Kidnapped By The Crazy Duke - Chapter 45
Princess Erica’s blue eyes turned and glared at me. Then they suddenly changed to a pitying look and stared at Noah. Her hands were clasping the skirt of her dress.
“Noah, do you have to do this much to me?”
“You’re blatantly hurting me. Can you just wait?”
“I don’t understand what you’re saying.”
Noah twirled the wine glass in his hand with a look of total confusion on his face. I don’t understand that woman’s mind either. My intention was to not let my mind wander anymore, not to induce jealousy…
“Leaving such a comical trail ……..”
Princess Erica, who frowned, couldn’t talk anymore and touched her forehead. Her face turned pale like the white dress she was wearing.
Noah didn’t seem to care about the Princess. He slowly rubbed his neck and lowered his eyes. The rims of his eyes were stained a painful red.
Is that man embarrassed now? Noah looked vulnerable as he looked at me with that face.
“I liked it when you were violent, princess.” ( Noah)
“When have I ever been violent?” (Diana)
“I was backing up, but you attacked me suddenly…….” (Noah)
“Don’t say that here!” (Erica)
Princess Erica, who had been listening attentively to our contact,
now sounded even more angry and fierce.
“You are rude. Do not call another woman ‘Princess’ or ignore my words!” (Erica)
Noah tilted his head with a grim expression. When he bowed closer to Princess Erica, a blush spread across her face. ‘Why is she blushing?’ I felt strangely uncomfortable. Her eyes narrowed again as she changed her expression.
“Do you have so much fun playing with my love for you?” (Erica)
“What do you mean love?” (Noah)
Noah covered his mouth with his hands and let out a small laugh. Then his voice was gruesomely low.
“I’m trying to get away with the word love.”
At his emotionless expression, Erica’s face turned a clear color of bewilderment. After a sly smile, Noah left her and walked up to me and took my hand.
“Noah, this is very, very painful for me.”
A resentful voice came out behind Noah as she whined. I don’t know what to say. She seemed to have fallen into some kind of great illusion.
A girl not even twenty years old suffered a love fever. It was not uncommon for her to give meaning to things that weren’t important and misunderstand them.
I wonder if I was the same way at that age. In this body I am the same age as Erica, but in my spirit I am a worn out twenty-something. I tried to understand her, because it was adolescence that made her so emotional, so spoiled and angry.
Princess Erica suddenly approached me with a generous look on her face, her hands on her hips and her mouth open with a grim expression.
“You think you’re so special, don’t you? You’re being used.”
‘Hmm.’ That one’s just a freakin’ spoiled brat who only says what she wants to say and sees what she wants to see. Come to think of it, I wasn’t like that when I was eighteen.
Noah’s face gradually turned expressionless at what Princess Erica said to me.
“I don’t have anything for him to use.”
I replied with a stiff face. There really wasn’t, and that was a problem for me too. Princess Erica raised one side of her mouth and spoke with deliberate reserve.
“That man is a bit unique. He’s using you to test my heart.”
“The Princess can’t marry someone who isn’t Medean anyway, right?”
“Therefore, he urges me to abandon my claim to the throne as soon as possible. He wants to see if my heart is sincere.”
“Who said that…..?”
I asked with a somewhat puzzled look on my face. That woman was a bit…strange. She seemed to have fallen into the illusion that the world revolved around her.
Her craving for what she didn’t have turned into an intense love obsession, and when it became too much, she fell into a morbid delusion.
Such things are common in life to begin with. It’s like getting angry when someone doesn’t accept your sudden confession and asking, “If you’re going to do that, why did you smile?”
The Princess and I looked at each other sharply. She was looking down at me like I was the perpetrator in a moment of terrible self-pity.
Soon, the sound of brass instruments could be heard along with a shout from a servant announcing that Queen Grace II had entered the banquet hall.
The people stopped what they were doing all together and bowed in respect and reverence.
Princess Erica made a coy face and went to the Queen with her attendants who had been waiting for her from afar. Contrary to the expectation that she would tell the Queen that we had behaved rudely, she showed courtesy to her mother, the Queen, with a heavily disciplined face.
The Queen looked over her daughter with a gentle, yet cold gaze.
The Queen wore a platinum-colored colorful dress with countless diamonds scattered on the fabric with gold threads and a royal blue sash.
Her white skin was dazzlingly beautiful in dramatic contrast to her flawlessly dark hair, and I wondered, if Snow White had actually existed, would she have been like that?
Her facial expressions and gestures were graceful, and she had the authority and dignity of royalty of noble lineage. She was as beautiful as a full-length portrait painted by a painter, so it would not be strange at all to place her as a woman, a man, and a lover.
Noah grabbed my hand and stepped in front of the Queen. Queen Grace’s green eyes twitched gently when she saw us.
“May God bless you, Queen Grace II, the eternal sun of Medea. My name is Diana.”
I bowed to her as I had learned to do. I saw the Queen smiling at me. The smile felt strangely chilly. I also felt a sense of déjà vu that I couldn’t explain. I didn’t know her, I had never seen her in a portrait or a photograph.
“Diana, that’s the name of the goddess of the moon. I heard you’ve been through a lot. You’ve done a great job.”
