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“… … What are you thinking about?”
At the question that bursted out of him like a sneeze, even Akkard, himself, was embarrassed and perplexed.
But he couldn’t tolerate not talking to her. Her profile with her eyes closed looked strangely sad.
Upon hearing an unexpected question, Damia raised her eyelids and looked at him. She was now thinking of her father back home.
But she didn’t want to talk about her family in front of the man she disdained. So she threw out a reasonable random sentiment.
“I was wondering what the Crown Prince is like.”
She hadn’t expected that Heinrich would ask to see her. She didn’t know why, but he seemed to have a favorable impression of her. Perhaps it was because she helped his subordinate, Akkard.
“No need to be nervous. Because Heinrich is far from authoritative.”
“… … I see.”
To know what Heinrich was like, she had see him personally.
Damia sat down and quietly smoothed out the folds of her dress. In the midst of this, the carriage rolled smoothly and finally arrived at the royal palace.
“Welcome to the Palace of Pelmonium, Damia.”
Akkard, who got off first, smiled and extended his hand to her. Standing against the backdrop of the golden palace, he looked just like a prince from a fairy tale.
This was where he belonged. His self-confidence shed a halo, it was as if he was returning to his rightful place. Remarkably, it made his outstanding appearance shine even more.
… … Why? Damia felt that his eyes were burning for some reason. This place was too flashy for her, her eyes were accustomed to a gentler northern sunlight.
Akkard, who knew nothing of her thoughts, led her confidently. Each time the knights in silver armor and blue cloaks saw him, they raised a respectful salute.
“You’re back, Commander!”
“We were waiting for you, sir.”
Thanks to his escort, Damia was treated warmly, greeted with the same respect as a princess. The knights, who were clearly from the central aristocracy, peered and gawked at the new beauty with admiration.
Akkard didn’t talk to them because she was by his side, but the glances behind them were enough.
“This is the way to the Crown Prince’s audience room, Damia.”
She was on the way to meet the Crown Prince while being escorted by a dashing knight commander. It was like a fairy tale scene that any woman would dream of.
Guided by that hand, Damia glanced up at him as he walked. His face, reflecting in the light of the splendid court chandelier, was truly beautiful enough to make his eyes exuberant.
So Damia understood that, indeed, and ironically, this was all a fleeting fantasy.
The more beautiful a dream, the briefer it would last— destined to be broken soon. The higher elation she would feel, the greater the fall she would receive later.
‘Like when a torn, soiled handkerchief was thrown at your face.’
Damia’s steps gradually slowed down. Akkard, who was holding her hand, also noticed this.
“What’s wrong? Does your leg hurt?”
“No, just… … I must be a little tired.”
“Are you very tired? You don’t look good.”
Akkard looked into her face, his white eyelashes curling and gave a dizzying smile. And he pleaded with her in a sweet, low voice, coaxing her.
“Still, we arrived at the royal palace after a long time and a lot of effort. Smile a little more, hmm?”
It wasn’t that difficult to meet his arbitrary selfish needs. So Damia consciously raised the ends of her lips gently, as she had often done lately.
—No, she was going to do that.
“… … .”
But why? She strangely couldn’t do it.
Suddenly, all these scenes before her eyes were unfamiliar and bleak. The palace was very beautiful, but it wasn’t a place where she belonged.
And Akkard, who stood by her side, was extraordinarily attractive and affectionate. At least for today. But behind her back wasn’t he the same person who trampled on her handkerchief she had painstakingly made, and thrown it away? He was only trash with a handsome face.
The realities that she had already known, and that she had thought were nothing, suddenly felt painfully unbearable.
She didn’t want to be weak in front of pretty trash. Damia tried to smile somehow before he thought it strange. However, the corners of his mouth she was trying to force into a curve kept trembling, creating a miserable expression.
Akkard stopped walking when he saw her unusual countenance. And she asked, genuinely perplexed.
“Are you in pain? Or are you just tired?”
Trying to assess if Damia was alright, Akkard’s eyes quickly scanned her face. He didn’t know why but the always strong and calm Damia looked like her composure was about to crumble.
If he had been like the usual Akkard, he would have probably been delighted. The more a woman’s vigilance broke down, the easier it was to dig into the cracks and get what he wanted.
But not now. The moment Damia looked like she was about to collapse, his sore, aching heart was pounding.
“Don’t do that, tell me what the problem is, Damia. Please.”
Akkard didn’t even realize that he was asking with a plea. His nerves were all focused on the anxious woman in front of him.
‘Can I tell him the truth?’
Conflicted, Damia struggled with keeping her mouth shut. There was no way that she could, but his voice repeatedly begging was strangely mournful and sweet.
That’s why she felt like she was about to cry. This was the reason her heart could remain so cold and shut off from Akkard, it seemed that this bitter wedge was difficult to bear.
For some reason she thought she could ask now: Why did he throw away the handkerchief she had given him?
2 thoughts on “PCP – 143”
AAAAAHHH !! Confesssss!!
I think the prince will appear and make her asking stop. I love this story ‘coz it always leaves me with so much anticipation for the next chapters!
Thanks so much for the update! 💜