Chapter 14.1

He must have left for the territory without looking back, Elise pondered. She knew that he didn’t value her at all, and that he wouldn’t save her even if he showed her small kindness. She opted not to inform him about her intentions in the palace, waiting until she met the emperor on purpose. Once she met him, she revealed, “There is a seed of a dragon in my belly.” It didn’t matter if it was true or not at the moment. What mattered was that she instilled the expectation of ‘maybe’ in the emperor.

The emperor of Van Yela desperately wants Rezette’s successor, and until she can prove her claim, the emperor cannot execute Elise. Elise had to convince the stubborn man in front of her, and for those brief moments, she had to make him believe. She said in a quivering voice, “I will give birth to your child.”

“I don’t think it’s a bad idea,” she continued desperately. “I know how annoying it is to be continuously plagued with such demands.” Andrei often received such requests from the nobility. On days when he was particularly troubled, he would seek her out and vent his frustrations to her.

The duke repeated her words, “You will give birth to my successor?” Fear and hope oscillated in Elise’s golden eyes like a blooming flower. Rezette burst into a short, hollow laugh while observing her. “Do you know what you’re saying now?” he inquired.

“If my words were hard to understand…” Elise began.

“You just said you wanted to die miserably right now, Your Highness,” he interrupted unkindly. Elise bit her lower lip at his cruel reaction, and Rezette couldn’t even hold back his sneer. Elise had been foolish to see hope in him. Now that he thought about it, she was a naive woman.

“I’m really sorry for damaging your honor, but…” Elise stammered.

“Honor?” Rezette scoffed. “That’s not what’s important. I’m saying that even if you choose a method, you’ve chosen it incorrectly.” He shot back before Elise could respond. “Do you know why His Majesty wants a successor from me so badly?”

“Perhaps because you’re his brother….” Elise muttered.

“Then do you know why I haven’t succeeded yet?” Rezette asked.

“…That’s probably the same reason.”

“I guess you don’t know for sure. If you did, you wouldn’t have proposed such a ridiculous offer in the first place,” Rezette repeated sarcastically, openly looking over the princess’s body. Elise had lost weight since entering the imperial palace, and her fragile frame looked as if it could break easily. Rezette’s lips twisted in disgust.

“Did I seem quite easy to handle in your eyes? Or are you currently having a big misunderstanding?” Rezette sneered. It was clear that the princess had mistaken him for an upright and chaste knight who had never laid a hand on her. If she knew what he was thinking every time he saw her since the incident by the lake, she wouldn’t provoke him by saying that she would give birth to a child with him with those innocent eyes.

“I clearly stated that I didn’t want to spill blood even in bed. It seems like you didn’t take that as a warning,” he said. Elise’s proposal was one that he had never heard before, and it was a desperate attempt to save her own life.



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