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“What’s the matter…?”
“Did you have a pleasant vacation?”
“Yes. You had a huge problem while I was away. Can’t you wait for me while I’m away?”
“Are you scolding me now?”
While laying on the bed, he looked at Viester languidly. Viester, who was holding the paper beside him, met his gaze and gave him a strange look.
Viester slightly raised the glasses he usually wore again to avoid that gaze.
“Yes, I scolded you. And that expression doesn’t work on me. Your Majesty, if you did something, doesn’t it seem like I’m the one who cleans it out?”
He effortlessly got up from the bed. As the evening was approaching, there were a lot of things that needed to be done.
Before that, he had something to talk about with Viester….
However, Viester seemed agitated because of the ‘problem’ caused by the Emperor.
“What did you think when you offended Duke Torre at the hunting ground? After all, he is still the head of the nobility. It’s true that you need to keep him in check several times, but you know if you cross the line, it will result in the collapsing boundaries.”
“You do know that, right? Your Majesty, why are you so eager to harass Duke Torre every time you two meet?”
Viester shook his head, as if he didn’t really understand.
Duke Torre had a bad relationship with Carmun that lasted for a long time until now.
Ever since he was still a child, even until now when he had become an emperor.
Carmun, who had been lost in his thoughts for a while, got up and changed the subject.
“Let’s talk about something else.”
The constantly calm expression on Carmun’s face was not good.
Viester, who almost couldn’t bear the look on his master’s face, brought up what he originally wanted to say after contemplating for a moment.
“…please fill the staff in the aide’s office with the appropriate number of people.”
“How many people are working there?”
“There are only two. Does it make sense that there are only two immediate aides, me and Sir Theo, to assist Your Majesty?”
“You must have been thoroughly prepared for this vacation. Seeing how much you pester me like this.”
“Your Majesty, if you open up a little, things will be easier. Do I have to attend to you personally as well?”
As they both headed to the private office which was attached to the room, he received the documents handed by Viester and quickly scanned only the titles with his eyes.
There was also a report regarding the Baron and the delegation who recently left for Cordelia.
As he handled everything through the documents, he naturally frowned after looking at the huge amount of papers.
Viester muttered frustratingly while following him from behind.
“It’s not just about attending to Your Majesty. I don’t want to hear any more scandal between Your Majesty and me.”
“I’ve set the date quickly.”
Because of Viester who kept muttering to himself annoyingly, he stopped what he was doing and turned his head.
It was when he finally arrived at the office.
“Please resolve it.”
“I won’t allow it.”
“Why? There is nothing between us, isn’t it? We’re just very close and even shared secrets with each other.”
“That’s why it became a problem! Isn’t there a rumor about you who’s only close to me even though you had plenty of concubines? Will you feel better after blocking my way to marriage and giving me plenty of work?”
He thought he would feel better that way.
At the Emperor’s remark, Viester couldn’t hide his sour face and just like that, he was frozen in his spot.
Upon seeing that, the Emperor smiled and whispered quietly in Viester’s ears.
“If you are thinking about dating someone, you’d better get rid of it.”
“Why… Why…! Why do you always say things that can be easily misunderstood by others? Why didn’t you talk carefully in front of others?”
“Viester. I have no plan to do that. Every time there is a scandal between you and me, I feel comfortable.”
It was true. Whenever rumors circulated around about how he enjoyed being gay, the conversation related to the heir would come out from the mouth of ministers.
Did they thought if he enjoyed being a gay, there would be no heir for the Empire?
They seemed to be mistaken for having a very ardent love between them. In reality, they were simply master and subordinate.
It was him who held Viester back forcefully to stay with him. Because Viester himself had constantly handed in his resignation letter in the past.
‘In some ways, it does look ardent. But it’s mostly me, though.’
After thinking about it for some time, Carmun laughed at his own thoughts.
“Why are you laughing?”
“No. It’s nothing. Why don’t you keep talking about what we were talking about?”
“About the scandal?”
When Carmun nodded, Viester’s face was noticeably crumpled.
It was hard to produce an heir at the moment. He had no intention of using Josephine, the daughter of Duke Torre, to give birth to an heir, and the concubines are simply prisoners, so it would be difficult to have a baby with them.
Besides, how was he supposed to do such an important thing when he was not even in a good condition at night?
If he did the deed during the day, others would have said all kinds of promiscuous remarks.
‘It’s embarrassing, and difficult.’
Carmun looked tired while sitting on the chair in his office.
“So about that, why are you using me as a shield….”
Viester dropped his eyes, feeling completely chagrined.
He deserved to be depressed. He suddenly turned from an ordinary and normal man who indulged in a gay relationship with the Emperor.
“My parents don’t say anything about it, but do you know how much they send eye signals to me every time they see me? They only throw me a glance because they don’t even dare to ask me…!”
He knew that Viester’s parents were grand nobles. Whenever the former Duke saw him recently, the man looked at him as if he were a scoundrel.
It was because of that.
‘He must have blubbered because he thought that I hooked up with his son….’
Guilt creeped into his heart for no exact reason.
“When my curse is lifted, I’ll grant you a small part of land. You will live comfortably there if you can manage it.”
At that moment, Viester looked at the Emperor grimly, contemplating whether he heard it correctly or not.
The appearance of him snickering and giggling made it seem that he wasn’t completely sincere, but he knew well that the Emperor always kept his words.
