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Queen Verbenae Sariel la Ciela, the previous queen of Cielle had two children: Oriel Kallistrate la Ciela and Amadeus Uriel le Kiel. The queen was a wise ruler who didn’t favor one child more than the other. The debate between who would be the heir to the throne was quite intense back at their time, because the two children happened to be bright and intelligent.
In normal household, having bright and intelligent children would be something worth celebrating over. However, in the royal household, having bright and intelligent children would bring more troubles over the throne’s inheritance. Some even ended in bloodbath, with one slaughtering the rest.
But Queen Verbenae was blessed with huge fortune. As luck had it, Oriel and Deus were on good terms with each other, perhaps because they only had each other as siblings.
At first, both of them didn’t have any desire to compete against each other. But as time passed, it was apparent that Deus was more blessed with the power of [Light] magic. His stronger power won over the hearts of many, gaining him a strong faction even without him actively expanding it. Having his followers’ faith and trust caused Deus to be more ambitious. With his strength and active contribution to the kingdom, even he himself was confident that he’d be appointed as the heir to the throne.
Meanwhile, the older sister, Oriel was more mature and calmer than her younger brother. Though not as powerful and hotblooded as him, Oriel’s calm temperament and her practical methods also won some people over. Some also thought it was her birthright as the eldest child.
Truth to be told, Oriel was quite powerful. But when one compared her with Deus, Deus’ power was remarkably more powerful than Oriel’s.
Queen Verbenae never showed any tendency to favor one child even after all this, so everyone in Cielle was in suspense on who would be chosen eventually.
On the day the queen summoned both children to tell them her decision about it…
“Nee-san,” Deus greeted Oriel, who was looking through the window in their imperial castle.
“Deus,” Oriel turned around to see her younger brother, who was now taller than her.
“Mother’s late, huh?”
“Can’t be helped, what she faces each day is quite unpredictable and involves a big decision,” Oriel answered as she turned to look at the scenery below the window—where the castletown could be seen.
“Yeah… Who do you think will Mother choose?” Deus chose to sit not too far from where Oriel was.
“I don’t know. But I’m sure she will choose wisely.”
“Do you want to be chosen? Just tell me honestly, Nee-san,” Deus asked.
“Hmm…,” Oriel’s finger traced over the window, “If Mother trusts that I can lead the kingdom wisely, then I’ll do my best. But even if she chooses you, I’ll support you well. We’re siblings, after all.”
“Haha, you’re always like this,” Deus chuckled.
Unwavering, never showing any ambition… Like a calm water. That’s why I can’t bring myself to really see you as an ‘enemy’ I need to compete with.
Deus thought as he looked at Oriel’s back with a mixed feeling.
Oriel suddenly turned around to face Deus, with one of her hand still touching the cold surface of the window as she said, “No matter what, we will always be good siblings, right? No hard feelings?”
Oriel’s sudden movement surprised Deus, who quickly recovered from his thought as he said with a smile, “Of course. Other than our parents, we are the only close blood-related family we have.”
“Exactly,” Oriel smiled with relief seeing Deus’ sincere expression.
Truth to be told, she was afraid as she saw Deus getting more and more ambitious. She didn’t want their good relationship be destroyed due to power.
Meanwhile, Deus was quite confident he’d be chosen and he never thought of a scenario where he wouldn’t be chosen at all.
Not too long after their conversation was over, the two were called to see their mother.
Queen Verbenae asked about her children’s news as well as how the work she had entrusted to them was doing, before she got to the topic.
“You both must be aware of the real reason why I called the two of you here today,” she said with a serious tone.
Seeing their mother like that, Oriel and Deus reflexively straightened their backs and put on serious expressions as well.
“I have been watching over the two of you ever since you were just a small baby. I have seen how you two dealt with the things I have entrusted to you, and I have to say that I find the two of you equally splendid in terms of that. It’s really hard for me to decide. I’ve been thinking of this in a very long time and only just now have I come to my decision,” Queen Verbenae paused.
She looked at the two children whose eyes were unwavering. In her eldest daughter, she saw calmness. In her youngest son, she saw confidence.
“Remember that even if one of you gets chosen, that doesn’t mean I think of the other one less. The two of you possess the quality of a ruler. Even if only one can become the official ruler, I hope the other one will still help to ensure the well-being of our kingdom.”
“Of course, Mother,” Oriel said.
“Yes, Mother,” Deus also added.
“Oriel, my daughter,” Queen Verbenae said as she looked at Oriel.
