After Minuelle left, Esadien, who was left alone, wiped his lips with a strange face.
Somewhere inside the chest seemed to sink coolly and also seemed to feel uneasy.
It felt very unfamiliar to him, who pursued a monotonous and calm life after being adopted by the Emperor.
At his indescribable sensation, Esadien squeezed his chest.
‘Why all of a sudden…. Did I make a mistake today?’
It was right after he said he didn’t want his relationship and Minuelle to get closer. To Minuelle, who seemed surprised, Esadien calmly explained why.
“Accepting the engagement is to repay His Majesty and the Grand Duchess. Originally, I had no intention of having anything to do with anyone, so I cannot give you as much emotion as you show me.”
“Ah, I…. I acted too much.”
That was Minuelle’s first word, who was silent for a long time after hearing Esadien’s story.
She was usually clear about expressing her emotions. There was a distinct look of hurt.
Esadien, who was about to say no to her, quietly bit his lip. Come to think of it, I couldn’t say no.
“At first I thought you wanted to break the engagement.”
Esadien is not the son of the Emperor. Although he was a nephew, he was a Prince in name only who was registered for various reasons and had no power or anything. So it was natural to think that the Grand Duchess of Karinen would reject it.
Minuelle was looking down at her knee without denying it.
“But you didn’t. Then I thought it would be better to at least stay calm.”
What Esadien wanted was a dry relationship formed by politics, like men and women of the upper classes usually do.
Love is simply a moment of life and breathing.
Esadien was a man who knew the truth better than anyone else. Therefore, it was comfortable to exclude such feelings from the beginning. And that was the only way no one was hurt.
“Did I harm the Prince’s peace?”
Even if it hurts a little now.
Esadien believed so firmly. Still, he couldn’t figure out why he felt so uncomfortable.
“Prince, Lady Karinen is going in the rain.”
The startled voice of the attendant who closed the window after the call awakened Esadien’s thoughtful attention.
Esadien also knew that the Emperor and the Crown Princess had taken this and that Minuelle won’t get caught in the rain. But you’re in the rain?
‘Are you going to protest?’
As he approached the window, he saw a pink head.
I was about to frown with disgust. Minuelle looked back, perhaps because she felt his eyes. It was a little far away, but their eyes met.
The soft sky-blue eyes swelled.
And the next moment, Minuelle jumped into the corridor like a deer that met a tiger. Even though Esadien didn’t say anything.
He seems to think she is playing hard, but as he watches her back slowly moving away, Esadien’s mood becomes strange again.
The next day. The sun appeared bright like a lie through a long dark cloud.
The emperor figure, which is always perfectly managed, shone even more beautifully with moisture.
“Welcome. Third Prince, Princess Karinen.”
The manager in charge of the Secret Garden welcomed them with a big smile.
It was also the first time Esadien had stepped into the Secret Garden. However, instead of a beautiful garden, his vision contained only Minuelle, who admired the scenery over and over again.
“Oh my gosh, it’s so pretty!”
He thought she wouldn’t be visiting for at least a few days, considering her reaction yesterday, but Minuelle showed up at the usual time as if nothing had happened.
‘She’s got a pretty thick face, too.’
Even though she looks loose, she is the daughter of a noble family.
Esadien thought so.
“This Secret Garden was built by His Majesty the previous emperor for his wife. It was originally a flat land, but they dug up the ground to make a lake, and their memories carried the young hills as they were.”
“Ancestors? Not over how many generations?”
“Hahaha. The sorcerers were mobilized quite a bit, and it ended in three months, Princess.”
I could hear the manager and Minuelle talking freely.
The official was explaining in detail what she didn’t ask because he was excited about her straightforward response.
“Then the place where the original hill was….”
The eyes of Minuelle who was questioning suddenly met Esadien. As always, Esadien reflexively hardened himself, knowing that she would run.
However, Minuelle only gave a brief glance with a faint smile and she started talking to the manager again.
Esadien consciously took his eyes off Minuelle without returning her greeting.
I felt strange again.
‘I am very concerned.’
It can never be, but it seems like Esadien keep ayes on me. Of course it’s because I’m conscious.
It was hot even though I was using a parasol because it was summer.
I slightly pressed my sweaty forehead with a handkerchief to prevent my makeup from fading. Usually, I didn’t have any worries because I wore light makeup, but yesterday, I was in the rain for a while because I was upset and frustrated.
The heroine of the tragedy was also a healthy person.
“You know it was raining, why are you getting rained on! Are you stupid?”
Ramande infused his divine power with nagging like a pistol. I thought my ears were bleeding, but thanks to that, my energy came back.
He told me to rest until I got better, as I asked the maid to put on a thick powder in case the skin with a slight fever would show.
‘Still, stopping immediately seems like a protest.’
It wasn’t that I wasn’t hurt.