The moment the Queen and I faced each other, time seemed to stop. The place she and I faced felt like a completely different space.
My ears were ringing and the voices around the banquet hall became distant. I felt like the floor was shaking as if there was an earthquake.
The Queen, who had been watching me standing there in a daze, slowly tilted her head.
“Beautiful girl, why are you crying?”
The beautiful queen asked with an elegant and calm voice.
I wiped my eyes, surprised at the tears that were streaming down my face. I didn’t think, didn’t feel anything.
I didn’t care as much as I did to watch people in the ballroom betting on when the ice sculpture of a swan would melt. She was from a completely different world than I was.
I hesitated for a while, not knowing why my eyes were so hot and tearful.
“Because you’re beautiful.”
I could only think of her beauty, so that must be the reason. The Queen took my hand in hers and stroked the back of my hand. My hands were cold, but I felt warm. I thought.
“Thank you. You had a hard time. I hope that from now on, as a descendant of Medea, you will enjoy happiness under the protection and help of your motherland.”
I was used to seeing those eyes, even though I had never seen her before. And that look in her eyes was the same as mine. The eyes that knew the weight of sudden burden was too much to bear.
It’s the kind of eyes that don’t believe in people, or even expect them to. Those eyes realized the truth that if you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed, are uninterested and apathetic about everything.
She was like that. She was somewhat apathetic.
“We’re going to get married.”
Noah came in, breaking the silence created by our gazes, and hugged my shoulder. The Queen covered her mouth and smiled brightly at the notification disguised as permission.
Her green eyes grazed for a moment over the red marks on Noah’s neck, but she made no pretense.
Princess Erica was surprisingly quiet and silent. She looked as if she was afraid of her mother. The mother was probably very strict with her daughter.
In fact, even in the best educated royal families, there are children who are out of character. That’s their problem.
“I see. She suits you well. I’ve always been curious about the Count’s fiancée. I hope you’ll stop by often and tell me about your love story.”
After exchanging a few brief words with the Queen, we left the bustling ballroom and walked through the garden.
Artificial streetlights lined the winter tree-decorated gardens, illuminating the night of the Tempshire Palace.
Noah was walking among the camellias with their beautiful white camellia flowers hanging down, when he suddenly stopped in front of a bench. He sat down on the bench, took off his coat, spread it out beside him, and patted it with his hand.
“Aren’t you cold?”
“I’m cold. But you’re a princess, so I took it off.”
He seemed to be a bit of a tsundere. I’m sure his clothes will get wrinkled. I was worried, but I didn’t say no.
We sat side by side and looked at the white camellias blooming all over the other side.
The quiet winter wasn’t bad, probably because it was warm compared to the rest of the country where it was cold enough to freeze peanut butter. A warm hand came to wrap around my wrist. He opened my hand and stared into it.
These hands, which had been through a lot since I was a child, were definitely not smooth or pretty. They were rough with calluses after swelling up like they had frostbite or a chronic disease.
The broken nails were blunt, not able to keep them even after a little growth. I quickly closed my hand, ashamed of it.
“I have ugly hands.”
Noah didn’t say anything, but he seemed to think so, and for no reason at all he laid out an excuse. Even more so since it wasn’t his natural thing.
“The shape doesn’t matter.”
Noah said softly as he rubbed his cheek against the back of my hand.
“I see things differently than others. Do you know that?”
“Ghosts, do you see them? They say they’re like spirits.”
“Hmm? It’s similar.”
Is it a situation where he suddenly confesses his superpower to me? He smiled at me with a puzzled expression.
“Essence and meaning. The process and reason why it came to exist as such.”
“It’s difficult. I don’t really know anything about philosophy.”
“Every moment you’ve lived has made you who you are today. It’s all beautiful. Because you are one and only.”
He stopped speaking for a moment and cupped my cheek.
“You don’t have to look beautiful in everyone’s eyes. You only need to be beautiful to me.”
“Even if I become a grandmother?”
“I’ll tell you that you are the most beautiful grandmother on earth.”
Indeed, Noah is going to be a wonderful old man when he gets older. As I imagined how he would look in his old age, a scene came to mind that I had never thought of, and I was perplexed for a moment.
Imagining us walking together into old age, repeatedly watching the years go by as we drew to a close each day. My momentary imagination was amazing. I pictured marriage, children, even a family.
I looked at the night sky, inwardly mocking myself.
The dark sky, where not even a bright star could be seen, seemed to be blackened by vague clouds that covered even the moon. It was quiet, even lonely, as if the dark curtain had hung down after the stage had ended.
Suddenly I felt a cold metal touch my fourth finger. My eyes slowly looked down at it, and I was dazzled.
I closed my eyes with the illusion that a star had landed on my hand. Noah put a ring on my finger and smiled at me beautifully.
It shone like a replacement for a star in the sky that had disappeared. He still held my ugly, rough hand as if it were precious.
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I stared at his face. The clouds that had been covering the moon were being pushed away. A thin moonlight streamed in as if the dark curtain that started the stage was gradually being removed. The beautiful man with the moonlight in his eyes smiled.
“Diana, I will tell you that you are beautiful all my life. You will probably be beautiful forever. No matter how you live your life, no matter what you look like, it will always be you.”