Chapter - 22 Episode 22 of The Emperor's Return of the Needle.



Elizabeth took a careful bite to prevent the crumbs from falling off the macaron.

The chewy, rose-flavored kkokkeu melted in the mouth and the sweet filling tried to paralyze the tongue, while the sour raspberry tapped the roof of the mouth.

It was the most delicious macaron I have ever eaten.

Elizabeth quickly devoured her palm-sized macaroons and took a sip of milk.

The hot milk gently wiped the sweetness that remained in the mouth, leaving a savory afterglow.

"Is it delicious?"

Watching Elizabeth with a pleased look, the witch of the clock tower moved her share of macaroons to Elizabeth's plate and asked.

"It's so delicious! I just want to eat this every day!"

"Every day is difficult. If a child has a cavity before his baby teeth have fallen out, it's a big deal."

"Cavity..."?

"It's a terrible disease. Well, apparently Leon is trying his best?"

Elizabeth's eyes were wide open. The vigilance and fear that had filled her small face a while ago had already disappeared with the second macaron that had disappeared into her mouth.

"The Witch of the Clock Tower knows everything.”

"Wow…"

Elizabeth was truly in awe. The witch in front of me was as great a man as Leon.

"Lizzy, is Leon nice to you?”

Elizabeth nodded vigorously.

Then, pinching his little finger, he began to tell one by one what he had been doing for himself.

"Leon gave me low-heeled shoes. These are the shoes I'm wearing now, aren't they pretty? The maid taught me that the name of this flower is Mulmangcho. The flower language... uh... I mean...."

"Don't forget me?"

"Yes, that's it! I thought it was really cool. And Leon knows how to make a ring out of flowers. He put it in for me and it's my most precious treasure. Leon asked me to lend it to him for a while, but he'll get it back soon. Leon says he'll give you interest when you give it back. What's the interest?”

The Witch of the Clock Tower smiled and stirred only a teaspoon of tea.

"You'll know when you see it in person. And what else?"

"And... I asked him to live with me in the palace. I was scared at first. When my mother was a taught me for good manners never learn how to act.”

The witch's movement stopped for a moment. There was a shadow on Elizabeth's face.

But Elizabeth quickly smiled again and began talking about Leon.

"But Leon asked me to come with him. I'm going to be the empress in the future, so I have to listen to Leon well, but Leon said if you don't like me, you can stay. But... I wanted to go. I wanted to be by Leon's side.”

The witch nodded with a gloating look.

Elizabeth drank a whole glass of milk and continued to talk.

The witch moved her finger slightly to refill Elizabeth's glass.

"You don't have to wear corsets in the palace anymore. You don't have to wear high-heeled shoes. I met a cute dog and a nice driver. "With the driver, you can enter the palace anywhere."

"Well, surely Lord Bern deserves to be thrown at the clock tower."

Elizabeth tilted her head at the witch's unexpected words. The witch shrugged her shoulders, folded her fingers, put her chin on her, and listened to Elizabeth's story.

"So today, Leon and I were looking around the palace. The Imperial Palace is very spacious and there are many dangerous places, so you have to be careful... That's right, Leon! Clock!"Elizabeth jumped out of her seat. The wind knocked her glass over, but Elizabeth was in tears and told the witch, not even noticing him.

"Leon, Leon told me not to do it! Witch, what do we do? I'm sorry, witch. I came to the tower with Leon... I begged him to go. I was bad. Leon will be waiting for you. We have to get to Leon quickly."

"Leon?"

Elizabeth nodded loudly.

Leon's face, last seen, was filled with embarrassment. He must be looking for himself somewhere in this tower.

"Hmm…"

The witch sipped only black tea and had no answer for a long time.

Eventually, Elizabeth, who was fidgeting and wriggling her fingers, opened her mouth again, and the witch intercepted her first.

"Do you want to see Leon again?”

"Yes!"

The witch is in trouble again.

"Lizzy, are you happy?”

"What?"

The witch opened her eyes and asked a question. Elizabeth tilted her head.

Leonhardt would often ask for permission to make himself happy.

Elizabeth nodded at each time, thinking it was a vague good thing, whatever it was.

Because when he says that, unbelievable things happen!

