Chapter 06 - Childhood Sweetheart (a)
Queen Anna and Lady Grace always had so many topics to talk about when it came to discussing Xi Wei and Klaire's future fate.
At first, when it was discovered that both Queen Anna and Lady Grace were pregnant, they were told that Klaire's due date would be on June 22nd in the following year, while the expected date of Xi Wei was in June 29th.There should be a one week age difference between them, but who would have guessed that the two children would be born slightly prematurely instead, and end up being born on the same day: June 21st. That day happened to be the last day of Gemini Constellation, and in the early morning, there was a rare Gemini meteor shower happening. It was as if the universe also wanted to celebrate their wonderfully linked fate.
One year ago, the two small children could be found fighting in Xi Wei's crib every day, with Xi Wei's little fist always falling accurately on Klaire's nose, while the abused baby was busy rolling around in the crib, always trying to get close to the other boy. Even later, after the two of them had learned to walk and talk, Klaire still liked to follow Xi Wei around. His gaze would always trail after Xi Wei's figure in curiosity, taking in everything he did so that he could imitate him in his own home later on.
Klaire would take notes of all the books Xi Wei was reading, and then asked his mother for the exact same ones—even though most of the time he did not understand what they were about.
He would also take the initiative to give many of his favorite toys to Xi Wei. Unfortunately, little did he know, Xi Wei actually had little interest in those toys.
Almost every day, Grace witnessed her son following and trailing after Xi Wei, and could not help but sigh. She said, "Klaire really likes to be close to Xi Wei, but somehow his relationship with his own brother is not that good."
Anna was puzzled and asked, "His brother? I haven't seen him yet, but I heard that he is a very beautiful omega. Klaire doesn't like him?"
Grace shook her head, "At home, Klaire loves to play with all sort of toys by himself in his room. Also, he started having nightmares a while ago. He said there was so much blood in those dreams, and he couldn't see anything else but red there. I was afraid he would become cranky, so I usually take him here to play with Xi Wei."
Hearing this, Anna couldn't help feeling worried, "He is not even three years old yet, why would he have such strange dreams like that?"
Grace frowned, "I don't know. I have consulted some experts before, and all of them said that these dreams are difficult to explain... It may have been due to his premature birth though, because Klaire was also born with severe anemia. He even needed to be rescued once during the delivery, and it is a bad omen for an alpha to experience a rescue at birth."
Anna took hold of her friend's hand and comforted her, "Don't think too much about it. You can see that Klaire is very healthy now, I'm sure he will grow up in peace and good health too. Those were just nightmares, they shouldn't mean anything, right?"
"Yes, I heard that children will sometimes see some things that they shouldn't see, but it will become better as they grow up." Grace smiled and continued, "Right, Queen Anna, on Klaire's third birthday, I'm going to send him to a teacher to study, so he will not be able to come and visit you anymore."
Anna nodded her head, "I know, Xi Wei also will have to move out soon."
According to the rules of the Empire, children before the age of three should live together with their mother, and later, on their third birthday, they would finally begin their education. There was no kindergarten in the Empire, so the children's education for the first two years would all be handled as a responsibility of the teachers chosen by their own family. Their teacher would teach them the basic knowledge of language, numbers, and mechanical things. Then, when they were five years old, they would be sent to school.
Xi Wei and Klaire would have their third birthday soon, and during the next two years after that, they would be placed under the care of their own respective teachers to study. Therefore, until their official enrollment to the Empire's school when they reached five years old, they would no longer have the opportunity to meet.
Klaire had heard about this from his mother, and in his heart, he knew clearly that today would be the last time for him to see Xi Wei in the palace for a while, so he had carefully prepared a gift for the other boy. He looked at Xi Wei helplessly, and said, "This is a present for you. I drew it personally so that you will always remember me."
Xi Wei took a look at the object in Klaire's hand. It was a picture of two children holding hands. The painting's title was written on the top: "The Best Partner ", and their names were scribbled above the childrens' heads : Klaire (alpha), Xi Wei (omega?).
This kid actually put a question mark behind the omega....
Klaire exclaimed seriously, "Mom said we could see each other again in two years. So, in these two years, you can look at this picture every time you miss me."
Xi Wei took the picture with a stiff face and said, "Thank you."
