How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 244. Less Guilty (3)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Annette lived for three more days.
She was not waiting for her brother to come with his wife from the distant Empire; three days was not enough for them to make such a journey. But it was plenty of time for Duke Bavaria, who was in Deltium, to visit her.
But her father also did not come.
Raphael gritted his teeth. He could not know that it was all his own father’s plan. King Selgratis was the one that had bribed Annette’s doctor to poison her. Annette never knew it, either.
But her father or her brother might have discovered it, and so King Selgratis made sure to isolate her completely.
He exploited their frequent absences from society. Annette was too sick to go out, and Raphael stayed home because he did not like to go out among nobles. These existing inclinations favored the King’s plan.
He placed men on the roads leading to the Carnesis mansion. All messengers were intercepted, and letters were forged, copying Annette’s handwriting to send fake letters. Her family never even knew she was ill.
Annette waited. It was all that she lived for, waiting for her family to come, so she could at least say goodbye before she died. Posted only on NovelUtopia.com
But even this simple wish was not granted. The next time she closed her eyes, she was not falling asleep, nor was she fainting. Marquise Annette Carnesis drew her last breath alone in her quiet bed.
Raphael felt her body grow cold.
He saw the color fade from her hand, gradually growing blue.
He gripped the stiff hand tighter.
Of course, the dead could not answer. He reached out to touch her cheek. Then he shook her. But no matter what he did, she would not wake up.
Slowly, he released her hand, and placed a soft kiss on her cold brow. He could not bring himself to say goodbye. That would be an admission that she was really dead.
Leaving the room, he went down to the drawing room, where the servants were gathered, waiting for news of their mistress’s death.
“We will have a funeral,” Raphael said harshly. “No one else will be permitted to attend. Not even royalty will be allowed to enter this house. If any of you disobeys this order, man or woman, I will cut your throat.”
Annette had clung to life, hoping to see them, and no one had ever come for her. They would be shameless to try to come now. He would not even let them say goodbye to her body.
Raphael sent no messages announcing her death. Not even to the Bavarias.
Her coffin was lowered into the ground while only her husband watched, and her snow-white headstone was set in place. When all the rites were completed, the servants and the priest left, under the light of the moon.
Only one man remained. Snow laid on his dark hair, and he wiped it away from the tombstone, lost in thought.
He didn’t understand why he could not leave. Night passed, and dawn approached.
There was something familiar in that light. Raphael frowned as he looked into the golden dawn, the same color as his wife’s hair. The pink sun, like her eyes.
Then he understood why he could not leave. An empty smile trembled on his lips, exhausted from his long vigil. Covering his face with one hand, he burst out laughing. And then he started to cry.
His cheeks were so cold, his tears froze before they could fall, and Raphael rubbed his face furiously with the back of his hand.
I loved her.
But he had realized his feelings too late. When he hugged his wife’s tombstone, it was with the knowledge that it was far too late for her to feel his love.