Charlize’s eyes sank in an instant.
She was lost in thought for a moment before she gently ordered Mary.
“Can you put the piano in this room?”
“Yes, it would be better to put it near the bed.”
Charlize’s wish was granted. Dylan had promised to teach Charlize the piano.
Mary answered politely.
“I heed the grandmaster’s order.”
The budget of the imperial palace, which was allocated only to Charlize, reached billions of genen.
Mary stepped back, thinking that she must bring the finest piano.
Charlize, who was left alone, sat on the sofa and closed her eyes.
‘I can observe Dylan while taking piano lessons.’
If it’s love, then he must have some moments of discomposure. Isn’t there a saying that love is like a cough that cannot be hidden?
The sorrow for Dylan quickly faded. Even if only his drawing paper was colored black, she didn’t want to trample his heart.
‘I thought it was because I had a reason.’
Charlize altered her thoughts.
‘Come to think of it, it’s almost time for the swordsmanship class.’
It was already noon. Their first class after Dylan ascended the throne.
Charlize, who came up with a good idea, opened her eyes. She looked at the long sword with a meaningful gaze.
She came up with a way to test Dylan during the swordsmanship class.
‘Shall I make the situation a bit more tense?’
She didn’t have to wait until Dylan taught her how to play the piano.
It would soon be known whether Dylan loved her or not.
Charlize’s eyes were filled with intense light.
“I’m happy and grateful that I can always ask Master to teach me.”
Dylan bowed his head.
His white nape was revealed under his black, short hair.
‘Should it be called modesty?’
An obedient face that he never showed to other people.
It was the first time that she met him on a bright day after the drinking party, so his voice sounded strange.
“I’m the one who is grateful, Your Majesty.”
Charlize replied politely.
“I prepared a dangerous class today. Would that be okay with you?”
“…I’m fine with any of Master’s methods. What would you like to do?”
“Pointing the sword at each other with all seriousness.”
Charlize lifted her real sword.
“I usually do guidance training, but it will be very dangerous this time because I covered the blade with a lethal poison.”
Dylan seemed a little surprised.
“We can get to the stage and avoid hurting the opponent with our swords, that’s why we’ve been pointing the sword at each other without hesitation. But, Your Majesty, shouldn’t we try a serious fight at least once?”
Charlize laughed softly.
“Yes. We will have sparring with the determination to take each other’s lives, Your Majesty.”
If there was even one person close to the drill hall, they would’ve been very shocked to hear Charlize’s words.
However, Dylan was quiet for a while before nodding.
“I will follow Master’s will.”
Charlize spoke to Dylan.
“It would be great if Your Majesty could choose a sword that you are best at. Ah, all the swords have been covered with lethal poison so be careful.”
Dylan was visibly nervous.
He was worried for a while before he returned with a sword breaker.
A sword that breaks a sword.
Charlize’s expression turned strange. It can pull out the opponent’s blade from its hilt or in some cases, break it.
It was famous for being a very cruel sword because the wounds taken from this sword became hideous scars that looked worse than any other sword scars.
“You chose a sword breaker.”
“What did Master choose?”
Charlize told him that she would use the sword she was already holding. It was because any sword was the same for Charlize anyway.
“I’ll have Gladius.”
Charlize’s expression was calm.
“Shall we start?”
“…Are we really going to do it, Master?”
Dylan asked back with unease. Charlize laughed a pleasant but loud laugh.
The moment their eyes met and lifted their swords, the battle began.
Charlize jumped up like a butterfly. As she said in the beginning that she would do it seriously, Charlize was true to her words.
Dylan’s eyes shone. He lifted his sword to block Charlize’s sword. Without hesitation, Charlize struck his sword several times.
Charlize’s sword narrowly passed through the air next to Dylan’s cheek.
Had Dylan let his guard down a little, he would’ve probably been stabbed by her sword.
Dylan became serious when he finally realized that Charlize was resolute.
He counterattacked. Charlize was quiet.
No one can follow Charlize, who had Keira’s past.
However, Dylan had been sparring with Charlize fast enough for her to run out of breath.
‘His skills are truly amazing.’
Dylan was a genius.
Charlize was immersed at the moment. She was faithful to her opponent as if she was locked in time. She dealt with him seriously.
But the truth is, it was all a test from the beginning. An attempt to read his mind under the guise of sparring.
‘If Dylan loves me,’
How will he react?
‘He will not be able to extend his sword to me sincerely.’
Charlize wanted to see Dylan tremble. As a human, your heart becomes the coldest the moment your life is threatened.
‘But with the sharpest sword, Dylan can be shaken.’
The moment he loses his composure, Charlize may be able to read Dylan’s true feelings.
She taught him that the best defense will always be to attack. She told him to empty his emotions when he is faced with a sword. She told him to dry his lips for himself rather than others when wielding a sword.
What will Dylan do?
Dylan was outstanding. His expression was as hard as a stone and he fought Charlize enough to make her feel threatened with every moment that passed.
