Sera’s eyes shook minutely, perhaps because she’d been seen right through.
She didn’t usually eat that much because she was busy taking care of them, but Rosé couldn’t understand why, whenever her older brother came, Sera would say that she already ate every time.
‘I think that’s why Oppa told Sera to get up so she can eat, but…’
Sera was much more uncomfortable with Rosé’s older brother compared to before. Rosé was sure of it. The relationship between those two had become strange since before, but it got even worse recently.
Sera kept avoiding his gaze, and whenever he said anything, she would flinch in surprise and her eyes would get so big.
‘Does Sera hate Oppa?’
On her plate, Rosé rolled around the carrots she didn’t like with a fork, then she glanced at Helios. She poked at one and put it into Helios’ mouth.
At the unexpected offer, Helios opened his lips and ate it. Then, he narrowed his violet eyes as he gave Rosé a serious look.
“Rosé, didn’t I say that you can’t be picky with your food?”
“Your Highness Rosé, you have to eat your carrots.”
The voices of her older brother and Sera mixed together as they gently scolded her, but Rosé couldn’t hear any of it.
‘Oppa’s handsome even when he frowns like that.’
Her older brother, who had the same silver hair as her, was a shining existence no matter who looked at him. And she wasn’t saying this just because he’s her older brother.
Rosé had never met anyone as pretty as her brother. And there were many times when she heard the maids in the Star Palace whispering about how handsome her brother was.
‘Does Sera hate people as good-looking as Oppa?’
Sera continued to nag Rosé about the carrots, poking some with a fork.
“You have to eat this, Your Highness. If you leave any behind again this time, I will have to ask the chef to give you a lot more carrots from now on.”
“No, Your Highness. You have to eat it.”
Rosé reluctantly tried to bring the carrot to her lips, but she looked up at Sera with puppy dog eyes that weren’t unlike Ferre’s. It was an earnest plea to see if Sera could let this go just once.
She blinked her damp green eyes, and what followed were her long, silver eyelashes. Sera’s heart wavered for a moment, but the look in her blue eyes remained firm.
“If Your Highness doesn’t eat this, I’ll have to ask the chefs to make carrot soup, braised carrots, grilled carrots, carrot steak, carrot cake, and carrot juice for lunch tomorrow.”
“Eeeeeek! I hate carrots!”
Helios chuckled as he watched Sera make a stern face as she listed down a carrot course for lunch. Her lips were drawn into a tightly closed line while her brows were furrowed, but rather than looking scary, she looked cute. He listened to her words, and her being a skillful tutor for his younger siblings made him think that she’d be a great…
To move away from his own useless thoughts, Helios spoke up.
“Carrot soup, braised carrots, carrot steak, carrot cake and carrot juice. Rosé, you’ll have to eat all of that.”
When Helios helped, Rosé sighed deeply as though she was facing a great big trouble in her life.
“Don’t wanna. No carrots.”
She couldn’t believe that she needed to eat her least favorite orange vegetable. But since she wouldn’t be able to avoid this, she closed her eyes and took a bite.
“How is it? It’s not that bad now that you’ve tasted it again, right?”
Sera asked Rosé as she chewed the carrots with a solemn look. Rosé turned her head and frowned as though protesting.
“It’s not yummy.”
“But Your Highness did a great job.”
Sera smiled affectionately and handed over a glass of water.
After this, the meal was enjoyed with a friendly atmosphere in the air. Helios looked over towards Sera a few times, but that was it. Just then, chocolate ice cream came out for their dessert, and this made Sera and Helios both busy wiping the twins’ clothes and lips.
To prepare for bed, Rosé and Ferre were then ushered away by the maids for bath time. So, as the children left, an awkward silence ensued between Sera and Helios.
They were now facing each other in the twins’ study, which had turned into a simple drawing room for this time. Helios sat with a relaxed posture, leaning against the chair’s backrest and crossing his legs. Then, he carefully observed Sera’s face.
Sera’s heart leaped from her chest once more because she felt burdened by his casual smile.
‘Why are you looking at me like that! Again!’
Sera averted her eyes to avoid Helios’ unwavering gaze.
Restless. That was the very word to describe her current mood.
“You didn’t have a chance to eat dinner, did you?”
Hearing his words, Sera turned back around and faced him. Blinking with her eyes, which were cutely raised at the ends, her eyelids closed and opened twice.
“It’s not that. I just didn’t eat that much, Your Majesty!”
She resolutely hung onto her lie and uttered it once more with those red lips.
‘If you do this, it’s too obvious that you’re lying.’
It’s a bit repetitive to keep asking like this.
“It was when Their Highnesses changed their clothes before dinner…”
The voice that continued to spout excuses became smaller and smaller.
She glanced at Helios. Unlike the corners of his lips that were upturned, his violet eyes were soft yet cold. It was a look that told her that she should tell the truth instead of continuing to utter a lie that didn’t even seem convincing.
“I haven’t eaten, sire.”
A small voice then slipped out of her lips. She bowed her head, and through the curtain of black hair, a reddening face that was quickly heating up could be seen.
“Does eating together make you feel uncomfortable?”
Yes! It’s uncomfortable! But instead of shouting this, Sera puffed up her cheeks and vigorously nodded three times.
It reminded Helios of whenever Ferre would sulk, so he had to hold himself back from chuckling.
“It’s just, of course it is!”
Sera tried to say, ‘How can you not know why?!’ but as she met Helios’ gentle gaze, she stopped herself from protesting. Reflected beneath a subtle light, his eyes glistened like two lakes beneath the warm sun of a midsummer day.
“…Because it’s you, Your Majesty. It’s already a miracle that I’ve been permitted to enter the Imperial Palace, but even having dinner together… I’m not even a high noble, sire… And there are many eyes around us…”
Helios sighed cautiously at Sera’s unexpected answer.
He never cared about Sera’s status. The way she curtsied towards him and the way she carried herself had always been elegant, and she was adept at imperial etiquette, enough that she was teaching it to his younger siblings, so he honestly forgot.
It was only then that Helios realized why Sera was quiet and why she always looked anxious like that. It was natural for Helios to have maids and attendants around him, but that wasn’t the case for her, that’s why she was more conscious of them.
As his thoughts reached this conclusion, he felt apologetic about the way he’d been asking too much of her.
“I’ve been putting you in a tough spot, Miss Popo.”
“Even so, I’m not blaming Your Majesty! Rather, I’m always grateful for how generously you always treat me.”
Sera waved both of her hands as she made this excuse. If anything, what his excessively generous treatment did was to make her heart pound so rapidly.
Comments for chapter "Chapter 82"
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