Thanks for the kofi, Puppynado85! (19/32) done
Leaving behind the banquet hall where peace took over, I was dragged by Izek and got my foot treated.
Neither of us said a word while the maids worked hard, applied medicine to my toes and bandaged it.
I hated the elongated silence. It just brought me anxiety.
Until all the maids finally left, Izek stood on one side and fiddled with my shoes.
I was scared all of a sudden. He was not going to hit me with that, was he?
“Your feet are so small.”
My feet are the perfect size for my height. It was just his hands that were big.
“You didn’t see who did it?”
“I really didn’t see it. There were so many people earlier, I’m not lying…”
“I didn’t say you were lying to me.”
He put my shoes down on the table and came close to the sofa I was seated on.
He looked incredibly calm, compared to before, so I felt even more anxious.
“Now that your feet are in good shape, the banquet is over.”
Yes, and my first night plan is done for. Damn it! Again!
“Are you upset?”
“I’m sorry… you held a banquet for me for the first time and I…”
He danced with me in that half-naked assassin costume.
My lord! My face flushed again, swallowing the urge to hit the ground and sob.
“Are you mad? Are you angry?”
No, I was sure he just became angry.
Well, if there was nothing else I could do, I should just move on.
I was lifted up again. I was starting to get used to being treated as a chick.
“You must be disappointed, by the look on your face.”
“My expression is….”
“I’m just so happy to be with you.”
I almost made a slip of the tongue. I grinned at the face of my husband staring at me with unbelieving eyes.
Hi, I’m the leader of your fan club.
“I think I’d be really happy if I got to be with you all night.”
“But, of course it won’t happen. Because you’re a busy man. I’m sure a lot of people are looking for you.”
Because of his status. Damn it, I’d have to walk out on my own if he goes back to the banquet hall, alone in this dishevelled state…
“I’d rather get some fresh air.”
“Then, let’s take a walk to test out your foot.”
“But weren’t you talking about something important with your colleagues?”
“It was nothing that important.”
I didn’t know what to say. It was good for me. Since we’re together a little longer, I should aim for a chance to gain his favour.
Even if I couldn’t build a castle, I’d at least make the doorstep slowly.
* * *
The glass greenhouse was almost finished, with the hard work of the top craftsmen in the north.
It was my first time coming here since I saw it briefly on the first day of construction.
It was fantastic to see the glass walls shining silver in the moonlight at night. I felt it’d be even more amazing during the day.
“I asked them to build a fountain too, but I don’t know if it’s similar to Romagna’s.”
The cool sound of water resounded.
Although it could not be seen in detail at night, the scenery surrounding the flower garden with colourful cascading waterfalls, artificial statues of various shapes, sparkling flowers and pond was simply amazing. It was like a garden of water in a fairy tale.
“It’s so beautiful.”
“I don’t know what it’ll be like in the daytime.”
“It’ll be even better during the day. It’s fantastic. Like the hanging gardens of Babylon.”
“What’s that again?”
Oops, I made another slip of the tongue. It’s normal for them to not know the hanging gardens of Babylon.
“It’s just something from a novel. A garden made by the king of a country for his homesick wife.”
I felt a little embarrassed after adding an explanation. Why was Nebuchadnezzar so romantic? I felt like I was being compared.
Anyway, it was really cool. Not as good as the hanging gardens, but still amazing.
Izek didn’t say anything while I was looking around in awe.
What else can I do without saying a word? It wouldn’t have taken too much money and manpower to build a greenhouse like this, but the thought behind it was worth it..
I tightened his arm around his thick neck and kissed his smooth cheek.
It was half impulsive. Of course, I thought about making progress.
The quiet fellow, like a statue, turned his head slowly and looked at me. Sure enough. He looked exactly the same as when I kissed him for the first time at the temple. A look of great surprise.
“Hehe, thank you so much…”
Can I tell you something? It’s embarrassing that you always react like this to a kiss. But it’s needed for me to build a castle.
