YCKTML Chapter 40
“The hunting competition must be over by now.”
I changed into the clothes that Lia brought. Before that, I looked around here, and it looked like a mountain with nothing but soil and trees.
However, when I opened a small door and entered, a unique structure led to such comfortable accommodation. I heard knights were guarding this place outside, but I couldn’t see where they were stationed.
‘It’s surprising that the Crown Prince knows a place like this.’
While I was resting, I recalled the contents of the novel in my head once again.
Perhaps it was Chloe who claimed to have discovered the magic stone cave. And people probably believed me to be dead.
So, Chloe found the cave and told them about my death. But, how could she say I died without a dead body?
While I was wandering around the room and thinking alone, the person I had been waiting for arrived. When I heard the sound of the door opening, I went and met him.
“Count, you’re not sleeping anymore?”
“I slept all day, so I’m fine now.”
This time, I didn’t avoid the hand reaching out the check my temperature and stayed still.
“Your fever’s gone.”
I also looked at him from head to toe as soon as he arrived. The uniform that he wore earlier looked immaculate, with no dirt in sight.
“You didn’t hunt much?”
“I did it in moderation, just enough that I didn’t lose my strength.”
I inadvertently muttered as I listened to him, “Then Rupert must have won first place.”
I was referring to the original story, but it must have sounded different from Enoch’s point of view.
“You’re speaking as if it’s inevitable,” he grumbled back, sounding as if his pride had been hurt.
Surprised at his tone, I said, “It’s just, um, it’s always been like that… I heard. Hmm, is it different this time?”
“For now, I’m in second place.”
“Oh, well done.”
I meant it as a compliment, but he still had a grumpy expression on his face.
“Now… it’s just that it’s not a good idea to disclose it. But unlike Rupert, I didn’t do my best because the morale of our subjects is important for the Imperial family.”
As I listened, I thought that, for some reason, Enoch was making excuses for losing first place. I really didn’t care.
And I just noticed that he kept saying ‘for now’ and ‘now.’
“Your Highness, when His Majesty comes, do you intend to reveal everything?”
He nodded. “That’s right. By revealing it before His Majesty, we can prevent the Count from getting caught up in unnecessary drama.”
You’ve thought that far, yet I thought I only needed to find a cave. I was amazed that Enoch expected that far even though I didn’t tell him my plan in advance.
“When should we get ready?”
“His Majesty will arrive around noon. I’ll come back to pick you up then.”
He stood in front of me with a sad look. I knew his heart, so I didn’t shy away and simply smiled. Even after we successfully moved past this, the wall would still remain in front of us.
“I bet Rupert gave Chloe his points.”
Enoch nodded silently, and I looked down with a bitter smile. “Are you sad because of him?”
“Rather than sad… I’m disappointed because it’s just as I expected. I really was nothing to him.”
Not only did Rupert save Chloe, but he still cared for her even after hearing I had died.
As expected, I should get divorced. It would be a pity not to be able to use the Magic Stone Cave right away, but it would be good for them if I let them go.
‘So, I hope you don’t disturb me, Rupert. At least I’ll be able to protect your love.’
I wouldn’t covet the love of the male lead in the romance novel, so it should be fine.
As I pondered and looked at the ground, Enoch looked at me as if he had something to say but left instead.
Upon hearing the news of the Emperor’s arrival, the servants and soldiers began to move around, cleaning up their surroundings. They had cleaned up the drinking tables and organized the weapons that had rolled around the ground.
They tried to look for the Crown Prince, but he was nowhere in sight. Reluctantly, the commander of the Imperial Knights went to the next rank, Prince Breiman, and asked for help.
“I can’t believe brother isn’t here.”
Prince Breiman stepped forward with a pleasant smile. The Crown Prince always took the spotlight, but it wasn’t bad to be called a substitute.
Especially since today was the day he had fulfilled one of his wishes.
The carriage carrying the Emperor has arrived. Conscious of his escort, the Emperor arrived in a nondescript carriage.
As the Emperor got off the carriage, he was surprised to find out that Prince Breiman was welcoming him.
“Where did Enoch go?”
“We’ve looked for him but couldn’t find him, so I came instead, Your Majesty.”
The Emperor nodded carefully at him and walked past him.
“You’ve worked hard, too.”
