Mukali’s face hardened.
Because his face was already menacing, it felt even more threatening.
“So she’s looking for another man because she likes him even though she’s about to get married to our lord?”
“No way, it can’t be. I don’t want to think that badly of the princess. After all, she’s the person marrying His Highness, Tarkan…”
Dionna lowered her head and gave a pained smile.
When Mukali called her, Dionna tried to smile brighter.
“All I want is the happiness of His Highness. So, I hope he will meet a really good person and live happily ever after.”
Mukali patted Dionna’s shoulder with his rough and calloused hand.
He could obviously see how much this was troubling this kind-hearted girl.
‘His Highness is quite heartless. To put aside a girl like this and marry someone like the Princess of Silvanus…’
Of course, his marriage to the princess was a royal order, and most of all, it was for peace. Even he knew that Tarkan accepted the marriage despite not liking it.
“You know it hasn’t been long since the Princess arrived in Irugo.” (Dionna)
“She hasn’t gotten used to Irugo yet and she’s only met a few people…so I don’t know how someone who only stays inside the palace can see a man.” (Dionna)
At Dionna’s words, Mukali’s lips drew a thin line.
He was only worried that the princess might have some dark scheme, but he didn’t know she was the type of woman to thoughtlessly look for a man so openly like this.
“Even if there was such a person, she should be cautious when she’s about to get married…” (Dionna)
Mukali nodded as he listened to Dionna mumble as if she were talking to herself.
“If she can fall for a man so easily and start chasing after him then things like this will obviously keep happening in the future while they’re married…” (Dionna)
Dionna shut her eyes tightly as if she didn’t even want to think of it.
When he saw her like this, Mukali recalled Aristine’s appearance which drew the attention of all sorts of men even though she was about to be married.
His jaw clenched heavily.
“No, there’s no way. How can she be chasing after a man already?”
Dionna shook her head vehemently and acted like she was defending Aristine. But from her mouth, Aristine was continuously being downgraded.
It was initially just ‘investigating a man’, then at some point it became ‘a woman who chases a man everywhere’.
“If it’s true, then isn’t His Highness Tarkan so pitiful? His Highness…”
Dionna looked up at Mukali with distress in her eyes as if she didn’t mean that.
Mukali was overwhelmingly loyal to Tarkan and upon hearing this, his face also sank. Just imagining his lord suffering because of a terrible marriage made his heart ache.
“I don’t think anyone with dignity would do that, right? The Princess is someone with dignity. That’s what I believe.”
Dionna said with an expression that said she sincerely wanted to believe that Aristine had dignity.
But it was clear what she intended.
And as calculated, Mukali, who was simple and full of loyalty and compassion for Dionna, frowned at her words.
‘This Princess has no dignity…! What part of her is better than Dionna?’
To him, Dionna, who was trying to think the best of the princess, was simply pitiful.
“Dionna, you’re a very kind child so I know you are trying to think the best of the princess.”
Mukali rose to his feet.
“But wrongdoings must be pulled out from the roots.”
Dionna was taken aback and stood up after him, grabbing his arm.
“I shouldn’t have said anything. I should have kept it to myself, but because I’m so comfortable around Brother Mukali, I…”
“I don’t want this to cause a big fuss before the wedding…this is my fault. Please forget it.”
“Dionna, this is not your fault. The Princess is one in the wrong here.”
Dionna’s sea-blue eyes shook anxiously.
“The sandwiches were delicious. You’ve gotten better at making them.”
Mukali patted Dionna on the shoulder and turned around.
As she watched Mukali’s receding back, Dionna’s expression slowly changed.
Her anxious gaze was stained with delight, and her depressed lips rose high into the sky. While giggling and humming to herself, she picked up the picnic basket. She had deliberately waited to meet Mukali alone and it was worth it.
Since he was so simple and loyal, she knew he would definitely move just how she wanted.
Like that, she turned around, then she found someone standing there.
“Ah, Brother Durante.”
Dionna was flustered but she didn’t let it show and planted a smile on her face.
‘Did he hear me? Surely not…’
Durante always looked calm and indifferent, so Dionna found it a little difficult to deal with him. She checked Durante’s expression, but he didn’t look any different from usual.
“Dionna, what brings you here?”
“Ah, I brought some sandwiches for them to have on their break. But they were all gone so I only met Brother Mukali.”
Dionna waved the empty picnic basket.
“Lucky Mukali.” (Durante)
At those words, Dionna chuckled.
“Brother Mukali said the same thing. If I knew you were still here, I would have left some for you, Brother Durante.”
“I guess I’m out of luck.”
Dionna chuckled again because those words were also similar to what Mukali said.
“I will definitely leave some for you next time, Brother Durante. By the way, why are you here…”
The atmosphere was okay now, but she was sounding him out to see if he had stayed here the entire time.
“I figured I should pack the map, so I came back.”
Then that meant, he wasn’t here the whole time.
Dionna wasn’t fully relieved but judging from Durante’s reaction, it didn’t look like he had heard her discussion with Mukali earlier. This was a good thing, but Dionna’s face sank.
“Is it for the battle on the plains?”
“Indeed, we weren’t able to really deal with the demonic beasts on the plains because of the war with Silvanus. But there is still time until winter so it should be fine.”
Durante took the plains’ map and looked back at her.
“After milord’s wedding is over and the situation settles down somewhat, we will set out for the plains.”
“Please be safe.”
At those words, Durante quietly stared at Dionna.
Dionna realized what he was thinking about.
He was probably remembering her brother who died in the battle on the plains. That moment when everyone became weak towards her.
Dionna quietly opened her mouth.
“What do you think of the princess, Brother Durante?”
Durante strode past her and walked outside.
“What I think doesn’t matter. I am simply my lord’s sword.”
Outside, the afternoon sun was blazing in the sky.
Seeing the rays of that shining light scattered in the air, Durante recalled the eyes of the princess that he had once seen.
Her face was covered in so much dirt that she was unrecognizable, but those eyes of her shone like they were alive and breathing.
“I only cut down everything in my lord’s path.”
Did those words mean he would eliminate the princess if she got in Tarkan’s way?
Durante’s gaze turned to Dionna.
Dionna swallowed dryly.
The lack of expression on Durante’s face made him seem emotionless. It was this part of him that made her feel uncomfortable.
Dionna fought to squeeze out a smile.
“I feel the same way too. I will not forgive anything…that obstructs His Highness Tarkan.”
Or more precisely, anything that stood between her and Tarkan.
“Right, Dionna. Your brother was a very loyal warrior. As you are his sibling, I expect a lot from you.”
She didn’t know if this was a warning or encouragement.
When Dionna tried to study his expression to get his real intentions, he had already moved away from her.