Translated by Yonnee
“It’s taking a while for the twins to find a book.”
At the sound of Helios’ voice, Sera turned to look at the other person in the room.
Leaning down against the backrest of the wooden chair, his legs crossed, Helios looked relaxed.
It was strange that his younger siblings still hadn’t picked a book even after they’d gone through piles of books and twenty minutes had already passed.
It wasn’t like them.
“Isn’t that right, Miss Popo”
He spoke as he crossed his arms, and Sera responded by nodding head.
Slowly, the corners of his lips curved up.
The gentle smile was like the tranquil moon outside the window.
During these twenty minutes, every time their eyes met, why did he have to make such a smile that’s much too harmful to her heart
With Helios smiling with such an unassuming face, whether he was aware of what kind of effect he had on people, he was indeed like a devil with the mask of a benevolent angel.
‘Keep it together.
You’re at work right now.’
Sera straightened her posture from the waist up, feeling like a stiff wooden pole herself.
As she sat up, it felt like her mind was clearing up.
To hide her bright red face, she turned her attention to the children on the side and tried to speak in the same tone that she usually spoke in.
“It seems so.
Perhaps Their Highnesses couldn’t find a specific book that they want to read.”
“Maybe it’s because there’s so many books that they do want to read.”
“If that’s the case, then they’d usually just bring everything.”
“Either that, or they usually come back with only one book and ask you to read the same story over and over again, to the point that you’ve already memorized all the lines.”
At Helios’ answer, Sera burst into a peal of laughter.
He perfectly expressed the desperate struggle of the parenting he did for his younger siblings.
Of course, it was also something that she could relate to.
It was characteristic for children to repeat doing the things they liked without even getting bored of them.
But then again, the one constantly reading the same few books just to get his younger siblings to sleep was none other than the very emperor of this empire.
Sera could perfectly imagine how Helios couldn’t resist the twins’ insistence, and the way he’d read to them would be as tender as a lullaby.
“My younger siblings just adore the fairy tales you’ve written.
They always ask me to read your books, and truthfully, it’s like watching a theater play.
It’s such a blessing that you’re the tutor of my younger siblings, Miss Popo.”
Up until that point, Sera was chuckling lightheartedly, but suddenly, she was showered with praise.
The words were ordinary compliments and they weren’t anything she hadn’t heard before, yet Sera’s laughter died down and she looked at him.
There was an unwavering gaze directed at her.
“Thank you, Miss Popo.”
When Sera looked back, did they just make eye contact only by chance, or was it because he had been looking at her all this time Sera’s eyes widened, but as she saw the genuine smile on his lips, she too smiled.
“I’m honored, Your Majesty.”
After this, Sera and Helios went back to waiting for Rosé and Ferre.
After another five minutes, the twins were well on their way to building a huge castle of books from the shelves.
“Your Highnesses, you can’t build a castle with books like that.
You have to place all the books back on their shelves!”
“Okay! I’ll clean up, Sera!”
Though of course, since the children were fully devoted to picking just the right book at this moment, they made not one move to put any of them back.
Watching the twins’ busy hands, Sera sat back down and shook her head, murmuring affectionately that she didn’t teach them like that.
“I wonder how they took out that many books,” Helios said.
“It doesn’t seem like they have any thoughts of cleaning up,” Sera replied.
Cleaning up is important, too.”
Sera watched the children with a worried gaze.
Even though he wanted to say something more, he refrained himself from talking any more as he watched Sera, who was looking at his younger siblings, a soft smile gracing his lips again.
While watching her like this, he noticed that her face was unusually red, perhaps a tad of a peach color.
And if he were to focus solely on her blue eyes, it felt as though he could forget everything else.
Since he was young and regardless of age and gender, everyone he met usually responded to him with the same blushing face, so it’s something he was used to.
Nevertheless, there was one thing about her that caught his eye.
With a stubborn look in her eyes, she acted so awkwardly at times and somehow tried to hide it as though nothing’s out of place.
Miss Sera Popo was a talented woman, but not when it came to lying.
She’s talented at innovating her practice as an instructor with her teaching tools, good at making her classes fun, mixing lessons and games to keep the twins engaged, and she was also great at writing fairy tales.
But then, she was hopeless when it came to trying to hide her thoughts.
Maybe even Rosé was better at her when it came to lying.
Gradually, he turned his eyes away and saw that his younger siblings were now running back to Sera.
* * *
Sera’s brows were heavily furrowed as she read the title of the book that Rosé and Ferre brought back.
“Does it really have to be this book”
“Yeah! Sera will act like the sleeping princess of the garden, and Oppa will be the mage.”
‘Why is it suddenly the sleeping princess of the garden.’
Just as there were many fairy tales across the world in Sera’s previous life that shared matching elements to the story, there was also one princess in the Adelio Empire’s history that was similar to one certain fairy tale.
Though seemingly with a few tweaks to the narrative, it’s also a familiar story to the one Sera knew back then.
The 〈 Sleeping Princess of the Garden 〉 was essentially 〈 Sleeping Beauty 〉.
The differences lay with two things.
First, rather than the witch that appeared in ‘Sleeping Beauty’, Adelio’s fairy tale would feature a red-eyed devil instead, and it’s one of the monsters that appeared a lot throughout the empire’s history.
Second, rather than a spinning wheel, there was a rose thorn instead.
And finally, rather than a prince, there was a mage instead.
‘But they usually don’t like princess stories, especially the ones that are like damsels in distress.’
This book was one that they selected after such a long time, yet it was so vastly different from Rosé’s tastes, and even further than Ferre’s.
Besides that, the twins asked Sera and Helios to play the roles of the princess and the mage respectively.
Sera couldn’t help but think that something fishy’s going on here.