97. Stepping stone

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“…… where did you hear it from?”

“Oh, it was just a rumour I heard.”



 Rosette, whose complexion had changed, did not look particularly pleased. She looked at the other party who had the expression of being satisfied for knowing that his surprise attack had succeeded to break the mask of her indifference.

 She was glad that she had been correct in her knowledge and in her answers to the questions he had asked. But hearing Yulan asking such an unrestrained question made her surprised. She knew he was poking on her sore spot, just as she had done a moment ago. There was no room left to be not offended by it.

 It was a secret of the utmost importance to Rosette, which Yulan had so thoughtlessly tossed aside. It was a secret that should have been kept not as an individual, but as the princess of a nation.



“The rumour is pretty heavy,” Yulan said. “If something is heavy, it’s a subconscious reaction that you want someone to hold it for you. The tighter it is, the more important it is and the less flexible it becomes. It’s much easier to break the sturdy ones than breaking the one which is less flexible.”



 Breaking someone’s secret is easier than imagined, but not as easy as Yulan said it would be. People’s mouths are always waiting for an opportunity to gossip about something, especially if it is a secret that is too big for them to keep to themselves. So it is human instinct that they would share it with someone.

Rosette also wanted to share her secret with someone, that’s why she sought Violette out. The more strongly and heavily she kept her mouth shut, the easier it was to unravel by others. Those who are soft and easy to talk to are actually the ones who are not able to share anything. And Rosette was exactly that kind of person.

 And Yulan was someone who knew exactly how to open the hearts of such people. It was not a natural talent, but rather a wisdom for living that he acquired after being trampled by others into a mess. That was why he never hesitated to use it on those people.




Rosette could feel her body turning cold and her mind being numb. But she still held her head high. She was a princess, and it was completely out of her dignity to show her weakness to her enemy.



“It’s just a mere rumor. The engagement between the two countries had just been discussed, but we haven’t made a formal announcement yet. There’s a high chance of this engagement not happening.”



Rosette shrugged carelessly and replied. Even if Yulan heard this from a rumour, there was no way to prove it. The King of two countries discussed it once because they thought it would benefit the two countries. A royal marriage was mutually most beneficial and least detrimental to both parties.

 In the not-too-distant future, it will be officially decided that they will become husband and wife, unless there is a better partner than Rosette for that matter.



 There is indeed a future in which it will be decided. But it is by no means the present.



 Rosette didn’t want to deal with the intervention of others, the vulgar curiosity of third parties, nor the discord and distrust that may bring it. It was all too depressing to deal with something that may not happen. It was better if it was just a rumor, but the more the rumour spread, more and more people like Yulan would come to visit her in person. It was easy to deny it, but it was troublesome when she couldn’t lie while hiding the truth. Especially Rosette, who was carrying an unnecessary title “The ideal Princess” on her back.



“I apologize for being disrespectful but I can’t have you spouting such an uncertain story. Where did you hear the rumour from?”



“Oh, I think you’re mistaken.”



 Yulan bent down a little, almost lowering himself to her eyes level. The expression on his face seemed more vivid because of his lowering position. The feeling of oppression became much heavier as he bent his tall body. It was as if he was showing her the true expression of his face and the distortion of his smile. The hostility in his eyes was much clearer now than before then.



“I don’t really care who he(Claudia) chooses. Either it is you or some other ‘Ideal Princess’.”



 As long as it didn’t interfere with his plan, as long as it didn’t interfere with Yulan’s goals, he didn’t care who marries whom.

 He would never let anyone get in the way of Violette’s happiness, even himself.



“I don’t care about your engagement. The prince’s marriage and the good of this country don’t matter to me. You can do whatever you wish. Your matters are not important to me.”



 When Claudia becomes king, the person who will stand besides him and support him would have to be someone of paramount importance. It’s not a matter that bothered Yulan in any way. All he wished was to support the man who will be in the position of the king in the future. Even if he couldn’t, didn’t want to intervene, he had to pay some attention to the matter.

 That was the reason Rosette thought he was trying to contact her in this way. She did not understand a single thing of what he was talking about, but looking at his eyes and his expression, she could easily predict and imagine his inner turmoil.



 What Yulan sees is beyond anyone’s expectations and imagination.

 Most importantly, they were talking about something that might hurt her in the end, because she wasn’t sure what he was talking about.



“I will ask only once.” Yulan said, while wiping the smile from his face. “Was your meeting with her, with Violette, really just a coincidence? Did you have any ulterior motive to approach her?”

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