How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 72. Distrust (1)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Meanwhile, Raphael had been having an unpleasant time at the palace.
In silence, he studied the man before him. He could clearly see the wrinkles around his eyes beneath gray eyebrows, but those eyes were the same blue as his own. Raphael couldn’t help wondering if this was what he would look like in thirty years.
“…I believe in you, Raphael. You have what it takes to lead our kingdom into the future. It seems like only yesterday that you were a child, but you have grown into a great man. I have never regretted my decision to take you in, my son.”
In case I should forget all the favors you have given me, Raphael thought cynically. Superficially, it might have seemed like a genuine compliment, but it was just another way for Selgratis to remind him of the debt he owed. The loyalty that Raphael owed to the kingdom, which had given him such a privileged upbringing despite his illegitimate birth.
Every time he heard words like this, the frustration made his stomach churn. Selgratis had at least two or three other illegitimate children; probably more. But most of them would never have a noble title. They would live hidden in shadows, given a pittance to survive.
If Raphael had not showed so much promise with the sword so young, he would have met the same fate.
If I were not useful, he would have abandoned me, too.
Thinking of the squalor of his childhood, Raphael knew that Selgratis had done him no favors. He had merely seen Raphael’s talent and made an investment.
And after everything he had done to suppress the Letan rebellion, Raphael considered that debt paid. He didn’t like the King acting as if a favor was still owed when Raphael hadn’t slept through a single night since the bloody end of the war.
He was grateful to his father. After he had ascertained the extent of Raphael’s talent, he had been unstinting in his support. When he invested, he invested seriously. Selgratis had raised Raphael high enough that he could deal decisively with the other nobles, who despised him for his birth.
And Raphael was especially grateful for his marriage to Annette. Not just a legitimate daughter, but the daughter of Bavaria, the noblest lineage in Deltium aside from the royal family, a woman who might have been Queen. Without his father’s support, Raphael could never have married someone like her.
That is something to be thankful for.
He couldn’t help picturing her beautiful face. In the beginning, he would sooner have died than marry her. What fools people could be. But Raphael would still have argued that he had good reasons for his resistance. Duke Bavaria had objected louder than anyone else when Raphael was given his title. He had never missed an opportunity to insult him, and even after Raphael became a Marquis, he continued to ignore both him and his title. At social events they both attended, he would immediately rise from his seat when Raphael appeared, saying he would not sit with an illegitimate nobleman.
Of course, Raphael had been so enraged at these humiliations, his vision went red.
And then suddenly he was to marry that man’s daughter!
He had been sure she would be just like her father, and it would be hell to live under the same roof. But Selgratis had admonished him to go through with the marriage.
“You stubborn fool!” The King had exclaimed. “A Marquis title is not enough. You must take this path for your family to prosper. Would you really refuse such an excellent match because of your stupid pride?!”
Though Selgratis did not know Raphael well, he had been very generous. He wasn’t sure if the King was just feigning his concern, but the aristocrats of Deltium at least believed that his favor for Raphael was genuine.
The marriage to Annette was one area where Selgratis had pressed him furiously. He had even gone so far as to threaten to revoke his title, if he did not marry her. Posted only on NovelUtopia
It was the first time that Selgratis had shown such resolve, and investment or not, Raphael had received a great deal from his father. He could not object. In the end, he had accepted.
It was a forced marriage in every way.
But I never would have expected that that woman would…
Raphael jerked away mid-thought. What could he be thinking? It was impossible. Automatically, he tried to think of something else, something that did not threaten to shatter everything he believed.
Selgratis, nineteenth King of Deltium, laid his hand on Raphael’s arm with no idea what was in his son’s mind. Raphael frowned slightly; he did not like physical contact with anyone, but he did not resist. Not because Selgratis was his king. But because he was the only family Raphael had.
“Your mother would have been proud of you,” Selgratis said. “She had great expectations for you. She would thank you for becoming a great man.”