Be Fascinated - Chapter 4
Translator and Editor: Effe and Yonnee
Philia woke up from her sleep, and when she opened her eyes, she found that her body had been washed clean and that she was wearing soft clothes. As she sat up, she habitually rang the bell, then flinched.
‘Here… Where is this place?’
Then she remembered the love affair that happened yesterday. Her face was hot. When the door opened, a maid with washing water came in.
“Are you awake?”
“My name is Paula, and I will be serving you from today.”
“Are you hungry? Shall I ask for breakfast to be prepared?”
“No, I, that…”
“Or are you feeling unwell?”
Paula’s face grew serious. Her body ached. Even her lower part was tingling. It was proof of yesterday’s love affair. She shook her head with a red face.
“Where, where is His Highness?”
“His Highness is at the Imperial Palace.”
It was an obvious answer.
“Then where are we?”
“This is the mansion that His Highness personally owns.”
“His Highness mentioned that you must rest well while waiting.”
Philia wanted to go into a mouse hole. How could she possibly face Claude again?
“No, I’m fine. Please tell him that I’m sorry for causing trouble.”
Philia stood up. Paula was startled and stopped her. The calm-looking maid was unusually bewildered, but Philia didn’t notice.
“I’m sorry, but I’m not even a lady. I will definitely pay him back for letting me stay for one night, and for the clothes.”
“Oh, Milady… Now, your body.”
“It’s okay. I brought this on myself.”
Straightforward. She was too straightforward. Philia smiled with clear blue eyes, and then she went out into the hallway. The maid, Paula, became desperate. If she let this lady leave this place, she would be killed by the Crown Prince.
“Milady, please have mercy on me.”
To keep her here, without knowing that she was captured and locked up. What Claude ordered was a soft confinement.
“It is presumptuous, but I know you’re not feeling well.”
Philia bowed her head in shame. After all, who did the cleanup? This person must have done it.
“If I let the Lady go out like that, I will be severely punished. Of course, I don’t want the Lady to leave either.”
Philia was lost in thought as she saw Paula begging for mercy. She couldn’t do any harm to Paula for acting arbitrarily.
“I see. Then, I’ll talk to him myself.”
“Can you please?”
Paula had a bright expression on her face. Philia nodded, and the maid sighed in relief.
The oracle was issued after a long period of time.
The oracle was inscribed with gold in the scripture, written in divine characters incomprehensible to ordinary humans. Deciphering it was nearly impossible. The divine writings were in complex forms that even linguists could not comprehend.
There was only one way to interpret this: to put your hand on the inscription of the oracle and pray for days and days. After the faithful prayer, one day it will be clear.
It was difficult for even a faithful High Priest to interpret the new language. Eventually, the High Priest and one of his devout subjects interpreted it for several days, and they trembled and rejoiced.
「 The day when red flowers bloom in the middle of winter under the North Star, I shall send my child down to the earth. 」
Under the North Star, the day the red flowers bloomed. Philia was born that day.
The priests wandered in search of the northern village where ‘red flowers’ bloomed.
On the day Philia was born, she found a strange blood-red ‘red flower’ blooming around the house, and her parents left it to dry.
And when she was eight, the oracle spread. Her father, knowing that his daughter was a saintess, surrendered his young daughter to the temple. Her new life began when she was thirteen.
Away from her parents, she had done everything she had been told to do in the temple.
And a month ago, the priest who interpreted the oracle committed suicide. In fact, the oracle described a ‘blue flower’ instead, but a blue flower did not exist in the world. That’s why he changed it to a ‘red flower’ at the orders of the High Priest who died at the time. The priest died leaving behind such a will.
Opinions were divided among the priests. The High Priest who received the oracle had already done his duty and died, and the priest who interpreted the oracle also committed suicide.
They secretly wandered in search of the child born on the day when the ‘nonexistent blue flower’ bloomed in midwinter among the villages in the north. Contrary to the idea that it would be impossible, in the temple, a saint who was born on the day the blue flowers bloomed could be found.
It was Bianca. Bianca was the child of a low-ranked noble, and her parents liked to tend to their garden. Naturally, blue flowers were present in the courtyard of the house.
The saintess was instead the one who grew up receiving the love of the priests from such a young age, and the fake saintess was mercilessly expelled from the temple.
“I believe that all things are God’s will, and I do not hold any grudge against my Lord.”
The fake saint, Philia, offered a prayer.
“But have pity on this foolish girl who has been deceived by pleasure.”
Prayer was just a habit of talking to herself. Having said her prayers, Philia got up, and she sat down on a chair. She pondered what to do next.
First of all, she had to go back to the village where her parents lived.
‘Will they remember me?’
They never exchanged letters or anything. In fact, she couldn’t even remember their faces anymore. Nevertheless, she remembered her childhood, her happy childhood.
Thinking of seeing them again, she felt somewhat bitter and embarrassed. Still, one side of her heart was tickled. She was now twenty-one years old. If she was a normal woman, she should have married right away, or she might have already been married…
Philia was deep in thought. There was little that an unmarried woman could do.
When she returned, to get married and give dowry, that was all the daughter could do for filial piety.
“Marriage… Should I?”
She, who had to distance herself from a man, was now suddenly thinking that she had to get married. Just thinking about it made her feel dizzy.
Philia was startled by the sudden low voice and looked back. Claude was standing there.
“Your, Your Highness. When did you arrive?”
“What do you mean by marriage?”
