Chapter 13

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Seeing Jackie harden his face at my greeting and then walked away, I knew he was bullied.

 

It was something that had never happened in Chernicia.

 

[Why such a face, Eve?]

 

I was so upset and embarrassed that I tried to hide it from Benjamin. But the tears came to my eyes at Benjamin’s concern for me.

 

[So, Yves. Don’t even think about making other friends. I’ll be your only friend.]

 

So, for the past 10 years at Ferdinand, I did not interact with anyone my age other than Benjamin.

 

One day, Katarina, who suddenly appeared in the mansion and took me as her servant, made life harder.

 

Katarina often beat me and teased me.

 

The wounds on my body increased, but it was left unattended.

 

When Benjamin learned of this later, he became very angry.

 

I first learned that day that Benjamin, who was always less emotional, could be so angry.

 

Benjamin was like a benefactor to me.

 

But even though there was Benjamin, who had been my support for a long time, Ferdinand had always been a place I wanted to escape from.

 

Of course, there was nothing that I wanted to become outside of that place.

 

Even after leaving Ferdinand, I didn’t know what to do.

 

Up until now, of course, I thought that I would die without being able to escape Ferdinand after being bullied by Katarina for the rest of my life.

 

Then I met Theodore and became his personal knight.

 

Now that I am staying in the Imperial Palace, I just wish I could know the life and death of my family. If they are alive, I want to hear their news. If they’re dead, I want to see their graves.

 

And then…

 

“What did I want to do when I was young?”

 

The freedom I have for the first time in 10 years made me wander.

 

As a child, I was born as the youngest daughter of Chernicia and did nothing but run around holding a sword.

 

It was not my job to pass on the family.

 

I wanted to follow my siblings and become a knight, but Grandma Gransy forced me to marry Ernst and become the Crown Princess.

 

But now that I think about it, it’s a little strange.

 

Until Empress Margaret was still alive, it was Ernst who was mentioned as the next emperor. So, I, who was appointed as the Crown Princess, would have naturally become the Empress if there were no special events.

 

It was the same with Katarina.

 

After the fall of Chernicia, Rudolph brought a girl from the field to be raised as Ernst’s mate. As soon as young Katarina was enrolled in Ferdinand, I remember the rigorous education she had to go through to become the Empress.

 

But why didn’t Grandpa Gunther educate me as an empress, who was also seen as Ernst’s mate?

 

What an unnecessary thought that I would not have had just a few weeks ago.

 

“Doesn’t your legs hurt to stand like that, Yves?”

 

With no Katharina to torment me and a warm belly, all kinds of thoughts were rushing from one to the next, and Theodore’s calm voice cut the tails of those troubled thoughts.

 

“I am fine, Your Majesty.”

 

I answered in a dignified voice.

 

The place I was at was Theodore’s office, and I, appointed as emperor’s personal knight, stood close to him and guarded him.

 

“Ummm……”

 

Theodore, who raised his head from the document he was reading, looked at me with terribly dissatisfied eyes.

 

“I’m sitting comfortably, but seeing you standing like this hurts my heart.”

 

“Huh? But I’m your escort knight, and I can’t sit….”

 

“It’s an order.”

 

Theodore got up from his seat and grabbed my arm tightly and led me to the sofa.

 

“Sit here and eat your cookies, Yves Llewellyn.”

 

“But I have to protect Your Majesty…… .”

 

“You can sit down and do it. Before you came, all of my close escorts have sat in this seat at least once. Isn’t that right, Armin?”

 

Theodore sought the consent of his aide, who was reporting with an enormous amount of paperwork.

 

“Of course they did…..”

 

The Emperor’s aide, Armin Meyer, glanced at me and nodded.

 

“Did you hear me, Yves?”

 

Theodore smiled and forced me to sit on the sofa.

 

“… like that. You can sit and work.”

 

I nodded my head as I sat down on the sofa, skeptical. Then, I picked up the cookie, which I had been looking at since earlier.

 

I glanced at Theodore and took a bite of the cookie.

 

Then, as if satisfied, he raised his eyebrows and returned to his seat with a smile.

 

I sat back and glanced at Theodore at work.

 

After becoming a knight, I observed him closely whenever I had free time.

 

Contrary to the words of the knights who cursed behind him, the person I saw was a person of kindness itself.

 

He was also very kind to the ministers who came to the office.

 

[The Minister of Finance’s insight is very surprising. I am very satisfied with such a wonderful job. I want to reward you personally… Since you’ve had a hard time, why don’t you have a very long and deep rest now?] 😂

 

He was also kind to the servants of the Imperial Palace.

 

[Are you the one who made this dessert? That’s great workmanship. Why don’t you try to open that naughty mouth for a second? I’ll feed you myself. Now, how does it taste? Is it delicious? Tell me if it’s delicious.] 😂

 

He was kind enough to even take care of the welfare of the knights who cursed him behind his back.

 

[Isn’t the knight’s job difficult? Escort personnel will be reduced. From now on, go home immediately after dinner time. Don’t worry, I have a great knight. I don’t want you to stand out from me anymore.] 😂

 

Theodore was always kind to them, but strangely everyone was afraid of him. (😂 oh Yvonne, they all probably got fired, or worse)

 

I felt a strange sense of discomfort in that appearance.

 

For example, the Minister who was sent to have a vacation, cried out that he didn’t want to rest. 

 

Like the servant who was fed the dessert by Theodore pounded his head on the floor violently like he was killing himself. Or a knight who was contemplating and staring at me, unable to continue speaking.

 

“It’s really strange… … ”

 

Sitting on the sofa, eating cookies in a comfortable position, I muttered to myself as I looked at Theodore’s face, who was as good as an angel when viewed from any angle.

 

“Why is everyone afraid of Your Majesty…… ”

 

At this time, Theodore’s hand, who was scribbling something on the paperwork, smiling brightly at the aide, stopped.

 

Soon after, the aide left and it was just me and Theodore in the office.

 

“Hmmm…”

 

Suddenly, he sighed and covered his face with both hands.

 

“Your Majesty?”

 

“It’s tiring.”

 

“Are you sick… ?”

 

When I asked because I was worried that he might be ill, Theodore with a very depressed face walked towards me.

 

“Will you comfort me?”

 

“….?” 

 

“Hold my hand, Yves.”

 

He sat down next to me and looked at me.

 

“Hold hand?”

 

I lowered my head and looked down to see his trembling hands.

 

Theodore whom I met again and whose hands often shook.

 

Maybe he has a hand tremor.

 

“Did you notice it too? Everyone is afraid of me…”

 

“Ah…… .”

 

Did he feel it too?

 

Well, I wouldn’t have known.

 

But everyone was clearly terrified.

 

“Because of the position of emperor…”

 

As if created by God, his beautiful eyes fluttered in a wounded shape.

 

“Everyone has a hard time with me and is afraid of me. But sometimes I just want to be comforted…… .”

 

There was no strength in his muffled voice.

 

“You know what, Yves? It’s only you and my mother who passed away a long time ago, the only ones who held my hand…”

 

Theodore lowered his eyes and muttered his words.

 

His long eyelashes cast a shadow over his face.

 

I felt very sorry for Theodore like that, so I gently held his hand.

 

‘By the way, when I was young, you held my hand…. Do you not remember Yvonne Chernicia anymore?’

 

Somehow I was a little upset at the thought that he no longer remembered his secret childhood friend.

 

‘But it’s a long time ago, and when I was very young, so maybe you don’t recognize me now.’

 

“What are you thinking about?”

 

Theodore asked as he touched my rough hand.

 

“No, nothing….”

 

 

“Really? That’s a bit upsetting.”

 

“…..?”

 

“I wanted you to think of me.”

 

Theodore said with a bright smile, as if he had ever been so depressed.

 

“I often think of you.”

 

“Your Majesty thinks of me….?”

 

When I asked the question in embarrassment, his eyes folded in a more beautiful arc.

 

“It’s human nature to think of pretty things.”

 

When I couldn’t understand what he meant, he closed his eyes and added with a soft smile.

 

“And you are pretty. The prettiest thing I’ve ever seen, Yves.”