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Liliana choked in surprise.

"I-I beg your pardon?" she stutters. 

"I'd like to ask you for your hand in marriage," he repeats as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

It clearly was not!

"And why is that?" Liliana's brows furrow. Never had she been proposed to by a stranger, especially when she has a fiancee at the same time!

"You clearly aren't a normal girl, that's for certain. Look at the book you were reading-" he points at the book on the coffee table labeled Strategies Used in the 140 Year-War.

"I like history," Liliana shrugs. It was also so she could get some background into this world since the original soul didn't pay any attention to history lessons. "So?"

"You aren't willing to back down without a fight and you're ever so honest with me," he continues and Liliana crosses her arms. "No. In case you have forgotten I also have a fiancee."

"I have spies, Liliana, I know what you talked about right after the ball." 

Her mind flashes back to the events that followed the ball.

"I think it's best if we annul our marriage," Liliana stated and patted him on the back of the hand. "It is clear you love another, and I don't wish to hold you back from happiness." 

Reginald gripped her hand and looked at her with stern blue eyes. "I saw the way you danced with the other man. Have you used my past misdeeds to your own benefit? To use as an excuse for you to seduce other men?"

"I would never!" Liliana responds as disgust becomes evident on her face. The audacity of him to even suggest that! "I merely wish to not play second fiddle if we are to be married!" she yanked her hand away and backed up from him. "If it starts out like this for us, then we will never be satisfied for the rest of our lives!"

"It'll work out!"

"It shall not and you know that!" Liliana retorted, swinging her hands down in a horizontal manner. Both of their chests heaved up and down in rage. She finally sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose to calm herself. 

"Enough is enough,  I don't wish to argue with you, Reginald." Liliana softened her voice and tucked a loose strand of black hair behind her ears. "But I cannot be with you and be truly happy in our marriage, knowing you'll always be longing for another girl."

"Liliana-"

"Goodbye, Reginald." Liliana walked out of the parlor and closed the door softly behind her.

Aleric's sudden movement when he stands up brings Liliana back to the present. "There's no way a low-level duke has the power to have a battalion of red-cloaked spies at their beck and call," Liliana points out and while she crosses her arms. "How many are on the roof right now? 5?"

"6, actually," he gives a wolfish grin. "Just because I'm a low-level duke, doesn't mean I haven't crawled my way to the top of the class-pyramid." He walks behind her chair and leans over it to look at Liliana in the eyes.

"We both want power, I can see that passion burning like hot embers in your eyes," he exhales with his breath hot on her ear as Liliana stands up and turns her back on him. 

"You don't know me, you've met me only thrice."

"I know you well enough to know that you're like me." He pauses and waited for a response that would never come. He steps closer to Liliana, meeting her arctic eyes.

"Listen, I'm giving you a chance. Your personality is just too...unique, for this life," he sighs dramatically. "I'm your only chance at marrying. We both know that any upper-class girl who doesn't marry before they hit the big 24 is disowned almost immediately."

Liliana glared at him. As much as she hated to admit it there was a deadline set five years from now on her twenty-fourth birthday in this world. But that wouldn't mean she'd marry this imbecile.

"No means no," Liliana says as she begins to walk away. "I won't marry you."

He chuckles lightly. "How ironic."

Liliana pauses and looks over her shoulder. "What do you mean by that?"

"You told me, not too long ago, that you would marry the Fourth Prince only because it was arranged. Yet, you split that up not too far after we spoke," Aleric muses as he walks back over to Liliana. Liliana turns back around and stares at her feet to ignore him. She hears his steps on the lush carpet draw near until his leather shoes were now beneath her gaze. With a long, calloused finger he rose her chin, ebony eyes staring intensely at her electric blues. 

A lazy smirk crosses over Aleric's handsome face. "Do I have that much influence over you?"

CRACK!

Her hand still remained in the air next to his face as he tentatively reached up to touch the forming red-hand mark on his cheek. Aleric looks in shock at the little lady in front of him, her face scrunched in annoyance.

"You are nothing but a degenerate weasel, hoping to ruin anything that's good. Your thirst for power shall be your ruin and I will be the one holding the blade that pierces your heart," Liliana threatens as her eyes narrow at him while a villainous expression appeared. "I cannot believe the insane amount of audacity you hold to pursue me when I show no interest whatsoever!"

She steps closer and glares at him even more. "Let me get this through your thick skull. One: I have no interest whatever in you," she prods her pointer finger into his chest. "And two: I shall not marry you no matter what power you claim to hold. Finally, three: I promise you that I will heartily laugh when I see your beggared form cloaked in the dirt of the slums."

His eyes widened at her monologue. Liliana shortly exhales from her nose as a serene expression once more coming onto her face.

"If that is all," she pauses and gestures towards the door. "Good day to you, sir."

She walks to the library door and opens it open. "Don't let it hit you on the way out," she comments without bothering to pause instep.

When walking to her room, Liliana passes by Amelia. 

"My lady, why is your face so red?" Amelia asks. "Make sure that man is sent out promptly," she orders, ignoring Amelia's question. "If he so dares attempt to speak to you, you have my full permission to cut out his tongue. In fact, I'll give you five extra gold if you do it slowly."

"My Lady!" Amelia cries. "That...that is obscene and horrible!"

"He is quite so!" Liliana runs up the stairs to her room. Upon entering, she flops down upon her bed and buries her face into the sheets and lets out a loud groan.

He's so damn annoying! And how dare he propose to me?! That bastard!

'He could be quite useful, now that you are no longer engaged to Prince Reginald,' 008 advises.

'Yes, I do know he is of Royal blood, and if I married him, technically I'd finish the mission requirements...' Liliana trails off. 'But I feel like I'd gouge out my own eyes in the first 10 seconds of our marriage.'

'Well, you dissolved your marriage with Reginald and you refuse to marry Aleric-'

'The marriage isn't dissolved quite yet,'  she grins softly, recalling the letter hidden between the folds of the book she was reading. He discussed amending their marriage in it.

'And when shall you respond?'

'That's the funny thing, you see...I won't.'

'How will that help you?'

'You'll see...'  she coolly responds and feels 008 sigh in her head before turning off. 

A perfect storm was being brewed and Liliana was determined to be the one in control of it all.

Sorry for the shorter chapter, I have a bunch of testing over the next couple weeks. If you like this story, please vote, comment, and add to your library. And thank you for all the support!

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