The novel, <The Light of Rusbella> was a story full of love but the middle of the story was a mess.
Because it became a harem with male characters as well as other handsome men serving as supporting characters in the novel. It was impossible for minors to read it. I think this was the reason behind its popularity. So much time had passed that I had already forgotten the reactions to the novel.
If the first half had focused on the male lead and the love between the two, in the second half, the focus shifted to Kaltanias. Rusbella, who had a prowess for magic, shared a relationship with half of the men in Kaltanias. But that’s only assuming that there were only ten men in Kaltanias*.
T/N: I think she means to say that only 10 men from Kaltanias appeared in the story and she had a rs with 5 of them.
In Kaltanias, some of the fish were handsome, some capable and some were madmen who were desperate for her.
Surprisingly, after pondering over big fish like them, she decided that in the end she ‘couldn’t forget the male lead!’. And then, she threw everything away. She was an astounding woman.
The Prince whom I was visiting now was one of the supporting characters.
Amor was the epitome of a weak and pure-hearted man. Rusbella’s affections were divided between the two*. Rather than having no experience in loving Rusbella, he was a man who had a painful experience with it.
*T/N: I think the author is referring to either castor/amor or amor/rusbella’s ml because she didn’t really make It clear.
His relationship with Rusbella was the most platonic. While I was reading the novel, he reminded me of a gentle yet very sickly patient.
I liked him because his weak yet pure-hearted self stood out from the rest of the men in Kaltanias. He was also one of the first to notice the fall of Kaltanias.
As such, his presence in the novel was important and his influence on the main leads was significant. But the amount of time he appeared in the story was surprisingly small.
He was the type to leave an impact only after leaving the room.
‘He probably died.’
Although I did not know how exactly he died in the novel but he probably did because of his illness since he had been sick the entire time.
The Head Maid stopped in front of the door engraved with scattered willow branches and grape leaves which were the symbols of Kaltanias. As I approached the door, cough cough cough (sfx). I was so tempted to go help the weak and delicate Prince.
I’ve made my decision. Alright, from now on, I had to take action.
The Head Maid knocked on the door. Then a voice that sounded both fragile yet refreshing answered. The old lady opened the door. The first thing that caught my eye was the curtains fluttering in the wind and the vivid green light passing through it.
Suaaaaa— (sfx for wind blowing)
I squinted my eyes as my hair fluttered.
The door to the balcony was wide open. After the wind had finished blowing, the scenery of the room became crystal clear. The first thing I saw was the curtain. After that, my eyes were filled with dizzying colours of dark and blue green. I thought it was the wallpaper, then I realised that they were plants.
My gaze shifted and I spotted a barefooted man.
“The weather today’s nice so I decided that I’ll eat on the balcony.”
Judging from what he looked like, I would think his age would be somewhere between a boy and a young man. As if he hasn’t gone through puberty yet, his high voice sounded as refreshing as the sight of a mountain’s forage. However, looking at his complexion, he was clearly sick. He was white and pale like the vampires in movies.
As if he could feel me observing him, he smiled.
I felt shockwaves course through my body like I had been struck by lightning*.
*T/N: she be trying to say the smile was suspicious and she’s being waryyy
As the Head Maid continued to look sternly at me, she placed the tray down. After opening the lid, she placed the cutlery down and retreated backwards before leaving the room. Just as I remembered the maids doing during my mealtimes. With my hands folded together neatly and my head bowed, I tried not to forget that we had just met.
This is crazy. Why did I think that the 4th Prince would leave a gentle impression? Because he was gentle to Rusbella? Because he was so obedient? Because of the nuance behind his words when he said that he would never forget Rusbella just before he died?
Prejudice is a scary thing. Just before I entered, I had thought that he would be a pure, child-like person who was willing to devote everything to love.
‘Oh my God.’
I knew the 4th Prince in the novel. 5 years down the road, he will be known as the man who fell in love with Rusbella and suffered from a desperate unrequited love.
He was definitely not the boy over there who was staring sharply at me.
Except for the male lead and the sub-male leads, the author’s descriptions of people’s appearances were quite bare. They only gave simple characteristics like the person’s hair and eye colour or whether or not they had been fully developed when Rusbella arrives.
As a result, I could only guess their appearances and conclude that a character was ‘handsome’ only from time to time.
That’s right. I was wrong. I had imagined you to be an innocent man.
Obviously, the colours were the same.
His hair was blue in the shade of a hazy sky. Under his long-arched eyebrows were his green irises. It was natural that a man who was quiet and had no presence would be characterised to have diluted colours. He sat up on the bed and looked as if he was welcoming Rusbella.
People had given him nicknames akin to ‘fragile man’, ‘a young man who acted like a big puppy’ or ‘a pure-hearted boy’ and I had been one of them.
“You’re staring at me quite intently as I eat.”
If the last falling leaf were to be a person, it’ll be the 4th Prince, said some poetic reader. I wanted to shout. That it’s all a lie. That they were all lying!
“… My apologies.”
The Prince I had been imagining flew away, far into the stratosphere. He grinned as soon as we met eyes again.
“You shouldn’t be doing things to be sorry for in the first place.”
That sure sounds like something the last leaf would say. Most readers would have expected Amor to be a cute barking puppy. Something that makes you think about how cute it is before forgetting about it soon after. But they were apparently wrong. It isn’t unpleasant to see but the ends of his eyes tilt upwards. If I had to pick, he looked more like a cat. A wild cat. He looked like a leopard or a lynx.
