Asha’s eyes widened as she walked through the bushes.
“Sheppy……! Why are you alone in this place? You scared me. Could it be that you were waiting for me here?”
Jackal, who managed to transform successfully, nodded in relief.
Asha smiled slightly as she petted him.
“Really…… Jackal can’t be here…….”
Jackal’s eyes seemed sad at those words.
He was supposed to reveal his identity to Asha soon, but he’s not ready yet.
Furthermore, it was easy to be found out if he revealed his identity in such an open space.
He thought it would be better to observe the situation more carefully before acting.
Asha took the reins and went for a walk with Sheppy.
“Sheppy, go play freely. Okay?”
Asha patted him on the back, willing Sheppy to run freely across the grass, if only for this once.
But Jackal looked back at her with a slightly uncomfortable expression and remained motionless.
He wanted to be with her, even in this brief moment.
But when Asha forcibly pushed his buttocks, he was startled and inadvertently walked forward.
Asha smiled and waved her hand.
She expected Sheppy to jump on the grass like a riotous pony and roll over the flowers to its heart’s content.
Jackal looked around, sighing to himself.
Since it was the Imperial Palace, he could find flowers blooming everywhere.
He pretended to go for a walk and quickly returned to Asha.
He had a pretty red tulip in his mouth.
Asha’s eyes widen as she looks at him from afar, wagging his tail.
A horse with a flower in its mouth…….
Asha covered her mouth with her hand and smiled innocently.
“How can you be so romantic? You are truly a gentleman!”
Jackal smiled warmly at her innocent smile.
His runny nose was dripping a little due to pollen.
When he came over and offered her a tulip as if proposing, Asha took the flower with a smile on her lips.
Closing her eyes and smelling the scent of the tulips, she said admiringly.
“Smells great. Thank you, Sheppy.”
Seeing Asha happy as if she had received a rose from her lover, Jackal felt satisfied.
He had no intention of picking roses in the first place, but even if that wasn’t the case, he strangely couldn’t find any roses here.
Instead, he picked tulips.
The floral language of red tulips is ‘confession of love‘ and ‘eternal love‘.
Asha picked two light pink apricot blossoms from the surrounding tree and put one of the blossoms in her own ear and the other in Sheppy’s ear.
His ears fluttered as he felt a tickling sensation.
Jackal cautiously walked beside Asha, in case his face turned red like an apricot flower and the flower fell out of his ear.
The back of the two people walking side by side along the flower path as a couple was like a beautiful painting.
So they took a slight turn around the road ending the dreamy walk.
It was time to part with Sheppy and return to the cramped palace.
“Sheppy, I’ll see you later. I had a lot of fun today.”
Asha said goodbye to Sheppy and went back the way she had come.
Sheppy stood still and watched her to the end as Asha walked away.
He still had the pretty, soft apricot flowers on his ears.
He didn’t even move when a servant approached him, even after pulling the reins. Then Asha turned around and waved her hand.
So when she completely disappeared from his sight, Jackal sighed to himself and was led back helplessly by the servant.
He wanted to stay with her, but he could only see her at certain times of the day.
The flowering ceremony was coming up soon, and he wanted to take her to Lycaon’s new home.
On the way back to the Empress Palace, Asha found a mark she had never seen in the sparsely populated hallway.
Asha tilted her head at the wall.
She used to put an X on the walls of the path, where she had run away in the past and failed, which she had second thoughts about.
Who made this mark..…?
That was when Asha was lost in thought.
Suddenly, a shadow appeared in the corner and covered her mouth.
Asha looked up with surprised rabbit eyes.
Standing there was a man with cold eyes, covering his nose and mouth with a black hood.
“…… You have to follow me quietly, Vanessa.”
Asha’s eyes shook.
Meeting a kidnapper in broad daylight, even in the Imperial Palace, was truly surprising.
Whether there was numbing powder on the cloth covering her mouth, Asha’s eyes gradually closed as her body relaxed.
But it was then.
Suddenly, the kidnapper screamed, and red blood splattered on her face.
Asha flopped on the floor with the kidnapper.
“……gosh, you’re already a handful, what should I do with you?”
She heard a languid, relaxed voice.
Asha looked up, trembling at the familiar feeling.
Karaf was there.
But contrary to his languid tone, his red eyes were terrifyingly cold.
When he made eye contact with Asha, he immediately relaxed his terrifying expression and said.
