How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 86. Other Version (1)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
“It’s a little embarrassing to say, but I thought you were behind all this,” Annette explained. “You were the one that benefited most from the kidnapping, after all. But now…from your expression, I realize I was wrong.”
She spoke as frankly as she could, hoping that honesty would win Celestine’s understanding, and open her heart.
“I want to work with you to find the real criminal,” she went on. “I want to know who framed me for the crime, and left you with trauma that will never go away. But I need your help. Can you trust me?”
Anxiously, Annette waited for her answer. It was her best effort to persuade her, but Celestine was still looking at her suspiciously, as if she was searching for some sign in Annette’s face that she was lying. Annette couldn’t help wondering what she was seeing, and kept her eyes fixed on Celestine, trying to reach her.
After a long silence, Celestine finally spoke, her expression heavy.
“…when I was selected to be a candidate for Crown Princess, my parents were overjoyed,” she said. “Even though I was just the optional candidate, and you were supposed to be Crown Princess. They said it was an honor just to be considered with the famous Lady Annette Bavaria. As you probably know, my family has not…prospered.”
The Keers Marquisate had once been a very prosperous family, two hundred years ago. They owned a fairly large farm beside a very big river, so they never had to worry about droughts or irrigation. Over time, this had made them one of the wealthiest families, and they thought their prosperity would last forever.
But there was no human being that could avoid natural calamities, and when there was a terrible earthquake in their lands, they suffered a great deal of destruction and death. The disaster was so complete, they almost bankrupted their house, trying to restore everything. Posted only on NovelUtopia
But that was not the only misfortune. The earthquake had changed the shape of the earth itself, and changed the course of the river. Irrigation of the farm was far more difficult, and their crop yields had decreased by nearly half.
That had been the beginning of the downfall of the Keers family.
More than two hundred years later, they were nobles in name only. The Keers family had less prestige than the average earl.
Until Celestine Keers had been chosen as the first candidate for Crown Princess.
Celestine sighed deeply as she thought of her family, remembering the happy faces of her parents. Even Celestine herself had never dreamed she might actually become Crown Princess. It was a turn of events that had been impossible to predict.
“Though I’m in no position to say this, I have no affinity for the Crown Prince,” she went on. “I’m sure it’s the same for him. But that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in the position of Crown Princess. It is a great opportunity for me and for my family.”
Her gaze drifted down to the ring she wore on her left ring finger. It had a large diamond in the center and a band filled with emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. It must be an engagement ring given to her by the royal family. Celestine touched the diamond with her gloved fingers.
“But I would not do something so cowardly to become Crown Princess, much less stoop to such tricks. My family might be weak compared to Bavaria, but we still have pride. I will swear by the Keers name that I am only a victim. I did not plan my own kidnapping.”
Her voice rose with passion through this speech, her frustration evident. Annette was surprised by this turn in the conversation. She had thought Celestine had come to resolve her own suspicions as to whether Annette was guilty, but here she was insisting on her own innocence. Maybe she was insulted at Annette’s suggestion that she had planned her own kidnapping.
Celestine stared at Annette, her eyes waiting. Under the scrutiny of those dark green eyes, Annette answered softly.
“I see. I understand you.”
“…what do you mean, you understand me?”
“I mean I trust you. In fact, it seemed strange to me from the beginning. You didn’t seem like a person that used such dirty tactics.”
“What kind of person did you consider me?” Celestine asked at once, aggressive in her confusion.
A normal person might have answered sharply, but she was dealing with Annette, whose husband had significant anger management issues.
“You’re a proud woman,” Annette answered, smiling.