The Duchess’s Dangerous Love Life - Chapter 42
When Rayence opened his eyes, he saw a girl with light brown hair, fair skin and clear eyes. Bewildered by the appearance of a girl he had never seen before, Rayence responded quickly.
‘I’m all right.’
She appeared a little embarrassed. ‘Ah, so you were asleep. I thought you had passed out. Apologies for waking you up.’
With her back to the sunlight, she brushed her hair and smiled. The smile was so soft that Rayence couldn’t say that everything was fine. The girl sighed as she scanned the hallway next to the garden.
He heard her grumble, ‘Where on earth is the office.’
Then she looked back at him, ‘Do you know where it is?’
‘The office—’ Rayence raised his hand to explain but abruptly stopped, seeing the group of smiling children in the middle of the garden. He didn’t say anything for a moment, then jumped up.
‘Oh? Thank you!” She beamed, “But, what is that?’
At the woman’s words, Rayence glanced at the book he was holding and replied as if it was nothing special.
‘A book I have to read today.’
‘It is quite thick. You’ve read all of it?’ She asked with enthusiasm.
‘Yes, is there any problem?’
The woman frowned, lost for words. Rayence, unable to understand why she even bothered to ask this, took the first step forward. The two were walking side by side in the hallway.
The woman continued to stare at the Rayence’s dolly features and his shiny blonde hair. Rayence felt her gaze and turned his head.
‘Why are you staring at me?’
‘Are you going to play with other children once you have finished reading?’
Confused, she could only ask, ‘Hm? Why?’
‘I don’t have time for that.’
At his resolute words, the woman blinked in surprise.
He added, ‘I have to follow in my father’s footsteps.’
‘But you are still a little child.’
He just silently continued walking.
‘You must have wanted to play, right?’
Rayence looked up at her in surprise. Her light brown eyes were exceptionally clear, reflecting her bewildered expression as it was. He turned his head away, feeling that someone has seen right into his heart.
‘I’m not interested in such trivial things.’
The woman was about to ask why but stopped when she arrived in front of the brown door at the end of the hallway. The knight at the door bowed his head to greet the boy.
He simply gave a nonchalant glace, ‘Guide this woman.’
Rayence turned his back on the woman who was startled upon realizing his identity. It was not a pleasant thing to be accustomed to such a reaction. He sighed in advance as he thought that she would suddenly become overly polite, like any other people who found out about his identity.
Just then, her white hand carefully grabbed his shoulder. Looking back, the woman raised her fist with a soft smile.
Astounded, Rayence voice faltered, ‘W-what?’
Rayence hesitated and reached out his arms.
A candy fell onto his hand. The woman lowered her head and whispered in a low voice only he could hear.
‘Eat this and cheer up.’
He stared at it stupidly, but he took it anyway.
‘When you’re having a hard time, eat things like this and play, like other children.” She gave a toothy grin, ‘It’s what I do.’
After finishing the conversation, the woman was guided by the knight and walked towards the finance room. When he was left all alone, Rayence spoke as soon as he came to his senses.
‘I-I am not a little child…’
He clenched his fist, shifting his eyes from the back of the woman to the candy wrapped in colorful wrapping paper. He opened the packaging and put the candy inside his mouth.
It was the first time he unreservedly ate something that a person has given him. This is because, whatever he ate or wore, had to be tested first for his safety.
That was his first time meeting someone who remained comfortable with him after revealing his status as the Crown Prince.
The petals of the apricot tree next to the hallway fell softly in the spring breeze. Rayence’s cheeks, who was eating candy, turned red.
‘Will I be able to meet the kind of person like that again?’
Rayence’s wish didn’t come true.
The close friends he met at the academy and the fiancée he had from an arranged marriage all looked at him as the ‘Crown Prince’ and nothing else. It was the same with foreigners, they will immediately become polite once they knew of his identity.
There was no romance at all with his princely life, very much unlike the books he read.
Every once in a while, he would be reminded of that lady who looked at him with a sweet smile and gifted him with a cutely wrapped candy. Each time that he did, his heart would unknowingly stir.
As his fiancée died suddenly of a heart attack, he ruled as the emperor alone.
One day, he was to attend the Maktus family’s eldest son’s wedding. Little did he know, he would be able to see her again.
He watched her lowering herself to a bow.
‘Adellia Enon Maktus, gives thanks to His Majesty the Emperor for visiting this humble one’s wedding.’
Rayence was instantly dumbstruck. He watched as the bride greeted him with a radiant smile as she sat on a white, plush chair.
Seeing the emperor unmoving and just standing there in a daze, soon-to-be Lady Maktus felt worried. ‘Your Majesty?’
He recollected himself, ‘Congratulations. Lady… Maktus.’ The words felt scathing in his tongue, he was too late.
She beamed, ‘Thank you. But Your Majesty, are you feeling sick? You look a little…’
Rayence shook his head with a bitter smile. ‘No. I am simply busy with work these days.’
He was waiting for an even more tedious response, because when he usually said something like this, people would almost habitually respond like, ‘This country is strong thanks to the hard work of His Majesty the Emperor.’ with either a polite or fawning tone.
His expectations were completely shattered because of her.