I Sought Out the Tragedy’s Scheming Mastermind - Chapter 60
Translator and Editor: nieye
Eliana held her breath, waiting for Verkley’s next words.
Their once gentle kisses had grown rough due to their panting breaths, and her steady heartbeat now raged like a storm.
Eliana couldn’t ignore it any longer.
She wanted to know what this man meant to her.
Why were their lips touching so sweetly yet leaving her longing for more?
She wanted to decipher the meaning behind his intense gaze, which felt like a whirlpool of emotions pulling her in different directions.
It was all so clear, so vivid, that she couldn’t deny it any longer.
Verkley kissed her lips softly, but he didn’t provide an immediate answer.
With each passing moment of silence, Eliana’s heart started to sink.
Verkley’s eyes seemed a bit conflicted.
He swallowed as if his throat was parched.
His Adam’s apple bobbed gently.
“Your Majesty, you don’t have to answer. It’s just a pointless question…”
Eliana turned away, seemingly uninterested in hearing a response, but he held onto her throat lightly.
Verkley’s eyes, showing signs of hesitation, met hers.
“I felt empty without you.”
“I was worried when I couldn’t make you smile. It felt like falling into an abyss.”
Eliana’s eyes widened at Verkley’s words.
Verkley didn’t stop there, his gaze faltering.
“I’m afraid that you’re growing inside me.”
“I keep wanting to hold on to you. My responsibilities feel like obstacles. I just want to break my promise and keep you by my side.”
“I was trying to avoid these feelings, fearing where they might lead.”
The desire to meet his eyes and their unspoken connection made Eliana lift his face slightly with her hands.
Though his gaze remained uncertain, his eyes mirrored her own.
In fact, they held a knowing look, as if he already knew the answer.
Verkley hesitated before confessing,
“I think… I might like you.”
“Not just ‘might like,’ but I’ve actually grown fond of you.”
“I know. You’re afraid of staying by my side.”
Before Eliana could respond, Verkley continued.
Upon hearing his words, Eliana, who had been planning to confess the same feelings, pressed her lips together tightly.
‘I thought I was hiding it well, but you noticed.’
He was right.
Eliana was afraid of being by his side.
She’d found herself growing fond of him, but she couldn’t determine whether she was ready to face death for the sake of that affection.
She wasn’t even sure what she wanted from him or how to express it.
She couldn’t be sure if she could accept his confession with these feelings.
Therefore, she couldn’t respond.
The weight of just liking him was too much to bear, let alone considering death as a possibility.
Verkley looked at Eliana with trembling eyes.
The man who had seemed fearless now had a look of apprehension.
He appeared vulnerable.
With a touch of sadness in his eyes, Verkley whispered,
“I have no intention of taking away your freedom.”
“So, at least until I can stay by your side…”
He took a strand of her golden hair with his hand and pressed his lips against it briefly.
Then, he met her gaze and smiled gently.
“You just have to keep smiling for me.”
11. Irreversible Feelings
Early in the morning, Count Mussieux visited Eliana.
After fully regaining consciousness, Eliana vividly remembered everything Count Mussieux had done to her.
From the cunning way he had handed her the bracelet to the moment she put it on and became obedient to his commands, it all came rushing back.
The existence of such dark magic sent shivers down her spine.
The person who had created the bracelet to manipulate people’s minds, as well as Count Mussieux who had attempted to misuse it, seemed utterly deranged.
‘Why did you give me this bracelet? And why did Count Mussieux hand it over without a fight?’
‘It’s your call, I can’t make that decision on my own. Otherwise, I’d most likely face your wrath.’
‘Count Mussieux’s judgment is up to you, Lili. Do as you please.’
Eliana stared at the bracelet Verkley had given her, then shifted her gaze to Count Mussieux.
He knelt before her with a dazed look, his eyes casting furtive glances at her.
Eliana stared at the disoriented Count Mussieux and clicked her tongue.
Considering that she had been in a similar state until yesterday, anger welled up within her.
With a rough motion, Eliana removed the bracelet from her hand.
At that moment, there was a glint of clarity in Count Mussieux’s clouded eyes.
Unlike the previous time when Eliana was under his control, he regained consciousness quickly.
Count Mussieux looked at Eliana with a bewildered gaze, then glanced around as if assessing his surroundings.
