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The moment she saw his face, Damia knew. That she had heard it correctly.
‘He was talking to the Crown Prince… … about me.’
Akkard was from the south, so he had a sly snake-like snarky side. So, he never revealed his true intentions or inner feelings.
So this was the first time she’d ever heard him explicitly say what he thought of her.
‘She’s just a woman with a body to me.’
Something in her chest, that pretended to be firm at best, came crashing down and collapsed. Even without having to look at a mirror, she could feel the blood draining from her face.
Akkard’s evaluation of her was decidedly cruel. But what was even more horrifying was that those words were not uttered in self-talk, but in front of the Crown Prince.
Thanks to this, before Damia even had a chance to introduce herself for the first time to Prince Heinrich, she was simply reduced to ‘just a woman sleeping with Lord Akkard’.
Regardless of her will she was branded with a shameful label.
She pretended to be as calm as she could, but she couldn’t even make eye contact with Heinrich because of her incredible sense of humiliation. She was afraid that if she ever met his face, he would imagine her in Akkard’s bed.
As a result, the Crown Prince’s words could not be heard properly.
“… … That was pretty useful information. Thanks to the list that Lady Damia gave me, I was able to get important clues. I am grateful for that.”
“I’m sorry, Your Highness,”
Damia replied mechanically. Heinrich saw her fingertips on her knees tremble. Unfortunately, her pitiful tremor did not diminish as time went on, but only got worse.
Heinrich was very embarrassed.
He was about to ask Damia if she was alright, but he soon gave up. It was obvious the only answer he would get back is, ‘I’m sorry.’
In hindsight, this was Akkard’s fault. But Heinrich was also responsible for this situation.
In the first place, he stirred up Akkard trying to force an evaluation of Damia when he didn’t want to in the first place.
‘It would be better to end this audience quickly.’
That side would have it’s job cut out for him.
Heinrich, who made the decision, boldly omitted the introduction that he had been rambling on about and just spit out the main point.
“So Lady Damia. An item called ‘black perfume’ is on this list. Have you ever actually seen this in person?”
“… Yes? Ah, are you talking about perfume? Some… … .”
Damia asked blankly. Although she was vacantly listening to the Crown Prince, her head was paralyzed by a series of shocks.
If she had been another girl in the first place, she would have already cried or fainted. She was on the more patient side so she was able to pretend to be calm on the surface.
Heinrich, who had speculated as much, sighed silently.
‘It looks like you’ve been seriously hurt. Poor thing.’
Even to him, Akkard’s words were quite harsh. Thanks to this, Heinrich had to be embarrassed, self-conscious, uncomfortable and even careful around a woman of a much lower status than himself,
So, if he was in bad shape, how bad would the parties concerned be?
‘Why did Sir Akkard say such a thing?’
He murderously glared at Akkard, who had been silent for a while. However, his condition was also not good and he couldn’t register a thing, so it had no effect.
Because of his vicious remark, Akkard was white. So strained he was pallid. Judging by his expression alone, he looked more shocked than Damia.
He was such a tall and dominant man, but strangely, now he was just like a frightened little child. It was a rare sight to see from Akkard, who was always proud, arrogant and confident.
Seeing this, Heinrich seemed to have finally gotten the answer to the question he had asked earlier.
But Akkard was clueless. What kind of relationship is it when the body freezes to death? That’s why little boys can’t do it.
Tsk, Heinrich silently clicked his tongue in disapproval and turned to Damia. She was a beauty, even of the like that was solemnly seened in the capital. But unfortunately her complexion was pale and her countenance stunned. She was holding up well now, but he knew she was about to collapse.
It was impossible to keep prying for information from such a shocked woman.
There was nothing else he could do. As if acting in a play, Heinrich sighed once more and massaged his wrinkled forehead. And he grimaced and frowned.
“I’m sorry, but I have a terrible headache today. I guess I didn’t sleep well last night. I’m sorry that I asked you to enter the palace, but would it be alright if we cut today’s audience short?”
It was only due to Heinrich’s kindness that made it appear that it was his fault for ending their meeting early. Damia was surprised at an un-royal-like consideration.