However, when I reflected on Esadien’s words, I thought that I had only put my feelings into the unprepared person.
Honestly, I reflected on myself.
When I heard that the daffodils planted around the lake were a symbol given by the previous emperor, I suddenly made eye contact with Esadien. It was the second time.
‘It’s a coincidence. A coincidence.’
Using Escort as an excuse, I squeezed my itchy hand to fold my arms.
‘Let’s hold it in. I have to hold it in.’
Even cats run away when you say they are cute. The wild…. No, I surprised the Third Prince too much.
“Now, I think I gave you a rough guide. Now shall we float the boat on the lake?”
My stamina was dropping to the floor. But the official’s words made me laugh out loud.
‘Finally, I will see Esadien’s muscles!’
But after a while.
Big expectations come back to big disappointments.
‘No, Flendena! Are you serious?’
Slim muscles like leopards….. No, I was expecting a cozy time for the two of us, and I called for a boat. What caught my eye was a large gondola decorated with brilliance.
It’s an honor to serve you. Prince, Princess.”
There was even a boatman smiling with a nice face.
It doesn’t look like the emperor would even come here to play boating, but what the hell is this golden boat….
“Now, shall we get in?”
Regardless of my disappointment, the others were on board first.
I took Esadien’s hand that was held out in front of me and tried to manage my expression.
‘Where should I sit?’
A gondola is a narrow and long boat. It was a little awkward to deal with Esadien, so I hesitated to sit next to him or across from him.
However, Esadien sat on the other side of the official without letting go of my hand as if it were natural.
‘Is it okay?’
The side face of Esadien was just as beautiful and calm as usual.
Esadien must feel better because he said what he wanted to say.
I was about to plunge further into a sullen mood thinking that I was the only one who was conscious of yesterday’s incident.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“Is it hot?”
“Oh, a little bit. It’s okay.”
I was startled by the sudden conversation. My heart was pounding even though he was asking because I was just his fiancée.
Besides, we were still holding hands.
‘Ugh. Should I take it off?’
I thought about it for a while, but I decided to stay like this.
‘He’s not gonna say anything because he’s holding my hand.’
Despite this hot weather, the warmth of Esadien was good. In my opinion, this was love.
I turned my eyes to the lake so that I wouldn’t show my burning face to Esadien.
It is not a waterway, but a wide lake, even an artificial lake created by humans. It was a place where every single grass and stone were placed under the mountain, but the beauty was real.
The long oars that split the calm wind and waves broke the sunlight brilliantly on the clear water.
‘If it weren’t for gloves, I’d dip my hands in the water.’
But the regret soon disappeared.
“Oh, you like the sun, shine that light on me, too. Even if it’s far away, I won’t turn this eye.”
I opened my eyes wide unknowingly at the boatman’s low and rich singing.
‘You sound like a real Gondolier, don’t you?’
The lyrics and sweet melody that longed for her love seemed to melt me as well.
‘Oh, it feels so good.’
Hot but nice weather, slightly cool wind, beautiful scenery and singing. And next to me is a wide, solid shoulder.
Unconsciously I rested my head on Esadien’s shoulder, but then I woke up and looked into his eyes. But it seems that Esadien also turned her gaze to me at that time.
My feet were numb as our eyes met, and I smiled awkwardly.
There was no shaking in Esadien’s eyes. He doesn’t even smile.
I had no choice but to straighten my back.
‘I should’ve leaned a little faster.’
Full of regret, I stamped my feet.
Meanwhile, Gondolier stopped for a while.
“This area is the deepest part of the lake. If you look down at the water surface, you will see that the color of the water is different from other places.”
“Wow, that’s true…..”
How deep did you dig?
As I looked down at the slightly more indigo water than before, I got a little chilled and straightened my posture.
Gondolier looked at me like that and smiled.
“And now it will be your grave.”
‘Eh? What kind of assassin line all of a sudden?’
It was so out of the blue that it doesn’t feel real.
But while I was opening my mouth, Gondolier moved like a lightning.
First, the friendly smile disappeared as if it had washed away from his face, which stabbed the official right next to him with a dagger.
‘What is this? It’s real!’
The person he had been talking to just a moment ago sank into the lake, bleeding.
While I was shocked, Esadien reflexively groped his waist but then clicked his tongue disapprovingly. Since the Secret Garden is the Emperor’s space, it was only then that he remembered that he had entrusted the sword he always wore when entering the entrance.
“Who sent you?”
At the same time, Esadien covered me in shock and asked sharply.
“It’s a rule not to disclose about clients.”
While I was trying to come to my senses, Gondolier, or the assassin, rushed toward me with bloodshot eyes.
“Just die quietly.”
I had no time to calm down and do anything. Wherever the strength came from, I shook Esadien’s arm and blocked him.