I Sought Out the Tragedy’s Scheming Mastermind - Chapter 61
Translator and Editor: nieye
Eliana couldn’t help but laugh as she observed this villain diligently radiating his charm.
A moment later, Eliana extended the bracelet to Verkley and made a request,
“Make this disappear without a trace, please.”
Verkley’s eyes widened in surprise as if he hadn’t expected such a request.
Why is he surprised?
Eliana retorted in a calm manner,
“I’d be obsessed with finding this, but we can’t just leave it anywhere.”
“Still, keeping it would make it easier to control Count Mussieux.”
“You don’t understand.”
Eliana gestured slowly back and forth with her index finger.
Verkley quirked an eyebrow, and Eliana responded with a triumphant smile.
“Nothing drives a person more crazy than invisible chains.”
“Count Mussieux will never know how to remove the bracelet. That’s the difference between him and I.”
Thinking of the helpless Count Mussieux, Eliana couldn’t help but burst into laughter.
“I don’t want to tie down others with things like this. I only want to disrupt their beliefs a little.”
Eliana’s clear explanation deepened Verkley’s gaze.
He shattered the bracelet in his hands right there.
Eliana held the powdered remains in her hand and walked to the window.
She opened it, then blew it into the air.
The powder dispersed in the wind.
Verkley silently watched this scene unfold.
For some reason, he felt a sensation as if he might disappear along with it.
Eliana spun around by the window and locked eyes with Verkley.
Her golden hair swayed in the wind, resembling watercolors blending in water.
Eliana’s lemon-colored eyes gazed intently at Verkley.
Who in turn fixed his gaze on her.
After a moment, Eliana expressed her gratitude in a slightly awkward tone,
“For giving me the chance to choose.”
“…It was only reasonable.”
“Still, thank you.”
Verkley responded curtly, and Eliana gave him a playful smile.
Verkley couldn’t help but capture her in his gaze, finding her appearance so beautiful that he almost got lost in it.
There was no middle ground with emotions.
Once opened, the heart expands without reservation, never shrinking back.
When you notice it, it would’ve already grown too much, unable to be concealed any longer – that was the nature of the heart.
So, is that why people say that love paralyzes rationality?
For a while, Verkley quietly observed her. He was captivated by Eliana’s beauty, by everything about her being so endearing. The unfamiliarity of his own feelings also made him feel awkward.
Of course, if his feelings could have faded just from continuously staring at her, he wouldn’t have developed these feelings in the first place. From the beginning, he would never have opened his heart or let it grow.
Eliana observed the expression on his face, unable to discern his thoughts.
The atmosphere and temperature were distinctly different from before.
Though Eliana was aware that the formerly chilly temperature had become lukewarm and almost sticky, she pretended not to notice.
Just as he couldn’t give up his thirst for revenge despite saying he loved her, she loved him but was hesitant due to his unhappiness, his curse, and the looming threat of death.
Both of them were well aware of this fact.
Their emotions were on the verge of bursting with just a little more heat, yet that delicate temperature repeatedly cooled down and heated up again.
They hadn’t crossed the limit yet.
* * *
Verkley questioned Fin and learned the full story of what happened that day.
‘So, it was Mary’s quick thinking that delayed the ceremony…’
Since Fin had seen his red eyes, he decided to issue a warning, but the mention of Mary had been unexpected.
‘H-Her Highness must have known about Your Majesty’s eye color, so she stepped forward and organized everything…’
She already knew.
Verkley was quite shocked.
He hadn’t been able to gauge Mary’s feelings. She had behaved so nonchalantly for ten years.
Perhaps she realized his true identity on the day he went berserk for the first time.
Mary must have encountered Mach when she came to find him, the day he lost his sight.
After signing the contract with Mach and suddenly gaining power, he had seen Mary before losing consciousness.
So, when he regained his senses, he wondered what had happened.
But contrary to his concerns, Mary seemed fine.
He thought he might have hallucinated or experienced some sort of illusion.
‘No, maybe I just wanted to believe that.’
Verkley stared at Mary, who had come to try out his new clothes.
Mary meticulously examined the outfit, pretending everything was fine.
Verkley’s gaze naturally drifted to Mary’s bruised fingertips.
They were so injured that he couldn’t tell if it was from sewing or if she had pricked her own hand with a needle.
For some reason, Verkley was bothered by the sight.
“How does it feel to wear it?
Mary asked with a modest smile.
Verkley simply nodded quietly in response.
“I’m not sure if you’ll like it since I had to make it in a hurry.”
Mary waited anxiously for his evaluation.