His big red eyes stared at my half-smiling eyes.
I didn’t know why he suddenly seemed exhausted again. He was really weird. So weird.
Why do you keep looking at me like that? Like you’re in pain because of me.
“I’m glad you like it.”
The voice that rang after a long time was hoarse. Izek returned to his original haughty face, dropped me on a bench nearby and sat next to me.
There were many roses shining under the moonlight.
I feel suffocated by their sweet scent. I didn’t want to be silent again, so I spoke softly.
“Ellen says she likes lilies best, what’s your favourite flower?”
What? I’m at a loss for words.
It was not surprising because it was one of the most famous nicknames for me, but I was stunned as soon as Izek let those words out of his mouth, as if my secret had been revealed.
“Why do they call you Sistina’s Lark?”
I gulped. Sitting on the bench with one arm hanging behind my back, Izek seemed particularly handsome, perhaps because of the moonlight.
Maybe it was because of the clothes. He was like an assassin of God who came to deal with the fallen Pope’s children.
“I don’t know. I think when I was young, I sang for my oldest brother’s birthday and got the name… It’s a funny nickname.”
Sistine’s lark or angel or something like that were names given by my father’s people.
I hated the damn nicknames. I didn’t know what the original Rudbeckia would have thought.
“You must be good at singing.”
“I’m just like the others. In the South…….”
“Are you afraid of turtles in the South?”
Oh no. Since I showed you that side, it’s natural to ask, but did you have to ask that question now?
“I’m not that afraid.”
“There must have been some kind of incident for you to be scared just by a decoration, and not the real thing.”
There was an incident. In my previous life.
In my previous life, I had been afraid of turtles ever since I saw the fish I got as a gift for my 12th birthday being eaten by my eldest brother’s pet turtle.
My family thought my phobia was very pathetic.
And here.. Well, I got scared because of the golden turtle that Cesciare bought me as a souvenir.
My mouth dried up when I remembered what happened then. I shouldn’t have shown it. I should never have exposed my scared self. It was not even real. It was nothing.
“I wouldn’t have kept them if you had told me beforehand. Turtle decorative tableware is quite common here, how have you been holding it in the meantime?”
His eyes were as sharp as a snake’s.
It was hard to look into his eyes, but I tried to keep my eyes open because I thought I shouldn’t avoid him awkwardly.
“I don’t usually care. But this one’s eyes were so real and scary that I couldn’t…”
“Is it your habit to put up with it?”
“I’m a little tenacious.”
That’s why I don’t give in to your consistent unkind behaviour, heh.
As I slyly grinned, my bad-natured husband changed his words, apparently not having a reply.
“About your family.”
I almost bit my tongue in the middle of laughing. It was going well. Why was the conversation going there again?
“Your father and your brothers. What kind of people are they?”
“Why all of a sudden…”
“Is it strange for a husband to ask about his wife’s family? Especially your first brother, whom I will meet soon. I’ll have to know what he’s like so I can deal with him properly.
Wife’s family. Haha. I doubt I’ll have a good time talking about my family with my husband.
Of course, it wasn’t strange to ask at all. I was just a little confused because I’d never been asked that before.
Aside from my feelings of not even wanting to talk about Cesare.
“He’s not as particular as he’s known to be. He’s popular at social gatherings, and a better fit as a knight than the clergy.”
Cesare blamed his father for making him a cardinal.
Father’s lack of relationship with Enzo contributed not only to his childish character but also to his jealousy.
Cesare always wanted to be a knight. He preferred to fight on the battlefield rather than assist his father. Compared to Enzo, he was very talented.
“You siblings must be quite close. Do you want to see him?”
“Just a little bit.” I bowed my head, evasively. The calm gaze above my head was disturbing.
“I guess you’re not happy about your family.”
“It’s not like that.… This is my home from now on. My family is not a topic that everyone loves.”
“Everyone? Am I a part of that everyone?”
T/N: I was a bit late today, but enjoy~