Chapter 1004: Will You Tolerate Me For Eternity As Your Husband?
Rowena couldn't hear everything Raphael said because his voice was covered by her own sobs. Why...? Why?
Why was this man so devoted to her? Was this truly the way the universe made up for her unlucky life? She was taken advantage of, abused, and unloved by a man she called father, and in exchange, the universe gave her Raphael who adored her no matter what, who listened to her, and thought her happiness was paramount.
Even after everything she did, and how much he must have been embarra.s.sed by it, his love didn't falter.
"It-it's not your fault," Rowena whispered hoa.r.s.ely. "My father was evil and I just had bad luck of being born as his daughter."
She stepped back and looked at the man with gleaming eyes. "If there is a next life, even if I was born to another evil parent, as long as I can have you, I don't mind."
Her words were uttered so sincerely because they came from the heart. Rowena was stunted emotionally because of her upbringing. It took so much from her to become expressive with her feelings and thoughts.
Spending years with Julian helped a lot, but once the man was gone, it was like having a huge setback and Rowena was back to being cold and inexpressive.
So, everything she said to Raphael now truly came from the heart. She was not good with words to have everything carefully worded. Only what was in her heart and mind were let out of her lips.
It was true... If she had to endure another lifetime of misfortune as an unloved daughter of a king, Rowena would embrace it if, as her reward, she could have Raphael.
The man smiled when he heard her words. Tears keep flowing from the corners of his eyes. Then he shook his head. "Not on my watch. As long as I am alive, I wouldn't let you experience any kinds of suffering. Also... I don't think you will have a next life. Immortals like us don't reborn, unlike humans, because we don't die."
Rowena faked a smile when she heard his wishful words. It seemed Raphael forgot that she had spilled the immortality potion and there was no way the king and queen of Cretea would give her another one. So, even if Rowena and Raphael stayed together now, she would grow old and die.
He would continue his immortal life and she... if she was lucky, she would be given another chance and reborn. Perhaps she would have a better life next time. It could also be worse.
Would Raphael find her if she was reborn? Would he recognize her? Would he fall in love with her again?
Even if he didn't, it's okay. He also deserved to be happy. Once Rowena died, Raphael was free to find love again. Next time, he should find someone his equal. Maybe one of those beautiful G.o.ddesses who clearly had shown interest in him from what Rowena had observed during her short time in Cretea.
It's okay. She wouldn't be jealous or anything. Having him for a short while was already a great blessing. One that she didn't actually deserve.
Raphael saw her expression and realized he could guess what was in her mind. He tilted his head closer to her ear and whispered. "I have a gift for you."
Rowena furrowed her brows. She moved back and looked at Raphael questioningly. Somehow, she could guess what he meant with his gift.
"Don't tell me it's..."
Raphael smiled and nodded. "It is."
Rowena automatically stepped back. Her eyes bulged when she realized he meant it. Raphael slowly took out a small vial from behind his robe. Rowena recognized it as the same vial given to her by the queen of Cretea.
"Where did you get the immortality potion?" she asked with a choked voice. "Did you steal it?"
Raphael was his parents' youngest child and they doted on him. He had his fair share of shenanigans when he was younger, but he never did something as extreme as stealing the immortality potion from his father's safe.
He bet on their love that they would forgive him. It was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Even if they didn't forgive his crime, he would just pay the price. Raphael just knew that he would not want to live his immortal life if Rowena was not in it. What's the point?
If they wanted to punish him by taking his life, a punishment very rarely given to misbehaving G.o.ds, then he would just close his eyes and embrace it. He was a man who would take responsibility for his actions.
Other people might wonder why he did what he did, but at this point, Raphael no longer cared to explain. Those who had ever fallen in love would understand and not question his reasoning.
"Rowena, I can't live without you," Raphael said earnestly. "I have told you how much I love you and wish to make you my wife. We should have been married last month if your father didn't interfere. You would have been a G.o.ddess by now. I am just picking up where we left off."
"But... I have spilled the potion," Rowena said. "I don't think they would give me another one."
"It's not your fault. Your father took that chance from you," Raphael explained. "I am only giving you what is your right. If my parents cannot see it that way, then I will leave Cretea and let them punish me."
Then he smiled teasingly, having his mood improved after he saw Rowena, and said, "I think it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. So, that's what I did. I know my parents well. They will be mad for one day and then they will forgive me. They love me too much to stay mad."
"B-but..." Rowena couldn't believe this. Raphael disobeyed the king of Cretea for her sake?
"Let me handle them," Raphael said seriously. "The question is now... would you take this potion, become an immortal, and tolerate me for eternity as your husband?"