Two weeks later, the winter of Isiris began to show even more of its severity .
Gaizel was inherently a good hunter—as he had mastered both swordfighting and archery . He seemed to integrate well with the young people around his age, and he also wasn’t feared as the ‘Ice Emperor’ .
On the other hand, Tistye whom was often frustrated at the beginning due to her clumsiness began to show some progresses . Anrie even praised her work, saying, ‘how cute!’
Little by little, she began getting used to the people of the village . Tisyte, who realized such things, was waiting in earnest for Gaizel’s return . Even today, he was hunting .
“—I am home . ”
That kind of exchange had already become a habit . Recently, Gaizel also started to smile more .
He wasn’t talkative, as usual, but using some short sentences, he would tell Tistye where he went that day and what he hunted .
At first, it was a life that was forced upon them, but she also realized that their current lifestyle allowed her to get more in touch with Gaizel’s true self than when they were living in the royal palace—as such, Tistye was happy .
It seemed that Gaizel thought the same . After finishing dinner, they sat side by side on the sofa and he began to talk .
“Hey, Tistye . ”
“I am thinking that settling down here would be good… of course, only if you share the same opinion as me . ”
Tistye, who was beside him, stopped knitting and stared at Gaizel . She didn’t know if it was the light reflected from the fireplace—but, is he blushing?
“To be honest, I also thought the same…”
In response to Tistye, Gaizel’s eyes widened slightly as he smiled quietly .
To live like this—
—to abandon their titles of Emperor and Empress, and live as a man and woman .
—it sounded truly joyful .
Eventually, Gaizel’s hand clutched Tistye’s .
Before she realized it, his face was approaching—then, their lips gently overlapped .
She didn’t know whether it lasted for a moment, or a long time .
Tistye exhaled as she opened her mouth, and Gaizel leaned further, kissing her deeply for a second time .
Gaizel put his hands on her cheeks, which surprised Tistye . His fingertips were cold, it was as if the core of her body went ablaze .
Gaizel’s right hand slid down Tistye’s neck, and stroked the contour of her shoulder, her chest, and then her waist .
A, are we going to do it?!
When Tistye, frightened, pulled herself inwardly, Gaizel leaned forward, preventing her from escaping .
Finally, her lips were released as a sigh of greed spilled from him . Tistye inhaled when she saw the beauty of Gaizel, whom was right in front of her .
The wood in the fireplace crackled .
Before she noticed it, Gaizel was already on top of her . His dry, black, hair tickled her clavicle .
The third kiss descended upon her neck . Tistye couldn’t hide her trembling when she was touched by his damp lips, which different temperature than her body .
After licking her skin using his tongue, Gaizel lifted his face and raised his upper body . To get rid of ‘hindrance’, he removed her flowing bangs .
The beautiful man became even more so because light was shinning against his back . His blue eyes, which were the reminiscent of the dark sea, stared at Tistye, full of love .
In an entirely different meaning, Tistye was afraid of Gaizel .
Desperately responding to the fourth kiss, she was truly at loss over what to do—
—that was when the sound of the door being violently knocked echoed .
Gaizel’s hand abruptly stopped . When Tistye peeked at his face, he looked terribly gloomy…
“…A guest . ”
[“…Why, with such timing…”]
To get away from the voice of Gaizel’s heart, which she hadn’t heard for a long time, Tistye tidied her attire and rushed to the door .
When she opened the door, there was Dita . He spoke fast without taking a breath .
“—did Anrie come to this place?”
“Anrie? No, she hasn’t . ”
“…I see . ”
“Did something happen?”
Gaizel also joined in the conversation . Dita looked unusual .
“She hasn’t returned home… there’s no other place to look for her other than the mountain . ”
“I will help, too . ”
Following Gaizel, who quickly donned his winter attire, Tistye also put on her cloak . When the two went out, the male villagers were already gathering in the open space of the village . They were busy looking at the map .
“It’s better to split up and look for her, therefore let’s divide ourselves into three groups . ”
It was Gaizel who advised so, instead of Dita, because he was too distraught .
While pointing at the map, he went straight to the point and instructed them to be careful of some valleys and cliffs . Tistye recalled that Gaizel was once called a ‘war genius’ due to his skill .
He must’ve memorized the entirety of our vicinity, already…
The guys who heard Gaizel’s instructions seemed to have reached the same conclusion and took his words seriously . Once the two other groups departed, the last group would be led by Gaizel . Then, Gaizel told Tistye—
“—you must return . It will be dangerous . ”
“Alright, I understa—”
—before Tistye could finish, she widened her eyes . In a hurry, she put her hands on her ears, which confused Gaizel .
“What is it?”
“Just now… her voice…”
Tistye concentrated even more . In the same way, Gaizel and the other men began to listen—however, they could only hear the sound of the wind, which was akin to a blizzard—it was impossible to hear any human’s voice .
“Did you mishear?”
“No, I was sure…”
Tistye finally realized—the voice she had heart was the voice of the heart . She wasn’t sure if it was Anrie’s—but it was a voice desperately seeking for help .
What do I do, looking at the current situation… but what if I was mistaken?
Tistye struck her cheeks with both hands—there was no time to hesitate!
“Please, follow me, we need to go somewhere . ”
“What are you—…”
“Please! We don’t have time!”
It seemed that Gaizel picked up on how unusual and distraught Tistye was behaving . The other men were told to go on the route they had planned before, and only the two of them went in the direction indicated by Tistye .
While treading on the snow, Tistye desperately concentrated her ‘hearting’ .
I can’t hear you anymore… where on Earth are you…
Tistye desperately sought the voice of Anrie’s heart as a strong gust of wind blew . However, probably due to the weather, even if she thought she heard something, it was quickly drowned out by the sound of heavy snow .
When Tistye stretched her arms and legs to get a clearer result, Gaizel eyed her unusual behavior strangely .
“I, I am sorry! Please don’t think too much about it!”
A human’s life was at stake—she had no time to be embarrassed .
When Tistye raised her hand again, she was shaken by a gust of wind and staggered back—that was when the voice of Anrie’s heart grew clearer .
Does that mean we’re getting closer?!
Tistye vigorously turned around, but behind her was only Gaizel, whom was observing her, and the other side was a snowy landscape .
But soon, the voice of Anrie’s heart rushed towards her like a wave .
As I thought! Around here!
Tistye concentrated further to eliminate background noises . She felt nauseous, and her head felt wobbly—but she felt ashamed because she was still worrying over her own self during such a predicament .
Tistye then stepped in the direction of Gaizel . Gaizel gave way to her .
Then, mysteriously, the voice of the heart she could hear vividly before now became hazy .
“No good! Your Majesty, you have to stand there!”
Tistye suddenly ordered Gaizel . When Gaizel returned to his original position, the voice of Anrie’s heart reached Tistye once again .
[“He…lp . ”]
Apparently, the presence of Gaizel affected Tistye’s hearting . However, despite the clear voice, she didn’t know the exact direction and distance .
In front of Gaizel, Tistye repeatedly stretched her arms to catch the voice of Anrie’s heart . Gaizel, on the other hand, could only protect Tistye, who seemed to him as if she was dancing in the cold snowy fields, from the blizzard . …It was truly a strange sight for a bystander .
Just a little more! But what should I do!?