Chapter 71: Shock
Wilhelm-sama had no children, let alone grandchildren. How could one even begin to have grandchildren in that situation?
But such a misunderstanding was made because Wilhelm-sama and I had a big age gap. Of course I understood that. I was also aware it was a generally less accepted age difference.
But my engagement with Wilhelm-sama was acknowledged by His Majesty Galius El Flarekista. In other words, the king who stood at the top of the country acknowledged it.
In other words, I could officially call myself as Wilhelm-sama’s fiancée.
Because there was no greater support than that.
「Well, you could say that」
Why did you not deny it, Wilhelm-sama—!
「I see. She truly is a pretty grandchild. How old is she? 」
「Currently……is it sixteen, Carol? 」
I could not answer.
The words would not come out from too much shock.
Right now, there was probably no light in my eyes.
「Oh my……is she nervous? Well, no matter. Is it Wilhelm-san’s day off today? 」
「Yes, I am off duty」
「It is finally the day after tomorrow. I pray for your good luck in battle」
「I will do my best. I will not waste away the lives the country has entrusted to me」
「Yes. We will leave it to you」
I was not sure what they were talking about. But the more important thing was, I was acknowledged as a grandchild.
I wanted to deny it, but I did not know what to say.
When I looked at Wilhelm-sama, he blinked an eye. Was that a signal for, “Let us leave it for now”?
Why was that?
「Come to think of it, Edward. You mentioned about having a marriage proposal」
「Oh yes, precisely. I have yet to meet her, so I cannot say anything. I have not asked in detail, either」
Ahaha, the two of them were smiling and chatting amicably.
You must be thinking I no longer intend to correct the mistake, right, Wilhelm-sama?
「Oh, anyway, I will be around here」
「All right, see you then」
With that, Edward-san turned and left.
I watched his retreating back alongside Wilhelm-sama.
It was silent.
As we watched, Wilhelm-sama and I did not have any conversation.
Because I was angry.
「Sorry. I really am sorry. You may blame me all you want」
I only said his name, but Wilhelm-sama immediately apologized.
I lost the initiative, even though I intended to lash out after.
「Now, now, do not be mad, Carol」
Ha~a, Wilhelm-sama blew out a small sigh.
I puffed out my cheeks more. It was probably as inflated as a frog’s now. I had been told I could not easily forgive.
If it was misunderstood like that, was it not Wilhelm-sama’s duty to correct it?
「But Wilhelm-sama……! 」
「In that situation, I could only agree……Forgive me. I also have my reasons」
It was Edward-san who mistook me as Wilhelm-sama’s grandchild. But then, I was angry with Wilhelm-sama who did not deny it.
I had been rendered speechless.
I thought I would be introduced to Edward-san as his fiancée. I thought Wilhelm-sama accepted me as his fiancée.
Indeed, I was too young to be called as Wilhelm-sama’s fiancée.
My father and mother were ten years apart, but that was still unusual. A couple with an age gap of forty-six years was unheard of. Therefore, Wilhelm-sama hesitated to introduce me as his fiancée.
It was understandable. I understood Wilhelm-sama’s point of view well.
However, whether or not I could wholeheartedly accept it was another matter.
「Er, really, I was at fault……that……」
Wilhelm-sama apologized again and again, but my temper did not subside.
To begin with, he had not told me the reason why I could not introduced as his fiancée. I could not accept it unless that was properly explained to me.
I knew I was being an inconsiderate woman.
But it felt like—as though I was rejected by Wilhelm-sama.
「Why am I not…fiancée……」
「……There is a reason for that」
「What is the reason? 」
He would not say something like, “Our age gap” or “We are ill-suited”.
I believed Wilhelm-sama had already accepted all of those.
I believed he has already…um…loved me. Thinking about it was a little embarrassing.
Wilhelm-sama breathed a long, long…
…and deep, deep sigh.
「Well, I have……wanted to tell you」
「I did not have much opportunity to, but……do you remember what I said before? That I am the knight captain. I have the responsibility to keep this country’s peace, and to march into battle. If I fall on the battlefield, the family I leave behind will mourn」
「Y……Yes, I do」
Indeed, he did seem to have said something like that before.
I did not recall every word of it, but I remembered it sounding like that. I believe he said, “Therefore, I did not think there was a need for me to have a wife.”
Wilhelm-sama thinks there was no need for anyone to mourn his death.
「But I have already reached a good age. I am thinking it is about time for me to retire from the Order」
「Is that so!? 」
「Indeed. I have already discussed it with Victor and the executive officers. The next generation would not mature if an old man like me remained a leader forever. The seat of the next knight captain will be entrusted to Victor. And Zack will be a candidate for the next generation of executive officers」
I could not understand why Zack was a candidate, though.
But if Wilhelm-sama retired, then there would no longer be a possibility of him marching into battle.
And retiring meant he would stay at home all the time.
Which meant we could be intimate all throughout the day!
Wilhelm-sama suddenly turned to me with a serious expression.
「Are you aware of the current situation outside the country? 」
「No, not in detail……」
「In response to the Empire’s appeal, the Kingdom of Garland sent their soldiers on the border between the Empire and the Trilateral Union. I heard that country deployed ten thousand soldiers, commanded by their strongest, the famous 『Red Lion』, General Gottfried Leonhart. Flarekista was similarly requested to deploy their soldiers……Flarekista is under vassalage to the Empire, so if there is an appeal, we must serve. Since it is deploying outside of the country, as such, a named general is required to lead them to foreign territories」
It seemed to go dark in front of me.
I had not known much of it, but Lilia had been telling me about the relations among foreign countries.
And then—all of a sudden, everything connected.
Something was off…It was with that uneasiness that I recalled everything.
It was all connected.
Suddenly being invited by Wilhelm-sama.
His deep discussion with Vice-captain Victor.
My father’s great surprise when I mentioned our day out.
The way Lilia nodded as though she understood everything.
「The one who will lead the reinforcements from Flarekista to the Empire will be me—Wilhelm Aibringer」
「The preparations are almost complete. We will depart in the morning the day after tomorrow. From there, I will take part in the war」
My tears fell in large drops.
Departing for the battlefield meant Wilhelm-sama would not return at least until the end of war.
If I assumed the worst more and more…
On that battlefield, Wilhelm-sama could possibly lose his life—!
Surely I was hearing things…
When I heard—the sound of normality falling apart.
 Annoyed sfx. She’s pouting.↩
If that country sent a relative of Squall Leonhart, it would take a miracle for the opposition to win…