It was Kaelus’ first outing since his suicide attempt. Of course, the butler and the other servants were full of worry.
“Lady Hestia, please take good care of Lord Kaelus…”
Uross whispered in a low voice, so that only I could hear him. I also nodded discreetly so that Kaelus wouldn’t see.
Kaelus looked a little pale, perhaps nervous about his first outing in a long time. Nevertheless, the peculiar coldness remained.
“Let’s go, Hestia.”
Leaving behind the butler’s worried eyes, he quickly climbed into the carriage.
For the first time, I went out with my favorite, but honestly, I was more nervous than excited. Pleasant excitement is only possible when you’re at a moderate distance, and now!
“Hmm? Is there anything uncomfortable?”
It’s because of you, you!
“No, I’m just a little nervous.”
The purple eyes looked at me in disbelief, but I didn’t try to meet them.
The carriage soon fell silent. It was because we weren’t the type to say anything to break the silence. The most confusing thing at times like this is the eye contact. All I did was look outside once in a while, touching the window only with my fingers.
Unlike me, Kaelus stared through the carriage window with a blank stare. The expression was so beautiful that my heart throbbed for no reason.
Feeling his gaze, I deliberately lowered my head in fear that his concentration would be broken. And in my head, I focused on what I would do when I met Helios at the palace.
Today’s goal was to learn about Diana’s tea party preparations in addition to delivering my foreshadowing to Helios. It would be nice if I could snoop around here and there as an excuse for a long visit to the palace. It’s icing on the cake.
In the current imperial family without an empress, Diana holds the highest position as a female adult. How much did she control the experienced servants who had been with the royal family for decades? In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the success or failure of this tea party is in their hands.
“Do you have any concerns?”
I was surprised by the unexpected voice. Kaelus’ expressionless face was looking at me.
“Ah… I was just thinking about this and that….”
“Is it something serious?”
“No, it’s not like that. But I thought it was my first visit to the Imperial Palace..”
Come to think of it, I’m accompanying Kaelus now. Then I should reconsider going around the palace. Wouldn’t it be a problem if he ran into someone uncomfortable – Diana or Helios? Unfortunately, we have no choice but to take a rain check on the preparation of the tea party.
“You didn’t look around properly the other day.”
I gave a general nod to Kaelus’ question.
“Yes, I was very nervous because it was my first visit.”
I answered casually and waved my hands hastily.
“But I’m not going around the palace today. Since you’re here this time, I’m just going to finish my business and go home.”
Kaelus muttered bitterly.
“Is it because of me?”
I shouldn’t have said, ‘Because you’re here, too.’ I think I made Kaelus’ heart heavy for no reason.
Whether he knew how I felt, he continued in his usual indifferent tone.
“Then let’s go back on our own as soon as we’re done. I don’t have to wait for you, and you don’t have to worry about me.”
I was embarrassed and immediately tried to refute it. But Kaelus raised his hand to shut me down.
“I know you don’t trust me, but I’m not a child. Don’t worry, I’m not stupid enough to follow you around and take care of you.”
“No, it’s not like that. What are you going to do if you fall down?!”
His answer went to the back of my mind. My voice raised without my intention.
Nevertheless, Kaelus answered indifferently without changing his countenance.
“I’m not that weak. Anyway, that’s what I think.”
That stubborn, single minded bonehead. It was the real appearance of my favorite Kaelus that I had forgotten. I’m angry right now, but I’m also happy to be honest. Gradually he seemed to be returning to his old days.
I guess he thought it was unexpected for me to accept it with a sigh. Kaelus’ eyebrows were raised slightly. But that’s all. He didn’t say anything else.
Yes, the crown princess, who is busy preparing for the tea party, won’t rush around to the palace where the emperor lives in this situation. I can only hope she’s stuck in the lily palace.
As soon as the carriage entered the palace, I signaled the coachman and stopped the carriage.
“I’ll get off here and walk to the lily palace. See you at the marquis.”
As I walk, I can see the atmosphere of the servants and above all, isn’t it better to give up the carriage to the patient?
Kaelus turned away without much objection. Although he didn’t look at me, I got off with a smile.
I looked for a moment at the marquis’ carriage, which was slowly moving away. And soon, I walked vigorously toward the crown prince’s residence.