“I told you. I will not let you die.”
Then, along with the cries of a horse, the sound of horse hooves was also heard in the distance.
Asha looked at Sheppy, running from the end of the hallway with wide eyes.
Jackal, one step behind, alternately looked from Asha to Karaf to the unidentified man who had fallen to the ground with wide eyes.
Asha blinked and looked at Sheppy.
He knew she was in danger and she was so thankful that he ran to her like this.
It was then that Jackal tilted his head and looked around.
“…… Your Majesty! Lady Vanessa! Are you all right!?”
Duran also hurriedly ran over.
Karaf shook the bloodstained sword, then slowly returned it to its sheath.
“I didn’t kill him, so take him to the torture chamber and find out who ordered it. He showed up later and allowed me to catch the kidnapper myself, so whatever happens, we must find out.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Duran roughly tied the hands and feet of the kidnapper who had fallen to the ground and dragged him away.
“Were you very scared?”
Asha, who was still on the ground, looked at Karaf blankly.
He dropped to one knee and looked at Asha’s face.
Perhaps because of the anesthetic, her eyelids were trembling halfway down.
Karaf took a rose-embroidered handkerchief from his chest pocket and wiped the blood from Asha’s cheeks.
“Why are you wandering around this place alone? Did you even get lost while walking with that horse?”
At his playful question, Asha was momentarily dismayed but responded with a hint.
“I was a bit curious about the structure of the Imperial Palace…… Sonya often gets lost, so I wanted to know in advance.”
“Right. This imperial Palace is really large and complex. It’s easy to get lost if you wander around without an escort. We could encounter a killer like today without knowing it.”
Karaf said it was like it was nothing, but Asha felt a chill run through her body.
Jackal looked at Asha with pitiful eyes as the words ‘without escort’ hurt his self-esteem and made him feel guilty.
Karaf looked at Asha and said.
“You’ll have to get used to it.”
When Asha looked up, Karaf spoke seriously.
“In this palace, people are trying to end my life. Now that a butterfly appeared next to me, they won’t leave you alone either. They will try to tarnish and damage your reputation.”
Jackal’s expression turned complicated.
He was still convinced that Asha would be in danger if she stayed by his side.
But in her previous life, Asha had never been attacked by assassins.
At that time word spread throughout the Empire that Emperor Karaf hated her, and it became public knowledge that Vanessa could not make him bloom.
But now, the attention of the nobles is focused on Karaf’s excessive interest, but in the past, she was like a doll that poses no threat to the surrounding powers.
Asha smiled bitterly.
“Always stay close to my sight. That way, I won’t be worried.”
Asha didn’t answer, but Karaf stood up with an expression of understanding that he had already adjusted to such a disrespectful attitude.
“Can you walk?”
Asha got up, but her legs were shaking a little.
Karaf steeled himself and grabbed Asha’s trembling hand.
Jackal glanced at her from the side.
Asha also glanced at him anxiously.
Karaf met her eyes and said cautiously.
“Drink a cup of tea with me, you need to calm down.”
It was a date.
He faithfully followed the author’s advice, ‘Don’t ask her out of the blue, creates an opportunity that doesn’t exist and do it in secret’.
Asha nodded perplexed.
When he turned his head, Karaf’s face lit up like a flower in full bloom.
Finally, that damn pink book works.
Karaf put a fist to his mouth with a friendly but somewhat serious expression and thought there’s a reason that there’s a reason why that book is the most popular……. and coughed loudly.
“Let’s go to the rose garden and have tea. It’s a beautiful place with many flowers, you will like it. If you want, you can take your favorite Shappy or something with you.”
…… It’s Sheppy, you bastard.
Jackal glared at him when he got his name wrong.
“Can I really do that?”
When Asha asked with a smile, Karaf happily said.
“Yes. Since you loved that horse, I’ll treat that horse well. The best food will be served to him.”
Then, seeing Asha’s pale complexion brighten, he was sure he was following the book’s manual very diligently.
In the love book, it is also said that it is a very good way to protect a woman in dangerous situations.
It is also said that it is easy to mistake a beating heart for love.
Seeing Asha gently stroke his mane, he reached out a hand toward the horse.
But Jackal immediately raised his nose in disgust, causing Karaf to jerk his hand straight to the side.
Karaf frowned slightly.
It was the first time he had seen such a cheeky horse.