Gradually, he moved his hands over his body, as if checking to see if everything was in place.
After finally regaining his senses, the first thing he did was check his own safety.
Eliana asked with a deadpan expression,
“Did you enjoy yourself?”
Finally, Count Mussieux put on a fully servile expression.
It was the same kind of fawning look he had given when introducing her to Marquis Valkyrie.
Suppressing the bubbling feeling from within, Eliana asked,
“How did it feel to move without your own will?”
“Don’t come any closer.”
Eliana quickly waved the bracelet as a warning.
Count Mussieux hesitated when he tried to approach her.
He stared at the bracelet that hung delicately on the tip of Eliana’s finger, a pleading expression in his eyes.
It was a silent plea for her not to use it again.
Eliana shot him a cold glare.
“Answer me. What did you intend to do with this?”
“I just wanted to try being kind to you again…”
“No. If you wanted to be kind, you shouldn’t have used something like this.”
Eliana clenched the bracelet in her hand, her fist tightly closed.
Count Mussieux remained anxious, unable to do anything in the face of her stern attitude.
Beside her, Verkley slowly stood up and placed a hand on Eliana’s shoulder.
“Lili, if you want, I can kill him without a trace.”
Verkley’s soft voice reverberated in the quiet bedroom. It was a seductive and sweet proposition.
Caught in the fierce atmosphere, Count Mussieux trembled.
Eliana seemed to ponder for a moment, then shook her head.
Count Mussieux’s eyes lit up with hope at the prospect of survival.
At that very moment, Eliana retorted icily.
Her voice held no trace of affection for her father.
“He’s not even worth killing.”
Verkley countered with a low voice, tapping his finger against his chin. His retort had a simmering intensity.
Count Mussieux felt a sense of humiliation as his very worth was denied.
Yet, he couldn’t openly show it.
He feared that Eliana’s temperament might worsen and she could take rash actions against him.
With the bracelet in Eliana’s hand, Count Mussieux held his breath, uncertain when the restraints might activate once again.
Eliana approached him, bent her knees, and coldly whispered,
“Don’t interfere in my life anymore. If you don’t want to be stripped of even the insignificant title you have left.”
Within her measured words lay sharp thorns.
“Perhaps, as long as I have this bracelet, you cannot do anything to me, my lord.”
Unlike when she was being controlled, she no longer addressed him as “father.”
As if the title of “father” had no value whatsoever.
Count Mussieux clenched his teeth and questioned,
“…Are you threatening me now?”
“Why? Am I not allowed to?”
“Even I didn’t want to go this far, but it seems I need to for you to understand, my lord.”
“I made a mistake.”
Count Mussieux mechanically apologized.
Little did he know that it would make Eliana even more uncomfortable.
Count Mussieux’s apology only served as a momentary escape from danger.
By crossing certain lines, he had lost his status as Eliana’s father long ago.
Eliana responded heartlessly,
“As if that wasn’t obvious.”
With that final statement, Eliana smirked and stood up.
Count Mussieux clenched his fist and lowered himself, holding his breath.
Eliana warned him coolly,
“Don’t ever appear before my sight again. If we cross paths, do not pretend to know who I am.”
“I am neither a plant nor a bird under your lordship. Consider me absent.”
“If you attempt any foolishness, then at that time, even your own life won’t matter, my lord.”
Eliana flicked the bracelet and released her grip.
Count Mussieux nodded briefly, then rose from his seat.
Eliana looked at the bracelet on his wrist for a moment before averting her gaze.
As Count Mussieux left with a dejected air, Verkley approached and asked,
“Is it really okay to end things like this?”
“Were you hoping I would ask you to kill him?”
“At the very least, I thought you would vent your frustration.”
“I did, by not taking off that bracelet.”
Verkley’s expression showed he wasn’t satisfied with such a meager form of venting.
“There’s no greater shackle for Count Mussieux than this bracelet.”
“Why is that?”
“Well, he’s probably thinking he has to spend his whole life tied down by this bracelet, constantly making him uneasy. He knew how to oppress others his entire life, but he never imagined he’d be tied to someone every day.”
“I thought having one man tied to you would be enough.”
Verkley lightly ran his fingers through Eliana’s hair and murmured.