Chapter 318. Believe (1)
Translator: Aura / Editor: SaWarren
I spoke as firmly as possible.
“In that case, Navier—”
“I said no.”
“You can come back whenever you want.”
But Sovieshu went on to say what he wanted.
“Listen to me. I said no. I said no.”
Although I spoke a little annoyed, Sovieshu stuck to the same line.
“Don’t be proud.”
Why was he acting this way? Even though at my wedding he had confessed to me that he loved me… I thought he had accepted that I be happy next to Heinley.
Those last words stuck like a lump in my throat. It was suffocating and tingling, so I licked my lips several times.
“I’ll go now.” But in the end I swallowed it all, took a step back, and said goodbye, “It seems there’s nothing more to say.”
However, Sovieshu was not finished yet,
“I heard it.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Your husband has made you suffer.”
“Who told you that?”
“A lot of people.”
“I don’t know who told you, but you should fire him. He either handles very bad information or has poor judgment.”
“Navier. Put aside your pride.”
Ahh… my goodness! Sovieshu.
As I repressed the urge to pull his hair out with my bare hands, I said, drawing another line,
“Your Majesty Sovieshu. Now I am happier than ever. I don’t know what you heard, but it’s none of Your Majesty’s business. You are my ex-husband. From the moment we divorced, what happens in my life is not your concern.”
“Are you happier than ever? Happier than when we had a good relationship?”
Sovieshu’s tone and mine naturally changed between friends who grew up together, spouses who divorced, and rulers of powerful countries.
I looked at him in silence.
Was I happier in my childhood? Of course, the happiest times were in my childhood, before I was hurt. I never went through anything bad. Hope for the future shone brightly. I was only surrounded by people who loved me. A time when there was no political struggles, when I did not suffer a single betrayal, when my brother lived with my parents, Sovieshu’s parents adored me, Rashta did not exist, and Sovieshu was my best friend.
My parents were healthier and younger. When I came home after a hard day of class, I would hold on to my parents as tight as I could to forget the tiredness.
Yes. It was a very happy time. But wasn’t it the man in front of me who took it upon himself to destroy those days?
“My childhood was also happy.”
Sovieshu’s expression brightened clearly,
“But I was only happy because of my childhood, not because Your Majesty was by my side. Do you understand? If I could cut with a pair of scissors the moments when I stood next to Your Majesty in those days, I would have cut them all out long ago.”
However, his expression darkened again as soon as he heard these words.
I looked at him coldly as if to say, ‘It’s enough? Can I go now?’
“I found out about what happened between Emperor Heinley and the former Queen Christa.”
Hearing what he had just said, I was finally able to understand why Sovieshu was so insistent today that I come back.
Sovieshu feared Heinley would abandon me as he had done.
“It’s just a rumor.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. Even if it were true, it’s none of Your Majesty’s business.”
I didn’t want to exchange any more words with Sovieshu, it was mentally exhausting. I turned around, shaking my head with a truly disgusted expression.
“I’ll go on my way.”
“I’ll accompany you.”
“There’s no need.”
I don’t know what words would come out of my mouth if he kept insisting. I put politeness aside for a moment and went on in silence.
“By the way, Empress.”
However, Sovieshu called me back and approached me from behind.
Why didn’t he try to talk like that before the divorce? I wanted to smack him upside the head.
“What brings you here?”
“Your Majesty need not know.”
“If an ordinary person had come, you would be right. But being the Empress of the Western Empire who came, I should know.”
Finally, I had to stop again. As I turned around with a frown, he was standing with such an unusual expression that he didn’t look like someone who was cleverly taking advantage of his position.
Although I frowned, he was right. Wirwol was said to function as an autonomous region, but the emperor kept his eyes closed so that the mages could operate freely. Wirwol was definitely territory of the Eastern Empire.
“I came to see the dean.”
Reluctantly, I told him the reason for my visit without going into detail. I didn’t care that he knew this.
“Why the dean?”
“Do I have to tell you that too?”
“Is it a secret?”
This time, Sovieshu’s expression turned really dark. It was such a sudden change of expression that I feared I had misspoken.
What’s wrong with him? As I looked at him in surprise, he asked carefully.
“Are you also involved in this matter?”
I don’t know what he was talking about, but from his very serious expression it seemed like a delicate matter.
“The phenomenon of mage decline.”
“What do you mean?”
If it was ‘increase’ instead of ‘decline’, it might have something to do with me. Evidently, he wasn’t asking that.
“You don’t know?” Sovieshu muttered under his breath. Then he added without even waiting for an answer,
“If you really don’t know, I advise you to watch out for Emperor Heinley.”
Finally, I was able to turn away from Sovieshu to go to the dean’s office, but he left my mind confused.
His words still haunted me.
Why did he first ask me if I had any connection to the phenomenon of mage decline and then tell me to watch out for Heinley?
My uneasiness worsened when I met with the dean.
The dean, whom I hadn’t seen for some time, had a worse expression than usual. His cheerful image had disappeared, and three deep wrinkle lines formed on his forehead.
Now, Sovieshu’s strange words came to mind, and I felt worried.
Still, pretending not to notice, I greeted the dean in a friendly manner,
“Sorry for the sudden visit.”
The dean bowed slightly uncomfortably. It was evident that he did not care to watch his expression.
I was sure that the dean’s expression was not bad simply because he was in a bad mood. He seemed to be upset with me.
But I pretended not to notice again, gave him a present, and brought up the reason for my visit.
“Dean. I actually came to ask for your help.”
“It has to do with mana…”
At that moment, before I could even finish my words, the dean interrupted me and said flatly,
“I’m sorry, Your Majesty. I can’t help you right now.”
As I imagined, he was displeased with me. That made me a little sad. We weren’t close enough to spend time together, but I thought we had a relationship of mutual respect. The dean’s cold attitude disappointed me.
I didn’t want to show weakness, so I asked casually.
“Is it because I went to the Western Empire?”
There was no other reason for the dean to have a cold attitude toward me.
However, the dean denied it.
“Not at all, Your Majesty. Please don’t misunderstand me. I welcomed Your Majesty’s second marriage with open arms.”
“Why all of a sudden…?”
“I am a mage and a citizen of the Eastern Empire.”
What did he mean by that? He didn’t like that I became a mage because it would contribute to the power of the Western Empire? But he had already helped Heinley a little, right? Besides, the dean didn’t even know that I could become a mage.
“Until the current suspicions are proven false, I have no choice but to stay away from the Western Empire.”
“… forgive me.”
I understood less and less what was going on.
“It’s not related to Your Majesty. Although it might, I don’t think the Empress is that kind of person.”
The dean added as he looked at me with mixed feelings.
“… I hope not.”