He nodded. The nod was more convincing than before.
“How can I not know when everyone is talking about that?”
Not only her, but also those in the capital could have not known about it.
She was just saving her breath because she might have lost her neck by tomorrow morning if she talked openly about it.
Ellie whispered after peeking around carefully even though they were inside the room where no one was around except them.
“So that’s why. Her Majesty can’t bear an heir for the Empire.”
Ellie’s eyes lit up.
“Your Highness can’t just live like this for the rest of your life. You can’t even live like a common noble, let alone getting recognition from others. You should enjoy what you are supposed to have….”
No, she didn’t have anything to enjoy in the first place.
Helen secretly drew a faint smile on her face. She completely understood Ellie’s remarks now.
“So you were worried about me.”
Bringing up such a book to her, and even talking about this topic secretly.
Helen stroked Ellie’s hair slightly.
“I get what you were trying to say.”
“I really apologize if you consider it rude. I’ll comply wholeheartedly if you decide to punish me.”
She liked that her maid was worried about her, but she also hated it.
Even if it was a good thing that she secretly planned all this out of concern for her master, but she hated the fact that she couldn’t turn the situation to be better without having to bear the child of the Emperor.
Furthermore, she was currently being threatened by his father with her life as a guarantee, let alone having the Emperor’s child.
In the midst of all this, how much better did she think this would be?
Helen never thought of running away from this situation.
Just like a bird that was born trapped in a cage and never knew about the world outside the cage.
‘Still, it’s a bit upsetting.’
Helen didn’t even think of raising the corner of her lips at all.
It was late at night when Helen was walking through the familiar hallway to meet Mar.
Mar was already behind the door when she knocked on it, opening it for her with a bright smile.
Afterwards, they seemed to have a light conversation as she read a book.
“What’s in your mind? You said we’d read books as soon as you came, but now you don’t ….”
As if he was basked in shame, Mar held his face in his hands.
“You only look at my face.”
Mar eventually rested his chin on the desk and glanced sideways.
While still wondering what she was thinking, he opened his drowsy eyes and looked at her over the book.
Helen felt extremely embarrassed by Mar’s question.
‘Did I stare at Mar a lot?’
She thought he just looked beautiful.
His long eyelashes would flutter every time he closed his eyes. I repeatedly showed. It seemed as if his eyes were filled with the glow of the setting sun that disappeared and appeared again each time he blinked.
“It’s just, I think your eyes are beautiful.”
Mar’s face turned red when she calmly spoke out about the objective facts she felt.
“It’s not just your eyes that turned red.”
Helen spoke mischievously with a low chuckle.
This kind of situation was unusual to her because she was the only one who always teased Mar.
“Don’t tease me.”
“I didn’t make fun of you. I mean it when I said it’s pretty.”
Rather than saying it’s pretty, isn’t it handsome? Cool? Like a statue? He didn’t look like a human being.
He looked more like a God than a human being.
“I think I have a talent for choosing names.”
Mar looked at her with a confused gaze.
Mar, the God of War was said to appear as a very good-looking male, and it seemed like he resembled Mar perfectly.
Helen began to read again with a smile full of satisfaction lingered on her lips.
It was when one of the phrases in the book caught her eyes.
-Teacher, is this how you do it?
‘Of, of all things…’
Helen couldn’t stop her face from heating up.
She just wanted to stop her pounding heart by clutching it with her hands.
It was when her eyes happened to collide against Mar. When she lowered her head without saying anything and avoided his gaze, Mar took the book away.
“Why are you avoiding me?”
There was irritation in Mar’s voice when he said that.
“When, when did I say I avoided you….”
“You’re also avoiding me this time. I thought it was just me, but it wasn’t. What’s the matter?”
The book which Ellie gave her made her face turn bright red!
She couldn’t forget the contents of the book.
She was in a state of shock after skimming through one of the pages, but then she swallowed nervously before opening the first page.
It was because she was really curious.
How did the two end up in such a relationship, and why?
Helen, who had never received sex education before, was drawn even more like a magnet.
After seeing him, she started reading the book, and stayed up all night.
And… Tonight, it was her first time seeing Mar after reading the book.
‘I think we are too close…!’
It was even more difficult for her because Mar didn’t have any sense of distance.
When she imagined the content of the book, which was full of skin, Mar’s face naturally came to her mind.
Because the only face of the man she knew was Mar.
She couldn’t raise her face due to the feeling of shame for having imagined such a thing with an innocent person.
“…Really, what’s the matter? Your face is red. Do you have a fever?”
Mar approached her and put his hand on Helen’s forehead.
“I don’t think you have a fever.”
Then, he put his forehead against hers, as if he wasn’t sure with his hands.
Helen felt like her sight was spinning. Mar was too close to her.
She was so surprised that she shoved Mar on the shoulder.
He didn’t even budge even after being shoved away, instead it was Helen, who pushed him, wobbled in her chair with a bounce.
Did I hit him too hard?
At that moment, Helen’s vision was abruptly turned upside down.
Helen closed her eyes in surprise. She expected the pain, but she got none and only heard a loud sound of chair tumbling over.
