Chapter 17

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Rodelia’s face, which had brightened slightly at Kane’s news, instantly stiffened.

 

She was now more afraid than happy. What else did he come to complain about?

 

“Tell him to come in.”

 

She said dryly, touching her temple. The sound of the door opening scratched her ear, and Kane was gradually caught in sight.

 

As expected, it was not a good thing, and his gaze was not satisfactory. As if he was angry, he approached and stood in front of Rodelia.

 

“What brought you here, Your Majesty?”

 

Rodelia’s almost resigned voice rang low.

 

As if he didn’t like her question, Kane crossed his arms and spoke in an annoyed voice.

 

“I told you to let Count Polton’s daughter back in. Did you decide not to listen to me?”

 

Kane gave Lady Aden a disdainful look. Lady Aden had a striking resemblance to her father, Count Romanov.

 

“Your Majesty.”

 

Rodelia called Kane as if telling him to stop.

 

“All right, that’s enough. But ……”

 

But even as she held him back, Kane didn’t seem to want to stop.

 

Rodelia lowered her head, touching her tingling head. She was very worried, not knowing what words would come out of Kane’s mouth.

 

All kinds of bad thoughts raced through her head.

 

“Is the Empress out of her mind that she brought in Count Romanov’s daughter?”

 

She tried to restrain herself in front of the maids. But the patience that had pushed her to the end was unbearable, and it broke in an instant.

 

It didn’t matter if he was emperor, how could he recklessly spit out words like that in front of the people involved? Deliberately suppressing her anger, Rodelia looked at the maids.

 

Aden’s face had turned white. It was because she had never experienced this kind of insult before due to the fact that she grew up being loved.

 

Rodelia, who was watching her with mixed feelings, let out a small sigh.

 

“I think it would be better if you all stayed out.”

 

The maids helped the stunned Aden to her  feet and hurried out the room.

 

“Do you really think you’re sane now?”

 

It was only after confirming that the footsteps of the maids were moving away that a question came out with an absurd voice.

 

“What?”

 

Kane gasped and counter-questioned.

 

She was too nervous to get a good look at him earlier, but Rodelia noticed that Kane’s complexion looked a little better than before. Even his sunken cheeks seemed to have fattened up a bit. And so in her heart she felt fortunate that he had regained his complexion.

 

She couldn’t believe she was still worried about him in this situation.

 

She felt very silly. So she deliberately said in a drier voice.

 

“I’ve said this before. I’ll take care of my maids. I don’t know what happened between Your Majesty and Count Romanov, but it’s not about his daughter. So I want you to stop caring.”

 

Kane looked flustered at Rodelia’s uncaring way of talking. He didn’t say anything for a while, and his dark eyebrows furrowed to the fullest.

 

“….. Rodelia, were you supposed to talk like this? If so, I’ve known you wrong all this time.”

 

It was an unhappy voice. Rodelia’s hands began to shake at his judging attitude, but she didn’t avoid his gaze.

 

“Kane, I don’t think you’re in any position to say that to me right now.”

 

“What…..?”

 

Kane, who opened his mouth at Rodelia’s adamant attitude, swept his hair wildly. Then, after stepping to the window, he wandered around for a while, as if thinking about something.

 

Sighing, he finally seemed to have made up his mind about something and headed towards the table. Slumped in the chair, Kane looked at Rodelia with a complicated gaze.

 

“Sit down.” (Kane)

 

How entwined their gazes were with each other. The tension was tense and Kane opened his mouth first.

 

“It was my mistake. I’m sorry. I have something to tell you.” (Kane)

 

Rodelia’s eyes widened. Kane never apologized unless he had to.

 

Perhaps that was why she felt a little better. Slowly, as if she had no choice, Rodelia took a seat.

 

“What is it you want to talk about?”

 

However, their relationship had already been twisted. What excuse is he trying to make?

 

“If you’re not going to say anything, then please leave. I have a lot of things to take care of.”

 

Despite the fact that Rodelia showed signs of displeasure, Kane didn’t say anything. He just stared at her with deep eyes.

 

‘What the hell does he think he’s doing?’

 

Kane didn’t leave the room or say anything. Tired of waiting, Rodelia swept her hair and said.

 

“Okay, If Your Majesty don’t leave, I’ll tell you first.”

 

“…….”

 

“I’m slowly forgetting you.”

 

She didn’t want to be hurt any more than she already had.

 

Her voice shook as she hid her weakening heart behind. It was the one word that she had kept in her heart for a long time, but had never had the courage to let out.

 

“What……?”

 

Kane’s face turned a deadly shade of red.

 

He seemed to want her to correct her words immediately, but Rodelia still only stared at him with an indifferent expression.

 

She had actually been thinking about this for the past few days.

 

She just couldn’t find the courage to say it out loud. But when she faced Kane, the courage that had been sinking in came back.

 

Was it because she had been hurt so much, or was it because of Lady Aden’s words. For some reason, she felt more confident that she could not be bound by him.

 

In fact, she thought of some situations.

 

She thought it might be in front of Sola to deliver these words, or it might be at the opening banquet. It was completely unexpected that she would speak in such a normal situation.

 

‘Maybe that’s why the words came out so easily.’

 

She held her hands tightly under the table and said with a little force.

 

“I was going to wait. Because I thought it was just a passing wind. But I decided that I couldn’t just wait for Your Majesty who had changed.”

 

 

She was about to start crying, but she held her ground and stared at Kane.