Stimulated by a sense of victory, Charlize forgot that her opponent was Dylan and almost cut him down.
He was out of breath. It seems that Dylan can control his emotions well.
However, there was no decisive attack. Charlize’s eyes squinted.
‘This is the time.’
With momentary judgment, Charlize put her arm into the orbit of the sword Dylan wielded.
She purposely gave him an opportunity.
According to Charlize’s teaching, Dylan had to coldly cut her down with his sword. That way, he will win.
His sword skills were astounding.
He stopped his sword at a distance that would have killed Charlize had it reached a bit more.
Dylan couldn’t stab her in the end.
It was only a minute difference and the tip of the sword was shaking due to the rebound.
Hesitation was an instinct. A reflexive reaction that was not controlled by reason.
Charlize acted as if she had a slip-up and quickly sealed the gap.
She placed the tip of the sword right before Dylan’s neck.
Dylan only stared at Charlize.
The fight ended.
“If it was a real fight, Your Majesty would have died.”
Charlize said, tilting her head.
Dylan, who had been quiet for a while, slowly lowered his gaze.
Charlize took the sword.
“I’m sorry, Master.”
Dylan bowed his head.
The apology didn’t fit the situation. His opponent might’ve been Charlize, but if it was still a fight between Dylan and another knight.
The opponent’s sword would have been broken earlier by the prodigious skills of the emperor.
Dylan sheathed his sword, his calm expression admitted defeat.
Charlize paid attention to Dylan’s fingertips.
They were still trembling.
Like last night when he spilled alcohol.
‘Dylan certainly cannot cut me down.’
Dylan couldn’t cut Charlize even when she gave him an opening.
Even if he gets stabbed.
‘Like a Blackshaw flower.’
Charlize could have overcome it all.
However, Charlize couldn’t find the logic behind it.
It was the same for Dylan’s mother, the seventh concubine.
It may be blind respect for those who are with power or the loyalty that will eventually break the sword.
‘What’s with this discrimination because of love?’
Charlize used her brain to think, but she didn’t get an answer.
Moreover, even if the situation changed and she was put in Dylan’s shoes, she wouldn’t have been able to fully swing her sword towards him either.
Assuming Charlize fought with Ronan before she returned, the answer came out.
‘Does that mean I love Dylan?’
She doesn’t love Dylan. She just likes his personality.
Charlize, who was thinking for a while, soon became absent-minded. While she painted him black, did Dylan dye her too?
‘I can’t believe my mind was that soft…’
Charlize breathed out slowly.
“You don’t have to apologize, Your Majesty.”
“I was only admiring your ability that improved remarkably.”
Charlize sincerely praised Dylan.
“Your speed when wielding a sword is twice as fast as it was in the past. It’s great that you can now counter your opponent’s attacks smoothly.”
“Thank you. It’s all thanks to Master.”
The tip of Dylan’s ears turned red. Charlize wasn’t exactly trying to flatter him, but she never tried to flatter someone with lies.
She meant what she said. Dylan lowered his eyes.
“Let’s take a break for a while before resuming the class, Your Majesty.”
She wasn’t sure if it was love, but she was sure that the possibility had increased.
That was enough achievement.
Charlize looked at Dylan. His blue uniform was particularly dazzling today. Charlize laughed, pretending not to know why.
The first time she heard Dylan play the piano was when he was 13 years old. Charlize was 14 years old at that time.
The future tyrant was so vigilant that he did not easily let his guard down whenever he was around Charlize.
The melody of the music he played at that time was still vivid. There was a group of stars in the sky that she saw through the open window that day. Even the atmosphere was dreamy.
“Isn’t it time for you to take care of political affairs?”
She thought it would be nice if Dylan taught her how to play the piano soon, but she didn’t know it would happen so soon.
On the evening of the third day after she said her wish, Dylan came to see Charlize.
“That’s not what the emperor ascended for.”
Dylan replied softly.
It seems that Charlize was more important than national affairs. Dylan’s eyes were resolved.
It wasn’t that long since he ascended the throne, so she was certain that he would be very busy. However, Charlize didn’t point it out further, because that was a remark worthy of a tyrant.
The Lilac Room was lavishly decorated. The maids would meticulously clean it up every day.
“Take a seat, Master.”
Charlize sat on the piano chair.
Since then, Dylan did his best to teach Charlize how to play the piano.
Since her quest to find out Dylan’s feelings was her goal from the very beginning, Charlize kept looking at Dylan rather than the piano.
However, throughout the whole class, Dylan’s expression was so calm and elegant that the boy of the past seemed to overlap.
Besides, there was not a hint of flirtation in his flat tone, to the point that Charlize had slowly gotten confused.
“You have to play the piano like you’re losing the ball, Master. It’s all about basic position.”
Charlize pretended to be clumsy on purpose.
Dylan, who was only teaching her with words so far, took Charlize’s hand and corrected her position.
Charlize paused for a moment.
She felt a bit uncertain when their hands touched each other and her heart pounded strangely.
Charlize paid attention to Dylan.
She couldn’t read him.
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