Life As A Tower Maid: Locked Up With The Prince - Chapter 2
I nodded my head right away.
“Yes. I want Your Highness out of here more than anyone else.”
“Do you want to leave the tower and become Queen?”
Doubting my intentions, his eyes narrowed.
Albert was good at saying things in a threatening way. I’m sure he was just sounding me out.
I wouldn’t even dare to be a contract queen. It wouldn’t do to dabble in something she wasn’t prepared for.
Furthermore, don’t you know how much a queen had to do? And what about assassination threats? Absolutely not. That’s not me. I already have my life planned out.
“No! Just give me enough money to play and eat to my heart’s content in this country, for the rest of my life.”
“As you can see, I put a clause about the skinship that you hate so much.”
I conveyed my intentions to him clearly, and Albert read the words that I wrote down on the contract.
His eyes were still narrowed with suspicion, then he muttered, but still spoke in a voice I could hear.
“I can’t believe you’re the same person as before.”
…Because I really became a different person entirely. I tried to think of something else, because Albert might catch on.
Then, I told the truth with my expression hardened.
“The moment you kissed me, I realized what I should do with Your Highness.”
This was real.
“If you don’t believe it, then why don’t you think over the contract for a few days before you sign it? I’m confident.”
“…Confident, you say.”
Albert rested his chin on one hand.
“Wasn’t your original goal to have me by your side?”
Albert asked in a languid voice. I felt like I would be captivated just by his voice. I almost said ‘yes’ just now.
No. I have to keep my wits about. It took a moment before I talked slowly.
“But then I’ll die.”
“You’re a great man, so I think you’ll be able to escape the tower one day, then I’ll be horribly killed the moment you leave.”
Ah. A new word* that hadn’t been coined yet popped out. I changed my words.
“Instant death. Immediate.”
“…What the hell did you think while kissing me?”
…That you’d kill me, duh.
But instead of saying that, I started flattering him, hoping that I’d look as pitiful as possible.
“Don’t you think I’m not worthy of you?”
“Isn’t it right that your beauty can conquer the world?”
A soul that had mastered the ability of perfect flattery in the past life! This was the only thing I learned as a new employee!
I even winked as I delivered my sincerity to Albert.
He approached me, then raised his hand to stroke my cheek.
“Rosé, I’ve liked you from the very beginning.”
That must be something just to coax me. It must be.
I kept chanting this in my mind like a mantra just so I wouldn’t be swept away by him.
Otherwise, I really would fall for such a beautiful man.
“So I’d like to think over the contract more.”
I was quite relieved. He didn’t reject it outright. After all, he can’t easily trust someone who changed within half a day, so no wonder Albert didn’t believe me.
I had to act as though he could trust me.
Pouring my heart out with all my might, I decided to flatter and praise Albert as much as I could.
Jingle jangle mode, on!
I looked up at him with eyes full of determination, then nodded.
“Of course, Your Highness. Then, I’ll show it to you myself through my body.”
“Yes. My body.”
I continued solemnly.
“I will devote myself to working for you wholeheartedly.”
* * *
The first thing I decided to do for Albert was give him the bed.
There was only one bed in the room, which was by the wall, and it was a double-sized bed. It was the perfect size for one man and one woman to sleep together. This was clearly a collaborative effort by the impotent king and Rosé.
But I had no intention of sleeping in the same bed as Albert.
It was hard enough to keep staying in the same room, so I decided to get my own personal space.
The attic up the ladder was small, but cozy.
It was fortunate that the original Rosé was a bit of a neat freak, so the attic was well organized. There was not a speck of dust anywhere.
Of course, there was no bed, but that’s fine since I’m used to sleeping on the floor.
I also bragged to Albert about this.
“I told you that I’d dedicate myself to Your Highness. Like this! I’ve prepared a space for you alone.”
“I never said I’d sign that contract.”
“This is the sincerity that I can show to you before the contract. You’re a Prince. It’s only right that I do this.”
I gave Albert a hearty wink.
Albert smirked, as if he were on the verge of laughing. He looked exactly like a cat playing with a mouse in front of him.
…Should I at least be glad that I won’t be eaten? How did it end up like this?
I’d have to be careful because I’m still being doubted for the contract.
I decided to change the topic and flatter him for his strengths. There’s no one in the world who doesn’t like compliments.
“Your Highness, you should be careful whenever you smile.”
“Your Highness is too handsome. Will you take responsibility if I die of a heart attack?”
Albert smiled anyway, as if to say he wouldn’t listen to me. But I persisted.
Flattery was the best way to butter someone up and to let them know I’m on his side.
I intended to familiarize Albert gradually with constant flattery in the future.
“It feels like my eyes are so blessed just by looking at Your Highness. When I see you, I feel like even Shim Bong-sa** can open his eyes.”
“Who’s Shim Bong-sa?”
Albert’s eyes narrowed at my continued fawning. Then, he crossed his arms.
“You’re saying a lot of mysterious things all of a sudden, Rosé. Do you like my face that much?”
“Yes. Your Highness can conquer the world with just your face, as I’ve said before.”
Jingle jangle. This was the best technique to survive the social world.
I praised his appearance because that was the easiest thing to praise. Furthermore, silly comments just pop out naturally in front of attractive people.
