Translated by Wealthy Whale
Edited by Iris Sakura
Lady Lize must have said those things because she was pitying her.
Sezh was skeptical. Of course, the most incredible thing she found hard to believe was Raytan offering to escort her. Even during the Founding Celebration four years ago, he remarked such parties as a place where stupid people do stupid things. There’s no difference between a luxurious sacrifice ceremony and a debutante ball in his eyes. Sezh knew more than anybody else that he utterly despised such things.
Besides, this may be the same as when he couldn’t disobey Lize’s request to tutor her in Kazaki years ago. Honestly, it’s not that Sezh was really fine with not attending the debutante ball, but she also didn’t want to go there by causing trouble to Raytan like this.
So as soon as he returned from Lize’s palace, Sezh couldn’t help but keep stealing a glance at him. It would have been better if he blurted out some insults: asking why she had to go to that kind of occasion in the first place. However, Raytan didn’t even say a word. There was no other choice, so Sezh tried on her luck.
“Um, Brother…” Sezh wriggled a little anxiously and called him.
However, Raytan’s face that was looking at her appeared colder than usual. Sezh felt embarrassed again because of the intimidating aura.
‘See, he must have been angry,’ she hesitated for a moment before opening her lips and spoke in a mosquito voice.
“That- even if I can’t have a debut, it’s okay. I didn’t even think I could go there anyway. What kind of topic was that…”
“I’ll try to talk to Lady Lize again. Maybe she is doing this in the name of sympathy. So please don’t worry, okay?”
Sezh nervously bowed her head down and waited for his answer. But after a while, she didn’t hear a single sound. Gathering the courage to look up, Sezh stared at Raytan.
He had on a strange expression. It’s the first time Sezh has seen it, so she has no clue what kind of emotions were hidden. His eyebrows were subtly crooked, but at the same time, he didn’t seem angry. Raytan was also biting his lips, but he didn’t look irritated.
Raytan was weird today. Nevertheless, this wasn’t the weirdest he could get. His next statement was:
“It’s okay, so stop looking at me.”
Raytan hastily turned his head and started to walk alone. In response to his unexpected answer, Sezh blankly stood still for a little while and then quickly began to follow him.
“But last time you said that you didn’t like such a place- Akh!”
Sezh tripped on her feet and subsequently hit the ground. Raytan stopped walking as soon as he heard her screaming voice. He cast a look at the poor Sezh, who just fell to the floor.
As a sigh came out from her mouth, Sezh also found out that her knee was bleeding. What the… Today was just a royal mess. A dark shadow fell over her frowning face.
Raytan, staring down at her, briskly bent his knee. He looked at the wound and pulled out a handkerchief.
“No, it’s okay.”
Sezh shook her hands, but he completely ignored it and wrapped the handkerchief over her knee without a single response. Soon, the black silk fabric was stained red.
“You don’t have to do this…”
“… It’s my choice.”
“Not for any other reason. To this degree… to this degree, I can do it,” Raytan muttered in a subdued voice.
He remembers hearing some young girls say that a debut was a grand event in the past. Does Sezh also regard it as such? Raytan took debuts as merely an event where stupid people do stupid things. So, he thought Sezh also wouldn’t care much about that event like him.
But a few years ago, when Lillian made her debut, Sezh made a lot of fuss about it by saying, ‘Look at that,’ or ‘It must have been nice.’
Raytan listened carefully and watched Sezh mumbling alone with her shoulders drooped down.
Even now, he still hates such a place. He didn’t want to mix with those people. However, he could do it if he had to. It was just that he didn’t like to. What’s so great about a debut? It’s a place where a girl that has only known misery will be more miserable.
Would she still attend without his mother’s persuasion?
But isn’t it funny? Lize was making her have a debut because of Carolyn Regent, not because of Sezh herself. And if he succeeds in winning her favor, he will no longer need to get along with Sezh like this. He doesn’t have to waste any of his time. He can remove all these burdensome things from his life.
‘It’s rather good if you just throw her away. Anyway, the Princess is someone who you have to get rid of someday. Think of escorting her as the last thing you can do for her.’
What’s the difference between him and the parent who abandons their child but still feeds them delicious food or buys expensive clothes to erase the guilt he’ll feel later? ‘It’s my will?’ Where did he get such cheap words?
Raytan laughed mockingly without even knowing. Today, it was his own will to escort her to the debutante ball. It’s not because of his mother’s orders. Raytan swallowed those hidden words stuck in his throat.
Sezh revealed a puzzled face. Why did Raytan keep making such an unfamiliar expression? His face looks like a fallen leaf, withered and crumbled. It didn’t suit him. But Sezh eventually didn’t say anything.
“Your Majesty, the Archmage is here.”
A splendidly decorated door opened as the voice of a maid was heard. The Archmage entered the Emperor’s room with his head slightly bowed and gave his polite greetings.
“…Peter,” the Emperor, who was sitting on his bed, looked up at the Archmage and called out his name.
‘When did you get so old?’ (Archmage)
The Archmage recalled the day of the Emperor’s coronation ceremony, where the Emperor’s youthful and upright appearance was a marvelous sight. But now, his face was full of wrinkles and worries.
“Does your Highness have anything that sits heavy on your heart?”
The Emperor was silent for a moment. Despite that, the Archmage had already guessed something was troubling the Emperor. Whenever anything unfortunate happens to the weakened Emperor, he would always summon the Archmage like this.
“I think… it’s time to talk to Bern.”
Read only at Travis Translations
Iris: This was a short-ish chapter, but you can really feel Raytan’s agony and inner conflicts. My guy has a very squishy heart under the cold facade :’) Anyway, any thoughts on why the story is suddenly caring about Bern?
Ale: For now, ladies and gentlemen, just get your popcorn and playlist ready 🌚 A-and why do I always feel gay energy every time there's a scene between the emperor and the archmage 👁️👄👁️
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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog