Peony – I Saw the Future With the Killer Grand Duke - Chapter 2.1
I became the half-sister of the first prince, his enemy.
I clenched my lips to deny it.
Her lower lip hurt as if it would burst, but I never woke up from my dream.
This is reality.
And I am sitting down, discussing a political marriage with Ernst, the one and only Grand Duke of the country, as Peony, who was rumored to be an idiotic princess.
Then Ernst wouldn’t know that I was the one in this body.
This feeling and my drenched heart are all my own.
Maybe, just maybe, he hates this body.
“Do you have any objections?”
It was a polite but strangely intimidating question that seemed to look down on the other person.
It was the Ernst I knew, but the voice was a little thicker than I remembered.
His sharp tone sounded dangerously close to the edge of the cliff, and I couldn’t stand it any longer and looked back at him.
And the very moment her eyes met with indifferent eyes as if she was captured by the deep blue North Sea.
I was taken aback.
‘This man, is Ernst?’
In her last memory, he was 25.
I was 23 when I died as Gabriella.
Although he got older during the war than when they first got married, he still had a youthful freshness… but the Ernst before me, was a man of his own accord.
‘You look so grown-up and quiet.’
He’s probably about thirty years old.
It was like watching a low, deep sea that sank coldly and darkly.
It’s chilling that I can’t read any emotion.
“Seven days by carriage from the Imperial City to the Port of Dolton. We will then use the ship to reach Horn Harbor in Equez.”
Looking at Ernst as if enchanted, I pressed against my chest.
‘So you were a man who knew how to make this kind of face.’
A face without warmth that was so unfamiliar.
It’s because he always showed me a slight smile and I got used to it.
But the Ernst I see now shows only strong hatred.
I’m trying my best to pretend I’m okay, but I know. I was the only one who could recognize it.
The dim hatred in his eyes.
‘It’s me. I’m Gabriella.’
I prayed to see you again before I died, and I wanted to let you know that I came back like this without crossing the river of the dead.
But the words didn’t come out as if it were stuck to her mouth.
‘Why! Why can’t I speak? I’m Gabriella!’
Throughout the meeting, I tried to tell Ernst the truth.
However, the moment I tried to express myself as “I am Gabriela” in some way, my tongue becomes stiff.
I can’t even write a letter on a piece of paper in front of me even if I hold a pen.
An unusually strong constraint.
‘Oh, I’m in front of you, but I can’t tell you.’
I felt a burning pain in my heart.
In the end, their eyes only met once.
Ernst, who drew back a dull stare, never looked back at me again.
No matter how hard she looks at him, it’s no use.
He’s ignoring my eyes right now.
“It’s time for you to sign your marriage vows.”
Shortly afterwards, the Minister placed two sheets of parchment in front of Ernst.
Ernst moved his large hand that the quill looked small as he quickly wrote his name.
Devoid of any excitement.
‘April 9th, 826.’
After confirming the year of the vow that is in front of me, I completely started to accept everything.
That Gabriella Nashert died six years ago.
I’m here now, and I’m Peony.
“I’ll see you in the morning in three days. Then, I’ll be going now.”
Looking back and forth at the cold departure of my husband and his officers, I clasped my hands and twisted them.
The reality is like pouring cold water. It was painful.
Today, I married my husband for the second time.
…as the daughter of the imperial family he hates.
‘It’s a hostile relationship. What should I do from now on?’
After the meeting was over, I was taken by the maids and was locked in my room.
In the bedroom, which was as cool as a grave because it was not properly lit, my dress to be worn three days later was hung on a sculpture of a torso.
I was lost in thought as I smoothed my dazzling white and useless dress.
‘As soon as I woke up, I’m still confused after discussing my political marriage. Let’s get this straight for a moment.’
The Empire of Isodeim has been divided into two forces since the beginning of its founding.
The Forces of Day centered on the capital and the affluent southern part of the country.
They are only loyal to the emperor and the imperial family and place absolute values on art, culture, and individuality.
Swordsmanship was also focused on techniques that could show splendid movements rather than actual swordsmanship, so there was a tendency to prefer a jeweled wedding sword rather than a sword to cut people.
On the other hand, the Force of Night is centered on the barren North Sea.
They were thoroughly united around the Grand Duke Equez, their admiral and commander.
A naval-oriented society that values pure force and hierarchical order.
In fact, as he had to deal with pirates, therefore he put importance on fast and practical swordsmanship.
These two factions have different gods and completely different cultures and lifestyles, therefore there’s no reason to get married beyond their sphere of influence.
In their own lands, opposition forces are often rejected.
‘But now I can’t believe it’s a peaceful marriage.’
Upon understanding the contents of the meeting earlier, the emperor suddenly insisted on reconciliation and integration between the two forces.
I don’t know why, but I’m sure they’re up to something.
Instead, the North will receive various benefits in return for this marriage.
It was a very suspiciously good deal.
Once the deal is accepted, that’s when the intentions of the emperor will be revealed.
I suddenly noticed, as I was lost in thought as I smoothed the pearls between the fluttering honeymoon clothes.
I know I’m looking forward to something from the way he treats me coldly now.
‘By any chance, your ex-wife, Gabriela, who had died, do you still remember her?’
When I raised my head at the thought, my heart skipped a beat.
I felt death as if it had happened yesterday, and my legs were still tingling.
Peony’s legs are fine, so it must be a psychological problem.
But… it’s been six years for Ernst.
There was nothing strange about forgetting and making a fresh start.
‘But… his attitude throughout the meeting is just a deal. There was nothing more or less.’
It wasn’t the face of a man who found a new love.
It doesn’t feel like a new relationship.
‘No, I shouldn’t expect anything. Just because he treats Princess Peony coldly doesn’t mean he remembers me.’
He hated the imperial family and the Forces of Day since he was a child.