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Immediately after returning from the imperial palace that day, Reina regrouped and went back to the drawing board and re-evaluated her full-frontal attack on Ethan.
“I’ve just been seducing Ethan at a vague pace these days. But if I get engaged to Lehman at this rate, I’m really gonna be doomed.”
Of course, after she read the original work, she was already fully aware of that fact.
But the death flag from this engagement was no longer just a ‘fear’.
The lab incident.
The strange, yet repeated disregard.
The badmouthing that his posse kept spouting.
And the words that Lehman directly spewed at Reina.
After looking at the bigger picture, it was very telling.
“If I get engaged to Lehman… It’s an even more definite death flag.”
In the original novel, Lehman didn’t exactly hate his fiancée. Nevertheless, he used his fiancée for his own gains, and this eventually led to her death.
“But right now, he doesn’t like me at all, so?”
She was being slow up until now, but she really needed to wake up.
“I need to stop it.”
Whether Ethan was good or not, right now, the first thing she needed to do was keep all viable options open.
And as soon as she made that decision, Reina heard some news.
“I heard that Luke Penfound’s fiancée died from the plague.”
“Milady, did you hear? Word says that the Stymist family’s Young Master also broke off his engagement! The fiancée said that she was just going to recuperate temporarily, but she disappeared overnight!”
“What’s going on? House Jehardt’s Young Master is also about to break off his engagement.”
The first news she heard was from Fran when he told her, then a series of news about other broken engagements involving the children of the nine households followed. Most of them were the sub male leads of the original novel, but at the moment, they weren’t all too interested in Lehman.
Inside the moving carriage that she was riding, Reina stared at the blue sky with such intensity, as though she could pierce it.
“What the hell do you want from me…”
She did not believe in any god.
But after she reincarnated, after she saw the system messages that had popped up in front of her, and after she was given the original novel to read… She couldn’t help but believe that there really might be a god out there.
The problem was this: she couldn’t understand what kind of plans God had in store for her.
“I don’t know what you want…”
God showed her the original novel as if to urge her not to get engaged to Lehman, but then when she tried to avoid him, she just kept on being forced into situations where she needed to meet him.
So she thought that maybe God was scolding her for messing up the original novel, but then! Another twist of events led to the other young lords of the nine households having their engagements—which seemed like they’d never be canceled before—getting broken left and right.
“Ha… Are you asking me to keep up with your pace?”
Then, the carriage came to a sudden halt.
As her body tilted forward because she lost her balance, Reina’s train of thought stopped right then.
“We shouldn’t have arrived yet.”
There was still a long way to go before she’d reach the palace gates.
“Why did we stop?”
She was about to grab the carriage door to check outside, but the door swung open before she could even open it herself.
“Oh my god!”
The person who appeared like a ghost was none other than Paul, the one and only parasite of House Chantra.
“Duh! You scared me!”
As she was startled, Reina pressed down on Paul’s chest as he was outside, catching a faint lychee scent on him. In turn, Paul pushed her right back into the carriage.
“As expected, House Chantra’s carriages are really something else.”
Unashamedly taking up a seat inside the carriage, Paul leaned halfway back and stretched his legs. Reina closed the carriage door and looked at him up and down.
“What exactly are you doing right now?”
“You’re going to the Imperial Palace, right? I’m just catching a ride.”
“Because your carriage is so comfortable to ride in.”
“Even though my family’s well off, your family’s much better off than we are. There’s no way House Chantra’s carriages are better than yours.”
In terms of power, House Bohr was just one step behind House Liam and House Carter.
“And I’m not comfortable with you here. Get out.”
“Really? Then I’ll make you feel comfortable.”
Springing up from his seat, Paul patted the seat next to him.
“What. What do you want now.”
Reina raised one brow and stared at Paul, who was trying to flip her words.
As if he couldn’t be bothered to explain, Paul took Reina’s hand and pulled her to the seat next to him. Then, he reached to the side and placed a hand on Reina’s shoulder, making a place for her to lean on.
“What, what. Are you crazy? Why are you doing something that’s making me get goosebumps?”
Wrenching herself away from the source of her rising chills, she pushed him away.
But Paul was also someone from the nine households, so he had quite the physique. Thanks to this, Reina had no choice but to be dragged helplessly by his touch, and this stabbed at her pride.
“C’mon, I’m especially lending you my shoulder here. So lean on me.”
Paul practically crooned, but this just made Reina glare at him.
“So don’t be angry about the trip to Cressen anymore.”
“…So there’s a pretext behind your kindness?”
No wonder he was being so nice without any prompt.
“Lending your shoulder isn’t gonna cut it.”
“Whyyy, don’t you know how difficult it is to lend a shoulder?”
“What’s so hard about it?”
“If your thick head’s on only one side, then that one shoulder’s eventually going to get so weighed down.”
“Then my body’s balance might collapse and could cause chronic shoulder pain!”
“…Prepare yourself to get poisoned. Soon, really.”
Even with those harsh words, this guy just smiled widely as though he’s got a loose screw in his head.
“You’re smiling? Are you seriously smiling right now?”
“I’m pretty when I smile though.”
“Do you want to get hit so hard that you won’t look pretty when you smile?”
“…No, ma’am. I don’t want that. I don’t think I’ll ever laugh again, Lady Reina.”
After he quickly tucked his tail, Reina snapped.
“If you answer my question well enough, I’ll drop the Cressen matter.”
“Ask away. I’ll tell you everything.”
“What’s Fran’s weakness?”
“No, not weakness. Tell me his ideal type.”
This was now Reina’s so-called ‘spare tire strategy’. She was thinking of randomly going through the guys who recently had their engagements broken.
“No way, are you going for Fran now?”
“Ah, well… Something like that. Just answer the question. What’s Fran’s ideal type?”
As Paul mulled over it for a while, he tilted his head to the side as he thought hard about it. Then, he suddenly hit his palm with a fist.
“Oh, there is? What is it? Tell me!”
“There is, but… It’s a bit vague…”
“What is it, come on. Anything’s okay, so just tell me.”
“Um… I mean… I think he likes stalkers.”
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