Thank you for your Kofi support, Mar (4/4) !
“It’s a really nice coat!”
Ellie’s cry broke Helen from her imagination.
“…But I wonder when I will wear it.”
Helen widened her triangular eyes and looked at the black-fur bear coat.
‘Does he give me a bear that almost killed me as a present?’
The Emperor inside Helen’s mind was very scary and fierce. With ‘Bullying Mar’ as the recently added information in her mind.
There was no way she could be happy knowing the coat was given by such a man.
However, Ellie was different, she beamed and arranged the coat with a beaming smile.
“Winter in Idelberg is severe. It’s useless now because it’s currently summer, but it’ll be very handy during winter.”
Not wanting to spoil Ellie, who was in a good mood, Helen answered irresolutely and ignored her.
She attempted to read a new book she bought this time.
After the Emperor suddenly increased her budget, Helen bought a lot of new books with it.
It was to relieve the feeling of resentment when she wasn’t able to go to the library and read books.
When she was eyeing for the book to read, Ellie stepped closer and stood beside her.
“Your Highness, I apologize for giving you that kind of book last time. Were you surprised by that?”
Book? What kind of book? … Oh!
Helen’s face turned red when she recalled which book the maid meant.
“You’re flushed again. If you find it pleasant, would you like me to give you another book?”
Ellie chuckled lowly as if she was amused by Helen’s flustered reaction.
She fanned herself with both hands, but she was at the end of her wits.
“I was joking.”
“Why are you suddenly talking about books….”
When Helen mumbled a question, Ellie’s eyes were filled with worry.
“But His Majesty definitely felt something. Even with what happened at the hunting festival, the bear fur, he would never do those kinds of things without feeling anything.”
“…It’s not because of feelings.”
It was a secret that was only known by her. She knew that Ellie would find it weird.
“You’re not going to tell me again, right?”
“Huft, I don’t mind at all si don’t make such a face!”
Ellie, who couldn’t stand it seeing Helen’s face, hit on her own chest and spoke.
She hit so hard that Helen opened her eyes wide and looked at her in surprise.
“Your Highness, everything is going good, why are you so easily discouraged? I’m completely in distress because of it.”
“Yeah. I know, so stop hitting yourself. It must have hurt.”
“Are you concerned about me?”
Helen nodded as if it were a matter of course. Helen nodded as if it was obvious.
She was afraid that Ellie might hit hard on her chest again.
Ellie etched a slight frown on her face.
“I’m concerned about you, Your Highness.”
The more she got involved with the emperor, the less beautiful her circumstances would be.
In other words, the 26th concubine, Edith, had 26 mountains to climb ahead of her.
Twenty-five concubines and one empress.
However, Ellie’s mind failed to be at peace when she looked at Helen, who always read books.
Moreover, she had always wondered. Why did Her Highness Edith seem to have a low self-esteem?
Knowing the place where she grew up and her background, she shouldn’t have acted that way.
“Do you know the wide-spread rumor about how devoted His Majesty the Emperor of Cordelia was in terms of raising his daughter?”
Is it because the rumor grew too wild?
“Now that I think about it, he sent his beloved daughter away, but you haven’t even heard anything from him.”
“I have, once….”
“It’s only once. Her daughter is worth his every day.”
Helen’s expression rapidly alluded.
As she watched the change of expression from her facade, Ellie realized she had stepped on the minefield.
“I’m exhausted today, so can you leave?”
Ellie was forced to leave as if she was kicked out of the room.
Helen, who remained alone in the room, shrugged her shoulders and took a deep sigh.
Ellie and Mar were the last people she wanted to find out the fact that she was Helen.
At the same time, they were the people who she wanted to tell the most about her real identity being Helen.
It was such a weird feeling.
She thought she was doing a good job at hiding the ugly Helen, and Helen was wondering if Mar would be surprised once he found out about it.
‘Perhaps, is it too obvious that she’s an ugly daughter?’
The trembling that had reduced after meeting Mar, returned again.
She held her trembling hand and waited until the tremble subsided.
After this moment passed, she hoped the night would come by soon. It’s the only time she could see Mar.
She opened the door of the Emperor’s room. Mar stood right in front of the door like he was supposed to be.
‘Did he wait for me again?’
She felt both grateful and guilty to him.
However, Helen couldn’t bring herself to say thank you as well as usual.
Mar asked curiously, realizing Helen was in a terrible mood.
Helen was startled and flinched by Mar’s voice, her eyes widened slightly.
It was reasonable for Mar to grow suspicious of her unusual behavior.
“I’ve always wondered about this before. Do you hate your name?”
When Mar asked her carefully, Helen swiftly shook her head.
“No, I’m just startled.”
“I’ve felt it. Your eyes get twisted every time I call your name.”
Helen dropped her head and secretly avoided his gaze, but Mar persistently attached his eyes on her and tried to initiate eye contact with her again.
Helen eventually closed her eyes tightly.
“Look at me.”
Marl’s voice was uncharacteristically bewildered.
Helen knew how she didn’t act like usual, but she didn’t have the courage to open her eyes.
“I’m, I’m sorry.”
She hated when people called her by her sister’s name, especially if it was Mar.
She tried hard to hide it, but she ended up showing it again.
Helen twitched her eyelashes in dismay.
“Don’t be embarrassed. It’s all right.”
