Chapter 99 - Please Listen to Me
Long after the two had disappeared from his sight, Mikhail continued to stand there absent-mindedly.
‘She doesn’t love me anymore?’ His body shook with anger and betrayal when he recalled her shocking remark.
“From now on, don’t try to talk to me anymore. I don’t want to get involved with you ever again.”
It was hard to believe that the mouth that once whispered words of love in his ears had spouted such nonsense. Mikhail’s eyes gleamed as he clenched his fists. ‘Don’t be ridiculous. I never agreed to your request.’ Suddenly, a set of slender fingers wrapped around his wrist. Thinking it was Jubelian, Mikhail turned his head but hardened his expression when he saw who it was.
“Are you okay, Sir Mikhail?” Veronica asked.
Mikhail felt irritation surge inside him at Veronica’s appearance. “Don’t touch me. You’re a nuisance,” he spat out and roughly pushed her away.
Veronica stared at Mikhail’s back in disbelief. ‘How could he do this to me?’ She was on the verge of tears when a dreadfully bleak voice came to mind.
“I was often ignored as well,” Jubelian had said.
Veronica had misunderstood her words because she thought Jubelian was laughing at her. But now she knew what the lady had meant when she saw her pity-filled eyes.
‘Oh, you’ve been through the same thing as well…’ Veronica laughed dejectedly as tears rolled down her cheeks.
* * *
“Do you like it?”
Max nodded at my question. “Yes,” he said. He was attractive and pleasant to look at even while eating, which I had expected from a handsome man like him. The expression of one being “stunning,” which people used to describe celebrities they saw in person, was the perfect description for him.
‘If the Internet existed in this world, then he could have made a lot of money doing a cake eating show or something similar.’ I was deep in my ridiculous thoughts when I noticed he was glaring at me.
“Why do you keep staring at me?” he questioned.
“Oh, I just have something to say.”
With some cream from the cake on his lips, he turned his attention to me. “What is it?”
I sighed at his question. ‘Will this headstrong guy listen to me?’ Just a while ago, he had climbed onto a tree and confronted Mikhail at the tea party. I had considered ending the contract because of this reckless and impulsive behavior. But since he viewed me in a positive light and was helping me, I decided to persuade him instead.
“I want you to be careful in front of others in the future,” I started.
“That’s why I spoke formally to you when we were with other people,” he responded calmly.
“No, not that… I’m talking about things like what happened with Mikhail.”
He squinted his eyes as if he couldn’t understand what I was saying. “What about that?”
“If you’re not careful, you can get in big trouble,” I expressed my concern.
However, he only continued to stare at me with skepticism. “Do you really think I’m going to lose against someone as weak as him?” His triumphant expression was full of groundless confidence.
I let out another sigh. “No, that’s not what I’m saying.”
Rather than a democratic society, this novel’s setting was based on a strict, absolute monarchy. Since it was a place where people were divided into classes, the reality was that commoners couldn’t protest even if they were subjected to horribly unfair things.
“If you get into a conflict with a noble—” I tried to explain to him that it would be legally disadvantageous for a commoner to clash against a noble, but he cut me off and dismissed me as if he didn’t want to hear it.
“I can take on ten of those weaklings with no problem.”
Winning and losing wasn’t the important thing here, but I gave up on trying to explain when I realized he couldn’t understand the essence of this issue.
‘It doesn’t matter how skilled you are if your opponent is a nobleman,’ I sighed. Although I had saved Max from Baron Gordon and angrily shut down Mikhail, the only reason they couldn’t talk back was because of my status. Usually, conflicts about inequality were only resolved between nobles. If a commoner confronted a nobleman, and they were unlucky, he or she could be beaten or even killed. This was why most commoners chose to live with the injustice. I don’t know if it was because I’ve grown attached to my father’s disciple in the short amount of time we spent together, but I wished for this naïve man to live a life with no trouble.
“Still, you never know when you might get hurt,” I said.
“But I won’t,” he replied.
My voice rose from frustration. “I’m only saying this because I’ve been worried! So…” I was about to tell him to stay quiet and avoid causing conflict when I noticed the strange expression on his face.
“You were worried that I’d get hurt?” he asked.
“Oh, um… well… yes.” It was true that I was worried about him getting hurt, but I was more worried that he might cause a big problem and be sentenced to death. However, I decided against telling him that.
An awkward silence followed, and he furrowed his eyebrows. “Why?” he asked in confusion.
“Because I don’t want anyone around me, including myself, to get hurt,” I said.
“I already told you that I won’t get hurt.”
He seemed to be pretty confident in his combat skills since he was my father’s disciple. I locked eyes with the man who had repeated himself and opened my mouth.
“No matter how strong you are and how high of a position you’re in, you can still be defeated.”
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