Looking up, she saw that Helios was holding her hat, a pretty smile on his lips.
He was wearing a more casual outfit compared to his usual garb inside the imperial palace.
If it wasn’t for the many attendants and handmaids accompanying him—to an excessive degree, actually—he would have seemed like an ordinary aristocrat.
Sera dazedly stared at Helios.
And it was when he spoke to her that she broke out of her reverie and realized just how rude she was being right now.
“Miss Popo, you must have been waiting for a while now.”
“I should have greeted you first, Your Majesty. Thank you very much for inviting me to your trip to the Imperial Villa.”
“It’s alright. And I hope that you have a great time with Rosé and Ferre, Miss Popo.”
With his beautiful eyes curved along with his smile, he leaned forward—right above her shoulder.
As Sera breathed, she noticed his refreshingly cool scent.
His Majesty really had a talent for making her heart flutter, one way or another. Without knowing what the other person feels.
“You look very pretty today.”
He whispered into her ear in a low voice that only she could hear.
And he was careful as he placed her hat, which she had forgotten, on her head.
Sera’s face flushed bright pink as she lowered her gaze, conscious of the clothes she was wearing now.
The white lace dress and the hat on her head matched the occasion perfectly—it’s the right outfit for a trip to the blue ocean.
‘Did I dress up too much?’
Helios carried Rosé up, and Sera belatedly noticed the eyes around them.
She wondered what other people were thinking as they saw this scene.
Fortunately, the handmaids and the attendants were so busy that they couldn’t afford to idle around and pay them any attention.
Only the twins looked between Sera and their older brother, and they covered their gawking mouths with their hands.
Even Rosé, who was in Helios’ arms, mouthed to Sera excitedly.
‘Sera! He said you’re pretty! Heli Oppa said it!’
‘Oh, I’m too embarrassed.’
Sera replied equally as quiet, and she shook her head with a smile on her lips as she saw Rosé giggling. Her black hair fluttered in the air.
* * *
Rosé and Ferre were very excited.
The two of them were on each of Sera’s side at the wide train couch, and they were on their knees, looking out of the windows. And with gaping mouths, the twins had their faces all pressed up to the glass as they made sure to take in the whole scenery that was passing by.
“Sera, look over there! That one!”
“Yes, Your Highness Rosé? Which one?”
“There! There are birds flying in the sky!”
“It’s my first time seeing a flock fly like that!”
Ferre waddled in between Sera and Rosé and promptly pushed his face up to this window, saying that he wanted to see, too.
The young boy’s knees were right on the edge of the seat in a precarious posture, so Helios reached over and carried his younger brother to his side.
“You can look at them from here.”
Helios took off Ferre’s shoes and settled his younger brother on his lap.
Ferre exclaimed. He had a clearer view of the birds at this angle.
“This place is so fun. I didn’t know those kinds of birds live in the sea!”
Both Sera and Helios chuckled at the child’s innocent observations.
“But Heli Hyung, what time are we getting there?”
Plopping back down on the soft train couch, he tugged on Helios’ sleeve and asked.
His bright expression was evidently excited to watch the scenery outside a little more, but he was also obviously a little sleepy.
“Hmm. We’ll be there in maybe about an hour.”
The imperial villa in the southern region was a long way away from the Adelio Empire’s capital, but they had been traveling by train nonstop for about five hours now.
They had just gotten their first glimpse at the blue waters’ expanse, so there should be approximately one more hour to go.
“Are you both feeling sleepy?”
Rosé and Ferre both answered the question at the same time. Like little rabbits, they rubbed their drowsy eyes.
“Your Highnesses didn’t sleep a lot last night because you were looking forward to the trip, hm?”
Sera gently stopped Rosé’s hands from rubbing her eyes more so that they wouldn’t go red.
Unable to answer, the twins both didn’t look her in the eye.
It’s only normal for children of their age to get excited about special days, like Christmas or birthdays. But since they left the capital at such an early hour, did they sleep for only about two hours?”
Goodness. Sera sighed briefly, imagining how hectic the Star Palace must have been last night.
“There’s still a little time before we arrive, so why don’t you rest your eyes until then?”
Smiling tenderly, Sera patted her lap.
The children had always been fond of sleeping close to her, saying that they liked her scent.
Tilting her head to the side for a moment as she thought about it, Rosé eventually decided to take off her shoes and lay down on Sera’s lap.
“Then wake me up a little later.”
Rosé said so drowsily, her voice slowing down. Tired as she was, she immediately closed her eyes.
Ferre, who was sitting on his older brother’s lap, glanced at his twin sister and pointed with his hand.
“Hyung, I wanna go there, too.”
It would be heavy if both twins would lie down on her lap though. Helios didn’t let his brother go there, even as the boy was trying to get away, and instead lay him down beside him.
“Why don’t you sleep here, Ferre?”
His languid smile was full of affection as he glanced down at Ferre. Still, the boy was adamant.
“Nuh-uh. I can’t sleep on Hyung’s lap because it’s too hard. It’s like a rock pillow. I don’t like it. I wanna go to Sera.”
Ferre flailed a little, giving his older brother a puppy dog look while saying he couldn’t sleep here.
Helios had no choice but to give Sera a wordless glance, silently asking if it’s okay.
“It’s alright, Your Majesty.”
When Sera nodded, smiling warmly, Ferre jumped up at the chance.
Not even wearing his shoes anymore, Ferre skipped over to the other side with only his socks on, then he climbed up the couch.
With a triumphant expression that was clearly saying, ‘Yay!’ Ferre immediately lay down on Sera’s other side, opposite of Rosé.
“Sera Pillow is mine. Forever and ever.”
Ferre said this and promptly lay down.
Sera closed the curtains of their train car so that the children wouldn’t be bothered by the light streaming in. Thus, as the twins fell silent, so too did the entire train car.
The train shook slightly like a cradle, its quiet rattling being the only sound that sometimes broke the stillness.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Are you sleepy as well?”
Helios asked quietly, noticing that Sera was trying to hold back a yawn.
The corners of his lips curved slightly upwards as he looked into her teary blue eyes.
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