Chapter ss-22: Side Story 22
Penelope’s back was crushed. Callisto hugged her with a great deal of force, as if he were trying to crush her into him. His breathing next to her ear was very rough.
‘You bastard, are you crying?’
Penelope shoved his shoulders as hard as she could with a feeling of doubt. “Let go!”
“If I let you go again...”
“Say something instead of locking me away. Next time, I won’t go anywhere as easy to find as the Duke’s.”
Callisto grumbled and reluctantly let her go. Penelope immediately took a few steps back and faced him. Fortunately, he wasn't crying badly. Instead, there was a strangely cold sweat on his forehead. He looked dissatisfied at the distance, but he looked as pale as a sick man.
Just like Derrick, Penelope opened her eyes and asked. “…Are you hurt?”
Whether it was good or not, Callisto responded with a smile.
“While I was running out of the conference room, I confronted some of the guys who wouldn’t let me go.”
“Cedric must have suffered again.”
“Huh. You’re more worried about him than me? I'm sick, Penelope Eckart, I think the wound is open.” “That's really a pain.”
Yeah, he should have been treated in time. Penelope turned her head away and answered in a sullen tone.
“Yes, I’m fine.”
After Callisto opened his eyes, Penelope was always sensitive about his health and treatment. Penelope didn't know she would come out like this, but the prince muttered with a shocked face.
“How...how could you do so much to me?” Penelope laughed at the slightest provocation.
“I’m still angry. And I’m seriously thinking about it.” “...What?”
“Shall I break up with you and just go live my life, or shall I come to an agreement and return to the palace today?”
“Penelope Eckart! You really…!
At her extreme words, Callisto shouted in speculation.
“I told you I was wrong. While I'm investigating the evil spirit, the crazy man, the Marquis of Verdandi, I can't help but keep you safe...!”
“Heep the distance.”
As Callisto strode towards her, Penelope took a few steps back.
“I said I was still thinking. Don't get excited, let's have a conversation as intelligent people.”
Callisto barely managed to stop coming forward, even as he grumbled roughly at her words. He rubbed his face with both hands as if he were crazy. Then, the red eyes, which had been half turned, became a little clearer.
“Have you had any regrets?” Penelope sincerely asked him out of the blue.
-Go to the Crown Prince and tell him clearly.
-I’m sure I warned you. Don’t do that.
As warned, Penelope escaped from the Prince's bedroom by avoiding the Imperial Palace’s magic. Of course, it would have been impossible without the help of Marienne and the Duke. Anyway, wasn’t it her ability to grill them to help her?
Understanding what regrets she was talking about, Callisto wriggled his eyebrows and nodded his head. As someone seemed to force him to do so, Penelope raised her eyes and asked back.
“Then tell me what you learned from this situation.” “...I can't hold you back by forcing you to be locked up.” “And again.”
“No matter what I do in the future, I can’t stop you from doing what you want to do. Because it’s always been that way.”
Still, he hit half of the mark. Penelope nodded with a slightly muted look to encourage him to keep going.
The weak man, who knew her condition quickly, breathed out a deep breath now that the tension was finally gone.
“…Ha. I don't know what spirit came to the Duke.”
“You must have had a mind big enough to notice that about the Duke.”
“Isn’t it just with her that she was leaving her in moderation? You complained about her being talkative.”
Ignoring her sarcasm, he asked furtively. It was the story of Marienne.
The day Penelope first met her, she remembered saying that she thought her ears were torn by Marienne’s praise for her and admiration for ancient magic.
Unaware that there was a deep consensus between Marienne and Penelope that both were ‘the scapegoat’, Callisto would simply misunderstand that she would be spared from Marienne.
“I never dreamed you’d be able to make such a cute act in that short tea time.” “There’s always a connection between women.”
Penelope laughed at him and folded her arms. “So, that’s it?”
“...Actually, I still don’t know.”
Penelope realized that when he was asked about it, Callisto’s face suddenly darkened. After hesitating to speak for a moment, he asked in a subdued voice.
“How can I keep you?” “Are you still saying that?”
Penelope appealed with a grimace over her frustration. “What are you holding onto, there’s already some left!”
“I love you, Penelope Eckart.”
At the sudden confession of love, Penelope looked back at him with her eyes wide open.
