Chapter 75 - Not Even a Small Thing?
Unlike the people Irene interacted with before, Kael was just that interested in Irene. With a soft smile, he took another sip of tea and said, “When someone is interested in another person, it’s not hard to know about the person. If this pie was sweeter than how it is now, you would’ve held your fork without eating and only pretend to take a bite. Haven’t you heard this from people you’ve dined with in the past?”
Irene regarded Kael as if he was a strange creature, and when he put down his teacup and his shoulders shook with laughter, she pouted and said, “I didn’t tell a funny story.”
“You’re cute. You seem so unfamiliar with this, but I thought you’d be good at quickly grasping your opponent’s skills as well as their habits with a few battles.”
“Well, needless to say that is certainly necessary. Failure to do so could result in serious injury or death, and even the smallest thing shouldn’t be overlooked. But that’s—”
“In that sense, you are like that to me. I don’t want to miss a single thing about you, so that I can find whatever it is that I can do for you.”
“But this has nothing to do with survival. My ex-fiancés didn’t discover such things about me, regardless of how many times I dined with them. From my point of view, Your Highness is strange,” Irene objected with her frown. She thought back to the countless fruit jams and syrup-filled chocolates that her former fiancés had sent her.
Kael raised his brows at the mention of Irene’s former fiancés. It was a habit that came out whenever he was bothered by something—in this case, he held a particular dislike for the word fiancé. “Then, they must be the stupidest people in the world,” he said flatly. If he could, he wanted to summon them before him and chew them up right now. Despite them being her fiancés in the past, they’d never properly shown her love and it made him want to kill them. However, it was also thanks to their foolishness that he was able to meet her.
“Don’t worry. I’m not stupid like them,” Kael said, as his clear emerald eyes looked straight into hers.
Irene’s amethyst-like eyes, which seemed to be tinged with pale pink, met his friendly gaze. She’d been so desperate to confirm his heart, and now they were looking at one another, she could clearly read his warm affection. It was a gaze she’d seen many times before, but hadn’t taken seriously until she became conscious after hearing Marie’s words. ‘She was… right. Oh, I can’t believe she was right.’
Marie really was right—the loving gaze she’d pictured Kael would direct towards her was the exact gaze he used to look at her at that moment. It was the first time Irene was showered with such feelings from someone other than her family and Marie. An indescribable emotion welled up inside her. ‘Why did I think that he was acting or joking?’ She tore her eyes away from the gaze and firmly clutched at the hem of her dress. She felt a tingling sensation in her throat, and she wondered if it would’ve been better not to have discovered the meaning of his warm gaze.
Knock, knock. Suddenly, they were interrupted by a knock at the door. Irene lowered her head to hide her face from Kael. Finding her behavior odd, Kael tried to check her expression, but to no avail. When the knocking sounds were heard again, Kael clicked his tongue and turned his attention towards the door. He was annoyed that his peaceful respite from his busy routine had been interrupted, especially since he’d already relayed that he shouldn’t be disturbed while in the library. As the sound of knocking continued, Kael’s blood vessels protruded from his forehead. ‘What the heck is it?’ he wondered with irritation.
“I’m sorry. Please wait a minute,” Kael said, as he excused himself. With quick strides, he walked towards the door and opened the door with a little annoyance. When he found Wellen standing there with a perplexed look on his face, he growled, “I said I just wanted a moment to breathe. Could you not wait?”
“I could stand it, but not the empress, Her Majesty, who has a hasty personality,” Wellen shrugged.
“What’s wrong with mother? You said she’d be here tomorrow at the earliest.”
“How would I know? I just received word that they’ve entered the imperial city. She seemed to have already crossed the first gate.”
Kael stuck his head out into the hallway, before stepping outside and closing the door behind him. “I guess they’re flying here,” he said sarcastically. Inwardly, he sent a silent prayer to a god he didn’t believe in and thought, ‘Oh, my dear mother. Please.’ With a heavy sigh, he said, “I can already picture what’ll happen once she enters the imperial palace.”
“So can I,” Wellen chuckled.
Kael sighed again as he unbuttoned the top button on his shirt. He suddenly felt like his neck was being choked.
“Only Your Highness is desperate, so… She would be dragged here and there without knowing what’s going on.”
Wellen’s comment only further cemented what Kael already knew and he felt a headache begin to form. The momentary happiness he’d felt had instantly disappeared. “My head hurts,” he moaned.
“Sorry. I didn’t want to disturb you either,” Wellen said sympathetically.
“Alright, I’ll return soon.” Kael squeezed his temples and waved his hand to Wellen to indicate he should go back.
“You don’t have to rush too much.”
“Very well. Go back first.” As he watched Wellen leave, Kael took a deep breath to steady himself. Plastering a smile on his face, he then stepped back inside.
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