TO SAY that Nikolai was shocked by what he heard from Neoma would be an understatement.
[Did that tiny human just call me a sc*mbag?]
He was well-aware that most people call him several names behind his back. But this was the first time that someone had the nerve to say it in front of his face.
[And that person happens to be the royal princess, no less.]
He should be insulted to be cussed at by his own child. But for some reason, he found it quite entertaining.
It would be more appropriate to say that he found the royal princess amusing.
"Your Majesty," Glenn said as soon as he appeared behind him. "Shall I restrain His Royal Highness?"
"No," Nikolai said. "Go and make sure that no one else will enter the premise. Only I can deal with the Soul Beast anyway."
Even without looking at the knight, he knew that he bowed to him.
"As you wish, Your Majesty," Glenn said before his presence completely disappeared.
And so, he was left alone to deal with the royal princess.
"Calm down," Nikolai ordered Neoma. "Calm down or else, our deal is off."
"I don't care! I'm so sick of your tyrannical ass," Neoma continued in an angry voice, her eyes starting to turn red. "I won't forgive you for hurting Lewis and Tteokbokki."
"What would you about it?" Nikolai asked with a smirk. "Kill me?"
"Yes," the royal princess answered. "I'll f*cking kill you, sc*mbag."
His ears almost fell off upon hearing his child curse again and again.
"Language," he warned her. "Using vulgar words is unbecoming of the future crown prince."
"To hell with that," she hissed. "I'm a princess!"
Upon yelling those words, the royal princess's eyes completely turned red now.
Not only that. The strands of her white hair had also turned the color of blood. That was something that shouldn't be possible at her age and yet, she did it.
[This is getting serious.]
The royal princess was definitely not herself.
He raised his hand and tried to summon West, the White Tiger. But much to his shock, he heard a loud roar that didn't belong to his Soul Beast.
When he turned around, he got the shock of his life at what he saw.
The red unicorn had turned into a huge red dragon. It wasn't as big as the adult dragons yet. But it was already the size of a two-story building.
Just like the royal princess, the red dragon was also out of control.
"Burn the White Tiger, Tteokbokki!" Neoma yelled at the red dragon at the top of her lungs. "I want to eat a roasted tiger for dinner!"
The red dragon growled and then breathed fire at the White Tiger.
West roared angrily but failed to avoid the orange flame that engulfed it.
As the White Tiger's owner, he felt the heat of the flame as well. Since the royal princess's Mana was still weak, the flame didn't hurt him or his Soul Beast. But it definitely made him and the White Tiger feel very uncomfortable.
"Stop it, Nero,��� Nikolai told her sternly. "If you keep that up, the royal knights will come and–"
"I'm not Nero!" Neoma screeched angrily. Then, she jumped in the air with her left fist ready to punch him. She already broke the fingers of her right hand when she punched the White Tiger a while ago. No wonder she was using her left this time. "In the name of the moon, I'll punish you!"
He didn't have the chance to figure out what the hell the child was sprouting this time because in the blink of an eye, she was already in front of him. To be honest, he underestimated the royal princess. He didn't avoid her attack because he was confident with the protection around himself– a protection that wouldn't allow anyone to hurt him physically.
But surprisingly, Neoma broke the barrier easily and her punch landed on his face.
The punch didn't hurt but she managed to make his nose bleed.
This was the first time that his blood spilled after a long time. Of course, he was pissed. He was never known for his patience anyway.
[It's time to put this tiny human in her place.]
"Enough," Nikolai said firmly– firm enough to make the ground shake. But instead of losing her balance, Neoma actually froze mid-air because the Mana that he released literally held her in place. That was the same with her red dragon that was now being pinned down by the White Tiger on the ground. "My patience has run out, Neoma de Moonasterio."
"IN THE name of the moon, I'll punish you!" Neoma quoted her favorite anime series back in her second life.
Then, she charged at her sc*mbag of a father with her fist of justice ready.
[S*ilor M*on didn't raise me a loser, you know?]
Plus, for some reason, she felt very powerful today. Was it thanks to her wrath? But whatever it was that boost her Mana, she was grateful for it.
[It's payback time!]
She said that but as soon as her knuckles connected at His Majesty's nose bridge and saw blood drop from his nostril, she suddenly snapped out of whatever it was that pushed her to go out of control.
In short, she suddenly went "sober."
And at that moment, she knew that she f*cked up.
[Did I just punch the emperor in the face and made his nose bleed?]
The answer was yes.
"Enough," Emperor Nikolai said firmly.
All of a sudden, she was frozen mid-air. She couldn't even move a muscle. It was as if an invisible string of Mana was tied around her small body.
[Gosh, this sc*mbag.]
"My patience has run out, Neoma de Moonasterio," His Majesty continued with a scowl on his annoyingly handsome face.
She wanted to say that it was her line.
But for some strange reason, she found herself smiling despite her current predicament.
"Finally," Neoma said with a genuine smile. "You finally called me by my real name, Papa."
Emperor Nikolai looked surprised by her reaction and his face actually softened up.
But she wasn't sure about that because her sight suddenly became blurry, followed by a painful thump in her chest. The next thing she knew, she was already coughing blood.
There was only one clear image in her mind then: Nero's somber face.
"Nero," Neoma whispered while losing consciousness. "Check on him, Papa."
NERO felt like his insides were being twisted. It was very painful. No wonder he was coughing blood now.
"Darling!" Duchess Quinzel screamed in panic, then she turned to the knights and the servants standing behind them. "Call the duke!"
"Sister Nara," Hanna said in a worried voice while trying to hand a handkerchief to him. She looked like she was about to cry. "Sister Nara..."
"Nara!" Duke Quinzel said as soon as he arrived. Without wasting time, he immediately rushed towards him and put a warm hand on his chest. As soon as the duke did that, he felt his Mana flowing through his veins. But it didn't make Nero feel any better. "This is bad. My healing magic isn't working," he said in a worried voice. "We must bring Nara to the temple."
"Neoma," Nero whispered before closing his eyes. "Make sure Neoma is fine…"
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