus is here." The knight guard announced.

The door opened and my brother that was wearing formal clothes came in.

"Your majesty Empress Alicia, Aunt Leticia." Gladiolus bowed as a greeting.

"Is the ball about to start?" Aunt Leticia asked.

"Yes, I am here to escort my little sister." Gladiolus said with a smile. "If I may…" He offered his hand towards me.

"Thank you, brother." I placed my hand on top of his.

"Then let us go." Gladiolus tucked my arms inside his and escorted me out. "We will be heading out now, your majesty, aunt." Alicia and Aunt Leticia nodded and the both of us walked outside.

I was getting nervous with every step I take. This is the first time I will host a ball as the main character, being that I had just come of age. Before, I was just hosting small social gatherings and such but now is different. All eyes will be upon me, and I am the start of the night. I cannot make any mistakes.

"Do not be nervous." Gladiolus encouraged me. "You are the grand duchess of Jennovia. Even if you make a mistake, no one can talk negatively about you. If there are, then I will personally deal with them. They will wish that they have never been born."

"Hehe brother, that is a bit harsh." I giggled. "But thank you for thinking of me, brother."

"Of course, you are my only little sister." Gladiolus smiled gently. "You are very beautiful today. I am sure that they will be in awe at your presence."

"Thank you." I replied.


My nerves calmed down after Gladiolus and I talked. What I am looking forward to right now is meeting Jack tonight and confessing my feelings for him.

"Well, here we are." Gladiolus said.

We are behind a curtain on top of a staircase going down the ball room. I can see that many people have now gathered, and my nerves started to act up again. I squeezed Gladiolus' arm and I can feel his hand brushing it to comfort me.

"Do not worry. I am here with you." Gladiolus smiled.

I felt courage with Gladiolus words. I took a deep breath and exhaled.

"Let us go." I said.

The attendants opened the curtains and I saw the ballroom down below more clearly.

"Her grace the Grand Duchess Satiana, being escorted by his grace Grand Duke Gladiolus." The attendant announced our presence.

The murmuring from the crowd down below silenced and all eyes are now upon us. Gladiolus and I graciously went down the staircase. Once we are down, all the people bowed down and greeted us. Hence, the ball has begun.

Edited by: nalyn
________
Side Story (Satiana and Jack) (7)

(Satiana's POV)

The ball was in full swing, and many has given their birthday greetings to me. One by one, the nobles that were invited came to me and wished me a happy coming of age bearing their gifts. I on the other hand made causal talk with them, especially my vasal that came to greet me.

I had my first dance with Gladiolus and so far, I have not dance after because of the flood of people wanting to wish me a happy birthday and presenting their gifts. I on the other hand have my eyes wandering around the ball room, hoping to see a glimpse of Jack anywhere. But unfortunately, I cannot find him anywhere.

"Happy coming of age grand duchess." Regaleon said. He greeted me with Alicia and their twins.

"Happy birthday Sati." Alicia replied. "These two here are Alphonse and Aerith. Greet your Aunt Sati, it is her birthday today."

The twins are standing hand in hand in between Regaleon and Alicia.

"Happy birthday Aunt Sati." The twins spoke on unison.

"Thank you so much for the greetings." I replied to the imperial couple. "Oh, look how adorable your children are."

"Do you have a birthday cake?" The little girl Aerith asked me with twinkling eyes.

"Yes, of course I have." I said with a smile. "It is there at the buffet table."

"Can we get a huge slice of cake?" Alphonse asked. "Al loves cake."

"Yeah, yeah. Me too." Aerith said with a huge smile.

"You can get a huge serving of cake, as big as you like." I replied.

"Yey!" The twins replied and ran towards the buffet table.

"Be careful not to bump on other people!" Alicia yelled out. "I apologize with their behavior. They are a little rowdy sometimes."

"Oh, no need to apologize. I like kids." I replied.

"Well, I hope you get one for yourself as well." Regaleon said from out of nowhere.

His comment made me blush, thinking about making babies made me feel embarrassed.

"Stop teasing the poor child." Alicia elbowed Regaleon. "Well, we will go to where the twins are. I am afraid they can finish your big birthday cake by themselves."

"Hehe okay." I giggled. "But I do not mind if they do."

"Thanks." Alicia said and headed to where the twins are with Regaleon.


I had a breather at last. I felt that all of the guests have now greeted me, and I tried heading upstairs to get a good view of the ballroom to find where Jack is.

'He won't miss my coming of age, right?' I thought to myself while my heart was thumping real fast.

"Your grace." Someone called me. When I looked around, I saw Duke Matias alone.

The duke and his son had already greeted me earlier, so I believe the duke is to inform me that it is time to give my coming-of-age speech.

"Duke Matias, is it time already?" I asked.

"I believe so your grace." Duke Matias said.

I was planning on announcing my engagement with Alfred in my coming-of-age speech. I never thought I could not confess to Jack my feelings before the announcement.

"You will be announcing your engagement with my son tonight, correct your grace?" Duke Matias asked.

