Published at 31st of December 2020 09:42:23 AM
Translator and Editor: Lea and Aki
As far as she knew, all of these five students of 3-A were aristocrats . But their kind nature made her feel like crying . This was the picture of the academy she had dreamt of . Classmates helping each other to learn! Right under the roof of the great Tower of Learning!
The boy with snowy white skin, who had helped her with her luggage, smiled as he reached out his hand to her . Without delaying a minute, she shook his hand, returning a warm smile towards him .
“Please, welcome . You were the one who won the first place, weren’t you?”
“Ah, please take good care of me . ”
“I got the first place as well, but why do you look so nervous?”
His hands were cold, and unlike that of the Emperor, she could not feel any mana from him .
She laughed heartily, thinking she had unintentionally compared him with the Emperor .
‘Not anyone else, but the Emperor . ’
It felt good to hear the boy’s voice, devoid of any hostile tone .
“Then, you’re… . . ”
“Yes, we’re tied for the first place . I’ll be joining you at the Imperial banquet . My name is Vincent . ”
“I’m Celestia . ”
“Well then, I look forward to your kind cooperation . ”
Was a class president supposed to be this kind? As he continued talking to her, he let her know about every student’s name and profile in the classroom . Even though it was only her first day, she became quite close to Vincent .
She agonized as she stared down at her fingers fiddling with the paper . The date written on her invitation was just a week away .
‘What should I do when I meet him at the banquet hall? The students from the academy would also be present there . He’s not going to act like he knows me, is he?’
She spent most of the time on the way back to the castle lost in thought before she hesitated to ask the chauffeur if she could meet the Emperor . He reassured her she could tell him anything she needed . Even if it felt a little strange to draw up this topic to someone like him, it wouldn’t bother him, she thought .
The chauffeur held her hand as she got off the carriage at her destination before nodding to her and disappearing into the palace .
Before she could even get refreshed after returning to her room and putting down her luggage, a servant came and informed her that the Emperor was looking for her .
When she reached his quarters after walking through a hall with splendid walls that contained the history of the palace, the guards calmly opened the door just by having a glimpse at her . There was no one inside, but silence . Nevertheless, she was used to it . The Emperor hated having people visit his quarters .
As she approached his bedroom, she noticed his dark silhouette sitting on the bed .
“Celestia is here, Your Majesty . ”
“Come here . ”
‘Oh, his voice sounds hoarse again . I told you to stay away from magic, I believe… . . ’
As she walked off to his side, he laid down the documents back on the sheets and glanced sideways at her . He looked a little emaciated .
Catching his arm by surprise, she tried to lift his shirt and look at his back as he gave her a sly smile . He barely turned, so she pushed in her hand and carefully touched his back .
Her palms could have felt the burning sensation if his condition was severe, but there wasn’t any .
Even if she couldn’t have a closer look because he was sitting upright, his condition wasn’t anything serious .
When she was convinced enough that he was fine, she took her hand off him and stepped back a little as she felt as though she would stutter if she spoke a word anytime soon .
“Did something happen?”
“It’s been a while since we’ve met . ”
“You don’t look well—”
“I’m glad you look fine . I heard you performed well on the test . ”
He cut her off, proceeding to say what he wanted to say . He looked excessively delighted when he said the last part . Her heart pounded at his gentle smile . It reminded her of the time when she blindly used to respond to every word of Serek .
What she wanted from him was not too much . However, all the things she gave him were everything she had .
She was fortunate to be able to distinguish herself from the Celestia of those days .
“Thanks to all your encouragement . ”
“I see . ”
“So, why do you… . look so weak… . . ?”
He silently stared at her face . His face, under his disheveled black hair, looked dimmer than usual .
A moment of silence passed, but he kept looking at her face .
‘Oh, come on . Answer when you’re being questioned!’
Inflating her cheeks, she dared to pass a friendly glare towards him . She did not falter even when he frowned at her expression .
‘I’m going to live a long life, you know!’
He stared at her and when she did not lower her eyes, he decided to break the silence .
“It’s nothing much, but it seems the Empress is seeking to expand her power by taking advantage of the coalition . ”
“It’s been a while since she’d used poison . ”
“What… . . ?”
Poison?! Taken aback, her eyes widened .
‘So, in the midst of all of these, he was threatened to death by his enemies?’
“Are you going to cry again?”
She remembered the day when she cried while tending to his deep burns, thinking the responsibilities over him caused so many wounds to scar him . When she recalled it, she felt a bit shy .
‘Er… . I overreacted . ’
“… . . What are you talking about, Your Majesty? … . . Last time, I just happened to—”
“That’s a relief . ”
“Rather, the poison……”
“Killing me is the best option for the Empress to rise in power . She is much more crafty than she looks . But, there’s nothing for you to worry about . I was trained from a very young age, so I can’t be poisoned that easily . ”
‘Since you were young?’
She remembered hearing once that some aristocrats tamed their bodies with weak poison to prevent themselves from being poisoned .