Mar’s tender voice made Helen feel like the stone on her chest fell on her feet.
It’s always like this each time.
This feeling didn’t matter to him.
As soon as she secretly opened her eyes, which had been closed, her eyes met Mar’s eyes.
As he smiled with his eyes bent into half-moon shaped, red demilune showed up on her face.
She forgot to refuse when her hands were pulled by Mar who flashed a pretty smile toward her, and she ended up embracing him without realizing it.
“We shouldn’t hold each other like this.”
Helen was taken aback by how complaining her tone was and closed her mouth.
Then, she heard an unexpected voice in her head.
“You said we should comfort friends when they are sad. I think this is also the way to comfort them.”
Even if they decided to stay as friends, even if she obviously was the one who had brought it up first.
When the word ‘friend’ escaped his mouth, she felt her heart ache and sank.
Why is she sad?
Helen held onto his collar with a slight frown in his arms.
“It’s because I am tired today. So, let me use it as an excuse.”
It was just an excuse to console herself, but Helen was hoping he wouldn’t ask the reason, which was to no avail.
“Why are you tired?”
“Because you’re late.”
Helen’s face turned red as if it was about to burst at Mar’s sly reply.
Her grip on his collar seemed to give a lot of strength to herself.
The sound of her beating heart fluttered in her ears. Helen maintained a distance between their slightly touching bodies so that her voice couldn’t be heard by Mar.
Mar hugged Helen and gently caressed her long hair.
What’s with that long face today?
He didn’t know anything beyond his control.
Whether about her husband’s identity, the girl that she called maid, was it pleasant to live during the day without him, and what made her in such a dismay all the time?
There were a lot of things he wanted to ask, but he didn’t want to.
He thought that if he asked, the boundaries between them would become obvious.
He just hated the thought of her leaving…. with the same assumption.
“Let’s quickly find a way to restore your memories.”
Helen’s murmur resonated across Mar’s chest.
The hand that was playing with Helen’s hair stopped in the air.
“…Will I be able to find my memories?”
There was no certainty in Mar’s voice.
‘What if I actually don’t have any memories?’
He had begun to realize what has changed from him bit by bit in the past few days.
The most suspicious thing was the Emperor and him that shared similarities in their handwriting.
Even the clothing in the dressing room fit perfectly to him, as if they were tailored specifically for him.
The room appeared to be strangely familiar, and he even naturally knew where the things were placed.
Those were the suspicious aspects that he learned after he was moved from the library to the Emperor’s room.
‘Is there any connection between me and the Emperor?’
He wanted to ask Helen about it, but there was no way he could do that.
Since Helen hated and feared the Emperor as much as he did.
-The Emperor? I’m not really sure…. He’s a scary person.
– I don’t know a lot about him. I don’t want to know either.
-Moreover he’s…. Ehem, anyway I don’t want to have any business with the Emperor.
Mar remembered everything Helen had said in his heart.
“Don’t be doubtful. I’m sure you’ll be able to.”
When she opened the door and entered the room, it seemed like she was lying about being in a terrible mood.
When he smiled and stared at Helen, who raised her head as she settled in his arms, there was an intangible hope in Mar’s heart.
“Right. Let’s find my memories.”
Ersa carefully set the date. Since she had to create a circumstance where she couldn’t be pointed out as a suspect.
She called in a maid who had always moved around well and brisk, to sit down with her as she sipped on her tea calmly.
Ersa stopped the maid’s hand that was attempting to pour tea into the empty cup.
“Can you have a drink with me?”
“Yes, yes! O-of course.”
Ersa poured the tea into the teacup for the maid with a kind gaze.
The maid was so nervous that her face was ashen, even her hand that held the teacup was shaking.
The maid gulped, her throat wavered heavily.
“I’ve always kept an eye on you. How smart you are at doing your work ….”
The maid quickly drank tea once Ersa gave a gesture with her hand.
Ersa looked over the teacup to stare at the nervous maid.
It was a puzzling call, but the maid quickly remembered there must be a reason considering her usual character, she wouldn’t have been called for no absolute reason.
What she thought to be the wisest answer was there must be something she wanted her to do secretly.
“M-Maybe, if there is something you would like me to do….”
“You’re a quick-witted girl.”
Ersa’s eyes sparkled like a poisonous snake.
Bringing the pocket of money which had been prepared earlier to the table, Ersa put it down hard enough to produce a sound on purpose.
The maid’s eyes began to grow larger as the pocket, which was full of gold coins inside of it, laid on the table with a pleasant noise.
“I’ve put a lot of money in it. I’ll give ten times this amount of money if you manage to finish your job well.”
The maid’s neck was once again wavering heavily.
“If you do this well and leave the palace, I’ll find a house and business for you to lead a life with. How long are you going to live while taking care of others? You have to do your thing. Isn’t that right?”
The maid’s eyes once again shook greatly when she heard that the pocket of money wasn’t the final thing she was going to receive.
Nonetheless, Ersa smiled pleasantly in secret when she saw the maid nibbling on her lower lip and didn’t talk gibberish.
Among all the servants working under her, she was the most loyal maid who was worthy of being summoned for this kind of task.
It wasn’t a lie that she had been keeping an eye on her, she put the pocket of money in the maid’s hand and whispered subtly.
“If you overlook this just for once, I’ll let you lead a well-off life without having to envy others. How does it sound?”