And when we walked inside the room, I was dazzled by the bright colors and possibly deafened by the shouts of all the people inside the room. Many of them greeted us as we passed by. They wore elegant and fine outfits and sweet were their words.
The royal hall had shiny green draperies, white marble floors, and pale brown walls. Columns rose high forming arches on every entrance. There were tables with dark green tablecloths and blue irises decorating every nook and corner of the hall. Father carried me, not stopping and leading the way towards a platform.
The stage was of three levels. The higher stage consisted of a table with two large chairs that looked spectacular with red cushions and golden castings. The middle one was of four comparable tables made of similar makings.
And it was occupied. Who were they?
The Duke stood by the lower stage where the same setting was done but this time there were two baby seats. The Duchess carrying Ethan followed and the entourage stayed below, slowly going into their posts. My father first greeted the family who was standing at the middle level. "Crown Prince Alfred, it's an honor."
"Congratulations to the twins, Duke Edward. And it appears that your popularity is ever rising," the Crown Prince replied. As I looked at him, he did resemble King Henry with the usual blonde hair and blue eyes. So like, he's my uncle or something?
My father bowed lightly as a response while still carrying me and returned to greet the rest. "Crown Princess Averille. And young prince Greyson."
A lady with brown hair and amethyst eyes faintly returned my father's greeting. She exuded a calm and graceful manner with her purple gown. As I let down my sights, a brown-haired boy with amethyst eyes like her mother was looking at us - more likely overawed by the Duke's presence.
Must be the young prince, he resembles his mother.
"Ahh, the twins mirror you, Duke Redgrave." I heard a woman's voice. It was unique since her accent was different and her voice also was kind of deep but friendly was her tone. I looked for the source and I saw her.
With thick curly hair of ebony color and dark skin like chocolate, the woman dominated her glinting gold dress. I felt a strong presence from her and I could not help but blink at her thick lips and white teeth. Her eyes were sharp and had the blackest irises I ever witnessed.
Who is she?
"Princess Barbara, we are grateful for your presence. Glory to Sundin kingdom," my mother curtsied while Ethan himself was enjoying the bright lights on the ceiling. Yes, the chandelier too was sparkling with white gems reflecting the candle lights.
The princess from Sundin smiled and I now noticed that there was a man beside her. He kind of looked like the Crown Prince, but much younger and had a thinner build.
"Prince Harold, welcome back, my brother," my mother stated. My other uncle, Prince Harold had a much gentler disposition than the Crown Prince. He smiled warmly at my mother and I could rather sense that he was a nice guy.
"Lily, your children look wonderful."
My mother smiled. The Duke scanned around for a bit and looked like he was looking for someone. "I don't see the Grand Duke."
"He says he's going to be late," Prince Harold replied to which my father only nodded.
There were a few people standing beside the newly introduced family and I assume that they were the rest of the royal family. Before the salutations were finished, the crowd became excited.
The announcer shouted, "His Majesty, the Ruler of Glarios, King Henry Giraut Regnier! With Her Majesty, Queen Magdalene Geva Regnier!"
Everyone bowed and praised them. The queen's red gown was so elegant and intricate that my mouth drawled. The king walked imposingly with his fancy suit and red sash as he escorted his wife. The pair of them was about their mid-fifties, their faces lined with creases and wrinkles, and hairs with white strands.
As they neared the scaffolding, the couples bowed and greeted the King and the Queen. They returned it with a light nod and when they were seated at the highest platform, the rest of the nobles followed suit and the program began.
One by one, several dancers entered and placed themselves neatly in the center of the hall. They were wearing costumes and I couldn't see their faces clearly but the way they moved was indeed graceful. The music started and the dancers sprang into action. There were elaborate movements and amazing props and I admit it was entertaining with all of the colors springing to life. After their performance, the hall met thunderous applause.
When the center of the hall cleared, another set of performers displayed their talents. This time there were warriors? Their outfit was in stark contrast with the previous show. Their skin tone too was dark.
From the Sundin Kingdom like Princess Barbara?
