You must be very shy (5)
* * *
The sound of people gasping leaked out simultaneously among the Irugo people. The expressions on their face showed they couldn’t believe what Aristine just said.
Durante’s expression was also quite a sight.
They all reacted as if they had just seen a bomb explode in front of them.
Durante gave a little cough to clear the atmosphere.
“It’s not that; some demonic beasts were sighted.”
And so her husband-to-be set off in a hurry, apparently.
Aristine realized what was going on.
‘So he’s not just hunting, he’s hunting demonic beasts.’
If that was the case then it was understandable for him to be absent when his future wife arrived.
“Why didn’t you tell me that from the start?”
Even though Aristine’s question was sharp, Durante replied calmly, without a single change in expression.
“You asked where he was, and I simply answered that.”
At those words, Aristine paused.
Indeed, he was right. He didn’t exactly lie to her.
Aristine looked at Durante and raised the corner of her lips slightly.
“Lying is not the only way to be deceitful.”
It was their first time meeting each other and the other party was wary of her so perhaps making a more favorable impression would be better for her.
Just giving an appropriate smile and going along with everything might be best. Because one’s first impression was important.
However, Aristine had no intention of doing that.
This was different from when she was in the empire. Now that she was out of that sickening place, Aristine planned to act as she pleased in Irugo.
‘I am done hunching over.’
If she let it go at their first meeting, he might think it was okay to keep giving her misleading information in the future. This sort of thing had to be made clear from the start.
‘These people are wary of me and they don’t like me.’
In other words, they didn’t expect anything from her so didn’t that mean she didn’t need to match anyone’s expectations?
“Only saying half the truth and leading someone to arrive at a wrong conclusion is also being deceitful.”
A flash of embarrassment appeared in Durante’s eyes for the first time.
As Aristine looked straight into those eyes, her own eyes curved.
Durante’s breath caught for an instant.
The mixture of dust, sweat, and dirt made her face look dirty but strangely enough, the princess was captivating.
Perhaps it was her purple eyes that seemed to reflect a dawning sky.
“I hope you do not deceive me from now on.”
* * *
Durante suggested for the princess to wash and change her clothes before going to the palace. However, protests immediately came from Silvanus’ side.
《 What do you mean wash? How dare you call our princess dirty?》
《 You must have some ulterior motive to want to dress our princess in Irugo clothes before she even enters the palace.》
Until then, they were acting like they didn’t care what the princess did, then they suddenly started acting like they cared, making Durante speechless.
The conversations went back and forth a few times, but the shameless Silvanus people did not back down.
In the end, Durante backed off because he didn’t want to cause a conflict while his lord was away.
“Is it really okay to take her to the palace looking like that?”
“You saw, there’s no other choice.”
“No reason to listen to those Silvanus bastards.”
“And cause a national conflict in the middle of a political marriage? Are you going to deal with the fallout?”
“Look at the way they’re acting though. I think there’ll be a conflict even if we don’t do anything.”
He was right.
It was obvious the king of Irugo would feel insulted when he saw the princess and her delegation.
The king wanted a complete end to the war.
Therefore, he wouldn’t put an end to the political marriage, but he would definitely have criticism to add. And that criticism would reach their lord intact.
Moreover, considering the rude attitude of the Silvanus people, it was clear they were aiming at causing a dispute.
“Even so, we shouldn’t be the one to start that conflict.”
At those words, the warriors shut their mouths.
Durante could only hope that no one was in Tarkan’s palace.
‘Although that is a vain hope.’
Still, it was comforting to know that the king rarely ever came out in person.
“By the way, I didn’t expect the princess to be like that.”
They all knew his words weren’t referring to her messy appearance.
“For real. She’s so different from what I was expecting.”
“Our lord, ehem, he must be quite shy…, pfft!”
A burst of snickering laughter spread over the warriors.
When they first heard it, they were so caught off guard and even alarmed but the more they thought about it, the funnier it was. The only person who would say such a thing about their lord was the princess.
“I like her.”
“Mn, she’s much better than I expected. Although I was surprised when I first saw her because of you-know-what.”
Durante listened to the warriors chattering away and turned to look at the carriage that the princess was riding in.
The carriage was so flashy and extravagant that it was hard to believe it was carrying a princess who was dressed like a beggar.
He wondered what the full story was.
It was only natural for him to think that way.
He hadn’t forgotten how the princess’ eyes looked when he saw her earlier. Even when her face was a mess, her eyes were shining like stars in the night sky.
Her eyes were clear like she could see-through anything, yet her gaze was like a deep sea, stopping you from daring to look any deeper.
Durante soon shook those thoughts from his mind. His master was the most important thing to him.
“Don’t just look at the outside. The Silvanus bastards are cunning; you do not know what they are thinking inside. The princess may have come aiming for our lord’s life.”