Crown Prince Cassian, whom I met in the drawing room, had a bright appearance, overshadowing the word that he came secretly. Bright blond hair and clear blue eyes. He had the standard appearance of a prince. His appearance alone was enough to catch people’s attention, but he even wore a white uniform. It was like he was advertising that he was a high-ranking person.
‘What do you mean coming secretly with this appearance?’
Servants might be whispering about his identity on the way. The Crown Prince’s appearance was famous enough to be known by the people of the kingdom, so some may have already noticed that the person who came to Erelle was Crown Prince.
“You’ve come a long way. What brings you here?”
“Erelle is certainly very far from the capital. It’s the first time I’ve been so far from the capital.”
Cassian looked around with curious eyes. The reception room of the mansion in Erelle was well equipped as a place to receive guests, but it was simple compared to the royal palace and the castle of Duke Oberon.
“It must be quite painful to be in this countryside. Evaria.”
Originally, it would have been like that if I were the ‘real’ Evaria. Because she was the essence of aristocratic culture. Anyone would have said that looking at the current situation of Evaria that she was having a hard time. But it wasn’t something that the Crown Prince should say. If he was a human being with a conscience, he wouldn’t have said that.
‘The reason why Evaria came to Erelle is because of the Crown Prince, right?’
I don’t mean to justify Evaria’s misdeeds, but it was of course the Crown Prince’s fault, considering that he had been in a relationship with someone else. Had he only been faithful to his fiancée, would Evaria have had any reason to be blinded by jealousy?
“It’s a better place than I thought. Everyone treats me kindly.”
“Northern people are kind? Oh, Oberon’s roots are in the North, so people can be kind.”
“That aside, what is Your Highness, whose roots are in the South, doing here?”
“It’s obvious. I’m here to see you.”
Cassian looked at me with a bright smile. Maybe it was the male lead’s halo, but the way he smiled bending the corners of his eyes was indeed pretty.
‘It was also because of this pretty smile that Evaria fell in love with Cassian.’
Evaria was weak to Cassian’s smile. Every time he smiled and coaxed her, she would easily fall for his words.
‘A villainess who is in love with the male lead and danced on the palm of his hand.’
It was a very typical setup. But I was not at all impressed by Cassian’s smile.
‘Although this shell is Evaria, I’m a completely different human being.’
I turned to Harry who had turned into a dog, and was hovering beside Cassian, observing him.
‘As expected, Harry is more handsome when it comes to appearance.’
My dog is handsome, therefore, I didn’t need to be so tense. I raised my shoulders more confidently and asked Cassian.
“Your Highness came to see me? Why?”
Cassian, who was smiling subtly, hardened at the words that were asked back without emotion. However, after losing his words for a while, he soon recovered his bright smile as the main character.
“I was afraid you’ll be heartbroken after receiving the engagement annulment letter. I thought I’d at least console you.”
Is that what the main culprit who created the whole scene should say? I was more and more dumbfounded.
“I don’t need any consolation. I’m not that upset. What’s the big deal about breaking the engagement? It can happen to anyone.”
In this conservative world, engagement annulment could mean a lot to a woman and is considered a major flaw. But it’s just a story when you’re a daughter of a half-baked family. Evaria had the noble family called Oberon on her back. For a woman with such a high background, the history of annuling the engagement was a very minor problem.
“You don’t have to pretend to be alright, Eve.”
Cassian rose from his seat, calling my name affectionately. I almost spat out the tea I was drinking at the goose bumps that rose in the sweet voice for no reason, but I managed to endure it.
“Why are you calling me with a nickname?”
I looked at Cassian in amazement. His smile deepened whether he understood my blank stare or not.
“Eve, I didn’t know I’d fall in love with anyone. So I thought it didn’t matter who I married. That’s why I was engaged to you.”
“Oh, yes, I know.”
“But Catherine appeared, and I couldn’t even think of marrying anyone other than her.”
There was only one thought that came to mind when I heard it. So what?
“Why are you saying that to me now……? Do you want me to congratulate you on finding true love?”
I was dumbfounded and asked with an awkward smile. Cassian was delighted as if he had been waiting for the word.
“Yes, Evaria. I want you to congratulate me. The future of me and Catherine.”
“Why do you look like that?”
“You want me to congratulate you. Don’t you think it’s crazy?”
‘Is this baseless confidence a privilege given to the main character?’
I looked at Cassian in amazement as he slowly came up to me. I sat still, hoping to see how much more crazy this man could talk about. But instead of speaking, he reached out and caressed my cheek.