But to this day, she only vaguely felt what happiness was.

Elizabeth blushed her lips. If you were a witch in front of you, you would know what happiness is.

"What is happiness?”

The witch quickly blinked at her question.

Elizabeth thought the witch's green eyes were very pretty.

"Well, Leon needs a little more energy."

"Cheer up?"

"Happiness is something you have to learn on your own. Someone can help, but you can't force it into your head."

"Um... I don't know."

Elizabeth bowed her head with a sullen look.

The witch of the clock tower got up from her seat, patted Elizabeth on the shoulder, and hugged her tightly.

"Was that a little difficult for a kid? Well, it can't be helped. It's almost time.”

"Time?"

"There's something like that. I will send you to Leon since I told you a funny story.”

"Really? You must be a great man! I've never met a witch before. You have to tell Leon!"

Elizabeth rose from her seat holding the witch's hand.

At the same time, the table and chair disappeared from their seats, and the surrounding figure returned to the messy room Elizabeth had first seen.

"Unfortunately, Lizzy, no one should know what we've met. It's a secret to everyone. All right? "Everyone" includes you and me."

I don't know what you mean, but Elizabeth could only understand that she had to break up with the witch soon.

The witch had a sad face again.

Elizabeth also felt like a heavy stone was hanging from her heart.

"Witch, does it hurt here, too?"

Elizabeth put her hands over her heart. I thought I would never see the witch again, and the area was throbbing.

"…yes. I'm sick, too."

Oh, my.

Elizabeth gathered her eyebrows and asked the witch.

The witch hasn't answered for a long time.

Elizabeth waited patiently for her answer.

"We'll see each other again. If you think like that, you won't get sick."

"We can see each other again....”

Elizabeth followed her words as if she were chanting a magic spell.

Then the heavy rock that was magically hanging on my mind became a little lighter."Okay? It's a secret. Shh!"

The witch smiled and put her finger on her lips.

Elizabeth also unexpectedly followed the witch and placed her finger on her lips.

"Shh... shh!"

***

And Elizabeth opened her eyes.

"Lizzy!"

The first thing I saw was Leonhardt's face, which was ruined by tears.

Next to him was an old man with a long white beard.

What happened a little while ago?

Elizabeth blinked slowly. But nothing came to mind.

"Lizzy...Lizzy... I, how much I... Uh-huh... how worried I was... Ugh... I was worried....”

Elizabeth held Leonhardt's hand in bewilderment at his first sight.

"Uh... don't cry…I'm fine."

"Grandpa, I brought you some medicine."

The door opened and a loud voice was heard. Elizabeth turned her head with difficulty.

It was still a blurry view, but the first thing I could see was red hair like fireworks.

"You all right? You can't just touch the needle on the clock tower. It could have been a real disaster.

Leonhardt helped Elizabeth up and sit down. The girl handed over a steaming cup.

No wonder it didn't feel strange.

Elizabeth pondered why it would not be strange until the girl pushed the cup closer and urged it.

[Shh!]

A strange voice, not a red-haired girl, a white-bearded old man, Leonhardt, and Elizabeth's own voice, came to her mind for the last time and disappeared.

"Where am I…?”

"Explain that later, and drink this first."

The girl's cup contained black liquid. Elizabeth frowned as she sniffed her nose up close.

"Naturally, healthy medicine is bitter in the mouth. Come on, have a drink!"

The red-haired girl put her hands on her both sides and said. Elizabeth looked at the girl alternately at the cup and drank the black liquid in tears.

"…sweet."

"Right? Mr. Mimir paid special attention to it, so of course you should! Drink everything you have left, and rest well today. Get some rest!"

Elizabeth nodded briefly, drank all the liquid left in the cup again, and calmly went under the blanket and lay down.

"Lizzy, are you okay?"

Leonhardt, who was hidden behind the girl, knelt on the floor and held Elizabeth's hand tightly.

There was still a clear tear mark on his face.

"Leon... are you crying?"

Leonhardt forced Elizabeth to rise again in a panic.

"No, I'm not crying anymore. That's fine because you're safe. I'm so glad... I'm glad, Lizzy....”

I didn't know what was good, but Elizabeth was relieved to hear that Leon no longer cried.

