Chapter 23

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She thought they wouldn’t see each other again for a while after the meeting today, but Elysia was surprised to meet him in an unexpected place.

 

Iker also didn’t seem to have expected to meet her. There was a faint surprise in his golden eyes when he found her.

 

But Elysia couldn’t afford to care about his reaction.

 

“Master.”

 

It was because of the title that Rashian, who was pleased to see Iker, called him.

 

‘Master?’

 

Elysia’s eyes, which were still wide open, grew even bigger.

 

Come to think of it, the wooden sword Rashian was holding and Iker’s attire were the same as when he was training.

 

‘Duke Deimos is the third prince’s swordsmanship teacher? But right now, isn’t this situation bad for me?’

 

A cold sweat dripped down the back of Elysia’s head, looking at Rashian and Iker alternately.

 

Holding a wooden sword meant that the training ground nearby, and that the training ground was nearby meant that the palace of the third prince was also nearby.

 

Usually, the princes had a training ground next to their palaces.

 

After all, she did not just set foot in the garden somewhere in the imperial palace, but trespassed into the garden attached to the third prince’s palace.

 

Besides, she had learned the secret that the third prince’s swordsmanship teacher was Duke Deimos.

 

Elysia, who suddenly found out what she didn’t want to know at all, made up her mind right away.

 

‘Let’s run away. The answer is to run away quickly.’

 

When things go wrong, it’s best to run. It would be really difficult if she was mistaken and misunderstood that she had come to spy.

 

But she was unaware of her own situation.

 

The bewilderment that had been in Iker’s golden eyes suddenly disappeared, and his eyes were filled with hope and joy.

 

“Your Highness, then I’ll just go now…… ”

 

Elysia, who greeted Rashian politely that she would leave, was startled by Iker’s voice. 

 

“What’s Marquess Camelia doing here?”

 

“…Duke Deimos.”

 

‘Oh, I’ll just want to go. Why are you holding me back?’

 

It took a moment for her to raise her eyes in disapproval, but then she released the strength she had given her eyes and sighed inwardly. To be honest, in this situation, even if she was Duke Deimos, she would have called him the same and asked why he was here.

 

Elysia, who thought it was wrong to run now, spoke softly.

 

“I was not in a good mood because of today’s agenda, so I walked blindly and got lost. When I came to my senses, I found myself here. I was looking for someone to ask for directions, and I met the Crown Prince.”

 

She confessed what had happened, changing only slightly, that she was angry with the Duke of Russet and Marquis Berten.

 

There was nothing as foolish as telling a stupid lie while dealing with none other than the Duke of Deimos.

 

‘I can’t help it if you don’t believe me even though I’ve told you the truth.’

 

As she thought so, a soft voice penetrated her ears.

 

“I see. It was worth it today. So, are you feeling better now?”

 

For a moment, Elysia doubted her ears. What did this man just say?

 

“Yes?”

 

She asked again because she seemed to have heard an auditory hallucination, but his question returned to her ear was the same as before. 

 

“I asked if you were feeling okay.”

 

“Uh….Well… I’m not completely feeling better.”

 

Was it because she was confused? Elysia, who suddenly answered honestly, wanted to slap her in the mouth. ‘What kind of childish answer is this?’

 

As she was thinking that she should get out of this place quickly, Iker looked at Rashian and opened his mouth.

 

“Your Highness, do you know that Marquess Camellia can shoot a gun?”

 

“A gun?”

 

A light of surprise flashed in Rashian’s silver eyes. But it wasn’t just the boy who was surprised. Elysia, who was listening, also stiffened.

 

‘How did he know that I can use a gun?’ (Elysia)

 

With his pupils trembling, Rashian looked at Iker in disbelief and asked again.

 

“You mean Marquess Camellia knows how to shoot? Isn’t she a woman?”

 

“There is no law that says that a woman cannot handle weapons. Why don’t you take this opportunity to see the Marquess’ skills? It would be of great help to you to see weapons other than swords.”

 

‘No, no, wait a minute. Even if I knew how to use a gun, why is he suddenly talking about my skills here?’ (Elysia)

 

It was absurd, but now it was more important to get out of this situation than to argue. Elysia quickly intervened between the two of them.

 

“Thank you for your words, but I have to go….”

 

But this time, Rashian did not let her go.

 

“Is it true that you can wield a gun, Marquess?”

 

“Yes, well, somehow… … … ”

 

“No one around me knows how to shoot. Would you mind giving me a chance to broaden my knowledge?”

 

Seeing the boy looking at her with eyes full of anticipation, Elysia felt obligated. The word of refusal never came out.

 

Eventually, she was forced to nod her head.