“Are you okay?”
She heard Mar’s voice right in front of her.
Helen opened her eyes in surprise.
“Why are you suddenly like this?”
He was less than a span away from her, supporting her head gently with his hands and had a little frown on his face.
It was thanks to Mar that she fell from the chair to the floor, yet didn’t feel any pain.
He was hugging her with both of his hands.
“…You, you’re too close….”
Since her voice was too small when she muttered it, he couldn’t hear her well.
“What did you say again?”
Mar asked gently and put his ears close to her.
Helen was dazed by the smell of Mar’s body that she sensed momentarily.
“I said, y-you’re too close.”
It was only after Helen’s exclamation that he realized his body was undoubtedly close to Helen.
Mar’s body also heated up at the belated realization.
Mar spat out a brief exclamation out of surprise.
She was right in front of him. His favorite light ocean-blue eyes are swaying like waves.
‘It would be great if this is because of me.’
Mar took a hold of Helen’s hands on both sides of her face. Her hands would begin to sweat somehow whenever she got nervous.
The same thing happened in this atmosphere which made her feel embarrassed.
Somehow, she stiffened while pinned down under Mar, but she didn’t want to avoid his gaze.
If she avoided this gaze, he might find out that she had feelings for him.
Her heart has crossed the line from a long time ago.
She eventually became aware of it the moment she saw him in the forest, despite doubting it when she couldn’t meet him before that.
‘I like Mar, too.’
She liked the red eyes of Mar. Because it seemed that his eyes contained the exact opposite of his burning passion.
She liked him, who was dynamic and brave, which was the opposite of her, who was always afraid and lacking.
It felt like a long time had passed since the moment they maintained eye contacts. It felt pleasant just by looking at each other.
The cold night wind seemed to be able to cool off the heat, but it just grew even more between both of them.
“If you don’t want this… Push me away.”
Helen suddenly became nervous at Mar’s low voice.
He approached step by step.
She didn’t find his clumsy gesture to be totally ridiculous. She was so nervous that she thought her whole body would become shaky.
The lips that eventually touched hers felt like burning.
A faint exhale escaped from her lips.
“Umph… Ma, Mar…!”
She was acting awkward for a moment. But it grew to be passionate in no time, just like the color of his eyes.
Mar was holding onto Helen as if he was about to devour her whole, and Helen, who was overwhelmed, accepted it.
The two lost track of time in their first kiss. The two, who had been longing for each other for a long time, parted only after seeing the sunrise.
She ended up having swollen lips. It was the traces of intense kiss they’ve shared.
She couldn’t tell how embarrassed she was because Ellie kept looking at her lips.
When she sneaked a sideways glance at Mar, her eyes collided against Mar, who was drawing a smile on his face.
It was no wonder that he kept looking only at Helen.
As soon as Mar smiled as soon as his eyes met, Helen put on a blank look on her face as if she was lost in his red eyes.
Because Mar was so handsome.
Helen’s heart kept pounding loudly because the first man she was close with in her entire life was just too handsome.
Even the chandelier on the ceiling would die when he smiled.
‘What can I do….’
She was swept up in the moment when kissing him last night, but that was wrong.
Because she was married and has a husband!
Just because she didn’t know her husband’s face, still she couldn’t use it as an excuse.
“Edith. Why are you not looking at me?”
At that moment, Helen’s eyes were shaking.
The man, who was smiling, has never known her name until now.
It was the same as her.
She fell in love with a man she didn’t even know anything about. Is that even possible?
Helen’s heart was heavy at the sudden uneasiness that surged through her.
It was when he poked at Helen’s cheek with his hand.
Helen winced and stepped back in order to avoid his hand when he teased her like usual.
His face stiffened at the action.
Helen was surprised by her own action and spat out a brief remark.
‘I didn’t mean to make it so obvious….’
Not knowing the reason, Mar looked at Helen with a look that didn’t seem too pleasant to the eyes.
“Talk to me. Do you have any problems?”
Mar held Helen’s hand with a serious look on his face. Mar’s hand was holding her hands, which was shaking slightly.
“What’s the matter?”
“You have to tell me. That way, I will know.”
Mar, who had lost Helen once when he was still in the library back then, never wished to lose Helen ever again.
If they were in a relationship due to the kiss that they shared last night, he would never have kissed her even if he wanted it so much.
“I’m so agitated because I don’t know anything about you.”
Helen let go of Mar, as if she felt guilty at him. Mar looked at his hand that hung down and bit on his lips hard.
To Mar, Helen was just like a mother bird.
From the moment he could remember, he was the first person to stay by his side.
Just like a mother who perceived its first-born, that’s how he saw Helen.
He just wanted to keep her by his side and felt a strong desire to have her because he couldn’t bear the thought of losing her.
The only reason why he didn’t do that was because he didn’t want to be hated by Edith.
If she already hated him….
“But please don’t hate me.”
There was desperation in Mar’s voice.
Helen wrapped her arms around Mar’s neck and caressed his back with an awkward gesture laced with guilt.
“I’m sorry. What happened last night was a mistake.”