Claude’s tone, as usual, was relaxed, but it sounded displeased. At that, Philia flinched. Unknowingly, she muttered and explained.
“That… When I go back, I think the only thing I can do is get married.”
“A-ha, I see.”
The tone was clearly calm. It was the same with his expression. But for some reason, Claude’s eyes seemed to flash. His eyes were terrifying.
It was like that before. His gaze was frightening, as if emitting a glare. Still, she glanced at him. Philia came to her senses and stood up.
“Your Highness. Thank you. And I’m sorry.”
Claude pondered those words.
“Because I troubled you. And…”
Philia remembered yesterday. Her face was hot and burning. With the drug, her reason was blown away, but her memory remained clear.
“Because we have slept together.”
When she said that, Philia’s face turned red. Her lips quivered. It was not the divine act of conceiving children, but an act where people joined their bodies together for pleasure. It was the most detestable and taboo act in the temple.
“Are you ashamed?”
Philia nodded her head and answered. She suddenly can’t see his face.
“I, that… Thank you, I shall pay you back.”
“Why are you saying that?”
“I am leaving now.”
“Where will you go?”
“To the town I used to live in.”
“To get married…. You mean?”
“I don’t know if that will happen… Anyway, I can’t stay here.”
“I’ve overstayed my welcome.”
She felt like a child being questioned for her mistakes. She lifted her gaze slightly and looked at Claude’s face, or more precisely, his chin, and she saw that the corners of his lips were raised.
What was he thinking?
“I heard you lived in the northernmost part of the country. How are you going to get there alone as a woman?”
“I don’t think there are just one or two strange people in this country.”
Claude leaned back and looked at Philia. Philia was startled when he looked at her. His handsome face, even the face of a man she thought was attractive, was difficult to see up close.
“I will contact your parents.”
Claude’s words were even more surprising. As Claude looked into her as if seeing through her.
“Isn’t that the first thing to do, to make sure your parents still live there?”
“Now that I see it, Your Highness is right.”
A slight smile appeared on Claude’s lips and then disappeared as Philia opened her eyes and nodded.
“Well then, I’ll do that. So stay here.”
“Why… Why are you helping me?”
Claude looked directly at Philia’s face and said,
“Because I can’t let a woman who doesn’t even know how the world works go like that.”
It was for a very gentlemanly reason. As she was about to develop a crush on him, his face turned a little twisted.
“It’s for the same uninteresting reason…”
“Maybe you think it is simple courtesy towards a woman who I had mixed bodies with.”
She was startled by his blatant remarks. Claude grinned.
“I didn’t mean to make fun of you. It’s been fun for me to sleep with you, so it’s not hard to give this much.”
“The interaction between a man and a woman is nothing to be ashamed of. The nobility of the capital, no, everyone sleeps with each other if they feel the same way.”
“You, who used to be a saint, might be a little shy. But it doesn’t mean much to me.”
If so, did that mean this person would do the same? As Philia’s face darkened, Claude asked, puzzled.
“Did I force you? Or am I even threatening you?”
At Claude’s words, Philia shook her head. Last night, she was in so much pain. Maybe she would have still shared the night with another man in some way. She’d rather spend the night with this man she felt attracted to. Rather, she seduced him.
“And one more thing—does it hurt anywhere? It was the first time you had received a man.”
Claude whispered softly. Her hot face didn’t seem to cool at all. Claude placed his hand on Philia’s shoulder.
“Because I lost my reason too.”
It wasn’t an insidious touch. It was a normal person-to-person touch. Still, the moment she felt his big, hard, warm hand, she unconsciously imagined him stroking her body.
As if to shake off the imagination, she moved away from Claude’s hand.
“Thank you for your consideration.”
Claude’s hand he had placed on her shoulder was left in the air. He raised the corners of his lips and smiled. He looked into Philia’s eyes and asked.
“Do you feel… uncomfortable?”
“Of course not.”
He spoke softly and lowered his arms.
“Are you afraid of me?”
“No, it’s not like that. It’s just that you’re an intimidating person.”
“An intimidating person.”
Philia seemed to have become an apologetic child again. Claude had always been someone difficult to deal with. He even provided lodging and other things, and he even did ‘something like that’ yesterday, so it wouldn’t be easy.
“Nevertheless, thank you again. One day I will repay this debt.”
“Are you going to pay it back? How?”
It was a funny voice, but it wasn’t a mockery.
“I am not a poor enough person to receive remuneration.”
At Claude’s words, Philia’s face turned red. Yes, Philia was a commoner. But what would the Crown Prince of a country possibly want? It might be presumptuous of her to repay him for the kindness he has bestowed upon her.
“There’s a way you can do something for me…”
Claude said with a smile on his face.
“What is it?”
That smile made Philia a little anxious. Maybe she’s rushing towards an unreasonable request?
“Stop saying sorry, thank you and just quietly accept my favor.”
“I did it with good intentions, but it’s cumbersome for you to say no every time like this…”
“So you have to accept it.”
At Claude’s words, Philia nodded.
“Then, let’s have dinner together.”
“Here? Not the Imperial Palace?”
Philia opened her eyes wide. Claude had a look on his face.
“No, no, but I was wondering if you were going to be in the Imperial Palace. There’s a lot to do…”
“The Imperial Palace is a complex place. There’s a lot for me to do there, and it’s a headache.”
“I wish I had at least one villa in a quiet city, but the reality is that I can only escape to a mansion like this in the capital.”
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