A Nightmare Came To The Place I Escaped - Chapter 9
*A big thank you to Io for the Kofi*
The appearance of the third Prince was not like that of a child.
His purple eyes were still a little damp, but he didn’t look upset. He wore a nonchalant expression as he wiped away the blood off of his forehead.
He seemed to be matching the rhythm of the first prince.
His eyes were still as emotionless as ever, but it didn’t make him seem any less worthy.
He still had no idea what the third Prince was thinking, but the Count had no choice but to give him a second look.
He was unsure what kind of change of heart occurred to the third Prince so suddenly, but his tears ended the violence of the first Prince earlier than other days.
Upon hearing the story from the Count, Harmond became interested in Ian Dakendov.
It occurred to him that maybe he was trying to live quietly, and stay out of sight.
Therefore, when the prophecy about Ian came out, he thought that he could become emperor to some extent, even though he didn’t have the backing of any of the nobles. His abilities would be recognized, he might even catch the attention of the nobles and receive their support.
When Ian ran away to save his life, Harmond assumed the prophet was wrong this time.
However, Ian Dakendov broke his assumption when he returned after three years.
When the capital became a sea of fire due to the dragon attacks.
Harmond couldn’t understand Ian. If he ran away to live, he should’ve lived in hiding for the rest of his life. Why would he come back if he was going to die anyway.
However, he defended the capital against the dragon and won the war against the Sienna Empire, and now he was the emperor that the people respected.
As such, Ian, who was skilled in swordplay, became the emperor. Harmond still thought that Ian was greatly inadequate to be the emperor.
He was incapable of studying at a time when he needed to be most diligent in his studies.
But Harmond’s idea was completely off the mark again.
He solved his work so outstandingly that the six years he had not been able to devote to his studies were overshadowed.
Harmond would always be surprised by the emperor’s judgments. Sometimes he’d make a choice that he didn’t even think of.
He was sincerely thankful that he was able to become the aide to the emperor. Although he still couldn’t say he knew Ian completely.
Harmond looked at Ian silently.
Ian was already an unpredictable person, but these days it has gotten worse. What kind of girl was he into?
How is the emperor spending his time?
Ian Dakendov quietly called to him while he was staring at Ian while deep in thought.
“Yes, your Highness.”
Harmond was surprised by the sudden call, but he replied in a hurry.
“Where is the necklace?”
“Oh, I put it in your desk drawer.”
At Harmond’s words, Ian opened the desk drawer.
“Who is that for?”
“Why do you want to know?”
Ian asked as he unlocked the box he’d taken from the drawer, and opened the lid.
Without even looking at Harmond.
Ian’s voice was slightly sharp, but he quickly focused on the necklace.
Opening the box, he saw a necklace on a black velvet.
Finely crafted silver filigree, and emeralds with a brilliant green hue.
The large size and bright colors of the emeralds stood out, but the delicately crafted silver wire and diamonds that encircled the emeralds made the necklace even more spectacular.
The necklace in Ian’s hands was called the ‘Lucky Necklace’, and it was one of the Sienna empire’s precious treasures.
The necklace, which had a myth that said it brought good luck, had been a precious treasure for generations in the Sienna Imperial family.
When the Levskaya Empire gained the upper hand in the war, the Sienna Empire, whose war had become too much for them, sent emissaries to try to end the war. Ian accepted their proposal with some conditions.
One of the conditions was handing over the lucky necklace.
It was a spoil of war, so to speak.
At first, the Sienna Empire strongly opposed handing over the necklace because of its long history, as well as being a treasure passed down to members of the royal family, but Ian had no intention of backing down.
In the end, the lucky necklace ended up in Ian’s hands.
The people thought that the emperor was trying to enhance the victory of the Levskaya Empire by taking away the treasure that was the symbol of the Sienna Empire and hurting their pride.
Harmond knew that the real reason he was greedy for that necklace was because he wanted to give it to someone as a gift.
‘I knew he was insane.’
Harmond glanced quickly at the emperor, who was not paying attention to him, while he had an irreverent thought.
Of course he respected Ian, but this was a different matter.
“Um… As a faithful aide to the emperor, I thought it would be better to know.”
“As a faithful aide?”
Ian asked as he carefully put the necklace back on the velvet cloth, and closed the lid on the box.
Unlike usual, he was careful with his movements as he touched the necklace.
