Sera let out a small sound, as if she wanted to stop him, but the caramel candy had already disappeared into his mouth.
“It tastes good.
It just melted a little.”
There was a mischievous look on his face.
As soon as Sera reached out to try and stop him from eating, he blocked it immediately.
“You gave these to me.
They’re already mine.”
Instead, he peeled another candy and showed it to her again.
There’s no way that it’s still intact just because it’s another piece.
This new piece, which was completely melted and was sticking to the wrapper, had already completely collapsed.
It might or might not stick too much to the roof of his mouth.
“Well, I’ll give you one as a gift.”
Helios gave Sera one caramel candy.
He spoke so kindly that it sounded as if he was giving her a very big gift.
Right now, Sera’s brain was mush, very much like the melted caramel.
Helios seemed to be feeling a lot better, but she never intended to give him melted caramel.
“Th… Thank you, Your Majesty.”
For a moment, as Sera stared at the caramel candy she received, she thought that if she’d take the caramel off the wrapper with her hand, her hand would be left sticky.
Eventually, just like how Helios did it, she brought the caramel close to her lips and bit it off the wrapper.
The gaze following her movements made her feel awkward, and it also made her feel much too warm.
With his eyes, Helios followed the caramel candy that disappeared into her lips.
Then, he ate another piece himself.
The both of them savored the sweet sensation that was spreading in their mouths, rolling the melted caramel around with their tongues.
“That’s a relief.
Their Highnesses like it a lot whenever I give them some.
There are also times when they work hard to get caramel candy as a reward.”
“It’s also how I try to convince Rosé to eat her carrots.
I’d promise her some strawberry cake as a reward.”
“So that’s how Your Majesty appeases Their Highnesses”
That’s how I also was when I was young.”
Sera gave Helios a puzzled look.
The last time they had refreshments together, he didn’t even hold his fork once when there was cake in front of him.
He didn’t seem to like sweet food, but maybe he was trying to hold back on indulging himself when he was with his younger siblings.
Helios seemed to be endlessly mature, but as she thought about it, he seemed adorable right now for some reason.
A smile tugged up on her lips.
Sera clearly imagined what Helios looked like as a child, and somehow the image that turned up in her mind was a small, shrewd little Helios.
‘I wonder if he was a little more mature than Their Highnesses Rosé and Ferre’
She imagined him smiling with those curved eyes that were like crescent moons, or how he would look troubled as he was faced with food that he didn’t want to eat, looking back and forth between that and the sweets that he wanted…
Ah, Sera didn’t know what to do.
Just imagining it was so cute that she thought he’d be adorable enough that she’d want to have him all for herself just like with the twins.
Even now, Sera expected that Helios would eat only one caramel candy, but he was already on his third.
So, the suspicion that he really did like sweets turned into conviction.
“I found something in common between you and Their Highnesses here.”
“What do we have in common”
“Your Majesty also likes sweet caramel candy.”
“Does it seem that way”
“It’s your third caramel just now.
By the way, I’m glad to see that Your Majesty is smiling brightly again.
I think my sweet magic spell worked.”
Helios let out a low, quiet chuckle.
He started the day with his aide telling him to get married.
The documents on the bride candidates that were on his desk.
Then, Duke Cross as well.
Even for but a moment, he forgot about all the suffocating duties that had been pressing down on him all day long, not giving him any room to breathe.
‘I always feel comfortable when I’m with Miss Popo.’
He acknowledged it quietly to himself.
Of course, it was also a big factor that he knew there’s no ulterior motive behind her smiling face, but he knew that it wasn’t just because there was a line drawn between them as the tutor and as the guardian of the twins.
Above all, what made him feel at ease with her was her warm heart and the way she made sure that the other person felt a lot better than before.
The same was true when she was with Rosé and Ferre, with how she always thought about the children first even in dangerous situations.
As she was incapable of hiding her inner thoughts, there was no mask on her face while her sincerity with thinking about others first shone through.
He believed that just about anyone would be able to open up to her because of this.
“Thank you, Miss Popo.
I really do feel much better thanks to you.
Your magic is very powerful.”
He folded the candy wrappers and put them in his pocket along with the other unopened caramel candies.
He already knew that they had already melted into a mess, but a small shriek of surprise was let out.
“Your Majesty! Are you going to bring those with you”
“Will you take them back even if you gave them to me”
“It’s all melted and it’s just sticky.
Your clothes will be a mess…”
“Still, it’s the caramel candy that you gave to me, Miss Popo.”
Helios whispered quietly and then quickly walked away from Sera, taking wide strides with his long legs as if to show how he didn’t have the intention to return them at all.
Despite Helios’ unexpected behavior, Sera scrambled to catch up with him.
The back of her head stung with the gazes of the knights on the two of them, and she could only imagine what they were thinking as they watched.
“Your Majesty, are you walking away from me that fast so you won’t have to give up the caramel”
“No, but— Your Majesty!”
While Helios walked five steps ahead of her, he stopped for a moment and glanced back.
He saw Sera breathing hard, leaning forward with both hands on her knees as she was resting.
It seemed like she had gotten tired from running for only a few seconds.
Sera seemed so different now as she had a nearly perfect composure whenever she was working as a tutor, so seeing this, the corners of Helios’ lips curled up slightly.
‘You lack stamina.’
Standing still leisurely as he waited for Sera wordlessly.
After a while, Sera approached slowly forward in short strides again and soon stood in front of him.
Only two steps away now, she was still hunched a bit forward so her height was only up to his chest, then she raised her head to show her blue eyes.
A long lock of hair was strewn over her shiny forehead.
He wanted to touch her hair and tuck it back.
This time, without any time to think, he actually reached out.
Even though he knew that Sera would be embarrassed, he didn’t hesitate to reach out right then.