Chapter 18.2

Ruben couldn’t contain his surprise as they made their way out of the audience chamber. “I can hardly believe that Your Majesty is truly getting married,” he blurted out. His excitement was palpable, but his superior officer didn’t share his enthusiasm.

“The rumor has already spread among the knights,” Ruben continued. “Have you heard about it? I didn’t think you would accept it without objection. You always hated the idea of marriage.”

“I still find it repulsive,” Rezette replied icily.

Ruben flinched as his superior glared at him. He felt as if he could hear Rezette’s thoughts: “Isn’t it your fault that the Emperor has come to this decision because of your useless blabbering?”

He stumbled over his words in an attempt to recover, saying, “Well, I suppose even Rotiara needs a hostess. Old Lady Pettison will be more than welcoming. And perhaps the baby will be born safely…”

“That is not going to happen,” Rezette interrupted, cutting off Ruben’s words sharply.

Ruben was taken aback. Had the emperor taken his heart or something? Rezette had previously agreed to the marriage, willingly at that. But what does that cold gaze mean?  Ruben was one of those who believed firmly that there must have been something between the two.

In the eyes of the knights who had spent years on the battlefield with the duke, Rezette Kyrstan exhibited a particular tenderness towards the princess, Argan. Though it could be interpreted as a gesture of respect towards their liege, some found it excessive. Was giving the princess a bath truly an expression of worship?

Moreover, Argan’s princess possessed an awe-inspiring radiance. Would Kyrstan have extended the same kindness towards a prince, rather than a princess? Ruben pondered this question silently. Ah, that. He might, um, really do the same.

The emperor dispatched celebrated beauties to Rotiara each month. Yet, he never involved himself with these women until whispers of their beauty permeated the land. In fact, he appeared to be repulsed by the mere idea of being with women.

It was only natural. Dragons were known to be more akin to beasts than humans and their sexual urges often went unchecked, leading them to mate indiscriminately. The lord, however, was resolute in his efforts to distance himself from such base behavior.

Ruben spoke up, trying to offer some comfort to Rezette. “It’s alright, Your Highness. You are fundamentally different from other dragons,” he said.

Rezette tilted his head. “How so?” he asked.

Ruben explained, “You cannot be compared to other dragons. People who are ignorant may call you a monster or a savage, but even in appearance, you are different. You have never lost control or gone on a rampage like other dragons.”

Rezette remained silent as he listened to Ruben’s words.

“Your Highness,” Ruben continued, “you have the ability to love, marry, and have children like ordinary men. Isn’t that a blessing from God?”

Rezette looked at Ruben with a mixture of pity and annoyance. He had fought alongside Ruben for years, yet the man spoke such nonsense.

“Don’t talk foolishness,” Rezette said firmly.

Ruben persisted, “But it’s not foolishness. Your child will be exceptional, even more remarkable than the Van Yela or the Argan royal family. It’s natural for the child of someone as remarkable as you to possess extraordinary abilities…”

Rezette cut him off, “Do not get carried away. It is unnecessary excitement. Autumn is fast approaching.”


Ruben’s face paled as realization dawned on him. Could it be that the lord had no intention of letting the child come into the world? Or was he perhaps anticipating the princess’s death before the year’s end?

Ruben fell silent.

“Your Highness, surely you are not considering taking your own life?” he asked cautiously.

“In the worst-case scenario, I may have to. Before I witness even greater bloodshed,” replied Rezette.

Rezette’s demeanor remained unchanging, but Ruben no longer saw the troubled man he had known for years, caught off guard by the sudden upheaval in his life and the unexpected marriage. Now he saw a killer, scanning the battlefield for sacrificial lambs.

Oh, merciful gods. Our Highness is someone who will do whatever it takes, he thought. As Ruben traced a sacred symbol in his mind, a frigid order fell upon his ears.

“Dispatch a messenger to Rotiara. Inform them to make arrangements for the arrival of the Princess. Let the preparations be thorough and meticulous,” Rezette commanded.

“It seems she is still reluctant to part with her life. Let her revel in the joy of the few remaining months.”

It was only then that Ruben comprehended the gravity of the situation. The princess of Argan was not immune to the looming danger of death. Perhaps she was oblivious that each step she took brought her closer to the darkest fate of all.


Before their departure to Rotiara, the couple participated in an informal wedding ceremony at the chapel located within the Van Yela Imperial Castle. It was held not in the grand hall, but in a small annex used only by priests.

Although it was a hastily put-together ceremony, it lacked the grandeur and opulence that was typical of a royal wedding. There were no gifts, no rings, and no bridal veil. It was as if the wedding between the princess of Argan and the grand duke of Van Yela had been arranged in a moment of impulse, like a bolt of lightning.

Elise stood before the officiant in a daze, lost in thought.

If only Andrei were here to witness this, he would have been furious…”



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