Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
A ray of light could be seen through the dark darkness.
Leila raised her blurry eyes.
Then she saw a man smiling affectionately at her.
She knew it was a man, but she couldn’t remember who it was.
He feels familiar, it looks like he’s someone I’ve seen often… Who is it?
Leila, who was staring blankly at the man, slowly blinked her eyes.
“You must be sleepy.”
Is that so? Now that I heard him, it seems to be like that.
The only reason she couldn’t sleep was because she was afraid of hearing thunder again.
She needed something else to mask the thunder.
“…sing me a song.”
At Leila’s request, the man smiled slightly.
“You’re making a rude request, you know?”
“You don’t want to?”
“And you’re talking without honorifics.”
The man acted like he wouldn’t do it, but he slowly opened his mouth.
A low, sweet voice resounded softly. It was a charming voice.
His singing made her gradually become deaf and actually could no longer hear the sound of rain and thunder.
In Leila’s ears, only the sound of Kalian’s singing could be heard.
Since she couldn’t hear the thunder anymore, her body, which had been trembling for a long time, calmed down little by little.
This is… a lullaby?
It was her first time. For someone to sing a lullaby for her.
Leila just always overheard the lullabies sung to other people.
So she got scolded several times.
They said she’s surely an ignoble child, that’s why she’s acting like one.
However… A lullaby is such a sleepy song, huh?
Sadness disappeared in her eyes where the tears had stopped, and drowsiness filled the spot.
Distant drowsiness came rushing in.
Even though she thought that she shouldn’t fall asleep like this, Leila couldn’t defeat the drowsiness.
As her black eyes disappeared into her thin eyelids, her body drooped helplessly in Kalian’s arms.
There’s a faint smile on her lips that didn’t match her tear-soaked face.
“What are you smiling about?”
Kalian chuckled as if it was ridiculous, and swept over Leila’s hair that flowed over her face.
With his thumb, he wiped away all the tears left on her face and looked at the scars on Leila’s ears.
Her ears were full of scars. There were many old scars besides the ones that had just occurred. There were also dents.
It looks like she has been suffering from this for quite some time.
“I guess you’re not simply afraid of thunder.”
What on earth happened to you, Leila?
He was curious, but he had no intention of asking. Because it’s a big deal if he asked for nothing and dug through the painful wounds.
He just wanted the wounds she had now healed well without leaving any scars.
Kalian wiped off the sticking blood, didn’t mind getting his sleeve dirty.
After all the blood was almost wiped off, Kalian laid Leila on the sofa and called Rahel.
Rahel freaked out when he saw the scratches on Kalian’s face.
“Your, Your Majesty! You, you’re hurt…!”
“It’s nothing. It’s just little scratches.”
But, they’re not little scratches.
Rahel swallowed what he was about to say and looked quickly at Leila, who was lying on the sofa.
Leila’s condition didn’t look very good either.
These two, did they have a fight?
No, it doesn’t make sense to fight with the emperor, and even so, how dare she hurt the emperor’s face…
Kalian looked at Leila with a subtle face and said firmly.
“You see nothing.”
It meant to keep everything he saw here.
All till the scratches on his face.
“And bring the ointment.”
“Should I bring a blanket too?”
Rahel asked tactfully.
Kalian thought for a moment and nodded.
“Also, bring all the documents I saw here.”
Tonight, it seemed like he wouldn’t be sleeping, so he thought to look at the documents.
I woke up out of a clear blue sky.
Usually, it would make my head hurt like it was breaking, but strangely, it didn’t hurt at all.
I felt rather refreshed. My eyes and ears stung a little, but other than that, there was no pain anywhere else.
It was refreshing. I felt like I could do anything.
Today, I’m going to finish the things I couldn’t do yesterday.
…by the way, how far did I work yesterday?
I couldn’t remember. I had never done this before.
When I opened my eyes in bewilderment, I saw the familiar ceiling and blinked my wide-opened eyes.
That ceiling… The aide’s office?
That means I’m in the aide’s office, but…
Why am I sleeping here…
Things I wish I hadn’t remembered came to mind sparsely.
From hiding under the desk in surprise when the thunder and lightning struck while I was working.
Being terrified and trembling until meeting Kalian and being held in his arms. All of it.
I couldn’t remember what happened after that, but I was sure I had caused him trouble.
I can’t believe I have caused trouble to the Emperor and not anyone else.
Even if I was crazy, I wasn’t usually this crazy.
I wanted to cry, so I covered my face with both hands.
“How can I see His Majesty now?”
“How can you see? You can just see me.”
