Chapter 4 - She’s My Daughter
Pope Raphael calmed the screaming elders and turned back to Miltiades.
“This is very important to us. Please answer, Emperor Miltiades.”
No one knew what Miltiades was thinking about as he stared at the pope.
Eventually, one of the elders could not handle the silence.
“The saintess’s guardian should be decided using a fair and sacred procedure.”
“This decision was wrong from the beginning!”
“Are you looking down on the saintess’s decision?”
“This is the decision of the saintess who foresaw the future! Are you ignoring the weight of the prophecy?”
And it started.
As I looked at the mess that was the meeting room, emotions surged inside my heart.
‘How am I going to fix this? I think I failed.”
While the elders were arguing amongst themselves, I was only looking at my dad.
He was far away from the noisy atmosphere as if he weren’t a part of what was going on. His calm gaze and cold expression made it seem as though he would never compromise. However, they also made him beautiful.
He really was handsome.
‘No, it shouldn’t be like this.’
I almost fell for my favorite character’s beauty.
“Although this is the will of the saintess and that person, it is wrong to choose an unqualified person to be her guardian,” one of the twelve elders, Mario, spoke.
I had nothing to say since they were talking about Miltiades’s personality.
“I concur! The Northern Empire has been hostile toward the Holy Empire!”
“What will you do if a nonbeliever takes the saintess and does something to her?”
Elder Leo and Elder Gregorio nodded. The situation was getting worse for me.
‘You guys are the reason he’s a nonbeliever!’
Since I knew the story from beginning to end, I was flabbergasted.
These people used to support the previous emperor, blatantly opposed Miltiades’s succession to the throne, and didn’t even send a priest to bless the coronation. Seeing them blame Miltiades for ruining their relationship made me upset.
‘Hey, even though my favorite character killed a few people, he’s not a bad guy!’
I was itching to jump in and defend him.
If the elders kept going, I probably would have gone after them.
‘At least they’re watching their words in front of him.’
This was the time for the villain to show his dignity. That’s right. My Miltiades was the villain. And the worst one of all.
These kinds of characters, the handsome villains, weren’t rare.
My Miltiades was like that.
But he died at the hands of the male lead…
‘I’m here now so he’ll be fine! I have to fix this problem first! I can’t go to anyone other than Miltiades!’
The situation was getting worse.
“We cannot ignore the prediction, so what about choosing Duke Ravenhook as her guardian, since he is also from the Northern Empire?”
‘What is that grandpa saying?’
I frowned, while Elder Raquel nodded in delight.
“Oh, that is a great idea.”
“He is from the Northern Empire and is also the younger brother of Emperor Miltiades, so you are still family.”
“That is correct. This is a wise alternative.”
The elders were already celebrating the fact that I would be sent to Duke Ravenhook.
‘I’ll never go to that man!’
Duke Ravenhook was Priscilla’s family. To be precise, he was the one who ruined her!
I couldn’t stop myself and was about to say something.
“I can’t handle listening to all of this crap anymore.”
A cold voice echoed throughout the hall. Miltiades stood up from his chair. I became more worried.
‘Is he going to leave? Without me? No! Never! I’ll chase you even as a ghost!’
Right when I was about to get out of my seat, I made eye contact with Miltiades.
When he looked at me, I immediately froze.
Miltiades did not leave the room, but started walking toward me at a relaxed pace.
When he got in front of me, he picked me up out of my seat.
“She’s my daughter.”
I looked at him as he carried me, turned around, and exited the meeting room.
The elders looked at each other with stupid expressions, but I was the most surprised.
‘I’m his daughter?!’
* * *
Miltiades’s mind was racing as he carried the child outside.
‘Why did I do that?’
His body had moved on its own, without thinking of the consequences. However, when he came back to his senses, he oddly didn’t regret anything. He knew better than anyone that the elders would act that way.
Miltiades wasn’t happy about the adoption. He didn’t want to be associated with the Holy Empire in any way.
‘Why did I…’
The tearful look on the child’s face grated his nerves far more than the arrogant elders.