“Your father withdrew his support for the mining business. You put me in a lot of trouble. These days, I… It’s really hard, Eve.”
My eyes narrowed automatically.
‘Now I get it. The reason why this fellow has come all the way here.’
To the northeast of the kingdom was an undeveloped stone mine. There is expected to be huge reserves, but no one has touched them due to the high cost and technology required for development. If you succeed, there is no problem, but if you fail, you will just have to throw away your investment and time. It was hard for anyone to jump into this dangerous gamble.
However, the Crown Prince’s faction has announced that they will develop the area. It would have been a calculation to have a clear advantage in the competition for the throne against the First Prince by successfully developing the stone mine. The Oberon family was the biggest supporter of the project.
“Of course he did that. Didn’t my father offer to support the mining business because he thought I was going to be part of the royal family? Now that we’ve broken the engagement, we don’t have to spend money in vain.”
In addition, the annulment of the engagement wasn’t something that was agreed pleasantly from both parties. The annulment seriously hurt the reputation of the Oberon family, so it was natural to withdraw the business support.
“If I succeed in the business, you can earn several times as much the profit. It’s not wasting money.”
“But success is not certain. And why don’t you talk about this with my father? It’s up to him to decide anyway.”
“I’ve already tried it. But he didn’t listen. I think you can persuade him.”
“The Duke cares about his daughter, doesn’t he? That’s why he hid you here to avoid being pointed at by the social world.”
‘The Duke of Oberon cares about his daughter?’
It wasn’t a very credible story, considering the fact that the Duke was the one who ordered me to go to Erelle.
‘I think he has a very cold, emotionless face.’
No, it wasn’t what’s important now.
‘Let’s say that the Duke really loves his daughter and listens to Evaria very well.’
Why do I have to feed the fish that has left for another girl? This isn’t even my fish.
“Why should I do such a thing, Your Highness?”
“Why, you like me very much.”
The hand touching the cheek came down the neck. My body naturally shrank by the touch at the sensitive place. Cassian smiled, bent down, and met my eye level. My surprised face was reflected in the clear blue eyes.
“If you help me, I can do this much.”
Cassian’s face grew closer and closer.
“The Queen’s position must be Catherine’s, but I can keep you close and give you what you want.”
My head moved quickly as I looked at the slowly approaching Cassian.
‘In the end, this is what he wants, right?’
He didn’t intend to marry Evaria. But the power of the Oberon family is needed. So he was willing to give her physical affection if she wanted. He thought she would say yes. Because she liked him.
‘Wow. What is this, really?’
He came here so confidently because he knew that Evaria liked him so much that she decided to kill Catherine because she was jealous.
‘Totally trashy thoughts.’
This is the Crown Prince of a country?
Why on earth did Evaria like this guy?
Come to think of it, in the original novel, Cassian Geraint was portrayed as a person who could do anything for the throne. He had considerable ambition and was a good negotiator.
‘But there was no such thing as being good at negotiating with such mean methods!’
Ridiculous, as I was trying to push down the approaching Cassian’s face, Harry reacted faster than I.
[You punk! How dare you touch my contractor!]
Cassian rolled on the floor with a suppressed scream.
[Hey, contractor! How can you stay still? This punk is talking nonsense!]
Cassian was completely caught off guard by the sudden attack. Because he thought he had judged the situation properly but was suddenly pushed aside. It was the same for me too. I also couldn’t figure out the situation. But there was only one scenario where this was possible.
[Did Harry do it?]
[Yes! I did it! Oh, my God! I was so angry that magic came out without me realising it!]
While I was grasping the situation, Cassian, who looked alternately at the floor than at me, also came to his senses.
“Now… Did you just throw me on the floor? Me?”
Cassian asked, opening his eyes wide. I tilted my head nonchalantly and replied.
“No, I was standing here still. You saw that too.”
What I said was correct.
‘It’s Harry who did it, not me.’
I said proudly, shrugging my shoulders.
“How can a weak woman like me throw away a man as strong as Your Highness like that?”
Evaria was tall but slender. Anyone could see that she had no strength to throw an adult man on the floor.
“Yes. I suppose so. Well, that was…… But someone grabbed my hair…….”
Cassian touched the back of his head in confusion. He was definitely caught in the head and thrown away, but he didn’t know how and looked puzzled.
“……Maybe I’ve been excused by the long journey. Let’s go back to what we were talking about.”
He soon cleared up the mess and rose from his seat. I coughed a couple of times because I was embarrassed to be alone with him.
