Chapter 57.1

“How tenaciously you hold on to him,” she remarked, her words carrying a subtle insinuation that the Duke had been affectionate with other women in the past.

“Well, you are the Princess he loves. How much attention could he have possibly given to others?” Genovia continued before Elise could respond.

However, Genovia swiftly drew her own conclusion. “You hold an incredibly high status, and your beauty has the power to captivate people of all ages and genders. You possess a petite and delicate charm. Oh, it’s quite common. He must have been occupied indulging himself in admiring your beauty. I doubt anyone would dare to touch you.”

Elise sighed softly and retorted, “If you want a certain answer from me, you should ask your questions more directly.”

Genovia pressed on, unrelenting. “Then answer me. Am I wrong?”

Elise fell silent, unwilling to entertain the stranger’s prying questions about her private married life. The sensation of being probed at the core left her feeling unsettled.

Genovia chuckled, unfazed by Elise’s discomfort. “Don’t worry, Elise. He has always been infatuated with women. He simply takes what he desires. The same was true for me.”

Elise couldn’t hide her exasperation. “Do I need to know all of that?”

Genovia ignored Elise’s irritation and continued with a smirk, “Since you seem curious, I thought I’d provide some insight. Princess, did you know that I blink my eyes three times whenever I talk to the Duke?”

Genovia continued, “Southern women are quite endearing, don’t you think? Perhaps it’s because they hail from such bountiful lands without a single shortage? The southern folk I’ve encountered all seem so at ease. Their generosity shines through in the open way they express their emotions.”

Elise remained silent, offering no response.

“In the north, there’s no room for such luxuries,” Genovia continued, shaking the empty wine bottle. Satisfied that it produced no sound, she swiftly grabbed the second bottle.

“Is it because His Grace treats you well that your heart inclines toward him? Or perhaps it’s the warmth and security you find here in Rotiara?” Genovia probed.

Elise couldn’t mask her exasperation any longer. She had reached her limit, and her inner thoughts were no longer a secret.

“You wouldn’t understand,” Elise snapped back, her tone unexpectedly forceful. It was the first time she had ever addressed anyone other than Andrei as “you.”

“I’m only enduring your presence,” she continued, a touch of aggression in her words. “If you have some request of me, please stop provoking me.”

Genovia chuckled lightly. “Why should I stop? Afraid you’ll run away?”

Elise fell silent, her frustration mounting.

“If you were planning to flee anyway, what’s the harm?” Genovia teased.

“Why are you looking so pale?” Genovia questioned with a sly smile. “Did you truly believe that the Princess of Argan, who lost her homeland, would nest here in Rotiara for the rest of her days?”

Elise retorted with a hint of defiance, “You couldn’t have captured me anyway.”

“Well, that may be true,” Genovia conceded. “I’m just an ordinary human, and you, Princess, are a descendant of Gallian.”

“Then please, just leave me…” Elise implored.

“But the Duke can catch you, Elise,” Genovia stated matter-of-factly.

Genovia’s half-lidded green eyes held an intensity that sent a shiver down Elise’s spine as she grasped the implications of those words. Could it be that Genovia intended to inform Rezette? Her heart raced with trepidation.

It’s a secret from him. The fact that she could use magic, her persistent contemplation of a way to return to Argan. Elise found it difficult to envision how Rezette would react once he discovered the truth.


“…Do as you wish,” Elise responded, placing the contract in front of her, her resolve firm.

She couldn’t help but recall his reaction when she had presented him with a similar choice.

“If you’re scared, you can run away anytime,” he had said.

“Anytime? Are you sure?” Elise had questioned him at the time.

“Yes, as long as you can,” he had assured her.

Elise quietly muttered those words to herself now.

“It doesn’t matter,” Elise said firmly.

“What?” Genovia questioned, clearly intrigued.

“He said it himself, so you must remember. I’m not making baseless assumptions…”

In reality, his words at that time had been more of a warning, knowing that Elise couldn’t escape on her own. However, once words were spoken, they couldn’t be taken back. Elise felt that the responsibility lay with the one who had given her the opportunity, and she forced herself to rationalize it.

Truthfully, even if she attempted to escape, it didn’t seem like he would exert much effort to find her. Rezette Kyrstan had never displayed that level of passion or determination toward Elise.

“Did he truly say, ‘You can go if you’re planning to run away?'” Genovia asked incredulously. Her expression of disbelief was fleeting, soon replaced by a mischievous smile that curved like a crescent moon.

“Ah, hahaha! Isn’t this amusing? Quite hilarious!” Genovia laughed.

Elise remained silent.

“But still, you even said that to him in person!” Genovia exclaimed.



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