Customer, I mean, Husband-nim (2)
Translated by: Miss Ruby
He felt pricked like there were sand grains in his mouth. He wanted to say something but strangely, nothing came out of his mouth.
He didn’t know anything about this woman.
Why she was confined.
What kind of treatment she had received.
What she had gone through.
‘I don’t know anything but…’
Tarkan recalled the first time he saw her.
The back of one woman enduring the ridicule and sneers of his siblings, all alone.
‘I know one thing.’
That at least, the insults today weren’t enough to really hurt her in any way.
And with the way she said she didn’t want to die but talked about her life so casually—.
‘It means many people are aiming for her life.’
They must have treated her life like a trifling piece of chump change. If that’s the case, then sending her to marry here was practically the same as sending her to die.
There were people inside Irugo who wanted war.
Tarkan’s eyes narrowed.
But instead of asking more questions, he changed the topic.
“Then it must have not been your intention to arrive here looking like that.”
Aristine nodded while putting the last scone in her mouth.
Then she added, “If you investigate a little, you’ll find that I was indeed confined.”
“Can you believe what I’m saying now?”
“To some extent.”
Aristine nodded in satisfaction.
That was good enough for now.
‘This is my first time talking for so long, but I’m doing pretty good, no?’
She had spent almost her entire life without someone to talk to due to her imprisonment, so with this much, she felt she was doing a pretty good job.
Certainly, she talked with the maids on the way to Irugo but that was just things like ‘Come out’, ‘Sit down’, ‘Please eat’, and such.
‘You can’t even call that a conversation.’
Her discussion with Tarkan today was the first real conversation that Aristine had experienced in 10 years or so.
‘I have been trying my best to smile but he doesn’t think it’s strange, right?’
She was deliberately smiling because in her Monarch’s Sight, she saw that confident smiles gave considerable power in negotiations.
Anyway, since it ended well, she figured it must have been conveyed somehow.
“And so, let’s talk about the main subject.”
“I need you to lend your support for my safety. After all, the world peace you desire is at stake.”
Aristine said with a grin.
“That is what you want? That’s why you wanted my help and that win-win thing with each other.”
Aristine nodded. Her gaze seemed to be asking ‘what else could there be?’.
Tarkan was a little stunned.
This long conversation—all this talk about a business relationship, win-win or whatever, was just so that she could ask him to help her guard her life.
It was completely unexpected for that to be the first thing a wife was requesting of her husband. He definitely thought she was going to ask for something huge.
But it was just this. Something so natural and fundamental.
‘How in the world was she treated?’
Tarkan certainly intended to protect her, although this was based on the premise that she wasn’t a spy. As long as she was bound to him by marriage, this woman was his responsibility.
That was also why he got involved when his siblings were ridiculing her. Their insults to Aristine were the same as insulting Tarkan.
‘Why am I bothered by those Silvanus bastards?’
Regardless of how Aristine was treated in Silvanus, it had nothing to do with him. Aristine was not Tarkan’s responsibility at the time nor did she have any relationship with him.
It was only after Aristine replied that Tarkan realized he had asked her a question. It had left his mouth before he could even think about it.
He should have just let it go while thinking that her request was so easy because it was about something so small.
When this political marriage was decided, Tarkan planned on not concerning himself with his wife. Which is why, when he heard Aristine talk about win-win or whatever, he just let it flow out the other ear.
It was the same even now.
In his mind, he didn’t gain anything by concerning himself with this woman more than necessary and it was a useless venture.
But strangely enough, he never even considered taking back what he said.
“Something else I want? Not quite…”
Aristine began to shake her head then she remembered something, and her eyes sparkled.
“Ah, then can I run my own little personal business? Not for the private coffers but a little something for my own pocket…”
Initially, she was going to bring this up later after building some trust.
‘But if he’s giving me an opportunity, I might as well say it.’
“Wait, I really don’t have a business addiction.”
Aristine waved her hand.
There was a really good item she had in mind. An item that suited Irugo’s situation perfectly and would fulfil the King’s cherished desire.
‘A medical scalpel business!’
Irugo was always in the battle against demonic beasts so its metallurgy sector was very developed. The idea was to use that technology to make medical scalpels.
‘This will definitely succeed.’
The scalpel that was currently being used was in the shape of a small dagger, it rusted easily and most of all, it wasn’t as sharp as its thickness.
But if they were to make a scalpel according to Aristine’s design…
‘The success rate of surgeries will increase exponentially.’
This was something that concerned a person’s life.
Even Silvanus, a foreign country that had a bad relationship with Irugo, would try to find a way to import it into their country.
And Irugo’s image as a country of barbarians could also be reformed. In other words, the King’s wish could be granted.
Just think, how much benefit would that bring?
‘As long as I can bring this business in, it will be huge.’
She might as well make the gold fields her own!
However, Tarkan wasn’t saying anything. Somehow, it made her uneasy.
‘Money is precious, you know!’
Aristine began to toss over carrots in earnest.
“Ah, right. I guess you can only call it proper negotiation when there is a direct benefit for you instead of something like world peace.”
For the sake of a fat, thick safe, Aristine enthusiastically began to promote herself.
“As I said before, I can deal with things on your behalf while you are gone. And—.”
This was an irresistible offer.
Aristine believed it was.
“Irugo is currently in the middle of the battle for succession, isn’t it?”
Normally, Hamill, the son born of the Queen’s palace, would have been chosen as successor.
However, King Irugo was delaying his decision.
Because of Tarkan.
Born to a commoner mother, Tarkan was forced to leave and hunt demonic beasts at 10 years old.
And he came back alive.
In fact, he did more than just come back alive. Tarkan killed Murzika, the great demonic beast that had been tormenting Irugo at the time.
Needless to say, his position in Irugo rose drastically because of that.
“Naturally, this is no different from doing what is required of a wife whose husband is a prospective heir.”
Aristine stretched out a hand towards Tarkan.
“Let’s help each other for our respective safety.”
Tarkan looked at the hand that was held out to him with unfamiliarity.
Aristine’s meaning was clear.
He protects her, and she protects him.
That was a very strange word.
There were many people who followed Tarkan. If he stepped out in his courtyard right now, they would rush to kiss his feet.
But someone like Aristine was the first.
Someone who said they would take the same responsibility and play the same role on an equal standing.
“You, do you know what that means?”
This was the Aristine who took him to see the King to prove herself and had this long conversation with him because she wanted to live. If she jumped into the political fray, there would be new people aiming for her life.
“Oh my, don’t you know the meaning of a political marriage?”
But Aristine only laughed leisurely and blinked her eyes.
“Of course, I do.”
Tarkan took Aristine’s outstretched hand.
Their fingers brushed and soon, their palms touched.
“I think we will make a good couple.”
As business partners in a political marriage without love.
*Chapter 23 will be posted tomorrow. I thought I posted this last week.