Royal Secret: I'm A Princess!

Chapter 867 MARRIAGE PROPOSAL



Chapter 867 MARRIAGE PROPOSAL

"WHY DID Vitu suddenly become a baby again?" Neoma asked Ruto while watching Vitu sleep under the tree. "Did he turn back to his baby form to win me over earlier because I scolded him?"

After her friends left, Vitu fell asleep in her arms.

She wanted her baby to be comfortable, so she placed him down under the tree.

Ruto took off his jacket and placed it on the grass as a makeshift "bed" for their baby.

Hence, right now, Neoma and Ruto were sitting in front of Vitu while watching their child sleep peacefully.

"I believe it's both," Ruto said after contemplating for a moment. "Vitu can't maintain his adult form for long because the older Neoma and Commander Yoan aren't here. But I think he timed it well so you would stop scolding him."

"And what made you say that?"

"Because Vitu is the son of the greatest scammer on the continent."

Pfft.

"Hey, did you forget that I used to be a child actress?" Neoma complained lightly. "You could have just said that Vitu was good at acting because his mother was a former star. Are you teasing me?"

Ruto just smiled in response.

[Ah, so he's really teasing me.]

Gosh.

"Ruto, I think I've already retrieved the memories of my first life."

"All of it?"

"I think so," she said. "But I'm blocking most of the memories I've regained since they're unpleasant."

"Are the memories that we shared in the first timeline included in that?"

"Yes. I don't like how Giant Neoma and Commander Yoan's tragic romance ended. If their love story was a movie, then it would be the type of movie that you'd only watch once. Not because it's trash, but because it's beautiful yet heartbreaking."

"Beautiful yet heartbreaking," Ruto repeated her words in a whisper. "That indeed perfectly describes our past."

"That's why you should also forget about that tragic "movie," Ruto."

"How can I forget the fact that I killed you, Neoma?"

Right?

However…

"You didn't kill me," Neoma said while shaking her head. "You purified me, Ruto."

"Even so–"

"My body was already breaking down during that time because I consumed too much poisonous Darkness. That was the price I had to pay for choosing to save children instead of letting them die," she said, cutting him off. "If you didn't purify me, then I would have died a painful and gruesome death."

"But I still let you die alone in that cold and dark place," Ruto said in a cracked voice. "I tried to recover your body as soon as I could, even so…"

"Ruto, if my life was a novel, then I'd be an unreliable narrator."

"Huh?"

"I've seen some of Giant Neoma's memories in the past without context," she explained. "That was how I concluded that you killed me. That you didn't love me enough. That I wasn't loved by my people in the first timeline. But I was wrong."

Neoma of the first timeline was loved.

There was only one problem.

"Neoma of the first timeline didn't recognize love because she grew up without it," Neoma said in a sad voice. "She knew when she loved someone, but she could barely recognize it when she was loved. That was why she thought you didn't love her enough."

The only love that Neoma of the first timeline acknowledged and never doubted was Duke Rufus Quinzel's fatherly love that she received as a child.

Anything else was suspicious to her.

"Giant Neoma thought that the people around her only followed her out of duty and not because they loved her," Neoma said, laughing bitterly. "But we can't blame her, can we? She lived a miserable life before you revived her. Plus, she was betrayed by Rubin Drayton."

"As much as I want to hate Rubin Drayton, I was actually quite grateful for him," Ruto said, frowning. "I'm glad he was born stupid then and now."

She couldn't help but laugh. "Wow. I'll never get used to you shit-talking to other people behind their backs."

"Right. It's wrong. I'll remember to call Rubin Drayton 'stupid' straight to his face the next time we see each other."

She laughed again. "Hey, don't be too harsh on Rubin Drayton in this timeline."

Ruto turned to her with a betrayed look on his face. "I know you're a fan of villain characters getting a redemption arc."

"I am?"

"You fangirled hard over Zuko's redemption arc."

Zuko?

[From Av*tar?]

Neoma laughed while clapping her hands. "Hey, that's justifiable. Zuko's redemption arc was written so well."

"Yeah, and Ruto Drayton isn't as good as Zuko, so don't forgive him easily."

Aigoo.

[Ruto is sulking, huh?]

How cute~

"Rubin and I already had 'the' talk," Neoma confessed. "All this time, he was being controlled by Dilan Crowell who possessed his body. Perhaps it was the same case in the first timeline. Maybe it was Dilan Crowell who hurt me and not Rubin Drayton."

