The next morning, the children were all gathered in one room, and that was Alphonse and Aerith's room. The twins were still sound asleep on Alphonse's bed inside his room .
"It has been a while since they were sleeping?" Aliyah who was seating beside Aerith's bedside said. "I hope they are alright."
"My mom said they are doing fine." Thalia was seating on the couch that was taken from the twin's common reception area for the children to sit down.
"Your mom is an imperial doctor, so I am sure she is quite capable." Aliyah said. "But, why are they still asleep. A full night has passed by, and the ball was canceled because they are still asleep." She sighed heavily.
"Yes, they are such sleeping beauties." Deimos agreed with his twin sister. "I mean, look at Alphonse's hair. How did it grow this long? And it has also turned silver."
"These two now looks identical." Aliyah said. "It is quite interesting."
There was silence in the room once again.
"I cannot believe you all have gone through such an experience." Henry, Satiana and Jack's son said and broke the silence. "I mean, I know that sneaking out of the palace was normal for you guys but encountering kidnappers." He shivered with the thought.
Henry was a little older than Thalia and younger than Leonhart. He had his father's features, with red fiery hair and green eyes from his mother.
"If it was not for me, big brother and sister will not have gone to save me." Leonhart said. He had guilt plastered all over his face. "They would not have gone and saved me."
Thalia was also guilt stricken with Leonhart's words. Like him, she was also abducted together with him.
"Do not blame yourself, Hart." Aliyah walked towards the little prince and gave him a pat on the shoulder to comfort him. "This is not anybody's fault. I heard from my dad that some group of men planned all of this to kidnap Alphonse. You were just bait."
"I know!" Leonhart yelled in anger. "I know and because of that my brother and sister are like this. I was their weakness. If I was just stronger, then…"
Deimos walked towards Leonhart and also patted his other shoulder. The twins Aliyah and Deimos were by Leonhart's side and hugged him tight.
"Your siblings will not like you blaming yourself, Hart." Deimos said. "They will surely scold once they wake up and hear you."
"T-Thank you…" Leonhart sniffed, tears were starting to fall from his eyes. "Thanks for being there for us."
"Of course." Henry walked towards the hugging children and joined the hug. "We are family after all." He smiled.
Aliyah saw Thalia who was reluctant to join their little group hug.
"Come here Thalia." Aliyah called and gestured to her. "You are family as well."
"R-Really?" Thalia smiled sweetly and ran towards them.
"Of course." Aliyah replied. "We are family."
The children giggled while hugging each other.
"Did we miss something?" Aerith's voice rang inside the room.
"Aerith!" The children looked around and saw Aerith and also Alphonse sitting up on the huge bed.
"I feel quite refreshed after a good night's sleep." Alphonse said while stretching up his arms. "Wait, I do not remember going to bed or coming back home!" He was hit by the realization.
"Wait, you are right. How did we get back?" Aerith also realized. "And what about the birthday banquet?! Mother and father will surely kill us. Al, what are we going to do?!"
"Aerith… Alphonse!" The children ran towards and jumped on their bed to hug them.
"W-Wait…" Alphonse said while being crushed with their cousins and little aunt and uncle's hugs.
"I cannot breathe…" Aerith exaggerated and the children laughed together.
"You guys made us worry." Leonhart was wiping a stray tear from her eye. "You were asleep since yesterday afternoon you know."
"Asleep for that long?" Aerith said in surprise. "What happened? All I remember was falling asleep when we beat up those bad guys. Right, Al." She looked at his twin brother.
"My last memory was after Leonhart got pushed and he lost consciousness." Alphonse replied. "I felt angry and I just snapped. That was the last thing I remember."
"Really?" Aerith was surprised. "You did not remember beating up those bad guys. You looked so cool back there, using your strong magic to put those hooded robed men in their place. You also grew your hair, and we now match." Aerith got a hand full of Alphonse's long hair and showed it to her brother.
"What the…?!" Alphonse was surprised to see his hair. He was in disbelief and held the silver long hair himself. He traced it to his own head. "H-How did my hair grow this much? I look like a girl now!"
"Hahaha, yes you do." Aliyah teased. "You look like Aerith now."
"We also wanted to ask you how this happened. But I guess you also do not know." Deimos said.
"But it looks good on you." Thalia said with a sweet smile. Alphonse blushed hearing her sweet words. "I believe it suits you."
"T-Thanks." Alphonse shyly scratch his head in reply.
"I am happy to see you awake now." Henry said. "I was surprised to know of what happened the first thing me and my parents arrived here at the palace."
"Henry, you are here." Aerith said with an excited voice. "We are happy you came for our birthday party."
"Technically, yesterday was your birthday haha." Henry replied and laughed.
"The banquet was canceled because of you two." Deimos said.
"A-Are we in big trouble?" Aerith asked with concern.
"Well, you made your parents worried sick." Aliyah said. "I am not sure but maybe you will be grounded once again."
"You are not alone on that." Deimos scoffed. "Our parents gave us a good scolding."
"Uhuh." Aliyah said with a nod. "We also put Philp in a bind."
"What?" Aerith replied in a shock voice. "What happened to Philip?"
"I heard he was given one month suspension and a cut from his pay for a year." Leonhart was the one to reply. "Fortunately, he was not kicked out from knight's apprenticeship."
"The first thing we need is to apologize to Philip." Alphonse said. "We pushed him to come with us when we snuck out. It was not his fault."
The twins had very sad expression on their faces. They knew the error of their little trip in the capital to see the festival.
The door opened and Tricia was the one to come in while being accompanied by Philip.
"Excuse us children…" Tricia was holding a wash bin with water and a towel for washing when she saw Alphonse and Aerith awake and sitting up on their bed. "Oh my, your highnesses! You are awake! I need to tell your parents as soon as possible. Philip, you stay here with them." She said in surprise and put the wash bin down. She quickly exited the room to call for the imperial couple.
"Your highnesses…" Philip was in the brink of crying. "I-I am so happy to see you awake and well."
"Philip!" Alphonse and Aerith got out from bed and hugged Philip.
"We are so sorry, Philip." Aerith said.
"We heard you were suspended for a month, and your pay was cut down for a year." Alphonse said. "It was our fault that you were given these punishments."
"You do not need to apologize to me, your highnesses." Philip shook his head. "It was my fault that I was not able to keep you safe. It was my duty protect the two of you and I was not able to do that. My suspension will start after the festivities for your birthday are done. I will still guard you for the next six days."
The twins hugged Philip tight while feeling guilty of the punishment he had been given.
Quick footsteps were heard outside the room. Not long the door opened, and the emperor and empress came in with worried expressions.
"Oh, my babies." Alicia walked towards the twins and hugged them. "I am happy that you have awoken."
"Mother we are sorry we sneaked out of the palace without your consent." Alphonse replied.
"It was our idea, so please don't scold the others." Aerith said.
"What will I do with you two?" Alicia sighed in relief.
"Of course, you two will have your punishment for sneaking outside without telling us." Regaleon patted Aerith and Alphonse's heads. "But first, let us celebrate your birthday. Would you still like to continue the banquet tonight?" He asked.
"Really?" Aerith asked in excitement.
"We still can enjoy our birthday banquet?" Alphonse asked in excitement.
"Of course, you can." Regaleon chuckled. "That is why all of your guests came here, to celebrate your birthday."
"Thank you, father." Alphonse and Aerith hugged their father.
"Come here Leonhart." Alicia called.
Leonhart ran towards them and they had a family group hug.. It was a picture perfect moment for the whole family.