It was very rare for a noble woman to walk alone without a single maid. Perhaps because of that, the passing people of the palace did not seem to think that I was the talk of the town, Marchioness Hestia. Everyone passed by indifferently without looking back.
I didn’t come to Helios because I didn’t set a time to meet anyway, so I walked leisurely. I think it was good that I decided to act move from Kaelus. I am grateful to him for the delay.
But after a while.
“It’s quite spacious….”
Before, I didn’t know I had to walk this much because I came to the lily palace by carriage. I regret getting off at the front gate now, but what can I do?
“You have to walk.”
I answered my own question.
My feet are beginning to hurt in my shoes. I couldn’t sit down anywhere, so I looked up and around. Just in time, I found a bench moderately covered by shrubs, and I sat on it with a slight limp.
I slipped off my shoes and hung them on my toes. I thought I could only live when the pressure on my feet disappeared.
Then, chatter came from afar. I stopped breathing without realizing it.
“Madame Merope seems to have a lot of difficulties in many ways.”
“It’s been a while since she had a tea party this big.”
“And it’s not easy to convince her highness.”
“I know. It’s not just a difference of taste….”
The voices quickly faded away.
It was a short conversation between the ladies, but it was enough to grasp the situation.
Madame Merope. The maid who served the deceased Empress. She was one of the most experienced people in this palace. Her inability to ‘persuade her highness’ meant that Diana and her were at odds over the tea party concept.
Of course, Diana had the right to decide when the two are at odds. But it would be better to accept Madame Merope’s opinion. Because her years and experience are no match for that of Diana, who has just risen from commoner to crown princess.
Judging from Diana’s taste in the novel, Diana would definitely want a tea party with a simple and frugal atmosphere. However, they are not unmarried young ladies, but the Crown Princess is meeting with the noble ladies in charge of each family for the first time, and the concept of simpleness is not suitable. Even if you don’t wear fancy gold jewelry recklessly, you need to raise your dignity. Didn’t Madame Merope probably emphasize this?
I wish we could bump into each other. The imperial palace’s sense and the new royal family member that just rolled in. It just so happens that the confrontation is so clear!
I’m going to have to tell Countess Erinnis about this. She may be able to attract some useful public opinion because she is a quiet woman when her best friends sit together.
I applied for an audience and waited for a while, but soon I was called into Helios’ office.
“It’s surprising that you came to see me first.”
Helios said this as soon as he saw me. It’s rather good that you don’t have to set a cumbersome example. I immediately went to business in a dry tone.
“I have to tell you about the upcoming future. I apologize for the bad news, your highness the crown prince.”
“It’s a bad future?”
Helios came up at once with a grimace and sat down.
“Tell me, marchioness.”
“In a few days the emperor will suddenly fall ill. But I don’t know the exact time or what kind of disease it is.”
After a moment of silence, questions poured out as if a bank had burst.
“You don’t know when? So you can stop him? Can he recover?”
My voice was calm while his voice was growing louder.
“To be honest with you, you can’t stop it completely. However, keep your royal highness as close as possible to his majesty. Then, even if an accident occurs, you will be able to use her healing power immediately. Of course, there will be less aftereffects.”
Helios’ face flushed in confusion.
“The future you originally saw… How was it?”
I replied in a dull way.
“He’ll collapse while you’re dealing with the affairs. The servant, who was nearby, ran straight to the palace and called for the holy princess, but the time was delayed, and the king’s movements became uncomfortable and his energy was greatly reduced.”
Helios covered his face with his hands. Even if it was a future that had not yet happened, it seemed quite shocking.
“Totally…unstoppable… I mean….”
“I understand that your highness the crown princess still sees him every night and exercises her power. And yet this is bound to happen.”
“Then what the hell is she doing…!”
I didn’t feel a hint of pity at the sight of the man muttering hopelessly.
So who said to monopolize the power of healing only for imperial family? Even if you get a holy healing shower every day, those who are sick will get sick and those who will die will die.
“But if you know in advance and prepare yourself, he will recover quickly even if he falls. Don’t worry too much. That’s why I’m telling you about the future.”
Helios breathed a deep sigh. I waited in silence for him to regain his composure.
In a moment,
“…the only way to prepare is to keep Diana near the king?”
“That was the best I could think of, but if you have any other good ideas, you may do so.”
“Diana is so busy these days.”