Albert’s swordplay was amazing, but I couldn’t see it now. He’s not always kind or friendly, so I should just stick to what I can see.
How nice would it have been if he was a kind man.
Albert was handsome, but he was certainly far from my ideal type—I just wanted to observe beautiful people from a distance.
There was nothing more stupid than having him as a type.
I laughed inwardly as I thought about it. This was such emotional labor gained from experience.
Still staring at me, Albert nodded. The way he raised his chin and moved his fingers was sexy, as if I was watching a photoshoot.
“Rosé, come here.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
I walked forward immediately and stood in front of Albert, who was sitting on the sofa.
“Bring your face closer.”
“My face?” I asked warily.
“What do you think I’m going to do?”
“Aren’t you going to kiss me? I don’t think I’m wrong, I’m just saying this because I think you’ll actually do it.”
Albert got up from his seat, then stepped closer to me. He drew his face close to my ear, then said.
“That’s right. You don’t like it?”
Well, it’s not like I don’t like it. There’s no way I’d hate kissing a handsome man.
But the situation was different.
“I don’t hate it, but…”
“You’re only trying to kiss me because you don’t trust me. That’s why I don’t want to do it.”
“What does kissing have to do with not trusting you?”
“You’re just trying to see if I’m just blowing hot air, or if I’m actually willing to fulfill my contract with Your Highness.”
Albert laughed at my explanation.
“I don’t know what the hell happened to you yesterday, but you certainly changed.”
“They say people change overnight.”
“I’ve never heard of that.”
“Then I believe… it’s my own insight?”
“You must have read my mind. But there’s one thing you don’t know.”
“What is it?”
Albert placed his hand on my waist and pulled me close.
“I haven’t checked yet.”
The distance between us narrowed in an instant.
“I’ll have to see.”
He was still suspicious even after my persistent persuasion. And through skinship!
Emergency bells rang in my head. Even so, I resented my own lack of self-control because I didn’t want to push him away. But my life depends on this!
“If you don’t like it, just tell me now.”
“Your Highness, I’ve written in the contract that I’m sure I don’t want to maintain skinship anymore. If you can’t believe that, then isn’t the Prince being foolish?”
I took this opportunity to insult Albert. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to care at all.
Albert widened his eyes with a pitiful look. He raised his fingers and began to fold them one by one as he counted.
“How many times have you tried to deceive me?”
…I couldn’t say anything back.
That damn Rosé!
…I didn’t have a choice after all.
“Will it be okay if I don’t respond to your kiss?” I asked in a sullen voice.
Albert smirked when he saw my expression.
“No. That’s not it.”
Albert, who murmured as if he whispered, stared straight into my eyes.
His gaze was so intense that it left me bashful. I blinked a lot, trying not to show my real feelings.
“You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to.”
Maybe he knows that he’s much scarier if he said he’ll do it now.
A crisis should be turned into an opportunity. I became determined.
“It’s a good chance to get you to trust me more. Then, this will be the last time you’ll have to be close to me like this, Your Highness.”
I said this with utmost sincerity.
Then, after gulping, I continued.
“Let’s do it, then. T-that.”
“What do you mean, Rosé?”
Embarrassed, I was trying to beat around the bush, my words trembling like a ghost’s whisper.
I sighed deeply, then shouted.
As soon as I said so, Albert kissed me.
The hot breath on my lips took over my mouth. It was such a long kiss that I was gasping for air.
My body was rigid with tension.
I didn’t close my eyes. I couldn’t even guess what Albert was thinking, so I shouldn’t be stupid enough to enjoy the kiss.
And I wasn’t the only one who didn’t close their eyes. Albert didn’t either.
Our interlocked gazes were intense.
His lips pressed harder. It was a strong kiss, one that was for a lover.
…Albert was a really good kisser.
That’s all I could think about.
Then, his lips left mine.
I finally caught my breath.
On the other hand, Albert looked as if nothing had happened.
He was staring at me with an unreadable expression, but one corner of his lips soon lifted up.
“Rosé. Let me see that contract again.”
I smiled broadly.
Of course, it was a service smile.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Thank you for your patronage, dear customer.
* * *
After reading the contract, Albert had some questions for me.
“How can I believe you’ll promise to carry out the contract’s terms?”
There’s a way, of course.
“Your Highness, we can use magic to sign the contract.”
“…Do you think I can use magic?”
It’s kind of confidential that he could use magic. It was a secret that he never told anyone.
But this was knowledge that readers of the novel knew about.
I continued speaking shamelessly.
“Your Highness knows how quick-witted I am, right? Why else would you want to look at the wand? Aren’t you trying to absorb the magic in the wand?”
“I didn’t think you’d notice.”
It was a roundabout way of saying he thought Rosé was stupid, but what he was insinuating was right anyway, so I kept my mouth shut about it. It’s true that Rosé acted stupidly in front of him.
But the inquisition wasn’t over yet.
“Then why did you allow me to use the wand at first? It wouldn’t benefit you at all.”
This was going to sound absurd, but I thought of a good enough reason for it.
* The word used was 끔살 which takes the first syllables from ‘horribly’ and ‘killed.’
** A character’s name in a Korean folktale. Bong-sa means blind man.
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