After the commotion subsided, they agreed to keep the incident a secret for the time being. It was the only option as the memory loss of the two archdukes could throw Hessenguard, and even the entire continent, into chaos.
Thankfully, there were no immediate concerns, so Vanessa, Orpé, and Cedric informed everyone that the archdukes had contracted a severe flu and had to cancel all their appointments for the next two weeks. Erna believed that it was unnecessary to lie, but they couldn’t risk revealing the truth.
Erna couldn’t help but wonder, “Will everything return to normal once we wake up from this dream?” Unfortunately, nothing had changed even after a night’s sleep. The archdukes were still eight years into the future.
Realizing this, Erna sprang into action. She immediately requested all the records of parliament meetings for the past eight years and began reading through them with Kalion.
“Is this really the future? If it is, then we might as well enjoy it,” Kalion exclaimed, fascinated by the idea of experiencing the future. Everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of what the future held, but they had been unexpectedly thrust into it.
Erna and Kalion’s curiosity led them to delve into the meeting records eagerly. As they read through them, they discovered that Erna’s father, the king of Haband, had passed away due to an illness, and the first prince who had attempted to kill Kalion had ascended to the throne of Aether. Hessenguard had been through a series of tumultuous events, and the archdukes’ names were mentioned in many of them.
“Anyway… now we’re considered a strong country, right?” Erna muttered to herself as she closed the last page of the meeting minutes. Despite being called a principality, Hessenguard had gained enough influence to be regarded as an empire. It possessed all the ideal qualities that Erna had always envisioned.
Erna rested her chin on her hand and lost herself in thought. Vanessa and the others still believed that they had lost their memories, but Erna was certain they had traveled to the future. She remembered the ancient pillars covered in unknown characters that she had seen during the day. There were no shining characters or anything that could bring them back to their original time.
The thought of not being able to return to their own time filled Erna with an unexplainable fear. Although they were still the ruling power and people’s relationships remained unchanged after arriving in the future, Erna worried about the safety of their own time. Had they traveled to the past while being in the future? Or had they disappeared in their own time? What would happen to Hessenguard in that case?
As she began to worry, more concerns piled up one after another. Erna looked at Kalion, relieved to have him by her side. I’m glad Kalion is here, she thought to herself.
If Kalion had looked at her strangely and questioned her, she wouldn’t have known how to handle the situation. As she glanced over at Kalion, she noticed he was laughing strangely, unlike her.
“What are you thinking about?” Erna asked, her tone curious as she watched Kalion staring into the distance.
“Huh? I was thinking about Mille and Lionel,” he replied, his voice laced with fondness. “To be honest, I’ve thought about what it would be like for us to have children many times. But…” Kalion trailed off, his smile widening. “But to have such cute, pretty, handsome, and healthy children like them.”
Erna felt a complex mix of emotions at Kalion’s words. As Kalion said, Mille and Lionel bore such a striking resemblance to their parents that it was almost eerie. Anyone could recognize their parents just by looking at the two kids. However, Erna couldn’t utter the children’s names as effortlessly as Kalion could. The children felt unfamiliar to her.
“Really? I was surprised because I’m a bit different from you in that regard,” Erna said, her voice clipped.
“What’s different?” Kalion asked, turning to face her.
“Well, I was thinking about…” she trailed off, unsure of how to express her feelings. Erna recalled Mille’s tearful meltdown earlier in the day, as the child had clung to her with her angelic beauty. Despite Orpé’s efforts to calm her down and bring her back later, the sight of Mille with tears and snot streaming down her face had been too much for Erna to handle. She had rolled around the room in frustration, feeling like she was losing her mind. Did all children have this effect on people with their crying?.1.1