Author: Lioness

Fakes Don’t Want To Be Real

 

~ 35 ~

 

‘I don’t feel like holding a grudge after that.’

 

It was already evening.

 

Psychke was alone while making her way along the path between the main gate and the lights by the yellow lamps.

 

She was feeling uneasy. Lia had asked her to leave the matter alone, but he couldn’t just rest her mind after knowing that her life was already in danger.

 

‘Is there no way?’

 

She wanted to tell him to be careful but she had no way to contact him.

 

I know where he is, but I isolated him from his father. I won’t be staying there since. She knew that Hillace was there in the mansion, but her father must have confined him inside. Since she wouldn’t be staying there.

 

‘Maybe… the Duke knows.’

 

“If you’re not going in, what are you going outside?”

 

Due to her own thoughts, she didn’t even realize that her feet had stopped moving on itself.

 

Psychke was startled at his appearance and turned her back. She didn’t know where he had been, but Verndia was wearing his outer clothes and staring at her blankly.

 

He is here. His shadow created by the yellow light came closer.

 

“Hmm? Why are your cheeks like that?”

 

“Ah, this one.”

 

She stopped by the pharmacy but forgot to put the medicine on them. she hurriedly covered her cheeks, embarrassed.

 

Verndia, who put her hand away, wrinkled his face.

 

“Who did this?”

 

“…. This is not something a Duke like you should worry about.”

 

“Who cares about that now?”

 

The ferocious voice rose sharply.

 

“What did I do to the Princess, tsk, nevermind.”

 

Verndia, who grabbed her hand, which was trying to cover herself, caressed the area around her wound. It was a touch as if he was caressing a fragile and very precious thing.

 

They were too close. The heat which was transmitted from within rose through her cheeks. She lowered her gaze.

 

“I asked who did this.”

 

“… ”

 

“….. Okay. You were there.”

 

In an instant, the surrounding air cooled down. She wondered if the warmth on her cheek was going away, but it was quite a bit kwaaak! A squeaking sound was heard.

 

She opened her eyes in surprise. She saw Verndia glaring at the poor Crow, who was caught while squawking.

 

“What did you do? Did you even keep your eyes on her?”

 

– Kaack! Kaaack!

 

“I told you to stay still!”

 

In spite of Psychke’s plea, Verndia stared at her crow as if going to eat it, and released it only after he informed the crow that it was the culprit.

 

A few of her black feathers flew through the air. Croa flew away.

 

“…I’m sorry to show you the ugly side of me.”

 

Really, that was embarrassing. Even though she doubts if she still has emotions left because of Silkisia.

 

Embarrassed to see him, she looked down at a distance.

 

Verndia carefully wiped her scarred cheek with the back of his hand, then he let out a shallow sigh.

 

“Is there anything the princess would be sorry about? Let’s go get some treatment.”

 

He took her hand without hesitation and dragged her away. As she was more embarrassed, Psychke flicked her fingers, Verndia murmured in an angry voice.

 

“I should have blown it away.”

 

“Pardon?”

 

“No. Why do you get hurt everytime you go out?”

 

“… ”

 

“Annoying.”

 

“… I’ll give you the medicine.”

 

He stopped his tracks and faced her.

 

“Just how do you see me, Princess?”

 

She doesn’t know why, but it was a ribbed voice coming from him.

 

Psychke closed her mouth for a moment, then spoke softly.

 

“I’ll pay you for the treatment.”

 

“I’m going crazy.”

 

Verndia ruffled his hair wildly.

 

Psychke pondered what might have offended him, and she made a voice that was not confident.

 

“I’ll pay you for the room. If that won’t be enough, even chores—”

 

“Do I look like such a petty person to you, Princess?”

 

To put it bluntly, the answer was ‘no’.

 

She had been through so much, so she could see that he was talking about the repairing of the alleyway caused by yesterday….

 

However, it was not known whether the spending would spread to her fiancée, who was about to break up her marriage with him.

 

The man who interpreted silence as a yes got annoyed.

 

“Where are you looking?” 

 

“…I know you’re not generous enough to spend money for something you needn’t.”

 

She forcibly responded to his persistent gaze.

 

Verndia’s expression softened slightly.

 

“You know it well.”

 

“I don’t know if the things I brought with me will solve it, but if it’s not enough, please tell me. I’ll figure out what I can—”

 

“Why is the story like that again?”

 

In his purple eyes, the flame which seemed to have been extinguished grew stronger again.

 

“Who asked for money from you?”

 

“It means that I’ll give it to you because you used it where you didn’t need to do so.”

 

“Why does the princess decide whether it is necessary or not?”

 

In an instant, a deep wound soaked into his blue eyes.

 

Psychke took her hand away from Verndia.

 

“The Duke’s words means that it is in your interest I am in Lestir.”

 

It was a word with many meanings.

 

And Verndia immediately understood the meaning.

 

‘I’m no longer doing anything other than keeping the Duke of Verndia tied, am I not?’

 

“What potential did you see in me, Duke?”

 

Her eyes fluttered as she took a step back.

 

It was only for a brief moment but her voice was cry, Verndia thought.

