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1590-chapter-34

Chapter 34

Afterward, Amil asked me about the second awakening, but I remained silent this time as well. If I told him it had already begun, he might just run to Camilla, saying that he had nothing more to do with me and that I was crazy.

“If you didn’t tell me, I will never tell you why Reinhardt is in pain.”

“Even if you don’t tell me, I’ll figure it out myself.”

I immediately parted ways with him and went to find Reinhardt, which wasn’t difficult. As expected, he was stuck in his office. It seemed that he had been living in his office recently, trying to sort out the mess I had immaturely created.

“What is it?”

He asked curtly, his gaze fixed on the documents. He seemed to be avoiding me.

“Leopold’s second awakening has begun. Do you know that he will lose his self-control when the second awakening occurs? He’s wandering around, unable to resist the urge to go outside.”

Reinhardt’s swiftly moving pen stopped. His gaze shifted from the documents to me.

“Did he meet you?”

“Yes.”

“What did he say?”

“He asked me to marry him.”

Thud!

As the pen in his hand fell powerlessly to the marble floor, I quickly added to calm him down.

“Of course, I refused.”

“…Is that so.”

He picked up the pen again. Seeing his clear relief, I asked, “Do you hate it that much when I fool around?”

“Erestein does not tolerate a betrayal of one’s beloved.”

“But Reinhardt doesn’t love me.”

“….”

Reinhardt’s sunken gaze turned to me. Then, he asked me in return.

“Would you be okay with me fooling around with someone else?”

He wasn’t mine to begin with. I shouldn’t be upset when I was just borrowing someone else’s place. I didn’t want to get in the way of his happiness. So, if Lucia appeared, he would choose her without hesitation.

I gave him a response that conveyed all of that.

“Yes.”

“I see.”

Reinhardt, who responded monotonously as if he didn’t care, turned his gaze back to the documents. However, his eyes didn’t move for a long time after that. It meant that he couldn’t focus on his paperwork at all.

“Reinhardt. Are you feeling unwell?”

“Not really.”

“Sir Leopold said that you might not be feeling well.”

At the mention of ‘Leopold,’ Reinhardt’s brow furrowed.

“He has always talked nonsense. Don’t mind him.”

“So, you’re not sick?”

“No.”

He wasn’t talented at lying, so it seemed that he really wasn’t sick. He didn’t look sick either.

Was he just acting awkward because he was with me? Why was I so bothered when he was the one who was acting weird?

“Um… Okay. Get some rest.”

Reinhardt’s behavior made me uncomfortable, so I ran out of the office after greeting him.

 

* * *

 

“Um… Okay. Get some rest.”

After Irovel left, Reinhardt buried his face in the pile of documents.

“Ha…”

The boiling heat was unbearable. It seemed that he had a full-blown fever, judging from the way his whole body was throbbing.

After a while, there was a sound of footsteps outside the office door. Thinking that Irovel had returned, Reinhardt quickly raised his head and sat up straight. No one would have been able to tell that he was sick.

However, there were exactly two people in the world who could sense an inexplicable change from Reinhardt’s composed face.

Jade, one of them, frowned as soon as he saw Reinhardt’s face and asked.

“Your Excellency. Are you sick?”

Before Reinhardt could even reply, Jade approached him and placed a hand on his forehead. Jade let out a yelp when he felt the heat radiating from his palm.

“I’m going to die. Really! You lied again….!”

 

* * *

 

When Reinhardt was a child, he lived in the Imperial Palace as a prince. One day, his mother, Empress Roselina, held a small dessert party for the children in the garden of the Empress’ Palace, and of course, he was invited to this party.

Unlike the other children who were having fun in their own groups, Reinhardt only had his cousin, Amil, by his side. However, the two were not close, so Reinhardt ate cookies in silence.

Amil couldn’t stand it anymore and spoke to Reinhardt in an irritated tone.

“Don’t just sit there alone. Go and talk to someone first.”

“No, I don’t want to.”

“Why not?”

“….”

Reinhardt didn’t answer and just silently munched on his cookies.

‘That’s why you don’t have any friends.’

Amil wanted to get away from this boring boy right away. He felt burdened by the fact that his aunt Camilla had asked him to help Reinhardt make friends, but children don’t really think that much. So, he quickly abandoned Reinhardt and went to the group of other noble children.

As expected, the sociable Amil was able to blend into the group without any difficulty.

“By the way, why did the Young Marquis Leopold come with the Prince of Erenstein?”