 

“Then a little bit. I’m not that good at it either.”

 

“That will be enough. My palace is this way, Marquess.”

 

It was when Elysia sighed at the sight of Rashian leading the way with excitement.

 

A relaxed low voice fell over her head. 

 

“I’m looking forward to the Marquess’ skill, too.”

 

When Elysia lifted her head, she saw Iker standing right next to her.

 

There was a small smile in his golden eyes as he looked down at her.

 

“You know you’re just acting like a villain right now, Sir?” 

 

She didn’t like the situation, so she couldn’t speak well. At Elysia’s blunt words, Iker raised his lips slightly.

 

“You call me a villain. Do you know how the villains keep their opponent’s mouth shut?”

 

“Yes? what suddenly… ”

 

“Answer me.”

 

Elysia blinked her eyes.

 

What kind of nonsensical question is this?

 

The answer came a little late, perhaps because of bewilderment.

 

“… Isn’t it a threat?”  (Elysia)

 

“There is a more certain way than that.” (Iker)

 

Elysia, who frowned, stopped breathing for a moment.

 

As Iker bowed his head toward her, the familiar scent of the man rushed in. A deep, subtle woody scent reminiscent of the scent of a forest after rain tickled her nose.

 

Facing the unusually mischievous golden eyes, she blinked in tension.

 

There was a very brief silence, and he whispered from a close distance that they could feel their breaths.

 

The low, deep, thick voice was so provocative and dangerous that the hair of her body stood up. Its contents as well.

 

“To make the opponent an accomplice.”

 

“What?”

 

“Then follow me, Marquess.”

 

With a dumbfounded expression, Elysia looked at Iker, who suddenly made her an accomplice and walked leisurely.

 

“No, why am I….”

 

It seemed that things were tightly twisted, but there was nothing she could do about it now.

 

She sighed and followed Iker. Hoping there would be no more twists.

 

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The third prince’s palace was not as far from where Elysia had been, as Elysia had envisioned.

 

‘Was it Parvati? The name of the palace of the 3rd prince. It’s a beautiful palace.’ 

 

While Rashian and Iker entered the palace to pick up their pistols, Elysia slowly strolled through the garden and looked around.

 

Somehow, she was dragged all the way here, but it didn’t fit her personality to walk leisurely. Somehow, work was Elysia Camellia’s creed.

 

Seeing the well-manicured garden of the palace, she was deeply immersed.

 

Although it was smaller than the palace used by the 2nd Prince Dustin, everything was harmonious in structure and decoration.

 

There was no discrepancy.

 

What Elysia liked in particular was the fountain.

 

The water drops that soared high and fell like jewels were beautiful, but she couldn’t take her eyes off the red bird sculpture that covered its body with large wings below it.

 

The figure of the bird protecting itself felt similar to her now.

 

‘Someday I will be able to fly. Both of us.’

 

Elysia, who was muttering inwardly as if she had promised herself, was startled when she suddenly heard Iker’s voice right next to her.

 

“Are you looking at the phoenix?”

 

As she turned her head in a panic, the figure of him standing right next to her caught her eyes.

 

“Come with some noise or something. I’m going to lose my nerves.”

 

At Elysia’s dissatisfied words, Iker’s lips drooped softly.

 

“I’m sorry, it has become a habit. Next time, I’ll make some noise.”

 

“It’s okay. After today, we’ll never meet again like this.”

 

“Don’t be so sure. Even today, it was not in the Marquess’ plan.”

 

“Your Excellency forced me … !”

 

Elysia, who was furious without knowing it, stopped talking and exhaled.

 

To be honest, it was absurd to say that this situation was unilaterally created by the man in front of her.

 

If she had greeted the third prince and turned around immediately, she would not have met Iker, nor would there have been a situation where she was brought here like this.

 

“No. It’s my fault too, so I’ll let it go. What about the Prince?”

 

“He said he would call the magic tower and come.”

 

In order to lend a gun to others, he had to receive a spell from the Tower and disarm the owner recognition magic on the gun. Of course, it was the same when casting the magic again after using it.

 

Elysia nodded her head as she knew it well because she had a gun.

 

”I see.”

 

At the end of her answer, silence fell between the two.

 

Elysia was the first to break the silence that seemed to last until Rashian returned. She was very uncomfortable with this atmosphere.

 

No matter how intensely they mixed their bodies that night, it was only natural that an inner intimacy that had never been suddenly developed was impossible.

 

Elysia, thinking that it would be better to have a conversation, continued to ask questions she was curious about.

 

“How did Your Excellency know I use a gun?”

 

“Because I approved the permit you requested.”

 

“Your Excellency?”

 

Elysia was surprised by Iker’s reply.