“If you know, lower your head.”
He was supposed to be a man who would send flowers to his loved ones for the sake of their happiness while suffering on the inside.
Instead of sending flowers to me, he seemed he would tie me tightly with them.
I glanced to my side, thinking ‘Let’s see what that bastard says I did wrong this time’ before raising my head and seeing him smile.
“What is it?”
Our gazes met by mistake, so, I quickly lowered my eyes.
Ah. His wrist that had been hidden under his sleeves looked very thin. He must really be sick.
Was this what they called a bolt out of the blue? Or an avalanche with just some frost*?
*T/N: It’s just a saying in Korean that has a similar meaning to a bolt out of the blue.
Whatever it is, I was just trying to describe how flustered I was to apply such over-the-top proverbs to my current situation.
“You. You’ve been staring at me intently for quite a while now.”
The Prince then started coughing in small bursts. It made me feel sudden sympathy for him as if I was looking at a wounded beast.
… Flowers die when they are frozen. He looked like a thorn tree turned human.
“… My Prince. Could this humble servant dare to say one thing?”
He seemed to be speaking calmly but his expression showed otherwise. He looked haughty as if I was being treacherous.
‘Well, looking at his face alone, he still looks like he was going to die.’
Trembling, I opened my eyes.
It was preposterous for a maid to speak to the Imperial Family first. Will I be able to safely return to my Palace? Seeing how the Head Maid was kicked out so coldly just a while ago, I wondered if he was going to do something much worse to me.
“Well, how could I, a mere probationary maid, accompany Your Highness during mealtimes?”
I was proud. I managed to ask why he kicked out the Head Maid and made me stay in just 15 minutes. Come to think of it, the Head Maid had mentioned that the probationary maids seemed to be sick in turns. And when she was being kicked out, she didn’t look ashamed at all.
Damn it, did she use me back?
“I was bored.”
I think I knew why she did that well. Ve—ry well.
“So, you should have been grateful instead of giving me your apologies a while earlier.”
“Yes? Oh, yes. My apologies. I-I-I was nervous…”
“Why are you so serious? It was a rookie mistake, right?”
The Prince smiled as he placed his chin in his palm.
He then pointed at me with his spoon at hand.
“It was a mistake that would happen only once.”
He smiled. He looked as beautiful as a fairy as he spoke as if he was reciting lines from the novel.
But his gaze was sharp and his noble eyes were clouded over.
“If you make such a mistake again, you’re an idiot.”
It means that his eyes will be on me throughout the meal. I felt as if I was being suffocated to death.
“Making such a mistake the third time will make you a moron.”
Son of a bitch, who said he would be a sweet guy? Come on.
Seriously, this was far beyond my wildest imaginations.
As I was walking here with the old lady, I had gone through some simulations of the situation I would be in when I meet the 4th Prince. They were all in vain.
There was nothing to him. He was just a handsome shell of a person.
Eventually, my brain cells declared a strike. Where is the puppy-like person from the novel? There was supposed to be one, sitting patiently like a puppy waiting for its owner. What am I supposed to do now?
I was bowing my head to the Prince who had begun his meal before a sudden thought rushed into my head.
‘If such a gentle and naïve man had been downgraded to this, how fucked up will the tyrant actually be?’
Let me just say it now.
The author is a bastard.
“Now that I think about it, this is the first time I’ve ever seen you.”
“This is my first day here.”
Originally, maids should not be allowed to answer questions from the Imperial Family until they were granted permission to do so. The rules of etiquette in the Empire were particularly strict with the interactions between those of the upper class and the lower class.
You could see that in Fleon who would talk down to my maids without any hesitation.
But if I followed such rules, I wouldn’t be able to get any information.
“Huh. So, you were assigned here today.”
I had decided. No matter what, I was going to leave this room and run away without ever looking back. My heart was set on leaving.
“You. You look young but you’re quite quick-witted. You can also remain calm.”
“I-I give my thanks.”
“The way you speak does not sound like a maid at all.”
After pausing for a while, he mumbled.
“You act rather cocky.”
I flinched. As his words rang true, my voice trembled as I spoke.
“… Is that so?”
“Yeah. Well, it’s not something unusual. Because inexperienced ones haven’t adapted to the way things are done around here so they stick to their way of speaking.”
He touched his lips slowly.
“But usually when I stared back at those ones, they would cry. Especially, those at your age. I wonder why?”
“… I-I wonder too.”
“They must have been scared. If not… were they worried that I might transfer the illness to them?”
Amor, laid his fork down and moved the plate of food away. The serving maid was supposed to come up to him and clear it but he reached out and restrained me.
“People are really scared of me.”
Amor tilted his head. His toned-out sky blue hair shifted accordingly. The boy was asking me. Was I afraid of him too? I thought about the children I taught when I used to tutor.
“Teacher, you are quite different from the others.”
There were no pure-hearted men, no one that exuded big puppy-like charms here. Only a twisted boy who would probably only get worse with puberty.
“The illness… is it contagious?”
The sound of me swallowing my saliva seemed to be quite loud. This moment was the most difficult for me to bear. I was sensitive. I wanted to explode!
However, the problem lies in the clothes I was wearing. I could be dragged away for swearing at the Imperial Family.
“Do you see this?”
“Ah… That place is…”
It felt like I was walking through a minefield that was also filled with claws, or walking on a ground that could explode at any time with my eyes closed.
“Be relieved. Fortunately, this disease is not contagious.”
Word after word, he pierced me coldly like a knife.