Murderous Emperor's Inconvenient Behavior - Chapter 20
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“You mean, that monster?”
“It was one of my prey.”
“I apologize. It was Tos’s fault.”
Claire put her hands together respectfully.
“He did bite it a little bit, but if you’re okay with it, you can take it… Ahh!”
Taking advantage of the pause in their discourse, the creature leaped up.
It was the monster who couldn’t move properly since Tos bit it.
The monster screamed strangely and swooped towards them.
It launched at Claire first.
She made eye contact with the monster once again.
Claire was perplexed.
It felt… like…
A large hand grabbed her arm and dragged her back before she could even grasp what was going on.
Her vision was obstructed by a wide back.
Claire had no idea where she obtained her boldness. When she came to, she was holding the emperor’s waist and putting her head out.
Then she noticed it.
The blade flashed and pierced the air.
The creature was slashed in half as it charged.
Splat! The blood of the monster was all over the place.
A red cloak extended out in front of her, blocking her view.
It was completely quiet. The cape was then lowered.
She spotted the crimson cape before she saw the monster’s body on the ground.
The monster’s blood had soiled the red cape. It had shielded her from the horrifying sight and kept the monster’s blood from touching her.
“Th-thank you, Your Majesty.”
Eiden simply glanced down at her without saying anything.
Her face seemed unusually warm.
She had expressed gratitude to him. Did he anticipate a more genuine greeting?
“I owe Your Majesty my life. I’m quite grateful…”
“Are you hurt?”
“No. However, Your Majesty…”
She came to a halt and closed her mouth.
The blood of the monster was splashed across the mask that covered half of his face, as well as his cheek and lips underneath it.
“Just a moment.”
Claire ripped the bottom of her petticoat off and raised her dress.
She approached him, delicately folding the white cloth.
Eiden simply stood there staring at her.
I hope he’d quit gazing at me. His stare is just too… strong.
Claire coughed for no apparent reason. Eiden, on the other hand, didn’t appear to want to look away.
“Please excuse me. You are free to push me away if you are uncomfortable.”
“Why would I?”
“That’s a relief, then.”
“You may do whatever you want, my Lady. I’ll simply stand there.”
She doesn’t know what he meant, but Claire shut her eyes and groped for his face.
They thought he was a killer and a warmonger, yet his skin was so soft in her fingers.
She softly brushed the handkerchief across his cheek, thinking of something unusual.
His warm breath caressed her brow. Claire raised her head.
Behind the mask, his emerald eyes looked at her without flinching.
Under his silent stare, she felt strangely breathless, and her heart beat erratically.
“I’ve wiped your cheek.”
“Well, the next one is…”
The lips. Claire locked her gaze on his enticing lips.
Then she raised her head. His breathing became heavier and lower.
But he remained rigid.
She cocked her head, thinking it was her imagination, and he urged her.
“What are you doing, you’re not wiping?”
His breath got heavier with each opening of his mouth, and she could scarcely breathe.
Claire bit her bottom lip covertly and hastily swiped his lips.
She was afraid that if she waited any longer, her emotions might become odd.
“Did you just wipe it carelessly?”
She blurted out hurriedly and was met with a doubtful look.
“You know you shouldn’t wipe your lips too hard because they’re so sensitive.”
He reached out as he said this. His finger had already brushed her lips.
“Lady’s lips are also delicate. Don’t bite them.”
His calloused, rough finger contacted her bitten lower lip with her upper teeth.
It seemed like a current was going through, tingling her lips.
“What, exactly, do you mean?”
She had been caught off guard by the abrupt touch and had missed what he had said.
“Is that all?”
“What exactly are you talking about?”
“Did you really wipe everything?”
Claire felt like hitting her head at the time.
What was she thinking as she offered to clean his monster-bloodied face?
“I’ll wipe your mask.”
She needed to finish fast and get away from him. She was afraid her heart might stop beating if she stayed in this unusual posture much longer.
Claire wiped at the blood smear on the mask. He wouldn’t know the mask’s state anyhow.
The mask did, in fact, resemble an eagle.
The eagle’s beak encircled the nose, and the region surrounding the eyes and forehead was patterned with feathers.
He always donned an eagle mask when they met at the monastery to distribute the sponsorship monies or when they reconnected for the victory celebration.
Eiden cocked his head as Claire peered carefully at the mask.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“I was afraid the mask would make you feel suffocated.”
“Should I take it off?”
Eiden stroked the mask as if going to remove it as he stated this.
“No, there’s no need to remove it. It’s your trademark, after all.”
“Because you’re always wearing it…”
As she silently looked at his gaze, something occurred to her.
He had a scar over his cheekbone.
The reason behind that scar…
“Because of me…”
“No! It’s nothing.”
She almost said it out loud. He would never forgive her if she disclosed that she was the one who scratched his gorgeous face. Why had she been acting like Alicia all this time? What was the cause?
Claire, get your act together.
She mumbled quietly to herself.
“Didn’t you just say it was because of me? That I’m wearing the mask because of the Lady?”
