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Published at 27th of December 2018 03:17:25 PM

Chapter 3

Holm, Capital City of Vanadis

The sound of a baby crying filled the room . Lucia washed her hands and wiped the sweat off her forehead . Another life was brought into this world .

She turned to the mother lying in the bed cuddling her newborn baby . The mattress was covered in blood and fluids . The odor was not pleasant, but Lucia was used to it . Beside the woman was her husband, a man in his early thirties with a muscular physique . Some people were also inside the room including Lucia's two personal guards .

" If there's any complications the coming days, come find me" Lucia said while walking closer to the couple . "Especially if she contracts fever . Fevers are dangerous . To be safe you should consider staying in Holm for a few more days" she suggested .

From their story, this was easier said than done . The couple came from a distant village in the north . They stayed in the City of Holm for more than a month waiting for the woman to give birth . They didn't have any relatives in the city and were forced to sleep in an expensive inn . As a merchant city, many people found Holm's living expenses a little too high . The couple's savings must have been exhausted by now and they will be forced to return to their village soon . Lucia was tempted to offer the couple some money, but she must conserve her resources for future patients .

Lucia had encountered such cases before . People all over the Kingdom went to her for her skills in midwifery . Childbirth had always been dangerous and many women die because of it . Lucia's methods were effective and the mortality rate for mother and child was lowered with her around . At first people were reluctant to come to her, after all she was the second princess of the Kingdom of Vanadis . But now, she had patients almost every day . The husband in front of her must have loved his wife so much for him to spend all their savings just to ensure the safe birth of their child .

Lucia had always been fascinated with babies . Seeing a baby fills her heart with ecstasy . But at the same time, she also feels sadness . She couldn't explain the feeling . It was like having a feeling of deep regret .

Her father, the King, never approved of this hobby of hers . To him, a royalty shouldn't do such things . Why can't Lucia be a normal princess? Why can't she play with dolls rather than blades? Why can't she be fascinated by dresses instead? So the King never supported her financially and she was forced to use her personal allowance .

Lucia's expertise was not limited to childbirths though . About a year ago, a strange disease ravaged the city of Holm . The disease killed hundreds . The King ordered a quarantine to the area first hit by the disease, but it was not very effective . People kept dying and trade was greatly affected because merchants were too afraid to set foot inside the city . For a merchant city like Holm, a day without trade was a day without productivity . The general belief was that, the disease was passed like flu . People started suspecting each other and violence started to overwhelm the city . Lucia can't explain it but the symptoms of the disease were familiar to her . She knew that the believed diagnosis was wrong . It was really strange . Call it intuition, luck or divine intervention but she knew that the disease was caused by the dirty drinking water of the city . She doesn't have proof but she still managed to convince her father of her theory . When people heard of this, they were hesitant at first . But desperation drove them to try every method possible . Some people started to get their drinking water further upstream . Since these first pioneers never contracted the disease, more people joined . After a week, the city was free from the disease .

Because of this, the people of Holm loved her . They started calling her the Pearl Princess of Holm . The trust of the people on the royal family was also increased because of Lucia . Some people even wanted her to become the heir . This, of course, alienated Lucia from her older brother .

"Thank you Your Highness" the father thanked sincerely and bowed to her "we will do as you suggest"

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Lucia bent down and caressed the smooth face of the newborn . "Your son is healthy so I don't think there will be any complications regarding the baby" She smiled and comforted the couple " by the way, have you thought of a name?"

"Not yet, Your Highness . I'll let my mother decide on the name" the woman answered . She was a beautiful woman in her thirties .

" Your Highness it's almost sunset" One of her guard reminded her . Being a member of the royal family, she was always at risk of being assassinated . Her office was located outside the palace and she promised the King to always return before sunset .

Lucia looked outside the window to confirm the guard's words . It was almost dark . "Find Sylvie and then let's go back to the palace"

"I'm here your highness" Sylvie immediately indicated her presence . " Do you want to change your clothes here?"

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Sylvie was her assistant . She took care of everything Lucia needs . She was the daughter of an exiled noble . Her father was suspected of embezzling money by a merchant and was proven guilty . In the Kingdom of Vanadis, a merchant was as powerful as a noble . Sylvie was three years older than her and she seldom talks . She was always polite and proper, a perfect representation of a noble lady .

" I'll change when we get back . Mr . Trevor is right, it's late . " Lucia turned to the couple "You can stay here for the night . I know inns in Holm are outrageously overpriced . " She offered . Nobody will use the room until tomorrow anyway so it would be a waste .

She got up and went outside the room . Her guards flanked her while Sylvie followed her from behind . Holm is a wonderful, she thought as she savored the chilly air . The people were wealthy and proud, common among rich merchant cities . Years of prosperous trade made Holm into what it is now, a vibrant and bustling city . Because of its secure location, Holm, and the Kingdom of Vanadis as a whole, became a trading giant .

By now, the sun was sinking fast on the horizon and the light of day escaped the earth . Candles and lamps were lit inside each house, giving illumination and warmth that swallowed the darkness of the night . The city guards started to hang lamps on multiple poles around the city, guiding travellers to their destinations . The city was as alive at night as it was on day . Lucia smiled, appreciating the grandness of Holm .

After arriving at the gates of the palace, the guard greeted and let them pass immediately . To this, Lucia felt discomfort . What if she was someone else, she thought . This really troubled her . The guards were too lax . Vanadis was a rich Kingdom and many other Kingdoms desire its riches . It will only take a single assassin to put the Kingdom into turmoil .

Lucia went inside the Palace of Holm . This palace was renowned for its exquisite design and lavish decorations . The halls were enormous and the palace itself was eight-story high . Every foreign merchant, noble or emissary lucky enough to witness the magnificence of Holm's palace had applauded the building . Even Lucia, who was raised here, still can't resist being amazed every time she enters her home .

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But Lucia knew that this extravagance comes at a price . A palace is the home of the royals, yes . But the palace was also their last bastion in case of an invasion . These are tumultuous times . Many people started calling this era as the Warring Period . Currently there were dozens of large wars happening across the continent and several other smaller conflicts . Due to its protected location, the Kingdom of Vanadis was never invaded before . But this could change in the future . Times are changing .

Lucia's room was located on the third floor . It took her a while to reach her room because of the size of the palace . She dismissed Sylvie and then took a bath . The King always wanted her to be a proper lady so she wore a dress and went to have dinner with her father .

"Father" Lucia bowed in a lady-like manner

The King looked at her and pointed to the seat in front of him "Sit . We have . . " the King hesitated . "um . . Something important to discuss" he avoided eye contact .

Lucia seated herself in front of the King . Since her brother and step-mother were in a business trip, only she and the king ate on the table . The food was already prepared in front of her . Despite Vanadis' extravagance, the King preferred to eat local produce .

Lucia cut her meat and took a bite . The savory taste delighted her taste buds .

"Lucia" the King still avoided eye contact with her "Castonia and Vanadis have declared an alliance"Please download our sponsor's game to support us!