The children went to bed particularly early today, perhaps because they walked too much a while ago.
Helios allowed Sera to leave early even though she was supposed to work for an hour more.
Helios once again offered to walk her to the carriage, and she inevitably accepted the burdensome offer because she couldn’t resist.
She tried to decline again and again, but because she noticed how tired he looked after putting the kids to sleep, she couldn’t bear to make him more troubled.
As they walked together, the only sound between them was their quiet footsteps.
Sera glanced up at him.
‘I wonder what’s wrong.’
Helios smiled and spoke as he usually did, but there was something different about him.
She recalled the momentarily blank expression he had while he was watching the twins in their sleep as they hugged their stuffed animals.
He was also slow to respond occasionally when she tried to ask him something, and the exhausted sighs he let out once in a while also solidified her speculation.
It was the same now, too.
Briefly, when no words were shared between them, Helios’ expression would harden as though no emotions existed there.
This blank, unreadable expression was so different from how he usually had a gentle smile on his face.
Fearing that she might be acting presumptuously, Sera spoke cautiously.
“Your Majesty, if I may ask, is something troubling you”
Hearing her question, his violet eyes curved into crescent moons and soon turned to Sera.
“Does it seem that way I’ve been asked the same thing plenty of times today.”
The smile he had now looked heavier than before.
As he chuckled as if to reassure her, Sera tilted her head to the side.
Nevertheless, Sera continued to observe his countenance closely, expressing her concern.
Then, he turned his head again and continued walking forward.
“The emperor’s crown must be heavy to bear.
It’s also difficult to smile all the time like you do, sire.”
“Maybe I should consider changing jobs and becoming my younger siblings’ tutor instead.”
Sera smiled quietly at Helios’ words.
“They’re both good students now, so it’s not hard to teach them anymore.
If we can teach them together, then it’ll be a lot more fun.
And they’ll be very happy.”
“Thank you for saying that about my siblings.”
“Not at all, I’m honored to have the opportunity to teach Their Highnesses.”
It was a sincere remark.
Regardless of how big of a salary the emperor offered her, she was truly happy to have met Rosé and Ferre.
As they walked side by side on the quiet path where only the sound of summer bugs could be heard, Sera glanced up to see his side profile.
With an angular nose and sharp jawline, his hair, which was the same color as the soft moonlight, fluttered slightly in the gentle wind.
He was beautiful.
He’s the only one who always caught her eye like this.
One thing that troubled her was the stillness in his gaze that was shining in the dark.
‘Maybe it’s because of Duke Cross who was here just now At the birthday party last time, too… they looked so good together when I saw how their arms were linked.’
If the matter that His Majesty was brooding over so much was regarding Saruvia, then admittedly, Sera was very… only a little envious of her.
However, besides that, she couldn’t take her eyes off Helios because it’s true that she was worried about him.
By the time they had reached the carriage that would take her home, Sera thanked Helios with a quiet voice.
“Thank you once again for walking me here, Your Majesty.”
A gentle smile flashed across Helios’ lips.
Right then, Jean, who was walking behind them some ways away before, walked forward and loaded the wagon with her bag.
Just as Sera was about to go into the carriage, Helios stopped her.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Sera answered as she halted in place.
“Shall we take a stroll together”
Even as Helios himself said that, he was surprised by his own words.
He covered half of his face with one hand and let out a short sigh.
What was he doing.
He told her that she could go home early today and even walked her to the carriage.
Now, he was holding her back and making her stay longer.
It was an unintended mistake.
He had a headache all day long because he was agonizing over the imperial marriage.
He was about to rescind his words and tell her no, it’s better for her to go back early.
But then, he heard Sera’s answer.
“Is it alright with you I already said that I’ll let you leave work early…”
“I’m fine with it.
I also feel like taking a walk since the weather is nice.”
Sera gladly replied, thinking that he might need someone to comfort him and share his melancholy feelings.
In a situation like this, Jean was the only one at a loss.
As he was standing awkwardly there in front of the carriage, his eyes fully expressed his confusion as he thought, ‘What’s going on’
He took a walk earlier with Duke Cross, then he walked all the way here to escort Sera, then he wanted to go on another stroll Jean was at a loss for words watching Helios’ behavior.
In hot weather like this, the accumulated time he had walked was about two hours total.
It’s not as if Helios had better stamina than a knight.
What was he thinking about all day long Jean suddenly thought that Helios’ legs might have been made out of steel.
Frowning unconsciously, Jean shook his own legs because it felt like they were about to fall off.
On a hot summer day like this, no matter how thin this armor was, walking around in it was more difficult than marching.
And yet here Miss Sera and Helios were, with apparently more to say between them.
Once again, Jean trudged behind the man and woman who walked back through the path they had come from.
It’s just a feeling, but it seemed like he was just looking for an excuse to talk more with Miss Sera.
It was natural to think this way because he kept using the twin highnesses as an excuse to see Sera off every time.