It became more and more understandable that he tried to be cautious before it was safe enough to pass on the message to her .
“So that is what happened . ”
No wonder she wasn’t summoned these days .
She gnawed her teeth as she thought of how far the mad Empress could go . Just as she expected for her to be, an evil psychotic Empress .
“Have you caught the person who did the work himself?”
Gazing into her amber eyes, he spoke calmly .
“I eliminated him myself . ”
The criminal might have been a servant who had been besieged by the Emperor . Maybe, even someone she knew . But, she didn’t feel scared by his statement .
‘He deserved it . ’
He just nodded .
“But, I’m glad you’re safe, Your Majesty . I was worried as you haven’t been looking for me . I didn’t know if you were sick . ”
“You were worried?”
“Of course, I was . ”
“I see . ”
He reached out his hand, slightly grasping her wrist . Catching her gaze, he murmured to her .
“Is it because of your invalidation of magic again? It feels comfortable . ”
“I beg your pardon?”
“I feel at ease when I touch you . I can’t think of anything else . My concerns go away . Now that I think about it, I haven’t slept peacefully these days…… I should have called you sooner . ”
Her eyes shifted down at his big hand wrapped around hers . His grip was so loose that she could easily shake him off, but the thought never crossed her mind .
What did he think of so much after nearly being assassinated? Was he thinking so much that he couldn’t sleep well?
She stayed in his place until his hand fell off hers, and he collapsed on his back . Even after he let go of her wrist, her feet did not fall back easily . Instead, she peeked at him . He always looked very threatening and strong, but when his eyes are closed, he looked like an ordinary handsome man .
In the end, her desire to say a single word about the things she wanted to ask fell behind . Be it about the invitation to the banquet or about the coalition . Instead, she began pondering over other difficulties .
While she tried to adjust to the class of 3-A, the night before the banquet arrived in no time . Since this banquet was a celebration of the union, she thought she might meet Serek, but she had other urgent concerns .
She was the only woman among the students to attend the banquet . There was no one to assist her in her attire . Vincent, the class president of class 3-A, was very helpful, but of course, not a good counselor in women’s clothing .
She glared at the closet where her dresses were hanging before closing it with a thud .
‘So, the academic uniform again? … . . Well, it wouldn’t be bad to look neat . ’
Even if she had different other dresses, the ones that looked worn were the ones she used to wear at work . The thought of slipping into one of the dresses she wore when tending to the Emperor lingered in her mind, but then she recalled that the daughter of the Duke would be attending it…… . . It would be better to wear a neat academic uniform than to wear something that could be seen differently .
After much consideration, she organized her uniform, hung it on the wall, and waddled towards the bed . Just as she sat on her bed, someone knocked on her door .
She got up and opened the door to find the Emperor and a servant with a huge box in his hands standing at her doorstep . The Emperor looked much better . He seemed to have recovered quickly even without her ability . And since then, he had been working hard on his schedule .
‘Is this visit part of your schedule now?’
“Your Majesty? Did something happen?”
He silently stared at her . Perhaps because she was in her nightgown, he didn’t barge into her room as usual .
“I’ll be seeing you at the banquet . ”
“Ah… . Yes . You knew I was going?”
He nodded in response .
“I don’t want to see my subjects in a humble state even when they’re still out of business . I should have arranged the dress earlier, but my schedule–”
“……The dress? No, you don’t have to… . . ”
‘Tomorrow is the banquet and you’re lacking sleep . ’
She was going to wave her hand, but the servant next to him suddenly shoved the box to her side……
‘What the hell? Is this the dress?’
“I kept forgetting it the whole time since I asked for it . It took longer than I thought . I should’ve given it earlier since there’s nothing decent for you to wear tomorrow . ”
‘What should I do now?’
She felt more embarrassed than grateful . She could feel the intrigued glance of the servant over herself as she bowed before the Emperor .
However, he soon raised his hand as if he didn’t want to be thanked by her .
‘I know you’re not even interested in my modesty . But I can’t help being polite, can I? Don’t you want me to set an example to that servant?’
He blended into the shadow of the castle as she stared at his walking figure .
After he left, she glared at the box, which seemed too large for what her arms could hold .
‘This is because I did well in the test, right? Well, it seems that the size of the box is large enough to discourage me . ’
She had never received a dress like this before . If she changes her clothes, shouldn’t she also change her hair, shoes, and makeup?
Curious about what she might find inside it, she sat on her bed, placing the box beside her .
She thought the box would boast a product with overpackaging, but when she removed the lid of the box, she found a lot of things packed in it neatly . She wondered how he organized it so well .
A high-end dress was placed on the top layer, while the next layers contained everything from velvet-coated shoes to a beautiful gold-plated necklace .
One of the highlights was the dress . A dress, of the same color as her amber eyes, rested in its place .
‘Let’s give it a try . ’
Surprisingly, the dress perfectly fitted her figure . It also graciously covered her arms and back . It seemed as if it was ordered by her .