When I heard Kalian’s voice out of nowhere, I turned my head in surprise.
Only then did I see Kalian sitting at Baron Delrond’s desk, looking at the documents.
My mouth opened on its own.
“Sin, Since when…”
“Since when you stared blankly at the ceiling?”
That means you’ve seen it all from the beginning!
No, rather than lying in front of the emperor.
I hurriedly got up from my seat, tidied my disheveled hair and clothes, and bowed my head toward Kalian.
“I, I apologize! How dare I sleep in front of Your Majesty…!”
Kalian put down the document he was looking at and looked at me.
“How’s your body?”
I nodded my head vigorously to indicate that I was really okay.
Kalian let out a small nasal sound and glanced at me, then he got up from his seat and walked towards me.
At a distance closer than I thought, I took a deep breath and didn’t dare to exhale.
If he had something to say, I wished he could say it soon, but Kalian didn’t say anything and just stared at me.
His gaze was very burdensome and it made me tense, so I held my hands tightly together.
Then Kalian frowned and took my hand.
“If you put too much strength, the wound will get worse.”
Only then did I realize that my nails were broken.
Looks like I had another seizure.
Sometimes, when my stress reached its peak, I would have seizures on a thunderstorm night.
Like ripping my skin.
Or scratching other people blindly.
Wait. That means…!
I hurriedly checked Kalian’s face.
It was faint, but there were red scratches on his cheeks and on the nape of his neck.
They were scratches that didn’t exist when I went to report yesterday.
“Did, did I cause that?”
I asked, hoping it wasn’t, but Kalian smiled awkwardly. It was positive that it was me.
Oh my God.
I can’t believe I hurt the emperor’s face. I must be really crazy.
How am I supposed to apologize for this? No, am I going to be arrested right now?
The refreshing feeling suddenly subsided.
My mind went blank and I was nervous.
My mouth was dry.
I was restless and bowed my head repeatedly.
“I, I apologize. How, how dare I hurt Your Majesty’s face…”
My lips trembled and I couldn’t speak properly.
Because this wasn’t a problem that could be solved simply by apologizing.
Even if I was punished severely, there was nothing to say.
As I kept my mouth closed because I didn’t know what to say, Kalian shrugged.
“I’m kidding. It’s not because of you, so don’t worry.”
It was obviously a lie. A pure white lie to ease my worries.
Instead of feeling lighter, my heart became heavier.
The fact that I caused trouble to such a good person weighed heavily on my heart.
I also was ashamed to show such a bad appearance.
It was a pity that the only way to express this feeling right now was by saying these words.
“I’m telling you it’s not because of you.”
“You don’t believe me?”
Kalian asked with a stern face.
It was disloyal to dare to doubt the emperor’s words.
Although I didn’t feel ashamed to say yes willingly, I still replied “no.” in a low voice.
“Then it’s fine.”
As if satisfied with that alone, Kalian smiled brightly and rang the bell on the desk.
The attendant came in and bowed politely.
“Yes, I understand.”
I glanced out the window where the bluish dawn was still there.
Looking at the atmosphere outside the window, it seemed that the sun had not risen yet.
Fortunately, it didn’t seem like I slept very long.
But I couldn’t believe I was staying out. Sarah must be very worried.
“Leila, eat breakfast first, then go home to rest.”
Go home to rest?
I shook my head in bewilderment.
“I cannot do that. I have something…”
Kalian dismissed it.
“You need a break.”
“I definitely told you to rest.”
Kalian said firmly as if he wouldn’t change his words and then went outside.
After returning from the Duke of Giltian, Philen couldn’t sleep all night.
It was because of what Duke Giltian said.
“Then the rumor about Lady Leila Thebesa being the Emperor’s mistress must be false.”
What an absurd story.
There’s no way that the knowledgeable Leila could have become the emperor’s mistress.
Philen’s face hardened as he suddenly remembered how Kalian and Leila were having a friendly conversation.
Philen had never seen Leila smiling so brightly when talking with another man.
Of course, since the opponent was the emperor, she couldn’t talk while frowning.
But there’s no need for her to smile so brightly.
And even hugged him there, right?
“…as expected, did she become the emperor’s mistress after all?”
Thinking like that, Leila’s confident actions made sense.
Is that why you’re holding on without coming back to me, Leila?
Suspicion swallowed up his anger and it gradually grew bigger.
Philen’s face was terribly distorted.
“HUGO! GET READY TO GO OUT RIGHT NOW! I NEED TO MEET LEILA!”
I have to meet her to see if the rumor is true.