Verkley finally sighed.
This was why he had been reluctant to meet her.
He knew Mary’s excessively kind nature all too well, and he avoided her because he knew he would be swayed by her goodness.
However, he started caring again when Eliana began to get close to Mary.
It was because of her constant babbling whenever she met with Mary.
Her intentions were obvious.
She liked Mary.
‘Why did you return so early when you said you were going to see Mary?’
‘Oh, it’s because the princess isn’t feeling well. She seems to have caught a severe cold. Her face is all red, and she’s coughing quite a bit.’
‘It’s probably not a cold; it’s most likely a Levi flower allergy. Those flowers have been blooming a lot lately.’
‘The Innis fruits have begun to ripen at the Summer Palace…’
Innis fruit was known to be a remedy for allergies.
Verkley was about to ask her to take some, but he hesitated.
‘What’s an Innis fruit?’
‘No, it’s nothing.’
Verkley found it absurd that he had momentarily worried about Mary.
At the same time, he reminded himself of the reasons he should resent Mary.
She was a child who had distanced herself from him.
But to think that this child had protected him for over a decade, was hard to believe.
‘I only thought of killing you, but you only thought of saving me. There’s no contradiction like this one.’
Verkley rubbed his throbbing head.
For the first time, he began to feel that what he was doing might be excessive.
Verkley made an effort to suppress the urge to dig deeper into the matter and responded briefly to Mary, who was waiting.
“It fits me well. Thank you for your efforts, especially in such a tight schedule.”
“You are too kind!”
Mary cheerfully replied to Verkley’s compliment.
Verkley watched her as she hurriedly packed her things.
She seemed incredibly excited. Seeing the child laughing so happily and moving about was a rare sight these days.
Meanwhile, Eliana, standing by, secretly gave a thumbs-up and wore a satisfied smile.
“I’ll be going now, Your Majesty! I’ll see you later, Eliana.”
Mary said as she prepared to leave the room.
“Take care to treat those wounds properly.”
Verkley uttered by accident and immediately regretted it.
‘What if she misunderstands and assumes I’m worried about her?’
He had no real reason to be concerned for her well-being.
Mary looked at Verkley with surprise in her eyes.
After a moment, she responded with a teary-eyed expression, understanding that Verkley was referring to her finger wounds.
“I will, Your Majesty.”
Although he spoke vaguely, Mary understood his words and figured out that he was not blind.
Verkley bit hard on his lower lip.
He was determined not to spew any more nonsense.
Mary nodded in a goodbye towards Verkley, who wasn’t even looking at her, and then left the room.
Eliana, with a startled expression, glanced at the back of Verkley’s head, but he continued to avoid showing his face.
* * *
From that day on, Count Mussieux began to discreetly avoid Eliana.
He didn’t come to the palace too often or unnecessarily disturb her in the Imperial Villa. When necessary, he would send a servant to the Imperial Villa to handle any official matters.
Thus, the situation was gradually resolved.
It was a peaceful day before the postponed ceremony was finally scheduled to take place.
Eliana received an unexpected request for a meeting with Gabriel.
Gabriel had always met Eliana in the company of Mary, so the idea of being summoned alone was somewhat unfamiliar.
“It’s the first time we two are meeting like this.”
Gabriel remarked as she offered her a cup of tea, its gentle aroma filling the air.
The temple within the palace where Gabriel stayed was not as grand as the Temple of Hosios, but it was clean and cozy.
Eliana took a sip of her tea and replied,
“The smell is quite delightful.”
Gabriel smiled gracefully in response to Eliana’s compliment.
“…Miss Eliana doesn’t seem to be very alert.”
“Or perhaps, you trust me?”
“What do you mean?”
Eliana suddenly looked at Gabriel with a puzzled expression as she talked about wariness and trust.
Gabriel began an unexpected story, and it made no sense.
“Did you know, when I first entered the capital, a sparrow flew into my room through a crack in the window?”
Eliana tilted her head.
Gabriel continued her story with a serene tone.
“It was a bird with exceptionally beautiful feathers.”
“Saintess, I must admit I’m not very good at understanding. I’m not sure why you are suddenly mentioning a sparrow…”
Eliana chuckled awkwardly, trying to get some context. The saintess smiled softly.
“On that day, I was about to drink tea, but I accidentally dropped the teacup. There was some leftover tea beneath the chair that I hadn’t wiped clean. It was the sparrow’s misfortune.”
“The sparrow seemed thirsty and decided to drink that leftover tea… Now, here’s the question. What do you think happened to that sparrow?”