Chapter 21

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Half leaning against the railing, I stood up and greeted him politely.

 

“Leila Thebesa, I greet the sun of the Empire.”

 

“Such a distant greeting.”

 

The Emperor smiled bitterly and stroked his chin.

 

“That’s why I didn’t want to reveal my identity to the Lady. That’s too bad.”

 

“It was something I would find out one day.”

 

“That’s true.”

 

The Emperor’s lips loosened.

 

“So, do you know my name now?”

 

“Of course. How can I not know Your Majesty’s name?”

 

“Tell me.”

 

“Your Majesty, Emperor Kalian de Cheffel Yousveldia.”

 

“You know it exactly.”

 

The Emperor, Kalian, slowly walked towards me and spoke.

 

“Now that you discovered that I’m the emperor, can I speak comfortably?”

 

It was a matter of course. I nodded slowly.

 

“Please make yourself comfortable, Your Majesty.”

 

“Okay.”

 

Kalian spoke casually as if he had been waiting.

 

“What are you doing here?”

 

“I was getting some fresh air.”

 

“Well, the banquet hall is a little hot.”

 

Coming to my side, Kalian leaned his upper body on the terrace.

 

The wind gently brushed his hair.

 

Unlike him, who was leaning comfortably, I was tense and my back was straightened.

 

“It would be uncomfortable to stand like that.”

 

“It’s okay.” 

 

“Your tone is completely uncomfortable.”

 

Kalian’s eyebrows furrowed in discontent. He suddenly grabbed my wrist and made me sit on a chair on the side of the terrace.

 

How could I sit while the Emperor was standing? It couldn’t have happened.

 

As I tried to stand up in surprise, he gently pressed my shoulder.

 

“Sit, don’t stand up.”

 

“But Your Majesty is standing, how can I…”

 

“It’s okay. I like standing.”

 

Kalian gave a playful wink.

 

“And I wear comfortable shoes. The Lady wears uncomfortable heels, right?”

 

As Kalian stood, he glanced at my heels that were slightly exposed, and clicked his tongue.

 

“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, women are amazing. How could they wear something like that?”

 

I tacitly agreed with him, as I felt the same way.

 

“I will not refuse the favor you have given me.”

 

“Yeah. Please do not refuse.”

 

Kalian smiled slightly and leaned against the railing.

 

“So, is the party fun?”

 

“It’s fun.”

 

“You’re lying. You made a very boring face a while ago.”

 

Did you see that? Well, you heard what I said, but you couldn’t have seen it.

 

As soon as the lie was exposed, I put on an awkward face.

 

I thought he would rebuke me for lying to the emperor, but surprisingly he didn’t say anything.

 

“Actually, I’m bored too.”

 

Rather, he agreed with me and sat down next to me.

 

“It’s better to look at the documents than to have a party or something.”

 

I looked at him, slightly surprised that he was thinking the same thing as me.

 

Kalian, whose eyes met mine, closed his eyes beautifully and smiled. With his back against the black night sky, he was more beautiful than usual. He looked like a real fairy.

 

“Why are you staring at me like that?”

 

“Ah, sorry…”

 

“I wish you could tell me why you stared at me like that instead of saying sorry.”

 

I couldn’t say it. How could I say that I stared at him because he was so beautiful?

 

I kept my mouth shut because it was something I couldn’t dare to spit out.

 

Kalian stroked his face with a serious look.

 

“Is there something on my face?” 

 

“No, it’s not.”

 

“Then, do I look ugly today?”

 

That can’t be.

 

It made me laugh seeing him saying that so seriously. 

 

“Fufu.” 

 

I let out a small laugh and Kalian looked at me silently.

 

Oh, no, I shouldn’t have laughed like this.

 

I quickly closed my mouth and lowered my head.

 

“I made a big mistake…”

 

“No, I didn’t see you in that way. I just thought it was pretty.”

 

The moonlight shone brilliantly over his blue hair.

 

Kalian smiled with a more beautiful smile.

 

“Don’t get me wrong. I looked at the Lady because you were so pretty.”

 

If another man had said such a thing, I would have thought he was flirting with me, but strangely enough, Kalian’s words didn’t sound like that.

 

What he said was plain without any evil intentions. So it wasn’t burdensome, but instead, it was embarrassing. Because he really meant that from the bottom of his heart.

 

I turned my head with burning cheeks. And Kalian smiled lightly and looked at me like that.

 

I was glad that it didn’t look like a mockery. Barely calming my face, I coughed lightly and looked back at him.

 

“You’ve been making fun of me ever since.”

 

“I never made fun of you.”

 

Kalian tilted his head slightly. The moonlight poured down over his swaying blue hair.

 

“I’ve been telling the truth, but the Lady keeps thinking I’m making fun of you.”

 

“Do you speak to other people like this too?”

 

“Yeah. To whomever I like.”

  

“…does that mean Your Majesty likes me?”

 

“I like you.”

 

“Why?”

 

It was a reflex question because I was so curious.

 

It might feel a bit rude, so I shut my mouth and looked into his eyes. Fortunately, there was no sign of annoyance on his contemplative face.