Xi Wei really had no interest in a child's drawing like this, and what's with this question mark behind the word omega? Does he doubt my status as an omega??
That day, when it was time for them to leave the palace, it was obvious to see just how reluctant Klaire was feeling. He kept on looking back at Xi Wei, as if he was trying to carve every precious detail of the other boy's image into his mind.
And, although Xi Wei had been feeling annoyed at him all day, his heart couldn't help but softened a little at seeing Klaire's actions - in any case, they could still be considered as childhood friends who grew up together. Klaire also had always been good to him, giving him his favorite toys every day, and even though Xi Wei did not actually like those toys, Klaire's pure intention and heart could be seen from them. In Klaire's simple mind, he obviously thought of Xi Wei as a good friend, so Xi Wei also couldn't be too cold to him, lest he caused suspicion from others.
Xi Wei thought for a while before finally saying, "Klaire, I also have a gift for you."
Klaire's eyes lighten up: "What gift?"
Xi Wei took a piece of shiny red stone from his pocket and handed it to Klaire, "This is for you."
Klaire immediately held it tightly and said seriously, "I will take good care of it."
After he said this, he quickly ran back to Xi Wei and dropped a kiss on his face gently, "Thank you, Xi Wei."
Xi Wei: "......"
Dammit, if I had known he'd do this, I never would have given anything to him, thought Xi Wei while wiping the little boy's saliva from his face.
That night, Klaire sat on the sofa, holding and studying the red stone Xi Wei had given to him earlier. But, no matter how hard he looked at the stone, he still could not figure out its use.
When General Byron arrived home, he found his son playing with a rare thing in his hands and frowned, "Who gave you that stone?"
Klaire felt a little afraid of his cold-faced, serious father, and replied honestly, "The First Prince gave it to me."
General Byron took the jewel and examined it, before returning it to Clare's hands a few seconds later. He said calmly, "This is a very rare large-capacity storage space which is produced only in the Lyra Galaxy. It can also be used as a storage space for intelligent machine armour. This gift from the First Prince is very precious, save it wisely, and don't lose it. "
"Oh!" Klaire immediately hugged the stone in his bosom, holding onto it very carefully. He thought: Xi Wei is so nice to me; he even gave me such a precious gift.
Little did Klaire know, Xi Wei actually owned a few storage space stones like that, courtesy of His Majesty Trent, and his Uncle Berg. Xi Wei chose to give the red stone to Klaire because he had learned about the value of the stone before - the storage stones, which were produced in Lyra Galaxy, can be used as a memory base for machine armor. The value and grade of a storage stone was determined by its size, and the one Xi Wei picked for Klaire was of the largest size available, which made it naturally priceless. A grown up alpha would get his own machine armor later, so Klaire would certainly need this storage stone for his armor in the future.
Xi Wei would not give some childish little toys like Klaire did, because he preferred to be practical in anything he did.
On June 21st of this year, on the last day of the Gemini Constellation, the Imperial Palace and the home of General Byron were both celebrating the third birthday of their respective children, Xi Wei and Klaire. The next morning, Queen Anna sent Xi Wei to move to his own palace that had been arranged in advance for him. As a prince of the Empire, he must live separately from his parents at the age of three. But, of course, he would have a full range of AI butlers to take care of his daily life.
When Xi Wei entered the palace, one of the intelligent butlers opened his mouth and greeted him "Welcome back, Master."
This AI butler had a somewhat child-like voice, completely different from the regal lady voice of Queen Anna's personal AI housekeeper. Xi Wei asked curiosity, "What's your name?"
The AI butler answered: "Please give me a name, Master."
Xi Wei thought about it, then said: "How about Kaka?"
"It's good, Master." Somehow, Xi Wei felt a bit funny listening to Kaka's childish voice talking in such a serious tone...
Xi Wei sat down in one of the chairs in the room for a while, before he finally couldn't stop himself from asking, "Why hasn't my teacher arrived yet?"
Just as he finished saying this, a man's soft voice was suddenly heard answering his question, "Don't worry, I have come."
Xi Wei: "..... "
He looked up and saw Berg's smiling eyes glancing down on him. Xi Wei asked him in surprise, "How are you ah, Uncle?"
