I Sought Out the Tragedy’s Scheming Mastermind - Chapter 42
Translator and Editor: nieye
“The same as usual. He’s still weak and often bumps into harsh places, so he’s in pain.”
Of course, she was saying this on purpose.
Eliana grinned, swallowing her last words.
Verkley was acting blind with his skillful performance.
“Is that so?” Mary murmured, looking slightly saddened, and then directed her gaze to the teacup.
Mary was always cautious when she talked about Verkley.
Verkley also went silent when she talked about Mary.
Is there something unknown going on between the two?
Eliana stared at Mary’s profile and spoke as if gathering information.
“I heard you two were close when you were young.”
“When the empress was alive, we often met up and played around.”
Mary had a soft smile around her lips, like a girl recalling old memories.
Considering that Mary and the empress were quite close, she had a rough idea of what the past might’ve looked like.
Mary was an unlucky princess whose mother’s sins were so terrible that in the end, she was blinded because of them.
She may have been more comfortable with the empress, who was not her biological mother but treated her more kindly than Hera, who only gnawed at her mind.
In the novel, Mary had compassion for Hera.
Eliana knew all too well what pain her position had caused.
She was also well aware that she would have lived a similar life to her mother if she hadn’t met the emperor.
‘If Hera had been satisfied with her lifestyle and didn’t kill the emperor and empress, this tragedy wouldn’t have happened.’
No matter how much she thought about it, she couldn’t find a way to unravel this already tangled relationship.
From a third person’s point of view, the relationship was too twisted.
She just wanted everyone to do well. Of course, hoping she didn’t die in the process.
Then, Mary spoke quietly.
“I understand His Majesty.”
“Pardon?” Eliana’s thoughts shattered as she reacted.
Mary was still staring at the teacup with her head low.
She had no idea what was going inside her head, but her tightly sealed lips had to be muffling something.
“I hope His Majesty doesn’t hate Mother too much.”
“…Do you think His Majesty hates the Empress Dowager?”
Verkley was obviously pretending to get along with Hera.
But Mary knew that internally, Verkley was grinding his teeth.
‘Didn’t Mary know that Hera killed the emperor and empress?’
Eliana stared blankly in a way that indicated it was hard to understand what Mary meant.
Mary replied with a wry smile.
“It’s just… There’s only one thing left to hate.”
“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop my mother.”
“Do you want to stop her?”
Mary looked up at the seriousness in Eliana’s question.
Mary’s eyes gleamed with fresh tears.
And then she smiled as always, like a habit.
“If only I could.”
Eliana knew as soon as she saw that smile.
Mary could not refute Hera’s words.
She was determined to do as she was told.
But Eliana pretended to be oblivious.
Because it seemed like that’s what Mary wanted.
Mary’s face was like a mournful burn.
* * *
It was the day they had to go to the Temple of Hosios to hold the ceremony.
It was a headache to follow Mary in a carriage, but Rube came early in the morning.
Neatly dressed, Rube was the first to pay his respects to Verkley and then spoke to Eliana.
“I’m here to ask you a favor beforehand.”
“This morning?” Eliana looked up at Rube in a daze.
Just after breakfast, Verkley sat in a chair and gave them a strange look.
It was too early in the morning.
Eliana glanced at Verkley.
He looked very uncomfortable.
He tilted his head, calling out to Rube.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“I think you’re pushing her too hard.”
Despite Verkley’s sharp reaction, Rube replied leisurely.
He apologized, but his face didn’t look sorry at all.
She had no idea why he made such a fuss whenever Rube was around. Maybe it’s because of his deal with the Hanev.
Priest Rube seemed uncomfortable, too.
Eliana busily packed her belongings, wanting to get away quickly.
Moments later, Eliana held Verkley’s hand and brought it to her forehead to greet him.
“I’ll be back!”
She was about to leave after showing courtesy, but Verkley grabbed her hand.
When Eliana looked at him in surprise, he lightly tugged on her hand.
In an instant, Verkley’s lips touched her cheek.
“You have to return quickly, Lili,” Verkley whispered sweetly, the corners of his eyes crinkling.
His face shone with how bright he was smiling.
