Episode 12: A Twisted Constitution (3)
The large hand that had impressed me yesterday gripped the chin and the nobility registry. It seemed like he just casually grabbed it, but either there was a significant difference in our strength or the book didn’t even budge.
‘What is this? Can choices like this not happen? Even if I choose?’
I blinked in confusion. Percy looked down at me with a face devoid of amusement and asked, “What are you curious about?”
What am I curious about? Well, for starters, I’m curious if you’re in your right mind.
If my lips could move, that’s what I would have said. But I couldn’t speak. To make matters worse, the system seemed to have gone silent again, and no choices appeared.
‘It looks like even the system is flustered.’
No, the system should be the only one getting flustered! Don’t drag me into your confusion.
After a moment of silence, I realized that Percy was reading my expression.
‘Right. Let’s try to communicate with gestures.’
For now, please step back; that’s the message I wanted to convey. With that intention, I blinked my eyes twice.
Honestly, I didn’t expect much, but Percy seemed to have understood my eye gesture and took a step back.
‘Oh? This works?’”
I was surprised and my lips formed a round shape. Percy spoke in a stiff tone, “I still don’t have romantic feelings for you, Your Highness. Please refrain from making things awkward.”
This guy pretended to be perfectly fine for a moment and then came in without even turning on the lights.
‘What on earth did he interpret my message as?”’
I asked in bewilderment, ruffling my hair.
“Have you gone crazy? Are you insane?”
“It seems like they all mean the same thing.”
How could you not know that!
I was so flustered that I blurted out in a loud voice, ‘Have you gone crazy? Are you insane?’
“Isn’t it all the same thing?”
Because I didn’t know that!
I realized that I could speak now that I had calmed down a bit.
‘Now I can speak!’
While the system was down, this was my chance. I grabbed Percy’s clothing.
‘Indeed, this man is not normal. There’s no doubt about it.’
But he was still the only way for me to escape from the original work.
I didn’t know when I would have the chance to say what I wanted to him. I hurriedly spoke, “I’m okay with marrying you! As long as you agree to a few conditions.”
The Emperor, who superimposed the dead woman onto his child, was dreadful. The crown prince, who vented his anger on his younger sister because of that Emperor, was also dreadful. Even if it wasn’t just a dead end, it seemed like I had to escape from this insane place.
“Please protect me from danger. And I don’t know why you want to marry me, but once your purpose is achieved, we can part ways safely….”
It was right at that moment. My words were abruptly cut off.
※ System has been restored to normal.
I’ll gather my thoughts in just a bit!
‘I haven’t finished saying what I wanted to say!’
Just as I was about to request a contract marriage, my mouth was shut at the perfect timing. It was the moment when I, who suddenly couldn’t speak, glared at the empty air with a disgruntled expression.
When I raised my head, I naturally met the crimson eyes of Percy, who was standing in front of me. His gaze sparkled.
“At some point, you speak so naturally….”
Percy murmured with a strange voice, tilting his head.
“What is it that you hesitate about again?”
This was a real dilemma.
‘How does he know?’
I meant the times when I could speak as I wanted and the times when I had to choose a response.
‘Do you, by any chance, know something?’
I wanted to ask like that, but once again, my lips were sealed, and I was given only two choices:
▶ Stop talking nonsense.
▶ You disgusting hypocrite!
Among these landmine-like choices, which one should I choose to hear the answer I wanted?
‘Let’s start with the first one.’
I carefully chose the option.
‘Oh no, I messed up!’
In the moment of choosing, I ended up hesitating and picked the second one. A sharp voice, so piercing that it felt like it echoed in my ears, burst out from my lips.
“You disgusting hypocrite!”
Hypocrite? Our Sienna is quite adept at using refined curses.
‘Thanks to you, my lifeline has been chewed to shreds in just two days.’
After sharply exclaiming, he chuckled. It might make him look like a crazy woman, but I just smiled. I couldn’t help but smile.
‘How about changing your perspective? Instead of trying to avoid death, try to find a slightly more comfortable way to die.’
It was at this point that my thoughts took a strange turn. Just when I thought Percy would get angry right away, a smile crept onto the corner of his lips, and he unexpectedly said:
“You’re quite clever.”
