The Star Palace of Adelio was a place where no rest came. Even well into the night, Rosé and Ferre’s antics would begin anew.
The twins sat far from each other at both ends of the table. If they were close to each other, they would just try to trick the maids and not eat properly.
“No, I said I don’t wanna. I’ll wait until Heli Oppa* comes. I’ll only eat when Oppa eats.”
Rosé violently rejected the dinner that the maid brought to her. She slammed her small hand on the table, and the maid flinched and exclaimed, ‘Ack!’ as the food turned over.
“I… this… I didn’t do it on purpose…”
The maid’s apron was ruined by the sauce, and all Rosé could only respond in a broken voice.
The maid let out a long sigh. She seemed to be struggling.
“His Majesty said that he would be a little late today. I shall ask for Your Highness’ meal to be prepared again, so I think it’s better to start with this first. Your Highness Rosé, please have a bite.”
“Then bring Heli Oppa—I already told you many many times that I’ll only eat when he comes. Call Heli Oppa!”
Rosé shouted Helios’ nickname in a great, shrill voice, pretending that tears were coming out of her eyes as she wiped them with her sleeve. But facing her, Ferre just quietly ate the meal that was prepared by the maids.
‘Why is Ferre eating?!’
“Hey! Ferre! You can’t start eating by yourself!”
Rosé jumped off her chair and ran to Ferre’s side, huffing and puffing, then she pushed away his plates.
“Ah, right! We promised not to eat!”
Ferre bumped his palm over his head slightly as though he only remembered now. Ferre had promised hours ago not to eat until Heli was called. Of course, this was a plan that was made by the more active of the two, his older twin sister.
With an ‘oomph’, Rosé went on her tiptoes and climbed on the chair next to Ferre’s. Then, she held Ferre’s arm tightly and hugged him like he’s a doll.
As they were close to each other, they looked like fish-shaped buns**, just of different colors. Rosé had silver hair and green eyes, while Ferre had blond hair and purple eyes. They inherited their mother and father’s physical features and personalities.
Rosé, whose cheeks were rosy, frowned and whispered in Ferre’s ear. Ferre squirmed because Rosé’s breath tickled his ear.
“We have to play around without eating so that Heli Oppa will come to see us.”
“But I’m hungry…”
“Are you really gonna do that? Ferre, you’ll break our promise!”
Ferre met Rosé’s gaze, but slowly turned to the meal that she had cleared out a while ago.
Rosé glared at Ferre, then whispered again.
“Hey, then you don’t want Heli Oppa to come and see us? What if he forgets us?!”
Ferre shook his head violently as though saying that was impossible.
The maids watched and shook their heads as well, but in dejection. As the twins spoke seriously without noticing that everyone could hear their discussion, even with their noses so close together.
Then, Ferre suddenly nodded at Rosé’s words, then puffed out his chest in determination. Next to him, Rosé’s lips curled up with a devilish smirk.
“I’m not going to eat either. I’ll eat when Heli Hyung* comes. So bring Hyung here!”
The twins jumped out of their chairs and grabbed each other’s hand, then ran out of the dining hall.
Rosé and Ferre bumped into something that was like a solid white wall and fell backwards.
It was Helios’ legs in white pants.
The maids, startled by the Emperor’s sudden visit, bowed their heads immediately. The maids were about to approach him, but he gestured that he was fine and excused them.
The two cuties rushed to Helios. Thanks to him coming earlier than usual, they were absolutely elated.
With a big smile that appeared on his lips because of the two, Helios knelt down on one knee, not caring if his white pants would get dirty. And with his familiar touch, he neatly adjusted the twins’ clothes.
“Where are you going without eating?”
Even the gentle way he hugged his younger siblings expressed just how much he cared for them. Without even thinking about it, the twins automatically fell into their older brother’s arms right away.
Perhaps because they were cute younger siblings who were twenty years younger than him, but to Helios, they were just so lovely. It took a lot of work and he was endlessly tired, but he did his best to ensure that his younger siblings wouldn’t get hurt.
“We wanted to wait for Heli Oppa.”
Rosé looked up from her Helios’ arms.
“Right, right, Rosé said if we don’t eat, Hyung will come.”
Rosé stepped on the unwitting Ferre’s foot.
“Hey. Why did you step on my foot!”
Ferre shouted at Rosé.
This was a sight that Helios saw often, and so it had been a long time already since he gave up. He carried Rosé with one arm and with his other hand, he held Ferre’s little hand. At this, the big smiles on the twins’ lips never left.
Helios took the children to the table and sat down next to them. The maids quickly set new plates for them.
Helios said this gently as he watched the twins eat in a hurry. He wiped the crumbs off Ferre’s mouth, a familiar action. The people who watched him being so kind smiled as they saw this.
“But Iyung, why’d you come so eawly?”
Ferre mumbled with his mouth full of food, his cheeks looking like they were about to burst. He was also holding a fork with a skewered piece of meat in one hand.
“Yeah! I wish you’d come early everyday. We’re sad if it’s only the two of us.”
As Helios handed a glass of water to Rosé, she gulped it down and nodded vigorously.
“You’ll have a new tutor starting next week.”
With his chin in one hand, he spoke gently, his eyelashes fluttering down. The sweet older brother looked down at them with an affectionate gaze as usual with his purple eyes, but Rosé’s green eyes shook as she returned his gaze.
Rosé and Ferre shouted together and put down their forks at the same time. Rosé’s wide eyes were instantly filled with tears.
“I don’t wanna. We told you we don’t need one.”
Helios had an awkward expression as he looked at his younger sister.
“If there’s a tutor, Oppa won’t come to see me and Ferre anymore.”
“Rosé, you know that’s not true.”
When Helios replied soothingly and reached out to pat Rosé’s head, she turned away. Helios sighed briefly.
“Me and Ferre wanna be beside Heli Oppa. Oppa can be our tutor.”
Rosé tugged on Heli’s white sleeve.
Rosé urged her twin to agree. Ferre didn’t think about it much before, but after seeing her sister cry, it made him feel sad, too. Soon, Ferre’s eyes also brimmed with tears.
“Y… Yeah… If Hyung’s not here… Uwahh!”
Eventually Ferre shed crocodile tears first. Rosé didn’t want to lose and so bawled along with him. The dining hall was soon filled with the children’s wails.
Helios couldn’t even bring up the word ‘tutor’ again until Rosé and Ferre had stopped crying and calmed down.
* Oppa is the term used by a younger girl addressing her older brother/close male friend, while Hyung is the term used by a younger boy addressing his older brother/close male friend.
—I decided to retain the Korean terms instead of just translating both words to ‘Brother’ because it’ll be hard for the readers to know who’s speaking between Rosé and Ferre since their speech patterns are similar.
** The twins were described as bungeoppang (or taiyaki in Japanese), which is a fish-shaped pastry that’s a popular street food in Korea in winter.
Comments for chapter "Chapter 18"
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