Episode 29: Poisoned Rat(2)
T/N: Big thanks to Feyna aka the witch, Yuuki Michaelis, Thomas, Chocoholic, Isabelle, VELARIS, Kaylaaa<33 & Bergamote for sponsoring this chapter on Ko-Fi!
“What are you thinking so hard about?”
Aristine looked up when a question broke through her thoughts.
“Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to ignore you…”
Currently, Aristine was meeting with Hamill after a long time, and they were chatting.
There was a forest built as a trail in the palace and it was quiet and elegant.
In the middle of the forest path, there was also a place where you could enjoy picnics, so the two settled down there.
Hamill smiled as he looked at Aristine whose face was somewhat flushed.
“Congratulations on your business success. To have given rise to stainless steel and even a mana-powered furnace… The lack of pig-iron ended up bringing you benefits.”
“Thank you, Lu.”
“So, did you make a lot of money? Especially after mentioning it so much.”
“Of course, I did!”
Aristine grinned and puffed her shoulders proudly.
In addition to scalpel sales, she had also begun to receive royalties for the stainless steel manufacturing process and mana-powered furnaces.
‘This is what it must feel like to live off patent fees.’
The best way to make money was making money while doing nothing.
Of course, stainless steel royalties were shared with Ritlen, while the mana furnace royalties were shared with Asena and other magicians.
Aristine also gave the other blacksmiths bonuses.
“You must be glad that the mana stones were supplied on time.”
“Mn, I thought His Majesty had a hand in it, but apparently, it was Prince Hamill.”
“Mhm, it’s surprising, right? I wonder why he did that. After all, he’s the one who caused this predicament.”
“You’re right. I’m very curious, too.”
Hamill stretched his lips into a smile. It was a flawless and smooth smile.
“Regardless, I get to relax these days so it’s nice. I was so busy before. Oh, try this. It’s delicious.”
Aristine offered the cupcake that she brought.
Hamill flinched after taking a bite of the cupcake.
He flashed a smile and spoke to Aristine.
“It seems Prince Tarkan treats you well?”
Aristine was startled to hear Tarkan’s name come out of nowhere. Her face felt like it was about to get hot for no reason.
“W-Why all of a sudden?”
Hamill’s eyes narrowed when he saw Aristine averting her eyes as her cheeks reddened slightly with embarrassment.
“Well, when you ask that, I suddenly don’t want to say.”
He licked the cream off the fork.
“When Princess Consort is with me, let’s only talk about you or me. Not about anyone else.”
Aristine narrowed her eyes and asked, “You’re really not a gold-digger, right?”
“I have been called kind and thoughtful a lot,” Hamill replied with a clear smile.
In the end, Aristine grinned too, modeling his smile, “You are a very strange person.”
“Just to you, Princes Consort.”
A gentle breeze blew over their heads. The leaves rustled in the air as they collided against each other.
Aristine enjoyed her time joking with Hamill like this.
It wasn’t much, but it was a special for her, who had no friends.
Although others acted close to her, they never forgot that Aristine was their superior
On the other hand, Hamill treated her with respect but strangely like an equal.
As if her status of Princess or Princess Consort created no sense of distance or barriers towards him.
After chatting leisurely with Hamill, Aristine got up from her seat.
“It’s time for me to go. The court ladies will be worried if I don’t return.”
Irugo was pretty liberal, unlike Silvanus where it was custom to always move around with an attendant. But perhaps because of the constant events, the court ladies tended to be more overprotective of Aristine.
Hamill asked, gently holding Aristine’s skirt hem and looked up at her.
Perhaps because of his soft eyes, he looked a little sad.
“What do you mean already?”
“Why? Is it because your fox-like court ladies and rabbit-like husband are waiting so you have to go quickly?”
“Mn, my rabbit gets lonely when I’m late.”
Hamill paused at Aristine’s words.
“Of course. Rabbits get very lonely.”
Tarkan would feel ridiculous if he heard this but that didn’t matter since he wasn’t here.
Despite thinking it wasn’t true, Aristine didn’t even blink.
“Hmm, Prince Tarkan get lonely without his wife, huh…”
Hamill mumbled and stretched his lips.
“I think you’ll abandon me if I keep holding on to you so I’m letting you go.”
Hamill’s outstretched fingers slid down the hem of Aristine’s dress.
“If you don’t go when I hold you, I’ll want to keep doing it.”
When he added those words, Aristine couldn’t help shaking her head.
“I think you really found the wrong job. You should have been a gold-digger, not an administrative officer.”
“Does that mean you’re a little taken by me, Princess Consort?”
“No, it means I’m tired of your gold-digging.”
“That’s too much.”
Hamill laughed at Aristine’s firm words. He didn’t look like he felt it was too much at all.
Aristine chuckled and began walking away.
Hamill waved to Aristine as she left. After a while, he clenched his empty fist.
The gentle smile on his face disappeared, and his turquoise eyes stared at that distant back without a flicker.
“This is really fun.”
Hamill mumbled and rubbed his lips. A tenacious smile hung on his lips.