Translated by Rae
Thank you for the kofi support, arwendolyn! (3/4)
“Seems like you are saying it forcefully.”
“…A-Absolutely not! I-I really like tea….”
Helen was embarrassed and stuttered repeatedly.
Helen couldn’t finish her words and her voice crawled back into her mouth when the concubines around her giggled and chuckled because they heard her stutter.
“Is that your habit?”
Helen nibbled on her lips while nodding her head.
Her plan where she must remain unnoticed by the Emperor was a huge disaster. Not only was she already noticed by the Emperor, but he already knew her too.
Helen bit hard on her lips as if she would break it, and she felt a bloody taste in her mouth.
Only then did the Emperor avert his gaze away.
At first, the eyes of the concubines were unwelcoming once they realized the Emperor’s gaze was directed toward her, but after they turned away from her, she felt kind of relieved.
She could feel that kind of remark in the eyes of the concubines.
Helen thought she was quite fortunate that her momentum had ended.
The Emperor grabbed the teacup and drank a slurp of tea. She could see the black hair of the Emperor between the veil which was opened slightly.
‘Black-colored hair…. It’s the same as him….’
As Helen suffered from some kind of withdrawal symptoms because she hasn’t seen the man in the past few days, just by seeing the things related to him has made her mind dizzy.
Wasn’t he a knight? He seemed to be really good at handling swords.
She hadn’t seen him handling the sword directly, but he showed up behind her without any forewarning, he even knocked off the assassins who came after him.
He must have been an outstanding knight.
If he was a knight… Did he also make an oath to another young lady by kissing her in his memories?
Such a thought suddenly made her feel strange.
She didn’t feel good to imagine him acting like a puppy who came to her when he was alone while being completely affectionate to others on the outside.
Helen stirred the tea nervously with a small teaspoon placed beside the teacup.
‘Or will he do it for me too?’
She imagined him holding her hand while kissing her lips at the hunting ground.
Like the man from earlier, I naturally remembered the appearance of climbing up and coming right in front of me. Similar to the man from earlier, the image of him running up to her and standing in front of her naturally came to mind.
‘I-I must have gone crazy!’
It is said that there are countless men in life, but it was not that man.
He only clung to her while thinking that she was his savior. It wasn’t love, and moreover, she was married.
I-I have to pull myself together.
Helen shook her head lightly and tried to shake off the imagination from her mind.
“Seems like Concubine Edith doesn’t really have fun in this teatime with me.”
She was so immersed in my imagination that I forgot where I was now.
Helen, whose cheeks were still heated slightly, desperately looking for a way to cool them down.
Everyone looked at Helen as the atmosphere became chilly in an instant.
Helen could barely spit that word out in a subdued voice.
It was also difficult that she immediately gathered the attention of around thirty people, and she was distracted by the fact that there was an Emperor among them.
When Edith’s name was repeatedly mentioned by the Emperor, the eyes of the concubines changed to triangular-shaped eyes.
When Helen was about to take a sip of tea to calm herself down from sweating profusely.
“Edith Cordelia. N-No. Now that you’re married to me, you must be Edith Idelberg.”
Helen spat out the tea she was drinking at the Emperor’s words that came out of nowhere.
Fortunately, no one sat beside her.
The tea was dripping from Helen’s chin and tainted her black tunic.
The tea that dripped down from the teacup was already soaked in the tunic, exposing the curve of her body.
“…Don’t you think you’re overreacting considering that I only called out your name?”
The Emperor seemed genuinely flustered.
Her reaction ended with a slight tremble as his voice reached the end of his words, but the fact that his always-discerning appearance cracked up a bit due to the great reaction.
Helen just wanted to pass out. Somehow, it was uncomfortable to deal with the Emperor who kept nitpicking about everything, and it was even more difficult to get angry while looking at him with the concubine around.
She just wanted to disappear.
Not just her cheeks, but her upper body, wrist, until her neck, which weren’t covered by the tunic were already flushed as well, making her look like a human tomato.
Carmun giggled inwardly as he saw Helen like that.
She was such a fun woman to tease.
If he teased her more, she would gnaw on her lips right before him if he teased her more, so he raised his hand and called for the servant.
“Give Concubine Edith extra clothes.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
The servant stood in front of Helen after bowing his head in courtesy to the Emperor.
Helen took out a handkerchief from her pocket and used it to wipe off her face, and headed out of the tent following her servant.
She couldn’t see the Emperor’s eyes because it was covered by the veil but she could feel the Emperor’s gaze persistently following her throughout the time.
She was able to breathe right after she came out of the tent.
Wouldn’t it be nice if she did this earlier?
Even though Helen got her clothes soaked, she felt great and smiled brightly.
“I should’ve knocked the tea over.”
She walked behind the servant all the while having such a relaxed thought in her mind.
As she took the further steps from the Emperor, she felt even better, and later on, she felt as if she could hear the sound of her footsteps at last.
“Why did you throw your clothes away?”
Ellie was shocked when she entered the tent. The servant must have called Ellie to bring an extra dress.
Because she spat the tea out of bewilderment at the Emperor’s words?
If she spoke out, she would’ve gotten more nagging from Ellie, so Helen decided to shut her mouth because she didn’t think it would decrease this time.
“It’s uncomfortable to wear it… Maybe it’s because I don’t usually wear this kind of style….?”
Ellie narrowed her eyes and glared at Helen whose words were contradictory from earlier.