“It was nothing.”
When the people gathered in the center saw the Emperor, they all knelt and bowed their heads. Looking at their faces, the Emperor rose up to the platform.
It was the first time for some of the people gathered there to see the Emperor closely.
If it were a regular event, they wouldn’t have seen him this close, but due to the peculiarity of a hunting competition, the distance between them was slim.
“Wow, the King really looks like the Crown Prince. The resemblance is uncanny.”
He looked jovial, but his sharp, shining eyes were just like Enoch’s.
“This Emperor has been told there was good news today, so I have come personally. So, today’s winner, come forward.”
Chloe, who had been sitting among the crowd, stood up with a shy smile. People around her praised her, and she looked back at Rupert.
With a smile on his face, Rupert nodded.
All eyes were on Chloe as she walked through the crowd. She faltered for a moment when her eyes met Prince Breiman’s, but she resumed her light steps to the podium.
The unmarried warriors just smiled mischievously as if they were happy to see a pretty lady. Chloe lightly waved to them as well.
“Let this Lady’s knight come forward as well.”
Rupert, who stiffened at the aide’s words, eventually rose to the podium.
And he knelt with Chloe before the Emperor.
The Emperor stared at them for a while, then looked for the Crown Prince again.
“Is Enoch still not here?”
“Yes, Your Majesty. His Highness is still missing.”
“That boy, he shouldn’t dilly-dally.”
An aide with a shining trophy stood next to the Emperor. Before the Emperor could receive it, Chloe carefully opened her mouth, “Your Majesty, I’d like to say something before I receive it.”
“Go on.” The Emperor returned the trophy and looked down at Chloe.
Chloe stood up, bowed politely, and said in a sad yet emotional voice, “I am the one who discovered the magic stone cave.”
“Hmm, it was you?”
The Emperor raised a brow, and Chloe continued speaking, looking forlorn.
“There was a terrible tragedy before I found it. To honor the victim of that tragedy, I would like to give the rights of the cave to her husband, Sir Rupert Clifford.”
It was a lovely day with moderate wind and mild sunshine. On such a day, the forest’s rich green color shone even more. Just like this person’s eyes.
The green forest swiftly passed under our feet.
“Y-Your Highness, do we have to go like this?”
“There are other ways, but for now, this is the fastest. It’s also effective. Hold on tight, Count.”
I was flying in the sky. With my dress fluttering wildly in the air, I wrapped my trembling arms around Enoch’s neck as he carried me in his arms.
I could hear him chuckling throughout.
“You’re a real magician!” I screamed through the roaring wind.
“Did you think I wasn’t?”
It wasn’t like that. I’ve already seen Enoch use magic a few times. But it was the first time it felt real.
It was a little scary, but honestly, it was fun and exciting.
“I didn’t know the Count would like flying so much.”
“Well, why didn’t you tell me sooner?”
At first, I only had my eyes closed, but now, I leaned on him and opened my eyes slightly as I looked down.
I could see the open forest, the valley, and even the waterfall, and the headquarters of the hunting competition down there looked so small.
It looked like we were almost there. Honestly, I was a little sad that we came too soon.
“Can we just fly like that? It’s so exciting.”
“Hmm, I’ll try.”
He landed behind the barracks of the hunting competition headquarters and dropped me off in a secluded area. I noticed beads of sweat on his forehead that weren’t there before.
I quickly took out a handkerchief and wiped his forehead. Then Enoch looked me in the eye, his expression caring.
“Weren’t you scared?”
“I was, but it was a good experience.”
With a sigh, I looked over the podium on the other side.
His Majesty, the Emperor, was already there, and Chloe and Rupert were kneeling next to each other.
As if I had been hit by cold water, my excitement died down after I saw them. I looked at them with a remorseful smile. I would make them feel like they had it all but lost it.
Enoch reached out to escort me, and I took his hand and walked towards the podium.
 The Emperor referred to himself as 짐. Only emperors use that pronoun. That’s why in the sentence, I used ‘this Emperor,’ then changed it to ‘I’ since it might get annoying if he kept saying ‘this Emperor’ haha.
 The Emperor said “녀석, 꾸물거리기는”, which is funny because 녀석 can be an endearment to call a guy, but 꾸물거리다 is a rude way to describe someone.
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