Thank you for the kofi, Puppynado85! (9/24) done~
“I’m not lying.”
“Then I’m going to go meet him now.”
As soon as I got up, she grabbed me by my shoulders this time.
Even though this was a dream, she was too strong.
“Ellen, you’re so powerful here. Let go of me. I need to go to him.”
“No, until tomorrow… You have to endure it.”
“But I won’t be here tomorrow.”
“What do you mean by that?”
How did I know what kind of dream I’d have tomorrow?
I stopped struggling and looked up at the sky.
Wow, the moon here is really pretty. Since I’m dreaming, should I fly up and touch it?
But would that work? Some dreams were completely free, but others weren’t.
“I’m going to go there.”
“Go over there… I’m going to meet my sister. Ahhh, that would be really nice.”
“But I don’t know if I’ll succeed. Ellen, can you help me?”
This was not fun. What was fun in just being silent and staring at me?
I was so bored that I already felt like I was going to fall asleep.
“I’m sleepy, Ellen. I’m going to sleep.”
The afterimage of a dream that was slowly disappearing dimly lingered, faint noises in my ears.
I closed my eyes, embracing Ellenia’s increasingly blurred vision with my arms open.
It’s so warm. I hope I don’t wake up from my dream forever like this.
* * *
Empty bottles were lined up on the desk with only a small candlestick on.
Perhaps because he was older, it was sweet, so it suited his taste, but he showed no signs of drunkenness.
It was a gift that didn’t suit the taste of the North, but what should he do? There were no other drinkers, so he had no choice but to do it alone.
Rationalizing himself in that way, Duke Omerta spoke with dignity.
“You didn’t sleep yet?”
Ellenia, who was passing through the hallway clutching her navy gown, paused and looked back.
Two pairs of indifferent red eyes collided in the dark night when the lights were turned off.
“…What are you doing alone until this time?”
“Don’t you know already? I’m drinking.”
“Are you drunk?”
“Well, considering that I just saw a ridiculous scene, I think I’m a little drunk.”
“What do you mean, a ridiculous scene?”
“It’s a scene where my daughter quietly passes by carrying my daughter-in-law on her back. Did you play house together?”
There was a moment of silence.
Ellenia gently approached her father’s desk without showing signs of being flustered. Then he immediately changed the subject.
“You seem to be worried about tomorrow’s match. Are you worried about Izek?”
“Why would I worry about that little punk? I’m a little worried about my daughter-in-law.”
Because he said daughter-in-law, it was clear what he wanted to know.
He was asking what was going on.
“It’s not a big deal. I think she drank a little too much today.”
“She stepped out early because she wasn’t feeling well, right?”
“Since when did you pay so much attention?”
Perhaps because he seemed to have nothing to say, the Duke drank silently again.
Ellenia hesitated for a moment and slowly began to speak.
“Give me a drink too.”
This was really unexpected. However, instead of reacting, saying, “What’s wrong with you?” the Duke silently and gracefully took out the empty goblet, following her request in an unexpected manner.
“It doesn’t taste that good.”
“It’s because of the mood.”
“Duke Vishelier and the Cardinal must have been a pretty good match.”
“Why do you think so?”
“That’s what it looked like. Don’t we have Borgias wine?”
“Seeing you being sarcastic openly, you must have something to say to me.”
Something bitter was buried at the end of the calm tone.
Was he thinking of her mother? Swallowing that thought, Ellenia shook her head.
“No, there’s nothing like that. Is there anything you want to say to me? For example, something related to Dorias.”
“I don’t know what kind of impression you got from the disgusting ambassador, but I hate Dorias.”
“Why all of a sudden?”
“Aren’t they the only ones pretending to be stubborn? We’re all on the same level anyway.”
“……It’s surprising that Father says that. Since when did you become so frank?
“I don’t know either. I think I’m getting older these days. By the way, are you really not going to tell me what’s going on?”
“I told you it wasn’t a big deal.”
“However, it’s because it’s been so long since you came to me with a tearful face.”
What did he mean by ‘tearful’? Was he that drunk? It was simply absurd, but Ellenia decided to let it go.
