Chapter 19 – The Revelation of Truth
Ever since she said she just couldn’t give away the Diamond of the Abyss, he already drafted out a contract. He looked at her firm face then pulled out the paper.
The content was simple; she will give the Diamond of the Abyss to him, then he would take her to the Nakran Empire safely. This was the crux of the contract, no more no less, not even details.
A contract with only two lines. It was a contract that was perfect for Lawrence’s dislike of hustle and bustle. Alice, who was reading her contract, asked him.
“I have a question for you.”
“How are you going to take me?”
“There are two ways.”
“First, I become a duke who fell in love at first sight and ran away with you.”
“Second, you are an immature lady who fell in love with me and followed foolishly. Which do you prefer?”
“What nonsense are you spouting?!”
As soon as Lawrence finished speaking, Alice shouted.
“Neither of them is good.”
“Escaping through love is classic, but it does its miracles.”
He was also anxious about taking an unmarried woman to his Empire, the Nakran Empire. But he couldn’t find better way than that one to take her successfully so he could only ignore her protests at the moment.
He didn’t care about reputation since in the Nakran Empire, he was the best groom there was yet he doesn’t take an interest in marriage. There was no one in his sight and he also got tired of people trying to take the ducal from him.
It was proof that he cared for Alice deeply enough to give her a seat next to him. Alice doesn’t know that.
‘Maybe this thing was almost certain.’
A necklace could be seen between Alice’s thin neck and collar.
‘All I have to do is take that out and check the pendant.’
One of his men had already searched her room for a necklace representing the imperial family. They checked all of her jewelry boxes but the item he was searching for was not there. He couldn’t tell his men to search another lady’s room because he was already tired of the hindrance.
Looking at her, he was certain. At the last banquet, she was wearing the same necklace, but it was not uncovered so it doesn’t show how pretty or precious it was, even though she wear it every day.
‘There’s a story just by looking at it.’
After her thoughts, Lawrence hurried her Alice.
“Sign the contract.”
“Why am I going to run away because of love!”
“Then was there any other way? Is the daughter of a marquis powerful enough to follow the Dukes of other empires?”
Alice closed her mouth at Lawrence’s question. Watching her chew her lips, Lawrence did not hide his disapproval.
‘Was he saying that I was not good?’
Even after that, he was the most popular man in the Empire. A woman who wanted to stand by him lined up, and that kind of reaction. Alice’s lips, which she thought would not come off, slowly opened.
“Then what will happen to me when I arrive in the Nakran Empire?”
“I will help you until you settle down in the capital of the empire. After that, let’s go our separate ways.”
‘Of course, if you were the princess, things would be different.’
Lawrence whispered deftly, hiding his true feelings. Relieved by his words, Alice took a deep breath and took up the quill in front of her to write her name. The neatly written name shone through.
“The Magic Parchment.”
Lawrence replied with a shrug of his shoulders. Upon receiving the contract, he rose from his seat and held out his hand to her. Disguised as a formal post-contract handshake, he pulled her arm hard as Alice stood up and reached out to take her hand.
Alice, who lost her balance, nearly fell, and propped her arm on the table. Watching her staggering movements, Lawrence didn’t miss the string of her necklace protruding out of her dress and pulled the necklace pretending to support her.
“Ah, excuse me.”
There was a clicking sound as her necklace slipped out. Lawrence couldn’t take his eyes off the necklace studded with red jewels. It was a crest symbolizing the royal family of the ancient Nakran Empire, which was now handed down only to the imperial family.
Now, the crest symbolizing Nakran was much more complex and sophisticated than the previous crest. It was the will of the former emperor who thought that was the way to straighten up the authority of the imperial family. People slowly lost the original symbol of the Nakran Empire, and only a few remember it.
‘It was the same as the one the Crown prince showed me.’
He couldn’t have noticed if it wasn’t for the picture of the necklace the Crown Prince showed him. No, the final confirmation remains. Against the red gem of the exposed necklace, Lawrence clinked the gem of the ring on his fourth finger. It was so fleeting that Alice didn’t realize what he’d done.
