I Thought It Was Betrayal
“Is this the way to do it?”
It had been a week since she had stayed at his house. However, oddly enough, she was yet to hear back from Evangeline. She had already gathered all the necessary information from the townspeople. Her plan was to return upon receiving Evangeline’s letter to punish those corrupt officials then get revenge on the vampires.
Furthermore, she needed Evangeline to pay back Edwin’s money, thus her impending letter was making her uncontrollably anxious. But despite his feelings, in just over a week, Edwin and Selenia had grown very close. They cooked together every night and talked at dawn to the sound of crickets.
One thing was clear: they had the same tastes, hobbies, and even taste buds, as if imprinted on each other. These things were partly the reason why they were drawn to each other.
For some reason, Edwin couldn’t stop his heart from skipping a beat whenever he saw a smile on her face. It was such a shame that time passed by each day, and that feeling of regret eventually turned to a feeling of love. Even so, he desperately hid his feelings from her.
She lives in a different world than him, and soon leaves his side. But it was Selenia who was wavering.
She wondered if she would ever meet someone like him again, regardless of gender.
While he was distracted cooking, Selenia’s knife accidentally cut her finger then the blood dripped down.
“Are you okay?!”
Edwin fussed over Selenia’s finger as if it had been chopped off, and hurriedly brought out ointment and bandages.
“Aigoo, that must hurt.”
He grabbed Selenia’s finger and blew on it to which her cheeks flushed at his unexpected behavior. It was the first time she had ever been touched like this by a man. There was no one in the palace who would dare to touch her.
“I, I am fine.”
Feeling embarrassed, she quickly withdrew her fingers from Edwin’s grasp.
‘I stuttered like a fool!’
She had never experienced anything like this before, and wanted to hide in a rat hole.
“Even if it was a small cut, you have to put medicine on it.”
With that, Edwin cleaned her finger thoroughly and then carefully applied the medicine. Only when he had wrapped it in a finely cut bandage was Selenia’s finger free from his grasp.
“How lucky I am to be a doctor.”
He smiled softly, shaking his head.
“It’s a minor cut, really.”
Selenia coughed unnecessarily and turned away from him.
“By the way, have you heard from them?”
“… No. When did you say your sister’s wedding was?”
“It’s in a week. That’s fine. I didn’t ask about the gold coins.”
Edwin rubbed his hands together and studied Selenia’s suddenly darkened complexion with concern. He’d only asked because he thought she was worried about not being able to reach whoever she sent her letter to, but she seemed to have taken it the wrong way.
“Don’t worry about the money, you’re already doing a good job.”
He patted her shoulder, as if to assure her not to worry about anything. The warmth of his large hands spread over her shoulders and through her body. It felt strangely reassuring to be talking to him.
“You’re very strange.”
“Hm? How so?”
“You make people feel so comfortable.”
“I hear that a lot.”
His slightly droopy eyes folded gently, and Selenia chuckled, finding it cute that he was being so shameless.
“Pftt, you don’t say that often enough.”
“Because it’s true.”
At his reassurance, Selenia’s laughter stopped, and she bowed her head slightly in apology to him.
“… Don’t worry. As soon as I receive a letter back, I’ll pay you back the gold you borrowed and everything else I owe to you.”
Selenia’s apologetic gaze fell on Edwin, yet his complexion darkened. She couldn’t figure out why his expression was ugly when she was ready to pay him back.
“Once the sender replied, will you return?”
“… I guess so.”
Her tone carried regret, and that was when she realized why he reacted like that. She may have never been in a relationship, but she wasn’t that clueless. And it wasn’t just Edwin’s disappointment.
“When I hear from the palace, I’ll have to go to…”
Selenia hesitated, then spoke slowly.
“Will you come with me?”
Originally, an imperial doctor had to be extremely excellent, but he was not Selenia’s doctor. Bold enough not to be surprised at my scar, and trust enough not to talk about it. It was as if fated played him to save her, and they were meant to be. If he would only accept her offer, confess to him that she was soon-to-be the emperor of this empire, she’d take him to the palace.
Selenia swallowed dryly as she watched Edwin blink rapidly in thought.
Then his mouth opened, as if to respond.
Then something interrupted Edwin. It was a loud explosion sounding outside. In an instant, their gazes met, and she immediately threw open the door and rushed outside.
“There you are.”
It was none other than the man who had appeared with a loud bang,
It was Luciel.
His green eyes rolled lazily, as if they held venom and his gaze flickered past Selenia to Edwin. Strangely, there was hostility in Luciel’s eyes as he looked at Edwin. It was as if he were looking at a thief who had stolen from him.
