Thank you for the kofi, Puppynado85! (2/24) done
T/W: Mentions of physical abuse ahead.
“Of course I can’t just blame you. No matter how much I look at it, the land like this den of monsters seems to have stained you.”
From any country’s point of view, the den of monsters was not Britannia, but Romagna.
I was dumbfounded, but of course I didn’t say it out loud.
“My lovely sister, how can you have such a bad habit when you haven’t seen me for a while?””
The touch on my cheek was so sweet.
I decided to think about something else as a means to not cringe.
Were those rugs classified as combustible trash?
“Sorry. I didn’t think much.”
“It’s okay, at least you’re reflecting. You’re saying there’s a possibility that it’ll be fixed, right?”
He took a step back with the hand still stuck to my cheek. .
Then, he gave a light nod to Pietro. It meant to go out and guard the door.
Pietro walked out of the room silently, the shadow of his heavy figure looming over.
“My husband will notice it.”
I didn’t mean it, but my voice came out in a begging tone.
A smirk grew on his lips.
In those dark blue eyes, something very distorted, like a strange flame that couldn’t die down, faintly shone and disappeared.
A strange emotion that was brief but different from anger.
It was a ridiculous thought, but I suddenly felt like I saw the same expression in Izek’s eyes one day.
“When he comes to me at night…”
“You won’t have much time to see each other for a while. Now, you have to be on your own.”
From today to the end of the game, all participants and the supervisory committee will stay at Angvan’s designated accommodation.
I knew that, too. Even after that, I didn’t think he’d push it if I made an excuse like this… Not like he ever listened to me.
Nevertheless, I didn’t know why those useless words came out.
Is it scary to imagine how my husband, who fell for my psycho fox brother, would react if he saw a new wound on my body?
I thought the strong grip on my wrist was loosening, but the next moment, I turned around.
To be exact, I got thrown away.
While twisting and holding my balance, my arms flapped to grip the table, with the alcohol bottles and other objects falling to the floor.
I also eventually collapsed on the floor together.
Ah, my whole body is tingling already.
“Put your legs on the table.”
I sighed inside. I knew this would happen anyway, so it’s okay. Just wait a minute, and it’d be over.
Let’s focus on other thoughts.
That belt isn’t combustible, right? There’s no such thing as recycling in this world, I guess.
* * *
The crowd filling the huge dome-shaped stadium seemed more enormous than last time.
At this time of year, Elendale had always been crowded with foreigners, but this year it was especially more.
Everyone seemed to be very curious about whether Britannia’s Duke Izek van Omerta would win the match again.
Or they hoped an interesting accident would break out between him and the Borgian brother-in-law who came from across the sea, meeting for the first time.
Rumours. Words. Guesses.
There were too many things like that. Ellenia began fanning lightly today, sending such thoughts into the blue sky.
The climate was cool, but the air felt hot, perhaps because there were so many dense people.
“I don’t want to sound like I’m nitpicking, but don’t you think so?”
Freya, who was sitting next to her and pretending to be fanning, muttered in a cautious tone.
Ellenia deliberately asked back slowly.
“No, the arrangement of the seats is a bit…….”
It was obvious what she was talking about.
Ellenia glanced and looked toward the spectators, with the cardinal squad’s black clothed people.
A balcony-shaped grandstand for the committee who stepped from Romagna.
Cardinal Valentino was sitting in the front seat, and his sister was sitting next to it.
Freya’s point was correct.
Rudbeckia had to sit with Ellenia on this side, not that side.
Because she was Omerta’s Duchess.
However, the reason why no one had to point it out and mention it was simple.
Of course, they would have thought it would be normal.
Ellenia, who had been thinking this, suddenly frowned.
This was because she herself just realized that the arrangement of this position was insignificant until just now.
“Are you okay? Your expression suddenly doesn’t look good.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have brought up something that the Duke would have understood.”
Convincing. Ellenia glanced to the side where the king and Duke Omerta were sitting this time.
Her father looked mysterious these days, as usual.
She didn’t know what he was thinking and what he understood.
In recent years, those whom she thought she knew very well were gradually feeling unfamiliar. This included herself.
