I Sought Out the Tragedy’s Scheming Mastermind - Chapter 12
Translator and Editor: nieye
Naturally, Eliana’s entire body fit under the umbrella.
“…Huh?” Eliana squeaked in surprise.
“There’s no point in sitting under an umbrella when you’re too far away,” Verkley murmured.
He was blind, so he was sharp in other senses.
Of course, that was a lie, but no one doubted Verkley’s actions.
Then, Sophia, who was also standing next to Eliana, slid her a sharp look.
It must be because she sat down next to the emperor.
‘How could I refuse? When the sun is burning my skin?’
Eliana sat there, pretending she could not see Sophia.
“Uh… Thank you, Your Majesty.”
“You’re welcome.” Verkley smiled brightly with unfocused eyes.
Seeing this, Sophia’s expression turned blank. Eliana’s expression also turned strange.
She’d seen his smile many times, but it was always a sight that was hard to get used to. In many ways.
She thought she’d been with him for quite a while, but every time she saw him, Verkley’s appearance felt new.
If those blue eyes stayed glued to her every day, she’d no longer have a heart.
At the same time as Eliana squirmed like a rabbit, Verkley let out a long yawn.
“I feel a bit tired.”
“Ah, shall we go back?”
As Eliana tried to stand up, he grabbed her and pulled her back down.
When Eliana turned to look at him with confusion written all over her face, she felt a weight pressing down on her shoulder and a refreshing scent lingering at the tip of her nose.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Verkley’s black hair.
Verkley leaned into her and whispered softly. “Let’s stay like this for a moment.”
“You can lean on me if you’re tired.”
“N-No, I’m not tired, Your Majesty.”
Eliana sat with her spine as straight as a metal rod.
As he relaxed and settled down, he spoke with affection in his tone. “You can relax. You’ll feel more comfortable.”
Eliana adjusted her posture again.
It felt strangely ticklish where he was touching.
The other maids who witnessed the scene widened their eyes, and Sophia smiled with regret.
Was it because of his scent that she could smell, or because of his heavyweight?
Eliana was so nervous that she kept her head cast down.
* * *
It was the afternoon.
Eliana was peacefully relaxing when Hera summoned her.
Verkley was taking a bath when she called.
Her invocation caused a small stir in Eliana’s peaceful schedule.
When Hera summoned Eliana, she recalled that this was a trick inside the novel.
‘I’ve gotten used to this carefree routine, and I’ve let my guard down without realizing it.’
Perhaps she was more careless with Verkley because he hadn’t threatened her, and he was the mastermind.
So far, he had been friendly and did not try to intimidate her like Hera.
Eliana just felt like she wanted to get closer. It was hard to explain, though.
Hera summoning Eliana was like a wake-up call, drawing her back to reality.
Eliana had no reason to believe Verkley would be affectionate till the end just because he was sweet with her right now.
Because the Verkley she read about in the novel was nothing more than a ruthless tyrant blinded by revenge.
So she always reminded herself that he was the scheming mastermind, but she was so comfortable that she became complacent.
She had no idea when he’d threaten her, but right now, he had his guard down, as they were both comfortable around each other.
Hera, on the other hand, made her feel the opposite.
Hera was someone who flaunted her position.
The bones hidden behind her friendly words were sharp and would most likely cut, so she always had to be careful.
She’d have to put on a strong front when with Hera.
It was so she could pick up on the sign she was sending.
In [ The Princess Who’s Blind to the Emperor ], Hera was one of the evilest characters right after Verkley.
She deceived people with her beautiful appearance and sweet words and tried to gradually steal the golden throne.
It was Verkley who stopped her.
After he revealed his powers, Mary’s life also fell into the abyss with her mother, Hera.
That’s how far Eliana has read.
Since she hadn’t read the novel’s ending, she had no idea what would happen afterwards.
But it didn’t seem like there would be a happy ending for Mary, who was already completely distraught.
“The Young Lady Eliana Mussieux has arrived, Empress Dowager.”
