Noah stared at the princess’s perturbed face. He wasn’t proficient in quarreling with a woman, but he at least knew the best way to humiliate an unmarried one. He glanced at the princess up and down slowly—mockingly.
“I thought women were all the same, that’s why I didn’t deign to touch you before.”
“But my wife is different.” Noah grinned, “She is impeccably lovely.”
“Thanks to the princess’s interference, our relationship as a couple has improved. Therefore, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you.” Then he made a bowing gesture, but the dark glint in his eyes that went unnoticed was anything but sincere.
The princess exclaimed, “You—!”
“I’m afraid you would need your own lover to understand what I’m saying.” he sniggered, “Ah, it seems that you have not found him yet.”
The princess clenched her fists. She knew what Noah meant—she was unattractive as a woman.
“Noah Maktus!” her fury went boiling hot and uttered sardonically, “Pretending to be all noble, but you’re no different than a filthy bastard on the streets! Speak the truth, you felt good sleeping with a drugged woman?”
“Hm, drugged?” He had a thoughtful expression as he tilted his head, aligning his gaze towards her fearful ones.
The princess immediately shut her mouth.
“I never said my wife has been drugged.”
Her complexion turned pale.
Noah leaned back, smiling languidly like a satiated lion. “I knew something was wrong. After my wife went to the tea party, she had a fever and was inebriated. But you don’t have anything to do with this, do you?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She would be foolish to not deny.
The princess picked up the teacup to hide her trembling lips. Noah stared at her as she took a sip from her teacup to calm her roiling stomach.
“Don’t tell me,” He glanced at the tea in front of him, “you put something in here as well?”
The princess had an alarmed expression and became furious, she looked around and locked gazes with her personal servant. Her maid bowed her head in fear.
Was she bribed to spill the truth? How dare she! That lowly peasant!
The princess angrily put down the teacup and said, “This is a defamation! How dare you accuse me?!”
“I did no such thing.”
She scoffed, “Didn’t you say you had a good time with your wife? If I really did that, shouldn’t you thank me then? How dare you—”
“What is he talking about, Janice?” A cold voice interrupted.
When she turned her head, she saw her brother standing there. The emperor looked down at the princess with an icy gaze. She thought he would side with her, so she confidently approached him and grabbed his arm.
“Brother!” she whined, “Prince Noah drugged my tea!”
When the emperor wordlessly glanced at the man in question, he gave an indifferent shrug. Noah took out a silver teaspoon and dipped it into the princess’s teacup.
Noah waved the spoon for them to observe clearly. “As you can see, it didn’t turn black.”
“Hmph! A weak drug wouldn’t be able to turn the spoon black—”
“Janice.” The emperor called out to the princess with a sharp yet soft voice, he removed her hand that clung his arm. “What do you know of a ‘weak drug’?”
He narrowed his eyes, “Did you do something at the tea party?”
She hurriedly denied.
“I d-don’t know anything about that!”
“Then earlier, what’s with you saying things about weak drugs and how Noah should be thankful to you?”
Her body stiffened.
“Janice Quincet, answer me.” Rayence commanded sternly.
The emperor grabbed her by the shoulders and looked straight at her.
The princess realized that she had no place to retreat. He was speaking as the emperor, not as her caring older brother. But she simply couldn’t say that she drugged the tea. Seeing the princess only biting her lips, the emperor let out a sigh as he turned towards Noah.
“Noah, forgive the childish deeds of the princess.”
Noah raised his eyebrows, “Forgive… I thought that an apology came before a forgiveness.” He flashed a smirk and got up. The princess was startled by his sudden movement.
“I heard there will be a dinner party soon.” He watched her with apathetic eyes. “Princess, apologize directly to my wife for your mistakes when that time comes.”
Noah was aware how and when high-ranking nobles would feel ashamed. Janice looked at him with eyes filled with rage, but she only bit her lip as her body shook.
Noah passed the two of them, his gaze towards the princess was scathing as it appeared to be cursing her unceasingly.
The emperor spoke softly. “Why are you acting like this? Don’t you care about your wife? You even came to pick her up personally before.”
“I didn’t know that you were so interested in other people’s affairs.”
“Duke Maktus, just what is the reason that you married?”
Noah halted his steps at the emperor’s question and glared at him. The emperor stared back unflinchingly.
“You were neither interested in the most beautiful woman in the empire, or your fiancée. In the end, you got married, but with your sister-in-law?”
Noah didn’t respond.
The emperor continued speaking, “Do not mention rules or Enon. You are not the kind of man to keep the law or a will out of the kindness of your heart.”
Noah slowly took a step forward. A dangerous air emanating from his being. “Why, do you covet my wife?”
At his question, the attendants accompanying the emperor scolded Noah for his rudeness.
“Audacious! Your Majesty—”
The emperor raised his hands and they immediately curbed their tongues. He didn’t want to make a big issue out of this. Noah strode towards the emperor and whispered in his ear.
“You have always coveted what’s mine.”