“I can’t believe you’re in this shabby place, with such a shabby man.”
His face still wore a flowing smile, but his eyes remained unsmiling. This was not a woman to be messed with. His eyes, the same green as Edwin’s, flashed like a beast upon its prey. But even though they were the same color, the feeling they exuded was different.
Where Edwin’s eyes were warm and refreshing, like the greenery of summer, Luciel’s were lonely and cold, reminiscent of the stark branches of winter. Luciel added in an easygoing tone.
“Your Highness, the Crown Princess.”
Luciel’s words startled Edwin, turning to Selenia with his wide-opened mouth. He’d known she was noble, but he’d never dreamed she was as noble as the Crown Princess.
‘My heart had set on a woman I should have never dared to look at.’
Edwin’s surprise that she was a princess was overridden by his frustration that he could never be with Selenia. Selenia frowned and wrapped her arms around Edwin’s back.
“I don’t care about him, this is between you and me.”
“How could it matter, Your Highness, when all humans are our enemies.”
Luciel spoke sarcastically, revealing his sharp nails. His nails exuded flesh, as if they could tear through Edwin’s flesh at a moment’s notice.
Selenia whispered, barely loud enough for Luciel to hear.
“I’ll apologize for deceiving you later.”
Selenia grabbed Edwin’s hand and started running, and they dashed through the apple trees. With no holy water, no crucifix, or even a decent weapon, standing up to the leader of the vampires here was suicidal. Only by fleeing would they have any chance of survival.
“We have to go to the forest!”
They were going to the forest and seek a place to hide. Selenia and Edwin sprinted through the white petals falling from the apple trees. Holding her hand as they ran, this moment felt like a dream to Edwin.
Just now, he had been quietly cooking at home and was thinking about what to say to the offer to go to the capital with him.
But out of nowhere, a vampire appeared in the countryside, and Sera, whom she thought was a knight of the imperial family, was not Sera, but the Crown Princess Selenia of the Apollonian Empire.
Unlike his steps, his eyes blinked slowly.
It wasn’t an emotion worth feeling in this situation, but the apple blossom petals fluttering like snow and Selenia’s golden hair fluttering before my eyes were so beautiful. So much so that her eyes are dazzling.
Selenia, who entered the forest, urgently shouted his name. Only then did Edwin come to his senses and held her hand tightly.
“Let’s go this way!”
This is a forest he has frequented since he was young, like it was his home. He had memorized the geography of the forest. He led Selenia to the cave that had been his secret base during his childhood. The cave was hidden among trees and bushes, a location that could easily be overlooked by anyone except those with a keen eye.
Together, they entered the cave.
“How on earth did you know I was here?”
Selenia said, closing her eyes tightly. Edwin stared at her, then picked up dry tree branches around them to the cave as it was getting dark.
“The weather will get cold soon. I will start the fire.”
Edwin lit a bonfire in silence. Selenia glanced at him, observing his gaze.
“… It’s okay.”
Before she could say anything, Edwin’s mouth opened first.
“As status is a status, it must have been difficult to tell the truth. I understand.”
“… I tried to say it. You..”
A crackling bonfire flickered in Selenia’s golden eyes then continued her words, looking clearly at Edwin.
“If you said you’d come with me…”
Edwin couldn’t look away from Selenia’s eyes and waited for her next words.
“I was going to tell you everything.”
The mood turned serious, and Edwin scoffed. What difference would it make if he followed Selenia to the palace? She was the one he shouldn’t be looking at, the one who would be emperor of this country. She was supposed to marry someone who would benefit the empire.
Not a country bumpkin like him. Upon realizing that, a bitter laugh tugged at Edwin’s lips.
No answer came from his lips, so it was Selenia’s body that did the talking. She reached out to him.
“There you are.”
Selenia and Edwin’s heads snapped up at the creepy voice. Luciel, who had somehow found them, and who had found them unusually quickly, stalked toward them. Selenia stood in front of him to protect Edwin. Honestly, Edwin was just a man leaving in peace here. She was also further indebted to him for settling in his house, and even used her sister’s money.
He owed nothing to her. But she couldn’t let him lose his life.
“If you’re going to kill me, kill me.”
Selenia’s golden eyes glittered which conveyed she wanted to protect Edwin at all costs. If she was going to be torn apart by Luciel’s nails, it should be her, not Edwin.
“I don’t know who to give the gift of death to first.”
Luciel’s eyes lit up for a moment as he looked at his nails, and in a flash, he lunged at Selenia. And the moment his nails were pointed at her,
Before she knew it, she was already in Edwin’s arms.