How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 181. Maids (3)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Ludwig bit his lower lip, and his hands shook. His shock was sincere; Annette cocked her head curiously, but she was sure he wasn’t acting. Why would he do so much for her?
She was already married to another man. No matter how great Ludwig’s love was, shouldn’t her marriage to someone else have quenched it? The intensity of his emotion actually made her a little skeptical, and he looked dejected at the suspicion that flashed through her eyes.
“Annette, do you think I would turn my back on you if you’re in danger?” He asked. “You think I am afraid to face my father? You think I am a coward.”
“No, Your Highness. I am only worried at the hardships you might suffer, because of me.”
“I am not a cruel person,” he said, his blue eyes beginning to shine with tears. “We were supposed to be married, until a few months ago. Do you think I could become indifferent so quickly? Do you think I am that much worse than anyone else?”
The sight of the pain in his eyes made her realize what the problem was, all at once.The two of them had different times.
In her last life, Ludwig had never met Annette again, after he married another woman. And after she married Raphael, Annette had rarely gone out. In Annette’s heart, her relationship with Ludwig had been over at five years. To a regressor, Ludwig was someone already far in the past.
It made it hard to believe his devotion to her. It was like a former friend suddenly appearing after an absence of years, declaring that she was their best and truest friend. Of course, she would be dubious.
But to Ludwig, his love for Annette was still a part of the present.
She bit her lip. Suddenly, she felt sorry for him. It must have hurt him deeply to watch his first love marry someone else, and Ludwig had still decided to side with her, until the end. She was grateful.
Annette held out her hand, and for the first time, took his hand first.
“Thank you,” she said. “For keeping your promise to me.”
“I’m so sorry I couldn’t protect you, before. Sometimes I think this is a…a punishment for it.”
Ludwig laughed, hiding the tears that were welling. His beautiful Annette had become another man’s wife. Even in her ridiculous costume, in his eyes she was still the most beautiful woman in the world. She always had been.
But the bloom of their love had passed. All that was left now was the winter, where what remained of his own love would die a little at a time. He wished it wouldn’t hurt so much, but so far, all wishing was in vain.
“This time I will protect you,” he promised. “If only to make up for betraying your trust before. And also so you can live safe in my kingdom.”
She could only squeeze his hand. There were no words to express what this meant to her. Only her own warmth.
He smiled, and his thumb stroked the back of her hand.
“Take care of yourself, Annette. I know His Majesty well. If I told him I love you, he would only use it to manipulate me. As he has always done,” Ludwig added, muttering. Posted only on NovelUtopia
Though he had succeeded in deceiving the King for the present, he was very worried about the future. Ludwig’s relationship with him was not good, but Ludwig still knew his father very well.
“Always be careful of your surroundings,” he warned.
Annette was his only weakness. Ludwig let go of her hand, his face filled with sadness. Annette would only be hurt again if she came near him, anyway.
If I had never loved her in the first place…
Ludwig silently closed his eyes. Maybe Selgratis had not planned to get rid of her, at first. If Ludwig had not loved her, if she hadn’t meant so much to him, maybe he would have been allowed to marry her.
But Ludwig hadn’t been able to help himself, and so King Selgratis had had to worry about how much power Annette’s family might wield. If the future King might be influenced by them.
He had been right to worry. Ludwig was an indecisive man, easily moved by emotion, and he probably would have done whatever Annette and her family wanted.
The King had taken Annette from him because Ludwig was weak.