Special CH. 01

"Let me see your smile for a moment before I do my obligation later, my prince. Your father and I had to take turns to watch over you because we had to finish our duties and responsibilities," says Scheriziel while letting a one-year-old prince play with her fingers.

Prince Vinziel giggled when the empress lifted and carried him. 

Scheriziel sighed and uttered, "We probably should spend more time with you because you will not always be this little. Once you grow older, you'll find your own path, and the time you'd spend with us will get shorter as you age."

Someone knocked on the door and asked permission to enter the prince's chamber. 

"Your majesty, the paper for the foundation you asked for yesterday was waiting for your approval."

"One moment..." the empress replied as she left the prince's chamber to visit the former emperor's residency.

"Come, my sweet Vinziel," says Argus as he faintly sits on the edge of his bed.

"I'll be back to fetch this little sweetie pie, father. Here's Viishaun's cape." Scheriziel handed over a red cape her husband had worn this morning before he left to meet a ruler from an archipelagic chiefdom with rich spices. 

"I'll read you a good story, me sweet prince. Let's wrap you with your father's cape first, so you'll have a good afternoon nap with the warmth of the emperor's cape. Then, she muttered, "He's always in a good mood as long as his father's smell lurks around him."

"I hope you have a good time with our Vinziel. With your permission, I'll take my leave now, father," she added.

"Thank you for making such an effort to leave the main mansion to let me borrow time with my grandson."

"Small thing, father. We cannot allow you to move so much as it would exhaust you. I am still young, so moving from ten mansions in this palace is not much work for me," the empress replied before heading back to the main mansion to finish all the paperwork waiting for her at her desk.

"When will my new secretary come? I just can't finish all this proposal, foundations, and budgeting. I have to make time for my little prince," she uttered while massaging her neck. 

Since her secretary had to leave due to an announced pregnancy, the empress had been working alone for a week already since the selection for the position had only been finalized two days ago.

She yawned, then looked at the window and witnessed the silky, smooth collisions of sky burst red and yellow in the night’s calm.

"One more transcript, then I'll fetch Vinziel," says Scherizie before drowsing at her desk.

Meanwhile, Viishaun had returned with his marquises and secretary. 

"Where are her majesty and my angel?" Viishaun asked, removing his crown and sword, and handing it over to a new butler for safekeeping.

"Her majesty was in her office. Meanwhile, Prince Vinziel was with your father, your royal highness."

He went to her majesty's office first. Then found his wife sleeping, with her head rested on the desk.

The empress had woken up by someone's gentle stroke and sweet kiss. Then, she gently rubbed her eyes and gazed at the emperor. 

"Welcome home, my life." She stood up and clung her arms to Vishaun's neck.

"I could have lifted you to bed. I hate to wake you up, my life. However, we have to fetch our angel and have dinner together," Viishaun replied and kissed the tip of Scheriziel's nose.

They intertwined their hands and left the main mansion to fetch the young prince. 

Two marquises stationed outside the former emperors bowed their heads and greeted, "Greetings, my lords." 

"Good evening, father." The emperor and empress greeted Argus XV, who also woke up at the same time as the emperor and empress entered. 

"He had fallen asleep in the middle of the bedtime story," Argus XV replied.

Scheriziel glanced at the book on the bedside table and had to suppress her laughter after realizing what kind of book the former emperor had read to the young prince. 'Seriously... a history book? He can't even talk yet,' says a voice in her mind.

Even before the emperor could interrupt, Vinziel had opened his eyes and immediately giggled as he glanced at Viishaun.

"Talk about favoritism..." Scheriziel rolled her eyes as she tried to lift the prince, but Viishaun was chosen by the latter. "I had enough unfair treatment already," she added while pouting.

The emperor simply chuckled and enjoyed teasing his wife. He leaned closer and was about to kiss his wife when all of a sudden, Vinziel blocked his father's lips with his delicate palm.

"Looks like you can't have a lovey-dovey, not on his watch," Argus XV blurted out, followed by chuckles.

Again, Vinziel amused them as he kissed Scheriziel's cheeks while still being carried by the emperor. Then, loud giggles from the young prince followed. 

Vinziel babbled more and watched for his parents' reaction as he experimented with sound and intonations until he was able to mutter, "ba-ba."

"Did you hear that?" Viishaun asked.

"Oh my god! Our baby had his first word!"

"Our Vinziel called me dada!" Viishaun gasped, then added, "Which basically means father!"

"Dream on. I heard him trying to say ~mama~" the empress debunked her husband's claim.

"Both of you are wrong," Argus XV interrupted, which made the royal couple look in the former emperor's direction. "He is trying to call me, his grandpa," he proudly added.

"You must be kidding, father. Infants always say 'mama' most of the time," Scheriziel rebutted.

"In most cases, BUTTTTT... My Vinziel loves me so much, enough to practice saying 'papa'. As you all know, my sweet angel wants to dear me," Viishaun proudly refutes.

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