Chapter 11

***

 

Contrary to his smiling face, Theodore’s eyes staring at Katarina were cold as if he was dealing with an inanimate object. This was the moment when someone was going to die and the voice got colder.

 

“Of course, Yves Llewellyn is too much for the price of your life.”

 

In the midst of everyone’s astonishment, only Theodore murmured in a sluggish voice.

 

“Ha, please save me…… !”

 

Unable to withstand the naked murderous intent, Katarina wept and begged for her life.

 

“I, I’ll give you Yves Llewellyn, so… ”

 

She gasped and searched her pocket, and a document enchanted with subordination came out.

 

‘Does she keep carrying that around?’

 

As if waiting for the day to hand it over to someone at any time, I was a little perplexed when I saw the document that popped out right away.

 

How the heck did you carry that with you every moment to annoy me even more?

 

“Hmm.”

 

Theodore slowly withdrew his sword.

 

In the master-slave document that Katarina presented, had my fingerprints saying that when I was young I was captured by Rudolph.

 

The moment the document was handed over to Theodore, the owner’s name was changed to his. In the first place, ‘fair value’ was the price of a desirable share subjectively felt by the owner.

 

Katarina, who had always wanted the position of Empress, finally recognized her own life as a ‘fair price’ above all else in the face of fear of death.

 

‘Then now I…’

 

I watched the master-slave document fluttering in Theodore’s hand.

 

‘Have I become Theodore’s servant… ?’

 

It was when I thought so.

 

Tearing~

 

The thin sheet of paper tore to shreds in his hand and lost its shape.

 

“Lyndon.”

 

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

 

The young man who appeared at Theodore’s call picked up the pieces of the torn paper.

 

“Burn it.”

 

“Yes.”

 

The man nodded his head and stepped back.

 

I stood blankly, somewhat shocked, and watched the whole scene.

 

The master-slave document that had been pressing me for a long time disappeared so easily.

 

“Why…… ?”

 

Unbeknownst to me, an embarrassing question came out of my mouth.

 

At that moment, Theodore looked back at me and smiled.

 

The face that had threatened Katarina viciously until a while ago was neat and gentle that made me wonder if it was a lie.

 

“I’m not taking you into slavery, Sir Yves Llewellyn.”

 

Thump!

 

My heart pounded strangely at those words.

 

“Now there’s no hindrance. Will you follow me?”

 

“Ah…… ”

 

“Once again, if you don’t come, you will be charged with assassination of the emperor. Of course, this is a very serious threat.”

 

“…”

 

Theodore threatened me with a very benevolent face.

 

And at that threat, my head slowly moved up and down.

 

After all, there were no more options, right? It was a tyrant’s threat.

 

A bright smile spread across Theodore’s face in an instant at my affirmative answer. But I couldn’t smile and glanced back at Benjamin. His expression was not good.

 

“Benjamin, I think I’ll have to follow His Majesty.”

 

“Do you have to go?”

 

“I guess……”

 

“Yes.”

 

Benjamin nodded, raising the corners of his mouth awkwardly.

 

“Even if you go to the Imperial Palace, stay healthy. I will visit you soon.”

 

“Yes, thank you. You take care, too.”

 

Saying goodbye to Benjamin, I proceeded cautiously.

 

It was a sudden event that I had never thought of, but on the other hand, it was also something I had always hoped for. I always wanted to get away from Ferdinand, where the memories of my gloomy childhood remain.

 

I glanced back at Benjamin and Katarina, who were standing blankly, and then followed Theodore.

 

When they could no longer be seen, Theodore suddenly stopped walking.

 

Then he turned to me and held out his hand.

 

Without realizing it, I trembled, and his long fingertips touched my hair. 

 

“I’m sorry, Sir Yves. Were you very surprised?”

 

Suddenly, he returned to the friendly face I knew, smiling softly and stroking my hair.

 

“But I couldn’t help it. Because I wanted to get you out of there.”

 

Suddenly, his fingertips trembled as he ruffled my hair.

 

“My hands are still shaking…… Will you hold my hand?” (Theo)

 

“….?”

 

As I stared blankly, he grabbed my hand and spread it out.

 

Then he pushed his hand into it and clasped my fingers tightly.

 

“Because I am afraid of blood…… .” (Theo)

 

I couldn’t understand him for a moment, so I blinked. Then I asked slowly. 

 

“You mean that you deliberately pretended to be a tyrant for me?” (Yvonne)

 

Why did he… ?

 

“A little… was it awkward?”

 

Theodore blushed shyly and lowered his eyes.

 

“It was weird, right? It was the first time for me to show such an appearance.” 

 

“No, not that….”

 

I shook my head and looked at him with an unknown expression, Theodore realized my question belatedly and bent his eyes.

 

“I told you, I have a very good eye. I like you.”

 

“But Your Majesty has only met me recently…”

 

He hesitated in embarrassment, but he cut my words softly.

 

“From the moment I first saw you.”

 

At that moment, Theodore’s golden eyes gleamed in the sunlight. 

 

“I’ve liked you since then.”

 

He asked me in a soft voice as I took a deep breath.

 

“So, may I call you by name?”

 

It was strange. Suddenly, a scene from our childhood flashed over his face.

 

[What were you doing here?]

 

[Hide and seek with a friend. How about you?]

 

[Treasure Hunt.]

