Helios looked into her blue eyes, seeing them become rounder and rounder.
‘Wait, what did he say I wish to be with you a little longer, Miss Popo, huh’
The words that his lips had uttered were enough to shock Sera.
As they walked all the way here, she was under the reasonable impression that he was accompanying her due to the whining of his younger siblings.
But with this unexpected answer, she didn’t know what to say.
Sera called to him before she could even find the reason.
Now, she made a joking frown.
It was the expression that she made whenever she would scold the twins.
“If that’s how you word things, then perhaps all the women in the empire will fall for you.”
Sera said so with a coy smile.
Before Helios could even make any excuse, she looked forward again and continued.
“Your Majesty is too kind.
You always say the right things that people want to hear.”
So you think that what I said were just empty words
Helios suddenly felt slighted.
He wondered why.
He couldn’t describe it, but he felt some discomfort from his chest abruptly becoming tight.
“Do you think I said that just because I thought that’s what you wanted to hear”
“Your Majesty told me just a while ago that if you wouldn’t escort me, Their Highnesses would be angry.
But this time, Your Majesty said that you…”
Sera trailed off.
It was dark so it was difficult to see, but he could see clearly her flushed cheeks through the faint moonlight streaming down gently.
He had observed this same reaction from anyone who looked at him, but for some reason, whenever Sera would show this kind of reaction, it didn’t make him feel bad compared to the others.
He wondered why his mood was so erratic these days.
“Then, it would be best if all three of us can escort you next time, Miss Popo.”
You don’t need to come out next time.”
“Of course, it’s strange that Your Majesty would personally come out and see me off when I am just a tutor.
The knights are there to do so.”
What she said was true.
Why did he want to walk next to her—why did he even need to make a ridiculous excuse and cover up his actions through his younger siblings Rosé or Ferre never asked him about escorting Miss Popo before.
Unable to find a proper excuse, Helios instead smiled, to which Sera responded with her own smile.
A moment of silence ensued.
Not knowing what to say for a moment, Sera eventually ended up speaking up again first.
“The walk towards the carriage feels a bit long today.”
“Is that so”
In this awkward atmosphere, Helios lowered his gaze and looked at her hand, which swayed at her side.
He recalled the kiss in the play earlier, which he had to participate in just to resolve the misunderstandings of his younger siblings.
It was a helpless situation since the twins had been on the verge of tears.
So, he took on the role of the mage and kissed the back of that hand.
On the other hand, however, there was one thought nagging at him.
Did he truly have to finish the fairytale like that, even going as far as putting Miss Popo in a situation that might have been uncomfortable for her
He could have just coaxed and persuaded the twins.
In fact, Miss Popo had tried to do so.
Either that, or he could have instead kissed his younger siblings instead, like how he directly involved them in the story in the earlier parts of the book.
But what was his reason for not doing so
Even though he did receive her permission first, in hindsight, it had been very rude of him to impose like that.
She was placed in a difficult position where she’d be reluctant to reject his suggestion.
There was even nothing between them.
It’s true that, in the end, his lips did not even touch the back of her hand.
His behavior would make him seem like a casanova.
‘I was thoughtless.’
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Her fair blue eyes turned to meet his gaze.
“I apologize for what happened today.
You must have been very flustered.”
Helios apologized sincerely, his expression matching this.
“Pardon For what…”
She looked up at him with round eyes.
This time, it was Helios who trailed off.
This was something that he wasn’t used to—hesitating because he was nervous.
“Ah! The last scene!”
“Yes, that scene.
Now that I think back on it, I should have been more understanding of your position.
I was careless.”
“No, Your Majesty.
It’s just a storybook, isn’t it And Their Highnesses were about to cry.”
“Yes, so it’s just a small reenactment of the fairytale.
Her blue eyes reflected the stars in the sky, and the smile on her lips seemed to say that it was nothing.
For some reason, Helios felt displeased.
“Then that’s a good thing.”
Helios replied with the usual relaxed smile, but there was a slight hardness to the tone of his voice.
He was someone who’d rarely be angry, so for him to experience emotions like this that he hadn’t even experienced in his adolescence, it was all so surprising to himself.
“I must go no, Your Majesty.
Thank you for escorting me here.”
Sera curtsied towards him politely, and with that gesture alone, it felt as if there was an impregnable wall between them.
Jean walked up from behind him and, as if he was used to it, stood in front of the carriage and opened the door.
Sera naturally took Jean’s hand and got into the carriage.
Then, Jean loaded Sera’s large bag into the vehicle after her.
From inside, Sera smiled as brightly as a summer flower in full bloom.
Then, her lips opened and a low ‘Thank you’ was uttered towards Jean.
This, too, somehow made him displeased.