 

After thinking for a while, Kalian opened his mouth as if he had reached a conclusion.

 

“I don’t know.”

 

“Yes?”

 

When I asked back in confusion, Kalian looked at me as if he didn’t understand.

 

“Should there be a reason why people are attracted to people?”

 

“…isn’t it normal?”

 

“For example, like what?”

 

Like what… 

 

After being silent for a while, I gave a few reasons that came to mind.

 

“Beautiful, or smart.”

 

“Is that all about the Lady?”

 

“The, There’s no way!”

 

I didn’t mean it that way!

 

Embarrassed, I raised my voice in denial, and Kalian laughed out loud.

 

“It seems that the Lady doesn’t know your worth well.”

 

My worth?

 

When I blinked at the incomprehensible word, Kalian smiled a little.

 

“The Lady really doesn’t know anything.”

 

“I’m sorry, Your Majesty.”

 

“You have nothing to apologize for. Because it’s also fun to mine and process undeveloped gemstones.”

 

Kalian smiled strangely and stroked his chin.

 

“So I ask you, what kind of emperor do you think I am?”

 

It was a question out of the blue.

 

What should I say without offending him?

 

Rumor has it that the new emperor was a ruthless man with no sympathy, but he wasn’t the emperor I met. He was a warm and kind man. He knew how to be considerate of other people.

 

But since this was my very subjective opinion, I couldn’t say that he was a good person. And I couldn’t say he was a bad person either.

 

After thinking for a while, I came up with the most sensible answer.

 

“I think you are smart.”

 

“Smart. If Ver hears it, he will pass out.”

 

I was worried about what would happen if he felt offended, but looking at his expression, it seemed that it wasn’t the case.

 

That’s a relief. I sighed deeply and rubbed my chest.

 

“It’s nice to think highly of me, but I’m not as smart as the Lady thinks I am. I just have a little exceptional brain for tricks.”

 

Kalian smiled mischievously and tapped his head with his index finger.

 

“Thanks to this brain, I was able to survive until now and become the emperor.”

 

Kalian’s lips drooped for a long time.

 

“Otherwise, I would have died a long time ago.”

 

Died… The somewhat eerie word sent shivers down my spine.

 

Kalian smiled mischievously again as I stared at him silently with a stiff expression on my face. 

 

“It’s a joke, so don’t be so stiff.”

 

Is that really a joke?

 

I thought it was like that when I saw his mischievous smiling face, but his eyes were terribly cold.

 

They often said, ‘Eyes reflect the window of the heart.’

 

Anyway, it seemed like he was trying to pretend it was a joke as I stiffened because I was too surprised. 

 

Then, there was only one answer and one reaction I had to show. It was to smile brightly and say, ‘I see.’

 

“My Lady?”

 

For some reason, I couldn’t do that. No, I knew exactly why.

 

Kalian’s eyes, which were cold with old wounds, were so familiar as looking in a mirror. That’s why I couldn’t turn it over as a joke.

 

“I must have made you uncomfortable again.”

 

Kalian stroked his chin as if he were in trouble.

 

How dare I make the Emperor feel like that. 

 

I hurriedly lowered my head.

 

“I’m sorry, Your Majesty.”

 

“I don’t want to hear you say sorry.”

 

“Ah, sor…”

 

“I don’t want to hear it.”

 

Kalian cut off my words.

 

I didn’t know what to answer, so I kept my mouth shut.

 

“Your Majesty.”

 

A man came silently and called him.

 

It was a man with dazzling silver hair. Looking at the uniform he was wearing and the sword he had around his waist, he seemed to be Kalian’s escort knight. 

 

When the man’s eyes met mine, he slightly lowered his head. I greeted him as well.

 

Then, the man looked at Kalian with an expressionless face.

 

“You have to go.”

 

At those words, Kalian sighed a little and nodded.

 

Are you going? 

 

Then I had to see him off, so I got up in a hurry.

 

“Argh!”

  

Maybe because I suddenly stood up, my body staggered greatly without any strength in my legs. 

 

“My Lady!”

 

Fortunately, thanks to Kalian, the mishap from falling was prevented.

 

Embarrassed that I had stumbled so badly, I lowered my head with a red face.

 

“Are you okay?”

 

“Yes, yes. I’m sorry, Your Majesty.”

 

“At times like this, it is better to say thank you than to say sorry.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

When I said it quickly, Kalian smiled and let me go.

 

“If there’s any inconvenience, I’ll call the palace doctor.”

 

“No. I’m okay.”

 

“That’s a relief.”

 

Kalian tapped my shoulder and went inside.

 

The man who came to call him lowered his head to me and went inside.

 

I was alone in an instant. Loneliness enveloped my body.

 

Even though I was alone earlier, I didn’t feel lonely at all, but now I’m strangely lonely.

 

I missed the sound of people talking.

 

Should I go inside now?

 

Philen would look for me soon, so I thought it’s better to go in.

 

Cheolkeog–

 

Before I could open the terrace door, the door swung open and Philen came in.