Author: Byuon

“The roots seem deeper than I thought.”

“The roots?”

“I checked the ledgers confiscated from Baron Rockefeller’s treasure, and the names of the local nobles as well as the imperial family were found.”

“Is the imperial family involved in human trafficking?”

“It seems to be the case.”

Helios frowned at Dustin’s report.

“Tsk, did Your Majesty have a report as well?”

“That’s right. His Majesty has transferred the investigative powers held by the security forces to the Imperial Investigation Unit and ordered the academy to be temporarily closed until the investigation is over.”

“Right.”

The fact that the Emperor himself came out means that, as Dustin said, there are many people involved.

When Baron Hanmihan rose to the position of dean, he must have paid the price.

No matter what Baron Rockefeller is, he won’t be safe.

… Considering what he did to Lenia, it would be good to rip and kill him with my own hands, but it wouldn’t hurt to watch him be decapitated by the guillotine.

Helios chewed his molars and looked at the tray Lenia had left in front of the office.

He seemed like a fool to have sent her back and immediately regretted it.

But this was not going to be easy.

Because I know that if I pretend not to know about this, Lenia will always repeat the same thing again.

“There are rumors that Your Majesty will award a commendation to your wife.”

“A commendation?”

Helios frowned.

“Yes, he said that he would give her a proper reward, saying that she took the risk of jumping into the crime scene and setting the Empire right.”

“I’m going to keep his mouth shut.”

“But thanks to this, your wife has given her the right to stand in public as Duchess of Anthemion.”

“That’s true.”

Helios smiled coldly and held out the letter he had stolen from the Baron’s vault.

It was a letter from the Marquis Melks to Baron Rockefeller.

“Send a copy of this letter to the Marquis of Melks and ask him to exchange it for Escal’s custody.”

“All right.”

“If he doesn’t respond, I will hand it over to the imperial investigation team.”

“Yes.”

Exchanging a letter with Baron Rockefeller at the same time as now is bound to be a major weakness.

The name of the Marquis was also written on the ledger, but it is completely different from being one of dozens and having a letter exchanged alone.

“Go and leave now.”

“Yes.”

The man who answered bluntly turned around.

The door opened and the child standing outside blinked with a frightened face.

“What?”

“I-I’m here to see the Duke.”

Helios looked at Escal with puzzled eyes.

Up until now, Escal had never visited him.

Rather than coming to visit, he was a child who was scared and rushed to hide when he happened to meet him.

“You said you came to see me?”

Helios asked with a questionable face.

Dustin, who had been watching the two of them, sneaked out.

Escal, who received Helios’ gaze directly, nodded.

As usual, the look of terrified did not change, but the child stood there without avoiding it.

“Come in.”

Finally, permission was granted, and Escal entered the office.

His legs trembled as if he was about to collapse with every step, but the child was able to successfully stand in front of Helios’ desk.

The child who barely raised his head under the high desk swallowed dry saliva.

“What’s going on?”

“That, that…”

Escal’s voice, barely opening his mouth, trembled softly.

Escal licked his lips several times as he couldn’t speak well.

Helios, who was waiting for an answer, clenched his chin in a crooked posture.

“If you have nothing to say, get out.”

“Uh, can’t you make up with mother?”

Those were the first words the child opened after closing his eyes tightly.

“… What?”

Helios lowered the hand that was supporting his chin.

What did this guy say now?

He doubted his ears.

“Escalium Anthemion.”

“If you fought because of me, please punish me. I was wrong….”

“Escalium Anthemion. What did you call Lenia now?”

“… Ah, mother.”

I didn’t hear it wrong.

It was a very strange, strange feeling.

He was a child who had never called himself a father even to his biological father.

At the most, he was only called ‘Duke’ as it was a while ago.

But to Lenia, who has not been mixed with a single drop of blood, he is called her ‘Mother’.

Lena, are you…

Helios looked at Escal with a complicated feeling.

“Did Lenia send you?”

“Oh, no. I have come myself.”

“Why?”

“I don’t want her to cry.”

Tears welled up in Escal’s eyes.

Helios’ gaze reached the tray Lenia had left.

His heart sank, but he didn’t show it.

“It’s none of your business.”

As he responded coldly, Escal looked up at him with sad eyes, then rummaged through his pockets and pulled something out.

It was a small embroidery.

“What is this?”

“It was made for the Duke. I took it secretly.”

“…….”

“Mother made it whenever the Duke was away. Even though her fingers were bleeding, she kept making them. It’s a gift.”

Helios reached into the embroidery.

An unfinished black leopard was engraved into a small fabric.

I can’t see embroidery, but I could tell how much effort she put into making it.

And as soon as I realized that, I had to admit it.