"Neoma–"

"Even so, it doesn't matter anymore," she said, cutting Ruto off before he exploded with jealousy. "Rubin Drayton and I were never meant to be together."

Only then did Ruto calm down.

"Ruto, have you noticed it?"

"Hmm?"

Neoma grinned at Ruto cheekily. "Your feelings for me have returned."

Ruto looked surprised at first, then his face turned red. "Oh."

"You can be a little dense sometimes, my dude."

"Well, this is quite worrying," Ruto said while scratching his cheek. "Now that my feelings for you have returned, then it only means the Ancient Devil lost them. I have a bad feeling about this."

"Maybe the curse was lifted when you fell in love with me again?"

"I hope that's the case," he said. "But even if it wasn't, don't worry. I'll protect you from the Ancient Devil."

"Okay, I'll protect you, too."

He just smiled and nodded.

"Hey, I'm serious. You can't die," Neoma said firmly. "I have no intention of becoming a god in this timeline, so I can't procreate on my own. That's why I need you to conceive Vitu naturally."

Ruto suddenly coughed as if he got choked on his saliva.

"Why are you so surprised?" she complained while patting Ruto's back to help him calm down. "You should have seen this coming since you're the only one for me. Gosh. Or are you afraid that the gods won't let us conceive a child because they don't want to have another monster clan in the human world just like the de Moonasterios?"

"It's not that," Ruto complained lightly, then he turned to her with a sulky face. "Why do you always beat me to it?"

"To what?" magic

"Marriage proposal!"

Huh?

Ah, right.

[Neoma of the first timeline proposed to Commander Yoan first.]

"I am speed," Neoma teased Ruto, mimicking a meme while laughing. "Anyways, it's not my fault that you're a slowpoke– mmf!"

She was surprised when Ruto suddenly covered her mouth with his hand.

As gently as possible, of course.

"Just you wait," Ruto said determinedly, his face and ears red. "I'm going to make the first move this time, Neoma de Moonasterio Solfrid."

"Solfrid?" Neoma asked, surprised. Then she removed Ruto's hand from her mouth. She knew that it was supposed to be a romantic moment, but her curiosity got the better of her. "Why not 'Stroganoff?'"

"Ah, I didn't tell you before because I was afraid of triggering your memories," he said. "Actually, it was my father who married into my mother's family. Hence, 'Solfrid' has always been my legal name. I only used my father's last name when I entered the palace to become a royal chef."

"Because you didn't want me to remember you?"

He nodded. "I already changed my name in this timeline, so I decided to change my last name as well to protect your memories."

Ah, so that was how Ruto became Ruston Stroganoff.

And it actually worked.

[The name 'Yoan' triggered my memories the first time I heard it. If I remembered him earlier, then Ruto would have lost his feelings for me without accomplishing anything.]

Neoma had to admit that Ruto's plan was meticulous.

She tilted her head to one side. "Wait."

"Yes?"

"Why haven't I met Chef Stroganoff yet?" Neoma asked, knitting her eyebrows. "I'm sure Papa Boss has already met your father since Chef Stroganoff is the emperor's Royal Chef. But I haven't met my future father-in-law yet. Does he even know about us?"

"Uhm, I'm pretty sure not even His Imperial Majesty has had many opportunities to meet my father in person yet."

"Why not?"

"Father is "scared" of good-looking people, so he tends to avoid the Imperial Family."

What?!

"Then how did your father manage to bag your mother?" Neoma asked, surprised. "Your mother is a beauty, Ruto."

"Father often faints when he's with my mother, so Mother decided to move back to the Eastern Continent to give Father's heart a break."

Huh?

Neoma couldn't help but laugh again. "Oh, my. What will your father do now that he'll have the most beautiful woman in the world as his future daughter-in-law?"

Ruto laughed while shaking his head. "I'll pray for Father's heart."

"Mommy, Daddy…?"

It was Vitu.

Their baby was now awake while rubbing his eyes with his tiny hand.

Vitu then smiled brightly. "Mommy! Daddy!"

The baby wasn't talking about Neoma and Ruto this time.

Giant Neoma and Commander Yoan were back.

[Okay, it's time to work again.]

***

NOTE: A little breather before the Third Calamity aka Nero, Dahlia, Hanna's arc.

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