How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 115. Puppets (3)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
“It was Gruti 4, wasn’t it?” Annette asked.
“You’re not thinking of going after the coachman yourself?” Celestine asked, immediately trying to dissuade Annette with a worried expression. “That place is lawless, it would be far too dangerous! Please, don’t even consider it.”
This was not at all the same as what Celestine had done, picking up Jack the dealer in secret, and off Vassetti Street at that. That was a relatively safe area, frequented by lower nobility and merchants.
But the Gruti district was something else, and not in a good way. The authorities in Deltium pretended it did not exist, but it was there all the same, filled with criminals and black market businesses, a stream of filth as from a sewer. And the criminals were like cockroaches, scuttling in and out of the corners, no matter how often the place was cleaned out.
That was not to say the authorities let it be. Since the earliest days of Deltium, the royal family had constantly tried to clean up the district, and it was not for lack of resolve that they failed to exterminate the nests. The people of Gruti resisted furiously, ready to die. The criminals were so numerous, they hardly needed strategy, and they had considerable fighting experience. The only people who truly suffered in these battles were the innocent people around them.
Thus far, every royal attempt to clear the district out had ended in failure, and the losses suffered in these attempts far outweighed the benefits of such a poverty-stricken area. With the constant threat of another uprising from the rebels in Letan, no real military force could be spared, and the criminals of Gruti took full advantage of it.
Thus, Celestine instantly discouraged it. Gruti was too dangerous to venture into carelessly.
“Don’t worry, Celestine,” Annette said, her face as serene, as if she had never heard of Gruti’s reputation. “There’s always a way.”
Her smile was reassuring, and her delicate fingertips tapped together.
“I know just the person to ask, so just wait quietly. As soon as I can, I will put an end to your nightmare.”
…it was strange.
It was as if a shadow fell over Annette’s serene face, and for a moment, she even looked dangerous. Celestine lowered her eyes, one hand laid on her chest, over her suddenly racing heart.
All of the sudden, today she felt like calling Annette sister.
* * *
Standing before her mirror, Annette paused as she automatically reached for earrings. The place she was about to go was not the sort of place she should wear jewelry. She would soon be going to the dangerous Gruti 4 district.
She would be wearing shabby clothing once she was undercover, anyway. She didn’t need earrings.
Sometimes, habits were frightening things. A bitter smile touched her lips as she reached to close her jewelry box, but a large hand reached from behind her, pointing at a pair.
“I like these. They match the color of your eyes.”
His fingertip brushed a gorgeous pair of rose quartz and pearl earrings, and Annette glanced back at Raphael, who loomed over her like a mountain. Dressed in black training clothes, he looked dangerous and masculine, at least on the outside. Posted only on NovelUtopia
Every time his eyes drifted toward hers, he discreetly avoided her gaze. Strangely, he could not seem to make eye contact with her the way he used to, and heat was suddenly rising to his face.
He could only hope he didn’t look silly before her.
“You will be staying overnight at the Keers estate?”
“Yes. There will be a lot of ladies staying over, it is sure to be a lovely time.”
Annette smiled softly. Like any true Bavaria, she lied perfectly. She was pretending to stay with Celestine, but was really going to find and capture Ben March, the man who had so wronged both of them. Her heart fluttered like the wings of the bird as she contemplated it.
Fortunately, Raphael was oblivious to the deception. He was still coping with feelings that he had never felt before, and very distracted. Knowing that Annette was going to leave him tonight, he could not make himself move away from the dressing table now, like a great beast blocking the path of its owner when they tried to leave.
“What’s wrong, Raphael?”
“The…thing,” he said awkwardly. “Is it really required that you be there?”