The Tyrant's Beloved Doll - Chapter 61
Surprised, Sezh urgently called out his name. But Raytan didn’t budge. He gripped Mathias firmly and glared as if he was going to kill him.
“I asked, what are you doing right now?”
Because there was no reply, Raytan asked again in a cold voice.
Mathias was confused. He quickly tried to grasp the situation, then parted his lips and spoke in a cautious voice.
“The Princess’s leg is injured. I was looking at its condition after the Princess gave her consent. I apologize.”
Raytan knitted his brows.
“It’s true, Brother! He helped me when I almost fell while leaving the banquet hall…”
Sezh hurriedly defended Mathias. Raytan looked like he was searching for a reason to beat up Mathias sometime soon. If that happens, there will be instant chaos. She had to stop it at all costs.
Raytan was silent for a moment. He glared at Mathias with a cold face and soon turned his gaze to Sezh. In those red irises were reflected a swollen ankle. Raytan released his hand from Mathias and approached Sezh.
As Raytan grabbed her ankle, Sezh groaned, and Raytan looked furious to see it. He soon spoke in a low-pitched voice.
“Who was it?”
“Who was it? The person who did this to you.”
Raytan seemed to think Sezh had been bullied again. But to be honest… It was him who made Sezh’s ankle turn into this shape. If you look back at it, it’s his fault. If she hadn’t gone out to find Raytan, Sezh wouldn’t have twisted her ankle. However, she couldn’t say that to the culprit, so Sezh only replied and waved her hands.
“I hurt my foot. My shoes are too high.”
“But I’m not seriously injured. I just need to go back to my palace and have some treatment. After that, I’ll be better in no time!”
“Although she stretched her ligaments, fortunately, there were no abnormalities in the bones,” Mathias, who was now standing upright, explained her situation while looking at Raytan.
In Sezh’s eyes, Mathias became a much more mature and collected person than she’d thought. Even when the person confronting him was a prince, had hastily grabbed him by the collar a few seconds ago, and had accused him out of the blue, he didn’t in the slightest bit look angry.
“I apologize. If I paid a little more attention, the Princess would have never been hurt.”
“…You are?” Raytan, who furrowed his brows, turned his gaze to Mathias.
“It’s an honor to meet you, Prince Raytan. My greetings are late. I am Mathias Kareem.”
“Because the Princess was alone, I became her conversation partner.”
A pair of crimson eyes glanced over Mathias. Kareem, Mathias Kareem. Of course, that was a family Raytan knew well. He had heard about Mathias several times. He was the only son of the Duke of Kareem, and he was proud of his brilliant mind and conduct. But strangely, Raytan didn’t like him.
“I have been discourteous,” Mathias’s apology was just that. He even spoke his words with an expression that wasn’t sorry at all.
Sezh was embarrassed because the situation had turned out like this. Did Mathias feel offended by Raytan’s attitude? He was only forming his lips into a peculiar but gentle smile.
Everyone’s eyes turned to one place due to an unexpected voice. It belonged to Carolyn, who came from the direction of the banquet hall.
Like Sezh, who was surprised by her sudden appearance, Carolyn also seemed stumped by the situation. Raytan had just made a toast with her when he suddenly ran out. He didn’t say anything and just went out of the balcony. So she thought something big had happened… Turns out it was because of Princess Sezh.
Immediately, Carolyn was the first to give her greetings.
“Good day, Princess Sezh. My name is Carolyn Regent.”
“Ah, yes… Nice to meet you.”
She had no idea what was happening. Mathias unexpectedly came to her, Raytan grabbed his collar, and now Carolyn Regent’s appeared. Sezh knew her. She had seen Carolyn attend Lillian’s tea parties several times. Things got more uncomfortable now. For someone who had a close relationship with Lillian, Sezh didn’t need an explanation of how Carolyn Regent would view her.
Raytan stared at Carolyn for a moment and then turned his attention back to Sezh again.
“Can you walk?”
“Yeah. It hurts a little, but… it’s okay.”
Raytan gently helped Sezh, who was sitting, to stand up. After that, he looked at Mathias.
“Then excuse us to leave first. The Princess needs treatment.”
“Of course,” Mathias replied politely. “Princess Sezh, it was delightful to meet you. I hope we can see each other again next time.”
Next what? They only met each other now because today was her debut. There won’t be any other possible occasions to meet him. Sezh put on an unnatural smile and said goodbye. Then, she turned her gaze to Carolyn. When Sezh tried to give her farewells, Carolyn parted her lips first.
“The Prince really… seems to care a lot for the Princess.”
“No, I also enjoyed myself. Please leave carefully.” Carolyn ended her goodbyes ominously.
Raytan supported Sezh and started walking away without looking back. Carolyn Regent, who was left alone with Mathias, looked at Raytan and Sezh as they got further away. Her green eyes were full of wonder.
If Sezh knew it would be like this, she would have come with a carriage. Sezh limped and sneakily glanced at Raytan, who was supporting her. Not long ago, he just appeared out of nowhere. Did something happen?
