Chapter 25I Slept with the Villain Holding My Hand Chapter 25
Translated by Niks
* * *
With her hands around his eyes, Merria incites her brains trying to remember what happened that night.
‘But, nothing happened that day, right? My back didn’t and there were no traces of kiss marks on my body.’
Merria, grasping her mind and reasoning again, took her hand off and said.
Reukis unconsciously raised his head and lowered his eyes again.
The way he twisted his head a little bit, ashamed of his hot reddened ears, was like pure morning dew, unlike himself.
“Sleeping hand in hand doesn’t count as experience. Even a passing seven-year-old would know that.”
“Didn’t you kiss me…”
What do you mean by that? I barely endured words I almost spit out.
Seeing Merria embarrassed and predicting his success, Reukis smiled shyly.
Contrary to the childlike expression, his gold eyes, which had sunk low, gleamed and stared straight at Merria.
With the predator-like gaze that would not miss its prey, Merria shut her mouth.
“You’ve taken my first, so you have to take responsibility for it.”
Reukis recalled Milo’s passionate advice he had heard earlier.
‘Moisten your eyes with a look as if the world was unfair. Keep in mind! It was important to bring up the trampled purity to the fullest.’
Reukis also knew that it was a leap forward to call the shots with taking responsibility for a kiss.
However, if I didn’t do so, I would not be able to meet Merria, I felt like wanting to grab her leg.
He even thought that he would rather take her secretly hostage and threaten her, but he couldn’t say anything.
Reukis was just thinking more about what to do to open her mind.
At the same time, Merria wondered about what to do with this idiot.
Let me try to act first.
“I don’t remember.”
“It doesn’t matter because I remember clearly.”
Reukis replied, looking straight into her eyes.
In reality, this would be a good idea to be treated like a fool, but every reader wanted such a man who was a skillful but obsessed and sweet male lead.
Reukis was also a sub-male of a romance novel.
If this man had such a perception, she would have been caught by Reukis, and could have been hampered by him if she wasn’t honest.
One hand, one kiss, one responsibility.
Other young noble ladies may fall for his appearance, but he absolutely never liked Merria.
Looking for a way out of this situation, she eventually concluded that Reukis should change his ridiculous perception.
Merria called Reukis with a serious expression on her face.
“Your Highness. Excuse me, but how old are you this year?”
“You’re an adult. Now that the war’s over, you’ll have to get engaged and eventually get married.”
“Why all of a sudden you say that…”
Reukis stared at her as if Merria had proposed to him.
Her eyes were very cheeky that she was very ahead of the subject when she had just been asked to take responsibility, but Merria continued with a friendly smile.
“You’re not going to do that with me, are you? You don’t love me to that point.”
Reukis looked as dumb as a man who had lost all words to say.
Merria smiled satisfactorily.
I already expected that he would react this way.
She wasn’t the heroine, and she wasn’t as kind or sweet as Shannon.
‘So you’re not really saying this because you’re in love with me.’
Judging from his actions in the original story, if Reukis really liked me, he should not have been so foolish, but rather he would have pressed me with his position as the Grand Duke.
After a long wait, there was no positive answer from him.
Merria raised her chin as if she was finished waiting and smiled softly.
“Look at that. The Grand Duke who was forced to do it became obsessed with the first kiss. Like a boy who was violated by a temptress.”
(N: 요부 -A wicked woman who seduces men well.)
“But in the end, it was nothing. Your Highness and I, we didn’t have any emotional changes, right?”
When she had finished speaking, Merria shrugged her shoulders and straightened her waist.
Merria, who was now innocent, was thinking of getting out of this cafe after telling him that she couldn’t afford to mortgage her future to a simple kiss.
Until Reukis jumps up and blocks her.
When the appearance of a black-like object obstructing her path, Merria tilted her head and she looked up at him.
Reukis suddenly felt wronged.
The kiss, that moment, remains so intense in his head.
She encouraged a part of his mind to shake it off as if nothing was wrong.
“If… if my heart moved for lady Merria, could I stay with you?”
Eventually, Reukis said something unexpected.
As soon as he spoke, he opened his eyes wide in surprise, amazed by the words he just said.
It wasn’t a complete lie.
Once again, hoping that the boiling darkness would be calmed by her touch, he wanted to be there next to her.
Merria, who took Reukis’ sincere confession lightly, had no choice but to narrow her brows and agonize.
‘I don’t think I could get away with it…’
What do people usually do in this case?
Merria turned her head around after hearing his sudden confession.
I had to come up with a way out of this pretending to comply with his demands.
She first thought about it from the perspective of a ‘femme fatale’ without the concept of having a large fishing ground.
‘Would it be better to just meet for a while and break up because we didn’t fit each other?’
He would fall in love with Shannon because of her sweet and pure heart.
On the other hand, I was far from being innocent even with this nonsense, and I was more selfish than being sweet.
If I meet him like this, I wonder if he would get bored first and leave me.
She was a little guilty at the thought of that, but it didn’t last long for Merria, who always put herself first.
