Albert took a huge breath. The anguish contained in that one sigh could be felt even by me.
“How can I trust that you’re not lying?”
And so, their negotiations had begun.
“If you look up the tomes with information about souls, you’ll be able to verify everything I said. But among anyone and everyone who has looked into the topic of souls or any related fields, I can say that there’s just a handful of people who researched as far as I did.”
“Then the separation of your soul and body must have happened even before you entered the tower.”
“Apparently, the more that black magic is used, the higher the chances it happens.”
So it seemed that Rosé already had her soul detached from her body over and over again before, but she did not give up on using black magic. As she insinuated this, Rosé looked rather proud of this accomplishment.
“Losing my life is not a matter of consequence… as long as I can get what I want.”
It was evident that Rosé longed for Albert, like a blind person who had never experienced light in her life. To her, he was the sun.
No longer hiding her intentions, her eyes displayed her blatant desire.
“Come now, Prince. Will you enter a contract with me?”
Albert’s eyes glinted. He looked emotionless, and yet the corners of his lips gradually rose.
It was the same fake smile that I saw when I first possessed Rosé’s body.
Unlike Rosé, whose mask had already slipped off, I felt strangely sorry as I saw the smile Albert had to force out as tensions were high.
“Will you give me time to think?”
Captivated, Rosé stared dazedly at Albert’s smile and nodded with satisfaction.
She seemed happy enough despite having been at the brunt of his cold shoulder not too long ago.
“A week will suffice, I believe?”
Albert nodded and answered, “Yes. Then, it’s time to return to the palace.”
He naturally walked past Rosé and picked up the bag that I brought with me today.
He didn’t want Rosé to so much as touch my bag.
Watching as his hand formed a tight fist as he held the strap of my bag, I was seized with an unknown emotion.
Though Albert didn’t see eye to eye with Blanc, he naturally beckoned the dragon cub to his side.
Blanc felt lost and was at a loss, but as he made brief eye contact with Rosé, he flinched and immediately went to Albert’s side.
“The uprising seemed to have ended well.”
“…Yes. I’ll decide where you will be staying when we get back.”
“Shouldn’t I already have a designated place?”
“She was moving from room to room.”
He naturally hid the fact that Rosé actually had a room in the palace, and it was where I used to stay.
“Then please prepare a room that’s as close as possible to yours, Prince.”
Rosé demanded with a smile. Albert nodded likewise with a smile, but it was forced.
“Don’t call me ‘Prince’ anymore.”
“Ah, right, you’re not just a prince anymore… I understand, Your Majesty.”
Rosé quickly adapted to a new term of address for Albert. For what it’s worth, I’m glad to see that he was maintaining proper distance with her even as he was complying with her demands.
In any case, nothing’s been solved yet, and Rosé was trying her best to snag Albert, but…
I had a good hunch that there’s nothing at all that Albert couldn’t solve.
Albert went down the steps first, then he paused at the door leading to the kitchen and the exit. Then, he murmured.
“Rosé, follow me.”
He mentioned Rosé’s name just now and it seemed like he was talking to her, but I could tell.
The name, which seemed to roll off his tongue, was uttered with a tone that felt like the gentle, warm breeze of springtime that would tickle my ears.
He was speaking to me.
Even though I knew he wouldn’t hear me, I answered loudly.
All the while hoping that his worries would soon be relieved.
* * *
Albert looked like he was being gentle with Rosé, however he had drawn a clear line between them.
He listened to the stories that Rosé was telling him on their way back to the palace, answering insincerely but never asking questions to spur her on. The only contact between them that he allowed was only with their hands.
And it seemed like Rosé was satisfied with this for now, but there’s no telling just when her disposition would change.
Greed always had the power to erode people’s hearts.
Just as she demanded, Albert gave Rosé the room that’s closest to his at the palace where he and I lived together in.
“Then, be sure to rest well today,” Albert said.
This palace was where the king was meant to stay, so it’s no wonder that the rooms were magnificently adorned. Rosé was promptly in awe of her surroundings, and the corners of her lips tugged up right then.
Her hand, now, was fiddling with Albert’s wrist.
“You don’t quite prefer only such abrupt touch, do you,” Albert said. “I was under the impression that you don’t want me to treat you as I have before.”
Rosé couldn’t see Albert’s expression right now because she was still gawking at the room. But I could see.
“I know that you must have endured very well today. Thank you for that. I will also think more positively about our contract,” he continued.
He whispered such sweet words into Rosé’s ear, but then his expression was as emotionless as it possibly could—perhaps lifeless.
“So, if you would. Please let go.”
At Albert’s smoldering tone, Rosé eventually nodded. As she raised her head, the face she showed was stained with glee.
And, as if to express her true feelings, her entire body was flushed red.
“Get some rest,” Albert crooned softly.
Then, he closed the door behind him.
Now that he had parted with Rosé, he headed towards his chambers with Blanc. He didn’t stop at his office, nor his study. He’s going straight to his bedroom, but, uhh…?
I’m following after him somehow? I don’t understand why, maybe it’s a physiological phenomenon? But now Albert’s on his way to the bathroom!
Absolutely embarrassed, I tried to turn my head—but then I saw that Albert didn’t even shut the door.
No, wait, could you forget to do something like that?!
Comments for chapter "Chapter 173"
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