PROLOGUE

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MIDGARD

THE people of Midgard cheered happily as their king delivered a long awaited speech, a speech that would end all their sufferings and loss, "My people, today I declare an end to the war with Russgard! No more Midgardian blood will be shed. No more Midgardian land will be taken away. The war of centuries long shall end now, as I have received a letter from King Andrei Romanoff of Russgard, who has agreed to the marriage alliance between our countries! Today, we rejoice that Prince Steve, my son, would wed the sole heir to the Russgardian throne, Princess Natasha Romanoff to bring peace in our lands!"

Apparently, this was bad news for the prince. Upon hearing his father's claim, he was beyond surprised and didn't bother to hide the confusion and shock in his expression. When he walked down the castle halls that morning,  prepared to fulfill all his royal duties of the day, he met his father with an uncharacteristically happy smile on his face and when he told Steve the war with Russgard has ended, Steve didn't think it would be through this method.

His father hasn't discussed the matter with him and that alone, among other things, got Steve fuming in anger. Steve has come of age and he hoped this means his father would include him in meetings regarding important matters, like this marriage alliance.

"What is the meaning of this, Father?!" Steve said in a booming voice as he followed his father back to the throne room, where he sat on the throne next to his wife, Queen Sarah.

"This means the age of suffering has finally end, my son. I thought I made that clear on my speech," the king easily replied as he tried to make himself comfortable.

"When you said the war's over, I thought we actually fought the Russgardian soldiers back until they have surrendered. Certainly not this," Steve said in pure annoyance.

"You are a prince, Steven. If it takes you to marry a princess to end this war, then do it. For the sake of the people!" Joseph argued with his son.

"I would be marrying for love! Not for politics," he argued back. Although at times Steve can be wiser beyond his age, he was always naive, especially when it comes to love.

"Marrying for love?" Joseph scoffed, "And who would you marry? Lady Sharon? The cousin of your first love, Princess Margaret of England? And what benefit would that bring us? She does not even has actual power at English court," he continued, causing Sarah to put a hand on his to prevent him from saying something to Steve he would regret.

"You would eventually love your wife, Steve," his mother tried to assure him.

"A wife I never knew!" He argued back.

"That is why, the princess would arrive tomorrow morning and she would stay for a couple of months in order for you to get along, get her used to the Midgardian court," the King said firmly and Steve clenched his jaw in disagreement.

"Hang in there for a while, son," his father added, and Steve didn't know if that was supposed to soothe him or if that was supposed to intimidate hin.

———
Russgard

"I am glad that you're so positive about this marriage alliance," Her father said to her to which she gave him a half smile. King Andrei has been known to be a ruthless ruler, but really, he did what he did for the good of his people.

"This marriage will end the war between Russgard and Midgard once and for all, of course I am positive, Father. With an alliance to Midgard, we strengthen our political position, we could gather more support on the west and I could give Russgard a rightful heir to the throne," she said after consideration of the idea.

"Midgard would thank the heavens they'll have a mind like yours in their court," he complimented as she smirk at his words, after a short pause, he continued, "Although, this is a very peaceful way to end war, I do not trust those Midgardians. King Joseph has always wanted power on European soil, I'm afraid his true intention is to dissolve the Romanoff royal line so he and his family could take power. So, Natashka, marrying the prince will not be your only intention."

And after a moment of observing the look on her father's face she knew what he wanted of her, "You want me to spy on them?"

"No, no, my dear, not spying. Simply just the collection of information crucial for the welfare of our country," Her father answered easily, and Natasha has always been good at following orders, and so she tilt her head slightly upwards, ready to face this challenge.

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