Berg walked towards him and sat down on the seat at his side, then said playfully, "I have come here to teach you personally. You should feel honored."
Xi Wei: "......"
Afterwards, Berg took out an e-reader screen in the size of an adult's palm, and put it down in front of Xi Wei. He opened the first page, and then explained, "This is a list of the most commonly used words in the empire. Pick the words that you can recognize, and after that I will make a lesson plan based on the result."
Xi Wei looked a little embarrassed as he glanced at the words in front of him. He actually already knew about these words, but he did not want to seem suspicious in front of his Royal Uncle, so he purposely picked simple words from the list, including Her Majesty, the Queen, his name, as well as sofa, bed, and other daily things he had come into contact with.
After he finished, Berg looked at him and asked, "You are only able to recognize these?"
Xi Wei nodded, "Yes..."
Berg smiled and touched his head, "In this six months, you have to memorize all of them. Then, once you are able to, I'll teach you more things."
Xi Wei nodded again, "Okay."
This half a year's time was very boring for Xi Wei, because he had to act clueless every day, he also had to pretend to be naïve and ask some questions to his teacher. During this period of time, Xi Wei finally realized that being a child, in fact, was not easy. Fortunately, his uncle never felt suspicious of him; instead, Berg always patiently explained the meaning of each word to him.
Berg is actually a very good teacher, always very patient in working with a child like him, and his explanations were also done in great detail. Although the content of the lessons was something that Xi Wei had known since his early childhood, surprisingly, he also learned many new things from his uncle.
This very talented Wang Shu, his teaching style was not the rigid type. While teaching about simple words and grammar, he would use many interesting allusions in his explanation. In this strange world, of course many of those allusions were new and interesting for Xi Wei, and so, Xi Wei would always listen to them with deep attention.
Berg was also really invested in his research of machine armor's manufacturing, therefore, he would often tell machine armor related stories to Xi Wei. This part of his lessons was what Xi Wei found most interesting, and he loved listening to them carefully. Xi Wei liked this Wang Shu of his, because somehow, being near Berg's body always filled him with a reassuring and comfortable feeling.
In these two years, except for the occasional visits from His Majesty Trent and Queen Anna to check on his learning progress and wellbeing, most of Xi Wei's time was spent with Uncle Berg. His uncle told even the news of his mother's new pregnancy to him.
His mother later gave birth to a baby girl who was named Xi Lin. The third princess is an omega, and was said to have cried pretty loudly when she was born, a really lively baby girl.
Xi Wei was very happy to have another sister, however, Berg actually sighed and said: "Three successive omega children, the pressure on your mother's back must be very heavy. An omega can only have limited amount of children, and your mother is the queen, so she must to give birth to an Alpha Prince to inherit the throne."
No wonder Queen Anna's expression was a little sullen lately. Apparently having three consecutive omega children had put her under a lot of pressure. And the birth of a child would always leave a certain trauma to an omega's body; therefore, she would need time to recover. She almost always stayed in the Palace with her children. In these few years, she had given birth to three children, and during this time, the only connection she had with the outside world was through her interaction with her good friend, Grace.
Thinking about this, Xi Wei couldn't help but feel distressed for his mother.
That evening, he went to the Queen's Palace to see her. When Anna saw Xi Wei, she immediately smiled and walked to him, "Haven't seen you for a while, our Xi Wei actually has grown so tall."
Her eyes glistened with unshed tears as she said this. Xi Wei hurriedly raised up his small hands and wiped at Anna's tears gently while asking her in a voice full of concern, "Queen Mother, are you feeling better now?"
Anna moved to hug Xi Wei and answered softly, "I'm fine,"
Later, His Majesty also came to see the Third Princess. When he found Xi Wei there, he asked him, "Xi Wei, how is your learning progress with Uncle Berg? Have you finished learning the contents of the book? "
Xi Wei said, "It's going well, there is only the last one left."
Anna put Xi Wei down, and asked, "Your Majesty, has Berg's marriage been decided?"
Trent nodded, "After Xi Wei's fifth birthday, once Berg finishes all of the lessons. The wedding will be set in the fall."
Xi Wei: "..."
Xi Wei's three views problem that had long been forgotten, suddenly re-surfaced once again-
- Berg Wang Shu was apparently going to be assigned to an alpha by His Majesty soon....