You Can Keep the Male Lead Chapter 78

YCKTML Chapter 78

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I tried to maintain a calm expression as I handed the envelope on the table to Lia.

“Take this to the post office. You have to go right away, without talking to anyone.”

“Yes, I understand.”

After that, I turned around and told Lia, “It will take time to rebuild broken trust.”

After hearing my words, Leah stopped in her tracks. I continued, “It’s up to you to endure that time, Lia.”

Lia turned without a word, bowed to me, and left. The post office was in the outer palace of the imperial palace, just below the building where I was.

Shortly after letting her go, I figured I should meet Enoch, too. So, I followed after Lia.

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I turned the corner and saw Enoch coming from the other side of the hallway and Lia going from this side.

I hid behind the corner wall and quietly watched what they did.

As their distance grew closer, Enoch seemed to glance at the mail in Lia’s hand. Lia paused, bowed slightly to him, and continued on her way.

“…Huu,” I sighed in relief, then felt surprised. Why was I nervous? 

Then, our eyes met. As I watched his eyes draw into arcs, I clicked my tongue. I think I’ve been caught peeking.

And the moment I saw his smiling face, I realized there wasn’t enough time to put a wall around my heart. It was a disaster.

“Count, would you like to come out?”

“Yes. You’re quite late today.”

“I had business outside the castle, but I’m here now. Where are you going, Count?”

“I,” I stretched out one of my fingers and gently pointed towards Enoch’s chest. “I’m here to see you.”

Then Enoch walked ahead and led me to the empty conference room next to the office. That’s when I noticed that Enoch was carrying a fairly large paper bag in one hand. It seemed to contain a square box inside.

“I saw Rupert there that day.”

“Is that so,” he said, putting the bag on the desk and pulling out a chair for me to sit. 

I glanced at him when I heard his calm voice. “Aren’t you surprised?”

“She must have been there, Chloe, so it shouldn’t be surprising.”

“Ah, right. Chloe was there, too. So did Rupert come there knowing I was kidnapped?”

I sat down, and Enoch pulled out the chair next to me and sat facing me.

“I don’t know.”

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He dismissed Rupert’s topic with a simple answer, as if he was uncomfortable with it.

Well, I’d have nothing to do with him once we divorced. It didn’t matter to me whether Rupert knew or not.

But for Enoch, it might be important. Was that why he looked gloomy?

As I stared at him, I remembered what Lia had just told me in the previous room. I pushed my chair back a little bit when I realized we were close enough that our knees almost touched.

No matter how much I thought about it, it was strange that he had monitored me to know the answers to those questions.

Enoch’s graceful fingers tapped the table. Then, looking at it as if possessed, I said, “You said you would explain it to me.”

As soon as I spoke, Enoch’s fingers stopped. I looked up to meet his eyes, and waited.

Soon, his earnest voice resounded in the quiet conference room.

“Count, I am the Imperial Crown Prince and the one who will become Emperor.”

“Yes, of course.”

“Two people in this generation can use magic. This is unprecedented in the history of the Imperial family. Fortunately, I showed my abilities right after I was born and became the Crown Prince, but I cannot guarantee what will happen in the future.”

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I blinked and looked at him. I had read about his story in the novel and had known the circumstances when I came here. I thought Enoch was a little wary about it, but I didn’t know he was genuinely concerned.

Because the Enoch I saw was the perfect Prince. On the other hand, while I’d only seen him for a while, wasn’t Breiman too lacking? 

Was that why you reacted the way you did when we talked about Rupert?

“From anyone’s point of view, Your Highness is worthy to be the Crown Prince. Can you overcome that position with your magical powers alone?”

“Thank you. But on the contrary, it also acts as a weakness,” Enoch smiled bitterly, got up from his seat, and walked to the window. 

I remained seated and listened to his story.

“The Crown Prince is the second symbol of the Empire after the Emperor. The range of movement is narrow. There are times when I have to say something different from what I think. Also, even the people around me.”

Enoch looked back. The moment our eyes met, his gaze became cold. 

“I think about their usefulness instead of my feelings. There’s no exception.”*

The cold gaze lasted only for a moment. Then, he smiled softly again and looked at me. It was an astonishing change in expression.