I have already talked to the duke about accepting his son's marriage proposal earlier in the day. But now, I am having second thoughts.

"Y-Yes duke." I replied.

"I am happy that we will be an official family because of this." Duke Matias smiled whole heartedly that I was hesitant to tell him I am having second thoughts. "It is also for the future of Jennovia your grace. I am sure my son will be a fine partner for you and a good father to your children in the future."

I was forced to remember my duty as the lord of Jennovia. My decision to marry Alfred was for future of Jennovia as well. I climbed the steps with a heavy heart, weighing what to do. On one side was my duty and the other was my personal feelings for the person I love.

I was standing in front of the guest looking down at the ball room. The attendants have called their attention, and I was now the focus of their gaze. What I will be saying right now will be the future of Jennovia. I clenched my sweaty hands and started the speech I prepared.

"I thank you all for coming to my coming-of-age ceremony. It is not long since I have taken the seat…."

I was continuing my speech as I have memorized it, but my eyes were wandering down on the ballroom. I was searching for him, searching every face in the crowd to find him. But that was not the only thing I was searching for. I was also searching for a sign.


'If I see him, then I will not mention accepting the marriage proposal of Alfred. If not, then I will proceed with announcing the acceptance of the marriage proposal.' I thought to myself.

I was searching hard, looking at the faces of the people down the ballroom one by one. My speech was at the end, and I felt my heart sank that I cannot find what I was searching for.

'Is this the sign?' I thought. 'Is it really not meant to be?'

"I will also take this opportunity to speak about my future." I began. "I know many of my vassals have been asking me when I will take a husband that can assist me in governing Jennovia. I know that it is also one of my duties to birth an heir for the future generation. I am here today to tell you that I have chosen a suitable husband that had proposed marriage to me. I am sure that he can help me with my tasks now and in the future."

'This is it.' I told myself. 'After I say this, there is no turning back.' I gripped my hands hard, forcing myself to say the words.

"I have chosen to accept the proposal of…" I trailed off.

"WAIT!!!" I heard a familiar voice resonate in the ballroom.

The guests all turned around to see a man with crimson hair standing by the door. He was wearing a formal suite with white and red motif and his usually shaggy hair was brushed up. My heart raced seeing him so handsome.

"J-Jack…" I called his name.

"Sorry I'm late. I did not have any good clothes for the occasion. I only had my knight's uniform as a formal attire. And in this occasion, I have to dress neatly and so I asked Sir William to lend me a hand." Jack said.

I saw William bowed his head with the mention of his name. I saw Regaleon's familiar Tempest perched in William's arm.

"I am glad that I am not too late." Jack said while walking towards to where I was.

The crowd made way to let Jack pass. His steps were swift as if in a hurry and in no time, he was climbing the stairs and is now in front of me.

"Your grace, I know I am being bold right now, but I will just say this directly with all my heart." Jack then knelt down on one knee in front of me.

My heart was racing when I first saw Jack, but it went up a notch when I saw him taking out a box from his pocket. I covered my mouth to prevent my surprised voice from getting out.


"Satiana, I am sorry if it took such a long time until I recognized my feelings for you. I know that I am being bold and everything, but I realized that I do not want to just stand behind you anymore." Jack said. "I started to realize that I wanted to be the one standing by your side forever, and no one else. The thought of you in the arms of another man is unfathomable. I love you Satiana, and I want to be the man that will stand by your side in your journey of governing Jennovia. Sati, will you marry me?" He opened the box and inside was a gold necklace with a heart shape pendant with leaves circling around it.

Tears started to come out of my eyes after hearing his words. I cannot believe that the man I love also has the same feelings for me. The happiness in my heart is bursting out.

"Yes… yes, yes, yes!" I cannot utter other words but yes.

Jack's face beamed brightly to my answer. He stood up and took the necklace out of the box and helped me put it on my neck. I brushed my hair up so that he can put it on me without any difficulty.

"It was in such short notice that was I only have a necklace in my proposal." Jack whispered into my ear. "It should have been your birthday present but now it is my engagement gift for you. I will find you a ring with the best emerald rock on top first thing tomorrow."

"The necklace is fine. I love it." I replied with a smile.

"You deserve the best ring out there. Do not worry, I will let my men find one." Jack carefully pulled me into his arms. "May I kiss you now?" I was a little shy but nodded my head in agreement.

Jack put his palm on my cheek and inched nearer to my face. I closed my eyes and anticipated. I have always imagined what Jack's kiss would feel like in my lips and now he is just a mere inch away from me. I then felt warm lips touch mine. At first it was a soft and innocent kiss, but after some time is felt burning and passionate as if wanting to devour my lips in his.

*CLAP CLAP CLAP*

I was emersed with my time with Jack that I forgot that we were not alone. The guests started to cheer and congratulate us. Jack reluctantly pushed me but left a peck on my forehead.

"I cannot wait to have you all to myself." Jack whispered into my ear, and I felt a blush crept on my face.


Jack and I waved towards the guests with smile on our faces. I am happy that all turned out okay in the end.

Edited by: nalyn
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