60. The Homes of Aristocrats and One’s Parents are Challenging (12)
The next time Tistye opened her eyes, she was in a shabby hut.
The ground was exposed, and the structure simply consisted of walls and a roof. A crackling fire burned in front of her. Someone might had warmed the room.
Tistye’s shoulders were draped with an old blanket, and she had been set down against a wall. Her clothes were completely soaked. Water dripped from her silver hair.
I… fell into the waterway…
Now that she thought about it, that was reckless of her. Who would’ve thought that after running around the city, she’d fall into a waterway? If Gaizel were to learn of it, he’d probably urrow his eyebrows and ask, “How old are you now?”
Feeling embarrassed, Tistye wanted to hide her face. However, as she recalled something, she put her hand on her right ear.
“N, no way, did I drop it…?”
It seemed that one of the earrings fell off.
She didn’t know whether the earring fell when she was running, or when she had fallen into the waterway. Tistye’s face turned blue in an instant.
There was a rattling noise as the door of the hut was opened.
Orbit appeared and their gazes immediately met. Upon seeing that Tistye was awake, his relief was apparent.
“Thank God I saw you…”
“C-could it be, are you the one who helped me?”
“…I can’t abandon Elena’s friend.”
Seeing Orbit’s bitter smile, Tistye pursed her lips. If Levi was right, it was likely that Orbit stole the tiara. No wonder when Tistye called out towards him, he instantly ran away.
Except, he helped me…
Instead of abandoning her, Orbit saved her from the waterway. He even treated her afterwards.
Judging by his previous behavior, he didn’t seem to be an inherently bad person. Tistye quietly asked Orbit who looked dejected.
“Orbit… the one who stole the tiara from Count Astel’s house, it was you, wasn’t it?”
“Why would you do that?”
The moment Orbit tried to open his mouth, Tisyte was struck by a chill.
She felt as if a huge mass of emotions was encroaching them,.Anger. Impatience. Due to the tremendous intensity, Tistye instinctively searched for a place to hide.
“Wh, what happened?”
“I, I just have a very bad feeling—”
Orbit, who was worried, offered his hand to Tistye who started to shiver for reasons other than being cold.
At that moment, the shabby entrance of the hut was kicked. After a loud sound, the door fell to the ground as if it were merely glued in place.
Orbit looked back at the sudden, loud, noise.
However, in the next moment, “Hyii…” proved to be the only thing he could say. Tistye closed her eyes with a resigned look.
…There are three vertical wrinkles on his forehead…
The man who broke the door slowly retracted his leg. Standing there wasn’t the King of the Underworld, but His Majesty the Emperor—Gaizel. Due to the backlight, his eyes gleamed brightly.
“…I, I’m truly sorry. I thought that it was a wonderful item, but it turned out that it belonged to Her Majesty…”
After being attacked—no, discovered by Gaizel, Tistye and Orbit were taken back to the main residence.
Tistye was told to take a bath and change her clothes at once. Afterwards, she sat next to Gaizel. She sneaked a peek at him. It seemed that Gaizel had returned to normal.
…I’m scared… will Orbit die?
Gaizel’s expression when he saw Orbit reaching out towards the soaked Tistye… it was as scary as the Yenzie’s invasion.
Unsurprisingly, Orbit was terrified. He immediately confessed to his crimes while rubbing his head against the ground.
However, Gaizel’s anger hadn’t subsided. He unsheathed the sword that was hanging from his waist. Fortunately, Van, who caught up with him in time, stopped him.
Orbit, who had experienced how scary Gaizel was, sat on the sofa in terror.
In front of such a poor lamb sat the Emperor of Ice, the one who froze the entire Verscia with his reign, Gaizel. His leg was resting on top of his other leg, while his arms were comfortably placed on the armrests.
“Orbit Lizar, eldest son of the Baron Leto family.”
“I heard about the situation from Tistye. Thank you for helping her. I am not thanking you for the tiara, though.”
Orbit didn’t even know that Tistye was the empress.
Ever since he learned that, though, he had been terrified of Tistye. Tistye quietly asked Orbit, who was so frightened he could have been confronting the God of Death.
“…What was your reason?”
“I’m trying to cause trouble for Luka.”
He knew that Count Astel’s workshop would borrow accessories from the client. He thought that if one of the accessories disappeared, bad rumors would spread about Count Astel.
“But, I was going to return it, soon. I was just trying to shake him a little. However, the knights arrived. I couldn’t enter the workshop. I caused a bigger mess than I expected…”
“That’s only natural. Do you know how valuable the tiara is?”
Tistye, who was disappointed by Orbit’s excuse, said to him.
“You’re Elena’s friend, right? Didn’t you think that she’d be hurt if Count Astel’s reputation fell?”
At that time, the hectic sound of footsteps running down the corridor could be heard approaching.
As Tistye raised her head, the door of the drawing room vigorously opened. Elena’s shoulders raised and lowered as she exhaled. Tistye glanced at Orbit. He was even more terrified than before.
Amidst Orbit’s astonishment, Elena rushed to him.
Frightened by her, Orbit hurriedly stood up. Elena clenched her fist and punched his cheek without the slightest hesitation.
A splendid iron fist sank into Orbit’s face. His body was thrown into the carpet in a comical manner.
Gaizel, who had watched the entire scene, nodded in approval. “That was a good straight jab.” He remarked with his arms folded. On the other hands, Tistye was surprised and didn’t know how to react.
“Orbit, do you realize what sort of crime you’ve commit!?”
“I’m sorry, I’m really sorry! I just want to save you…”
Orbit knelt before Elena, who looked uncomfortable.
“Because everyone only ever praises Luka! Even though you’re the designer, he acts as if it’s his own achievement! Because of that, you…”
“His business wouldn’t have grown so big without you! Even so, Luka took advantage of you… I’m so angry at him… it makes me sick, how he treats you like a tool to make more money…”
Elena was quietly staring at Orbit who was making the carpet damp with his tears. After a while, she exhaled and returned to her usual calm self.
“…I see, so that’s why. It’s alright. As long as I can make dresses, I’m already content.”
“—It’s none of your business!”
Elena’s scream pained Tistye’s chest.
The pain probably originated from the voice of Elena’s heart. It hit Tistye with a powerful impact.
The voice of a heart from a person that is truly convinced of something was usually like that.
The voice of her heart is crying out so strongly… it’s different from the voice of His Majesty’s heart, then Elena is surely…
Except, none of what Elena said reflected her true feelings. Tistye wondered if Elena realized that. Tistye took a soft step forward as took a breath.
***T/N: That’s right, although he means well, Orbit’s action will just make it harder for Elena.
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