Chapter 10

***

 

One of Theodore’s eyebrows rose sharply toward Benjamin.

 

“What are you doing?”

 

“Your Majesty.”

 

Benjamin said in a cold, subdued voice. His disrespectful eyes turned to Theodore.

 

“Yves Llewellyn is Ferdinand’s knight. Even the lord of Albrecht cannot take him away without a reason.”

 

“But Yves Llewellyn hasn’t been ordained a knight yet, so that’s incorrect.”

 

Theodore added with a smirk.

 

“I will recruit him to the Order under the direct control of the Emperor. I have already asked for permission from Sir Yves Llewellyn.”

 

He did ? When???

 

Puzzled, I tried to remember, but I don’t remember agreeing to his proposal.

 

“Really, Yves?”

 

Benjamin asked me, but the answer came from Theodore.

 

“I saw Sir Yves’ eyes saying so to me. ‘Please take me to the Imperial Palace’.”

 

At that blatant answer, me and Benjamin were both at a loss for words.

 

“Your Majesty didn’t ask for Yves’s permission.”

 

“Then I’ll give the order. Follow me, Sir Yves.”

 

I couldn’t understand why Theodore was so obsessed with me all of a sudden. But apart from my will, I couldn’t leave Ferdinand recklessly.

 

“It’s impossible. As the head of Ferdinand, I cannot allow it.”

 

Benjamin said it was impossible because I belonged to Ferdinand, but in reality it was because of Katarina.

 

As long as she had a master-slave contract, I couldn’t leave this place.

 

“I will pay the price.”

 

So when Theodore said that, I felt my heart sink.

 

Because there was only one ‘just value’ that could free me from the bondage that tied me.

 

Giving Katarina the Empress’s seat.

 

Because there was no other way to escape from Katarina’s master-slave contract.

 

“That’s also impossible.”

 

At this time, Benjamin’s resolute voice of rejection was heard.

 

For fear that he might mention the contract with Katarina, I had to panic.

 

Even if Theodore doesn’t recognize me, it’s because I didn’t want to let him know of my pitiful condition.

 

But Benjamin’s next words were a little unexpected.

 

“There is no price for Yves Llewellyn.”

 

It was a slightly touching remark, even while puzzled by the absurd confrontation between the two.

 

But as if I was the only one who was touched, Theodore muttered with a look of disapproval.

 

“Ferdinand’s young master is greedy. Just like your father.”

 

“As Your Majesty knows, Sir Yves is an outstanding man.”

 

Wait, is Benjamin talking about me?

 

Since when did I become an outstanding person?

 

Wasn’t Ferdinand’s Yves Llewellyn a pitiful idiot who couldn’t even become a knight officially?

 

“Then It can’t be helped.”

 

At this time, Theodore’s hand, which had been holding my wrist the whole time, slipped away.

 

He folded his arms and looked at me.

 

“According to your words, we can’t leave the person with such excellent skills as it is…”

 

In an instant, all the remaining expressions on his face disappeared.

 

The moment I faced him, a faint energy ran up my spine.

 

In my memory, he always had a gentle face, so Theodore, whose expression had disappeared, was unfamiliar, as if he was a completely different person than I had ever known.

 

He looked at me and Benjamin with piercing eyes.

 

“I will arrest Yves Llewellyn as the Emperor’s assassin.”

 

The Emperor’s assassin… ?

 

Without a moment to respond, Theodore waved his hand.

 

Then his knights, who were far away, surrounded me in an instant and pointed their swords at me.

 

“Assassin…?”

 

Looking at Benjamin who tilted his head, Theodore gave a deep smile.

 

“Yes.”

 

“Yves, did you try to kill His Majesty?”

 

Benjamin asked me with a very serious expression on his face.

 

“Oh no! Absolutely not!”

 

I panicked and protested.

 

“It’s unfair, Your Majesty. I’ve never done that before.”

 

“All my servants saw it. You threw a blunt weapon at my head. My life was in danger.”

 

Suddenly, a scene flashed through my mind. Oh, the apple I threw.

 

“That was a mistake…! You said you would definitely forgive me!”