“How? Isn’t it a good deal?”
Viester’s throat was fluctuating greatly.
After he suffered for 10 years, he could leave this dirty political world, and at the same time he could gain wealth that he couldn’t get even if he worked for the rest of his life.
Was it just wealth? He was going to be granted a principality. It was to raise the pride and honor of the family.
“I… I will follow Your Majesty’s order.”
As Viester answered calmly, Carmun nodded.
He thought that no matter what his master wanted him to do, he wouldn’t feel pressured at all.
It seemed like he was trying hard to not show it, but the corner of his mouth was twitching uncontrollably.
However, there was something in his words earlier that Viester didn’t pay attention to.
‘But only when the curse is lifted, Viester.’
He hasn’t found a single clue about the curse yet. The curse had lasted for decades now.
When does he think the curse will be lifted and granti the future he had promised to his aide?
Looking at the starry-eyed Viester, Carmun kept the smile to himself.
He spoke solemnly with a quite serious look on his face.
“Take a seat. I have something to talk about with you.”
Viester sat on the chair at full speed.
It looked like he was exactly three times faster than usual.
He thought about telling his aide about it earlier, but it turned out that he enjoyed the current situation and led him to wanting to make fun of his aide again.
He whispered in a low voice while looking at Viester, whose eyes were twinkling if compared to his usual grim eyes.
“Viester, from today onwards, Concubine Edith will come to my room in the Lion Palace every night.”
“Your Highness, I will make the bed for you.”
Ellie smiled gently and paced around the bed. Ellie’s eyes glistened and she had an awkward smile while taking the nicely spread bed sheet in her hand again.
Ellie has been in this state lately. To be exact, after the Emperor came to visit her.
As she couldn’t ask her master about it, she just lingered around like that with a very curious expression on her face.
‘But I promised the Emperor not to talk about it to anyone.’
She felt guilty toward Ellie. She smiled awkwardly and shook her hands.
“I’m going to go to bed now. Thank you for today, Ellie.”
She noticed that she (Ellie) didn’t ask any further and skipped any opportunities to have a conversation with her, just like a ghost.
She turned off all of the lights upon hearing that she (Helen) wanted to sleep and only turned on the light beside her bed before going out.
“Your Highness, you must turn off the lights before you go to sleep.”
“Alright then, have a good night.”
She heard the door closing and concentrating on the sound of Ellie’s footsteps moving further and further away from her room.
She kicked her blanket to the side and got up from the bed only after making sure that she could no longer hear the sound of footsteps.
She blew out the light she (Ellie) told her to turn off just now, and then she took out the robe which had hidden under the bed, and put it on her body.
Ellie, I’m sorry…!
She wondered if she had to hide this from Ellie, but if she were to talk about it to her (Ellie), she had to explain several things regarding the man in the library, but it was a troublesome thing to do.
‘I have to keep it a secret.’
The Emperor’s characteristically cold voice ended the conversation, but it felt like Helen had heard the unspoken words from him.
Unless you wanted to die.
She covered herself with the robe and tied up the string tightly. Then, she opened the back door, not the main gate, before walking through the backyard.
She was also curious about this, but this was also what the Emperor ordered her to do.
“I have something that you have to do. You have to come out every night… You must have gotten used to it since you’ve done it before, right? Cover your face and come out to the backyard. And tapped on the wall.’
Helen headed toward the wall just like what the Emperor told her to do. She stood in front of the huge wall that divided the concubine’s quarter and contemplated on her own for a while.
Does this have magic in it?
Was there any difference if she tapped here…
She thought she might have been fooled, but she still decided to tap lightly on the brick on the wall.
“Is this not the proper way to do it? Did I tap too lightly?’
She tilted her head slightly while thinking to herself. She tapped on the wall once again.
“H-He said to tap the wall over here….”
Actually, she knew it didn’t make sense, but she was anxious.
If she didn’t come out today, she didn’t know what the Emperor was going to say to her.
She was so bewildered that she muttered with a voice that was on the verge of crying.
She couldn’t tell if the Emperor was here, and she also couldn’t figure out the reason why she was doing this.
Mr. Wall, please give me a way….!
She didn’t know why the Emperor told her to tap the wall here. Was he just making fun of her?
She felt like a mongrel pup in the middle of the night. It was the moment she glared at the gigantic wall and had a sullen look on her face.
Someone climbed over the wall and crossed it like a cat. The person was so quick and smooth that she thought it was just a huge cat.
That gray hair in particular…! It was the first time she saw such a hair color in her life.
It was a man, he wore a black uniform with a large knife placed on his waist.
When she stepped back out of fright, the cold wall greeted her back.
“W-Who are you?”
The gray-haired man gracefully put his hand on his chest and bowed his head.
“Nice to meet you, Her Highness the Concubine. I am His Majesty’s right-hand man, Van. His Majesty ordered me to bring Your Highness.”
“Is that so…? But how can we do that if there is a wall here…!”
The man suddenly brought Helen into his arms and jumped over to the other side of the wall again.
It was the highest climb that she went through ever since she was born, so she almost strangled the neck of the knight beside her.
She was going to die if they fell!
She shut her eyes tightly and swallowed the scream that seemed to escape from her mouth continuously.
“Shh, if you make a huge noise, we’ll get caught.”
Unlike Helen, whose eyes kept spinning, Van’s eyes were calm.