The person who loses in this battle is also himself.

“… Go out.”

 

****

 

The dark evening sunset dyed the sky red.

I opened the window wide and drank tea by myself at the tea table.

Even though it was spring, the wind was cold. I kept touching my cheek with a cold hand, trying to calm my swollen face.

It was embarrassing to say that I couldn’t see Escal, but after crying all over, I felt refreshed.

You need to get your act together now.

I have to say I’m sorry to Mary and the coachman, who were bitterly scolded because of me, and to Helios… I haven’t made a proper apology yet.

I don’t know if he will accept my apology.

As I picked up my teacup with a confused mood, the door clicked open.

Is it Escal?

I turned my head indifferently, and while holding the teacup, I stood still.

It was Helios.

“Can I have a cup of tea too?”

He had a very tired face, but his tone was as friendly as usual.

I answered him by raising the corners of my mouth.

“Okay then, come on.”

Helios came up to me in response to a gracious answer.

My heart was pounding again at the face I met in a few days, but pretending to be okay, I poured tea in a teacup and handed it to him.

Helios, who had been drinking tea, looked at me with a serious gaze.

There were complex emotions in his eyes whose depth was unknown.

I wondered what he was thinking, but couldn’t help but ask.

“Do you remember the day we first met?”

That was the first word he spoke after looking at me for a while.

“On the way home from hunting, you asked for help because your carriage broke down.”

“… It was.”

“I got you to your destination because the axle of the carriage broke and you couldn’t go.”

I see.

As if Lenia’s memory had been revived, Helios at that time, which could not have been seen, was vividly depicted in front of her.

“And a few days later I met you again in the salon of the Marquis Hallstein.”

Helios’ eyes reminiscing of the past were alive for the first time in a long time.

“Do you remember when you complained to me that you felt like you shouldn’t have come because of what you said?”

“What did I say?”

“I was expecting a lot of handsome men in the territory, but I only saw one.”

“Was that me?”

Helios lightly closed his eyes. The tension was finally relieved by the innocent smile.

“It has been since then. That I loved you.”

“……”

“Since I met you, I have always been yours.”

“…….”

“When you push me away, when you leave me. When you are next to me… Even when there are other women, you are the only one for me.”

My heart ached at the humble confession.

I thought he would rebuke me, but he loved Lenia too much for that.

His sigh put down the cold teacup.

“I know how empty my words will sound to you. Because I can’t protect you…”

“Helios.”

I answered, gently wrapping my clenched fist.

“Don’t do that. I am the one to blame.”

I asked him to believe me, but it was my fault for not trusting him and acting as I wanted.

“Sorry. I was being too frivolous.”

The hand that touched it trembled softly. Helios raised his head and smiled faintly.

“I was so pathetic that I couldn’t trust you. So I got angry. Not to you, but to myself. therefore….”

The tip of the tongue trembled. Then, his gaze flickered.

The tea water in the teacup popped and jumped out.

“That’s why I asked you to take some time. It’s not because I hate you, Lena.”

I got up and knelt at my feet and stood up.

Then he hugged me by the waist and buried his head.

“I will never do that again.”

“…….”

“I won’t worry you again. It will never happen again. I promise.”

He smiled faintly and gently wrapped the back of my hand.

And he gently caressed my finger as if to confirm something.

“Did you apply medicine?”

Huh?

“When you got hurt, you didn’t apply any medicine.”

“How did you know?”

It’s strange to mention a wound that is hard to notice unless you look closely, so when I asked, he held out a familiar fabric.

“You was injured while making this.”

Oh, my embroidery! When did Helios have that?

Helios smiled as he read the question that appeared on my face.

“Escal brought it to me.”

“Escal?”

“He came to my office during the day. And said to not make you cry.”

“That kid….”

A child who can’t even look at Helios’s face has done that for me…

“It’s awesome. In the meantime, even Escal will be on your side.”

“It’s because Escal is kind.”

“Then am I wrong?”

Helios gave the joke with a lighter look.

He relaxed and rolled his eyes.

“Don’t be joking, give it to me.”

“Why, you were going to give it to me anyway.”

“I mean, I haven’t made it yet. I was going to show you when it’s done…”

“It’s okay, it’s fine like this.”

“People think I’m not good at it.”

“Tell them to look. They don’t have anyone who can do this.”

Helios hung the unfinished embroidery on the belt.

Perhaps because he liked the model, the black leopard without gold thread was also pretty cool.

He looked down at me with a languid gaze, then leaned over and whispered in my ear.

“Then what should I do in return?”

… Is there anyone else like this in the world?

 

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Comments (4)

  1. Thanks for the translation! I’m also glad the drama isn’t stressed out over many chapters.