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Chapter 64 - Even if You Don’t, I Can’t!
64. Even if You Don’t, I Can’t!
As soon as I met the bright eyes like spring flowers, my startled mind immediately calmed down. I don’t know about other people, but I don’t need to be wary of Enrique.
Even at that moment, the voices of the men talking about something got closer.
“So what did that drunk b.a.s.t.a.r.d say to me yesterday!”
“How would I know? I said I don’t remember!”
Enrique pulled me gently as if I was afraid of the quarreling voices.
“Come this way.”
Following Enrique’s guidance, we moved forward. I was sweating as the horses were neighing and whispering to me as I moved.
[Give me sugar cubes next time too.]
[I will share everything I know, neigh!]
‘Okay, okay! Be quiet, quiet!’
I worked hard to calm the horses. I was worried that people would come in from outside because of the horses, but fortunately, such an accident didn’t happen.
There was an undiscovered side door inside the stable that Enrique led me through.
I took a deep breath and exhaled in the clear air that was distinctly different from the stable. Then, I suddenly realized that I was still holding hands with Enrique. Glancing at his hand, Enrique jerked his hand off and then relaxed.
“I apologize, Your Majesty. Please forgive me for touching Your Majesty’s precious body recklessly.”
Enrique, who had a blank expression for a moment at my resolute forgiveness, burst into laughter.
I was a little surprised by the refres.h.i.+ng laugh that was like one in a drink commercial.
‘As I thought, pretty boys are the best.’
Enrique asked me with a smile on his face,
“By the way, I heard that Your Majesty was going to be at the tea party today, but I didn’t expect you to be in the stables.”
“U-Ung. I ended up here somehow.”
“Can you tell me what happened in the stables?”
I tried to pa.s.s it over, but Enrique didn’t budge. He was obviously smiling kindly, but a certain unspoken pressure that couldn’t be ignored was felt.
“I heard you talking to someone.”
I flinched in surprise and then tried to calm myself down again. I can’t be seen shaking.
‘Did you hear me talking with the horses?’
No one other than Aiden knew that I could communicate with nature.
It was just that animals liked me, the seed of G.o.d.
“I wasn’t talking. I just… got lost.”
He didn’t seem to believe me at all.
It was when I was sweating and telling unfamiliar lies.
A cold voice separated Enrique and me. As I lifted my head from the gust of the wind, I could see fluttering black hair.
Aiden, who was blocking my way, was staring at Enrique with cold eyes. Surprisingly, Enrique also looked at Aiden with a firm expression.
“Her Majesty doesn’t like it.”
At Aiden’s extreme choice of vocabulary, I looked at Enrique.
‘It’s not that I don’t like it.’
I tried to make excuses in a hurry to avoid Enrique from misunderstanding, but my turn did not come. Enrique, who was ridiculed, spoke.
“Are you Devlin’s Devil?”
“Unfortunately, it’s been long since I’ve abandoned that d.a.m.n nickname.”
“Well. Let’s see if that’s the case.”
A cold air flowed between the two men. Being caught in the middle of a random battle of nerves, I became very troubled.
I pulled Aiden’s hem to tell him to stop. Aiden, who had been silent for a moment, nodded reluctantly.
He told Enrique to get lost!
‘I told you to stop, I didn’t tell you to fight!’
I was so surprised that I froze in place. At this rate, war will break out.
“If someone should get lost, it should be us getting lost, Aiden. This is Enrique’s home…”
Hehe. I smiled awkwardly and grabbed Aiden’s hand as if I was s.n.a.t.c.hing it and dragged him towards the tea party.
“I should go now. See you nexth time, Enrique!”
“Yes, Your Majesty. It was an honor to see you after a long time.”
Fortunately, Enrique just let me go. But somehow, the smiling face looked different from usual, maybe I was mistaken?
All the way back to the tea party, I was nagging Aiden.
“Aiden. How could you talk so recklessly like that then. What if Enrique got hurt?”
“I don’t think he was.”
“Aiden is not Enrique. Enrique is such a soft child!”
“Like h.e.l.l he is.”
Even when we were almost back at the tea party, Aiden’s att.i.tude was irreverent. There were times when he was out of control, but it was never as severe as today, so I was a little fl.u.s.tered.
