“My name is Lionel Baldr.
I’m Ehmont’s defense minister and chief of the Guard.
I’ve come to honor your Majesty.
Thank you for your efforts throughout the long journey.”

As Lionel introduced himself politely, Adele cast a light, aristocratic glance at him.
He was a large man, towering above the average Ehmontese with his impressive height.
His attractive features and dark blue eyes were striking, and Adele gave him a light smile as she looked him in the eyes.

“My name is Adelaide Gottrov,” she said, her voice carrying the hint of an accent.
“I appreciate you coming out to meet me.”

She shifted her gaze to the knights that accompanied Lionel, then to the distant gate.
It had been a long journey, and she was eager to finally reach her destination.

Lionel waited for her next words, and Adele took a look at the horse on which the knights were riding.
Her heart started racing as she saw the magnificent beasts, and she couldn’t resist the urge to ride one.

“Do you have any additional words?” Lionel finally asked.

“Why?” Adele turned to face Lionel, her tone of voice mingling with the question.
He then examined her clothing, taking note of the exotic skirt and pant combo.

“I’m going to ride a horse,” Adele said, determination in her voice.

Lionel was taken aback and quickly tried to stop her.
“Your Majesty, the horses are wild.
It can be dangerous.”

Being from Gottrov, an equestrian country known for its ability to handle horses of any age or gender, Adele had been putting off her desire to ride a horse until now, as the procession of wagons following her was so long, if she rode at her leisure, the speed of the procession would be hampered.
But with the arrival of knights, she saw an opportunity.

“Do you dare to be concerned about the Princess of Gottrov in that way?” she asked with a smirk.

Lionel realized that Adele was dressed in a Gottrov riding outfit, and he knew that she was more than capable of handling the horses.
“But aren’t the horse breeds different from the Gottrov? Are you going to be alright?”

Adele nodded in response to Lionel’s words.
“Don’t be so concerned,” she said, turning to face the horse and began walking towards it.
Considering her momentum, she realized she’d have to ride without any backup horses.
Lionel quickly followed her, and Adele easily determined which horse was her spare after observing the horses with her eyes.

“That horse has no owner yet,” Lionel said.
 He signaled the knight waiting behind him to bring him her footrest, despite already having an intuition that she wouldn’t need one.
Adele had already reached her horse, while the knight, upon hearing his signal, dashed to find a footrest.
The people around them grew concerned.
It was because the foreign princess appeared small in front of the enormous horse.
Lionel spoke to Adele while expertly controlling the horse’s reins.

“Please wait while I bring a footrest,” he said.

With a confident smile, she reached out to gently stroke the horse’s face, feeling the warmth of the animal’s body on her palms.
“Perhaps I can assuage your fears a little,” she said to Lionel.

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t need a footrest.”

In a flash, she was astride the massive horse, eliciting gasps from those around her.
Lionel looked up at her in shock, but Adele was in her element.
She expertly steered the horse, her small frame commanding the beast with ease.

“I’ll have to sprint to that gate now.
Come with me,” she said to Lionel, a hint of a challenge in her voice.
Lionel quickly mounted his own horse and rallied his knights to follow.

“Everyone, get on your horses and look after Her Majesty!” he ordered.

The knights, who had been staring at Adele with surprised eyes, quickly mounted their horses at his command.
Adele cast a glance at Lionel’s mount and then, with a smile, shook the reins firmly.


The group set off at a gallop, with Adele leading the way on her majestic steed.
The cold breeze whipped through her hair as she galloped across the wild grass.
Her heavy heart lifted as she felt the exhilaration of the ride.

The knights following behind her were in awe of her riding skills, struggling to keep up with her.
Only Lionel Balder was able to match her pace, his gaze locked on her fluttering dark hair.

Adele turned her head to glance at Lionel as he caught up to her side.
Their eyes met and the sun beat down on them.
Together, they led the knights towards the capital city wall of Ehmont.

As they approached the grand castles, Adele slowed her horse.
She knew that horseback riding was equal for men and women in Ehmont, but entering the palace in her current state would be inappropriate.
Lionel and the knights came to a halt as Adele came to a stop.
Lionel noticed her hesitation, but Adele was lost in thought.

“Do you want to switch to a carriage?” Lionel asked Adele as they noticed a procession of wagons and carts in the distance.
Adele nodded, feeling guilty for how fast they had been riding earlier.

“You don’t have to come so fast,” she murmured.

Lionel couldn’t help but look at Adele’s flushed cheeks, glistening with sweat.
He quickly turned away as the procession of wagons and carts approached.
Adele gracefully dismounted her horse and thanked Lionel for his assistance.

“It gave me a breather.
Thank you,” she said as she took her seat in the carriage.
Lionel reached out to assist her, but she had already settled in.
He took a step back and watched as the carriage door closed, a faint laugh from Adele still ringing in his ears.
He turned away and walked, but something made him stop and glance back at the carriage.
Lionel shook his head, trying to push the image of Adele’s golden eyes out of his mind.
He knew he had to let it go.

With the help of her maid, Adele had changed into an elegant dress fit for a queen.
She stepped out of the carriage and took in her surroundings.
The grand castles of Ehmont loomed in the distance, their turrets reaching towards the sky.
The sun was setting, casting a warm glow over the city.

Lionel Baldr appeared to have completed his role.

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