Chapter 85 - Rocky Start
“Right now, I—”
“Get up now! I’m going to apologize!”
I couldn’t believe how tactless he was being! I frowned at the man who was demanding me to get up multiple times now. “I have something important to say to my father…” I trailed off and heard my father speak from above me.
“I understand. Get up first, then we can discuss this,” he said. I found it odd that the two of them had suddenly become agreeable with each other.
‘What’s wrong with them suddenly?’ I was confused for a moment, but then remembered that I hadn’t achieved my goal yet. ‘My father still hasn’t forgiven him; I can’t let my guard down.’ Right now, my goal was to convince my father to take back what he had said about exiling Max. Instead of getting up, I shook my head and answered, “Father, it’s my fault that Max is being impolite right now. So please forgive him with an open heart…”
Before I finished, my father nodded his head. “Yes, I forgive him. Now, get up.”
‘Huh? This easily?’ Feeling somewhat discouraged, I looked up at my father. At that moment, Max held out his hand to me.
“Here,” he said. I felt his warmth as I took his hand. He helped me onto my feet and wrapped his arm around my shoulders. It was a strange feeling having a person who was cold to me during our first meeting now reach out his hand gently to me.
‘Seems like he’s become more human.’
As I stared blankly at our connected hands, my father spoke coldly. “However, this doesn’t mean that I’m allowing you guys to date.”
I sighed at his firm voice. ‘Yeah, I knew it wasn’t going to be that easy.’
* * *
Regis gazed at his daughter with a sorrowful look. ‘This is my fault.’ Since his current circumstances didn’t allow for him to show his daughter affection, he wanted to do everything he could for her. Nevertheless, there was one thing he couldn’t do no matter what.
‘I can’t let him date her.’
Max was the crown prince who was distrusted by his father, the emperor. His situation was like a candle in the wind. Due to the malicious rumors spread about him, most of the nobles did not have faith in him. Furthermore, the empress, who was successful in taking over the legislative body, sent assassins after Max while manipulating public opinion about the empire. The rumors she spread about the crown prince painted him as a tyrant who didn’t shed blood or tears and who only viewed his allies as pawns. Moreover, it seemed that his disciple was becoming the cold-blooded person described in those rumors.
“Duke Floyen, I’m not saying you should stand by him. Just this once, please do him a favor,” the empress had said. As his master, and to pay back his debt to the empress, he had attempted to humanize his disciple multiple times. However, all he got in return was cynicism.
“Wouldn’t it be efficient if the majority could benefit from the sacrifice of the minority?” his disciple had asked. If Jubelian married Max, a cold-blooded man who viewed people as objects, her future was obvious.
With a fierce look in his eyes, Regis stared at his disciple. ‘What a fool. It’s careless to think of your pawns as useless.’ Over the years, he had witnessed thousands of cases; someone who had terrible swordsmanship yet stood out in terms of resourcefulness and someone who looked average on the outside but had the leadership to boost the group’s morale. Regis thought everyone had room to grow and improve, similar to a pawn that was promoted to a queen when it had reached the other side of a chessboard.
‘If she marries a man who doesn’t value his people, she will only end up walking a thorny path.’
Regis was continuing to stare at his disciple with ferocious eyes when Jubelian spoke. “I’m not asking for your permission right now, Father. Just for a while, please keep an eye on us before deciding on your decision.”
Gazing into her periwinkle eyes, Regis listened to her faint but strong voice. He could tell that she was determined to date Max.
‘Even if I don’t allow it, she would still date him,’ he realized.
It’s said that parents have a soft spot for their children and Regis was no exception. He wouldn’t be able to reason his daughter out of her decision.
‘Like Mikhail, she’ll probably break up with him once she becomes put off by him.’
A little ripple was enough to make her open her eyes. For this reason, Regis planned to slowly reveal Max’s true character to his daughter.
“Alright,” he said.
Without knowing her father’s ulterior motives, Jubelian smiled brightly. “Thank you, Father.”
Seeing her innocent face, Regis felt his heart ache. ‘I’m sorry, but… this is all to protect you.’
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