A day of commotion was enough. Anyway…
“You weren’t interested in what kind of a person your daughter-in-law was like in the first place.”
“You’re unfair, but I’ll just move on. Will you accept it if I make an excuse for it now?”
“How come you’re interested now?”
“If it weren’t for that child, I would have made the mistake of sending you away one day to experience the same thing as that child. Above all, isn’t your brother in love with the child?”
He said in a sour tone as if saying such a natural thing.
Ellenia managed to close her half-open jaw. Suddenly, her stomach felt upset. The reason was unknown.
“Does he really love Ruby? Then, no matter what happens…”
The sudden question was out of the blue even to her own ears.
She didn’t know why her tongue turned rogue.
Perhaps because she tried to desperately prevent other words from popping out unconsciously.
The tip of the finger, which put the goblet down, trembled.
‘Father, actually, I think she’s going to die, but then I don’t think we’ll ever know who killed her… It’s funny, I thought she had suffered enough damage already.’
The Duke, who was staring at his daughter with an unknown look, soon leaned forward and poured alcohol into the empty goblet.
The flowing light blue liquid reminded her of someone’s eyes.
“You look very worried. You never tell me what kind of secret you found out, so I only say what I have to say.”
“Once a man makes up his mind, he doesn’t care how much she is in trouble. Even if there is a problem, I’m sure he’ll deal with them all in the end. Do you understand? It means that what you have to worry about is on her side.”
“On her side…?”
“It’s up to her mind from then on. If she doesn’t open the door forever, there’s nothing more he can do no matter how determined he is.”
The last time the duke slowly put down the bottle, he added.
“Just like me and your mother.”
Part VII: The Flower of the End.
The chilly blue sky was dotted with colored bits scattered around.
The flags cheering for today’s participants.
Along with thunderous shouts, crowds filled the dome-shaped stadium.
All of them were not much different from yesterday.
I had a headache. Was it because I slept too much last night?
I had a strange dream, but I don’t remember well. I rubbed my throbbing eyes and tried to come to my senses.
Hang on. What was this?
I was sure I was being escorted by an Omerta escort, but why was Ivan next to me?
By now, I thought he would look at me as if he was looking at trash and would be reluctant to even approach me.
I thought I should act in a guilty and intimidated manner, but honestly, I was too lazy to do so.
Suddenly, there was some magic that took place, and I just felt insensitive.
As if I were just watching a character in a tragedy, not me.
And whether it’s a psychological problem, a defense mechanism or something, I was rather happy with my current state.
As I was just staring at him, wondering what he was up to, Sir Ivan scratched his head with a strange look as if he was about to say something more.
If it weren’t for yesterday’s incident, I would have thought he looked restless.
Is it ironic? I don’t know. I’m tired of thinking about it. It doesn’t matter either way.
What’s the point of trying to guess what others are thinking about me?
Nevertheless, I couldn’t deny that it was a very weird day.
It was like that from the start. No, everyone was weird. To the point where I couldn’t help but wonder what they planned together.
This morning I woke up by discovering myself asleep in Ellenia’s place.
The escorts around seemed determined to monitor me.
I didn’t really care, but it was strange that Ellenia kept snooping around me.
I thought she wouldn’t want to come near at all.
Then, finally, the only thing that came to her mind was, how about sitting with them to watch today’s match?
Of course, I wouldn’t do that.
With them and Freya? Just curse me to die, Ellen.
That wasn’t enough, so just now, it seemed clear that Ivan was going to escort me, talk to me, and test how shameless I was while monitoring me.
It seemed like he had come since morning and flirted with Ellenia, was that why he was here?
But why did I feel like everyone was restless?
Of course, whatever they were up to, I didn’t really blame them.
This wasn’t understandable for them.
But I knew that they couldn’t abandon me, nevertheless.
Right, my dear minority elite? Because we’ve shared secrets.
Come to think of it, what Ivan was just trying to say may have been about it.
After witnessing that yesterday, he found out I was unlike how I usually acted, and I would have been judged to be the worst. He probably thought I might have joined hands with my family to cooperate with the North, and suddenly became scared.