Calm Before The Storm

It was already evening when Alistair finished his sword training. Instead of taking his time on the training grounds like he usually does, he went to bathe and changed his clothes into something more grand than his usual indoor clothing.

Perhaps Alistair's appearance left quite an impression, that Alfons, the butler of Star Palace asked his master if he was going to see his mother, the empress.

"No." He answered without changing his expression. "I'm going to Lily Palace. Prepare some chamomile tea leaves and any kind of dessert with chocolate flavor, I'm going to take it there."

Even though the butler was concerned about his master spending more time at Lily Palace, he knew better than to question his decision. So like the obedient butler he was, he just did what he was told to do.

After hearing the reports from Osiris the night before, Alistair had an urge to see his sister. That's why he asked one of his aides to send a letter to Lily Palace in the morning to notify Bella that he'd be visiting for some tea time with her in the evening.

As a result, Alistair simply prepared himself for the tea party. 

After visiting and observing her a few times, Alistair easily found out about most of Bella's favorite things. Her favorite tea, her favorite snacks, and even her favorite flowers.

Unfortunately due to cloudy weather, Bella suggested that they move their tea party to the library instead of the garden. Alistair didn't mind though, it was all the same for him.

It wasn't like Alistair was the type of person who enjoyed a tea party, anyway. It was far from it.

He could count on one hand the amount of times he attended tea parties, and it was only with his mother and his sister, Adellia. And if he would be honest, the events were far from pleasant.

But for some reason he felt like it would be different with Bella.


One of the servants in Lily Palace led him to the library. He could tell that the servant was wary of him, especially since he had that domineering yet cold aura of a royal around him..

He couldn't help but be angry after remembering what Osiris told him the day before. He wanted to punish the servants who dared to mistreat Bella so horribly, but he held himself back for her sake.

He'd do it another way.


Alistair found Bella alone in the shabby library that didn't match her status as a Princess.

Yet there she was, dozing off in her seat.

The light from the candle illuminated the room, making her platinum blonde hair look striking. Her elegant features, thin fingers, and slim body made her look like a sleeping doll. While observing her, Alistair gradually got lost in thought.

He shook himself out of it, slowly and carefully approaching her. He was afraid that he'd wake her up and scare her. He now leaned his upper body towards her.

‘She looks tired.'

It seemed like his effort to not make a sound was futile as he saw her eyes fluttering open. He watched as she slowly opened her eyes. At his actions, she only blinked, looking at Alistair in a daze.

"Did I interrupt your rest?"

Alistair, who saw her reaction, asked softly, in a manner that was far from his usual stony attitude.

"No..." a smile appeared on her face as she answered. "I've been waiting for you, brother."

Alistair pulled out a chair opposite from her and sat face to face with Bella.

"I'll ask the servants to prepare the tea." Bella stood up, but Alistair stopped her.

"You don’t have to, I already told them to do it. I brought you some chamomile tea and chocolate desserts that you like. They'll bring it in a moment."

Bella sat back on her chair. He could see her face light up at the mention of chocolate. She seemed to be quite a chocolate lover.

"Ahh, I should be the one to prepare it, but I keep receiving gifts from my brother. I feel bad." She bit her lips, feeling guilty. But he thought it was cute.

"You don't have to worry about that. I was the one who requested the tea party anyway."

Bella seemed like she wanted to argue more, but decided to just nod in the end.

It was silent between them for a moment, yet there was nothing awkward about it. It was a comfortable silence.

Her gaze while she looked at the view outside the window was rather serene.

It wasn't long until the servant came in to serve the tea and refreshments for the two of them.

"Next time, I'll prepare something delicious for you, brother."

He chuckled. "I told you not to worry about that. But here's something to ease your mind. Do you think my tea party appointment was simply because I wanted to eat something delicious?"

It was a scene that looked like it came out of a fairy tale. His sister, who was more beautiful than any princess, sat down with a smile carved on her face and teacup in her hand. And he was there, watching the beautiful scenery.

"Is that not it?"

To be honest, Alistair couldn’t explain it himself. But if he had to put it in a word, ‘Alistair needed somebody to love.’

He needed a place to relax. When he was exhausted and fed up with everything, he needed a place to lean on. He was desperate for someone who could relieve his mind when he suffered from chronic anxiety and insomnia which he developed due to his experience in the battlefield.

He said he didn’t trust people, but in fact, no one was desperate for love as much as he did. And Bella, he felt like she could understand him more than anyone else. Their hardship might be different, but her longing for love was also apparent. So, they could relate to that one thing.

Mesmerized by her peacefulness and radiance, Alistair opened his mouth unintendedly. 

"I wanted to see you."

Slowly, she closed her eyes and turned towards Alistair, smiling slightly. Her eyelashes turned downward, she purposely kept her eyes closed as she wanted to savor the tea. Thick double eyelids shaded her eyes.

As the sunset was seen from the dark library, soft light poured in, and Bella's gentle gaze was directed at Alistair.

He found peace. 

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