Thank you for the kofi, Puppynado85! (1/24) done~ (yes lmao 24 xddd i feel dead already)
My heart began to beat nervously, but I smiled casually and followed him.
The sound of footsteps stepping on rough marble stairs rang dimly.
The temple always felt dull, but today it was ever so terrifying.
The hallway stretched out as a long passage, looking gloomy, as if ghosts from hell would pop out any moment.
I fiddled with the bracelet on my wrist without realizing it.
I wore this when I changed earlier.
When we’d passed countless corridors and stairs without a word and finally entered the entrance of a large room with a wide open door, a heavy thumping sound rang from far away.
The sound of closing one of the main gates of the temple.
At the same time as I looked back in surprise, the door behind my back was also closed with a thud.
I was speechless.
Cesare was sitting on a chair next to the fireplace, with only a thin shirt on.
I didn’t relax while he sipped a glass and put one leg comfortably on the table.
“Isn’t this the Archbishop’s room?”
“You care too much about everything. That impatient old man would be so happy that I stayed here.”
The man who responded in a sneering manner turned to me.
Suddenly, I regretted not changing my clothes.
I felt like he wanted to tear my dress apart and throw it into the stove.
“Don’t you think so?”
His eyes glared at me, but the words were directed to the man behind me.
The fake monk, who was standing like a statue after closing the door, strode past me and went to Cesare. Then, he pulled down the hood.
“He’ll readily lick your soles.”
The scar across his eyelid was blackened.
However, I was not surprised by the harsh appearance of the fake monk. It was because of his familiar rough and stiff red hair.
I saw this guy for the first time today. To be exact, it was my first time seeing him in person like this.
Thanks to knowing the original book, I knew that Cesare had a very loyal and vicious henchman.
Along with the fact that the monster-like henchman gave a harsh impression.
And that voice…… Earlier, I didn’t know if it was because I was tired, but it seemed like a voice I had heard before.
Right, from last time…
‘That was so amazing, Lady Rudbeckia.’
Was it him who crushed my foot?
Was he called Pietro? What were the author’s words?
“You’ve worked hard in a place like this pig cage.”
“Are you being serious? I almost cried because I was homesick. I’ve been waiting for Master.”
“Should I give you a pat?”
“I won’t answer that.”
They are still staring at me while exchanging jokes with each other.
It was obvious that he had to openly reveal the fact that he was monitoring me in this way.
I didn’t know if I’d noticed the fake monk before.
Oh, of course, I was expecting surveillance, but it was unexpected that Pietro was here alone.
As far as I knew, Cesare never kept Pietro away no matter what.
But he sent him to the North? To keep an eye on me? Since when?
Pretending to avoid the burning gaze, I glanced toward the monk.
It seemed that he was just calmly exchanging talks with his master, but somehow that monster-like man seemed to be nervous.
His huge shoulder like that of a bear’s was stiff.
“You feel guilty to refuse, right? Since you didn’t do anything properly.”
“I will receive a separate punishment for that part.”
“Well, what should I do? Ruby, you tell me.”
I blinked blankly. To be exact, I pretended to do so.
“What are you talking about?”
A cool smile spread all over the face of the expressionless Cesare.
At the same time, he spun his glass round casually.
“What do you want me to do? To punish him.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about right now. He’s been monitoring me because he told you to?”
“You keep making me worried, I can’t help it. Why did my quiet sister run away from home?”
Did he hear about my runaway commotion and send him?
Then, did he still have no idea about me and the monsters?
I tried to maintain my composure, but my breath kept trembling. Oh my god.
Calm down, be careful…
If you act wrong, you’ll ruin it all.
As I gathered my senses back, I gently closed my open mouth.
“It was my first experience having such a hard time. You know that I can’t do anything bad. Why did they do that to me?”
As if this was unexpected, the man who was smiling narrowed his forehead slightly.
“What are you talking about?”
“They all treated me like a murderer. They said that I tried to poison the archbishop’s niece in the temple. Did Father do this? If you had at least told me…….”
I breathed slightly, blurring the end of my speech.
While I pretended to be the victim, Cesare quietly looked at me, exchanging his gaze with his henchman, and soon opened his mouth.
