Young and Rich, Tall and Handsome(7)
…Paellamien, you’re revealing your true face.
She said appearance wasn’t the problem, but apparently, it was the most pressing issue.
Feeling Aristine’s gaze, Paellamien looked away while blushing slightly.
“Power…right. I can give that up. I’m going through this because of power anyway. I’d rather not have it. But!”
Paellamien’s eyes were ablaze.
“There are four things I cannot give up.”
“A man must be young! Rich! Tall! Most of all, he must be handsome!”
Aristine opened her mouth.
Of course, that would be nice, but she didn’t feel the same way, maybe because she had been confined and didn’t know much of the world?
Or maybe it was because she was already married to a man who had all four.
Either way, Aristine couldn’t help but ask, “In a political marriage?”
“Well, I didn’t think I was going to be in a political marriage like this.”
Paellamien gave up her power a long time ago.
Therefore, she didn’t think she was going to marry for political gain. Especially because a marriage for huge political gain would raise the Queen’s vigilance towards her.
(Paellamien)“It’s not that I naively thought that I was going to marry for love. I just thought I’d marry someone from a family that wouldn’t raise the Queen’s vigilance.”
Then that would definitely expand her options.
She didn’t think anything was wrong with choosing a good-looking man out of many men.
(Paellamien)“Since I gave up on a political alliance, I must ensure these four things at least.”
Her tone was resolute without any allowance for rebuttal.
‘True, if you give up on one thing, the other conditions should be decent.’
For some reason, Aristine was feeling persuaded.
A young, rich, tall, and handsome man.
(Aristine)“But why money? Princesses already have a lot of money.”
(Paellamien)“There are guys who try to pad their self-esteem by claiming it hurts their pride to spend money on their wife.”
Paellamien gave Aristine a look that said ‘you don’t get it’.
(Aristine)“I don’t think that boosts self-esteem.”
(Paellamien)“That is what I’m saying. They are an ignorant bunch.”
Contempt flashed across Paellamien’s face.
Aristine gazed at Paellamien’s expression with surprise, “I didn’t think you were like this, Princess.”
Although Paellamien had a sharp edge with Aristine, she seemed to have a calm, and easy-going personality when dealing with other members of the royal family.
She gave the feeling that she didn’t like to make waves, so it was her goal not to cause trouble.
‘Although I now know why.’
Paellamien shrugged her shoulders with despair on her face. “Who cares? You’ve already seen me cry, what’s this too? This is actually refreshing.”
“I guess you must have had a headache trying to suppress your personality, Princess.”
At those words, Paellamien grinned.
To Aristine, it looked like bars were drawn against that smiling face.
An invisible prison.
Paellamien could go anywhere and be treated like a princess. However, her original self was locked up and never allowed to step into the sun.
Since Aristine had been imprisoned since she was six years old, Paellamien must have been locked up for just as long.
Paellamien’s smiling face was filled with signs of tears.
“You don’t need to go that far to support the Queen, do you?”
When Aristine said that, Paellamien’s smile faded.
She immediately grasped what Aristine meant.
Aristine opened her mouth and confirmed what Paellamien was thinking.
“If Tarkan becomes king.”
Paellamien’s gaze changed, “Are you asking me to join hands with Tarkan right now?”
Paellamien’s brows furrowed at that firm refusal.
Aristine smiled widely when she saw Paellamien’s questioning eyes, “I am asking you to join hands with me.”
“What do you…”
Paellamien swallowed the rest of her sentence. She thought it was a play on words, but she realized it wasn’t. Her eyes shook slightly, like the shadows of leaves on a lake.
Aristine shrugged, “Or you can marry that bald man.”
Aristine then scattered the fallen leaves while mumbling to herself. “Come to think of it, I heard baldness is inherited; that means Princess’s children too…”
Paellamien flinched, looking visibly agitated.
The image of a bald family floated in her mind, but she squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head.
Paellamien turned to Aristine and began to speak in a serious tone.
“I do not wish to lose. Plus, there’s all the investment I’ve made so far. But you’re asking to throw away all my bases and suddenly join hands with you…”
“What’s wrong with that?” Aristine said, resting her chin on her arm which rested on her raised knew.
(Aristine)“The fleet footed nobles are already doing so. Wouldn’t it be safer to jump on the bandwagon?”
Her demeanor was lighthearted, but the words she was saying were definitely heavy.
Paellamien fell silent for a moment.
(Paellamien)“Give me a grace period then.”
(Paellamien)“Even if I join hands with you, Princess Consort, I cannot let go of the queen’s hand right now.”
In other words, becoming a double spy.
(Paellamien)“Besides, don’t we need time to get to know each other?”
Aristine chuckled at Paellamien’s words.
(Aristine)“So if you get to know me and you don’t like it, you’ll let go?”
It means that if Aristine made an error, she would feign ignorance and not face any losses.
“I don’t think it’s a particularly bad condition for you, Princess Consort. I am willing to cooperate, but I would like to make an escape route for my own safety.”
“Who knows. I’m not that short on manpower. The Queen’s side has been hit quite hard by this incident and with things as they are, I don’t think it’s necessary to join hands with someone who doesn’t know when to let go.”
Aristine said lightly.
“I will send you a good wedding present, Princess Paellamien.”
“One month,” Paellamien said hurriedly, “I will decide in a month.”
Seeing Aristine remain silent, Paellamien tried to convince her, “At any rate, the Queen trusts me. That will be helpful to you too, Princess Consort.”
Aristine hummed subtly and Paellamien’s mouth clenched.
‘Is that a no?’
Then again, Aristine was currently in a good position. Every noble was anxious to make a connection with her. She had no reason to take on a risk factor.
‘And I said a lot of things I shouldn’t have said to the Princess Consort…’
Right when Paellamien was about to lower her head in disappointment…
Aristine reached out and gently wiped Paellamien’s eyes.
Paellamien’s eyes grew round.
“I heard you can’t just leave a crying girl by herself.” Aristine looked down and curled her lips.
Paellamien’s face instantly turned red. She fiercely smacked Aristine’s hand away.
Aristine went “Ow” and shook her beaten hand.
(Aristine)“I was trying to say I agree.”
(Paellamien)“T-Then just say that! Goodness, you are so strange.”
Aristine tilted her head.
She saw someone do it in the Monarch’s sight and it was liked but maybe she misunderstood?
She did that on purpose because she wanted to kick off their alliance with a good start.
Aristine stared at Paellamien, who was blushing and frowning at the same time.
‘I thought she was a calm person, but she’s secretly hot-tempered.’
It was amazing that she managed to suppress her personality this whole time.
“The Queen is working on bringing Marquis Issara to her side.” Paellamien, who had been staring ahead for a while, blurted out.
Aristine knew who that was.
‘The leader of the neutral faction.’
The Marquis was one of the nobles who approached her during the welcome banquet of her arrival to Irugo. She thought that the Marquis approached her because he wanted to side with Tarkan but that wasn’t the case.
Marquis Issara was still keeping his neutrality.
‘Indeed, winning over such an individual would be quite symbolic.’
It would dispel the impression that Hamill’s power was fading.
Politics was also a battle of reading the tide, so such a display was just as important.
“They say that the grandson of Marquis Issara has a chronic disease.” Paellamien swiftly rose to her feet and said. “A gift for our collaboration. Goodbye.”
Aristine watched Paellamien’s back become distant and smiled to herself.
Getting to see Paellamien’s true self wasn’t too bad.
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