How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 156. Blind Raphael (2)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Raphael was as immovable as a mountain, but his temper was gone. The merest possibility that something bad might happen to Annette had drained it all away.
“I will always be grateful to you,” he told Hamilton quietly. “I know you did a lot for me, behind the scenes, even though you pretend you didn’t. I could never have become a respectable nobleman without your help. You are the reason I could become what I am.”
Hamilton’s expression softened. Though he had been angry enough seconds ago to curse at the boy, it only took a few words to silence him.
“When anyone asks me who my father is, it is your face that comes to my mind.” Raphael looked embarrassed at the admission.
“Don’t talk nonsense,” Hamilton said gruffly. “As if I could have a child when I haven’t got a wife, damn you.”
The protest lacked fire. Raphael was encouraged.
“Then choose now, old man,” he said. “Me, or His Majesty?”
Hamilton had worked for the King for a long time. He could guess at many of Selgratis’s intentions, but he had prudently kept his mouth shut, until now. But this was a bitter dilemma. Should he keep quiet for the King’s sake, or help Raphael, who was as good as his foster son?
It was not an easy decision. While he was struggling, Raphael shamelessly played his last card.
“Please, old man.” His grip on Hamilton softened, and he let his head fall onto the old man’s shoulder. “Help me protect the woman I love.”
Damn it. Though he knew it was a manipulation, Hamilton automatically embraced him, closing his eyes. It was as Raphael were an adult son, coming to ask the aid of his father, and Raphael was as close to a son as Hamilton would ever have, and he couldn’t bear to see that son in pain.
Raphael had never been a happy man. Though Hamilton himself had failed in love, he had hoped that Raphael would not fall into the same abyss.
“…you are asking me to choose between you and my king,” Hamilton said finally, and Raphael lifted his head to look at him. “Let me ask you. Who would you choose, between His Majesty and your wife?”
“Just as I said. You did not only receive your title from him, you received many valuable properties, including those troublesome mines. His Majesty gave you all of that. If you choose your wife, you might lose it all. Your future is promising now, but you are not a Master of Swords yet.”
Raphael was silent. He was right. He had not yet mastered the sword, and he had no other skills or influence. No one would protect the illegitimate son of a prostitute. He had only come so far because of his father.
The thought of all made him feel breathless, like walking naked onto a battlefield with arrows raining down all around him. But Hamilton was not done. Posted only on NovelUtopia
“But if you choose the king, I don’t know what will happen to your wife. King Selgratis is ruthless with his enemies. Knowing that, who will you choose?”
Hamilton crossed his arms and leaned back against the wall, smiling faintly. He had regained his composure.
“Your choice will determine mine.”
* * *
After her meeting with her father, Annette returned home, climbing the steps to her room as if she were only a ghost of herself. Before her was the bed she had spent years in, in her previous life. The bed where she had given up all her hopes.
Perhaps my poor health in my previous life…was because of poison.
She had her doubts. Her doctor in both lives had been Eucaly Kayun. But what if the King had bribed her? That would answer many questions.
Annette bit her lower lip. Eucaly was an awkward person, but a sincere one. The sort of person that was easy to trust. In her last life, she had trusted Eucaly completely, and so she had tried to be nicer to her in this life.
In her last life, Eucaly had selflessly cared for her. And she had regularly dosed Annette with a medicine with a somewhat peculiar taste, claiming that it would strengthen her body. In this life too, Annette hadn’t hesitated to take that medicine.
When did it begin to go wrong?
Sitting on her bed, Annette buried her face in her hands, and tried just to breathe.