How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 174. Man to Man (1)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Raphael had famously inherited King Selgratis’s deep blue eyes. There was one other man in the palace who also had eyes just like him, but he seemed like a creature of winter with his silver hair, pale as ice. Only his red lips proved his blood, curled defiantly.
“Let’s have a little talk. Man to man.”
Raphael clicked his tongue. Annette had told him Ludwig had an artist’s temperament, but lacked the creativity to construct an argument. It was an unfortunate set of limitations for a Crown Prince.
But in any case, Raphael quietly followed as Ludwig led him to a private drawing room in his own palace. Sitting down in an ornate chair, Ludwig looked up at Raphael with their father’s blue eyes. Raphael could not sit without the permission of the Crown Prince.
“…sit,” said Ludwig, allowing him to sit, and Raphael frowned as he took the chair opposite. At least he was spared having to stand like a petitioner, but the wait to be allowed to sit was galling.
Sitting stiffly, Raphael waited as Ludwig silently stared at him.
“I hate you,” he said.
What do you want me to do about it? Raphael hoped Ludwig hadn’t brought him here to talk about that. He just wanted to go home and see Annette.
But Ludwig’s face seemed relieved after saying those foolish words, and his beauty shone, the tension in his shoulders relaxing. As he leaned back in his chair, he looked like a prince in a fairytale.
Unaware of Raphael’s indifference, Ludwig smiled.
“It feels good to say so straight out. I’m sure I needed it. I’ve been fooling myself all this time, trying to restrain myself and live the way everyone else expects me to live. Of course I can’t be you. Why didn’t I understand that sooner?”
Having admitted one of his greatest weaknesses out loud, Ludwig laughed, and Raphael scowled at him, confused.
“You have been like a splinter under my fingernail,” Ludwig said, looking at Raphael’s rugged, masculine face. A face entirely unlike his own. “You are an infuriating reminder of everything I lack. Just looking at you is upsetting. You took away everything I wanted.”
This was a literal truth. Raphael was a gifted swordsman, married to the woman Ludwig loved, praised and recognized by their father. Of course, Ludwig couldn’t understand the full context of that recognition.
But Ludwig was still deeply, bitterly jealous. Raphael’s marriage to Annette was so excruciating, Ludwig had to close his eyes for a moment to control himself, before he could continue calmly. Posted only on NovelUtopia
“But it’s not your fault that you were born with so many gifts. Just as it isn’t my fault that I lack them. Is it?”
Raphael was not sure what response was appropriate. Why was Ludwig talking such nonsense in the first place? What would make him stop?
Though Annette had tried to persuade him to their cause, Ludwig was still dwelling on it, which meant it was unsure whether he was an ally or an enemy. And now that Raphael was alone with him, he was going to have to be careful what he said.
Raphael had an intense headache.
Inwardly, Ludwig shrugged at Raphael’s sudden caution. In the past, it had seemed that Raphael was careless with his words, and now that Ludwig had bluntly laid out his own worst weaknesses and anxieties, Raphael seemed warier than ever. It made complimenting him a little less painful.
“I hear you’ve become a Master of Swords. Congratulations.”
“It’s a great blessing to have such a rare talent in Deltium. Is there a secret to such an amazing achievement? I’m curious.”
“Having someone to protect,” Raphael replied bluntly, his face expressionless. But there was a glitter in his dark blue eyes, a warning flash. Ludwig smiled bitterly.
“Yes, I suppose so. And you will succeed, won’t you? Because you are not me.”
Annette would be safe. Because this panther-like man would always find a way to protect her. But it wasn’t enough to just keep her safe; she would always have to worry, so long as the cause of the danger remained. Left as it was, it would wear her tender heart out.