The doors opened with a loud voice emerging from the room.
Eliana carefully entered the drawing-room.
Hera greeted Eliana with a big black panther by her side.
The poor cat she saw last time was nowhere to be seen.
The golden eyes of the beast sharply turned to Eliana. The panther began to drool as if it just found its prey.
The panther was waiting for its owner’s permission to pounce.
Goosebumps spread across Eliana’s skin, horrified that the panther wanted to eat her.
Eliana flinched at the sound of the panther’s growl.
At that moment, Hera gently caressed her hand over the beast’s back. “Shh, good boy. She is on our side.”
The beast let out a short sound at Hera’s cooing.
The beast lapped at its mouth as if a perfect meal were going to waste.
The panther, apparently losing interest in Eliana, lay beside Hera’s feet and yawned.
Only then did Eliana let out a sigh of relief.
‘Just like when you cut off the cat’s fur, you wanted me to be scared. It brings you joy… Argh.’
She was terrified.
Hera enjoyed making Eliana frightened.
Behind her gentle smile and face was cruelty.
Eliana calmed down and slowly approached Hera. She was about to lift the hem of her dress to show politeness when…
“There’s no need to be so modest between us.”
Hera’s words struck her.
Eliana cringed at Hera’s demeanor, which was gentler than ever before.
She was still nervous about the panther but tried to be brave.
Eliana smiled softly as if she weren’t disturbed and took a seat.
“It’s been a while, Empress Dowager.”
“Yes, have you adapted to a pleasant life in the palace?
“I’m able to live very comfortably with the Empress Dowager’s help.”
At Eliana’s response, Hera’s expression held something strange.
Then she brought the tips of her fingers to her mouth and smiled lightly.
“Yes, I would assume so. Verkley is not strong enough to hit you like your father.”
Her smile soon took on a sinister look.
The words ”like your father” meant to bring her pain.
If she were the real Eliana, she would have flinched.
Hera spoke to Eliana, who made no response.
“Where do you think the emperor’s position is, exactly?”
“How could I…” Eliana hesitated with reluctance.
It was not possible to know what Hera’s question intended.
She could insult the royal family if she responded incorrectly, which was a crime.
She didn’t know what to say to this test.
The panther’s eyes still watched fiercely.
When a maid poured the fragrant tea into the teacup, Hera took a sip and continued with a relaxed tone.
“As you can see, here, I am above the emperor.”
“Don’t you wonder why I brought you here?”
“Well, I didn’t…”
Eliana internally rolled her eyes and pretended to fumble over her words.
Then Hera suddenly let out a laugh.
Eliana looked her way, her eyes wide when Hera suddenly stopped laughing and said, “You’re more naïve than I thought. Probably because a count’s family has no connections in the political world.”
“No, I like that side of you more. That way, he won’t be suspicious.”
“By him, do you mean…”
When Eliana asked for clarification, Hera spoke firmly.
“Verkley Owen. I’m talking about the emperor.”
“Ah…” Eliana confirmed as if she had been waiting for that.
In the Owen Empire, Verkley and Hera’s relationship was known to be quite intimate.
A stepmother standing up to the nobles who want to dethrone the blind emperor.
It was a good story that was discussed among the people of the empire.
Hera looked into Eliana’s startled gaze and gently asked, “Do you have feelings for him?”
Eliana was so surprised she immediately answered without realizing it.
Because her true feelings flowed out too easily.
Eliana replied so quickly that she wriggled her hands in embarrassment.
Hera’s eyes widened, not knowing that she would get an answer that fast.
A moment later, she uttered something in a quiet voice.
“Then that’s a good thing. Don’t fall for him.”
“Huh?” Eliana asked with confusion, not knowing what she just said.
Hera’s eyes turned cold.
“That boy will soon die anyway. Decide who is the golden path.”
T/N: Hello! I’m nieye, the translator/editor for this novel. If you’d like to support me, head over to my Ko-fi (っ˘ω˘ς ). Thank you for the love <33