“It’s because of the tea party. It’s a tough job.”
Helios looked up at me.
“If you don’t know when he’s going to faint, it means you don’t know if it’s today or tomorrow, right?”
I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
Helios sang his servant with a pale complexion.
The chief of the lily palace, which is the closest to the crown prince, came running like a log.
“Did you call me, your grace?”
“Tell the crown princess. Head for the main palace right now. I’ll catch up soon.”
It was rather me who was heartbroken by his instructions. Kaelus was in the emperor’s place right now!
Zenon, the captain of the ship, ran back like the wind. I didn’t have time to catch him.
Looking at the back of it in a stupor, Helios’ voice rang.
“What’s wrong? Is there a problem?”
I grabbed my forehead without realizing it. What should I do? Should I tell you the truth?
“I’m asking you what it is, marchioness.”
The same seemed to be true of Helios, who was nervous. The hesitation will only make him even more anxious. I closed my eyes tightly and confessed.
“My husband is now at the palace….”
I guess he didn’t expect this kind of answer. Helios’ expression was rarely very blank.
I answered him again.
“Kaelus is presenting to his majesty the emperor. To avoid encountering the crown princess, we were supposed to return separately as soon as the meeting was over..”
Helios shut up at once and for all.
“It’s going to be okay, right?”
“…If Kael is talking to him, we can run into him outside after.”
There was no room for further hesitation. I got out of my seat right away.
“I’m sorry, your grace. I’m worried about my husband’s condition, so I have to get up first.”
“I said I’d go anyway, so let’s move together.”
We left the lily palace and headed for the emperor’s residence.
It is also called the emperor’s main palace-the lion palace because of the statue in front of the palace. I hurried to the door.
While he was catching his breath, Helios asked the guard in front of the palace.
“Did Marquis Kaelus come out yet?”
“Yes, your highness,”
This time I asked.
“Has the crown princess entered yet?”
“Yes, she went into his majesty’s place after receiving urgent messages.”
Oh, my God, Diana. You’re incredibly quick. Helios suddenly ordered to go to the emperor, but you came running without a question? The saint who used to scold the high priests!
In any case, the reality remains unchanged. Kaelus eventually met Diana at the palace.
Helios and I had no choice but to wait until the two of them came out to us. First of all, it was not possible to invade the place where the emperor and his subjects were talking alone, and the grounds for our invasion were weak.
Diana was the exception. Thanks to her healing powers, she was able to ignore most taboos in the palace. Unless the emperor specifically ordered a ban on entry, Diana could enter and leave the bedroom where he slept.
It was a privilege that transcended even the crown prince.
“… The crown princess seems to be really concerned about his majesty.”
I was a little choked up, so I couldn’t stop talking. I have to control my emotions perfectly, but I failed this time.
Helios sighed quietly, too.
“The other servant said he was walking near the Lion Palace just in time. That’s why she arrived so soon….”
It’s funny that coincidences always overlap when they’re bad. It has already happened anyway. I hope Kaelus comes out without a hitch.
Then I heard Helios’ bitter voice.
“The marquis once told me,”
You must be talking about when you came to check on Kaelus’ marriage. I waited quietly for his next words.
“With me and Diana… He said he couldn’t smile like he used to.”
Is it a kind of declaration of an end to friendship? Of course, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to quit your relationship at all, but at least it’s a sign that you’re going to abandon your position as a best friend.
Prior to his return, he lost Kaelus to death, and after my return, he followed his own will. Helios was destined to lose his best friend in life anyway.
His face stiffened and he could hardly straighten it out.
“My husband sometimes has difficulty breathing when he’s in a bad emotional state. Your Highness is around, so first aid will be quick.”
Helios couldn’t say anything at my complaints.
Diana’s appearance was simply a sickening drug cycle for Kaelus. Kaelus himself said it’s okay because he’s found some stability, but that’s what he says when she’s not in front of him, and no one knows what’s going to happen if he encounters her in person.
Still, it’s a relief to see that there is no particular disturbance inside. If any one of them fell down, it would have gone crazy.
The door to the living room room opened. A white-faced Kaelus came out.
He glanced at the hardened Helios, and then immediately turned his gaze to me.
“You came after all. You don’t have to worry.”
I held out my hand like I was possessed by something. in a perfectly natural motion As if asking him for an escort.
