12. A shallow heart.
The children rolled their eyes with expressions like, “How did Mommy know that?”
Yves said in a stern voice to the hesitant children.
“It’s bad to bully others.”
“Oh, but Mr. Azo made Mommy angry…….”
“That’s why Er and Lia wanted to get revenge for Mommy…….”
The voices of the children who were stuttering and making excuses became smaller and smaller.
“Er, didn’t you promise your mother when you started learning swordsmanship? Chernicia’s strength is to use it to help people.”
“Well, I, I did, I’m sorry, Mommy…….”
Erwin’s face turned white with tears.
“And was it Lia who brought Er here? I think it was Lia’s idea to set the trap, right?”
“Lia, Lia, wanted, too, Mommy…….”
Odelia’s face also looked tearful.
“Ugh, I, I’m sorry…….”
Jericho, who was hanging from Odelia’s back, also apologised.
“You should apologise to him, not me.”
Yves pointed to Theodore standing in the back and said,
The children approached Theodore with grim faces.
“Uh……? I’m fine, I’m fine.”
Theodore quickly waved his hand, saying it was okay.
Then this time Yves stern voice turned to him.
“Covering up your mistakes doesn’t help educate the children at all.”
Unfortunately, only the words “doesn’t help” stuck in Theodore’s ears, whose self-esteem has been endlessly lowered.
Theodore’s face also became somber.
“We are sorry, Mr. Azo.”
“Lia and Er were wrong.”
“Does your feet hurt because of the chestnuts? Lia will take off the chestnuts.”
“Er will heal you so you won’t feel pain.”
The children took off the chestnuts from Theodore’s shoes and blew on them so that he wouldn’t feel pain.
Theodore stared blankly at what the children were doing.
At that time, his face became brighter, forgetting the gloom of a moment ago.
Their hands pulling and throwing away the maple leaves and chestnut stuck on his feet were so cute and lovely.
The children helped Theodore and then ran back to Yves.
“Mommy, we said sorry to Mr. Azo.”
“Lia and Er won’t be bad kids anymore.”
Erwin and Odelia put their hands together on the belly button and glanced anxiously at Yves.
Then Yves bent down toward the children and sat on their eye levels.
She patted the children’s heads and said in a soft voice.
“Yes. Well done, Er and Lia. From now on, even if you’re angry and upset, don’t hurt anyone else, okay?”
“Yes, yes…! I won’t bully anyone anymore!”
“Lia and Er are good kids now!”
The children, who noticed her voice had softened, quickly jumped into her arms and rubbed their heads.
“We have to get out of here now. Lia knows the way out, right?.”
“Yes, yes! Lia is a Tturaego!”
“Mommy, it’s a secret…… Lia is actually stronger than Tturaego!”
Odelia looked triumphant when she whispered in Yves’ ear, saying that it was a secret from Erwin.
Yves smiled briefly at the children who quickly recovered their energy.
She raised herself and glanced back at Theodore.
“I’ll go to the Imperial Palace right after I drop the children off.”
Theodore nodded slowly.
“Mom will go to the palace again?”
“Hmm… Lia wants to be with Mommy…….”
The children clung to Yves’ arms as she walked forward.
However, for some reason, Theodore, who was standing alone far away, bothered them.
‘Did Er and Lia bully Mr. Azo too much?’
‘Maybe Mr. Azo is upset that we’ve got Mommy now…….’
Erwin and Odelia grabbed Yves’ hands and walked, but glanced back before leaving.
The moment their eyes met.
Theodore smiled faintly and waved at the children.
＊ ＊ ＊
“I, I…! I… take me with you.…!”
Jericho, who was left alone, shouted at the children who left him behind.
“You devil children! Ungrateful things! I’ve been playing with you and taking care of you, and now you left Jericho without knowing your grace!”
As soon as Yvonne appeared, the children who were distracted by him left him behind.
It was when he was huffing and complaining.
His tail was lifted high.
Theodore stared at the suspicious-looking squirrel.
The day of Tenebris’s occupation of the Imperial Palace, fortunately, ended before many days had passed.
When Theodore returned to the palace, Tenebris was said to have already disappeared.
The swarms of demons that covered the sky were scattered, and the situation in the palace slowly stabilized.
Fortunately, Celine and I handled the demons in advance, and Theodore returned in time to recover, preventing the rumours from spreading to the outside of the palace.
Theodore became very busy because of what happened in the Imperial Palace.
The death toll in the palace from Tenebris was well over 20.
He ordered the knights to take the bodies of the poor dead to their families and comforted them.
Those who did not know the details of the accident called it a sudden explosion of demons.
Later, the position of managing demons was created under the direct control of the Emperor.
The sudden flood of demons from four years ago calmed down, and people gradually regained peace.
And it’s been a while.
A lot of things happened in the meantime.
The biggest change within the empire was Ferdinand’s fall.
Benjamin was charged with attempting to assassinate the Emperor, destroying the royal palace, attacking Brian, who is a commoner now under the Emperor’s protection, and also had to stand on trial for attempting to harm Erwin, a child.
He admitted all his sins. People were appalled at his courage.
At the same time, it was known that the Emperor did not fall in love with Katarina previously at all, but signed a contract with her to reveal Ferdinand’s corruption.
The Emperor meticulously hid the fact from his aide, and submitted the contract he had written with Katarina to the court as evidence.
And in the letters Katarina sent to the Emperor under the contract, additional evidence of Benjamin’s guilt, which was not revealed also came out.
For example, he used black magic to kill Rudolph Ferdinand and Empress Margarate…….
Katarina, along with Benjamin, was also known to have destroyed Theodore’s memory, but she, who had already died in the last disaster, could not be brought to justice.
Instead, Benjamín was proven as guilty and brought to the streets for attempting to kill the Emperor with prohibited techniques.
I went to see Benjamin for the last time.
A man once called Ferdinand’s prince was called out with his hands tied together behind his back.
I saw him in the passage of time with Theodore.
I saw him killing Rudolph and Empress Margarate in the name of protecting me.
I also saw him sacrificing his blood and life to help me escape.
It was all his sacrifice I didn’t know.
But I still couldn’t understand him.
Rather than appreciating his sacrifice…… I got goosebumps.
I was surprised to learn that he could rationalize his mind and actions in such a way and hurt others without hesitation…….
And that his murderous intentions reached Erwin…….
I looked at Benjamin sitting opposite and asked in a calm voice.
Don’t you have anything to say to me?
But he didn’t say anything.
He just stared at me with his mouth closed.
After staring at him silently for a while, I turned around and came out.
That’s what happened yesterday.
Benjamin is already gone.
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12. A shallow heart.
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