Don’t Ask For Mercy From The Villainess - Chapter 20
Jessica took out her handkerchief and wiped off the blood that trickled down from her lips before looking at Salipe with slightly wary eyes. Salipe could not bring himself to get angry at her appearance that resembled a wounded kitten’s. It was because her trembling eyes were quite pitiful to watch.
‘What made her so afraid?’
She was a young lady who grew up sheltered in the Marquis’ Family. According to the investigation done by his aide, Vivace, Jessica rarely went outside. Even if she did, she always did so with the Marchioness.
After the Marchioness passed, she suddenly headed toward a different path. It made Salipe wonder what happened to her ever since the death of the Marchioness.
During the Marchioness’ funeral, only a few people visited the March of Viterne. He didn’t think that there was any particular incident that took place during that time, but where did she hear things such as Marianne Russell aiming for the position of Marchioness?
“I’m sorry for approaching you so hastily.”
“…… I apologize as well, Your Highness.”
For Salipe, who was good at handling swords, Jessica’s hit was nothing. Yet he only gave her a faint smile, thinking he didn’t have to correct her for the fact that he should be the one apologizing.
“Then now you have to answer me. How did you know about white spinel?”
“Do you want to know?”
Jessica’s eyes were squeezed shut. Salipe’s eyebrows cocked up when he saw that. Was this really the woman who was able to quickly control her emotions well and even provoked him?
‘She seems like a noblewoman who was born exceptionally talented in high society.’
Jessica was an extremely private person. The tender-hearted and weak young lady had disappeared, and only a noblewoman, who was requesting for a deal, remained seated in front of him. Salipe turned his head slightly and looked into Jessica’s eyes.
It was his preferred method. There was nothing better than looking through the eyes of someone to understand their thoughts. Just like before, her blue eyes were full of fear. However, the eyes that looked at him haughtily also held a certain amount of grace.
Lofty pride was not common even among the high-ranking nobles. Salipe decided to go along with her different attitude. He loved that kind of pride.
“If I didn’t want to know, I wouldn’t have come here. But you know what?”
“What are you talking about?”
“The fact is that if you don’t hand over the information about the White Spinel, your loyalty to the Empire might be doubted.”
“My loyalty to the Ert Empire remains unshaken. Just like the fact that my father remains as the Margrave who protects the border.”
“Is that so?”
“That’s right, Your Highness.”
He could no longer find any hint of fear in her eyes, which were smiling faintly. In an instant, Jessica smiled again and provoked him after she had lost control of her emotions earlier.
“It’s entirely different from people who don’t know anything about loyalty.”
“People who don’t know anything about faith?”
“There are those kinds of people.”
Salipe became curious at how her words criticized someone so openly. Who made this woman turn into this kind of person? He noticed that her gaze changed when she began to criticize people who didn’t keep their loyalty towards others.
“So, what about the white spinel?”
“Your Highness is very stubborn as well.”
“I have no choice in this situation because it’s my duty to protect the country.”
“The gentleman normally would just let it slide if the lady knows about the boundaries of the conversation.”
“I would like you not to compare me with those commoners, dear.”
Jessica thought about Salipe’s words without saying even one word of concession. She couldn’t even explain where she got the information about the white spinel to him. She couldn’t tell him the truth, that she died once and got to live again.
Moreover, she couldn’t even hand over the information about the white spinel to Salipe. She had promised to give it to Isanna first. Salipe spoke up first, preceding Jessica who couldn’t say anything in return.
“Have you been to the Imperial Library before?”
“There’s no way I could have gone to that kind of place. I’m merely a lowly young lady from a Marquis Family.”
“How could you say that you are the daughter of a lowly Margrave? The passing dog would be laughing at that.”
“The Marquis of Viterne is nothing compared to other noble families.”
Jessica opened up her fan after regaining her composure. The opened fan made a sliding sound and changed the atmosphere as it produced a gentle breeze. Salipe’s gaze didn’t change even after seeing her movements, which resembled butterflies. No, instead it turned more serious than before.
‘He still remained the same.’
He was the same person as he had been in her previous life. He was the only person who didn’t get swayed at her enticement. Jessica was impressed by how he wasn’t affected by her. Ever since then, and even now. Salipe’s question stopped her from falling into her old memories.
