Again, she wouldn’t have reacted like this if it was only about her, but this also concerns the Emperor’s personal affairs.
The tip of the sword touched Louismond’s throat.
“I’m giving you one last chance.
Tell me, who are you?” Rubiana asked.
“I just….” Louismond was still speechless.
‘… Am I going to die like this?’
Three times for the Duke Dominent, four times for the Duke Feltharg.
He thought that he was going to die this time by the hands of the Duke Dominent so they would have killed him equally four times.
Unexpectedly, he would be killed by the Duke Ashillean. Triple Crown!
Will all of the three Dukes kill me? The only thing he was regretting was that he felt some sense of closeness towards Duke Ashillean, who had never killed him.
You were also the same Duke Ashillean.
You also thought of killing someone by beheading them.
‘I don’t want to die.’
His fear, helplessness, and resentment turned into tears.
As Louismond blinked his eyes, drop, tears ran down his cheeks and dripped to her sword.
The pitiful beauty made the indifferent and cold-blooded Duke of the North, Rubiana, paused for a moment.
She felt that it wasn’t good to kill him like this as she watched Louismond crying sadly.
Watching a prisoner of war on the battlefield didn’t even make her feel like this.
In any case, it was beautiful to watch with his handsome face.
“Why are you crying like that?”
“Because… it’s unfair.”
“That I’m going to die like this.”
“Do you hate dying?”
“Is there anyone in the world who likes to die?”
“People die after all.”
“Most of them age gracefully before dying.
I also just want to die like that – a death in which I can live comfortably without having any major problems, and then die comfortably as if I was only sleeping on the bed when I grew old.
D**n, I really thought I could die like that this time around.”
D**n it, why do I keep crying? Louismond wiped his eyes with the hem of his robe.
He didn’t look very elegant in his tone or behavior.
He was more like a servant grumbling in a place where his master couldn’t see him.
He was the King’s illegitimate son.
Her mother was the youngest daughter of the venerable Count.
Judging by his soft, blister-free hands, it doesn’t seem like he had lifted anything heavier than a pencil. But how can he naturally act like a servant?
She thought he was an ignorant scholar, but he looks like a never-seen-before playboy.
As if that wasn’t enough, he was now acting like a servant who was doing chores all his life.
I don’t get it.’
The sword aiming at his neck slowly dropped down.
Rubiana touched Louismond’s shoulder with the tip of her sword.
Louismond trembled as he met Rubiana’s eyes.
His wet, terrified eyes gleamed desperately.
Thanks to this, her desire to cut his throat calmed down a little bit.
Should I say it is something like not plucking a pretty flower because I want to see it a little longer? Callena would have cut his shoulder in one stroke if it was her.
“If you want to live like that, be honest.”
“Will you spare me?”
“If you make me understand.”
“This is your last chance.
Either lie to me enough to completely fool me, or better be honest if you can’t do that.”
The sword on his shoulder could slit his neck any time.
Rubiana knew that and so as well as Louismond.
“How did you know I made a blood oath to God?”
Louismond had yet to come up with a suitable excuse.
‘What to do?’
All sorts of thoughts flashed through his mind.
He was suddenly reminded of his professor’s words.
[‘We searched for the 73rd path because the other 72 wasn’t your answer.
That’s what learning is like.
Isn’t life like that too? Don’t give up on anything and hang on until the end.’]
It was no coincidence that he was reminded of Count Graham’s mean face at the same time.
‘Yes, this is it!’
Louismond widened his eyes, “My grandfather, Count Graham, is daring to dream of doing treason!”
The 73rd path – it is framing Count Graham.
He must have committed a lot of crimes anyway, so would adding another one make a difference? Louismond didn’t feel the least bit guilty.
“Aah,” Rubiana blinked.
She wasn’t surprised he told her what she already knew, but this was still a bit surprising.
‘Count Graham will surely tell his grandson he is trying to commit treason.’
It was something to live for a long time.
“Count Graham is hovering around the Emperor to gather information.
That was how I found out about it.
My grandfather, Count Graham, happened to know about the blood oath in passing.”
“I don’t know when or where Her Majesty said that.
I also knew it by chance.
Anyway, that was how I found out.”
Hovering around the Emperor and gathering information.
‘Count Graham would be the last man to do that.’
It was quite plausible.
‘Lena isn’t the kind of person to talk about that day.’
Because the Emperor, her younger sister, isn’t someone to do that.
‘You are lying.’
Rubiana looked at the beautiful man in front of her, who dared to play tricks and used Callena.
“That was how Count Graham got to know about it?”
Pretending to be deceived, Louismond’s face brightened for a moment.
“O, of course!”
He acted as if she had accepted his proposal right away.
He looked like a dog who had its snack stolen and returned that it made Rubiana laugh involuntarily.
“I still don’t understand something.”
“Wh, what else do you…?”