A brighter light arose than the light from the parchment earlier. It was red. Alice stared down at her necklace, and Lawrence fixes his eyes on it with a darkened gaze.
‘She was the princess?’
Lawrence’s hand, which was supporting the bewildered Alice, stopped. Was she really a princess? She had an intuition, but it was as expected. When he had confirmed that she was the princess, Lawrence became more distraught.
Unable to control his turbulent thoughts, Lawrence simply watched. Rather than paying attention to his unmoving body, he could barely pay attention to Alice, who was staring at the necklace strangely. While he was genuinely puzzled.
“How did this happen?”
Alice’s self-talk was overheard by Lawrence. Alice, who did not hide her embarrassment, held her necklace and did not know what to do. Fortunately, she seemed to have completely forgotten why the necklace came out of her clothes in the first place because she was not paying attention to the necklace.
The red light gradually disappeared, and Alice’s confused expression returned back to normal. Lawrence regained his senses and was now sure.
It was only then that Alice came to her senses when she answered the self-talk he had unknowingly spit out. Lawrence looked at Alice with an incomprehensible expression. Looking at it this way, she seemed to resemble the Crown Prince a little bit.
‘Her red eyes and black hair. And even the necklace with a pattern that symbolizes the imperial family.’
She was the adopted daughter of the Marquess of Hamilton, which was perfect. All other options had already been eliminated.
‘The problem is, how did she become the adopted daughter of the Marquess of Hamilton…’
The princess of the Nakran Empire was kidnapped as a child. There was no way to know her life or death, and as a result, Empress, who suffered from her illness, set off on a path of no return. After her death, a new empress entered her palace, and from then on, his position as Crown Prince gradually diminished.
“Oh, give it to me.”
Lawrence received the papers Alice had finished. Lawrence’s goal now was to take Alice and escape from the Erha Empire as quickly as possible. The Diamond of the Abyss was out of his interest now. In the first place, he brought the national treasure of Nakran to move a little more comfortably in this empire, but there was no need to give it to him now.
It was a change of pace, but Lawrence didn’t care. The Diamond of the Abyss was too precious. It was too precious to give away to a neighboring nation, a nation with which he was not on good terms.
‘I guess the princess just needs to hold it.’
Now that it was clear that Alice was the princess of the Nakran Empire, she was better off with the diamonds.
Putting her necklace back into her clothes, Alice handed him her pouch. Lawrence, who had been staring down at the bag without accepting it, tapped it with his hand.
At his gesture, the pouch slid back toward Alice. Lawrence dropped the pouch in front of Alice and opened his mouth.
“Take it and give it to me when we arrive in the Nakran Empire.”
“Oh, wasn’t this a gift?”
“It was a gift, but not anymore.”
Every time he said it was important, he heard a mumbling voice saying that he would see all the strange people, but Lawrence was genuinely happy. Regardless of his heart, his mission here was accomplished. The Princess wanted to go to Nakran Empire on her own accord.
Finding the princess was also a problem, but what followed was more of a problem. The spies who are watching him revealed her true identity and take her to her Nakran empire. There were people from the Erha Empire watching over him, so the truth could come out someday and things could go wrong.
It was a conclusion I really liked. A woman, who accidentally entangled with him, was the princess. Now all he had to do was coax her into the empire, and even that was very easy. Lawrence laughed wholeheartedly at the fact that it was so easy that he wondered if it was really that easy.
Alice, who was watching his smiling face with a tired face, vigorously shook her head from side to side. She asked in a low voice as she lightly slapped her cheeks with her palms as if trying to come to her senses.
“Then what can I do now?”
“We have to start a rumor.”
“A rumor about you being in a relationship with me.”
Hearing Lawrence’s words, Alice’s ears turned red. It was because Lawrence’s eyes curled up when he said those words, creating a picturesque smile.
(TN: What I love in this novel was that it is fast paced, giving us fresh and new things every other chapter it unfolds! I am so excited now.)