 

The young Theodore, who bent his pretty eyes when asked what I was doing…… . The first meeting I thought of and the first meeting he remembered must be different moments, but strangely, I suddenly remembered the young man in my memory.

 

“Y-ves.” (Theo)

 

The soft, soft two-syllable name created by the slow tone made my heart tickle strangely.

 

He looked at me with a smile as if asking for permission, I nodded my head as if possessed.

 

***

*Benjamin’s POV*

***

 

The emperor, who broke into Ferdinand without prior notice, took away the nameless apprentice knight with such recklessness.

 

Originally, he didn’t bring up any engagement with Ferdinand, and Katarina’s condition was so bad that she couldn’t even get angry.

 

“Oh my God, what should I do? Lady Katarina…..! I need to call a doctor right away! How could an emperor do such a terrible thing……”

 

“Shut up, my head is ringing … let’s go in.” 

 

Katarina looked at the place where the emperor and Yvonne had disappeared with a pale face and turned away.

 

Then Benjamin, who was left behind, stared at the bloodstains that fell on the floor. Looking at the red blood, the memories of his childhood came  flooding back.

 

Yves Llewellyn…who was bleeding…. No, Yvonne Chernicia.

 

The little child that his now-dead father stole from Chernicia.

 

When they first met, the child was crying, crouching in an old third-floor room with a bloody scent.

 

[Why are you crying?]

 

When he asked that question, the boy* raised his head in surprise. (*The boy was the young Yvonne. She disguised as a boy)

 

The boy’s face, exposed in the moonlight, was startlingly beautiful, so Benjamin greeted him with a languid smile without realizing it.

 

With pale white skin, shiny silver hair, and green eyes shining like jewels…

 

Bright red blood stains on his cheek. There was the scent of death.

 

The red blood made Benjamin excited.

 

You came with the scent of blood…

 

Where did you come from?

 

Benjamin was curious about the boy.

 

He had his hair cut short like a boy and wore a dark robe, but Benjamin recognized at a glance that it was a girl.

 

The old third-floor room, which Rudolph often used to discipline Benjamin, was not a place for a cute little girl like her.

 

[Go back to your house. This isn’t the place for a little girl like you.]

 

He explained kindly, but the child did not move.

 

The child, who did not tell Benjamin how she got here, answered with a frown when asked for her name.

 

[Yves Llewellyn…..]

 

As soon as he heard the shrill voice engulfed in weeping, Benjamin felt his fate. Even though he knew the name was fake, he felt more attracted to it. It was like a fairy tale.

 

A little girl who appeared with the scent of blood and was a lie from head to toe.

 

‘What does your blood taste like? I’m sure it’ll be sweet.’

 

Like the small teardrops that wet the corners of your eyes when you cry, it’s ecstatic. My little Yves Llewellyn…

 

From then on, Benjamin went to see the child every day, and took care of her. And it wasn’t long before he found out her true name.

 

[The ‘vessel’ almost got hurt.]

 

[But it’s a relief. It’s a good thing for us, since we noticed in advance and protected the ‘vessel’ and made the emperor in that state]

 

Benjamin overheard a conversation between his father Rudolph and his aunt, Empress Margaret.

 

[Besides, we got the illegitimate child of Chernicia. If we use that kid as a sacrifice….]

 

Chernicia?

 

There was only one illegitimate child of the extinct Chernicia.

 

Yvonne Chernicia.

 

A small, powerless, but pretty girl.

 

What does he have to do to have that kid?

 

He gave her food to keep her from starving, and gave her medicine to keep her from getting sick.

 

He sang a lullaby to her so she wouldn’t have nightmares and held the sleeping child’s hand tightly.

 

He stayed by her side until dawn so no one could hurt her.

 

He told her in a witty way not to give up on the will to live. For Benjamin, who was less talkative, this was a very difficult task.

 

He went to the pathetic knight apprentices who tormented the little girl and slaughtered them mercilessly. In the end, he killed his father and even killed Empress Margaret. (*woa! Benjamin killed everyone!)

 

It was not his intention that Theodore became emperor because of that.

 

But if he had known that things were going to go this way, he would have dealt with that too.

 

“Leobrante to be ripped and killed.”  (*Theodore is from Leobrante)

 

Contrary to the fierce profanity he harbored, the tone that flowed through his lips was utterly meaningless.

 

“You* got to that position thanks to me, but you* did not know the grace and repaid as my enemy …… ” (you*= Theodore)

 

Crack.

 

Benjamin blinked slowly in disbelief, the sound of bones clashing from his clenched fists quietly.

 

“It is not known that Emperor Theodore had an acquaintance with the young sword of Chernicia…..”

 

Benjamin bit his lower lip painfully, and his eyes narrowed coldly. Theodore’s eyes, who were looking at Yvonne, bothered him to no end.

 

Those eyes… … It was similar to how he (Benjamin) looked at her.

 

It wasn’t difficult to find the point where the two met again. After the emperor’s visit yesterday, the man’s aura radiated unpleasantly from her wrist.

 

“No, Yves.”

 

A low, hazy voice murmured as if in a dream. 

 

“What have I done for you? I can’t let you leave me like this.”

 

 As if he was brainwashing himself, his voice was muffled. 

 

“I’ll take you back again. So wait, my love.”

 

The corners of Benjamin’s eyes twitched and curled.