translated by myonnie
"...And what's the purpose of that question?"
After a short silence, Felix replies with another question.
My lack of words has confused him. I'm reflecting that I should fix the bad habit from my previous life, but we are interrupted before I can explain.
"If you have one, then I will -"
"Your Majesty, excuse me."
A knock overlaps with my voice, and Byron, Felix's aide, enters the dining room.
Byron doesn't forget to shoot me a fierce glare once before rushing to Felix's side and whispering something to him.
(If you're in a hurry, you don't have to bother glaring at me!)
I watch the two of them as I continue eating my fruits again. Seems like it is quite urgent.
"I'm sorry, but I need to leave now. I won't have time until night, so let's continue this conversation tonight in my room."
(Felix's room? So he's letting me in.)
How unexpected. I thought he is completely alienating me from his private life.
And Byron, who is standing next to Felix, looks even more surprised than me.
His almond-shaped emerald eyes are opened wide, gaze shifting from Felix to me.
"Y-Your Majesty, that's...!"
"Let's go. Anyhow, see you at night."
I see Felix off, together with Byron who is surely glaring at me again for some reason, and stand up.
(Ah. If I remember correctly, Byron will guide me to the library after this, right? Oh no... What a bummer...)
Regret floods in. I should've declined by saying Marielle will show me around.
And once I visit Felix's room at night, I will once again regret asking him that question.
(Seventeen years. Long enough for the people in the castle to change quite a lot. There's almost no one I can recognize.)
From what I heard from the maids, Felix did a big reform after he ascended the throne, which caused the staff to change all at once.
"...I'm Byron Sykes."
"I'm Tiana. I'll be under your care."
Byron's shoulder-length blond hair reminiscent of the sun is tied firm, the strands naturally sweep to the front.
He doesn't stand out much because he's always with Felix, but he is also quite handsome.
Though his gaze and attitude clearly ooze out a warning, 'I will never accept someone like you the saint and the empress'.
(I wish he knows that being on the receiving end of this much hostility actually makes me at ease.)
Rather than dealing with someone who is smiling on the surface but had their real feelings bottled up, his directness is much easier to understand.
And I know that he is acting like this because of his loyalty to Felix. Once you talk with this type of people with open frankness, they may surprisingly become your allies.
The most important thing is not to try to mislead them. I take the initiative to show him that I am not an enemy.
"I can see why you won't accept me as the empress. I'll do my best not to cause trouble, and I'll leave as soon as the country is stable. That's why, please bear with me for a little longer."
I declare in full sincerity.
Byron's answer is a dumbfounded, surprised face.
Perhaps he imagined that I secretly plan to milk this country dry. It makes sense, considering what Fallon Kingdom have done.
"You don't have to worry about my meeting with His Majesty tonight. I asked him whether he has any women he adored. I want to tell him that if he does, I'll be as invisible as I can."
Felix only married me in order to parade the existence of the saint they are finally blessed with.
He may actually have a good relationship with a woman. Rather, with his status and looks, it will be strange if he does not.
"Your Majesty's past fiancée candidates? I remember there was a talk with Lady Zara from Marquess Schulis before..."
"There was also a rumor about a princess from the neighboring country, right?"
"Ah, there sure was! Pretty sure it was the second princess."
...are what I secretly heard from the maids. He definitely has many things going on in the past.
"Tell me more about that!"
By the way, they thought I am a maiden who can't stop herself from feeling bothered by her future husband's past because I am too eager. How embarrassing.
(I don't want to bother him. I want to support him.)
If he already has a serious relationship with someone, they will have to wait a long time until the country becomes stable.
Youth is important for the noble ladies in this country. A lady unmarried past a certain age will be labeled as a spinster by society.
Above all, as we strive to show off our harmonious relationship, making a concubine will be harder. In that case, I want him to utilize me as an invincible cloak and spend time with his partner from now on.
Once I convey my intentions with all my might, Byron looks like he's completely caught off-guard and mutters, "S-Sure..."
(I already say this much, so he should've understood now. If anything, I'm on his side.)
I flash him a smile and point my hand at the door.
"Shall we go to the library then?"
I continue to accentuate my harmlessness and selflessness throughout our walk. It bears fruit, apparent from how Byron's wariness towards me has somewhat lessened if compared to when we first meet.
We eventually arrive at the library, but are told that they have almost no literature on the 'curse' I'm looking for.
"We're very sorry. We are currently lending those materials to the magic tower."
"...It can't be helped. Then let's go and borrow a few books from the magic tower."
Apparently, the empire is currently focusing on investigating the 'curse', and has just moved the entire literature to the magic tower.
We go straight away to the magic tower located on the grounds of the castle. The pure white stands proud, not changing at all from the old days.
"This is the magic tower. ...Should we take a look inside?"
"Yes, by all means! Thank you."
This time, Byron offers to me first. I want to see how the magic tower is doing after seventeen years, so I immediately nod.
Following Byron, I take in my surroundings.
(It's very lively here.)
To be honest, I expect the current empire called the 'Cursed Land' will be more somber. But the eyes of the magicians working here are all filled with clear hope.
"The atmosphere is really good. Everyone is so enthusiastic."
"Yes. Actually, a few days ago, a place called Nightly Lake--"
"Huh? Sir Byron, do you need something?"
As I stare at the magicians at work, my heart jumps loudly when I suddenly heard a voice behind me.
This sweet voice and gentle tone. I remember them.
"You have a lovely lady with you. Is this perhaps the saint you told me before?"
It is the first time I meet a 'past acquaintance' other than Felix since I regained my memories of my previous life and came to this country.
Unlike me who stand still in shock, Byron introduce me, "This is Lady Saint who came from the kingdom."
"Nice to meet you, Saint. My name is Rufino."
And Else's friend, the number one magician who ruled over the magic tower - Rufino, smiles beautifully at me.
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