YCKTML Chapter 19
Although I endured it, there was no way Erin’s fragile body could withstand the bull-like power. But fortunately, Enoch found me on time and approached me quickly.
“Let go of that hand.”
I could see Rupert gritting his teeth. His grip on my arm loosened, but just looking at his eyes, he looked ready to hit the Prince.
Rupert was a renowned swordsman. If a fight took place right now, he would probably have the upper hand.
Rupert had been humiliated, and given that man’s pride, I was expecting him to be somewhat angry.
However, I did not expect him to react in such a reckless manner.
Moreover, Chloe was standing alone, looking at Rupert. If he left her like that, people would think he went here to start a war of nerves with the Crown Prince because of me.
Rupert glared menacingly at Enoch, but Enoch looked at me reassuringly. So I called him without realizing it.
Enoch grabbed my arm, and Rupert snatched it again.
“Your Highness, as I’ve said before, this is a matter between a married couple. I have something to discuss with this person for a moment, so would you please stay out of it?”
“But the Count…” Enoch grabbed Rupert’s upper arm, not mine this time. Enoch was determined but still had that relaxed smile. It was a great poker face. “She doesn’t seem to want to.”
And, to my surprise, under Enoch’s grip, Rupert let go of my arm. The movement caught me off guard. Enoch grabbed me and led me behind him. It didn’t look like he used any magic, but what happened?
Enoch said, “Today, she is my partner, Rupert. How about you take care of yours, too?”
Chloe stood alone where Enoch’s gaze was directed. She wasn’t looking here now, but instead, the eyes of others were on us.
“…Are you going to make my wife your mistress?”
Enoch turned around at Rupert’s question. I froze at his words, astonished to hear the same thing that’s been on my mind, too.
“I’m not like you, Rupert,” I answered instead.
For some reason, Enoch’s hand holding mine reassured me. No words were needed.
He didn’t rush, walking slowly, at my pace, and brought me to the center of the hall. It was then I noticed that everyone on the dance floor was in pairs and facing each other.
“So, not only will I be your first escort, but I’ll also be the Count’s first dance partner. Such an honor should be recorded to let the next generations know.”
“Then, my name will go down in the history of the Empire,” I chuckled at Enoch’s jest.
As soon as the music started, we held hands. Then, Enoch and I began to move like water flowing along with the music.
We were quite close together, but the slow and elegant tune was a long way from arousing passion. However, Enoch’s gaze could melt me. Pulling and pushing away, getting swept away by the rhythm of the music, I felt it.
Crown Prince Enoch was in love with Erin Spilet.
I was flustered by his feelings I couldn’t ignore and lost my footing just as the dance ended. But before I could fall, the Prince gracefully caught me in his arms. It was perfect timing.
And I sensed Rupert’s persistent gaze throughout the dance. Why on earth did things turn out like this.
Whenever I felt Enoch’s feelings for me, in fact, I, too, was shaken.
Moreover, Rupert had changed.
The events had already deviated from the original novel.
I thought it would be good for me to survive as Erin, but on the other hand, I was worried I couldn’t predict the future more and more.
As soon as the music ended, I took a step back from Enoch.
And even though I heard him calling, I turned around and walked towards the other side. The hall felt too hot.
I was now living in Erin Spilet’s body. Although Erin prioritized the deal, she loved Rupert and decided to marry him.
But what about me? Where was my heart?
Because I’d possessed Erin’s body, did I have to follow the choices she made? Was it really my wedding? Why couldn’t I choose who I want?
I walked quickly to the terrace on one side of the ballroom and pretended not to notice the steps behind me.
“Count, why are you running away all of a sudden?”
“Why do you keep helping me?” I turned around and questioned Enoch.
He was quiet, seemingly taken aback by my question, then he sighed.
“If you’re curious about that, you should ask me.”
As he slowly approached me, his emerald eyes darkened. “If you run away with a face like this, I’ll probably go crazy.”
His thumb gently stroked my cheek, right below my eye. It was then that I realized that I was crying.
It was like that from the beginning. I couldn’t accept Erin’s choice, and I was scared I couldn’t endure her chaotic life.
And now that I’ve taken Erin’s place, I wasn’t confident enough I could stop my heart from feeling something for someone.
“Please answer me. Everything, including the meaning of what you said to Rupert.”
Watching me cry as I spoke, Enoch kissed my wet eyelids.
“Okay, I’ll tell you, so please… don’t cry.”
The music started playing again in the party hall. A soft melody flowed out and soothed my
He sighed, then held out his hand. “Would you like to go for a walk?”
For a moment, I faltered but steeled myself and firmly refused. “I can’t until you answer me.”
Enoch withdrew his hand and smiled.
“You always looked at Rupert. It’s been like that since I was little.”
Erin was like that in the past, so I couldn’t deny it. But, on the other hand, I couldn’t confide that I possessed this body, so I chose to remain silent instead of answering.
“Even though I met you occasionally, it was strange that you were always looking at Rupert. Of course, he and I were close, so it wasn’t hard to notice. I envied him. I didn’t know if there’s someone who’s always looking at me like that.”
Did that mean that Enoch noticed Erin’s existence first? So what happened to the original story with Chloe?
Ironically, now I was more jealous of Erin from the past than I thought. After all, the Erin of the past wasn’t me.
“But aside from envying Rupert, up until then, I thought you were pathetic. I couldn’t understand you, who looked tirelessly at someone who didn’t look back, and myself who even cared about it.”
I tried to calm my pounding heart as I listened to his words. I almost made a mistake because I was drunk in the atmosphere. Still, I was curious about his story, so I continued to listen.
“I was strangely annoyed when I heard you were marrying Rupert. Still, I tried not to care anymore. Whatever you married for, whether it was for love or something else, it’s between the two of you. But then I saw someone play a trick on you.”
What immediately came to mind was the drink Erin had while she was getting ready to get married. But that was what drove Erin to her death. What Enoch was talking about seemed to be a different story.
I remembered what happened when Enoch appeared.
“Oh, are you talking about the broken heel?”
“I didn’t know the bride would take off her shoes at the wedding. From then on, you looked different. It’s weird to say this, but you seemed to shine. So, I decided to watch your choices from a close distance.”
Enoch didn’t know, but those words hit me like a fastball. It was a stronger word than a confession of love. My heart raced at the thought that it seemed like he recognized the real “me,” not Erin.
His words meant the world, but sadly, I didn’t exactly have a choice.
“…But, Your Highness, I am now the wife of the Ducal heir. You said you had no intention of making me your lover.”
“That’s right. If I’m alone, then I’m alone, and I’m not the kind of person who’d put you in such a trivial position.”
“Because of that, I listened to today’s words with my heart, not with my ears.”
Even though we liked each other, we were still in this situation. So, I had to say no in the end.
I was still tied to Erin’s huge debt and the contract with Rupert. Without solving those problems, I couldn’t accept the Prince’s heart.
If Enoch paid off Erin’s debt using money from the Imperial coffers, it would lead to a path of mutual ruin.
The second prince was currently aiming for the Crown Prince’s seat. Having Erin by Enoch’s side as a mistress, especially when he didn’t have a wife, would be used as fodder against him.
The sweetness between us was drenched in cold reality.
Sighing, Enoch muttered in a voice much calmer than mine, “Count, you will eventually find out. I’ll take a little detour, though.”
I listened to him, but I didn’t quite understand his intense emotions. As I stared at him, he gave me a distinct smile I couldn’t read.
With his eyes glimmering, he said in a soft but confident tone, “I’m a person who somehow gets what he wants.”
His words took me by surprise, but in the end, I didn’t say anything.