Daughter of the Emperor
That was definitely a story of the past—a past story for Ferdel and a distant history for me.
But that didn’t seem like the case for either Caitel or Assisi.
Thus, I decided to hold my breath regarding it.
There were always stories that would hurt people when told. I had such stories, and so did Assisi, but I never expected it to lead to something like this.
What did that guy’s country look like, and how did it succumb to darkness.
“What did you end up learning that changed you like this?”
“I came to know that Caitel’s father and Assisi’s mother were having an affair.”
At that question, my answer just flowed out. Dranste couldn’t help but go quiet at it. I looked up to meet Dranste’s eyes, looking down at me.
“My grandfather was with Assisi’s mother.”
It wasn’t that shocking to me; I wasn’t even surprised when I heard it, but saying it aloud to someone else didn’t feel right.
Ah, now I knew why Assisi looked like that after telling me about it.
“I always thought dad and Assisi weren’t as close as I thought. I knew they’re hiding something from me. Something even Ferdel didn’t and couldn’t know…”
Maybe it had to do with both their pasts; that was all I could understand.
“I never knew that things were woven like this.”
I had no excuse, and I couldn’t erase it from my mind either. I laughed at my vain attempt.
“It wasn’t something they both knew.”
I felt horribly sad for Caitel, who had seen his father sleeping around with other women, ones who weren’t his mother. At the same time, I pitied Assisi, who had to watch another man, the Emperor of the country, comfort his mother and not his father.
What kind of messed up scenario was it?
I suddenly remembered what Assisi had said. He said he would avoid having children even after marriage.
I finally understood why such a benign man had to say such words.
“Maybe, just maybe, the two of them didn’t really care much about it, unlike how you imagined it.”
“Why wouldn’t they?”
“Because the world was under such messy ruling at that time.”
Dranste laughed as he sat beside me.
“Who would care about the crazy things happening in a crazy world?”
I could live with that answer, but my heart was inconsolable. I knew that it was an era with a distorted reality where morality and order didn’t exist.
I knew that, but I couldn’t just put it behind me.
Dranste went on encouraging me as he saw the confusion in my eyes.
“What do you plan on doing?”
A ridiculously simple question.
Me? What could I do?
I pulled my knee to my chest, wrapping my hands around them and hugging myself. With my cheek leaning on my knees, I listed the things ravaging my mind.
“I am not disgusted by it or anything. I do understand that it was a twisted era, but I can’t just accept it. I just…”
Right, I just…
My throat felt clogged.
I could feel the questions tangling in my head. To be honest, in my heart, I knew something like this was bound to happen.
“How on earth am I supposed to solve this?”
Dranste laughed upon hearing my question.
“I feel like I have been handed a tangled thread. Where should I start untangling it? No, will I even be able to solve it?”
Then, Translate offered me a pleasant smile.
I hated how he smiled beside me; it annoyed me, really annoyed, but I was too occupied with the problem at hand to snap back at him. Seeing my irritation, he shut his mouth. When I tried to say something, I couldn’t speak up. I could utter a sigh, and another sigh, then sighing again.
“I feel like I touched something I shouldn’t have touched.”
I could feel Dranste stroking my head. I sighed once again as I pushed his hand away.
“But it’s too late for me to back out. Even I know that!”
He started to chuckle as if he heard something interesting, and then it turned into a burst of hysterical laughter. I stared at Dranste.
“Things are more tangled than you think.”
“You telling me there is something more about it?”
I could feel the fear creep in me upon hearing his short answer.
“I am scared.”
I was confused. I didn’t know what to do with this information.
“Why the hell are the two of them bottling up such horrors inside them?”
Dranste chuckled at my frustrated question. I didn’t expect a straightforward answer, but the last thing I needed was more complications.
The answer was nowhere to be found, but I wanted it; I had to find the answer on my own.
Dranste reached his hands out and wrapped them around my slumped shoulders. It was like he was trying to comfort me, but since the hands belonged to Dranste, it was not at all comforting. It didn’t even reassure me in the slightest. Even then, for some unknown reason, I liked Dranste’s attempt to cheer me up. With a hysterical laugh, Dranste asked.
“Did peering through someone else’s mind without preparation shock you that much?”
“My feelings don’t matter.”
Rather than me—I was thinking about Assisi more. I felt terrible for hurting Assisi for nothing.
Ugh! How could I be so stupid? I wanted to cry. Urgh! Ugh! Stupid Ariadna.
“I want to see my dad.”
I missed my dad suddenly.
Jumping from my seat, I walked towards the door after wearing a shawl that I pulled from a nearby chair; however, I felt strange the moment I grabbed the doorknob.
It’s dark outside, way too dark for a visit.
It was late. Would it be okay if I meet dad in the dead of night?
My doubts clouded my decision-making process, so I looked back.
“Can I go and see him now?”
Dranste, who heard my question, laughed out loud. He fell out of bed, laughing. I felt awkward seeing him laugh like that.
Was that bastard high on drugs?
What was it? What did I say?
I had no idea why he was laughing like a maniac.
Once he was done with his manic laughter, Dranste got up from the bed and walked towards me; whipping off the tears in my eyes, he said.
“He is your dad.”
An answer so simple and comforting.
That was all I needed; I immediately pulled on the doorknob and left the room.
“Right. He is my dad.”