His crying somehow made me feel very unhappy just imagining it.

"Your Royal Highness? Don't you have anything to talk to your grandfather? I'll take care of this child, so why don't you leave your seat, Your Highness.”

Although his arrogant attitude toward the crown prince could not be found, Leonhardt stood up gently instead of getting angry at him.

Leonhardt, who held Elizabeth's hand until the end and asked if she was really okay and if she was sick, told the old man who had been sitting by the bed and watching the children until then, coughing in vain.

Only then did Leonhardt let go of her hand with a lingering face.The old man rose from his seat in a very slow motion.

Then, without saying a word, he nodded once toward Elizabeth, and slowly walked out of the room with Leonhardt as slow as a turtle.

The girl, who was finally left alone after they left the room, brought a small chair by Elizabeth's side and sat down.

It was the first time in the Imperial Palace that anyone acted this way.

"Are you Lizzie?”

Elizabeth's eyes were wide open.

"Do you know me?"

Elizabeth's eyes were filled with surprise and curiosity. The girl introduced herself with a high nose.

"Of course, I'm Mimir! The witch who will be the master of this clock tower in the future! …an apprentice."

"The Clock Tower…? Witch…Apprentice...?

Only then can Elizabeth think of where this is.

Apparently, he came into the tower, escaped the crowd in the black robes, where he touched the clock... And?

"Is this a tower, too?”

"This is the top of the clock tower, my grandfather's room, the owner of the clock tower. What's wrong with you? You don't look good."

Elizabeth blinked her eyes. Touching the clock... And what happened?

"I don't remember... well."

Mimiir put on a troubled look at the words.

"Where do I begin to explain this? Also, would you understand if I told you? I don't know. Let's just make it up!'

"That's the effect of the medicine I took earlier! That's it! That's it! Lizzy, you touched the clock in the room, remember? But the clock tower is a dangerous place and you don't know what's going to pop out. Lizzie, the clock you touched was also a device for operating such a nasty toy, and he fainted because of it, and the child fainted when he saw nothing good to see, and Leonhardt called my grandfather... Anyway, I gave him medicine to erase memories that are not good for a child to see. Do you understand?"

"…no…?"

Elizabeth didn't understand half of what Mimiar said without breathing.

Mimiir began explaining from the beginning, disheveling her lion-like messy hair.

"Well, I mean, what happened was....”

"Well, hey, I'm sorry to cut you off… What's the clock tower?"

"Do I have to explain it from there?”

Mimiir sighed as she looked at the little white girl in front of her. Elizabeth only fiddled with the cup, which was still warm, and read her countenance.

"Good! But Lizzie, when you want something from a witch, you have to pay the right price."

"For?"

Elizabeth made a sad face. All she had in her pocket now was a pretty white pebble, a colorful red mushroom found between the roots of the tree, and a rabbit grass ring she made on her way here.

"But I don't have anything....”

"Hey, it's in your pocket, right?”

Mimir grinned. Elizabeth took out what was in her pocket, still in tears.

"Let's see… Hmm, hmm. Well, it's not bad.

"Is this really worth it?”

Elizabeth's voice was filled with anxiety.

Mimiir nodded loudly and grabbed the red mushrooms with his fingertips and put them in his pocket.

"What do imperial gardeners do when a child is playing with poisonous mushrooms?’

"Lizzy, how did you feel when you put these in your pocket?”

"Well…."

Elizabeth bit her fingertips lightly and pondered.

When he picked up the pebbles, Leonhardt laughed, saying that the round shape looked just like his own face.The red mushrooms were very red like strawberries that I ate the previous day and white spots like marshmallows were very pretty, so I was going to take them to my room and put them in a treasure box.

When I made the flower ring, Leonhardt patted me on the head, saying, "Now I'm better than I am." And I promised to teach you how to make a flower crown next time.

Every little thing that I thought was insignificant had a magic trick that made me feel like I was floating on a pink cloud.

"It was fun."

"That's enough! I'll take a little pleasure from you in exchange for your teaching."

Elizabeth sat up straight and listened carefully to Mimiir.I.R.

"I mean, it's a clock tower….”

The story of His Majesty's return of the hands of the clock [exclusive.





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