You must be very shy (4)
* * *
A month after Aristine’s departure from Silvanus; at the west gate of the Irugo Kingdom.
“I wonder what kind of person they are.”
The man didn’t say exactly who he was referring to, but everyone knew who he was talking about.
Right now in Irugo, there was only one person that Tarkan’s men would be curious about.
Aristine, the princess of Silvanus who would be marrying their lord.
“I heard the Silvanus bastards are all treacherous and cunning.”
“They are weak cowards.”
“Maybe the princess will faint when she sees us.”
All of the people who set out to greet the princess were warriors. This was Irugo’s way of welcoming an honored guest.
However, you couldn’t say there wasn’t any mischief behind it. They’d be glad if the Silvanus cowards didn’t get frightened or wet their pants when they saw the warriors.
The man in the front with short hair and a scar said in a low voice.*
Along with the sound of horses’ hooves, was the sight of Silvanus’ delegation proceeding in the distance.
“Why on earth did they use a carriage instead of a portal.”
The complaining warrior was met with a glance from the scarred man and shut his mouth.
Soon, the delegation which was so fancy that their eyes wanted to roll to the back of their head, stopped in front of them.
“Can they even fight properly with that much nonsense?”
“These people look like they’ve never held a sword before.”
“Well, it’s for decoration.”
The Irugo warriors chuckled among themselves when they saw the shiny armor the guards were wearing.
The handmaids were all beautiful, alluring, and extravagant. They didn’t even glance in the direction of the Irugo people. Contempt and arrogance were written all over their face.
At this point, the Irugo warriors were able to guess what kind of person the princess was.
‘With these kinds of knights and maids, it is pretty obvious.’
Soon, the door of the most luxurious carriage adorned with gold, ivory and topaz opened. And the person who stepped out—.
At the sight of a petite woman in shabby, old clothes, the mouth of the Irugo warriors unconsciously fell open.
“That’s the princess…?”
Compared to the maids next to her, she looked like a beggar. It wasn’t just her clothes that were shabby; she truly looked filthy.
Whether she had even washed her face was debatable because her face was smeared with dust and sweat, and her hair was smothered with grease.
“This is…really, this is unexpected.”
“Hah! What the hell do they take us for.”
Amidst the luxurious delegation, the bride who was marrying into Irugo looked no different from a beggar.
The meaning of that was clear.
“Such petty tricks is not surprising from the Silvanus.”
“But still, to make herself so dirty…?”
“Is she trying to say it’s that insulting to marry our lord?!”
“No, look, the attitudes of the servants towards the princess is a little strange…”
“Pipe down and don’t let down your guard. I do not know what the princess is thinking but I know one thing for sure. She is a Silvanus. She can be targeting our lord.”
Once the scarred man finished speaking, the eyes of the warriors turned sharp like a forged blade.
* * *
‘Well, I’m not surprised.’
Aristine looked around with that thought in mind.
As soon as her dusty self came down from the dazzling carriage, the waiting Irugo people were extremely taken aback.
Seeing that, the envoys of the great Silvanus Empire couldn’t hold back and laughed scornfully. The faces of the Irugo people hardened at the sound of them snickering.
She expected them to say something like ‘this marriage is obviously a fraud’ or protest in some way but they didn’t do so.
She was thankful for that, at least.
‘The fuss about my appearance doesn’t matter.’
It was within the range she expected anyway.
What mattered to Aristine was the attitude the Irugo people would have next. The Irugo people quickly hid their bewilderment and were looking at her with the same expression they had before.
‘They seem very wary of me.’
Aristine quietly walked forward.
‘Come on now, I came here to get married.’
No matter where she looked, the atmosphere was nothing like they were welcoming a new bride.
Seeing all the eyes looking at her like an enemy nation’s envoy—or assassin, to be more precise—made her a little sad. (1)
‘Ah, maybe calling me an enemy nation’s assassin is right on the mark?’