“Should we date each other then?”
“You asked me to take responsibility.”
A light of hope shone through Reukis’ golden eyes.
Merria looked straight up at him and said.
“You also said you wanted to be with me.”
“Then, are we going to be lovers?”
Reukis nodded with a bright expression, like when he opened his eyes wide.
I felt a little relieved because he looked like a dog that was obedient and listens well.
Merria said mischievously, pulling up one lip.
Merria called Reukis by a name that he did not approve of, in a way that would upset him.
It was a noble name that would not have been called by anyone except for the royal family and his parents, so if he was uncomfortable, I could use it as an excuse and not see him for a while.
Despite her bad provocation, Reukis paused for a moment and simply nodded silently.
“From now on, we are a couple.”
Reukis couldn’t adapt to the thought of ‘lover’ who he suddenly had at once, and nodded his head awkwardly.
Merria, who was looking at his figure indifferently, said, with a little tap of her hand.
“Oh, and for the time being, could we keep our relationship a secret? I don’t like to be talked about.”
Reukis was now the second most popular figure in the Empire after the Crown Prince.
Merria didn’t want to stand in the spotlight together with him, even in her imagination.
I was just planning to date him quietly and then break up when the time comes.
Not even offended by her unfair treatment, Reukis called Merria’s name in a slightly hesitant voice.
Then, for some reason, he covered his mouth with his, apparently embarrassed.
Her name, which flows out of Reukis’ lips, was objectively sweet and pleasing to hear.
Of course, for Merria, it’s just a name that was called in response to her for first calling his name.
That was all.
Merria gazed at the delighted Reukis with a sad look.
She smiled softly, thinking despicably that she could not wait for him to get tired of her.
* * *
It was the day when I was invited by Karina to eat at the Delphi mansion.
It was a simple dinner with only Lilith and Karina set for Merria, who was still unfamiliar with society.
Of course the table wasn’t simple at all.
Since it was their first gathering after the Victory Banquet, the atmosphere naturally came into the rumor of the romance between Merria and Reukis.
“Merria, do you have anything to tell me?”
Lilith twirled the wine glass that came with a playful look.
I thought I’d be interrogated as soon as I got here.
When she was asked later than expected, Merria also smiled smoothly, lifting a glass of wine.
“Well, I have a lover now.”
Although there was a sad story that I decided to date him in moderation because I failed while trying to get my feet out of the situation. I swallowed the words that followed.
I didn’t say how and why we met, even to those two who were supposed to be my friends.
Merria had no intention of saying anything to anyone in the first place.
It was because she could be caught if she spilled words and went into Reukis’ ear incorrectly.
Still, I was the first to tell these two about the fact that we had become lovers and soothed their own apologies.
Unlike the relaxed Merria, Karina and Lilith stared at her with a blank look, holding her hand still.
She stared at the two, with their faces asking why Merria overreacted. It was Lilith who came to her senses first.
“No, seriously? You’re really going to date him?”
“Yes. You two are the first people I told about this. I told Reukis to keep it a secret for a while, because it’s burdensome to be talked around.”
The two faces stiffened awkwardly as they saw Merria, who naturally put Reukis’ name in her mouth.
This time, Karina said cautiously.
“What? We’re not even engaged.”
“Still, the Grand Duke seems to have fallen for you.”
Karina muttered about gifts, carriages, and so on.
As expected, the rumors about the ‘bizarre apology’ still seemed to have not subsided.
Merria shrugged her shoulders, thinking that she had done well to keep the whole story of this romance a secret.
“You don’t know, maybe we’ll break up soon.”
“No, why are you suddenly saying things like this?”
Lilith shook her head with a puzzled look on her face wondering whether to celebrate this or not.
Merria who was smiling at the sight looked at Karina and asked.
“More than that, Karina? How did it go that day? What happened?”
Karina immediately noticed what Merria was asking.
On that day, she urged her to quickly answer what happened to Lilith, who had forgotten to leave the terrace in a hurry, and why she asked her to hold onto the lady.
Lilith didn’t seem to have encountered Shannon.
Merria said she was trying to return a handkerchief that the lady had dropped.
Lilith looked dissatisfied with her suspicious response, but Merria quickly changed the subject.
Karina, who was mumbling, began to talk, saying that she met Altheon in the greenhouse.
“In fact, I didn’t expect to bump into him. I just wanted to know what you’ve been talking about the greenhouse, and I was curious about it…”
Fortunately or unfortunately, the two encountered each other in the garden and she said that they had been talking for quite some time in the greenhouse.
It was as if the first meeting of the main characters overlapped with the first meeting of the two.
But it wasn’t something that Merria forced to happen.
I didn’t say a word about the greenhouse or did I told her to go there.
Even if they met, Altheon could have left without talking to her, and Karina might not have followed Altheon.
Merria rationalized her actions for fear of the price of twisting the original, but she did not regret her actions.
Seeing Karina who was smiling as if she was really happy when she recalled that day.
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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog