Chapter 26 – I’m On My Way To See You (1)
I became instantly suspicious.
The maid possibly couldn’t know about letters. Furthermore, my letter friend and I were still communicating with each other. Why would she tell such a fragile lie when she could so easily be caught? Did Rashta have anything to do with this?
‘Did Viscountess Verdi tell Rashta about the letters?’
Perhaps Laura was thinking the same thing, and she gave me an odd look. I shook my head at her and smiled. If the maid was caught lying, she would be responsible for it.
I didn’t have to worry about it.
Paul McKenna was leader of the Order of the Dragon—a group of knights personally led by Prince Heinley—as well as Heinley’s personal assistant.
Though not listed on the family tree, McKenna was Prince Heinley’s bastard cousin, and also served as a close aide. He excelled in literature and martial arts, and the more likely it seemed that Prince Heinley would succeed the throne, the more attention McKenna received as well. Everyone praised him for being a supportive knight to the free and windy prince. But that was only the story of strangers. McKenna himself viewed himself not only as the prince’s support, but as his most powerful chess piece.
“Do you know what everyone is talking about?”
It was the same routine again. McKenna just couldn’t understand what was inside Prince Heinley’s head.
“Why? What are they talking about?”
Prince Heinley offered him a smile, and a muscle tensed on McKenna’s forehead. He hated that sly smile.
“The rumor that the prince of a nation had been searching for a palace maid. It’s a romantic story. Everyone is curious about it, and when I pass them by that’s all they’re talking about.”
“This is no time to smile. What if in a few days it spreads throughout the capital?”
“Then leave me alone for a few days.”
Prince Heinley looked on nonchalantly, and McKenna sighed.
“Why are you allowing this deception go on? You know the maid didn’t write those letters.”
A slight crease formed between the Prince’s eyebrows.
“How did you know that again? “
“Do you think I only see you once every few years, Your Highness? Just by looking at your expression I can tell you’re pretending. Your whole face is absolutely covered in pain, so of course she isn’t the one.”
“By chance, have you fallen in love with her and you’re willingly letting yourself be deceived?”
Thinking as if he understood the case, McKenna took one step back. However, the prince’s face turned like stone, and McKenna realized that his assumptions were false.
“Then why on earth are you letting it happen? You have to tell me what you’re thinking so I can prepare for what’s going on.”
Tears of frustration formed on McKenna’s eyes. Even if Prince Heinley did this without intention, the results had always been the same. In most cases, it was McKenna that had to clean up the Prince’s mess, whether the outcome was good or bad. McKenna at least wanted a forewarning.
“I want to make a happy dream.”
“…That you’re in love?”
“No, not like that, McKenna.”
“But why a happy dream? Do you have nightmares?”
“It’s safer to wake up from a nightmare. Reality is more comfortable.”
“But what if you wake up from a happy dream?”
“It feels like a futile death.”
Prince Heinley grinned, pretending to shoot a gun with his fingers.
“Exactly. I warned the maid clearly. If she tells a lie, I will become so angry that I won’t know what I’d do.”
“So you will make her happy then abandon her?”
Prince Heinley’s smile widened even more.
“You have a bad personality, you know?”
McKenna clicked his tongue.
“Wouldn’t it be better to punish her for deceiving the royal family?”
It would be simpler, and he couldn’t see why Prince Heinley would go through the trouble of this trick.
“No. I believe that wounds of the heart are deeper than wounds of the body.”
” …In extreme cases, you can jail her or flog her.”
“Of course not, McKenna. That would make me look bad. ”
Prince Heinley then softly criticized him for being a half-wit, and McKenna clenched his jaw.
“Why would I break the impression of a playful and womanizing prince because of a liar?”
“Yes, Your Highness. You will do as you wish. But when are you going to see the real letter acquaintance? You already know who it is.”
“I know. But they will deny it if I tell them. And I can’t say I’m the bird, can I?”
“That is strictly a secret.”
“So I’ll show it to you.”
“The art of finding. That my friend and I will certainly meet.”