She didn’t even bat an eye at the dress that she suggested, but she ended up wearing it.
“What if Your Majesty, as well as other concubines, were disappointed?”
Helen brightened up at Ellie’s remark.
“Is that really the case?”
“…Don’t be too pleased. You’ll be hated by other concubines.”
“But it’s scarier when Your Majesty is interested in me.”
Helen finally replied while tucking her arm inside the dress.
Thereupon, Ellie felt bad.
Regardless of being afraid that the Emperor would be interested in her, she shouldn’t have been ignored by the people around her in the palace.
Her Highness Concubine Edith was still being ostracised, and she was worried that they would make fun of her about this incident.
Helen came out of the tent after changing into a light green dress.
Upon that, concubines who were supposed to be drinking tea with the Emperor were scattered outside the tent and headed somewhere.
“Is tea time over?”
As Helen’s cheeks reddened and rejoiced at the sight, Ellie stopped the passing servant and asked.
“Can I know where the other concubines are heading to?”
“Are you Your Highness Concubine Edith by any chance?”
“Ah, As a matter of fact, I was looking for you as well! His Majesty gathered the concubines in the forest down there.”
Helen was slightly petrified at the word forest.
Didn’t they say there are scary Hochi that come out of the forest and bears that bite people?
Helen was shocked and took a step backward.
“He plays hide-and-seek with his concubines.”
Thereupon, the words that came out of the servant’s mouth sounded even more bizarre.
Playing hide-and-seek all of a sudden?
The Emperor took off his troublesome formal attire and stepped into the forest dressed in a light attire. He took a turn into the hunting ground with his coat in his hand.
Carmun was already convinced.
Concubine Edith was the one who stepped into his library.
This was the moment he had a hunch, but there was no physical evidence yet.
Therefore, he had to make sure.
It was a little annoying for him, but there was definitely a way to find out.
The Emperor climbed a large and dense tree in the forest and spotted concubines hiding on the safe and fenced path along the forest.
There was also a concubine hidden at the bottom of a large tree, hidden behind a tree, and one who was hiding behind a rock.
Most of the concubines’ faces were filled with annoyance, as if they were scared and despised to be in the forest.
It was quite difficult to walk through the forest path with a heavy dress which was out of place.
The last person to enter the forest was Concubine Edith, who had changed into a green dress.
With a slight curiosity displayed on her face, she peeked at her surroundings, trees, stones with eyes opened wide.
It’s not like there was no forest back in Cordelia, what was she so excited about?
The Emperor unconsciously noticed Concubine Edith.
Edith, the daughter from Cordelia, was a famous woman known for her name, but not her face. The woman who received overwhelming love from her father.
It didn’t look like she grew up being loved and having a father who acted like an idiot for her daughter.
Concubine Edith grabbed the dress and held it roughly with one of her hands and it was enough to reveal her knees clearly, and she moved quickly.
Carmun averted his eyes in surprise at the exposed leg.
He stroked his face with her hands out of embarrassment.
Concubine Edith followed the butterfly in front of her, as if she was bewitched by it. The gentle sway in her steps seemed to represent her mind.
She looked like a child in the middle of a field trip.
Carmun thought she was unique at first sight.
He followed her, even if she didn’t steer him to do so, walked along her footsteps that headed to an uncommonly-travelled place on his own accord.
Helen seemed to be bewitched not just by the butterfly in front of her, but the magnificent forest as well.
She heard that there were forests where fairies live in other regions. Could they possibly be here?
It was her second time seeing a forest in her entire life. The first was when she went to Idelberg. The second was today, which was due to the Emperor’s wish.
It was difficult for her to see because of the carriage in the memory of her first time since she was only able to see from the carriage, but she never climbed the forest on her own.
As she walked on her feet, she enjoyed the soft sensation of sand felt through the bottom part of her shoes and the existence of rocks that she could feel occasionally.
Besides, she smelled the cool air and light woody scents through her nose, and she could also feel the green shade of trees in the forest which was filled with complete joy with her eyes.
Helen felt quite a lot of happiness being in the forest.
At that moment, the butterfly made a turn. At that time, the squirrel that was climbing up the tree could feel Helen’s existence and was startled and froze in its spot.
As soon as their eyes met, the startled squirrel squeaked! It climbed the tree and ran away after releasing squeaking noise.
Helen adored the sight and clapped her hands.
She had left the Emperor behind for quite some time.
She didn’t think she would be able to come along with them because she had come deep in the forest.
At the entrance, she could see a lot of concubines waiting for the Emperor.
Helen headed even deeper into the forest, hoping that the Emperor still played around with them.
He said that this place was very secure because fences have been installed surrounding it, overshadowing her concern that she was entering the forest in this moment.
Helen looked around the forest in ease, since it was said that Idelberg’s capital knights were evenly distributed to protect the forest.
It was then. Black hair was slightly visible from behind the tree in the deepness of the forest where it was supposed to be uninhabited.
The only person with black hair in this place was the Emperor.
The colour was a mix with the bloodline from foreign country.
As soon as she was about to take a step back from the black hair which she had seen from behind the tree, she eyed the clothes of the person which was much taller than her.
It was very simple for the Emperor to wear it, and his attire was different from before.
He was wearing a light shirt.
Like a man in the library.
At that moment, Helen forgot that she was supposed to take a step back due to her being stunned in her spot and instead, swinging her feet to slowly approach him.