The man still seemed unwilling to let her go. If he had manners, he should have given an answer when someone spoke to him.
Rosetta continued, “I don’t know how to ride a horse anyway, so I can’t run away even if you leave me alone.”
At that moment, the mouth of the man he thought would never open finally opened slowly. He asked, “You don’t know how to ride a horse?”
He sighed. “I knew that your tribe had thrown away pride, identity, and everything because of the influence of the kingdom, but I didn’t know it was this much.”
“Aren’t horses only for those who need them? Why does everyone have to be able to ride a horse?”
The man who was looking at Rosetta soon noticed something and raised his hand to hold her hair.
“……I heard that the daughter of the Basque chieftain has light brown hair, but this is more golden than brown,” he muttered quietly as he watched it glisten brilliantly in his hand.
At that moment, Rosetta realized that now was her chance to reveal that she was a fake. Now that other men are busy with their work, if she explains it again, the man may believe it. From the conversation earlier, she thought he was the most rational person out of all of them.
“Riga, everything is ready!”
As Rosetta was in a hurry to explain the situation, one of the men shouted loudly. In that short time, the tent was already completed. Even a bonfire is blazing in front of it.
“Now you can go inside.”
The words she never wanted to hear rang out.
The reality before her nose became a horror scene. If she is dragged to that place, she will end up doing terrible things with that man. That’s what she thought.
She wasn’t attached to sanctity, but she hated it nonetheless. Being ravaged in this way was truly terrible.
“No, I don’t want to!”
As the man tried to get her off the horse, she began to wrestle her writhe. In the end, she hold onto the horse’s mane and hung desperately.
“I will never go in there!”
A burst of loud laughter erupted again, and the men were talking to each other.
“Riga, dealing with the bride must be tough, isn’t it?”
“If you change your mind even now, tell me. Taming a wild mare is what I do best.”
At the men’s jokes that followed, Rosetta burst into tears of anger.
She had never hated or held a grudge against anyone before. But today, for the first time, she felt such a negative emotion. How can they laugh and rejoice at the misfortunes of others?
If she had strength, she would have stabbed all the men here to death.
Then a low whistle sounded. The horse suddenly lifted its hind legs and leaned forward.
Rosetta was startled and let go of the mane she was holding. The man caught her falling from the horse and immediately put her on his shoulder.
“Let me go! Let me go!”
Rosetta slapped the man on the back. But her resistance didn’t seem to do him any harm. The man walked towards the tent easily, holding the struggling Rosetta.
As he rolled the door down, a loud voice rang out from behind, “Have a good night!”
Inside the dark tent, a small candle was lit and a blanket was spread on the floor. The man threw Rosetta over there.
Rosetta groaned in pain as she hit the floor, but the man didn’t even care. He seems to be listening to the voice outside for a moment, then he turned and came straight up to Rosetta.
“Do- don’t come!”
Rosetta was terrified and stepped back. But it wasn’t long before her back touched the tent. The man approached Rosetta, who had nowhere to hide.
Rosetta resisted him with all her might, but the man’s body was too big and strong.
“You filthy barbarian! Get away from me!”
Rosetta’s teacher, who taught her from an early age, always emphasized that people and cultures are relative and equal. Therefore, she should not belittle foreigners or criticize their way of thinking and customs just because they are inferior to the kingdom in which she lives.
But now that she has experienced it firsthand, all of her teacher’s words are wrong. They are just barbarians, as her nanny said. Even if they do such a barbarian thing, they don’t even realize it’s wrong. They are no different from beasts.
The man’s body pressed heavily on Rosetta. The weight made Rosetta breathless. She tried to push his shoulders with her hands, but the man didn’t budge, just like a stone statue.
Rosetta this time scratched him with her nails as hard as she could. In her heart, she wanted to scratch that handsome face, but unfortunately, her fingertips only passed near the nape of his neck.
Eventually, one of her fingernails drew a long red line around the man’s neck. At that moment, the man’s hair tie was untied, and his long hair poured down. Even in her frenzy, Rosetta was surprised to find out that the man’s hair was this long. All men in the kingdom had their hair cut neatly to the nape of the neck, so she had never seen a man with such long hair.
The man frowned a little, and suddenly turned Rosetta’s body upside down. Then he pressed her back to make her unable to move.
The man whispered as Rosetta struggled.
“Yeah, scream louder. So that everyone can hear it outside.”
Rosetta’s eyes widened in shock. Rosetta stiffened and remembered the words whispered to her by those who served her one day. It was about secret things that happen at night, and that men have sadistic tastes at times.
They said that the more a woman suffers and screams during the night, the more joy a man feels. She remembers that the conversation ended with the conclusion that she should never meet such a madman, and if she does, she should avoid him immediately.
But the madman is right behind her back.
No more screams came out. When she was completely frozen in fear, she remembered the dagger her nanny gave her. Rosetta gritted her teeth. If she’s going to die by this madman anyway, she won’t die alone.
The moment she made such a decision, the man said, “If you promise to listen to me from now on, I will let you go.”
Rosetta nodded her head for a moment. Of course, she didn’t believe anything he said. As the man slowly released his grip, Rosetta took out the dagger she had hidden on her chest. Then she turned around and swung the dagger straight away.
But before she could even swing it, her wrist was grabbed by the man. With a force that seemed like it would cut off her wrist at any moment, Rosetta groaned and released the dagger.
The dagger fell softly and silently onto the blanket. The man looked down at it and muttered quietly, “I had expected you to have prepared something like this…… yeah, I should rather say it went well.”
The man who uttered words akin to ridicule immediately stared at Rosetta. Looking at the eyes staring intently at her, Rosetta remembered Allen’s warning.
“He is more ferocious than the monster we saw in the lake.”
Now she knows. She shouldn’t swing a weapon in front of such a person. A clumsy attack is tantamount to suicide. He will never forgive anyone who tried to kill him.
The man moved slowly to pick up the dagger that fell on the floor. Rosetta’s body trembled, imagining what was to come next. She thought it was all over when she saw him point the tip of the dagger at her. As she was about to close her eyes tightly,
Drops of blood fell on the blanket. The white blanket was gradually dotted with blood. But it wasn’t Rosetta’s.
Unexpectedly, instead of stabbing Rosetta with the dagger, the man made a small cut on his forearm.
Rosetta gasped. “Wha- what are you doing now?”
The man covered Rosetta’s mouth with his large palm. As Rosetta struggled, the man whispered in a low voice, “Unless you really want to do it with me, stay still.”
This time, she had no choice but to do as he said. The man noticed that Rosetta had calmed down and blew out the candle next to the bed.
As her vision darkened, she felt movement wandering outside the tent. Rosetta finally realized that there were eyes watching this place from a while ago.
How much time has passed since then?
She could see the black shadows outside disappearing one by one. The man kept listening to the whistling outside the tent, and only after confirming that no one was there did he release his hand from Rosetta. Rosetta quickly stepped back. Then she fixed her messy collar and stared at the man with all her might.
It was dark inside, but the faint moonlight from outside made it possible to distinguish the outline of the man’s face.
No matter how much she thought about it, she couldn’t understand the man’s actions a while ago. Why did he stab the dagger into his body?
At Rosetta’s muttering, the man stared at the wound on his forearm for a while. Although it was a shallow, long wound, he didn’t mind at all. He seemed to have no intention of treating it.
“Why did you do that……”
“When the time comes, I will send you back to your father and tribe.”