How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 73. Distrust (2)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Raphael’s expression turned frigidly cold at the mention of his mother, and Selgratis clicked his tongue at the instant rejection.
“You still hold a grudge against your mother?” King Selgratis asked, looking at him with disapproval.
“Do you really need to ask?” Raphael asked sarcastically. He knew the King would tolerate it even if he was a bit caustic, especially when his mother was mentioned. The King sighed at his son’s angry eyes.
“I know. If I had done something sooner, things might have been different. Your mother might not have felt like she had to do something so desperate. It is a great pity.”
His expression darkened, and Raphael softened. He couldn’t help it, whenever he saw that expression; in the end, they were the same blood. His eyes went to the King’s hair, which had been as black as his own, in years past. It was hard to remain angry when he could see the years wearing on his father.
“It is all in the past. Thanks to Your Majesty’s grace, I live well.”
It was a short reply, and a clear indication he did not want to talk about his mother any further. Selgratis decided to allow it.
“Is your marriage going well?”
“As it was arranged by Your Majesty, we will be sure to appear so,” Raphael replied carelessly. Selgratis’s eyes sharpened at the answer, eying his son curiously to see whether Raphael actually might be satisfied with his partner. But there was nothing to read in Raphael’s stoic face.
“You are two fundamentally different people, even if you are husband and wife,” the King said, after a moment’s consideration. “Don’t carelessly trust her, and don’t tell her too much. Lady Annette may seem harmless, but she is still a woman of the Bavaria family. Put your own family first. There is no telling what plans she might concoct, should she discover any weakness. Understand?”
Raphael said nothing.
In the past, he would have accepted those words without question, and engraved the warning on his heart. But suddenly he heard Annette’s voice in his memory, and the words she had spoken the other day seemed to have gotten there first.
Raphael, you are my family. So I want to…protect you.
It was a ridiculous thing to say. A woman who stood barely as high as his chest couldn’t protect him. Her slender wrists were barely sufficient for wielding tableware. But somehow his heart twinged when he remembered her voice. Raphael rose from his seat, looking away to hide the look in his eyes.
“I’ll be leaving. Good health to you, Your Majesty.”
Selgratis did not reply. Raphael left the audience chamber, conscious of the King watching him silently. The palace was elegant but it had always felt stifling to him. Raphael felt too acutely that he did not belong there. Perhaps it was the dirty blood in his veins.
Raphael headed for his carriage to return home. Annette had gone boating that day, and was probably already back at the mansion, waiting for him. He imagined how she would greet him, when he returned.
What is this?
Raphael’s face hardened as a man suddenly stepped into his path. There was only one other man in the palace aside from Selgratis who shared Raphael’s deep blue eyes. Raphael’s eyes glittered coldly at a handsome, silver-haired man, who looked as if he might have been formed from the breath of winter.
“We will talk for a moment, man to man,” the other man said defiantly, as the Crown Prince of Deltium stepped from the shadows. He looked unusually somber, with a weight to his presence that could only come from the experience of loss, jealousy, and possessiveness. Posted only on NovelUtopia
Raphael flashed a smile at the sight of those cruel eyes, always eager to wound him.
“I expected this,” he said. Raphael was never one to avoid a fight that someone else had started. And it didn’t matter what Ludwig said; it was just a barking from a dog that had already lost the fight. Raphael was already Annette’s husband.
Quietly, he followed Ludwig.