His owner never gave him a snack, and the dog, mistakenly thinking that he had received it, cried out as if he had lost his snack again.
He looked like he wanted to have the non-existent snack, but Rubiana didn’t remove the sword from his shoulder.
“What did you mean by proposing to me?”
“… So I can live.”
“As I have just said, Count Graham is daring to rebel against Her Majesty the Emperor.
Who will be the center of it? Of course it would be me.”
Louismond cleared his throat with his trembling voice and spoke calmly.
But still, he couldn’t hide his trembling fists.
Rubiana’s eyes narrowed when she saw that.
“I am a scholar who has lived and died in the House of the Scholars all my life.
I am also working now as an imperial servant and receiving a salary from Her Majesty.
I am not interested in the throne of a country that has been destroyed.
I am only loyal to Her Majesty the Emperor.
So to escape from the abyss of this rebellion….”
“You proposed to me?”
Rubiana took his word.
Her voice was monotonous.
She wasn’t angry nor disappointed even when she heard that he was proposing to her even though he doesn’t love her.
It was more like her.
Louismond also didn’t show his regrets when he proposed to the person he doesn’t dare to love.
‘That’s not going to work for this person.’
It wasn’t that he was prepared to say things like I fell for you at first sight or I love you, but he threw it all away when her sword touched his neck.
And he didn’t regret that choice.
Louismond looked straight at the green eyes looking at him.
There was something that didn’t change no matter how many times he repeated this life – it was the eyes of the women looking at him.
He doesn’t need to do anything.
Just by looking at him deeply, he would throw himself to that woman and whisper sweet nothings.
Whether it was sincere or just having the intention to play with him, they wanted him after all.
There were only two women in the world who weren’t like that to him.
It was Emperor Callena and Duke Ashillean, Rubiana.
That’s why Louismond gave up on the appealing emotions on the sides like love, and instead,
“As I said, I roughly know what the Duke swore to God – that you need a husband.”
He tried to fit himself into her needs.
Rubiana faintly nodded her head as if he was right, though it was precisely a child and not a husband. Anyway, that is something that will be resolved once I get a husband.
“I will be that husband.
Please stay married to me for at least three years.
If you wish, I will divorce you right after that.”
Louismond proposed a contract marriage.
“Why would I?” Of course, Rubiana declined.
“As I said, the Duke….”
“That’s, I have a clear reason to get married.”
That is why she was being dragged by both the Emperor and her Head Maid to all kinds of events in the capital.
She was already exhausted to the point she thought of grabbing just anyone and getting married when a suitable man showed up.
“But there’s no reason why it has to be you.
Why should I take you among all when there are a lot of other men in the world?”
His qualifications were very bad – especially being the illegitimate child of the tyrant.
“I….” Louismond hesitated.
It was frustrating that he knew the answer why but he couldn’t say it.
‘There are many other men in the world, but you won’t be able to get married until a few years from now.
The husband material you were looking for were all afraid of your evil reputation and run away….’
Louismond remembered Cadric, Duke Feltharg, who beheaded him in his seventh life.
At that time, he clearly said ‘my Ruby’.
There was no way that a kinky nobleman who likes men dressing up as women borrowed a jewel of ruby from the Duke Feltharg and didn’t return it for a long time.
He was obviously referring to the Ruby standing in front of Louismond.
‘Duke Feltharg might secretly kill me behind your back.’
I can’t say that, right? Not only could I honestly tell her that I had already repeated this life seven times, but I could also not deceive myself that I had the ability to see the future.
He lived seven lives over and over again, but he always died early and didn’t know much of the future.
He was far away from the Empire when he managed to live longer, so he didn’t know much of the Empire’s situation.
And so, he had to give her another reason – that Rubiana, Duke Ashillean, will want to welcome him as her husband, the tyrant’s illegitimate child and the center flower of the treason.
“… About the treason, I will give you information about it – who is taking part in the treason.
“That’s something I can find out if I research it.”
“It may not be more accurate than mine, an insider.”
“Then I’ll find another insider.”
“… I, I’ll be careful and sincere during our marriage.
I won’t be arrogant, I will work hard, I will do anything I am told to do….”
“That, too, would be resolved if I got another husband.”
Who would dare not marry Duke Ashillean and live his life with dignity and faithfulness? Unless that man is a cat who had nine lives.
Louismond understood right away.
“Do you have anything else to say?”
The sword over his shoulder came closer to his neck.
Rubiana was willing to wait.
She even lightly laughed.
Seeing this, Louismond remembered when he was forced to meet the Emperor by Count Graham.
It was somehow similar to that. Does this mean that blood doesn't lie?
‘I have no other choice.’
Louismond recalled one of his trump cards.
‘If she hears this, even Duke Ashillean will be forced to think that she should marry me.’
He proudly said out loud with a sure conviction.
“Never, never will I love you.
I know you don’t want love.
I will just be your perfect, and peerless husband.”
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