Rezette muttered, “For a plan devised by Van Yela’s king, it feels quite despicable.”
Noyer responded, “Perhaps for the princess. She should be accustomed to this kind of treatment and the consequences of her actions.”
“I don’t agree,” Rezette muttered.
“Why not? Have you fallen for her?” Noyer asked.
“I just don’t want to deceive God,” Rezette replied.
Noyer’s irritation grew as the conversation continued. “You’ve chosen to touch the princess who is on the verge of death. The savage brothers of Ugel demand her head on a platter. Just thinking about how to appease them makes me feel helpless. You’ve sent away all the drunken women and chosen the one woman who cannot be touched. Are you a fool?”
Rezette wearily squeezed his temples. “If we secretly keep the princess, what excuse can we make to Ugel? They will not hesitate to surround us. Rezette Kyrstan refuses to hand over the princess, claiming that he has fallen in love with her. We can even use this excuse if necessary.”
“Are you serious?” Noyer asked skeptically.
“Believe what you wish,” Rezette responded.
After a moment of hesitation, Noyer nodded in agreement. “You make a valid point. Let us take an oath before the Archbishop. Do not force her to live with you. If something goes wrong with the child, you may divorce her.”
Rezette remained silent.
“If the pregnancy reaches full term, the child will be born around late winter next year, correct? There are only eight or nine months left. After enduring that period, we can assess the condition of the princess and the child and send them to Ugel…it won’t be too late.”
Rezette continued to stare at Noyer without blinking. It was a gaze that could kill a man, one that even an emperor like Noyer found difficult to face. Although he had never doubted Rezette’s loyalty, he remained aware of the possibility that he might betray Van Yela. Noyer knew it was better to appease and pacify such individuals than to crush them underfoot.
Noyer’s eyes lingered on Rezette for a moment before he spoke again. “Of course, everything would be different if you harbored feelings for her. Don’t stare at me like that. You know me better than that. I would never wish ill will upon the princess.”
Rezette didn’t respond, but Noyer continued. “It’s the princess’s fault, really. Do you think that woman seduced you with pure intentions?”
Rezette remained silent, and Noyer pressed on. “She must have done it to survive. She’s a wicked woman.”
Noyer sighed heavily. “I hope the princess doesn’t die because of this.” He paused for a moment before adding, “But… I have a good feeling about it.”
Noyer had been feeling optimistic in recent days. He couldn’t help but feel excited that his lifelong ambition might finally come true this year. “Maybe, Rezette,” he said, his voice full of hope, “she’ll be able to withstand your seed. After all, she’s an Argan.”
Rezette nodded in agreement. The princess was a disciple of the Great Dragon Sameshita and a descendant of the hero Gallian, who had successfully handled dragons. She was surely different from ordinary women. “That’s true,” he reluctantly admitted. Despite his reservations about the situation, he couldn’t deny that the princess was physically stronger than most women.
Noyer’s laughter echoed through the room, and Rezette fought the urge to scowl. “Do you think so too? Haha, take good care of her, Rezette. It would be nice if she were a boy, but it doesn’t matter if she’s a girl. As long as she inherits your strength properly,” Noyer said with a greedy look on his face.
Suppressing his disgust, Rezette replied calmly, “I don’t think we need to wait until late winter. Her Highness the Princess is likely to return here again in the autumn.”
Noyer’s face twisted in confusion. “What?”
Rezette continued, “It would be better not to dismantle the execution platform in the square.” Noyer tried to interrupt, but Rezette spoke over him. “You can do as you please in the autumn. I won’t interfere.” He lowered her head and coldly turned away from Noyer’s desperate calls.