 

The moment I was crying because I was upset.

 

“Yeah, I decided to let go of that little mistake.”

 

Theodore shook his head languidly and looked down at me. My face was reflected in his beautiful golden eyes.

 

“But I am a fickle emperor. Haven’t you heard of Albrecht’s young tyrant?”

 

Theodore, who lowered the corners of his eyes, smiled prettily and threatened fiercely.

 

Benjamin grabbed hold of my trembling hand. His narrow, curved eyes were so beautiful and alluring that there was nothing in the world like it. However, the glare was truly terrifying as if it was swallowing up the opponent.

 

For a brief moment, I thought of that.

 

Perhaps, all of the vile rumors about the young emperor were true.

 

Theodore, who has grown up, may have become a cruel and cold-hearted tyrant, unlike the young man in my memory.

 

“But Sir Yves Llewellyn. On the one hand, I am a very benevolent emperor, so I can be especially generous. If you accept my offer.” 

 

“Are you threatening me…?”

 

“You don’t want to be decapitated as the emperor’s assassin, don’t you?”

 

He didn’t deny that he was threatening me, even though I knew I didn’t mean to hurt him with the apple.

 

“Do you want to be decapitated?”

 

When there was no answer, he tilted his head and asked.

 

“You have a peculiar taste, Sir Yves Llewellyn.”

 

“Oh no!”

 

I felt like I was going to get my head chopped off, so I answered quickly.

 

Who in the world has a taste for being decapitated?

 

I wanted to get out of this place more than anyone.

 

I wanted to get away from the vicious Katarina that haunted me, and from the memories that made me weak.

 

However, I just didn’t have the right to decide on my course of action. I glanced at Benjamin, but he was more hardened than I was.

 

“Are you still not going to send Yves Llewellyn to me?”

 

“You can’t force her like that. Yves is….”

 

It was when Benjamin couldn’t let go of me and was staring at Theodore with a pale face.

 

Tap, tap, tap.

 

It was none other than Katarina who appeared with the sound of running shoes.

 

“Your Majesty…… !”

 

She stopped a few steps away and stared at me in the center of the strange confrontation.

 

When her maid whispered something in her ear, her face turned red and blue as if she had understood the situation too late.

 

However, she quickly suppressed her anger and smiled.

 

“Katarina Ferdinand sees the great master of Albrecht. Glory to Albrecht.”

 

She approached Theodore as if Benjamin and I were invisible, and bowed her head.

 

“I came running because you came without notice. I’m afraid I’ll give you the same disrespect as last time.”

 

She extended her words and glared at me.

 

“But you said you came to pick up Yves Llewellyn.”

 

As my name came out of Katarina’s mouth, Theodore turned and looked at her.

 

Katarina smiled gracefully and put her arm around me in a friendly gesture. 

 

“I’m sorry, Your Majesty, Yves Llewellyn belongs to me. You can’t take her away.” (Katarina)

 

Theodore stared at the woman who had stopped him.

 

“Didn’t you hear? This kid and I are bound by a master-slave contract.” (Katarina) 

 

“…”

 

Katarina’s cheeks slowly heated up at the sharp eyes staring intently at her. She was so shy and pretty that anyone who didn’t know her temper would have admired her. After a while, the corners of Theodore’s lips curled up.

 

“It’s you.”

 

“Your Majesty….?”

 

At the cold golden eyes, Katarina was momentarily startled. But she took up her courage and continued.

 

“If you’re going to take Yves Llewellyn, you’ll have to pay a fair price.”

 

“A fair price…? ”

 

“Yes, a fair price. The Empress’s position.”

 

It was the moment when Katarina was finally trying to show her greed.

 

Clank!

 

A cold blade touched the nape of Katarina’s neck.

 

“I like it too, paying a fair price.”

 

Theodore’s eyes bent and he swung his sword loosely.

 

“Aaaah!”

 

Everyone present, including me, looked at the scene in amazement. Katarina trembled, holding back the scream that broke out.

 

Bright red blood was seeping out of her skin.

 

“The fair value is this.”

 

Theodore said with a smile prettier than ever.

 

“Your life.”