‘Why did it bother me?’
He did something even he couldn’t understand.
At this moment, the child in Miltiades’s arms was smiling, oblivious to what he was feeling.
It was a very burdensome smile.
Miltiades was unfamiliar with her bright eyes and smile, so he put her down and turned away.
He wanted to run away, but the child followed him.
She seemed to be focused on following him, and Miltiades unconsciously slowed his pace to help her keep up.
Miltiades looked down at the laughing kid.
“She’s my daughter.”
His daughter, the saintess who was treated like a miraculous being in the Holy Empire, was copying the words he had said in the meeting hall.
“She’s my daughter!” Her cheerful expression and clasped hands made her look adorable. “She’s my daughter~!”
Miltiades couldn’t understand her.
“Are you that happy?”
Hearing his question, she grinned at him and nodded. She was smiling so widely that Miltiades smiled as well
“You were so cool!”
He didn’t know what made him cool, but seeing her excitement wasn’t so bad.
“You were the coolest. Just like a knight!”
There was a lot he needed to correct.
He wasn’t her dad, and he definitely wasn’t the kind knight she was imagining. However, he couldn’t seem to say anything.
The child ran over to him as if he were her actual dad.
He knew that he would never be able to treat his actual children properly.
That was why Miltiades didn’t understand this child.
It was the first time a child laughed at him and liked him. It made no sense that she trusted him, especially since they had only met a few times.
‘Are all children like this?’
“It’s okay, Daddy.”
The child raised her head, and her plump cheeks were flushed red.
She had a cute and lovable smile.
“I won’t bother you. I won’t throw a tantrum either. I won’t ever let you regret choosing me as your daughter.”
It seemed like she was explaining how useful she was. Miltiades suddenly felt his mood dip.
He didn’t want her to feel self-conscious.
He looked down at the child for a while, and she started to feel anxious.
‘Is she scared of not being chosen?’
Miltiades put down the child and tapped her forehead.
“Don’t worry about those things.”
The child rubbed her forehead and grinned.
He had never thought about becoming a father, but…
‘Having one doesn’t seem so bad.’
Miltiades looked down at the smiling child, not knowing a collar had been placed on his neck.
* * *
In spite of the commotion, the adoption and the move to the Northern Empire went smoothly.
“I didn’t know! Well, I’ll find out later.”
There was something more important I had to do first.
“Is it here?”
I had to choose my guardian knight.
“Yes, the dormitory for the paladins is here.”
“Wow, it’s my first time here.”
There was a strange atmosphere in the air here just like the novel described.
“Saintess!” Benjamin came out to greet me in front of the dorms. “What are you doing all the way out here?”
“The saintess is here to choose one of the knights.”
The answer came from behind me.
Benjamin’s eyes widened at Luciana’s words.
Yes, the reason I was here was to choose a knight to guard me.
“I want to see Ludwig.”
“I’ll call him right away.”
Usually, saintesses could not take anything from the temple when they were adopted, but this was an exception.
Especially because I was going to the imperial family!
Because my adoption was a special case, I could choose one of the paladins to be my guardian knight.
‘He’ll probably be there to watch over me.’
I had refused all the knights the senate and the pope chose for me. I wanted to choose him myself. And the person I chose was one of the only knights I could trust in this temple.
‘Ludwig of the Holy Sword.’
Ludwig was honest and he didn’t side with any faction. He was an unlucky genius who believed in only his faith. Since he wasn’t in a faction, he had to do a lot of odd jobs. Priscilla found him when he came to the Vatican and made him her guardian.
‘He was loyal to Priscilla until death.’
Ludwig had died for Priscilla.
‘I won’t let him die.’
I was waiting for Ludwig to come when it happened.
“Oh, I can’t believe I’m meeting such a precious person in this kind of place.”
I froze when I heard the charming low voice talking to me.
‘This voice is…’
I quickly turned to the side to see a man standing next to me.
‘I’m in trouble. Why is Duke Ravenhook here?!’
Priscilla’s deadbeat dad was here.