When Eliana stared at him in embarrassment, he sternly mouthed:
“Hehe, yes. I’ll return soon!”
It’s really hard to survive.
Eliana smiled awkwardly at Verkley’s demand.
Then, Verkley turned his head, pushing his cheek out.
It meant he wanted her to kiss him too.
Eliana shook her eyes, signaling she didn’t want to, but Verkely was silent.
Eventually, Eliana took a big deep breath and kissed Verkley’s cheek.
What a spectacle of seeing them kiss each other with another person present.
Besides, Rube was the man Hera demanded she gets engaged to.
Of course, it was a relationship made up from Hera’s orders, but still… she felt like she was doing something wrong, kissing another man in front of him.
Looking back, Rube looked fine.
‘Am I the only one thinking too deep into this?’
Eliana timidly turned to Rube, and he reached out with his hand.
She could feel a murderous glare stabbing her back, but she pretended not to notice and took Rube’s hand.
He came to escort her, but she couldn’t say no to him.
“Well, we’ll be leaving now, Your Majesty.” Rube politely acknowledged him again, but Verkley did not answer.
Before the doors closed, Eliana glanced at Verkley.
But Verkley was looking elsewhere.
For some reason, she felt sorry.
* * *
They say your time has come if you suddenly do something you’ve never done before.
As Eliana tilted her head and thought of Verkley, Rube spoke to her.
“I guess he’s already given you a nickname.”
“Oh, it just happened somehow.” Eliana scratched her cheek with an awkward expression.
It was because her nickname did not have a grand meaning.
It was a mere token of his willingness to treat her like a dog.
His intention was far from friendly.
Of course, it was also an itchy name that could seem like a nickname to those who didn’t know the meaning.
Verkley found it interesting to call her “Lili.”
She didn’t know if picking on people was his hobby, but he often called Eliana “Lili.”
It was new, watching him play such childish jokes, as he was only expressed as viscous inside the novel.
She did not want to be called by a fake name…
From his perspective, it was hilarious to see her shocked expression every time she heard the nickname.
Her head was filled with the thought of Verkley again.
‘He’s a person with an unexpected childish side.’
Rube stared at her silently.
After a while, Eliana looked around and asked Rube in a low voice.
“I heard from the Empress Dowager that you proposed our engagement… Why did you do that?”
“Do you find it unpleasant to be engaged to me?”
“No, that’s not what I meant…”
“I’m glad it wasn’t.”
“Well, I, uh, I mean…”
As Rube made eye contact and spoke softly, Eliana stammered.
It was difficult for her to get engaged right away, regardless of whether she liked or hated the idea of it.
It had already been a long time since she crossed the line with Verkley to fully rely on Rube, and she couldn’t help but feel more comfortable with Verkley than with Rube, someone unknown.
Eliana looked straight at him and explained. “You know, Rube. I’m on His Majesty’s side, and that’s why I can’t leave the palace.
Then, a bitter smile formed around Rube’s mouth.
“That’s what I know.”
“First, the palace has many eyes watching, so when we reach the temple, I’ll tell you the details.”
Having said that, Rube clenched his fist tightly.
Upon arriving at the Temple of Hosios, she was immediately ushered to an unfamiliar space.
Eliana stared at Rube as he prepared the tea.
Rube had guided her to his private study.
The moderately sized room in the Hosios Temple was neat.
She was confused when they entered his private study, as preparations for the debut were mainly discussed in the reception room.
Perhaps he came here, looking for a suitable place to talk in secret.
Eliana quietly looked around in awkward silence.
The bookshelves were lined with scriptures.
Most of them were written in various languages and could not be read.
There was something engraved on the wall in unfamiliar letters.
While Eliana was trying to read it in wonder, Rube offered a teacup.
“I made it cool on purpose.”
It was a cold teacup of hibiscus.
It was hot walking from the palace to the temple.
Naturally, he didn’t bring a carriage, so she did not need to make an excuse to walk instead.
Cold hibiscus was good for cooling down from the heat.
Eliana took a sip of the hibiscus.
It was more sweet than sour as if it had been mixed with honey.
As she felt every time, Rube seemed to be a person accustomed to being considerate.
Eliana looked all over at the books and said…
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