“The nobles see the perfect Prince in me, but because of that, they feel distant. But I can’t even lower myself to instill intimacy with them. Do you understand what I am saying?”

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I got up and walked to him. “So, you put me under surveillance for fear that I might be on Prince Breiman’s side?”

“…At first, yes. Also, even if you didn’t intend to, exposure to black magic or brainwashing could lead to other behaviors.”

As I listened to his explanation, I became even more suspicious.

“I know what you mean. But why did you ask for those things…” I blurted out, and Enoch looked away. “Does what I eat for breakfast have anything to do with black magic? What time do I wake up? I tend to sleep a lot in the morning. My favorite colors are pink and blue.”

If you put it in a positive light, those are questions they’d ask if they were interested in a woman. In a negative light, it’s stalker-ish.

It didn’t feel too bad to see his face flush red, though.

“So, how did you come to trust me?”

“I was convinced by watching closely and seeing the Count who fell in the cave during the hunting competition.”

He still looked flushed, but he stared at me with a straight gaze, my reflection visible in his emerald green eyes. As I looked at him, a slight heat also rose on my face.

“Okay, then, Your Highness. Do you have anything else to hide?”

I didn’t miss it when his thin, red lips smiled.

As the sun went down, the image of Enoch bathed in the red sunset was beautiful. His shiny black hair shimmered, reflecting the red light. It was so mesmerizing that I almost reached out to him.

“I do.”

Fortunately, I came to my senses at his answer. I sighed and asked, “Huu, what else?” 

Enoch walked to the table, took out a box from the paper bag he had brought, and opened the lid when I got closer. Inside was a pair of shoes.

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They seemed familiar. I glanced at the shoes and looked at Enoch’s face.

He seemed a little puzzled as he stared back at me.

“Would you like to know?”

At first glance, the shoes looked plain, but it was a really beautiful pair.

“Hmmm. So… Why these shoes?” I answered his question with another question. 

I narrowed my eyes as I stared at the shoes again. Hmm, they looked like wedding shoes. 

Ah, wedding shoes!

“Ah, that’s…!”

“I had my craftsman repair it, but now it’s back.”

Before I could say anything, Enoch knelt before me and placed the pair under my feet.

“Your Highness, wait a minute.”

“Try it on. Is it alright?”

I stepped forward at his request, and he personally placed the shoes for me. Still, this man was the Crown Prince, and I stared at the shoes while faltering in this bewildering situation.

“It’s the shoes I wore to my wedding. The heel was broken.”

As I recalled the memory, I put weight on the heel and slammed it on the floor.

“It’s strong. It looks like it’s been repaired, doesn’t it?”

“I’m glad it is.”

Then Enoch took off the shoes again, put them in the box, and assisted me in wearing my own shoes.

“I heard that you begged Rupert for days for these shoes.”

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“I did? Ah, well. Yes, I-I did.”

Erin did? So, I didn’t recognize the shoes you begged Rupert to get? It was unfortunate, but I didn’t know this because it wasn’t in the novel.

Not only did I not know about it, I didn’t even wonder about the shoes’ whereabouts.

Still kneeling, Enoch closed the box. In a low voice, he asked, “Count, do you have any?”

“Do I have what?”

Enoch lifted his head to look at me. As his bangs flowed down, I saw his green eyes. “Is there something you’re not telling me?”

I was rather speechless as I stared at the corner of his slightly curved eyes.

I licked my lips and shook my head. “No, nothing like that.”

The only thing I couldn’t tell him was the biggest one– I’m not Erin. 

I couldn’t say that. But other than that, I didn’t deliberately hide anything.

Enoch didn’t seem to agree with my words, but he got up from the floor without questioning me further.

“Wear those shoes when you see Her Majesty, the Empress. It will help.”

“…”

Before I could even ask, Enoch met me eyes briefly and walked out of the conference room. I felt flustered because it felt like I was looking at myself from yesterday.

“Somehow, the atmosphere…”

Frozen, I stared at the door where he left. Was Enoch upset? Why?

‘I didn’t get caught, right?’

What would he say if he found out one wasn’t from this world? No, what would other people think of that person? I was so confused by these thoughts that I couldn’t move for a while.


*Not 100% sure about the translation


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