Their eyes locked on to each other. Raytan parted his lips while still having his gaze on her.
“If it hurts a lot, take a rest.”
“It’s not that…”
“Just listen to me.”
Fortunately, there was a flower garden on the path next to the banquet hall, so there were many benches where they could sit and relax. Raytan took off his coat and laid it on the bench so that Sezh could sit.
“Where have you been? I was worried because you didn’t come even after I waited for so long.”
“I had something to do.”
Something to do? Sezh tilted her head. He was forced to endure something he didn’t like, but he had a separate job? Well, she didn’t have to know. Like Mathias Kareem, who suddenly came to her, was someone holding on to Raytan too? Was it Carolyn Regent?… Sezh hesitated to say something, but in the end, she decided to open her mouth again.
“Then did you do it well?”
He didn’t. He left Carolyn Regent alone and ran to Sezh.
“How are your feet?”
Instead of answering, Raytan asked Sezh about another topic.
“It’s okay. Lord Kareem already said earlier that I wasn’t seriously injured. When I get back, I’ll ask Luna for a poultice.”
“Were you with him this whole time?”
“Oh, he came and talked to me first. He was very kind! He was even very concerned about me.”
Raytan’s face was subtly stiff as he stared at Sezh silently. He recalled what Mathias had said earlier, ‘I hope we can see each other again next time.’
The picture of Mathias’ face while holding Sezh’s ankle and her flushed cheeks were also running in his mind.
“So do you like him too?”
If you think about it… Sezh was old enough for that. There was nothing strange about Sezh meeting other people and making acquaintances with them. It was even counted as too late for her as a member of the Royal family. For instance, Lillian has been socializing since she was a child and has become acquaintances with plenty of aristocrats.
“Ah, what are you talking about? Lord Kareem just treated me kindly. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s funny to say that I like him.”
Raytan’s subtly hardened face finally softened.
“Of course, he is handsome, but… Brother is still the coolest in my eyes,” Sezh said with a smile.
Sometimes, she would say this kind of flattery to buy his favor but… Well, it’s not empty words. If ordered to pick the coolest person today, it was definitely going to be Raytan.
“That… The Lady from the Regent family also seems to carry a torch for Brother…”
There was no response. Sezh glanced at him. Oh, so what Raytan meant as a job was Carolyn Regent? Why was she so slow to catch on to that? Sezh, who became embarrassed, continued chattering.
“S-she’s as beautiful as what the rumors say! The age difference between us is not that big… But if someone wants to compare-”
“Compared to her, you’re not lack-….”
Raytan mumbled at the end of his words then furrowed his brows. It was a familiar face. When Sezh’s mouth was sealed back then, he made that exact expression. And also when he bashfully tried to say he was sorry for calling her an idiot. Sezh knew he just failed to try to praise her.
“I didn’t laugh.”
“You are laughing now. It’s annoying.”
“Your hair is getting messy.”
Sezh realized that her hair was more messed up than before. She was so distracted by everything that just happened that she couldn’t even be sure how she looked right now.
“Is it disheveled that much?”
Sezh tried to touch her hair, and Raytan kept his eyes on her. He held out his hand over her head and took something from the tree behind the bench. Then, he slipped it behind Sezh’s ear.
“If you do this, no one will care about your hair getting messy.”
Sezh, whose eyes were already sleepy, turned her head to look back. She saw the light purple flowers. The flowers she saw in her dream were in full bloom on the tree. Sezh looked at Raytan again.
‘… It suits you well.’
“Suits you well…”
Inside his red eyes, Sezh saw the same reflection she had seen in her dream: her face with a flower stuck behind her ear. Maybe that was a premonition? Did she foretell this moment in her dream?
“It would be better to keep going now.”
Raytan turned so his back faced her and then bent down.
“Yes? But I would be heavy…”
“It’s all right, so get on quickly.”
Sezh hesitated for a moment but eventually followed his command.
Raytan walked on quietly. Sezh worried she would be heavy, but he didn’t feel it at all. As Raytan kept walking, he suddenly recalled his mother’s words.
‘In comparison to Carolyn, Princess Sezh is useless. It’s rather good if you throw her away. Anyway, the Princess is someone you have to get rid of someday. Think of escorting her as the last thing you can do for her.’
The act of a good brother will soon end. Lize’s previously spat-out words sharply pierced his ears, and Raytan’s face became overcast. He put more strength in his hands that were holding Sezh.
While carefully grasping Raytan’s shoulders, Sezh whispered into his ear.
“Thank you, Brother.”
“Today, everything. I enjoyed it. I never thought I would be able to come to a debutante ball like this.”
“It feels like I’m dreaming.”
“Alright,” Raytan answered in a low and sinking voice. “Then it’s fine.”
After that, he continued walking. Sezh continued to be carried and touched the flower she had in her hair. She was clueless in many ways, but she was extremely happy now. Many things were happening in the future, and she still didn’t know what would happen to her… Still, Sezh sincerely thanked him.
Sezh laid her face down on Raytan’s back. He seemed to flinch momentarily, but he didn’t say anything.