His pupils were constricted. He was clearly skeptical of the hazy things she had stated.
In such cases, it’s better to shift the subject immediately.
“By the way! What has brought Your Majesty here? I had no idea you were going to be here.”
Eiden also did not enter through the front gate.
“I went over the wall.”
She never expected to hear such a reaction in her wildest fantasies.
“Wha-what? How did you do…”
“I warned you. The puppy took my prey and fled. I pursued it down, and it fell into a hole.”
“Oh, yes. That’s exactly what occurred.”
The creature Tos had personally chased and trapped turned out to be the emperor’s target. It had to be difficult for him.
“Please accept my apologies. I’ll educate him never again to desire Your Majesty’s prize.”
“Were you planning on taking it with you?”
“I named it and it came to find me. I should be the one to handle it.”
“Are you planning to take it back to the empire?”
She hadn’t even considered it that far. The long journey to the empire was out of the question, and she couldn’t ensure that Tos could be raised there.
Claire was lost in thought.
She was in a vulnerable situation where she had to eat her fair share of humble pie, and she couldn’t put Tos through that.
“If you… If you want… I can take him up to the mountains with me.”
Claire couldn’t hear Eiden since his voice was so low.
“What exactly did you say? Please repeat that, Your Majesty…”
Hanna, who had fled earlier, returned at that time. She looked to be rushing about the entire time, unable to recover her breath.
“Ah, gasp, I’m so sorry, miss.”
Hanna chastised herself for abandoning Claire and fleeing away alone.
“It’s okay, Hanna.”
“We have to go now. There’s still some monsters…”
Hanna observed the clean-cut body of the creature that had been sliced in two as she pointed with shaky palms.
“That one is no longer alive. So don’t be concerned.”
“Who was it that killed it?”
Hanna, who had been glancing furiously with a bewildered expression, suddenly recognized Eiden rising like a magnificent castle.
He was terrifyingly terrible to anybody who saw him, with a mask on his face and a blade soaked with the monster’s blood.
“He is the Emperor of the Imperial Imortelle Empire.”
“Em, Em, Emperor… P-p-please spare me!”
Hanna shook like a bamboo in the wind, forcing her brow to the earth.
She may turn this into a headache. Furthermore, she couldn’t keep the emperor here much longer.
They should bring him inside the mansion, according to etiquette.
Claire remembered what he had said with a worried countenance and a cluttered head.
“Oh, Your Majesty, by the way. What did you say before?”
“We’ll go for a walk tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.”
Claire was perplexed as she looked at Eiden.
It was different from what she had previously heard. “If you want… I can take him to the mountains,” he plainly stated, didn’t he?
Aside from that, Claire was perplexed as to why he was telling her he wanted to go for a stroll. He could leave whenever he pleased.
Eiden’s lips curved awkwardly as he cast a fleeting glimpse at her perplexed gaze.
“I’ll do it along with you.”
“Yes, come for a walk with me… What?”
“I will go for a walk with you tomorrow at 3 p.m.”
He spoke matter-of-factly, as if speaking to a toddler who couldn’t grasp what he was saying.
Why is the Emperor behaving this way?
He is the Emperor of the Empire, and she is about to be taken hostage by the Empire.
Why is the emperor recommending a stroll to his prisoner?
Is this yet another sort of torture?
Claire trembled. She had to keep as far away from him as possible to avoid being revealed. It would be ideal if no possibilities for interaction with him were created.
But a stroll?
He’s not asking her out on a date or anything.
“Um… Isn’t this a date request, right?”
Claire raised her head to look at Eiden.
Eiden remained deafeningly silent. He just kept staring at her.
Claire’s spine began to itch from his gaze for no apparent reason about this time.
“I told you it was a stroll… It’s not a solicitation for a date.”
Claire simply nodded.
Isn’t going for a stroll practically the same as going on a date?
Is their connection any different in this universe?
Claire seemed perplexed for a brief period. In any case, whether it’s a walk or a date, it’s not permitted. She considered how to decline his offer.
“If we go for a walk, you can take the damn puppy to the Empire.”
Eiden was the one who took the initiative.
Claire made a clean break.
Only one stroll. Then she may bring Tos along.
It would be awkward if she covertly took him and found herself in a situation with a sword, and ending with the Emperor threatening to murder Tos.
“You won’t go beyond the wall tomorrow afternoon, right?”
She inquired just to be sure.
“I’ll enter through the main gate.”
“I’ll be there waiting.”
Eiden remained standing after she believed the talk had ended.
Claire, too, was staring at him blankly. Was there anything else he wanted to say? Anyway, it was still early in the morning, but I appeared to have depleted my energy reserves for the day. Claire is hungry as well.
But the emperor didn’t appear to want to leave.
“Um, did you have something else to say?”
“…I’ll come over tomorrow.”
Eiden wrinkled his brows under the mask, clearly disappointed. He then licked his lips softly and made his way towards the garden.
“The main gate is not that way…”