Helios stopped in his tracks and faced Saruvia.
He was as handsome as he usually was, but the smile on his lips, which hung low, expressed his tiredness.
“I apologize if it looked that way to you.
I’m a little tired today.”
“Is it because of the offer I proposed”
At Saruvia’s remark, Helios smiled uncomfortably.
In fact she was right about it, making him feel agonized.
Everyone kept badgering him about marriage all morning long.
Helios could feel a substantial weight pressing down over him.
“I understand your concerns, Duke, but it’s something that I would need time to think about.
Marriage is not something that I could decide on just like that.”
It was a euphemistic refusal.
This was what Saruvia had already expected, but that was in no way stopping her from feeling disappointed.
“I don’t believe that the offer I gave Your Majesty would bring you to a loss.
I can hand over all the things I’ve mentioned before, just as you wish.
When it comes to magic, my family would be of great help to you.”
Helios’ response to the proposal given to him the other day was lukewarm.
Saruvia’s nerves were getting scraped sharply thin because on top of a negative answer, Helios even seemed uncomfortable by it—even though she had offered such conditions that he would have had no choice but to accept.
“I acknowledge that you’re willing to yield a great deal.
But a marriage like this would not be right for you either.”
“But isn’t that how most marriages go It is a transaction.
The marriage of Their Majesties, the departed previous Emperor and Empress, was an unusual case from the start.”
“Your Majesty is always so biting towards me as you say you don’t feel the same way as I do.
But it’s also true that you don’t have any other woman in mind.”
“An imperial marriage would only bring undue pressure towards my younger siblings, so it is a matter I’ve yet to think about.”
Saruvia glanced towards Helios, who had already shot down her feelings many times before.
His languid eyes drooped apologetically, and at this, she turned away.
‘His Majesty cannot refuse me so easily.
I just shouldn’t rush him.’
After all, the emperor had a relationship with a woman before.
If he did, then Saruvia wouldn’t have let her go.
Back when he was still a crown prince, there was a rumor going around that he was gay, but nevertheless, it’s true that he had never been in a relationship with a woman before.
With such attractive conditions to this proposal, Helios wouldn’t completely be able to avoid her this time, especially when the pressure around him to get married was only going to intensify from here on out.
She just knew that everything would work out towards her favor as long as she would cast away her impatience and simply wait for him.
“My offer is always open.
Perhaps there would be more pressure placed on Your Majesty, so you would not need to go through the motions of reaching out to me first.”
She said this in a calm voice, convinced that she was the one holding the winning cards.
Without uttering an answer, Helios only looked straight ahead as he continued walking.
The emperor looked to be inwardly uneasy, but Saruvia knew that in his heart, he had no other choice but to choose her.
Even if time were to pass, in the end, she would have him to herself.
Saruvia’s eyes trailed after the silver hair that fluttered in the wind.
It wasn’t difficult for her to wait for a little longer, since she had already been waiting for this magnificently beautiful man for more than ten years.
Each and every step she took was in time with the steps of the beautiful and upright Helios.
Then, she spoke.
“Thank you again for coming all the way here, Your Majesty.
Next time we meet, I will be looking forward to a more positive answer.”
“Be careful on your way, Duke.”
Saruvia’s red eyes did not shake or quiver at Helios’ response as he instead gave her an impartial farewell.
Despite this, she curtsied towards him with a flawless, perfect smile on her lips and a graceful, seductive posture.
Then, she turned around and walked away with a dignified gait.
Today, she had visited the emperor under the pretext of an issue with the mages, but she managed to say what she actually needed to say.
Her purpose here had been achieved.
Suddenly, she crossed paths with a woman with black hair, then two children who were running towards her.
The two children with blond and silver hair, resembling Helios, were obviously the emperor’s younger twin siblings.
The black-haired woman curtsied towards Saruvia briefly as she passed by.
In turn, Saruvia nodded lightly with a polite smile that she used often.
The duke observed the woman for a moment because her precise and polite way of curtsying was not common.
Still, she couldn’t have entered the imperial palace without being at least at the level of a lady-in-waiting.
She continued walking away with these idle thoughts in mind, her shoes clacking across the floor.
But then, she stood still at the sound of a loud voice.
The lady-in-waiting’s name had been called in such a gentle manner, but it was a name that she had never heard of in high society.
Feeling uneasy, Saruvia gradually turned around.
“Their Highnesses kept telling me that they wanted to see me right away and came to greet me like this, but I never thought that I’d run into Your Majesty as well.”
The woman, who caught Saruvia’s attention earlier, spoke in a lively voice.
Was… Was he smiling
Saruvia’s head turned towards them sharply.
Not even knowing that Saruvia was watching, the blue-eyed woman approached Helios gently.
“Ah! Yes, I’ve been waiting for you, too.”
Saruvia watched that woman quietly.
Inside her head, she heard a familiar voice.
‘Achieving your dream is going to be difficult, don’t you think’