“I would kneel down to you a thousand times to say thank you, and a hundred times for you to choose me.”
“But now that you want to leave, I honestly don’t know what to do.” “...Your Highness.”
“Now, I have reached the point where I can't sleep properly because I'm afraid when you will disappear.”
Finally admitting to his insomnia, he murmured low with a slightly distorted face.
“You don’t like marriage, you don’t like the throne, you don’t like it even if I do whatever you ask.” “…”
“I have absolute power and military power to wipe out other countries, but I have never felt more helpless than I am today.”
He grinned bitterly, with a fierce look.
The sudden silence of his appearance, which seemed really powerless, sent a sudden surge of anger. “When did Your Majesty do everything I asked for?”
“I did say I’ll move the entire Academy and the ruins to the Imperial Palace.” “When did I ask you to do that? Your Majesty, you insisted!”
Suddenly, Callisto wiped the smile from his face and stopped Penelope from talking. “All I want is...it’s just you by my side.”
With a weary voice, Penelope looked at him with a little surprise. The mask, which was always hard and as tempting as steel, disappeared, and he stared at her with a desperate look that seemed to collapse at any moment.
Just like what she saw in the tomb of the ancient Leila.
“...I’ve never had anything certain in my life. I knew it could be taken away by the 2nd Prince, so I never hesitated.”
“All I had hidden in my palace was a few of my mother’s belongings or things I received in the days when I believed in her financial condition.”
“But you're different. I can't even compare you to the jewels at the top, so you always shine so brightly. Everyone is trying to take it.”
Penelope was dumbfounded by his self-contradictory remarks. “What is that…”
“The slave who saved and left you with Vinter Berdandi, just a piece of war.” “...”
“You thought that I didn’t know. I’ve been holding back what I want to kill because you seem to draw the line on your own.”
Callisto glanced at the direction in which Derrick had disappeared. Penelope kept her mouth shut with a prick inside of her. She thought he’d know something, but she didn’t know that he’d be using it like
“I want to keep you hidden so nobody can see you.”
He looked at her with a white face as if he were suffocated, and vented the emotions that had been suppressed.
“If not, I want to announce that you are my lover so that everyone else in the world knows. No one will ever think of taking you away."
“I'm new to these feelings, so I don't know what to do.”
He again held his face with both hands before speaking again.
“If I've been thinking about this all day long in the conference...would you curse me as pathetic?”
Like a man struggling with answers, Callisto looked really confused. When Penelope heard his childhood stories, she felt really sorry for him. It was the same for her that she was constantly frustrated and confused.
“...What the hell are you trying to hide me from?”
“From everything that tries to take you away from me, including you.” “Ha…”
When she heard the answer that came without delay, Penelope touched her forehead in frustration. Still, hearing that made her head feel clear. She thought she knew why he was acting like a madman.
‘From those who want to take me, including myself…’
After thinking for a moment, Penelope took her hand off her head and called to him. “Your Highness.”
“Come over here for a moment.”
The man, who stood there and looked at her, widened his eyes. “What…”
“Come over here for a second.”
At her sudden call, he looked confused. Penelope was more dumbfounded by it. ‘You always told me to come back whenever I changed my mind.’
Fortunately, the Crown Prince approached her without hesitation. “...Here.”
“Please look here.”
A strange strain of tension ran over Callisto’s face as he bowed to Penelope and motioned his face to adjust her eye level.
What was he imaging? Callisto faced her and closed his eyes. ‘Crazy, what did you do?!’
Penelope burst out laughing and stretched out her arms as if she was going to kiss him. Then-
She grasped his golden hair in her hands. “Hey.”
Callisto's eyelids, which had been tightly closed, flinched and went up again. Red ruby-like pupils were revealed.
She didn’t understand what was going on in his head right then, so she was very curious. “I love you too.”
He was only three years older than her. What did they do to treat him so hard? Penelope pronounced every word clearly.
“I love you too.” “...What is this?”
“Are you the only one who’s anxious?” “...Penelope.”
“I’m anxious to stay here believing you, too. I don’t know what’s going to happen, so I’m going to make a hole in the back.”
Eventually, Callisto screamed as she pulled out his golden hair. (Note: gosh,what a cute couple )