“You’ve always begged me. To hold your hand, to hug you, to kiss you. That’s what I mean. Isn’t that a good condition? It’s all what you desperately wanted, right?”
Cassian smiled in a relaxed way while making funny suggestions.
‘Evaria’s affection for Cassian must have been that great.’
Using Evaria’s one-sided and desperate love as an excuse, he was pretending to be a man of superiority, even in the present situation where he had to beg for help. It was okay to be narcissistic, but he was being too confident and wanted to push me in a difficult situation again.
‘It’s annoying seeing someone pretending they have the upper hand and show off.’
It was necessary to show him clearly that things had changed.
I smiled and called Cassian.
“Did you think I would be pleased with the offer?”
“Isn’t it a good deal for you? You asked for a kiss in return for a favour before. ”
‘Did you, Evaria?’
My smiling face cracked. Not much of Evaria’s story was told in the novel. I didn’t even know there was such a backstory because she always appeared only in scenes that bothered Catherine.
‘But this is an important scene. Shouldn’t it have been shown in the novel?’
I was so angry but I realised it quickly. The situation was very important to me, but for the writer and readers, it was only a back story of the villainess.
The most important thing in the novel is the story of the main characters. There is a set amount, and in order to complete all the stories in it, the side branches far from the center had to be effectively struck away. Evaria’s long story was, so to speak, such a side branch.
‘Yes. I knew it from the beginning. She’s only a villainess.’
Now I understand why Cassian was so confident even though he made a ridiculous proposal. He made a similar transaction in the past, so he confidently talked like this.
‘But what happened then is what happened then, not now.’
Isn’t it strange to think that things will be the same now? He cheated on Evaria and broke up their engagement but she still has to be loyal to him?
I couldn’t imagine how desperately the real Evaria was hanging on to this man. Even though they were engaged, Evaria was always anxious to win the man’s affection, beside helping the Crown Prince’s succession to the throne.
I looked at Cassian’s face, which was obnoxiously relaxed, and kicked my tongue inwardly. There was no sense of understanding the situation or eye for people to him. Should I thank him for showing his affection for Evaria? Of course I couldn’t do such a thing.
He’s the future king. The male protagonist of the novel.
‘Will the future of this country be okay? Are you sure this novel isn’t going south?’
Cassian called me, who was deeply mourning for the people of the kingdom and the readers of the novel.
“Our engagement was a deal in the first place; I’ll be your husband, and you’ll give me strength. It’s similar to that time. It’s just that what I can give you has changed.”
“I refuse the deal.”
“Because the price is not very attractive to me?”
Cassian’s expression hardened.
He didn’t think I’d turn down his deal. He stared me in the eye as if to examine my intentions, and soon smiled as if he had grasped the situation.
“Your trading skills have improved. Do you want anything else? Do you want to be my mistress?”
“Then you still want to be my wife. I’m sorry to disappoint you but I can’t make you my wife.”
“That’s great. I don’t want to be your wife either.”
“……I don’t understand. What do you want in the end?”
“It’s simple. I want Your Highness to turn around like this, walk forward bravely, and go straight to the capital. And never come here again! Wow, it’s not hard, is it?”
My tone of speaking was friendly as if teaching a kindergarten student. No, it may not have actually sounded so, but I did my best to sound like that. If he didn’t understand what I was saying even after saying so easily and so kindly, he’s a fool.
“Just go back? Are you saying you’re refusing to form the deal?”
“Wow. You finally understood what I mean.”
‘Fortunately, he wasn’t stupid.’
I smiled and waved my hand with joy.
“Then could you please do as I say? Turn around, walk, and go back to the capital.”
But Cassian remained motionless in his place.
He had a complex look on his face as he muttered the question.
“Why are you refusing to make the deal?”
“It’s very simple, too. If you have what I want, and I have what you want, we exchange it with pleasure. This is what a deal is, right? Unfortunately, however, I am not satisfied with what Your Highness is offering me.”
“But… didn’t you say in the past that you liked me? You always hovered around me to watch me.”
“Yes, it was a long time ago. It’s not now.”
“How can you say that? You can’t change so easily..….”
Casian grabbed his head as if he didn’t understand it. I shrugged my shoulders as I cut off his words who was muttering to himself.
“Your Highness is like that too.”
“Your Highness also changed easily. Did you ever think you’ll fall in love with someone one day? There are cases where it’s the opposite. You don’t love someone forever. That’s how people’s hearts change. It’s nothing surprising.”
Cassian had a very shocked face.He wouldn’t have thought that Evaria Oberon, who doesn’t love him, would exist in this world.