 

‘Why do I feel so weak when I stand in front of Kane…? Even though I’ve already made up my mind.’

 

“Of course, it’ll be hard, but this is for the best.”

 

“I just don’t know……”

 

Kane searched Rodelia’s lively green eyes with trembling eyes. But there was nothing he was looking for so much. Just a pair of eyes that were empty and cold for some time. 

 

“Why ……? I believed that you were the only one who understood me.” (Kane)

 

Kane’s hands trembled faintly. Rodelia managed to control her trembling body and opened her mouth quietly at his shrewdness.

 

“What are you talking about? Your mistress? Or what your heart has left?” (Rodelia)

 

Every word that came out of Kane’s mouth was as if he was teasing her. She was tired of facing him, repeating the same thing over and over again.

 

“I still love you.” (Kane)

 

‘Are you kidding me?’

 

The completely unexpected words came from between his lips, which she used to kiss. Her eyes began to tremble with bewilderment. He had tried to get rid of her, but now saying love?

 

[It wasn’t a lie. It’s just that my heart was too small.] (Kane)

 

Obviously, not long ago, he said he loved Sola.

 

She had never imagined that she would hear those ticklish words from Kane’s mouth again.

 

It was certainly obvious that he was teasing her. Maybe he had a bad habit that she didn’t know about.

 

Rodelia stared at him with unwavering eyes.

     

“I’m telling you, I want you to believe me. I admit that I’ve been cold to you all this time. But there was a good reason.” (Kane)

 

Rodelia’s eyes wavered shallowly at the sound of Kane’s nervous voice. She didn’t want to show that they were shaking, so she shifted her gaze to the innocent vase.

 

The anemone in the old-fashioned vase boasted a chillingly beautiful appearance. Perhaps it looked even more beautiful in the bright sunlight.

 

Perhaps that was why it swayed even more. Rodelia raised her head and faced Kane’s deep eyes.

 

“…… What is it that you say?” (Rodelia)

 

“It’s hard to tell you everything right now. If this ends properly, I’ll tell you everything.…… So can you wait for me a little longer?” (Kane)

 

Feeling nervous and anxious, Kane lowered his head with his hands on his forehead.

 

“You can’t tell me anything and expect me to just trust you?” (Rodelia)

 

“I’m sorry. I don’t have a choice.” (Kane)

 

The heart, which seemed to be collapsing endlessly, lost its strength again.

 

‘Can I trust him?’

 

She made a decision, but the emotions that she had pressed rose again. It was probably because her heart still had Kane.

 

 

Like her obsession with the Empress’s position.

 

And she also couldn’t understand Kane’s unrequited attitude, as if he was holding back a former lover.

 

If, indeed, if…..

 

‘What if he really didn’t open his heart to me after that?’

 

Rodelia’s eyes, which became disturbed and deepened, fell somewhere. The area of Kane’s arm covered by the shirt came into her view.

 

“Your arm is fine now.”

 

It was the arm that had turned black not long ago. But the arm under the shirt was smooth now.

 

“Let’s not talk about it.”

 

Kane glanced at his arm, his demeanor different and insignificant than it had been before.

 

Not only did his facial complexion return noticeably in a few days, but also his words, which were disturbing in a corner of her mind.

 

Perhaps Kane needed Sola to detoxify the poison that had spread?

 

 

‘It can’t be.’

 

Rodelia, who had let out an empty laugh, shook her head, it was a ridiculous imagination.

 

 “Now that’s an impossible imagination.

 

Didn’t she believe in him and was betrayed?

 

[Do not trust the Emperor…]

 

Didn’t she experience painful regret after ignoring Cerdian’s warning before?

 

No matter how clouded her mind was, she was still terribly delusional.

 

There must be a reason why Kane came like this.

 

Suddenly, he asked for help from the Marquis of Florence. Kane was a calculating man, so she couldn’t rule out that possibility.

 

However, it would be absurd to push Kane away. Lastly, she had to protect the empress’ seat without being swept away by emotions.

 

 The position of Empress was not one that could be easily explained in terms of power to Rodelia. It was literally the purpose of her life.

 

This place, which had been brainwashed by the Marquis of Florence, was now everything to Rodelia.

 

So she had to carry herself well. Being an empress was not the position that could be maintained by favor.

 

After finishing her thoughts, Rodelia pulled herself together and opened her mouth.

 

“Now then, may I ask you one question?”

 

Kane looked relieved to hear her say it a little more gently than before.

 

“Yes.”

 

“Princess Aisen.”

 

Kane’s expression instantly hardened at the mention of Sola from Rodelia’s mouth.

 

“How long do I have to wait?”

 

No answer came back.

 

But that was enough of an answer. If he didn’t show any signs of swaying, she would have trusted him one last time.

 

But the way Kane hesitated convinced her. He would betray her again. Rodelia’s hands on her knees tightened.

 

While only meaningless gaze was exchanged between the two, Kane avoided the gaze first.

 

“I can’t be sure. But it won’t take long.”

 

‘He’s lying.’

 

It felt like her emotions were about to flood outward at any moment, mixed with his transparent lies.

 

However, as an empress, she could no longer be shaken. She had to brace herself because she didn’t know when he would betray her again.

 

“I understand. I’ve heard enough answers.”

 

Her heart still hurts, but such feelings, such as longing and love, will one day disappear. All she had to do was change the minds of the nobles.

 

Leaving Kane’s shaky gaze behind, Rodelia replied with a faint smile on her lips.

 

“I’ll wait for you.”