It wasn’t pleasant to watch the scars gushing blood on a body that shouldn’t have a single scratch. Rezette felt a mix of emotions as he watched this happen.
“I’ll help you stand up,” he offered.
The princess blinked and looked at him blankly, and Rezette was taken aback by the expression of surprise on her face. Wasn’t this what she wanted him to do? Why was she looking at him like that? Sighing heavily, Rezette wrapped his arms around the princess’s waist and knees and lifted her up. To him, she felt as fragile as paper and as light as a feather.
He placed the princess on the bed and held onto her hands. “Thank you,” she said quietly. However, her golden eyes remained fixed on him, as if trying to discern something. Rezette couldn’t decipher her thoughts, and the frustration grew inside him.
After a period of silence, the princess made an unexpected comment. “We’ve met before, sir,” she said. Rezette stayed in silence. “Isn’t that why you recognized me right away?” she prodded further.
The frustration that Rezette had been feeling turned into discomfort. Although he found it hard to believe that he had ever had the opportunity to talk to this stunningly beautiful woman, he couldn’t ignore her question.
“I was once sent as an envoy to Argan,” he said.
“Yes, that’s when we met at the banquet hall,” the princess said, as if recalling the memory. Then, she tossed out another question without any hesitation. “Sir, are you married?”
“No, I am single,” Rezette replied.
“I’m sure you’ve received many offers of marriage from all over the continent,” the princess said. “If it’s not rude of me to ask, why haven’t you accepted any of them?”
“I don’t know if you know this, but stories about me have spread across the continent,” Rezette explained meekly. “I don’t know if any father would want to marry their precious daughter to a man who isn’t even human.”
Elise’s cheeks twitched slightly at his words.
The princess likely knew about the many myths surrounding Rezette Kyrstan, stories that had spread even to the southernmost part of the continent. According to the rumors, he was a cruel murderer unlike any other monster. Heartless and ruthless, his unit was known for killing humans without hesitation. Some even said that he was a monster rather than a human.
Most people who knew him knew that these rumors were largely true. Rezette Kyrstan was a hybrid of a dragon and a human, a non-human being who was imperfect and unstable. He was part of a cursed tribe that inherited madness instead of dragon powers, and could only control this madness through periodic killing.
Most members of this tribe were born with bodies that were half-human and half-dragon, sometimes with a human head on a reptilian body, or vice versa. They often had low intelligence and fatal flaws in their bodies. Such creatures had been recorded in history. Rezette Kyrstan was similar to these creatures, but he had a more human-like form.
The princess hesitated before saying, “Rumors tend to get exaggerated.”
“Few of the rumors circulating about me are false,” Rezette replied. “In fact, I think there are many more that haven’t been revealed.”
“Okay,” the princess said. “But I’ve heard that the Emperor of Van Yella is trying to arrange a marriage for you. He’s looking for an heir…”
“Ah,” Rezette said, frowning for the first time. The embarrassment and annoyance he couldn’t hide on his face were fully exposed. Heir, successor, marriage. It was always a problem that weighed on his mind.
Without realizing it, his tone became sharp. “I have no interest in killing women to see their heirs.” Elise fell silent at his blunt remark. “I don’t even want to see blood in bed,” Rezette added, his words making the princess visibly nervous.
Rezette scoffed at her reaction. If you’re going to get scared like that, why don’t you let go of my hand, he thought.
“An ordinary woman would definitely fail to bear your children,” the princess managed to mutter. Rezette’s eyes briefly touched on their joined hands before falling away.
The fingers that had gently patted the back of his hand, asking if he was married, were thin and white. And now, despite his warning, those delicate fingers were burrowing between his rough knuckles. What did it all mean? The princess called him in a whisper.
“Yes, Your Majesty,” Rezette replied.
“Did you know that Argan’s father was a disciple of dragons?” asked Elise.
Rezette was silent for a long time. This was the story of the founding of Argan, a legend that had been passed down for over 700 years. It was a tale of the time when the light dragon Semeshita wreaked havoc on the continent, and the five wizards who worshiped the dragon betrayed their master and chose to protect humans instead.
The hero Gallian, their leader, was the progenitor of Argan. He was the first human to learn how to protect themselves from dragons, taught by dragons who knew more about their own kind than anyone else.