So I Married An Abandoned Crown Prince - Chapter 15
Translator and Editor: Maru and Tea
Back then, I couldn’t understand him.
‘Your father tricked my son into working as a miner!’
His flushed drunk face and the smell of a cheap whiskey from his scraggly beard were enough to disgust the noble me.
A commoner raised his voice in front of a grand duchess, evaded the four people who tried to block him, and fell on his knees before me.
‘Madam, please help me. My son is just a child!’
‘Umberto, are you crazy? Do you want to die!’
‘Please, please give my son back!’
Dante yelled at Umberto as if to hide my puzzled face, but it was futile.
He pushed the butler away and fully showed his reddish, drunken face in front of me.
A face that didn’t seem rational. Perhaps because he was drunk or had cried too much.
‘What did I say to the crying Umberto back then?’
‘I know you’re able to feed your family using your son’s labor wages. So instead of behaving like this, shouldn’t you be grateful to me?’
I grimaced without an ounce of sympathy for his unfortunate situation.
‘But he said he would train my son as a knight…he told me not to worry, that it’s not a dangerous job!’
‘In the south, a commoner child is not allowed to become a knight. Are you going to blame me for your lack of common sense?’
‘What did you say?! Count Cardinale lied that he would train Katan’s young boys as knights and sent them to the mine instead!’
“Whether he trained them as a knight or sent them to work as a miner, it was my father’s decision as their employer, not mine to make.”
‘If you really want to see your son, you can return the money you received from my father. I’ll try to talk to him.”
Despite my generous offer, Umberto had spent all of his son’s wages on treatment for his sick wife.
But at that time, I couldn’t understand that the prolonged famine left Umberto no choice but to send his son to the mines.
Why do you blame me now when you’re the one who sent your son for money? That’s what I thought at that time.
‘He must have thought that his son would come back alive.’
My father obviously had fooled him by saying that he would train a commoner child who never wielded a sword as a knight, and Umberto never doubted the integrity of my father’s words.
‘In the end, he can only hope that his son will return home intact.’
Watching me recall my memories of Umberto, his daughter hesitated to speak.
“Madam, do you happen to know where the children recruited by Count Cardinale were sent?”
“Why are you curious about that?”
“My little brother was recruited by the count some time ago, but he hasn’t replied to our letters. My father is extremely worried about him.”
It seemed the departed child did not reply to Umberto’s letters.
I stroked my slim chin at her words.
Around this time of year, the mine that had a big accident…was it Sirtha?
My father would pay low wages and send Katan’s poor people to perform hard labor in dangerous places where southerners were reluctant to work.
In Katan, it was prohibited to exploit children for dangerous jobs such as mining or fishing, and such action was considered illegal dealings.
“I’ll find out where your little brother works.”
“Do you mean it?”
Sirtha was located on the border between Katan and Cardinale, and I already had plans to go there in the first place.
Because the black dragon’s egg was buried there.
“Thank you! Thank you very much, Madam!”
Her eyes glistened with tears while she thanked me and bowed her head before leaving.
“I’m thinking of visiting a mine in Sirtha real quick.”
The fingers holding the cup flexed when I announced my intention.
“Mine? What do you mean?”
Admiring the bulging veins on his beautiful white hands, I tilted my head and muttered.
“There’s something I need to find out.”
His gentle smile faded at my carefree remark.
“The mine in Sirtha is located on the Northern Wall, and it’s where the monsters often appear.”
The magnificent snowy mountain range that stretched from Katan’s Black Forest across the southern region where the warm sun melted the snow. People often referred to it as the Northern Wall.
The Northern Wall was originally meant to be the dividing line of the northern region, but it had become an area that was overrun by monsters.
I shrugged casually at Joseph’s remark.
‘Of course it’s overrun by monsters since it’s where the black dragon, known as the king of monsters, resides.’
“Yes. I know.”
Joseph did not relax his tense expression despite my calm tone.
“It’s not a place for you to visit.”
‘Don’t tell me you are worried that I’m going to plot something?’
I hurriedly tried to reassure Joseph.
“I won’t do anything harmful to Your Highness, so please rest assured!”
At my firm vow, he let out a low sigh and shook his head.
His gray hair showed shades of blue under the strong sunlight as loose strands fluttered from side to side.
“What I’m worried about is not my own safety.”
“Then, what are you worried about?’
I lifted my teacup, waiting for his reply, but he didn’t answer directly.
‘You keep doing things that I can’t understand.’
Joseph was reserved and rarely expressed his feelings, so it wasn’t easy to read his mind, but he became even more unpredictable in this return to my past life.
‘Especially looking at how he handles Sabrina.’
Sabrina did not dare to make eye contact with me after the monster incident and seemed to have sought her own way to survive.
After failing to establish herself as my personal maid or as the Grand Duke’s maid, she volunteered to be Joseph’s chambermaid.
A chambermaid was tasked to organize the owner’s bed and manage the bedroom. It wasn’t a position most would choose since they were often assigned to a night duty, thus making them susceptible to gain the master’s attention.
Sabrina still volunteered even though she was fully aware of this fact.
‘I think she abandoned any thought of trying to be on my good side.’
I didn’t intend to stop Joseph even if he took Sabrina as his chambermaid. If he wanted a concubine, I must respect his choice.
But after a while, rumors spread around the castle that Sabrina was expelled from his chamber because Joseph found her tidying his bed while naked.
(TN/N: Get the guillotine ready! I can’t believe they let a prostitute roam around so freely in a noble space.)
It was obvious why the generally kind Joseph rejected her so coldly, to the point of hurting Sabrina’s pride so badly.
‘Such incredible love.’
Joseph wouldn’t fall for Sabrina’s cheap seduction because his heart only belonged to the saint.
But what I found strange was how Joseph tried to explain to me his reason for ousting Sabrina.
‘I hope you don’t misunderstand, Wife.’
‘Why would you think I’d misunderstand?’
As I recalled the face of my husband biting his lips anxiously, I was brought back to the present by Rona’s voice.
“Madam. Should I tell Sabrina to ride another carriage?”
I shook my head briefly at her question.
“Do we need to bring Sabrina along, though?”
“Pardon? B-But Sabrina will keep flirting with His Highness! Are you sure it’s alright to leave her alone with His Highness in the castle?”
I just nodded unconcernedly at Rona’s frantic question.
I really couldn’t care less whether Sabrina committed adultery with Joseph or George.
“Ah, I see. You must have a plan in mind, right?”
No, I didn’t consider anything like that. I creased my eyebrows at Rona’s excited chattering.
“Madam is amazing! You let Sabrina guard the Grand Duke Castle all by herself!”
Rona’s eyes were sparkling as she pointed to a grand white carriage just behind mine.
“Only His Highness can use that carriage!”
No, it wasn’t my original intention.
I didn’t know what to say to Rona, who got very excited at something I hadn’t planned, so I only pursed my lips.
Joseph extended his arm to escort me, lifted me up lightly, and placed me on a cushion.
“Your Highness, are you coming to Sirtha with me?”
As if he didn’t understand my puzzlement about the unexpected schedule, he nodded casually.
Are you worried that I’ll do something in Sirtha mine? But I’ve never done anything to harm him or Katan!
“Why? I know that you don’t trust me yet, but…”
“There has been a report of a monster roaming on the border.”
He cut off my anxious words with a calm explanation.
“I thought it would be efficient to move with you as we’re headed to the same place, but I’m sorry if you’re upset by this.”
“N-No! Not at all. That’s fine by me….”
Embarrassed by Joseph’s firm answer, I covered my flushed cheeks with the back of my hands.