It wasn’t until I complained my wrists hurt that the two of them returned to their senses and tried pulling their hands away.

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But even that had its own episode.
None wanted to be the first to let go.

“Let go first.”

Kaylan growled.

“It would be better for you to remove your hand beforehand.”

Rodrigo also didn’t give in.

What are you both doing, acting so childishly?

“Release both your hands at the same time.”

I calmed the scrimmage with a peaceful solution as if I were *Solomon.

*TL/N: Solomon was the king of Israel.
His name symbolizes names such as ‘Peaceful’, ‘Man of Peace’, ‘Friend of God’, etc.

The two looked at each other as if they were undergoing a staring contest.

“One, two, three!”

In the end, it was only after I counted to three that I was able to escape their clutches.

Rodrigo and Kaylan let go of me and buried themselves within the comfy carriage seats once more. 

The same situation repeated itself many times after.
Because the road was simply a mess.

If I were the Emperor of this country, the first decree I would announce would be fixing these goddamned roads.
Goodness.

Before I knew it, we reached the Cartina mansion.

“Stop the wagon.”

Kaylan gave his order by tapping the wall of the wagon.
We were before the entrance to the mansion.

“Why don’t you head back now?”

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Kaylan demanded Rodrigo.

“I’d like to briefly greet Count Cartina.”

Regardless of Kaylan’s candid rudeness, Rodrigo remained polite and courteous.
Kaylan’s face reddened even more than before.

If aggravated any longer, he would likely shoot daggers inside this narrow carriage.

I had no choice but to intervene.

“Please come back another time, Rodrigo.”

“Shall I, Estiya? Are you tired?”

Rodrigo immediately retreated to my response.
Kaylan clicked his tongue annoyedly.

“I’d like to talk to you for a while instead.”

“The two of you?”

Kaylan’s eyes widened in shock.

“Yes, us two.”

“No, never!”

Rodrigo fixed his gaze on me, not caring to glance Kaylan’s way.

He was asking me to do something.
He wouldn’t want to stay any longer if there wasn’t a reason.

I decided to follow along with Rodrigo.

“Brother, I’ll speak with Rodrigo for a minute and head in.”

I produced the most lovely expression possible.

I clasped my hands against each other, raised my eyebrows, and slightly inflated my cheeks.

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From an early age, Kaylan easily fell for this expression of mine.

It was the same this time.
Kaylan’s mouth twitched agitatedly before he sighed deeply.

“Estiya, scream if anything happens.”

Rodrigo’s eyebrows lifted upwards.

“Don’t worry, brother.
Thank you for abiding by my wishes.”

I rested my forehead lightly on Kaylan’s shoulder.

His expression lit up differently than the other times I smiled at him this way.
He seemed rather moved.

Had I been too indifferent with Kaylan while expressing my love and affection to Rodrigo? I should pay more attention in the future.

Kaylan still wouldn’t give up his negative thoughts of Rodrigo and me staying alone and remained in the carriage.

“Do you want to stay with Sir Rodrigo for that long, brother?”

He left the wagon a second after I uttered those words.
Our surroundings were now quiet.

Hah, I could finally breathe comfortably.

I had to pretend to be a close lover with Rodrigo in front of Kaylan, but it haunted me constantly how Kaylan could launch an attack on Rodrigo anytime.

Perhaps I would die of a nervous breakdown before they’d be able to murder Rodrigo.

“You seem tired.”

I nodded roughly.

“Please speak of what you have to say.”

I glanced out the window.
Could Kaylan overhear us?

Fortunately, it was raining.
Kaylan was standing a long way from the carriage.

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Emitting his dark energy towards the carriage.

“I have nothing to say.”

“Yes?”

“It’s a little annoying.”

I didn’t ask any more questions.
It was ridiculous and absurd, but I could see something was bothering him.

“I felt like my patience was being tested today.”

“What happened?”

“I experienced many things I didn’t quite like.”

“Like what?”

“Are you curious?”

If you’ve started speaking already, why not just finish?

Of course, I was curious.

I nodded and he proceeded to unravel his many challenges.

His calm and quiet voice was soothing to the ear.
It wasn’t bad to hear his voice in real life, rather than in a book.

“I was ordered to enter the Imperial Palace early in the morning.
I thought I was called for an urgent matter, but his Majesty asked me to meet with Princess Delia.”

The Emperor was aiming for Rodrigo.

“Are you offended in any way?”

Rodrigo asked me.
It seems I’ve unconsciously made an unpleasant impression.

“No, go ahead.
I believe it’s something I need to know.”

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“There was a time when his Majesty asked what my thoughts of Princess Delia were.
Of course, I said I wasn’t interested.”

“What did you say? I don’t think he’ll let it slide.”

He was a sensitive man when it came to his children.

“I said I wasn’t interested in women.
They had remained silent ever since.
But the whole situation seems to have started again.”

“Why?”

“Are you asking because you don’t know?”

It’s not in my nature to ask if I know.
I nodded my head.

“There’s been a scandal going around involving you and I.
It is now seeming that I am interested in women, so it would be the same for her highness.”

It must have felt uncomfortable, being with someone you couldn’t give what they wanted.

“I understand.
It must have been difficult for you today.”

“There’s one other thing.
Something unpleasant.”

“Again?”

Well, he’s a sensitive person.

“The way Detheus stares at you.
I don’t like it.”

“That’s not my fault.”

This seemed like the second interrogation we’ve had after the one in the Imperial Palace.
I slowly leaned back.

“Don’t laugh like that.”

I looked at Rodrigo with confused eyes.

What are you even talking about?

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