“Do you know a mineral called Planaton?”
“…… Why would you ask about that?”
“I saw the documents along with the agreement listed on it.”
Jessica’s expression stiffened at Salipe’s remark.
“If you didn’t know about it, your answer wouldn’t have started with ‘why’.”
She just made a mistake. How could she make this mistake knowing that Salipe Ert was a thorough person who wouldn’t even miss the smallest details? Now that it already happened, there was only one way through this.
“I found the documents hidden in the Marquis’ family’s home.”
“I expected that, since you’ve never been to the Imperial Palace before. Oh, I won’t ask how you knew about the etiquette at the Imperial Palace. It’s a small consideration for the Lady.”
She felt like she wanted to hit those mean lips of him. Jessica’s hand that was holding the fan trembled, but she didn’t move it toward Salipe. She wondered if Salipe, a very talented knight, would be pleased to get hit twice regardless of his status.
“What a nice consideration, thank you very much.”
“Don’t mention it. It’s the duty of the Imperial Family to be compassionate toward others.”
She looked at Salipe, who spoke without showing any sign of yielding. He shrugged and spoke again.
“What are you planning to do now?”
“What are you going to do with the Planaton?”
“There’s nothing I can do since there is an agreement with the Imperial Family.”
“I heard you asked for the land from the Marquis.”
How did he know about that? Jessica lamented about how there were so many people in hiding and the way she didn’t know this fact earlier.
“Have you planted spies?”
“You know, there are quite a few people who are aiming for the Marquisate.”
“It sounds like Your Highness is not one of them.”
“Of course I’m not. There’s nothing to gain from the Marquisate anyway.”
She didn’t want to admit it even though he was right. Nothing could be gained from the Marquis of Viterne. On the surface.
If it weren’t for the wasteland where the Planaton was buried, Jessica would have thought the same. However, she was angry thinking that that was the sole reason why the Marquis of Viterne had fallen in her previous life.
“I can still get to the highest position even without the minerals. So don’t look at me like that.”
Jessica stopped doubting Salipe as soon as he spoke about the judgement in Jessica’s eyes that was kind of insulting to him.
‘Indeed, this person also acted this way before.”
Even in her previous life, he didn’t show any interest in the Marquis of Viterne. His main target was not the marquisate, but her father, Marquis Viterne, the Margrave who defended the Empire’s border.
After the news of his death was received, Salipe went all the way to the border directly to confirm it. She couldn’t forget the way he looked at her for a long time with gloomy eyes.
It’s because his eyes were filled with sadness. It started from there. When Salipe Ert began to lower his guard whenever he was around her.
“Is there anything you want from me?”
“Do you need power?”
Jessica went on alert when Salipe asked that. She needed strength. In order to protect what was dear to her, and to not lose her precious people, she needed power and money. Therefore, she was trying to use a few of the Planaton in order to get that power in her hand.
If she had money, power would obviously come along. She was anxious because she didn’t have anything. Time kept passing by, but she still hadn’t found the way to prevent Marquis Viterne from joining the war. Although she already looked into the background of Baron Russel’s daughter, who was trying to enter the Marquis’ family, she didn’t have any courage to confront the person behind this.
The two dukes were known as the two prominent families within the empire. Now that she had known either Duke Salemir or Duke Arteus were aiming for the Marquis of Viterne, it became her utmost duty to protect it.
Her previous life was completely different from the present. It was completely different from the time she became the wife of Duke Salemir, how she gained power as soon as she took over the dukedom. As time passed, Jessica became increasingly afraid because she had nothing now.
What if she returned to the past but lived the same life as before and didn’t do anything? Fear was getting the best of her, but she pretended desperately to remain calm.
“I do need it.”
So Jessica decided to admit it. Her fear. So that she could join hands with someone else. As long as it wasn’t Darten. She would rather make a pact with the devil that existed in hell instead of him.
What would she fear if she could escape from this situation? She had died and returned to life again. Jessica’s eyes shone in determination and filled with coldness. Salipe suggested to her as he looked into her eyes.
“Won’t you be my fiancée?”