“Anyway, Enrique is a friend of mine, so don’t speak harshly to him, okay?”
This time, he didn’t answer at all.
‘You don’t treat me like an Emperor now, is that it…’
It was time to admire Aiden’s personality.
“…we don’t even know where his dirty blood came from, right?”
The voice of a young girl caught my attention. It was a voice I heard from the tea party.
I somehow held in my breath and waited for the back story.
“Actually, I don’t like how he shows up on a day like today. A low life who doesn’t know his standing attending a party held by Javier, a prestigious family.”
“Is that so?”
“Of course. Originally, he couldn’t even set foot in here, but he got the status of a knight thanks to Her Majesty’s grace, right?”
When I heard that far, I knew who the main character of the girls story was. And as if finis.h.i.+ng it off, the young lady continued to speak as if mocking him.
“Devlin’s devil, Devlin’s dog. Isn’t it funny that someone who used to be a loyal dog on the Emperor of the enemy country went into asylum in Ermano? It’s disgusting.”
Ha. It was so ridiculous that I laughed. And what’s even more absurd was that Aiden’s expression didn’t change even though he was listening to someone cursing him. It’s like someone who had gotten used to listening to it so much that it’s become dull.
‘Does that mean this isn’t the first or second time?’
It was as if something had hit my head hard.
“…why aren’t you saying anything?”
Aiden reacted as if he didn’t really know what the problem was. It’s like he was listening to someone else’s story.
As I stared at him, Aiden reluctantly spoke.
“Even if I do, nothing will change.”
“And it doesn’t matter if it changes or not.”
But it mattered to me. I clenched my fists and my teeth.
‘How dare you talk behind Aiden’s back.’
Even if you don’t, I can’t!
“…just watch. I will destroy them.”
“You don’t have to.”
“I’m going to.”
I put Aiden’s hand away without hesitation and took a deep breath to calm down my excitement. Then, I smiled brightly and walked forward.
“What kind of story are you talking about here?”
Perhaps they were surprised about my unexpected appearance, the eyes of the young girls who gathered widened.
I quickly scanned the faces and ident.i.ties of the girls. They were all young children of happy families. Among those girls, there was only one person who persisted on cursing Aiden. And soon, I knew who it was.
“We were having a small chat.”
‘Caught you, you b.a.s.t.a.r.d.’
Just by hearing her voice, I could tell that the girl in front of me was the culprit. I didn’t know her name, but she was definitely the only daughter of Count Miteron. I was also keeping an eye on Count Miteron because he was similar to Duke Javier.
I smiled brightly and asked Lady Miteron,
“What kind of chatter? Let me know.”
“We were talking about the latest trends in ribbons.”
“Huh? Aiden isn’t a ribbon though?!”
When I asked with a bright smile, the faces of the group of young girls in front of me were flushed with blood. It was such a dramatic scene that I couldn’t believe it, even though I saw it with my own eyes.
“Since when did Aiden become a ribbon? I don’t know anything about that?”
“What did you say? Dirty blood? Someone who doesn’t know his place?”
“It’s a misunderstanding, Your Majesty.”
“Huk. Are you suspecting that I heard wrong?!”
I opened my eyes wide and covered my mouth with both hands. Then, the young lady of Miteron began to sweat and make excuses.
“I, It’s from rumors I heard. It is definitely not sincere. Please trust me, Your Majesty.”
“It seems that Lady Miteron trusts what other speak without doubt.”
The atmosphere became irreparably chilly. The others, who were with Lady Miteron, took a step away from her. As if they had nothing to do with her.
“I have to go now. Have a good time.”
After waving my hand, I turned around without any regrets. Before I could take a few steps, someone called me.
It was Emily who called me. Emily apologized with a pale face.
“I am ashamed of myself, Your Majesty. I am solely responsible for such an unfortunate occurance at my party. Please punish me.”
“It’s not Emily’s fault.”
In fact, Emily was far away when the girls were talking, so she wasn’t relevant. With a sad face, I muttered helplessly.
“I don’t deserve to be here, so I should go…”
“A monarch is not an example of G.o.d. My knight doesn’t deserve to be at this party, so I also don’t deserve to be here…”
Maybe they were surprised by my force because everyone had a puzzled expression. Emily, having managed to come to her senses, spoke.