He’d tossed a dragon slaying sword made by dwarves on the ground, but he’d carefully set the lucky necklace in it’s velvet box, then gently inside the drawer.
Harmond almost burst into laughter, but he barely managed to bite his lip and endure it.
“It’s an unnecessary concern.”
He seemed a little bothered by Harmond’s interest.
“Your Majesty, have you found a woman?”
Ian did not produce an elaborate response, so Harmond cautiously broached the subject of his speculation.
Obviously, he understood the emperor’s words to stop prying, but Harmond pretended not to understand and showed interest once more.
“I’ve been told that you’ve been leaving the Imperial palace a lot these days.”
Ian was silent when Harmond asked a question filled with the intention of probing him for answers.
Ian Dakendov closed the drawer that contained the necklace without blinking.
Harmond himself knew that he’d crossed the line, but he was so curious that he couldn’t stand it.
Ian has become particularly strange these days.
Harmond was convinced that Ian had a lover.
“I wonder how beautiful she is, since His Majesty is so distracted.”
Ian punched his desk with his fist.
“Don’t be curious.”
He frowned as if he was in a very bad mood.
“It seems that the servants of the castle are completely useless in keeping their mouths shut.”
His eyes quickly became cold like the wind of winter.
Harmond wasn’t a skilled swordsman, but he knew that those eyes wanted to kill him right now.
He gulped down his spit as he froze.
“Harmond, did you organize all the tax documents for each territory?”
Ian asked in a cold voice.
Harmond shook his head quietly.
“Then you’re going to start working, right?”
Harmond deliberately answered loudly to sound more sincere, and left the office as if he was running away.
That evening, Ian came to Rachel’s mansion without fail.
It was the third day in a row that he’d gone to visit Rachel in the mansion.
But today was a little different from the other days.
For some reason, Rachel was waiting for him at the entrance hall. Ian blinked in confusion as he was greeted by the servants and Rachel.
“Your Majesty, you came early?”
Rachel was a little awkward, but she talked to Ian first.
“We’re going to eat together, right?”
Ian nodded, unable to understand Rachel’s sudden change.
“Um… Why are you standing there?”
“Oh, I thought it was time for you to arrive soon. So, I’ve been waiting.”
Rachel said with another awkward laugh, she looked unsettled and uncomfortable.
If it was inconvenient, she didn’t have to make such a concerted effort.
Ian took off his jacket and handed it to the butler, then glanced at Rachel.
“Are you hungry?”
Were they waiting because they were hungry?
Rachel gave a small nod to the emperor’s question.
Ian nodded lightly, and strode toward the dining room. A smile appeared on Ian Dakendov’s face, and his steps seemed to be a little faster than usual.
Rachel had come to this conclusion today.
Let’s not go against Ian’s feelings.
No matter why he was interested in her, it wasn’t really that important.
What was important was that he was the emperor, and she was only a maid who ran away.
As long as he kept coming back to her, and as long as he was the emperor, she had only to obey his order.
As he said, until his interest waned, she would stay by his side.
If Ian’s interest cooled down meant her death, then she could plan to run away again.
But it was unclear whether she would be lucky enough to escape from him this time.
Anyway, all she had to do now was follow Ian’s order, and not go against his will.
The reason why he kept coming to visit her, and the reason why he was interested in her, was something she might find out as she went along.
‘Yes, first of all, let’s not act in such a way that His Majesty will stare at me.’
Like when Rachel showed her expression in front of Ian last time, she shouldn’t have shown him her true feelings.
When she came to that conclusion, what she had to do became clear.
Like the other servants within the mansion, it was enough for her to wait for Ian to arrive. All she had to do was to answer his questions in good faith, and treat him with courtesy, like everyone else in the mansion.
Rachel smiled softly when Ian looked at her.
The meal with Ian was still uncomfortable, but Rachel gave a small smile, and hid her expression.
That’s when Ian suddenly asked.
“What did you do today?”
Rachel, who was chewing on some duck meat while she was thinking, blinked at the question, and hastily swallowed the food she was chewing.
“Oh, I read the book you gave me.”
Ian gave a small nod at that. Then he immediately asked another question.
“Was it interesting?”
“Oh, it was interesting.”
However, no matter how calm she pretended to be, her time with Ian was uncomfortable. Asking how she’d spent her time, whether she’d enjoyed reading a book, she couldn’t understand why Ian was acting this way.
What does that have to do with him?