One of the noble children who had been laughing with Amil suddenly asked him. It was a remark that showed his displeasure towards Reinhardt, who was born in the harem and didn’t even have the Emperor’s surname.

Even at a young age, it wasn’t difficult for Amil to read such an expression.

“My aunt, Consort Camilla, asked me to help him make friends.”

“Oh, that’s why. I was wondering why such a fun person like you would be friends with the dull Prince of Erenstein.”

“That’s not true at all. We’re cousins, but to be honest, I don’t get along well with someone who’s so taciturn.”

“Oh, I can see why. Besides, his birth is so low that even I would be reluctant to associate with him.”

The House of Erenstein was the only family that had been granted the title of Grand Duke by the first Emperor, who was the sworn brother of the Empire’s founding Emperor. Therefore, the birth of Reinhardt, the grandson of the current Grand Duke of Erenstein, could never be considered low.

“The fruit of adultery. How terrible!”

So when the young nobleman said that he was low, he was probably referring not to Reinhardt’s family but to his mother, Camilla’s status.

“My mother did not commit adultery.”

At that moment, Reinhardt, who had been silent until now, approached the noble child. Even though he was still just a boy, the intimidation in his blue eyes was already that of an adult.

The noble child felt a sense of fear without realizing it, though he tried to sound indifferent.

“It’s not against the law to have a consort. However, does that mean that Her Majesty the Empress’s feelings of betrayal disappear?”

“The betrayal should have been felt by my mother, not Her Majesty the Empress.”

“What kind of nonsense is that?”

“My mother was the first to be promised to marry His Majesty the Emperor. Surely, you’re not spouting such nonsense about adultery without knowing that?”

Judging from the noble child’s flustered expression, it seemed that he didn’t know.

It was a fact that the adults hushed up that Camilla and the Emperor had been lovers for a long time, so it was understandable that he didn’t know.

“Th-that’s impossible! If His Majesty the Emperor and Consort Camilla were lovers, His Majesty the Emperor would never have chosen the current Empress!”

“My mother thought so too, but His Majesty the Emperor ended up choosing Her Majesty the Empress, and my mother became a consort. Even so, how can you say that my mother committed adultery?”

“….”

Overwhelmed by the boy’s icy glare, the noble child was at a loss for words. At that moment, someone appeared to save the cornered noble child.

“Prince. What are you doing right now?”

It was Empress Roselina who had hosted this party.

“I just wanted to argue that my mother did not commit adultery. I had no intention of criticizing Your Majesty the Empress. If Your Majesty is offended, I bow my head and apologize.”

Reinhardt apologized politely. It was thanks to the etiquette that Camilla had taught him with fire in her eyes so that he wouldn’t get caught in the Imperial Palace’s schemes. However, whether he had manners or not, it didn’t matter to Gerard, who simply didn’t like Reinhardt.

“So, you’re saying that it wasn’t Consort Camilla, but Her Majesty the Empress who committed adultery? So the consort is upright, but the Empress isn’t?”

“….”

Reinhardt couldn’t answer right away and just watched the Empress’ expression. Gerard continued to press Reinhardt, who was cornered.

“Speak up, brother! How dare he slander Her Majesty the Empress, who always helps the poor people with a kind heart, by calling her a good-for-nothing who sheds crocodile tears?”

“…Gerard. Stop it.”

Embarrassed, Roselina, who was suddenly accused of being a good-for-nothing who shed crocodile tears by her son, stopped Gerard.

At that ridiculous sight, Amil almost burst into laughter.

‘Is that idiot Crown Prince trying to insult or defend his own mother?’

“I said speak up, brother!”

“Gerard. I told you to stop.”

“I can’t! He called Her Majesty the Empress a piece of trash worse than cockroach poop, so how can I just stand by and watch?!”

“Poo—hahaha!

Amil could no longer hold it in and burst into laughter. The good-for-nothing who was worse than cockroach poop glared at Amil with a face red with shame.

“The party is over. Everyone, please leave!”

At Empress Roselina’s sharp rebuke, Amil and the other children left their seats in unison. Reinhardt was about to return to his own palace when Gerard grabbed him.

“Where are you going, brother?”

“Her Majesty said ‘everyone’ should leave.”

“You should apologize before you go.”

“What?”

“Don’t play dumb. You made Her Majesty the Empress into trash that can’t even be disposed of!”

“It wasn’t me who made Her Majesty the Empress into that. It was you.”

“Are you still going to spout that nonsense…!”

Gerard, who was very angry, looked up at Roselina and pleaded.

“Your Majesty! Please severely punish my brother who slandered Your Majesty with absurd lies!”