“Anyway, he seemed like a nice person, Cardinal Valentino. I saw him at yesterday’s banquet and he was very polite to Iz.”
She didn’t even know why Freya’s voice, which changes the subject cheerfully, felt so annoying.
Instead of answering back, Ellenia thought of yesterday’s banquet.
Contrary to rumours, Cesare seemed far from the kind of people who looked down at the Northerners with his father’s power supporting him. He was impeccably polite and elegant.
However, when she went in for a closer look while taking a breather from dealing with other people, the siblings disappeared.
The answer she heard when she asked Izek was a masterpiece. They went to see the festival streets.
It was almost ridiculous.
If he was going to allow it, why did he ask her to watch the Borgian siblings in the first place?
The siblings in question appeared again before the dinner began.
Cesare looked cheerful and satisfied all the time, and Rudbeckia seemed a little tired, but she was also fine.
She quickly asked for their understanding and went back to the duke’s quarters first, because she was very tired.
It was a little strange. If Ellenia knew Rudbeckia, she would not have left with such an important day ahead.
Furthermore, there would be no time for the couple to meet in the next few days.
Of course, she must be tired. Aside from looking around the streets, it would have been quite exhausting because she had to pay attention not only to her brother but also her ex-fiances.
Ellenia was also taking that into account. The same would have happened to Izek.
Nevertheless, why couldn’t she stop feeling so uncomfortable?
She wanted to look more into it, but the recent disturbance made their relationship awkward.
That referred to the situation between Rudbeckia and Freya.
“By the way, who are you going to give your handkerchief to?”
Ellenia turned her head for a moment and stared at Freya’s face.
Why did the face that she had known since they were playing with dolls feel increasingly unfamiliar?
Freya, whose purple eyes shone, tilted her head, as if she felt her gaze was strange.
“Ellen? What’s wrong?”
“…No. I didn’t make it anyway. Ruby will give one instead.”
“What about you?”
“I actually didn’t make it either. There’s no one to give it to. If it were a long time ago, I would only give it to Iz.”
Freya smiled brightly.
With a whisper saying, “I see,” Ellenia decided to conclude the situation of Freya and Rudbeckia properly as soon as the festival was over.
Meanwhile, at a point a little east of where Ellenia was seated, a small number of elite players from the proud Longinus Knights huddled together.
The reason was purely because the people around them were too noisy to let them hear each other.
Of all things, this was the place surrounded by the nation’s top city knights.
More than that, it was a scene that strangers would misunderstand, saying that men who see each other every day were stuck together even on these days, they must really love each other.
“No matter how much I look at it, I think we were wrong.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Does it make sense that only Izek is participating? It makes one think that we didn’t bother putting in an effort since we’re going to be pushed back by him anyway!”
Whether it was because he was usually very proud of being a minority elite, or because he was just excited by the heat that filled the stadium, Camu grumbled with a strange look of shame.
As soon as Ivan tried to respond, Galar, who was wiping the armrests of the stands with gloves, stepped out in a gloomy tone.
“It’s all because of you, Camu. When I suggested, you should have followed along quickly.”
“What do you mean by that, b*stard! Why are you idling there instead of joining us?”
“I was going to, but Izek gave me another job.”
“So, since when did he start ordering us around? And even if it’s work, you’re just a useless nanny! Oh, come to think of it, he must have done this on purpose. Didn’t he plan this because he wanted to show off and make us all go crazy? Hey, Ivan. Don’t you feel so?”
There was a moment of silence at Ivan’s clear and simple answer.
Uncaring of his colleagues looking at him with weird faces, Ivan changed the mood by taking out a leaf cigarette with an elegant gesture and biting it.
“More than that, tell me in detail what happened yesterday. How far did you follow?”
“Why did you suddenly pretend to be the leader?”
Despite Camu’s loss of speech, Ivan did not react to what he heard.
Instead, Rube, who was quietly smiling as always and fiddling with an eye patch covering one eye, opened his mouth pleasantly.
“I saw them go back to the temple. The cardinal noticed right away so I stepped back.”
“You can’t get stuck in a situation where you get found out for following.”
“Anyway, there wasn’t much. It was a waste of time.”
“I think so, too, but once the man pulls out a knife, he should cut the radish.”