Chapter 88 - Official Contract
“If you’re that against it, then I guess it can’t be helped. Let’s end our contract here.”
Max doubted his ears when he heard what Jubelian said. “What do you mean? I thought you were trying to avoid becoming engaged to the crown prince.”
Jubelian stared at him coldly. “There’s nothing we can do. If we can’t work out anything at the start… it’s just going to be exhausting for us to keep going.” The desperation Max saw in her a few moments ago was nowhere to be found. She only had a distant look on her face and seemed to have let go of everything. Max’s throat suddenly felt like it was burning and dry. “Don’t be hasty,” he managed to let out.
“What do you mean hasty?” Jubelian sighed quietly. “You tore up the contract, which means you don’t want to compromise.”
“No, I…” Max’s lips twitched. Throughout his time as the crown prince, he tore up any documents he didn’t like. When he did so, his aides knew to write up a new one that was to his liking. No one had ever pointed out that tearing up the papers was wrong. They only apologized for writing an inadequate report. For this reason, Max couldn’t understand Jubelian. ‘Can’t she just write another one and bring it to me?’ he wondered in confusion.
“Do you feel good when someone ignores your opinion?” Jubelian asked suddenly.
Jubelian sighed at his silence, and continued. “It’s the same for other people. When someone ignores my opinion, it hurts my pride and makes me feel unpleasant.”
Was it because his surroundings were quiet? He could hear her voice exceptionally well. ‘Is that so?’ His aides and subordinates worked for him as if it were the natural thing to do, and Max used them in return. It was the way things were since he was of a higher status. “So, are you saying that you’re offended?” he asked with a dull voice.
Jubelian nodded with a calm expression. “Yes. In all honesty, it didn’t feel good.”
‘I’m the one helping her, but she still looks confident.’ For an unknown reason, Max decided to keep his mouth shut.
“But since you didn’t like what I had written, I thought it would be best to call it quits here. Besides, I’m the one asking you for a favor.” He began to sulk at her words. He knew that if he was stubborn here then he might never see her again.
‘Who would be afraid of something like that? It doesn’t matter to…’ Before he could finish his thought, his mouth betrayed him. “Just now, that was my fault,” he apologized.
* * *
It felt weird to see him apologizing so meekly. Just a while ago, he was the person who insisted on not apologizing to my father. “Good. As long as you know.” Surprisingly, the negotiation was easy since his frustrations were because of trivial issues. ‘I can’t believe he acted like that because I didn’t include the thing about calling him by his name…’ I held back a sigh and showed him the contract.
“Here. Is this what you wanted?”
“Yes.” With his confirmation, I wrote another copy and handed it to him.
“Sign here,” I instructed. He paused and swallowed nervously.
‘Does he not have a signature?’ I wondered. But he soon picked up his quill pen again and signed awkwardly. ‘Seems like he made one not too long ago,’ I supposed and let go of my ridiculous speculation. ‘It could be because he didn’t have a lot of situations where he had to sign before.’
“By the way,” his voice interrupted my thoughts, “will you be… attending any banquets soon?”
“Ah, I plan to attend a tea party in the near future.”
He stared at me for a while, then nodded with a sigh. “I see. Do you know who will be attending the party?”
“Just noblewomen who are acquaintances of my acquaintance.”
He had a serious expression on his face. “Will it really only be noblewomen who are attending?”
“Yes, I already told you. Why do you keep… Oh!” Suddenly, a great idea crossed my mind. ‘Good. I can make sure everyone sees him sooner.’ In the past, I troubled myself with rumors because I feared what my father thought of me. But now that he was trying to marry me off to the crazy crown prince, I no longer cared about whether or not I had a good image. I actually thought it would be useful for me to have a bad public image if I wanted to be an unfit candidate for the crown prince’s bride. With this thought in mind, I asked, “Max, could you take me there that day?”
“Ah, I just want to introduce you to others as my boyfriend. That’s okay, right?” I smiled at him. His eyebrows slightly furrowed and he wore a strange expression on his face as if he didn’t want to. “Of course, you can refuse if you don’t want to,” I reassured him.
He nodded slowly. “Alright. I’ll come get you when it’s over.” I was about to nod in return but stopped.
‘I don’t know if he has any nice clothes.’ Honestly, it was enough for me to confirm the false rumors that said I was dating an unidentified man. It didn’t matter what he wore. However, as the saying goes, ‘what looks good, tastes good,’ I wanted to dress him up and show him off. ‘Since he’s helping me… the least I can do is buy some clothes for him. I’ll buy him all the clothes he wants.’ Making my decision, I said, “Let’s go shopping tomorrow.” I could see his face slightly scrunch up at my words. I smiled at him. ‘Since I’m going through the trouble of dressing him up, I should do it well so everyone can see how handsome he is.’
* * *
“Hey, Max. Could you turn around?”
Max let out a sigh. Having already tried on dozens of outfits, he was beginning to feel like a child’s doll. The owner of the clothes shop fawned over him while wearing a huge smile.
“This is the first time I’ve seen someone who suits the clothing so well.” Such nonsense was probably meant as a compliment, but for Max, it was an extremely irritating remark.
‘How much longer do I have to put up with this?’ His face was scrunched up in annoyance until he looked over at Jubelian who was smiling with satisfaction.
“You’re right. It’s said that ‘a good face makes good fashion.’ I can see what that means now,” she agreed. Although her words were meant to judge him, he found that he wasn’t angry. Instead, he felt an odd tickle in his heart, and the corners of his mouth turned upwards. Nonetheless, Max couldn’t help but frown slightly at what Jubelian said next.
“Oh, do you have anything a little more colorful than this?”
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