She had never seen a man in a bright place except now. She saw him like an illusion in the forest, his face was dark and extremely cold because it was engulfed by the shade of trees.
‘It will only remain as a dream. There’s no way he is going to treat me like that.’
Helen glanced at his face while thinking so.
He looked like an aggressively handsome man due to the corner of his mouth that raised beautifully, his eyes which were bent upward, his wide shoulders as well as his solid body.
He deserved to be called that because he put a blade on her neck on their first meeting.
When she looked up slightly, she met his gaze. Then the man bent his eyes upward and gave a pleasant smile.
She took a deep breath when her heart rate increased rapidly.
‘What’s wrong with me…?’
She felt as if her eyes were rolling around in embarrassment. She couldn’t look at his eyes, making it difficult to interact with him like they usually did.
She wanted to say a lot of things…!
“Aren’t you going to look at me?”
“You don’t want to?”
When he asked that, his voice was full of mischief.
She wanted to ask why he smelled similar to the Emperor, they have similar writing styles, even the tone of their voice were so similar.
How he got rid of the curse, why he was in the Emperor’s room if the curse had been removed, and moreover, why the Emperor called him to this place rather than interrogating him.
And, was it him whom she ran into on the day when she was in the forest?
She wanted to ask him about many things but first, she needed time to catch her shallow breath.
In the place where she could escape from his gaze and wouldn’t fall for his gaze at the same time.
“Just stay like this for a little more.”
Helen buried herself into the man’s arms and wrapped her hand around his waist to hug him tightly.
His body was stiffened at the firm hands, as if it was begging him to not run away from her.
Helen smiled and laughed slightly upon hearing the stunned voice of the man that she had never heard before.
“You were clinging to me as much as you wanted back at the library. So I also wanted us to stay like this for a little more.”
At Helen’s remark, he remained still in his awkward position.
He wondered how many minutes have passed ever since his hand lingered in the air, contemplating whether to wrap it around her shoulders or not?
Feeling his outstretched hand, Helen ended up bursting into laughter.
‘I’m enjoying this because he kept on teasing me.’
It was hard to believe that she could really understand the man’s feelings to this extent. Even though he was annoying, she’s still able to understand him. Because she wanted to tease him so much right now.
Helen smiled brightly and hugged his waist tightly.
‘I missed you so much.’
She swallowed back the embarrassing words that she couldn’t say to him and chuckled.
The look on his face was beyond words because Helen snuggled into his arms.
She was embarrassed and happy at the same time. He stood still as various emotions inside him mingled together, bracing himself by giving strength to his body which remained in an awkward posture.
Besides, the lower half of his body that pressed against her felt particularly uncomfortable.
What’s wrong with me…?
He wanted to get away from Helen for a bit because it was his first time feeling uncomfortable with her.
“It’s a bit embarrassing….”
He muttered quietly, palming his disheveled hair because she just rubbed her face against his chest.
Helen was so happy that she couldn’t hear the man mumbling to himself about her touch.
It was when he stayed in the library alone. To be precise, it was one week since he didn’t meet Edith anymore.
When the man was on his own, he muttered her name for a long time.
As if he never wanted to forget it, that blind murmur was like the only thing he wanted to remember.
‘I was left alone in this library again.’
The library was terribly cold after the warmth exuded from her disappeared. Because his body wasn’t the one that felt the coldness, but she made him recognize the definition of warmth and coldness.
From that day, the woman hasn’t sent any light signals again.
Did she abandon me…?
Or was she in a situation where she couldn’t even send any light signals?
Anxiousness and worries surged up inside him at the same time.
“I miss you.”
He knew it was greed, but he shamelessly wanted to hold onto her.
Upon seeing the Emperor’s letter, he missed her even more.
He was excited at the faint hope that he might have a chance to see her again, however his hope was soon blown out due to the thought that there was no way she would agree to it.
His heart was beyond excited only to be completely dejected afterwards, and he waited for another hope to grow again.
He sat down on the sofa and mumbled with an exhausted face.
He didn’t want to only look fine. He has to be alright.
He didn’t want to be hated by forcing her to agree on anything.
What if the Emperor forced her to come?
No, I’m not that important anyway.
“But I still want to see her….”
The man got up from his seat and walked toward the window.
Perhaps she might have sent the light signal which he hadn’t seen for a while.
And letting him know that he wasn’t the only one who wanted to see her again.
While waiting for the light signal that didn’t even come that night, the man remained there until he collapsed.
It surely would have been supposed to be like that, but now she was in his arms again.
She was crying while hugging him tightly, saying that she missed him and hugged her more tightly without even thinking about letting go of him.
Rather than wanting to think about how his body felt sort of uncomfortable, he wanted to hold the woman tightly, chew on her and swallow her whole because he was glad that she felt the same way as him.
Her existence itself was the light to him.
He wondered if the woman would know that.
When he touched her soft hair gently and played with it, she raised her head slightly and tried to read his expression.
He didn’t mind whatever she did to him, whether she hugged him too tightly or not because he was happy to hear the voice that occasionally asked him if he was uncomfortable or not by what she did in his arms.
