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    Translated by Yonnee
    Edited by Yonnee


     

    The two younger siblings, whose eyes had grown as big as a carp’s, were now lying down at Helios’ bed. It was already midnight, a long time after their bedtime. Their big eyes blinked slowly, perhaps because their eyelids were heavy.

    As Helios sat on a chair next to the bed, there were books on his lap that he had read for his younger siblings. Having suffered from their tantrum earlier, the bags under his eyes looked worse than they did a while ago at dinner.

    “Rosé, Ferre.”

    Helios called their names affectionately, and the two looked back at him with drowsy eyes. Until a while ago, they were still excited about the fairy tale he read to them, which was about a world where a cookie country existed.

    “The tutor who’ll come next week is a very good person.”

    As he whispered this, he kissed his younger siblings’ foreheads. It was a good night kiss that he always gave to Rosé and Ferre before they went to bed. Helios also received the affectionate love of their parents when he was young.

    “Don’t… wanna. Hyung… Jwust like last time, me… and Rosé… will kick out the tutor…”

    As Ferre slipped into his dreamscape, his speech blurred more towards the end.

    “That’s right… when the last tutor came… we left a bee near his chair and it stung his butt… that’s why he left…”

    ‘Ah, that’s why Vygotsky left without letting me know. He didn’t even say the reason, so I wondered what was going on. I didn’t know Rosé and Ferre did that.’

    Helios smiled helplessly at his younger siblings. He couldn’t guess how many more incidents would come.

    As many as fifteen tutors had either refused or quit this position over just the past two months. Whenever the tutor changed, Helios had no doubt that something similar to this happened.

    “Heli Oppa… Oppa got another tutor so… we’ll kick ‘em out again.”

    “But this time, your new tutor has a very interesting class that’s very popular with children the same age as Rosé and Ferre.”

    His low voice was like a cozy lullaby that soothed the children.

    “Don’t… need it. We don’t want anyone else but Oppa… If Oppa’s not beside us, we’re really sad.”

    “Yeah, me too. I don’t need a tutor… I just need Hyung…”

    “Ferre. Rosé. If you listen well to your tutor, you’ll be a much better prince and princess. Wouldn’t Mom and Dad in heaven want to see Rosé and Ferre who’s always doing their best?

    With a gentle expression, he tried to persuade the two somehow.

    “Rosé… Rosé wants to see Mom and Dad.”

    “Yeah… Ferre also misses Mom and Dad… Please pat me like Mom did.”

    Helios smiled bitterly.

    The twins who acted their age hold his hands tightly. He was kept next to the bed where the children were lying down.

    “Here now, pat, pat.”

    He patted the twins softly on their chests. They closed their eyes and drifted off, perhaps liking the feeling of his hand patting them with a steady rhythm.

    Thinking that they had already fallen asleep, Helios tried to leave quietly, but Ferre grabbed his hand.

    “Hyung… The story of the cookie house… I wanna hear it again…”

    In the end, Helios stayed up all night. Whenever he tried to get up, one of the twins would ask him not to go and just read the book again.

    He prayed that Miss Popo would be different from the other tutors.

     

    * * *

     

    The next day, Sera visited the most famous pastry shop in the Imperial capital. She needed to be here for her class with the twin Highnesses.

    Being a regular at the shop, the owner immediately recognized Sera and spotted her in the crowd, then greeted her.

    “What sweets will you need today? Caramel? Candy? Chocolate? Jelly?”

    The owner listed down the four products that Sera usually bought, and in order of frequency. Sera was about to say caramel, which was the favorite of most of the children she taught, but she hesitated for a moment.

    She remembered what was written in the magazine about the Imperial family. She threw it away in a fit after seeing the absurd article titled 「 A Lady’s Fantasy – Perhaps the Emperor is Like This Late into the Night 」. But she picked it back up anyway and stayed up all night reading it because she was still curious.

    The magazine, which contained something like fifty thousand facts about them, even contained things like the hobbies and tastes of the twin Highnesses.

    ‘The magazine mentioned that Her Highness Rosé likes strawberries and His Highness Ferre likes melons. Right?’

    “Give me three boxes of strawberry chocolates and melon chocolates.”

    Sera said this cheerfully. Because this was a luxurious dessert restaurant, the price tags were quite steep, but there was no other place that would suit the palate of children from rich families.

    The owner moved right away and packed what Sera asked for, delighted with her large order.

    In the crowd, she saw a familiar face. It was Marchioness Leticia Bennett, who was here with other noblewomen. Seeing Sera as well, the Marchioness cheerfully approached her.

    “Miss Sera, you’re here!”

    Marchioness Bennett was very excited. She had a bright smile on her face.

    “I stopped by because of an errand.”

    Sera smiled as she said this, but she was actually flustered as though she had met her student’s parents at the supermarket. This pastry shop was a place where many secrets could be spilled due to the nature of the establishment.

    When Marchioness Bennett moved closer to Sera, the other noblewomen shuffled behind her, curious about who Sera was.

    “This is my son Edward’s tutor, Miss Sera Popo.”

    The Marchioness smiled broadly and introduced Sera. Somehow, she sounded really proud of her.

    At the introduction by the Marchioness, the other noblewomen covered their lips with their fans. It was a reaction that Sera had gotten used to over time.

    “Oh my! That famous tutor Sera?”

    “Goodness! I heard you were young, but I didn’t know you’re this young!”

    “I didn’t know Miss Sera was this young and pretty!”

    “Hahaha… I think I just look as young as my age.”

    Sera answered back with an awkward smile. But it truly was surprising because she was much younger than other tutors.

    “Everyone! Don’t be like that. I can’t believe you’re judging our Miss Sera by her age! She’s an amazing person! This time, too, she’s going to the Imperial Palace to teach Her Highness Rosé and His Highness Ferre!”

    Marchioness Bennett scolded the other noblewomen who had lower positions in the hierarchy than her. Her expression said that she was truly offended.

    It had been less than twenty-four hours since Sera accepted the Emperor’s employment proposal, but how did the Marchioness know about it already? Even before she could ask about this, an inquisitive look on Sera’s face, the Marchioness continued speaking with a thrilled voice.

    “That day, His Majesty called me to the Palace and asked me so many questions that I had a feeling that Miss Sera would be selected to be their Highnesses’ tutor. Am I right? Are you really entering the Imperial Palace?”

     


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