Chapter 26: The opposite of equality is not sameness but indifference.
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Translated by SkyTL
Edited by SkyTL
Chapter 26: The opposite of equality is not sameness but indifference.
It looks familiar.
Faritina looked around the room in the west wing to which she had been moved.
It is an opulent room. It is very different from the prison she was in just a few hours ago. There was a soft carpet on the floor, a table set for meals in one of the rooms, and a bed too large for one person in the other.
The windows had bars, but they were still glass and could be opened and closed.
It’s luxurious, but cold.
Faritina hugged herself.
This must be the room where I had been offered the poisoned cup in my nightmare.
The dream is coming true.
Will I get the cup in the end?
Faritina raised her eyebrows and heaved a sigh.
Gideon had the royal chambers prepared for her captivity. She had to wait in Gideon’s room until it was ready.
Thinking it rude, Faritina kept her head lowered as much as possible, but she looked at the room with longing and curiosity.
His fiance, Faritina, had once begged Gideon to let her into his room. That had been shortly after their engagement, and she had often visited Gideon at the royal palace to deepen their relationship.
Thinking about it now, it was impertinent and embarrassing, but Gideon willingly agreed. Later, he was severely scolded by the servants who accompanied him.
The Prince must not be very chaste if he still invites himself in so casually.
Has he met the baroness here? Take the bed in the back room.
When she caught sight of the door to the bedroom, Faritina snorted in thought.
She sat down at the candy-colored table and was offered a cup of tea. The delicious aroma reminded her of hunger. She almost reached for it, but restrained herself.
Wait a minute.
She hasn’t had a bowel movement in three days. If she’s pouring water in here, she’s in a hurry.
No, absolutely not.
I don’t want that.
I’ll be damned if I’m going to pee my pants in front of this evil prince pretending to be nice to people.
I commend you for your bravery, Faritina said to herself.
Gideon said in a soft voice, as if troubled by Faritina’s reluctance to reach for the tea.
“… Are you on your guard? Trust me, it’s not poisoned.”
A possibility Faritina now realized.
It was a close call. They say there’s a truth serum that makes you tell everything. Drugs that lift your spirits and make you addicted. If they used them, they could make you confess anything and everything.
Faritina turned her head more and more stubbornly.
“I’m sorry I didn’t see you sooner. That must have been terrible.”
When she looked up, Gideon looked down at the table as if he was truly sorry.
“I didn’t expect to find you there. I should have looked sooner.”
Faritina sighed in thought.
I knew it, but it’s hard.
To be received with indifference.
To not care how you’re treated. Even though he’s your fiancé, even though he’s a tool to humiliate you.
Their engagement was arranged a year before they entered the academy, just before Faritina’s father, the duke, died, and they were both only 13.
Faritina was so happy to be engaged to the prince of her dreams that she clung to him.
With the death of her father and her entrance into school, things changed quickly and it was not easy to see each other, but Faritina was still in love with the gentle and kind Gideon.
It didn’t take long for Faritina to realize that it was a one-sided love affair, and as she began to care for Gemini, Faritina was aware of it.
Faritina knew that the smile Gideon returned was a social gesture.
Although they were both enrolled at the school, there was no agreement that they would meet at the same time, nor was there an invitation to study together.
He treats her like his fiancée when he sees her. That is, until Gideon joins the Executive Committee.
Even when Faritina was absent for no reason at all, and even when she fell out of favor due to bad publicity, Gideon didn’t budge.
As long as he fulfilled his official duties as a fiancé, Gideon smiled kindly and never let her feel embarrassed during their time together.
I didn’t realize at the time that this was not a sign of kindness but of indifference, but when you become aware of it, it is quite amazing.
The opposite of “like” is not “dislike,” but “indifference.”
This reminded Faritina of something she had read in a book, and she was strangely convinced.
“Say something, Faritina. If you didn’t do anything, as Serion says, then you didn’t do anything. I know you had some awkward moments with Amanda and made her cry at my birthday party the other day. You can’t deny that you’ve had your differences, right? But if I haven’t pushed you, please say so. I have to.”
She began to cry on her own.
Faritina turned her head in annoyance.
She came at me judging people by rumors, so I confronted her.
The game was fair and square, I didn’t trick anyone to intimidate her, I didn’t hurt her, I didn’t scare her.
It is not fair for her to turn to a powerful lover because she lost an argument.
With that kind of spirit, you cannot overcome mountains and all kinds of evil spirits in the social world.
But now that I see the situation, I’m not so sure.
In the end, love trumps everything.
It even trumps ethics and social norms.
As long as there is love, a contractual relationship is just a trick to get together.
But judging from the expression on this prince’s face, he probably didn’t expect that much.
He’s a sweet prince to a fault.
The grim silence did not last long, and it was announced that the prison-room was ready.
The prince led her to the west wing of the building and showed her a luxurious room.
Although she was in no hurry, Faritina was out of breath and breathing on her shoulders.
“Are you all right?”
Gideon called out to her, but Faritina nodded silently.
Gideon sighed at her stubborn silence.
“I cannot provide you with a maid, but I will see that you are not inconvenienced. There will be a servant every hour, so if you need anything, let him know.”
Gideon said to Faritina, who looked around the room curiously.
This is very different from the prison a few hours ago.
Here I can sleep like a normal person.
To be honest, Faritina thought, I’m glad about that.
I may die sooner or later, but this is the best place to spend it.
Faritina bowed to Gideon and tried to thank him.
But her throat, which she had not moved in a long time, made only a hissing sound, and no words could be heard.
Only three days in which she had not spoken had weakened her so much.
Faritina was dumbfounded.
Gideon felt the same.
He could tell by her demeanor that Faritina was trying to thank him. But now he realized that everything had been weakened by captivity.
Serion’s contemptuous words still echoed in his mind.
The academy is a garden. A protected, imaginary world. But as soon as you step out of that frame, reality awaits you, where life and dignity are easily threatened.
The cruelty of it all hit Gideon even harder than before.
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