Chapter 40 - Unexpected Turn
I couldn’t help but be shocked. This man was the heir of the only family that was wealthier than the Floyen House, and the person who was going to kill me in the future…
‘Why is the crown prince’s name here?’
I remembered a part of the novel that encapsulated the crown prince as ‘a psychopath who neither sheds blood nor tears.’ Although this sounded harsh, it probably didn’t even do him justice.
‘I heard that he doesn’t hesitate to kill people…’ There were quite a few anecdotes about the crown prince’s cruelty. One of them was about the time he sent an assassin’s severed head to his sister, Beatrice, as a gift for her coming-of-age ceremony.
That one incident was enough to prove how insane he was, but his atrocities didn’t end there. At the beginning of the novel, he sent assassins to kill the emperor. He wasn’t just a psychopath, but a wicked man who seemed to have split personalities; a purely tyrannical character in the novel who shed neither blood nor tears.
‘If his name is circled, that probably means he’s going to be my partner…’ I became dizzy by this thought and barely supported myself when I stumbled.
‘No matter how much I think about it, isn’t this too cruel? Even other nobles try to avoid marrying their daughter off to the crown prince…’
Although the crown princess’ position was usually sought after, there was another reason why it was left vacant. At the beginning of the novel, bizarre rumors about the burn scar on his face circulated, which explained why the crown prince always wore a helmet.
‘What’s more…’ Yes, there was another rumor that didn’t concern his appearance. It was that he was a sadist who was violent in bed.
These rumors caused many noblewomen to hasten their marriages with other men to avoid getting engaged with the crown prince. So did their parents, who didn’t wish for their daughters to marry a man with such a violent temper, even if he was the crown prince.
‘In the memories of my future, he even visited me in prison!’ In the novel, Jubelian had ended her life to avoid being tortured. She thought it was better to die than fall victim to his vices.
‘Is my father really trying to sell me to this terrible man?’ I gritted my teeth. Although I had asked for someone who excelled in terms of wealth, competence, and fame, this was just too much.
‘He forgot about the most important thing too… I definitely mentioned appearance, Father.’ The crown prince always covered his face, so no one knew what he looked like. But even if he was attractive enough to meet my standards, I still wanted nothing to do with him.
‘My life will be in danger if I marry him. But the more urgent problem is…’ My head started to hurt as I mulled over my predicament. I could reject other noblemen because I was the daughter of an esteemed duke, but I couldn’t reject someone from the imperial family. If I was set up on a blind date with the crown prince… I couldn’t refuse to go.
‘Of course, the prince has to like me for us to get married…’ But if he was truly a psychopath like he was rumored to be, it didn’t matter who his partner was; it would be enough for him to have someone to harass.
‘The most I can do is to change my father’s mind about the crown prince… but that’s not going to be easy.’ I sighed and placed the paper back on the desk.
‘I have to come up with a countermeasure without letting my father know that I saw this list.’ Otherwise, he might hasten the blind date so that I wouldn’t be able to avoid it. For this reason, I left his office with the letter, cufflinks, and pendant back in hand.
* * *
‘Was her room always this spacious?’ Max looked around the desolate quarters and sat on the chair the woman always used.
‘It’s uncomfortable.’ Nevertheless, he slumped into the chair, feeling strangely weak.
‘When will she come back?’
He rarely talked with the woman when she was around, but now that her constant presence was gone, he didn’t know how much longer he could endure being alone. He felt a strange sense of emptiness in the desolate room.
‘Why is she taking so long?’ Max looked at the door with forlorn eyes when he suddenly became alert.
‘Someone’s here.’ His gaze snapped towards the open window that faced the balcony. He moved so fast that the culprit lost track of him for an instant before he reappeared.
“Who are you?” Max grabbed the unwelcome visitor by the neck, firm even as the man gasped and struggled in his hostile hold. “I asked who you are!”
“Please let me… argh…!”
“What business do you have here?” Max tightened his grip.
“Madam sent for…!” The man squirmed and spoke with difficulty.
When Max released his grip, the man collapsed like a loosened marionette and coughed.
He stared at the man, then asked coldly, “How did you know that I was here?”
“Madam said you might be here…” When the man trailed off, Max furrowed his eyebrows.
“So, what do you want?”
The man managed to catch his breath and replied, “We received a report saying that the emperor’s movements have been unusual.”
Max smirked. “Yes, he should be busy trying to keep himself alive.”
In response, the man shook his head and said, “I was told that he was impatiently calling for the return of the crown prince, at the advice of the prime minister and officials.” Max stared at him without saying a word. “I think you should head back to the palace right away, Prince Maximillian,” the man said.
Max knew that he should quickly leave the mansion because this was an urgent matter, but for some reason, he didn’t move a muscle and stayed rooted to his spot.
‘Do I really have to leave now?’
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