Uriel arrived at midnight that day.
Apollonia knew it by looking at a bunch of hydrangeas placed on the table.
“Long time no see, Your Highness.”
There was no sign of movement, but a low voice rang behind Apollonia as she picked up the hydrangea.
“I’ve been waiting.”
“I was worried because the royal guard has tightened the security in a year”
“It’s not a problem for me.”
It was a short answer, but the way he spoke was sweet.
Apollonia smiled and turned around to face him.
“Why does it feel like you’ve grown so big”
Unlike the nickname ‘Reaper’ that he got from his active role in the battlefield, he still looked as angelic as ever.
His face was as beautiful as it was five years ago.
Hair as brilliant as the moonlight and eyes as deep as a bottomless sea.
However, he gave off a more mature feeling due to his sharper facial features.
If his face was not much different from before, his physical change was so noticable.
Although his tall and slim body remained the same, he grew even taller, and upon closer look, the muscles of his body were much more defined than in his teenage years.
Uriel looked so dazzlingly beautiful when he stood still with a smile, contrary to when he faced the enemy and lived up to his name as a reaper with no blood or tears.
“I don’t know.” Uriel said , taking a step closer.
Just returning from the battlefield, the coat laid beautifully on his wide shoulders.
As the wind blew through the window, the shape of his upper-body was revealed like it was a piece of art.
Growing up to his twenties, he looked down at Apollonia, who wasn’t considered short either by the usual standard.
“I’m not grown bigger, I’m afraid Your Highness has gotten smaller.”
He smiled and then sat on the window sill.
After five years of following Caelion as his aide, Uriel had infiltrated the royal villa countless times in order to exchange news with Apollonia.
Only then did Uriel come a few steps closer and sat at the end of her bed.
His sweet scent lingered around faintly.
He came and went to this chamber like it was his own, but he never sat or approached the bed without Apollonia’s permission.
Over the course of five years, their relationship had not changed much on the surface.
Their strong bond, respect and faith in each other remained the same.
The two conversed a lot at every opportunity.
The topic varied from music, philosophy, art, politics, and economics.
Uriel was enthusiastic about Apollonia’s interest, and over the years, they became an equal conversation partner.
Whenever he was away, Apollonia secretly looked forward to his visit.
And her longing was so great that sometimes she herself was surprised.
So in front of Uriel, whom she had not seen in a long time, she smiled freely without realizing it.
“I’m glad I left the window open.”
“It doesn’t matter.
I can come in even if it’s closed.
A small beast may come in if you leave it open.
They said winged monkeys are flying around the Imperial Palace recently.”
“I’m fine so there’s nothing to worry about.”
Apollonia turned her gaze away.
Uriel always worried about her well-being every time they met.
“Congratulations on your victory.
I can’t believe it only took one year to win against five countries.”
“It was quite easy.
They all surrendered right away.
The difficult part was to stop Paris from recklessly killing people just to raise his honor.”
“I heard that there are not many casualties in the other country, either.”
“Because I and Caelion put a lot of effort into it.”
“I’ve heard about your prominence a lot.
It seems like you’ve managed to overshadow Paris’ achievements a little bit.”
Uriel smiled upon hearing Apollonia’s words.
She poured him a cup of tea as she spoke.
He said he liked fruit tea with ice in it, and she always has it ready in her room.
Uriel drank a cup of fruit tea in his favorite white glass.
His long, white fingers and slim neck caught her eyes.
It would be hard for anybody to imagine that this beautiful prince was the reaper of the battlefield.
But Uriel was the empire’s sharpest sword.
That was the case five years ago, but now the whole empire knows about that.
The people of the empire praised, loved and feared him as a hero.
Following Apollonia’s orders five years ago, he and Caelion learned all kinds of military strategies and martial arts.
But Uriel avoided fame and attention.
Over the course of two years, he moved quietly enough to bury the fact that he was the winner of the royal hunting competition.
Even his noble title was overshadowed by his role as Caelion’s aide.
It was when Caelion turned seventeen that people in the empire knew Uriel’s name.
The legendary ‘Battle of Mount Atalan’ was told through the soldiers’ mouths, who were with him at that time.