“You always say you are alright.”
She protested while muttering a complaint.
He’s really alright.
If she found out about his thoughts back when he was in the library, would she run away in fright?
Inside the dark library, he actually wanted to hold her, locked her up, and didn’t let her go.
He wanted her to stay in the library for the rest of her life with him, even if he had to cry and beg her for it.
He thought about doing all kinds of ways, even if it was childish.
He felt like it was fine if she got angry or even hit him because he wanted to beg her to just stay by his side.
The woman in his imagination was kind, but soft-hearted, and had an unexpectedly decisive side too.
She was really soft-hearted, so he thought by doing so, she would come again to meet him even if it was just out of pity.
If she ever found out about his murky and dark thoughts, she would have freaked out and ran away in terror.
‘So things like this are really nice.’
When she sat while leaning into him, as if he was the back of a sofa, and checked on him every five minutes to make sure he was alright.
He could feel her warmth in the place where she touched him.
Let’s try to pull her arms furtively and put it around his neck, and she didn’t show any signs of refusal when he pulled her even closer.
“It’s really nice.”
No matter what you did to me.
The thought about Helen leaving him made the man’s chest ache, as if he just swallowed a rock.
He secretly tightened his hug so he was hugging Helen more tightly than before.
‘Then, I will hide my thoughts for a little longer. So that you won’t leave me.’
Helen, who didn’t say anything, gradually felt weird to be affectionate with the man in the Emperor’s room.
Where was the Emperor and why couldn’t she find him anywhere?
She was suspicious that he called her while there was a man in his room in the first place.
It’s not like he’s supporting an affair to happen.
Although being a concubine was just a title, Helen and the Emperor were definitely a married couple which was validated by the temple.
As the longing feelings of wanting to see the man subsided calmly, questions began to take over her.
“Where is the Emperor?”
“Emperor? Why are you suddenly looking for the Emperor?”
There was a slight vigilance in his voice.
“This is the Emperor’s chamber. The Emperor is the one who called both of us here.”
The man seemed to have no idea about it.
Wait… Did that mean he didn’t come here on his own?
“Hasn’t your curse been removed?”
When Helen was taken aback and asked, the man turned away, avoiding her so he didn’t feel the need to answer her.
Seeing him avoiding her and not giving any answer, she had a hunch that the curse had not yet been removed and was depressed about it.
He was here not because the curse has been removed.
Only the place where he was confined has changed, from the library to the Emperor’s chamber.
Helen, who noticed, muttered and made the man grumble.
“Don’t be surprised. I’m alright.”
“What do you mean by that? You wanted to escape from the library and regain your memory! Then, why…!”
-did you come here?
When Helen looked at the man while anger was slightly shown on her face, she saw his eyes were filled with concern.
“Perhaps, is it because of me?”
Silence that came from him was like an unspoken affirmation.
Such a stupid man!
Does this mean he is planning to watch him after moving him to a different place?
Moving from the library to the Imperial Palace was not a problem.
However, she was annoyed by the fact that the Emperor didn’t seem to have taken him here nicely.
“Did he mention any other condition? Did he say that he would let you see me?”
‘He’ was the Emperor. The Emperor who caused all kinds of trouble!
Moreover, the Emperor tried hard to hide him in a bizarre way so there was no way he would have listened to him.
However, the man shut his mouth and did not intend to give any answer.
Why the h*ll….
“He didn’t say if there were any conditions?”
When she asked anxiously while having a faint hope of it, his eyelashes were trembling slightly.
“Hurry up and talk.”
When she held onto the man’s arms, he released a sigh and eventually opened his mouth to talk.
“He told me to give up on regaining my memories and don’t even think about leaving this room.”
“… My goodness!”
It meant that he must give up on what he was planning to do.
“But why did he say he’d come? Why!”
Helen was terribly mad at the Emperor. She had never felt so upset since she was born.
Back when she met the man for the first time in the library, he acted like a huge and wild animal, but he turned out to have been hurt a lot and in danger.
He was the type of person who terribly craved affection from others and desperately clinging onto her from the first time they met each other, he even used a light signal to relieve the worries he felt for her. The Emperor turned him to be like who he was now.
But he broke the last hope of the man just like that…!
What a horrid person he was.
“…Because you are here. You’re here now. I can see you again.”
Is he aware of the words that escaped his mouth now?
I’m the one who gave up my life and barely chose. He gave up his life and finally chose her.
“I missed you.”
Helen felt bad for him until the tears flowed from her eyes.
She couldn’t hold back her tears because she felt so bad for him who just became a rotten rope after giving up on his life and chose her.
Helen muttered her apology to him after a while.
The answer she got from him was only ‘It’s alright.’
The man gently swept under her eyes with his thumb.
Tears formed under her eyes ran down his fingers and disappeared.
“How can you expect me not to cry… I feel so bad for you.”
“Then, I’m sorry for making you feel like that.”
His face was teary. Why did he apologize to her?
He is like a mystery to her.
When she saw him in the library, he looked like a wild animal.
Under the bright light in this room, he really looked like a human, no matter how he thought that he wasn’t one.