Chapter 73: Promise
「Then, Carol. I shall take my leave」
I was too surprised by what Wilhelm-sama said that I ended up stuttering.
For me, it was like a groundbreaking event happened. Yet why are you so calm, Wilhelm-sama?
I could only stare at the back of Wilhelm-sama who turned and went away.
And when Wilhelm-sama turned the corner and his back could no longer be seen, my knees gave away and I plopped down to the ground.
Was this a dream?
「Could you hit me……? 」
「Why, Ojou-sama?! 」
Not understanding my meaning, Natalia could only cry out.
But I only wanted to make sure it was not a dream. I pinched my own cheek but felt no pain at all, too elated to feel it.
So this dream…was really not a dream?
From Wilhelm-sama’s own mouth, he said he…l-l-l-loved me—!
I stood up.
And with wobbly steps, went inside the manor’s entrance. Richard and Mary seemed to be saying something by the entrance, but I still felt like I was lightly floating and heard nothing.
I walked to my room like that. Climbing the stairs, passing through the corridor, and walking through the door. All throughout, I felt like I was floating on air.
Then, I finally reached my room.
Onto the bed I dove straight.
「……What…is it? 」
「It is almost time for dinner……」
「Please tell them I would not eat……」
In such a state, I would not be able to swallow some dinner.
It was too shocking that I somehow could not wrap my mind around it. A lot of things happened, and my mind was in a complete chaos.
I had said time and again that I had been yearning for Wilhelm-sama for a long, long time.
The Wilhelm-sama who, after confessing to him at the evening party, just stared at me like he did not know what I was talking about.
The Wilhelm-sama who, despite trying to refuse my marriage proposal at the garrison, held me close when I was in a pinch.
The Wilhelm-sama who ate the packed lunch I brought with relish.
The Wilhelm-sama who saved me from Robert’s clutches and carried me back home.
The Wilhelm-sama who offered for me to be a temporary lecturer at the Order.
The Wilhelm-sama who, despite his busyness, rushed over when His Highness came to our house.
The Wilhelm-sama who fed me when we were eating out today.
And then—the Wilhelm-sama who told me he loved me.
Various perspectives, various scenes, and various Wilhelm-sama flashed in my head.
Wilhelm-sama was going to war.
I would not know how the battle would progress. I would not be able to know how tough it would be.
He said he might lose his life.
But, but, but.
Wilhelm-sama said—“Once I come back from war, let us get married”.
He acknowledged me as his fiancée.
He decided to be together with me.
Was there any such happiness besides this?
「Natalia, that is all for today……I would like to be left alone……」
My tears came pouring out one after the other. It was not out of anxiety, sorrow, despair, nor dread that Wilhelm-sama might go to war.
It was out of great joy for being accepted by Wilhelm-sama.
Though I wet my sheets and dyed my pillow with tears, my lips could not stop from breaking into a smile.
Was this what they meant by “a heart is full”?
However, I suddenly realized.
My head whipped up. My eyes opened wide.
I forgot something important.
Wilhelm-sama told me he loved me. He proposed that once he returns from war, we would marry.
And all I could do was be stunned speechless.
It must not remain like this.
As a lady, I must properly accept the confession of love I received and, in turn, must confess my love.
Then, what are you being in a daze for, Carol Ambrose?!
「I will leave immediately! Please come with me! 」
「Eh? Um…did something……? 」
I threw the door open and rushed out into the corridor. I heard Natalia call out 「Ojou-sama—! 」from behind me. But it was all right. I am slow-footed, so Natalia would soon catch up to me.
Right now, I must give a proper response. If I do not—!
「Carol, what are you……」
「I am going out for a bit, Mother! 」
Passing by my mother, I continued to run. Right now, there was something more important than dinner.
I resolutely ran through the corridor and rushed down the stairs.
I lost my footing and fell on my bottom.
Down the stairs I went—with my bottom hitting the every step. My bottom was throbbing, but I was able to quickly descend the stairs. So all was well.
Enduring the throbbing of my backside, I proceeded to the front doors.
「What are you doing, Carol! 」
「Father! I am going out! 」
「What on earth is going on! 」
I ignored my father’s words.
There was a matter I must first take care of. I must catch up to Wilhelm-sama before he could go back home.
Passing the front doors and through the gates, I ran further down the street.
I lifted the hem of my skirt which was hard to run in. I knew it was improper to show my feet.
But if I could, I would even want to take off my shoes which were hard to run in.
I heard Natalia’s voice nearby.
She was truly following well. Then, it was fine.
Now, let us see which direction Wilhelm-sama went to.
He was surely just around the street. Could it be he was currently heading towards the garrison?
Then, I would race him there.
I tripped over my own feet and tipped forward.
I fell face first into to the ground. It hurt. I hit my nose.
Would my nose be bleeding? That aside, my face was smudged with mud. But there was no time to wipe it off.
I seemed to have scraped my knee, and it slightly hurt. But it did not matter.
「Ojou-sama, what is the matter! 」
「I must…catch up…with Wilhelm-sama……! 」
Smoothly ignoring Natalia’s question, I focused my all on running.
At this rate, I was worried if I would be able to catch up. But all I could do was run.
I ran through the streets, passing through a crowd throwing me strange looks.
Until finally—I found that back.
Shoulders twitched at the sound of my voice, and Wilhelm-sama turned around.
On the perpetually masculine features was a look of question.
Wilhelm-sama probably disliked a woman with such a disgraceful appearance, with a face smudged with mud.
If I miss my chance now—there might not be any more opportunities.
「W-What happened, Carol? 」
I approached Wilhelm-sama, who looked bewildered, and took his hand.
With a muddy face, in muddy clothes, and holding down my ragged breaths, I steadily looked up at Wilhelm-sama.
「I as well! I love you, Wilhelm-sama! 」
I would be soiling Wilhelm-sama’s clothes once again. This time not with tears, but with mud.
Still, I firmly held onto his waist.
I, too, would firmly express my feelings.
「Please! This Carol! Please take as your wife! 」
Muddy face with muddy clothes, dripping with sweat, and covered in scratches.
Still, I properly confessed my feelings.
Wilhelm-sama nodded, and gently stroked my head—.