Chapter 86: A Kind and Sincere Person
「Hey~ it has been a while」
Three days after I agreed to my engagement with Edward-san.
Through my father’s arrangement, I was to immediately have a meal with Edward-san. And now, I was alone with Edward-san in a relatively high-end restaurant in the royal capital.
I was with Natalia though, while he also brought with him a male escort. So, to be precise, we were not alone.
Edward-san was ordering something to the waiter. He could be asking for an unfamiliar brand as an aperitif or something, but I was not sure. I never visited establishments like this.
After he finished ordering, Edward-san turned to me again.
「Well then, once again……I am Edward Raul Flarekista. That is, the eldest son of Prince Raul, the king’s younger brother」
「……My name is Carol Ambrose」
「Un. I have heard a few things about you from Her Majesty. I heard you are generally an earnest girl. She spoke of how you did everything diligently despite her often being too much when teaching you」
「……Thank you very much」
「I have heard about you and Ray……Rayford from Their Majesties, the King and Queen. He is my cousin, you see. I did not think he was the type of idiot who would abruptly break your engagement in public」
The matter with His Highness Rayford felt like a really long time ago.
Now, it truly did not matter anymore. He was said to be under home confinement.
Moreover……thanks to that, I could have a sweet fleeting time with Wilhelm-sama.
「He is a disgrace to royalty, losing himself to the charms of a daughter of a baronial house and ignoring the noble’s daughter he should have been engaged to. While there were a lot of political intentions behind the engagement, he still should have nurtured love」
「……I…wonder about that 」
「I at least do not expect that I can have my own opinions for my marriage. As for this marriage talk, Lady Carol……I do not know anything about you. But it was a recommendation from the Queen. This is only an agreement out of an opportunity for the hand of the duke’s daughter. While I am aware of that, how about you? 」
「……Indeed, that is not wrong」
Edward-san’s words made sense.
Originally, nobles must decide for the sake of their House, even when it came to their own spouse. It was common for a marriage to be refused if the person does not match a House’s status.
In other words, to get married for love, the subject of romantic interest should be of almost equal status and is not from the side of opposition. Therefore, it was not unusual for the head of a noble House to have one or two mistresses.
However, Edward-san frowned upon it.
「I want to be as sincere with you as I can. If you marry me, we may not know anything of each other right now, but we must get to know each other. I swear to love you」
「……I am sorry, I…」
「That I know, of course」
Edward-san breathed a soft sigh.
It probably brought only one person to mind.
The one who still occupied my heart.
「I have heard about Wilhelm-sama」
Pain pricked in my chest.
I had not forgotten about Wilhelm-sama. The fact that I yearned for him with all my heart remained unchanged.
In consequence, my wound that was yet to heal—was being pried apart.
「What happened to Wilhelm-sama……was truly unfortunate. He was unparalleled in Flarekista, the strongest and most famous general in history……I never would have thought he would pass away being a reinforcement to the Empire」
「Both Their Majesties acknowledged the marriage between you and Wilhelm-sama. That is why, I originally intended to marry a suitable wife from another noble House. I never thought I would be engaged to you like this, since my proposal was once rejected」
Yes…it was acknowledged between us.
Even though there was a lot of political speculations involved, it still was acknowledged.
He went and passed away all on his own—.
「If you still yearn for Wilhelm-sama, I am fine with that」
「Do you want to say it is being unfaithful? Please be at ease. I would not tell you to love me until you forget about Wilhelm-sama. As I said earlier, you and I still do not know anything about each other. It is fine to get to know me little by little throughout our marriage. Because love is nurtured, you see」
He was a sincere person.
Edward-san was genuinely asking such of me.
He was saying it was all right that I still could only think about Wilhelm-sama.
「So, you do not have to worry. However, I swear. As long as I am married to you, I will love only you for the rest of my life. I would not look at other women like Rayford did」
「……Thank you…very much」
「That is why, it would make me happy if you slowly get to know me」
Kind—What a kind person.
He was sincere, kind, and told me he would love only me for the rest of his life.
Even though he was someone who, by all rights, was to be the next king. Even though he was someone who should naturally be more superior.
If you show me such a sincere and earnest attitude, I would end up being moved.
And that—I could not allow to happen.
A situation where I, losing Wilhelm-sama, the one who I vowed to keep on loving for the rest of my life, would easily switch to another man.
That seemed to be even worse—.
「So, I will say it again. It is fine to take it slow. We can take it slow, so let us make a future for the two of us」
Edward-san placed his palm on my hand that was on the table.
It was warm to the touch. And then…
「I would like for you to marry me」
I do not want to.
I do not want to.
I was supposed to be Wilhelm-sama’s wife.
The future was supposed to be me being Wilhelm-sama’s wife.
No matter how much I wished for it, Wilhelm-sama would not come back.
Then, this body was for the House’s sake.
For the connection between the royal family and the Ambrose ducal house.
It must be sacrificed.
This was good, right? Wilhelm-sama—.