“Yes, Queen Mother?” Oriel maintained eye contact with her mother.
“You’ve always been a mature and sensible child. Though your methods were practical, you also made sure to resolve something after considering every aspect. This caused you to earn the people’s praise as the calm, slow and steady. That is certainly one of your good qualities.”
“Thank you, Mother.”
Then, Queen Verbenae turned to look at Deus, “My son, Deus.”
“Yes, Queen Mother,” Deus answered and maintained an unwavering eye contact with his queen mother.
“You are always full of ambition and capable of realizing your ambition. Your power and charisma drew in lots of support from people who want our kingdom to expand even more. And I trust that in your hands, Cielle kingdom will be able to move forward and reach greater heights.”
“Thank you for your praise, Mother.”
“…,” Queen Verbenae alternated between the two children that made her proud as she took in a deep breath before finally announcing her decision.
“After thinking it through, I have decide to hand over the right to the throne to…,” Queen Verbenae looked at Deus before finally shifting her gaze towards her daughter and continued, “Oriel.”
Oriel didn’t hide her surprise at all. So did Deus.
But the two’s surprise was quite different.
Oriel didn’t think that she’d actually be chosen. Meanwhile, Deus was surprised that his mother didn’t actually choose him. After all, a lot more people also said that the queen would eventually choose him.
The queen took in the two’s expressions and understood clearly what they were thinking about.
“Don’t get me wrong. I am not biased towards any of you due to your gender, birth order, or even power. I hope you will understand my decision. What Cielle needs right now is stability instead of ambition to expand their power. Though Oriel sometimes was criticized as being slow in comparison to you, Deus… But her method ensured long-term stability of Cielle more. You’d make a powerful king, Deus, but I think Oriel will be able to ensure our citizens’ happiness more.”
Queen Verbenae tried to explain her reasoning, although she hid a few matters inside her heart, seeing that her son might not really understand it.
Greater power in [Light] magic isn’t necessarily good. Many with overwhelming power didn’t even realize they were corrupted by their power… And Oriel is someone who’s stronger mentally and emotionally than Deus. She can shoulder the huge burden of governing this kingdom more than Deus who’s more hotblooded.
“…But your sister might be too much of a pacifist, so if you feel like you have to interfere, I believe you will not shy away from being vocal to your sister, Deus. With Oriel as the next queen and Deus as her most trusted advisor—you siblings combining your power—I believe you two will be able to govern Cielle wisely,” Queen Verbenae said as her closing statement.
Their strengths and weaknesses exactly compliment each other, and this is just the best arrangement for the two of them as well as this kingdom.
“Thanking Queen Mother for your trust. This daughter will definitely do her best to not disappoint you,” Oriel said as she bowed to her mother.
“I understand, Mother. I will definitely help my sister well,” Deus said, though his eyes still couldn’t completely conceal his disappointment.
As their mother, Queen Verbenae could easily read the two’s expressions well.
As expected, Oriel didn’t let Queen Verbenae’s decision inflate her ego. She seriously took in the heavy burden without feeling cocky nor was she too anxious.
Meanwhile, Queen Verbenae understood that her son’s mind was a bit shaken after hearing her unexpected decision. He seemed to be a bit upset with her, but she didn’t mind as she believed that with the passing of the time, Deus would understand that her decision was for the best. Though she could see that Deus might feel some small grudges to Oriel, he still loved his sister and wouldn’t let this affect their great relationship.
Afterwards, Queen Verbenae started to delegate more stuff to Oriel in order to prepare her for the succession.
That included first-hand experience in resolving conflicts with Naraka empire, who was somehow not feeling tired or bored of inciting conflicts with them.
Ruling for so long, Queen Verbenae understood clearly the temperament of Emperor Shinokoutei. Unless his successor—the apple—fell far away from the ‘tree’, Cielle might be in for lots more conflicts like this and this was also why she chose Oriel over Deus.
In response to such provocation, Deus would not stand still and watch as his people were bullied.
Although Oriel also disliked the Naraka empire for always trying to fight with Cielle, she would sit still to think thoroughly before making a decision.
If she were hesitating too much, Deus would definitely remind her and advise her well.
During Oriel’s experiences leading her team to solve the conflict with Naraka—be it through peaceful negotiations or a more aggressive battle—she eventually met with the Naraka empire’s great general, Nagare Sesshouseki.
If someone were to travel through time and tell the two of them at that time that they’d eventually be together, that person would’ve been ridiculed so badly by Oriel and mutilated instantly by the great general Nagare.