I nodded right away.
“Yes. More than anyone else, I want Your Highness out of here.”
“Don’t you want to leave the tower and become Queen?”
Doubting my intentions, his eyes narrowed.
Albert was good at saying things in a threatening way. I’m sure he was just sounding me out.
I wouldn’t even dare to be a contract queen. It wouldn’t do to dabble in something she wasn’t prepared for.
Furthermore, don’t you know how much a queen had to do? And what about assassination threats? Absolutely not. That’s not me. I already have my life planned out.
“No! Just give me enough money to play and eat to my heart’s content in this country, for the rest of my life.”
“As you can see, I put a clause about the skinship that you hate so much.”
I conveyed my intentions to him clearly, and Albert read the words that I wrote down on the contract.
His eyes were still narrowed with suspicion, then he muttered, but still spoke in a voice I could hear, “I can’t believe you’re the same person as before.”
…Because I really became a different person entirely. I tried to think of something else, because Albert might catch on.
Then, I told the truth with my expression hardened.
“The moment you kissed me, I realized what I should do with Your Highness.”
This was real.
“If you don’t believe it, then why don’t you think over the contract for a few days before you sign it? I’m confident.”
“…Confident, you say.”
Albert rested his chin on one hand.
“Wasn’t your original goal to have me by your side?” Albert asked in a languid voice.
I felt like I would be captivated just by his voice. I almost said ‘yes’ just now.
No. I have to stay calm. I took a moment before answering slowly.
“But then I’ll die.”
“You’re a great man, so I think you’ll be able to escape the tower one day, then I’ll be horribly killed the moment you leave.”
Ah. A new word that hadn’t been coined yet popped out. I changed my words.
“Instant death. Immediate.”
“…What the hell did you think while kissing me?”
…That you’d kill me, duh.
But instead of saying that, I started flattering him, hoping that I’d look as pitiful as possible.
“Don’t you think I’m not worthy of you?”
“Isn’t it right that your beauty can conquer the world?”
A soul that had mastered the ability of perfect flattery in the past life! This was the only thing I learned as a new employee!
I even winked as I delivered my sincerity to Albert.
He approached me, then raised his hand to stroke my cheek.
“Rosé, I’ve liked you from the very beginning.”
That must be something just to coax me. It must be.
I kept chanting this in my mind like a mantra just so I wouldn’t get carried away.
Otherwise, I really would fall for such a beautiful man.
“So I’d like to think over the contract more.”
I was quite relieved. He didn’t reject it outright. After all, he can’t easily trust someone who changed within half a day, so no wonder Albert didn’t believe me.
I had to act as though he could trust me.
Pouring my heart out with all my might, I decided to flatter and praise Albert as much as I could.
Jingle jangle mode, on!
I looked up at him with eyes full of determination, then nodded.
“Of course, Your Highness. Then, I’ll show it to you myself through my body.”
“Yes. My body.”
I continued solemnly.
“I will devote myself to working for you wholeheartedly.”
* * *
The first thing I decided to do for Albert was give him the bed.
There was only one bed in the room, which was by the wall, and it was a double-sized bed. It was the perfect size for one man and one woman to sleep together. This was clearly a collaborative effort by the impotent king and Rosé.
But I had no intention of sleeping in the same bed as Albert.
It was hard enough to keep staying in the same room, so I decided to delegate my own personal space.
The attic up the ladder was small but cozy.
It was fortunate that the original Rosé was a bit of a neat freak, so the attic was well organized. There was not a speck of dust anywhere.
Of course, there was no bed, but that’s fine since I’m used to sleeping on the floor.
I also bragged to Albert about this.
“I told you that I’d dedicate myself to Your Highness. Like this! I’ve prepared a space for you alone.”
“I never said I’d sign that contract.”
“This is the sincerity that I can show to you before the contract. You’re a prince. It’s only right that I do this.”
I gave Albert a sincere wink.
Albert smirked, as if he were on the verge of laughing. He looked exactly like a cat playing with a mouse in front of him.
…Should I at least be glad that I wouldn’t be eaten? How did it end up like this?
I’d have to be careful because I’m still being doubted for the contract.
I decided to change the topic and flatter him for his strengths. There’s no one in the world who doesn’t like compliments.
“Your Highness, you should be careful whenever you smile.”
“Your Highness is too handsome. Will you take responsibility if I die of a heart attack?”
Albert smiled anyway, as if to say he wouldn’t listen to me. But I persisted.
Flattery was the best way to butter someone up and to let them know I’m on his side.
I intended to familiarize Albert gradually with my actions with constant flattery in the future.
“It feels like my eyes are so blessed just by looking at Your Highness. When I see you, I feel like even Shim Bong-sa can open his eyes.”
“Who’s Shim Bong-sa?”
Albert’s eyes narrowed at my continued fawning. Then, he crossed his arms.
“You’re saying a lot of mysterious things all of a sudden, Rosé. Do you like my face that much?”
“Yes. Your Highness can conquer the world with just your face, as I’ve said before.”
Jingle jangle. This was the technique to survive the social world.
I praised his appearance because that was the easiest thing to praise. Furthermore, silly comments just pop out naturally in front of attractive people.
Albert’s swordplay was amazing, but I couldn’t see it now. He’s not always kind or friendly, so I should just stick to what I could see.
How nice would it have been if he was a kind man.
Albert was handsome, but he was certainly far from my ideal type—I just wanted to observe beautiful people from a distance.
There was nothing more stupid than having him as a type.
I laughed inwardly as I thought about it. This was such emotional labor gained from experience.
¹ The word used was 끔살 which takes the first syllables from ‘horribly’ and ‘killed.’ ↩
² A character’s name in a Korean folktale. Bong-sa means blind man. ↩
Comments for chapter "Chapter 3"
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