“Isn’t she just a maiden? What’s the benefit of getting rid of her?”
“I’m…I don’t know. I don’t know. Neither father nor brother ever tells me anything.….”
“It was the same for me. Pietro, spit out what you found out.”
As expected, the identity of the fake monk was Pietro.
More than that, my brother seemed to have nothing to do with the poison attempt incident, leaving me confused.
Then suddenly, the bizarre encounter I had with Freya a while ago passed by a corner of my mind.
At that time, Freya boldly spilled her ambition on me.
She wanted to be the queen of the North.
If not only Freya but the Archbishop, Freya’s uncle were not aiming purely to enter the walls of Sistine…….
“He seemed to want to have another bowl even though he was wagging his tail hard. He’s a greedy old dog.”
“That’s right. To assassinate with Magic stone the temple would be the worst place. It’s a place where the insides could be seen clearly.”
There was no time to digest the information that I realized anew.
Cesare, who filled the glass with ease, spat out again at me, rolling eyes at my confused self.
“Yes, it would have been scary. Poor thing. But that impulsive behavior, it’s not like you.”
“At that time, I was out of my mind… I didn’t think much. I keep reflecting on myself…….”
“Were you out of your mind when you were hugged by your husband?”
I was very familiar with the sudden jump to the point.
Unknowingly, my eyes turned toward the cross on the fireplace.
Whether in the past or present, my cross must be my older brother’s.
“Is Father really angry?”
“I think that’s a valid question, but father is not here, so tell me honestly what happened. Seeing your husband doing it today, I don’t think he forced you to do it.”
Even the faint smile disappeared.
In contrast to his calm and subdued voice, his eyes were burning like blue flames.
Blood vessels wriggled like snakes on his copper forearms exposed under the sleeves of the shirt rolled up to the elbow.
At the same time as the fear eating away my heart, a strange feeling captivated me.
It wasn’t because I didn’t expect to pay in this way. I felt like the reason he was angry was not only because I ruined his plan.
Whatever it was, he shouldn’t have caught my true feelings. At least not yet.
I stuttered and opened my mouth with my head down.
“It’s because I thought I’d die if I didn’t do this…”
“You didn’t see what my husband was originally like. Now he’s suddenly being sweet, but he was completely different from the people I’ve met. He hated me a lot, but that lady, who almost died, happened to be his old friend, too.….”
“I heard he had been searching Elendale for days to find you.”
“Do you think it was because he was worried about me? I was really, really scared. If I died here being treated as an evil Borgian girl…”
“Did he hit you?”
Inhaling deeply, he lifted his gaze.
Cesare was staring at my eyes with a look that was hard to read.
What would he see in my eyes?
Wasn’t this what he wanted? For my husband and I to hate each other.
“……I smiled a lot and tried to please him, so he suddenly didn’t act rough. But I wasn’t sure, so what else could I have done in that situation?….”
“I didn’t care what I had to do if I could go back home alive.””
There was a moment of silence.
Ironically, during the nervous and spooky silence, a somewhat guilty feeling arose in me for Izek, who was in the palace by now.
Even though most of the lines I just said were based on facts.
Of course, I didn’t want to go back to Romagna.
“Yes, you must have had a hard time alone.”
Finally, Cesare, who opened his mouth, spoke in a lighter tone than a while ago.
He was pretending that he knew it.
It was his attitude, but his relaxed smile was so scary that I prepared my heart.
“I was against it before, but this time, if father jumps up, I can’t help but think it’s for his own profit. In the first place, it was too much for you to handle alone.”
“But no matter how hard it is, Ruby. It’s seriously disrespectful to use flesh desire to get what you want. I can’t believe you, the angel of Sistine, did such a thing.”
I was amazed that he was a fresh leaf in many ways.
I expected that no matter what plausible excuse I made, he wouldn’t just let go, but he actually went along with it.
Was he really the same person I knew?
He handed the glass to Pietro and raised himself. The form of a viper that slowly loosened its body and approached.
As he neared me, I felt helpless.
“Hmm? You’re the daughter of the Pope. Why did you change so much?”