1.1 Until the Day I Lose Her—upper part of memoirs~
‘The Day I Disappeared’—through Gilbert’s pov.
I used to think of myself as a wise man.
I was mistaken.
In truth, I had only been desperately trying to cram other people’s wisdom in my head. Just like a foolish and childish man who forgot to grow up.
“Long time no see, Duke.”
Delivering the salutation with a refined and ladylike bow was the Countess of Brent–Anne Marie.
The fact that my older brother, King Dion, placed a great amount of trust on her father, the Minister, was well-known.
That fact had also made her a favourable marriage candidate—this was something she too knew well since her childhood.
Although overdue as it was, Dion had finally married his fiancée. The marriage took place soon after my 25th birthday, as the radiant sunlight beamed through the warm, spring day.
His spouse was Maria.
Despite being a woman, she was quite knowledgeable and was swift with her thoughts.
By no means did it decreased her elegance. Rather, it served to increase her gracefulness instead.
Always bearing the gentle refined smile of someone who belonged to the nobility, I thought of her as the representative – the number one amongst all the noble ladies.
She was indeed a wonderful partner, worthy of being alongside my respected brother.
She would surely contribute well to the further development of the kingdom.
The coronation ensued along with the wedding ceremony. The inheritance of the throne that had been empty for a decade made people enthusiastic.
During the ceremony, I felt a crisp pain in my chest as I gave my blessings to my elder brother who sat in the front row.
“Gilbert, you ought to settle down soon too, right?”
This conversation happened about two months after my brother’s wedding. The atmosphere in the palace at that time was calm.
Following that, my brother sent me lots of potraits and introduction letters in mischief.
Ah, I understand it now.
Those who had failed to attain my older brother had shifted their focus towards me. One after another, they tried to appeal to me.
“If I may ask, Aniue, whom do you consider as an excellent candidate for me?”
To be honest, I couldn’t find amongst all of these ladies, someone that I would honestly want to spend the rest of my life with. Such thoughts didn’t even occur to me when I looked at any of them.
For, in my mind, marriage meant staying by the side of that person forever.
“Sorry Gilbert, I can’t help you with this. Find someone that incites such a thought within you, yourself. Fortunately, as I have wedded Maria, you won’t need to stick with the royal family’s tradition of an arranged marriage.”
Because of the said marriage, the kingdom’s current state of affairs, both internal and external, were quite stable.
Besides, Maria was the lady of a marquis that had served the royal family since ancient times.
Even with arranged marriages being an impeccable rule for the royal society, my brother’s marriage was a romantic one too.
Not only were the nobles satisfied that the tradition of arranged marriage was being upheld, but so were the commoners, who were enthuastic about the fact that it stemmed from love.
That was why she was such an ideal queen.
“But, I really don’t understand such a thing…”
“Gilbert-sama, many have said to me that this emerald green color adorns me well!”
—‘Look, doesn’t this perfectly complement my beauty? Buy it for me.’
“Gilbert-sama, my family has invited the most popular diva to perform in our house, are you interested in joining us?”
—‘For you, I’m willing to go to such an extent. Isn’t returning the favor by accepting this invitation is a common courtesy?’
Whenever I attended the social circles, I only met people who harboured such thoughts.
No matter what method or sugarcoated words they used, their true intentions were as transparent as glass. Everyone was acting and speaking lies.
I’m tired of such woman.
“I understand…,” every time I came back alone, my brother would show a dejected face.
But this time, his facial expression was very serious, unnaturally serious.
Looking at him, I unconsciously corrected my posture.
“You see, Gilbert, I don’t think you need to be reminded of this again, but a spouse is someone you’ll be sharing your lifetime with.”
In the case of political marriage, even if there was no love between the spouses, the fact that it was a political one in nature had already binded them together.
Otherwise, without that fact, what else would make them stay together?
‘Love’? Or is it ‘contract’?
“I am finding it impossible to find somebody that I’ll be able to love.”
Of course, even if it was so, I still had no other choice but to continue searching for one.
“Starting with someone you are interested in is fine, and with someone you already were friends with is even better. As long as you can see a potential for a bond to develop with that woman over time.”
“However, keep this in mind,” he continued;
“No matter what time of the day it is, be aware of the lurking opponent.
“Unlike the book you love to be immersed in, or the profound research that you did, your ‘enemy’ has the same heart as your own, and thinks the same way as you do.
“Never forget that.
“I sincerely pray you’ll find somebody you can love with all your heart. Should that not come true, at the very least, I hope you won’t make someone else suffer.”
“Perhaps I misunderstood what you just said, but it sounded like you are deemly sure that I’ll end up making someone else unhappy.”
“If you’re the one being unhappy, surely you will find a way to take care of your own self, won’t you? You are someone who’ll never share his problems with someone else and prefers to resolve them on his own.
“But please understand this,”
If someone else is miserable because of you, you will carry that burden for the rest of your life.
At that time, I failed to understand the meaning behind my brother’s words.
My brother’s expression returned into his usual cheery one as he abruptly said, “Oh yeah! There’s also a potrait of your childhood friend, Anne Marie. My~ She has grown into a beautiful young lady, indeed.”
Ah, I remembered her. When I was still a child, we used to get along.
“If it was Anne Marie, then perhaps spending the rest of my lifetime with her wouldn’t be so bad…,“ I thought.
And that’s how I decided it.
“Hey Gilbert, look at the dress I am wearing today~. Cute, isn’t it? The color is also my favorite!”
Everything that piqued her interests, she would report it to me.
It could be about the wonderful thing she just saw, or just the things that she liked in general.
The younger me recalled her glittering eyes as she talked about those wide array of things.
Neither to pester me to buy it for her, nor to impose me for anything.
She was just trying her best to share all of those things she deemed as wonderful, with the person who she thought of as important.
…Yes, she might truly be different from all of those woman I have met until now.
“Hey, hey, Gilbert, look! By chances, do you know what this is?”
Whenever she discovered something she had never laid eyes upon, she would call for me who was immersed in reading a book, and inquire with eyes full of curiousity.
I can ask this person, since he knows everything!
Stared by her eyes that didn’t lack even a single speck of trust towards me, my young self’s self-esteem was greatly appeased.
…Yes, if she was the one staying by my side, I could manage it until the end of my life.
“What is it?”
“My fiancé shall be Anne Marie.”
“Deciding it so suddenly, are you sure?”
I peered straight into my brother’ eyes.
“…Alright then, I will inform Brent house first.”
‘Be sure to obtain Anne Marie’s consent,’ – my brother advised me to propose to her myself.
However, in the end, that never happened since I decided to just arrange it directly with her father, Earl Brent. After that, I did everything I’m required of as per the customary rules, such as visiting the family of the spouse.
I had forgotten to heed to my brother’s advice.
No, I had ignored it.
For I am confident in my own knowledge, it was unacceptable for me to not understand how this whole engagement thing worked.
**T/N : Thanks again for Ddraig’s edit in this one, he works miracle, I tell you!
…And here goes, Gilbert’s pov is now up. He’s one haughty danna-sama, desu yo ne…