under the oak.jpg

Chapter 5

At the fiery roar of Riftan, Maximilian quickly straightened herself up, but was still unable to see who caused the sudden disturbance. The man who just popped in, looked embarrassed by the sight that greeted him. So, he looked away immediately.

"How could I have known that someone is in this drawing room? Usually, no one’s here so I just didn't feel the need to knock." The man said defensively.

"Get the f**k out of here!" Riftan breathlessly turn the man away.

Maximillian found herself unable to move. At her husband's angered voice, she turned pale. ‘What the hell just happened?’ Peeping through Riftan’s side, she soon saw the blonde man with an appealing look. He was gritting his teeth, muttering something harsh.

"We've got a carriage waiting outside. You said you didn't want to flatter yourself in Crosso Castle!" He objected.

"Tell them to wait." Riftan commanded.

The man gave a long sigh as if he had no choice. "Don't drag me along with this. We have to leave in a hurry."


Then, he cast a disapproving glance at Max and closed the door loudly. Left to themselves once more, Max took a side look at Riftan. He scratched the back of his head roughly and as soon as noticing her looking at him, gave her a glare.


Max curled in fear at this intense gaze, and Riftan snorted upon seeing her trembling state.

"Don’t worry, I won’t touch you this time.” He massaged his temples. “Sh*t... I didn't mean to be here in the first place.” Max kept her head down, not daring to look at him. She pulled herself up and adjusted her disheveled dress with her shaking hands.

"You just heard, didn't you? There's a carriage waiting outside. I'll leave right away."

His horse was completely drained of blood. He can't believe he’ll be leaving in a rush, without fulfilling his desire. But, rather than persuading him not to go, his wife had not uttered a proper word yet.

"Ha, but....”


Panic-stricken, she couldn't even think of anything and only grabbed the edge of her dress desperately.

"Wait a minute… We have to talk…” She wanted to talk about their marriage, and somehow, beg him to not divorce her.


"I have to leave at once. First, have your maid ready for your luggage. We will talk in the carriage."

Max, who was trembling in fear, paused and asked with a puzzled look.

"My baggage?”

"Yes. Your things. Bring with you the things you will need."

She just blinked dumbfoundedly, unable to understand what he meant.


Riftan then gave a loud sigh. With his quick hands, he roughly arranged the hem of her dress and raised her up to her feet. Then he called in a maid standing outside the door and ordered her to pack Max’s things. After hearing this, Max couldn't believe he was trying to take her with him in his journey!

"Just take what you need. I can't wait long.”

"Oh, don't pack anything else.” Max instructed the maid in a hurry. “Just my personal belongings—"

"Good. We must be in my estate the soonest."

Once her things were packed, Riftan led her out of the drawing-room. Max almost ran after him. She was confused at her husband’s words.

"Your…your estate...?”

"Why? Is it strange that a poor, low-ranking knight like me has a place?”

He gazed at her over his shoulder and said sarcastically.

"I was invited to King Ruben’s castle.”

She became more and more puzzled. ‘The house I should have been living in?’ King Ruben was the man who was previously betrothed to her, who then rejected her before their marriage ceremony.


She wanted to inquire more, but Riftan already strode down the stairs and out into the wide garden without further explanation. Next to the huge fountain stood a luxurious carriage led by four horses and six knights who appeared to be patiently waiting for Riftan’s return.


As soon as they reached them, the men who were babbling became quiet all at once. Some of the knights looked curiously at Max, who was standing timidly behind Riftan.

"What's wrong with you? Get in the wagon quickly." (Riftan)

"Ha, but... Oh, but my father is waiting. I’ll first....” (Max)

Suddenly, Riftan's face hardened. He grabbed her arm and dragged her to the front of the carriage.

"You're my wife. Who the hell would I need permission to take my wife? Even your father doesn't deserve to butt in."

Then he lifted her in his arms and put her in the carriage seat effortlessly. Max looked at him with a puzzled look.


‘His wife?’ He wasn't trying to divorce her! Things were still in a muddle in her head.

"Get this carriage started at once!"

He sat opposite her and yelled out for the carriage to move. A moment later, the carriage rattled and finally advanced on the road.


Max felt helpless. She looked at the castle of Crosso which was increasingly becoming distant, with a blank stare. She had imagined dozens of times the reunion scenes with her husband, but this was not on the list.


"Why... why are you taking me?’

She stared at her husband with grieving eyes. Uncaringly, Riftan looked out at the passing scenery outside with one arm propped on the window. He looked nonchalant, as if he had just not kissed her, then dragged her away from her home as fast as a thunderbolt.

She thought he would not keep her anymore.

"King Ruben has been offering him an engagement to his royal daughter. He can't miss this opportunity!" Her father told her just a few days ago. These words kept her awake every night. What if he really replaces her as his wife? Max would then be a shame of her family.

Princess Agnes, King Ruben’s daughter, and Riftan fought together on the Red Dragon Tidal war.
Romantic stories of the two people fighting heroically on the battlefield becoming lovers were resonating in the city walls. Everyone who heard of their return was looking forward to the grand wedding of the handsome warrior Riftan and the equally beautiful, Princess Agnes.


Max looked resigned at this thought. ‘I am nothing compared to Princess Agnes.’


Deep down, she dreaded that he would offer a divorce paper anytime soon. Even the priest who presided over their wedding would have thought so. No one was unaware that their marriage was caused by Duke of Crosso’s greed.


Riftan had all the good reasons and justifications to ask for a divorce. He didn’t harbor any feelings for her.