Huh? Clever? He was just insulting me as a hypocrite, and now he’s praising me?
‘Is this guy really not dangerous?’
Even among lunatics, there are different types. This lunatic seemed like a harmful one. Driven by instinctive revulsion, I bit my lip.
Percy reached across my shoulder and grasped the table. His broad chest cast a dark shadow over my face.
“I’ve known about all the violence you’ve suffered, Princess, and yet I haven’t interfered. So, I can understand why you might accuse me of being a disgusting hypocrite.”
His words were strange. It felt like he was interpreting my words, which were pouring out without context, in his own logical way. It was as if meaningless ramblings suddenly gained meaning through interpretation, like they became test questions.
Percy held my hand again, kissed the back of it gracefully, and said:
“You may criticize me as much as you like. Please marry me.”
Looking at his politeness, a glimmer of hope returned to my heart.
‘But at least he has a conscience.’
While so many people in this palace watched Sienna’s misery without realizing that it was wrong, he, at the very least, seemed to be aware and not just idly standing by.
‘Maybe he’s not such a strange person after all.’
However, his following words froze even the slight wavering in my heart.
Percy, with his crimson eyes glittering, whispered:
“As long as you find me interesting, I will keep my promise, no matter what you say. From me and from the danger you mentioned.”
…In the end, it meant he was observing me in a different way.
‘Is this even worse?’
His lazy gaze lingered over my stiffened face. His crimson pupils were filled with nothing but intense curiosity.
“You’re fascinating. No one has ever captured my attention like you have.”
As he stared intently at my face, his expression remained impassive, except for a slight curl of his lips. It was like the grin of a hungry wolf.
“Just observing you is entertaining. It seems others didn’t pique my interest because they were boring.”
I couldn’t respond to his words. All I could think was, ‘Scary!’
Why are there so many strange people here? Is the palace a minefield?
While I trembled, Percy chuckled and added:
“I won’t behave like your father or your brothers, so rest assured.”
I had forgotten. He was even the kind of lunatic who could read my thoughts.
‘It’s as if he can hear my inner thoughts.’
Each word he spoke was so precise that I couldn’t help but suspect he possessed some kind of supernatural insight.
With a pale face, I clenched my fist, feeling my bones grind against the dry skin. Above my head, a single choice appeared. There was no need to choose; there was only one option.
“So, what is it that you desire from me?”
It was as if even the system wanted to ask him a question.
What is he thinking? When I was listening intently to his words, Percy responded in a nonchalant tone, as if he couldn’t understand.
“Let’s have a meal first. Your arm seems about to break.”
Yesterday was certainly a peculiar day, but today was even more unusual.
Percy, who suggested I eat, nonchalantly opened the door and summoned the maids who had entered secretly.
“Prepare Princess’s meal.”
The maids were startled but obediently lowered their heads and scattered. Watching their reaction, I pursed my lips. Come to think of it, what did I eat yesterday? I couldn’t remember at all.
‘The maids didn’t even ask if I wanted breakfast.’
Was Sienna naturally a light eater, or did she deliberately avoid mentioning meals to make her seem less suited for the throne?
‘It doesn’t seem like the villainess maintains a healthy eating habit by having breakfast regularly.’
At most, it felt like she would have a small piece of bread and a strong espresso.
‘But thanks to this man, I can finally have a proper meal. I should be thankful for that.’
Thinking this, I got up from my seat and briefly hesitated because of my attire.
‘Is this outfit too comfortable for a meal?’
I had casually left the clothes that the Emperor had dressed me in wherever I wanted. After that, I had been tossing and turning in my sleepwear.
‘Ah, so that’s why he said my arm was about to break.’
I was exposing my shoulders and arms. It didn’t bother me too much since I hadn’t adapted yet, and it felt more like Sienna’s body than my own.
‘But if I sit down to eat like this, it might attract attention.’
As I pondered, a thick shawl fell onto my shoulders. Once again, it was Percy.
“I won’t be staying long, so you can dress casually.”
I was taken aback by his unexpected consideration. Percy turned away without meeting my gaze, and his upright posture made his face look as cold as ice.
‘Still, he’s the kindest person I’ve met, even though he’s neither my fiancé nor my family.’
I chuckled softly at the strange turn of events.
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