 

“Is it because of my cursed ability? So, you helped me get out of Silkisia?”

 

“No.”

 

Verndia replied with a firm short word. Psychke did not believe him.

 

“Then why are you helping me?”

 

It was neither sympathy nor affection. She doesn’t believe in anything like that.

 

Like Silkisia, this man must have discovered her ‘Potential as a Tool’.

 

So he must be helping her for his own gains.

 

Her last in Silkisia was death after hellish confinement.

 

What would be her end if she was with this man?

 

Psychke glanced at the distance to the front door. Noticing her thoughts, Verndia raised his hands.

 

It meant he had no intention of attacking her or the sorts.

 

“If you want to go, go. I won’t stop you.”

 

“You can track my location anyways?”

 

“Why can’t you trust people like this?”

 

Verndia unleashed the sword from his waist and threw it at her, despite his irritation.

 

A large sapphire centering on a handle with dozens of amethysts.

 

It was a sword that symbolized Lestir.

 

“If you’re anxious, hold on to it.”

 

“… ”

 

“Are you ready to talk to me now?”

 

As she didn’t hold the sword and looked down, Verndia asked bluntly.

 

Psychke looked at him once, and the sword curled up on the floor once.

 

“The duke… is the only one who can use this.”

 

“I gave permission, so even the Princess can use it.”

 

With a ferocious expression on his face, Verndia touched his forehead.

 

“If you don’t like it, I’ll stop. But I’ll be honest here. Yes, it’s true that it helps me that the Princess is here in Lestir.”

 

Psychke’s eyes widened.

 

Before she could run away, Verndia quickly added her back.

 

“But I am not helping the Princess to have gains. I am helping the princess…”

 

He was speechless right after. Verndia sighed uncontrollably.

 

He knew that she was the master of ‘Unmelting Ice.’ He thought so he could keep her by his side.

 

That was it.

 

… Is that all?

 

‘Why am I helping the princess?’

 

He was bewildered. If he didn’t like the ability she managed to find albeit that it had disappeared, he could have tied her up.

 

If that was, then he’d be doing the same as Silkisia did; breaking her wing and suppressing her.

 

The breakup of their engagement?

 

Even the fact that such a contract existed disappears from this world if he would only shut her mouth.

 

It was the easiest way for a person with the power after the emperor and the most powerful of the empire.

 

But he refused to do so. He hated walking down that road.

 

He didn’t know why.

 

“I…….”

 

Verndia pursed his lips, trying to spit out his thoughts as clearly as usual.

 

But he didn’t do well.

 

So he squeezed only the sentences he could complete right now from the tip of his throat.

 

“I want to postpone the breakup.”

 

“…. Pardon?”

 

At that moment, Psychke felt that her heart froze because of his nonsense.

 

Psychke looked at him blankly. And with a serious expression on his face, she realized he wasn’t joking.

 

“Why?”

 

“If you break your marriage with me, the princess will probably go to a place no one knows about.”

 

“……! How did you—”

 

“I wish you won’t do that. If I can’t see her, I think I’d be a little frustrated.”

 

He looked in a tight spot, like someone who was talking about someone’s feelings that he couldn’t understand.

 

“I’m sorry, Duke, but I—”

 

Psychke, whose face changed from moment to moment, had her lips tremble.

 

Her face turned pale in an unexpected situation, having no idea how can she go through this.

 

“I don’t want to stay engaged to the Duke—”

 

“I’m not saying that I won’t break the marriage.”

 

Verndia asserted.

 

“According to the contract, I will break the marriage the day the demons disappear. Because of this, we will not delay dealing with monsters.”

 

Verndia approached her just as far as she had gone from him and bowed his head.

 

His silver bangs fluttered. Although she was greeted from the warm breath from him above, she did not step back.

 

“It’s just what I am hoping for.”

 

“No coercion or anything.”

 

“……”

 

“Are you embarrassed?”

 

Even if she didn’t answer aloud, he could tell just by looking at her face.

 

Verndia let out a short breath.

 

“I’m sorry, but I can only say this to the question of why I am helping you.”

 

He carefully lifted one of Psychke’s hands.

 

“Actually, I don’t even know.”

 

He had never done this before. He laughed awkwardly.

 

“But one thing is certain. That I have no intention of using Princess as my tool.”

 

Tool.

 

Psychke’s body trembled at the cold words she heard. But the tremor melted away like snow melted by the warmth of the back from his hand.

 

Verndia, who kissed the back of her palm as a sign of respect, slightly raised his face.

 

“Can you explain a little bit now?”

 

The back of her hand tickled by the touch of his lips.

 

Psychke said nothing in return.

 

(TN: Hear me out…. The thing is, Verndia has ‘Silver Hair’ but for the second cover of this novel, the man leaning on Psychke’s lap has ‘Black Hair’, then who has Black Hair? Aiden? … Did I just— *ran away*)

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Comments (3)

  1. He has silver???? It’s gotta be a typo on authors end cuz huh?
    And I don’t think Aiden had black hair right?

  2. But in the second cover both are wearing rings on the ring finger…idk that was confusing. And in other note….she can be dense smh