Chapter 103: To the Ball
「Well then, shall we go? Carol」
The week soon passed.
I was wearing a newly tailored dark blue dress, and Wilhelm-sama was in a tuxedo. At this ball, Wilhelm-sama was invited as a member of the Ambrose ducal house, not as a knight captain, so he was dressed accordingly.
We both rode a prepared carriage. The ball itself was hosted by the royal family, but each of us had to go to the royal palace by ourselves. In some cases, the less wealthy nobles walk to the royal palace even if they splurged on clothing. I would not want to go that far; dresses were hard to move around in.
Wilhelm-sama and I were side by side on our way to the royal palace.
I, who would appear in the hall of the royal palace from now on, was no longer the Duke’s daughter. I would have to formally make greetings as Wilhelm-sama’s wife.
My mother taught me about the manners and etiquette for it……but would it be fine?
「Carol, are you nervous? 」
Wilhelm-sama said such words to me.
Did it really show on my face?
「I am sorry」
「What happened? 」
「Oh……I just remembered it was at the previous ball when His Highness Rayford cancelled our engagement……」
「Come to think of it, it really was……」
Somehow, it seemed like a very distant memory.
At that time, since I was publicly told my engagement was cancelled, I gained the right to officially propose marriage to Wilhelm-sama.
My cheeks heated with a blush.
No, I had no regrets. It was just a little embarrassing.
「When I kissed Wilhelm-sama’s cheek in front of everyone……」
The people present this time would be not much different from last time. Although, the Anderson marquis house did not come last time. If I remembered correctly, the marquis had some business in his territory.
And there was a custom that other relatives should not participate in parties not attended by the head of a house. The head should be the noble to make an appearance. And if they were ill, the head’s official representative must give the greetings. The Anderson house did not participate last time simply because the marquis was out on business till the end.
Well, it was why Lilia did not know about Wilhelm-sama and I. This time, it looked like Lilia would be participating, so she should be meeting us at the royal palace.
「W-Well……the past is past」
「Yes. I have to thank His Majesty for acknowledging my engagement with Wilhelm-sama」
「And I have to hit Edward-san」
Dark emotions surged forth.
I could not forgive Edward-san for playing a bad prank just to surprise me. Edward-san was apparently the cause of it all.
Wilhelm-sama was bewildered by my words.
Alas…saying I would hit him was just a joke. After all, hitting a royalty at a ball held at the royal palace, such an action would lead to the downfall of my House.
「No, it was a joke. However……I should have received a proper explanation」
「W-What do you mean? 」
「Wilhelm-sama died and such……that sort of outrageous lie……」
「Oh……so, it was that……」
At my words, Wilhelm-sama awkwardly scratched his cheek.
Wilhelm-sama was also guilty of this matter. From now on, I would like for him to entirely stop such actions that were bad for the heart.
「Do not blame Edward too much」
「Regarding that, I am at fault. In the first place, I asked the Empire’s commander myself to report that I was dead. I had given up on living at that time」
「But when I was taken away, I was scolded by the doctor……he said, “If there is someone waiting for you back home, do not give up”. Thanks to that, while it took a long time, I was able to completely recover. And though I survived, I was unable to report to the country. It was only about a week before I returned that I managed to send out a report. And the letter arrived around the same time as my return home」
「Is, that so……」
「When I arrived, the founding festival had just begun. I went to report to His Majesty……and I was told that Edward and Carol’s marriage would be announced then. At that time, I was a little troubled」
Wilhelm-sama, without meeting my eyes.
Only looked straight ahead.
「I wondered, “Should I just stay dead?” 」
「I was worried about the Order, but Victor can handle it. I do not have servants at home, nor do I particularly interact with my relatives. No one would be troubled even when I die, and I was the one who reported my death in the first place. So I was troubled……and wondered if I can just quietly leave」
If he had done that—.
「If I had died, Carol and Edward would have been married. Then, you would have been proclaimed as future queen and would have assumed the position of being the next mother. Edward is good. He will never let Carol cry. Therefore……if I think about the country, I should have walked away」
「Wilhelm-sama, that is—! 」
I could not speak in my surprise.
I could not say anything. I never expected he was thinking of such things.
Had he chosen to do that…
Wilhelm-sama reported to be dead when he was actually alive—he would have become a ghostlike existence.
「However, I could not do it」
「I was able to survive……because there is Carol. Without Carol, I might have given up on living and would have already died on the battlefield. I thought—”I will be the one to make Carol happy.” So, I asked Edward to change the whole wedding, even though it was already before the ceremony」
「O-Oh my……! 」
It was embarrassing for Wilhelm-sama to suddenly say so.
But I was very happy he had thought that way. Really happy.
He came back to make me happy.
That, more than anything else, made me happy—.
「Well, that was when……he declared that for his efforts, he would like to do a little surprise. I already asked an unreasonable favor……so I could not insist anything more」
「So, I hope you do not blame him too much. He even said he wanted us to have fun tonight」
What should I do?
If Wilhelm-sama said so, I could not blame Edward-san anymore.
Where should I vent these pent-up feelings then?
I shall vent to Zack when we return.
「Well, it looks like we have arrived」
From the window of the carriage, I could see the royal palace.
Today, the glittering royal palace had many blazing braziers. As if it was showing its majesty even from a distance.
From now on, Wilhelm-sama and I.
This was our first ball as husband and wife—.