Bright colors suddenly turned pale in comparison with the darker tones of the performers. They held something in their hand. It was like a dagger. Was that approved here?
When the ensemble moved, everyone was quieted by the sudden roaring of the drums. I could see from the corner of my eyes, seven large drums being beaten at the back. The loud rhythm made everyone hold their breaths and their eyes fixed upon the performers. They were dancing too, but kind of also fighting? I heard my father hum in satisfaction. Their performance was exhilarating, their movements sharp and precise. It seemed perfect.
Were they real warriors?
At last, they finished and an even louder applause and murmurs of awe filled the royal hall. The performers bowed in unison and left the center. After the show, the king stood up and the noises faded away.
"I thank you all today for gathering here at the Royal Hall of the Rex Palace. This is to celebrate my grandchildren's first birthday, Emilia and Ethan. I wish the twins a felicitous birthday." While the king was giving his speech, I noticed that his face held no warmth or any traces of happiness could be found. I glanced at my mother and saw through her fake smile.
What really happened?
The king expressed his gratitude and welfare talk then he signaled for the progression to start. My eyes behold the procession in the center of the hall. When did they move? I saw some of the nobles standing up seemingly excited as they walked towards us.
The first in line was an old man, probably in his sixties, wearing white robes with gold stitching. His long silver hair flowed and his white beard was neatly trimmed. His left hand clutched a long wooden scepter that made a sound each time he walked. His gray eyes seemed to hold all the knowledge in the world.
"Your Majesties, I greet you. Glory to Glarios Kingdom." The old man bowed his head lightly. He softly smiled as I observed his eyes narrowing at me. Or was he looking at my father?
"I am Icarus Philippe, hailing from the Holy Empire. The Grand Priest sends his regards for the twins' birthday."
The Holy Empire... There seem to be a lot of things I need to know.
King Henry spoke up, "How is he, Icarus?"
"The Grand Priest is still healthy, Your Majesty. In fact, he is busy nowadays since he has already chosen his successor." Icarus smiled widely.
Queen Magdalene exclaimed in response. "That's wonderful news! May the Holy Empire ever be glorious."
"Indeed. The Holy Empire had no successors for the last three decades. Pray tell, who is the lucky priest?" the King inquired.
Ain't it our birthday? Why're they talking about this? I thought he was giving us a gift.
"Ahh, his identity is still a secret outside the Empire. But I assure you, Your Majesty, he is a precious child."
"A child?" I heard the King's voice laced with dismay.
Icarus nodded and only smiled. "The Grand Priest ensures his divinity and education himself. No doubt the child will be successful."
Mother suddenly replied, "I hope the Grand Priest also takes care of his own health."
The man from the Holy Empire looked at her and thanked my mother for her concern. "We have prepared a wonderful blessing for the celebrants. May I?"
The Duke gave his approval and Icarus neared our table. Although when he was only a step away, I could feel his aura. It was a light presence.
"The twins are certainly blessed." Icarus flicked his gaze upwards - my guess that he was looking at the king. But it was only for a second until he returned his sights on us. Although he was obviously staring at Ethan. "Ethan Redgrave, I'll bless you a strong and unbreakable will to help you in your journey. I see an arduous path before you, child. I hope that God will give you His strength."
He then waved his hand lightly and a flicker of light flashed from his scepter.
I heard my mother exhaling beside Ethan and my father's confused murmurs beside me.
"Emilia Redgrave." Icarus turned to me and I felt his gaze narrowing. "I recognize the light in your eyes. You are very mature for your age. For that, I'll give you comfort and compassion for every truth that you know."
What in the world? How did he know?
I blurted out my surprised voice and everyone seemed to have heard it.
The author has something to say:
Hello, hello! After the first birthday celebration, we'll be moving things up a bit. The past few chaps are a kind of information filler to the world's settings. Hope you'll stay with me to the end.
I'll be reaaally grateful if you subscribe to the series, 'Isekai! It's A Hard Life.'
My goal is to reach 100 subs! I'll release extra chaps for every goal achieved.
Thank you guys for reading! Appreciate it :)
Comment down if you notice any mistakes, or you have theories or suggestions about my writing.