Chapter 88.2

Elise hesitated before answering, her voice fractured. “Duke Conrad is my dear friend.”

“I don’t have blood siblings aside from Andrei… Since childhood, he played the role of an older brother to me. He always pitied me, frequently came to check on me, shared a lot of stories from outside the palace, and…” Elise paused, realizing that this emotional appeal might not be the most effective approach with Rezette Kyrstan. He was known for responding better to extreme conditions and offerings. 

Yet, she struggled to find an alternative to secure the release of the enemy’s leadership. It felt as if her heart rested entirely in his hands.

“He’s my friend. If you could just turn a blind eye this once…”

Rezette twisted his lips in a manner suggesting absurdity. “At first, you begged for just your life. Now you’re asking for the life of a comrade.”

Elise fell silent, her mind racing. Rezette continued, his tone cutting through the air, “Next time, will you ask for someone else’s life to be spared? The Emperor of Argan, perhaps? Will you use yourself as a hostage to threaten me each time?”

The mention of the Emperor of Argan left Elise pale, and she could no longer hear the rest of Rezette’s words.

Could he possibly know that Andrei is still alive? Could it be from the unconscious clues she dropped with her own hands and words? The overwhelming self-loathing swept over Elise.

Stupid girl. How useless and incompetent can you be?

While there were women who risked their lives searching for the master of Argan, she not only failed to meet their expectations but also plunged them into a crisis. Perhaps disappearing like this would be more beneficial to the country. Elise’s gaze involuntarily dropped to her ankles.

However, she was immediately met with an angry reprimand. “Don’t entertain useless thoughts, Elise. I never allowed you to escape through death.”

Rezette’s large and warm hand gripped Elise’s hands like a hook. It hurt. Under the overwhelming pressure, her wrist bones felt like they would break. What should I do then…

The man who looked at her barely resembled the person who had relentlessly caressed her body until dawn. Suddenly, there was no way to suppress the sorrow. Elise’s voice became miserably choked.

“Did I… did I do something wrong yesterday?”

Rezette’s cold expression slightly wavered. “What are you talking about?”

“To receive what you want from you, I just need to offer something in return, right? I’m sure today was an opportunity for me to do so. But…”


“But I couldn’t satisfy you yesterday…”


“I know I ask for a lot compared to what I do. I’ll do better today. So…”

“Elise, that’s not the reason,” Rezette interrupted her words. Elise looked up at him with eyes full of gathered tears.

“Then what should I give?”

In Elise’s view, it seemed like Rezette didn’t particularly desire anything from her. Since he didn’t even like children, uttering a desire to have a child now would likely not sway him. Then, perhaps he wanted nights spent together, but now he seemed to deny even that.

Yet, he didn’t seem to desire Argan’s secrets or the elimination of Argan’s army. If that were the case, instead of engaging in this futile struggle with her, he could have tortured or killed Barnon. Elise, however, couldn’t fathom what value she held for him.

Rezette, who had interrupted her with labored breaths, wiped away the tears that had spread on Elise’s cheek with his hand.

“Just stay as you are now.”

“Stay as I am…”

“Don’t lie to me, don’t hide anything. As long as I can know everything you see, hear, and feel. So just stay quietly and safely in my territory without any difficulties. That’s all I ask for.”

“Why?” Elise looked at him with a gaze of incomprehension. “Why do you need everything of mine?”

“Because it’s mine.”


“The most precious thing among what I’ve ever possessed. You already know, don’t you? You gave it to me yourself.”

What did that have to do with Barnon? It was still difficult to understand. But, on the other hand, a question arose: perhaps, just maybe.

Perhaps the source of Rezette’s cold anger wasn’t solely rooted in Elise’s contact with the Arganians or resentment for her attempt to deceive and collude behind his back. Perhaps it wasn’t at all political.

“Rezette,” Elise hesitated, feeling her heart quiver. “Why did you ask about what Barnon means to me?”

The response from Rezette hung in the air, and within the silence, a subtle realization began to take shape. There was a possibility, a flicker of understanding that went beyond the surface. Maybe, just maybe…

As the unspoken question echoed in the quietude, Elise found the courage to voice it, her words emerging cautiously. “Do you have feelings for me?”



not work with dark mode