Chapter 83 – Sovieshu’s Anger (2)
A serious fight seemed inevitable at this point. I gave a worried glance at Sir Artina, who nodded his head and gently squeezed the hilt of his sword. At that moment—
“Your Highness! Your Highness!”
Someone came running from a distance and was calling to the prince. I turned around, and saw it was the blue-haired knight that often followed Prince Heinley. Sir McKenna, was it?
He stopped in front of us, gasping for breath before speaking urgently.
“Your Highness, I think you should go now!”
“What is it?”
Sir McKenna hesitated as he looked at Grand Duke Kapmen. The knight seemed unsure whether he should speak in front of him.
I turned to Prince Heinley and nodded at him.
I would rather he hurried, but he stared at me with a regretful look then carefully knelt on one knee. He lightly kissed the back of my hand, keeping his eyes fixed on me the entire time. Sir McKenna shifted in impatience.
“I’ll speak to you later.”
His voice was soft as he stood up, and when I nodded, he turned around and left with Sir McKenna. Unlike his slow, gentle kiss, the speed of his pace was brisk. I wondered if it had anything to do with the Western King…
I stared at the back of Prince Heinley’s head and sighed.
“Are you friendly with that prince?”
I suddenly remembered Grand Duke Kapmen’s presence and quickly turned to him. He was looking at me with a strange expression.
“Are you friendly with that prince?”
He repeated himself.
“I think he’s a great man.”
I couldn’t say I was friendly with him, but I didn’t want to lie, so I gave a moderate answer. However, Kapmen’s face only twisted. I observed him carefully.
“It seems so. I was about to grab his throat earlier.”
“Yes, it was hard for me to control my mouth.”
I offered him a sympathetic smile, and he gave a careless shrug.
“It’s incredible how much emotion drives someone.”
“…How do you feel?”
“Have you ever been jealous?”
Sovieshu pushed me to take care of Rashta. That painful feeling in my heart—was that jealousy?
As soon as I agreed with him, Grand Duke Kapmen gave an unexpected reply.
“You admit it too easily.”
“You were the one who was so frustrated you gave me a love potion.”
He gave a bellowing laugh, and he put his hands in his pockets and lowered his gaze.
“Did I spoil your mood?”
“Watching the Grand Duke struggle is not so bad…”
“Do you find me amusing?”
“Do I have to answer?”
Grand Duke Kapmen pursed his lips.
“I don’t think you’ve ever been so intensely jealous, so let me tell you—it’s like something invisible is yelling next to my heart. And I want to listen to that voice.”
” ….What is it saying?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“That invisible something is whispering to me now. We can’t let you learn our intentions.”
I laughed, thinking he was joking, but I soon realized he was serious. He looked at me quietly for another moment, then gave a sigh.
“Just looking at one person can be very fulfilling. At the same time, it makes one feel insecure. In many ways…It’s a strong potion.”
“When will the effects—”
I was about to ask when the effects would fade, when I heard the sound of someone else approaching. I looked around and saw Sovieshu. His eyes were cold.
‘Why does he look so grim? Did he overhear the conversation?’
“He wouldn’t have heard it.”
Grand Duke Kapmen murmured a reply as if he read my mind.
I was amazed at his timing, and he spoke again in a low voice.
“He wasn’t close enough to hear our words.”
I looked back at Sovieshu. The closer he came, the icier his expression. If he did hear the conversation, it would be a misunderstanding. Sovieshu waved his hands at the servants and knights nearby, and they stepped away.
Sovieshu turned towards me.
“…What do you mean?”
“Grand Duke Kapmen, Prince Heinley. Which one?”
“I don’t understand what you mean.”
Sovieshu looked at Grand Duke Kapmen with derision.
“Two foreigners must be an attraction for the Empress.”
He was here now, but he seemed to have been watching since Prince Heinley was present.
“It’s a misunderstanding.”
I cut off his words. Prince Heinley was only a friend, and although Grand Duke Kapmen had been in love with me for a while now, it was only because of the potion. Sooner or later, that would dissipate. Sovieshu didn’t seem to believe me, however.
“Why can’t you be careful of your behavior at this time?”
“What is ‘this time?’”
“The pregnancy of an emperor’s firstborn. Is this the time to have a scandal with other foreign men?”
Sovieshu frowned at me like I didn’t know. I knew. It was the same reason I couldn’t openly be friends with Prince Heinley. It had only been a short time since Rashta became Sovieshu’s concubine, and she became pregnant with the Emperor’s first child. If I had a scandal with another man at this time, salacious gossip would spread about the Imperial family, and there was no dignity involved in that. I understood the need to be careful, but it felt different when Sovieshu pointed it out.
“You want me to be careful of my actions for your first child?”
“My first child? A baby of the Imperial family also means they’re your child.”
“No. Whether there are a hundred or a thousand of them, your concubine’s baby is not my baby.”
“And as for the birth of your child, it is your happy occasion, not mine.”
Sovieshu stared at me with a hostile expression.
“After all, Rashta’s baby can neither be an imperial prince or princess. Everyone knows that.”
“So if they’re neither a prince nor princess, they’re not a baby of the Imperial family?”
“Yes, that’s the law. And no matter how set your mind is, in fifty or one hundred years, everyone won’t even know who those children are.”
Sovieshu stared at me incredulously, then gave a hollow smile.
“The Empress truly is selfish.”
“No matter how much you hate Rashta, are you already wary of her innocent unborn babies?”
“I wonder if the Empress even regards me as a husband—”
But before Sovieshu’s words continued, a fist came out of nowhere and struck him on the face.
It was Grand Duke Kapmen.