Chapter 7 - Welcome, Anna
She only ever saw him once when she went to the capital city. The man stood tall at 190 centimeters and gave off the feeling of a blade, born and sharpened at the battlefield. She turned her head away as soon as his fierce, animalistic gaze met hers because his ruthless eyes were ones she never wanted to come across ever again, even though his face was quite handsome.
The thought that she wouldn’t have had to do this if he were a noble briefly crossed Anna’s mind. Remembering his appearance, which would’ve looked marvelous in bed, Anna let out a slightly regretful sigh, but then snapped back to her senses and murmured to herself, silently, ‘What use would a commoner’s good looks be? He’s a war-crazed bastard. Now that the war is over, his origins will be revealed to the bone. Tsk, Edna is good enough for such a man.’
Anna kept on thinking along those lines. The repercussions of this incident were impossible to predict currently since the plan to dupe both the king and his favorite duke had already been put into motion. She had to go to the capital city before this rumor spread completely. She was confident in her ability to capture Cayden’s heart if she did. The question was whether Edna would buy her enough time to allow her to go to the capital city.
That was why Anna was going out of her way to teach Edna. Anna, who was highly praised as the country’s most beautiful woman, was convinced that Cayden had decreed her as Eli’s political marriage partner because he had never seen her. Anna believed it her destiny to become the king’s woman and, consequently, hold the world in the palm of her hand.
Anna, in a voice sweeter than honey and with a devil’s smile, whispered to Edna, “Edna, I don’t expect much from you. But you must remember one unique thing, and that is what you should say if you ever get caught. Otherwise…”
Anna smiled and whispered closer to Edna’s ear. “He will completely peel off your skin and hang you by the window. He’s that kind of person. So if you want to live, then you had better make this work. You also want to live, don’t you?”
Edna held her breath at Anna’s chilling words and managed to nod her head in understanding.
“All right, Edna. Then let’s do it again from the beginning. I doubt you’ll be able to successfully imitate the dignity of a noblewoman in a week, but I will definitely make it happen at all cost. So listen carefully and follow after me. I am not going to spare any effort to help you extend your life even by a small increment. So don’t forget my kindness.”
Edna nodded to Anna’s sweet but sharp remark and inwardly evened her breath. The memory of running away from the fire to save her life passed through her mind like a flash. Edna bit her lips tightly with a mysterious golden stare.
Then she listened to Anna’s instruction and quietly thought, ‘I want to live. It doesn’t matter in what identity. And if possible, I will run away looking for my freedom. Until then, I’ll have to endure it somehow.’
* * *
Time passed quickly. The bruises on Edna’s face were slowly fading away. In contrast, Anna’s face was filled with unsightly boils, looking thoroughly sick thanks to the deliberately applied plaster.
Already, rumors were spreading outside the monastery that Anna had caught a terrible disease. The gold coins that Viscount William sprinkled showed their power.
Anna smiled faintly at Edna as she was mounting the carriage. Anna, glancing up and down at the taller girl who was dressed in a colorful wedding gown, spoke primly, “When would you ever get the chance to wear such luxurious clothes? Well, just be thankful that you got to try these on before you die.”
Anna lowered the translucent veil over Edna’s head to cover her face. It was time to go to Eli.