Adele sighed at his mischievous actions. Really? In this situation?
But as soon as her feet rose up to his chest, she panicked.
“I’ll do a-anything!”
“You promised, Adele.”
The emperor called her name unreservedly and pulled her hand tighter and she leaned her body forward. The emperor caught her as she crashed into his arms and they both fell backwards.
When Adele opened her eyes, she saw the emperor lying beneath her with numerous wild flowers dotting her vision. He was looking up at her, his eyes warm and soothing. She tried to get up quickly but his hand pulled her closer.
“Do you like it?”
“Ah! Yes, of course! It’s so beautiful.”
“I like it too.”
The emperor smiled brightly and tucked her disheveled hair behind her ear. Surprised by the unfamiliar touch, Adele tried to shake his hand off, but she couldn’t do anything because of his serious gaze.
“I enjoyed our day together, milady.”
“But I didn’t do anything.”
“No, you did a lot of things.” He reassured with a smile, “Ah, aren’t you tired?”
“A little bit…”
Adele blushed and got up quickly. The emperor stood as well, he rummaged through his pockets and motioned for Adele to reach out her hand. As she meekly stretched out her arms, a candy fell into her palm.
“Eat this and cheer up.”
Adele recognized this candy, she gazed back at him fondly, “Your Majesty…”
“I cheered up because of you.”
“I did not think you would remember about such a trivial detail.”
The corner of the emperor’s mouth quirked up, “I would never forget about it.”
As soon as the emperor finished speaking, a breeze passed by. The petals of the flowering apricot tree in full bloom fluttered and rained down on them. Stray petals landed on Adele’s head and the emperor brushed her hair to remove them.
He stared intently at her. She was smiling dazzlingly at the exceptionally beautiful sight of the pink petals dancing in the wind.
He gently took off another few petals that found their way into her head. When his hand was about to softly stroke her hair, a rough hand appeared and shook off the emperor’s hand.
“I wonder what brings the emperor here.”
When Adele turned around at the harsh voice, she saw Noah was glaring at the emperor with ferocious eyes. The emperor looked away with a sly grin.
“Did you come to greet me seeing that I’m out of the castle? Such a loyal subject.”
Rayence stared at Noah as he would stare at an enemy.
Noah didn’t back down and fiercely glared back, he hugged Adele tightly and she was visibly flustered with his sudden embrace.
“I told you to be careful. Of men.”
“What are you talki— He is His Majesty, the Emperor.”
“He is a man.” He stressed, “A man who covets others’ possessions no less.” Noah spat out a heavy sigh and clenched his jaw.
Rayence, you crafty bastard. Dare covet someone else’s wife? Who gave you the guts to gift a necklace to my wife?
“Covet? Possession? So, you only see her as an object to be possessed?” The emperor answered him calmly. “She wasn’t even yours to begin with.”
“I see you still like meddling in other people’s family affairs. The emperor truly has too much time in his hands. Too idle in the castle?”
The emperor ignored Noah’s sardonic remark and addressed her, “Then Adele, I shall see you at the dinner party.”
The emperor greeted her with a gentle smile as usual. She bowed down in farewell.
Noah hugged her tighter as if preventing her from lowering her head. The emperor watched him askance and disappeared with his guard shortly. Adele watched his retreating back and turned to push Noah away.
“That was the emperor! How could you be so rude?”
Noah thought nothing of it and answered through gritted teeth, ““Are you telling me to speak fondly of men who covets my woman? That bastard started it first—”
“Shh.” She covered his mouth to cut off his slanderous words, “Someone might hear us!”
His scowl deepened significantly. Adele couldn’t understand why Noah was overreacting. Maybe he saw their faces close to each other and mistakenly interpreted the situation.
Adele nodded, remembering what the emperor had said to her.
“He held me because he caught me when I fell down due to the magic.” She spoke, “And we have met once when we younger. Perhaps that’s the reason why he’s acting kindly towards me and cause you to misjudge him. He said he’s also sorry for the princess’ deeds—”
Noah scoffed and ran his fingers through his hair. His narrowed into slits due to his rage. “You forgot what you ought to remember, and yet you remember the emperor despite meeting him only once?”
Something I ought to remember?
“What do you mean?”
Adele furrowed her brows in confusion, not knowing what he meant by that.
Noah grabbed her chin, “Was the duchess always this easy?”
“You smile and give your lips to anyone.”
Noah was seething with fury as he remembered the scene from earlier. The emperor and Adele’s face were inches apart like they were about to kiss.
Her eyes widened in surprise at Noah’s words.
Is talking with other people not allowed? And lips? I even took the courage to kiss Noah on the cheeks earlier because his face looked like he was asking for it.
Come to think of it, I did ask a lot of ridiculous things that night. I regret kissing him.
Adele clenched her fists, “I have nothing else to say.”