I Became the Black Swan Mother of the White Swan Princess - Chapter 96
“Laugh or cry, just do one.”
“Don’t pointlessly confuse other people.”
I’d blanked out for only a short moment, but before I knew it, Rashid was standing next to me, his eyes were trained on my face.
Though I was dealing with that characteristically displeased face of his, I wasn’t very afraid.
Instead, it was like the back of my neck was ticklish for some reason.
Now that I thought about it, Lania’s standards were pretty high. After seeing this kind of man once, there was no way other men would stand out to her.
Though of course, this probably had nothing to do with a widow like me.
“Yes, sir. Since you’ve told me to smile, I will be smiling for a while then.”
His incredulous laughter was just like him as well.
Until just a few days ago, I’d been afraid that he’d unsheathe his sword after such a laugh, but now I was pretty confident I could say ‘That’s so cool!’ to whatever he brought out.
‘This is a good thing that comes with befriending a predator.’
It felt like I was a rabbit picking up powdered soybeans next to the tiger*, or something.
It felt like I was a rabbit riding the coattails of the tiger or something.
In reality, too, as Rashid approached, not a single ant appeared, even in the forest that lay past the road.
Even those elk jerks that always lay in wait and pounced intentionally were nowhere to be found. It was only the law of nature that the wilder an animal you were, the flatter you bowed towards the sound of one who is stronger.
“….Your Highness, are you uncomfortable or feeling tired anywhere?”
You didn’t have to go far for an example: me.
“…..are you asking that of me?”
“Of course. What would I do if Your Highness ends up like last time again?”
“By last time, you mean…..”
“If you fall into the water trying to save someone again, then I…”
Rashid’s adamant words were slightly cold.
“There is no way I will save just anyone.”
“…..Th-that makes sense.”
When the Emperor said such words, it sounded plausible.
Since I already knew what a rude person he usually was, that kind of declaration didn’t feel that detestable.
When I agreed enthusiastically with him, saying ‘if that’s the case, of course,’ Rashid tacitly lifted his head.
“And then what?”
“If I fall into the water again, then what are you going to do?”
It wasn’t a good supposition, but since the Emperor asked, I needed to answer.
“Then I suppose I’d be troubled.”
“…..Because I really don’t have anything more to give you now.”
Tucking my hair behind my ear, I smiled awkwardly. It was a bit embarrassing to be saying this after being smiley all along, but this wasn’t something to hide anymore.
“My, my circumstances are such, and all that. Seeing how I’d have nothing to pay Your Highness back with, even if I squeezed out everything I have…”
“Oh! Of course, I am very good at everything you order me to, and I’m not very picky about anything….”
His displeased tone of voice was even more hardened than usual. But even though he was coldly cutting me off, I didn’t feel hurt.
Hurt? More like…
“Oh! I think they’re over there!”
As soon as we were finally beginning to see the lake through its surrounding woods, I pointed my finger for him to look that way. Forgetting the momentary awkwardness completely, I moved towards the birds that had already gathered.
“Your Highness, over here! They’re over here!”
“……I know, so….”
“Be very careful, okay?”
If you trip, I don’t have money for any compensation, you know.
When I lowered my eyes with a crooked smile, Rashid quickly turned his head away.
Regardless of if he did that or not, my eyes were already busy looking for Haniel as soon as I saw the new students.
She looked as dejected as ever, at the last of the lasts in line, and the baby’s white face that came in and out of view wasn’t satisfying enough.
[Madam! Over here!]
Selene, who had been watching the situation in advance from under the tree, nodded towards me. Seeing how her expression wasn’t bad, things were apparently going according to plan.
As I was just about to order her to go to Haniel now, Rashid first moved his eyebrows.
“That bird is the one you said was your daughter’s friend….”
Frightened the second she saw Rashid’s shadow, Selene shook her head furiously and ran off like a crazy duck.
What in the world was that?
When his impatient eyebrows jerked, I gestured to my side, doing my best to pretend I hadn’t seen anything.
“Your Highness, quickly. Over here.”
“The hills are the same everywhere, so why should I go all the way over…”
After confirming the narrow space under the tree where two people would barely be able to stand in side-to-side, his previously crinkled eyebrows smoothed out.
His solemn face lasting for only a moment, Rashid returned to being his unreadable, cold and elegant self, and he came to my side without any other words.
“….If we’re here to see your daughter, then why not go to the lake and…”
“As I’ve already mentioned, it’s because she’s quite shy.”
“Even though she’s a bird.”
Reina, Reina, Reina, until he memorized it.
When I opened my resolute lips to whisper the name consecutively, Rashid’s adam’s apple bobbed up and down lengthily. Our distance was closer than you’d think, and under the shadow that was cast over his head, his eyes had darkened.
“Fine. Let’s say that’s Reina, now where is it.”
“Do you see her? Waay over there, you might not be able to see clearly but….”
I lifted my heels, looking on regrettably at Haniel, who was still wiggling by the entrance of the lake.
If she discovered her brother right now, that would be a problem; but not being able to see her like this was just as problematic.
Just as I was about to direct him more specifically to Haniel’s location, Rashid quietly raised his eyes.
“Are you talking about that thing at the very end, the only one contorted, not even able to lift its head?”
Be it selfies or portraits, if they are too realistic, they can be hurtful.
But perhaps because a brother was still a brother, it was surprising that he’d found Haniel accurately in one try.
“But what is your daughter doing over there?”
“Is it ill? From the looks of it stumbling around like that, it would barely last more than a few days.”
Watching as Haniel remained unmoving, he shortly clicked his tongue.
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