“T-that is nonsense.”
“What nonsense… So I should go back to the Imperial Palace. The low life should know his place…”
Aigoooo. So sad, so sad. It was when I had a sad expression on.
“Lady Miteron. Please ask Her Majesty and Sir Aiden for forgiveness.”
Emily’s voice, as cold as frost, fell heavily over Lady Miteron’s head.
“T-that. I apologize. I have caused concern to Your Majesty on Sir Aiden by pa.s.sing on rumors.”
An apology that was pressured by the young lady of Javier holding her leash.
“Well, that’s fine.”
But I gladly accepted the apology. This was not forgiveness.
‘For bigger revenge, a bigger picture.’
The road back to the Imperial Palace.
I leaned on my chin and looked out the window dyed from the setting sun, then I turned my head to look at Aiden.
As if he had been looking at me the whole time, our eyes met immediately.
‘Just what are you thinking about?’
Aiden was both easy and difficult. Sometimes I can see his thoughts clearly, and at other times, it’s like a misty lake.
“Aiden. What about Duke Javier?”
“It is not as easy as we thought it would be. They say that they meet regularly with Ade, but he doesn’t seem to open up easily.”
The more you have to hide, the more frightening it is to reveal yourself. It was already expected that a considerable amount of time would be required. Because the result of today’s visit to the mansion gave us the fact that he was collecting stones with holy power.
“Then, is there any connection with Count Miteron?”
Count Miteron, Duke Javier’s right hand man. He wasn’t a parliamentary aristocrat, but he had strong social influence and ran the capital’s large gambling houses and auction houses.
‘A delicious prey.’
Aiden, who had been thinking about something, answered only after one beat.
“…Yes, there is. There was one time he entrusted a quest to the guild.”
“What was it?”
“It was a quest to find the man who fled with the ledger.”
I’m sure things will be easier than we think. I smiled meaningfully.
“So, did you find him?”
“Good. Gather information on Count Miteron. I’ll also look, so use the guild. I’ll leave it to you.”
There was also the expectation that it would be quiet for a while, even if Duke Javier’s subordinates were removed.
“Oh right. Prepare your mind ahead of time.”
“Our guild is going to get rich soon.”
A gambling house and an auction house. How should I use it? I’m so excited I’m trembling!
Aiden narrowed his eyebrows, looking at my sinister smile.
“If it’s because of me-.”
I cut off Aiden’s words resolutely.
“This is a blessing for doubting your trust in me.”
“So it’s for me.”
The guild’s wallet will also be a bit bulky. Maybe we’ll need more money to deal with Duke Javier in the future?
As I read the material Aiden gave me, I was amazed.
“It’s a lot longer than I thought?”
Smuggling, tax evasion, excessive tax collection, and even getting money from illegal slave auctions!
It was perfect. It was surprising because it was the epitome of such a perfect taming material.
“Because of his gambling house.”
“It’s good for me. Did you find the man and the ledger?”
“Yes. We’ve got new recruits.”
“Looks like all of the preparations are ready.”
I immediately sent the letter I had asked from Oscar in advance.
Esteban, who took care of urgent work, took a breath. Somehow, his chest was empty, his heart was depressed, and his head was spinning.
‘…I’m lacking Mabel.’
However, if he showed withdrawal symptoms of Mabel, Gustav would be in a riot and the imperial court would annoy him, so he pretended to be as resolute as possible and coughed in vain.
“Mabel is nowhere to be seen these days.”
“It seems that she is with friends her age. They were busy exchanging correspondence. She was excited to go to the tea party today.”
“It’s letters, so Oscar’s hands must be busy.”
“Yes, that is so.”
At last, Esteban smiled faintly. How can you not be happy to imagine a scene where two cute children sit together and write a letter?
“Come to think of it, Mabel is already old enough to make friends her age.”
“Her Majesty is very caring, so she will surely make good friends.”
“Yes. That is true.”
Esteban and Gustav smiled and imagined Mabel chatting over tea with the little girls she had just met.
And at that time, Mabel, who’s very caring, was in her carriage running to spit on the friends of her age.