Sometimes, excessive beauty can turn into poison, and Rezette knew it all too well as he looked at Princess Elisabeth Asaika. Her beauty was undeniable, captivating everyone whenever she appeared in front of a crowd. But it seemed that her fate was to suffer from her own appearance, rather than benefit from it.
Her dazzling exterior was like venom, poisoning the surroundings and even harming herself. It was as if anyone who tried to protect her with their limited power would only have their efforts taken away and trampled on.
“She is truly a beauty,” one of them whispered.
“If the execution had gone as planned during the ceremony, we would have witnessed poets, painters, and philosophers gathered in the square,” another added.
“Roderick may be the ruler in the afterlife, but what can he do? Now that woman is the mistress of Rotiara. My, my, she looks like a saint, but her true nature is…” a third one trailed off.
Ruben, who was watching Rezette’s expression closely, raised his voice and scolded them. “You, stop muttering unnecessarily! If you have time to be lazy, look around more!”
Ruben’s stern voice silenced the knights’ murmurs abruptly. They seemed to have grasped the atmosphere on their own, and there were no more words exchanged.
The journey to Rotiara progressed more swiftly than expected, thanks to the princess refraining from causing any commotion this time, unlike during her travel from the Argan border to Van Yela.
The carriage door remained closed for the most part, only opening occasionally when a maid reported on the princess’s condition or when she ventured outside for some necessary tasks. Rezette initially didn’t feel the need to open the carriage door, and it remained shut for a day or two, even three days.
But on the fourth day, Rezette sensed that something was amiss. The silence was too profound, even for a quiet carriage. Even though the window was opened at least once and showed signs of human presence, the area around the carriage was eerily hushed, as if a mouse had died.
Even someone with a high threshold for patience would find it unbearable to be confined in a cramped space all day. However, Rezette was hesitant to expose the princess to the knights outside who emitted a pungent odor. It was clear that the moment she revealed herself, she would be the subject of hungry looks from men who had been deprived for a long time.
On the other hand, it was also uncomfortable to keep a frail person cooped up in the narrow carriage for days on end.
Finally, Rezette decided to inquire about the princess’s well-being with the maid who had come to report on her condition.
“Isn’t she feeling frustrated?” he asked.
“She doesn’t show it. I thought about drawing the curtains at least…” Ivetsa, the maid, looked embarrassed. She had tried to draw the curtains to provide some relief to the princess who had been sitting like a statue for hours.
“But she shook her head gently when I tried,” Ivetsa continued. “She said she gets fatigued quickly when exposed to the sun… She’s worried her rash might worsen. It’s better not to open the curtains from the beginning. She doesn’t want to cause any trouble for others.”
Rezette couldn’t quite fathom the princess’s behavior. After all, she held the highest rank among their group in terms of status, and had no need to endure discomfort or consider the convenience of others. The princess herself should know better than anyone else.
“Is there anything else?” Rezette inquired, seeking more information.
“She said it’s not much different from when she was in Argan. She said it’s alright to continue like this for a while as long as the schedule doesn’t get delayed…” Yvetsa replied.
Rezette didn’t need to hear more. To hell with the schedule.
Perhaps the princess felt a sense of guilt towards Rezette. If they were to tally up who would suffer more in this marriage, it would undoubtedly be her. But who was worried about whom?
Regardless, it was clear that being confined in such a cramped space for an extended period of time was detrimental to their health. Another bout of illness would be disastrous for both of them.