She recalled the order the emperor had given her when he took her aside to talk.
《 Kill Tarkan 》
His voice whispering in her ear gave her the creeps, like a snake crawling all over her skin.
《 Either stick a poisoned knife in that irritating bastard’s chest or put poison in his wine.》(2)
The emperor thought of Tarkan as the one who thwarted his desire to bring Irugo to their knees.
To be fair, he wasn’t wrong.
Because in every battle Tarkan participated in, Silvanus ended up having to retreat. Due to that, the emperor trembled with rage at Tarkan’s existence.
He used his hand to lift Aristine’s chin. And his gaze, which seemed to be evaluating her, swept over her face.
《 As useless as you are, your appearance is at least tolerable so you should be able to do that much.》
A nasty, twisted smile spread across the emperor’s lips. It was a crude and vulgar smile.
《 It works out perfectly. For someone like you who shouldn’t even be called a noble princess with my blood, you would be more fitting for a filthy barbarian to enjoy, no? Vulgarly in bed, I mean.》
Who knows. But as of now, the only person acting vulgar and thinking vulgarly was the emperor.
《 If you succeed, I shall consider acknowledging you as my daughter.》
His tone was as if he was giving her a huge reward.
‘I’d rather not be recognized as your admirable daughter though.’
The emperor let go of Aristine’s chin like he was discarding it, then he placed a glass vial in her hand. The cold and hard texture of the bottle was as vivid as death itself.
That glass vial was in Aristine’s carriage right now.
He told Aristine to kill Tarkan but didn’t actually expect her to succeed.
‘I’m sure he thinks it doesn’t matter even if I try and fail.’
Either way, it would be an opportunity to break the peace agreement and give rise to a new conflict between kingdoms. A conflict so intense that the outbreak of war wouldn’t be strange.
‘He is so stupid. I can’t believe he thought I’ll obey him and gave me the poison.’
And it wasn’t just any poison but the type that could kill you in one breath.
As she reached the front of the Silvanus delegation, Aristine made a conscious effort to curl her lips. She had seen how much of an effect a relaxed and confident smile could have through her Monarch’s Sight before.
‘I’m still dirty though.’
But still, it was much better than cowering and looking ashamed.
A man who was standing among the Irugo party approached her. It was a man with a scar and short hair.
‘Is this guy Tarkan?’
The man who was to be her husband.
Well, his looks weren’t too bad and the air around him was alright. For his personality, she’d only know after spending time with him, but he didn’t look like he’d be obnoxious.
“Welcome, Your Highness.”
His voice was also not bad.
Most of all, it was quite refreshing to see him remain courteous, even though she looked nothing like a princess.
‘But isn’t he acting too courteous?’
As if he was a subordinate.
“I am Durante and I am responsible for guiding you.”
As soon as that thought crossed her mind, the man with a scar introduced himself.
“I look forward to being in your care, Sir Durante.”
Aristine greeted Durante and quickly glanced over the Irugo people who were lined up. However, she couldn’t find anyone who looked like the prince of Irugo.
Durante seemed like the highest-ranked person in this group.
‘I heard Tarkan was going to meet me at the capital’s gate though.’
“And where is my husband-to-be?”
“He went hunting.”
His wife-to-be was coming yet he went hunting? This was a bad sign for their marriage life.
She could see what her future husband intended to do. To deflate the Silvanus’ ego with this cold treatment.
‘And dampen my spirit as well.’
Unfortunately, after everything Aristine had experienced, this little thing couldn’t dampen her spirit.
Her mouth opened slowly.
“I guess my future husband is quite shy.”
- This sentence sounds very sarcastic(?) in the raw. I can’t tell if the translation captures it well. It’s almost like she’s saying, ‘Aw, they don’t like me, I’m sad.’
- LOL. The emperor calls Tarkan a bastard who won’t even fill his stomach if he eats him. I simply settled for irritating.