And Kaelus gracefully held my hand in front of Helios.
“Let’s go back, Kaelus.”
He turned his back and glanced at Helios. Helios only stood beautifully like a pillar of ice.
Kaelus really didn’t say a word to Helios.
“Are you okay?”
In the carriage homeward, Kaelus was white and quiet. As if to prove that he was fine, his expression was very disturbing.
I grabbed his hand quickly. It was cold.
“Yes, it’s all right. It’s all over now.”
How do you feel when you suddenly face the cause that made you want to die? I don’t dare to guess.
Terrible love and hatred. He wanted to die because of her, but his heart beats because of her again. How on earth should we deal with this terrible contradiction?
“You did a great job. Kaelus, you did a great job.”
My favorite who must have been overwhelmed with shame when facing Diana. How much he must have wanted his heart to be firm as a rock. Nevertheless, walking straight out without being disturbed to the end is proof that Kaelus himself tried hard enough to not die.
Kaelus’ blank face slowly turned toward me.
“I’ve done a good job…?”
His eyes turned into a cold sneer.
“What do you know, Hestia?”
As a reader of this novel many times, I probably understand more about the world than you do. Kaelus.
But I didn’t plead. Because it’s not my goal to be recognized and accepted by Kaelus. He may vent his resentment on me. If only it would comfort him and make him feel at peace.
“I guess your foresight must be able to read people’s minds, right? Is that why you’re pretending to know?”
Kaelus’ sharp purple eyes flew towards my face and stayed there. I bowed my head in silence. Rather than those sharp eyes, it is more painful to worry about the pain he is unable to talk about. I wish I could scream.
I felt his cold anger that could even freeze my breath, but I was rather happy.
Rather, I lowered my body so that he could pour out his emotions to his heart’s content.* This is all I can do right now.
*TN: she’s looking down so he can sort out his feelings without her seeing
The carriage soon became so quiet that I could not hear a breath.
“How have you been?”
The butler and the lady-in-waiting came out to greet us.
Kaelus went up to his room, building a cold air, without replying. They looked at me with round eyes.
“Phew, the marquis, he’s in a very bad mood. I’ll tell you the details later.”
The butler and the lady-in-waiting looked at each other for a moment and immediately nodded.
“Then I’ll see you in your room after I go to Kaelus.”
The butler went up the stairs to Kaelus, and only Clarice the maid remained behind me.
She asked anxiously after a long sigh.
“Did anything bad happen?”
“Yes, the thing I wanted to avoid the most happened. Oh, by the way, how’s the tea party dress going?”
“Oh, I told the tailor the design you wanted. The sketch will arrive soon.”
“I see. It’s going well.”
With the help of Clarice, I took off my dress and removed my accessories, and soon the butler Uross reappeared.
“Kaelus says he wants to cool off by himself.”
I informed the two that Kaelus met Diana while talking to the emperor alone. And also that Diana had the power of healing and was able to go in and out of the emperor’s room without restriction.
The butler and the lady-in-waiting were very embarrassed.
“But that’s why there’s no point in being alone, right?”
“There was no way to stop it because the Emperor did not forbid it.”
I purposely hid the story that Helios sent Diana in a hurry because of my ‘prediction’. Since I could not mention the contents of my foresight to them.
The butler shook his head.
“Master must have been quite surprised.”
“I’m afraid so. And on the way back, he felt even worse because I said something a little presumptuous.”
Clarice looked embarrassed next to him, too.
“I’m fine though. Because Kaelus showed his feelings a little bit. If he had kept it to himself, he would have had difficulty breathing as before.”
The butler bent down at once.
“I’ll have to go to Kaelus again with the doctor, Lady Hestia”
“Okay, let’s do that.”
After sending out the maid, I laid my nervous body on the bed.
I should have stopped him more aggressively when he said he was going to the palace. I didn’t know the prince would send Diana as soon as I said the emperor was about to collapse.
I should have calculated the future more closely. I should have figured that Helios would act more hands-on when I informed him of my foreshadowing.
“Please stop making mistakes…!”
I bit my lip. It’s a shame that Kaelus held out so firmly, wasn’t it almost a big deal?
In the future, if I want Diana and Helios to kneel in front of Kael, I must not be sloppy for a moment. We don’t know what kind of butterfly effect a minute’s mistake will cause.