‘Well, if I hadn’t become Evaria, she would have been sincere to Cassian.’
Evaria was a character that was originally made like that.
‘So what? I’m not that Evaria.’
“Therefore, no deal is possible. Your Highness can’t give me what I want. I already have it all.”
I have everything I want. Evaria, the daughter of the Duke, already had everything she needed. So no one in the world could make a deal with me.
“Nevertheless, if you still want my help, you have to beg.”
“Isn’t that right? Your Highness wants my help but you couldn’t offer a satisfactory price. Then, you have no choice but to appeal to me, right? People call it begging.”
Cassian clenched his fist and let out a sneer.
“But I’m a noble Crown Prince. I wouldn’t do such a dirty thing.”
Cassian became a Crown Prince when he was a child and lived with praise around him. This must be the first time he is being insulted by anyone.
“Lady Oberon. Do you know how great the crime of insulting the royal family is?”
“Why? Are you going to accuse me of blasphemy? If you do that, you’re really turning your back on the Oberon…… Can you do that?”
Of course he couldn’t. Cassian’s Crown Prince’s faction couldn’t resist our side’s favour because it was a situation where the power of the Oberon Dukedom was essential to the competition for the throne.
“And you don’t have a witness, do you? No matter if you are the Crown Prince or not, you can’t accuse the daughter of the Duke of Oberon without evidence.”
He was bitten to share a secret story. Outside the door stood two knights who had escorted Cassian, but the story inside was not heard anyway.
“Oh. Would you like to beg since no one is watching anyway? Do you know that I can change my mind? That’s how people change their minds.”
It was a strange way of weaving down Cassian’s past where he transferred his affection to Catherine because he fell in love with her. If he was a really stupid person, he wouldn’t have noticed the hidden meaning in my words. However, fortunately or unfortunately, Cassian wasn’t such a fool that he couldn’t even notice it. Recognising the hidden meaning, he looked at me with a stiff face.
“……I don’t think it’s a good day to talk. I’ll go back now.”
“Yes. I won’t see you off.”
Cassian closed his mouth and turned around as I greeted him with my skirt lifted lightly. As the angry Cassian opened the door roughly, the waiting knights greeted him with dignity.
I looked at the back of Cassian’s head and called Harry. Then Harry shouted excitedly as if he had waited for this moment.
[You want to kill him, right? Right? How do you want me to kill him?]
[What are you talking about Harry? Why are you thinking of killing him?]
[I’m a demon. Isn’t it right to just think about killing the punk?]
[So let’s just kill him. He was so annoying, chattering nonstop. What do you think?]
[He truly is annoying, but if you kill him, it’ll be more annoying. So I want you to hit him back on the knee and throw him on the floor.]
[Why do I have to do that? We can kill the punk and see blood……]
[Harry, my wish is for Harry to stay staring at the wall all day..……]
[Okay! I’ll hit! I’ll hit him right away!]
Harry shrieked and blocked me before using his magic quickly. A translucent bundle of light approached Cassian’s back and struck him hard against the back of his knee. It was so strong that I could clearly see Cassian’s knee bent.
Casian knelt and fell down on the floor. Because of the loud fall, not only the knights waiting for him, but also Emma, who was waiting for me to come out, opened their eyes wide in surprise. In such a sudden situation, everyone forgot what to say and only opened their mouths wide.
It was the same with Cassian. He was just lying on the floor blankly, as if he didn’t know what had happened to him.
“Well, Your Highness….”
One of the knights lifted him up, amidst Cassian’s confusion.
As he staggered to his feet, he still looked delirious. The white clothes were crumpled, and unlike when he first visited this place, he looked somewhat shabby.
“Oh, Your Highness!”
I ran out the door, deliberately raising my voice.
“You must be having a hard time these days. Even inside, your legs suddenly became weak and you fell. And now..….”
I shook my head with a face as if I was worried about him to death.
“Since your lower body is weak, you must take good care of yourself. After you go back to the capital, please have some medicine that’s good for you. Something good for the lower body.”
[…Hey, you sound like you’re worried but insulting him. Don’t you know how important men’s lower bodies are to them?]
Even Harry, who had been talking excitedly about killing Cassian just now, looked at him with solemn eyes. It was the same for everyone else. Everyone present was looking at Cassian, to be precise, at his lower body, with solemn eyes. I smiled refreshingly and hit the nail on the head.
“Cheer up, Your Highness. Just because you have a poor lower body doesn’t mean the world is over!”
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