The Day I Disappeared~part. 1
Although it’s merely another political marriage in an aristocratic society, I was happy to marry someone I sincerely loved.
…Even if he doesn’t love me.
“Duke Westin, this is my daughter, Anne Marie.”
“It has been a long time, Duke.”
The King’s younger brother, Gilbert Westin.
Through his handsome appearance and high social status, he garnered popularity within various social circles. I, three months after his elder brother, the majestic King, married, was chosen to be his wife.
A long time childhood friend becoming a lifelong companion– this was no such dreamlike event. The reason he chosen me was obviously a political one. My father was a prominent minister within the national headquarters. He was also one of his older brother’s—the King’s—most important aids.
Still, I’m glad.
Always— ever since long ago, I’ve loved him.
Our house, having been close supporters of the royal family since the reign of the previous king, inevitably attained an opportunity to build closer ties with His Majesty.
From that day onward, I befriended the cheerful brother Dion along with the quiet but gentle Gilbert. I liked both of them.
“I thought that instead of marrying His Majesty, Maria-sama would be married to Gilbert-sama.”
Nevertheless of who you are, it’s disrespectful.
And even thought Gilbert was silent, his eye glowered with a coldness I had never once seen during our childhood.
—that’s when I realized it.
He still loved Maria.
Even after she became His Majesty’s Queen.
During the six-month period of betrothal, Gilbert fulfilled his role as a good fiancé. At the ball, we danced the first dance. Every week, large bouquet of roses would be delivered to me.
“As expected of Westin Duke. This is a very splendid bouquet of roses. His fondness for you is obvious, My Lady.”
“Is that so?”
Rather than the amazing large-crowned roses, I liked the simple gerbera more.
“Milady, it’s a ball dress and my, what a lovely design. Were my lady to wear it, you would surely appear like a fully blossomed pink roses at the meeting hall.”
Bright colors don’t suit me.
I prefer blue, like that of the sky just before dawn.
“It’s an invitation to the theater for a tragedy. It’s directed by a highly anticipated young director. Getting the ticket was immensely difficult.”
“Is that so?”
I prefer comedies.
The tragedy of our reality is enough for me.
Whether it’s this or that, I’m very pleased with every single one of his presents. Of course, my thank you letters were delivered to him without fail.
However, I’m also a little sad.
Whether this or that—they were the opposite of what I like. Of things I told him long ago when we were still very young.
It was as if I’m being told that I’m better off forgetting the past me. I was even given presents for it.
And then, we got married.
It was a grand ceremony with His Majesty the King as the guest of honour.
The moment he looked at the royal couple, his face appeared to be on the verge of tears.
Strange, isn’t it? On the streets, he’s expressionless enough to be known as「Royal Ice Prince」.
He came regularly at night.
And then, because the room’s door would stay shut tight for a week, the maids would say ‘what a harmonious couple.’
Those maids didn’t know.
Never had he spoken my name in bed.
Because in bed, ‘Maria’ is who I am.
“Anne Marie, aren’t you getting a little thinner?”
“Do you think so?”
I joined my elder sister whom I hadn’t meet since awhile for a tea party.
I loved my elder sister very much. Even if I am married, I would often return home to visit her.
“Well, you finally married someone you’ll loved for the rest of your life. Perhaps you are merely too nervous to eat.”
At first, I tried my utmost to be near Gilbert-sama’s side to talk with him.
“That may be it.”
I accompanied the playful remark with the whiff of a smile.
That’s right. I will always be nervous.
“..Hey, Anne. Are you truly not troubled by anything?”
“No? I’m really happy.”
After all, I’m married with my beloved someone.
Or so I’ve told her, but Lily still looked at me with worry.
I wonder why.
“Anne, even if you are married, you can always come back here if anything happens. It’s alright, Otou-sama and Onii-sama worry about you.”
“Fufu, everyone worries too much. Thank you, I’m relieved just by hearing those words.”
Somehow, my breathing truly felt lighter.
At last, Lily’s expression relaxed.
“That’s right, today I purchased cakes from a shop that was the talk of the salon. Let’s eat it together.”
I instructed the maid to buy fruits from the vendor and prepare the cake.
“Anne, you prefer this one, don’t you? Sweet and sour are totally your taste. As for the queen’s favorite cake, it should be that one, …isn’t it a bit too sweet, though…?”
Between the orange sweet and sour cake, and the pure white cake…
“Then, I will choose the white one.”
“It’s the queen’s favorite, right? Then I will pick the white cake.”
After that, Lily’s face clouded with gloom.
Why was that?
The biggest event during the social season was the ball hosted by the royal family. It was held in the Royal Palace.
“At today’s ball, I can’t be by your side all the time.”
‘At today’s’—what a lie that was. The one by my side up until now, isn’t it no one?
However, it can’t be helped. Even if his vassals are present, my husband is also a member of the royal family.
As one of the event’s organizers, he had a lot of things to do.
“Westin House, on the matter concerning the venue security …”
“—Right, I’ll be there soon.”
Even if my head comprehends it, my heart still aches from watching your back disappear as you go to work. Not once do you look back at me.
Within the glamorous ornated ball, tension filled the air.
It might have been because of the stiff, uniformed expressions of the vassals, or maybe it was because the number of guards was higher than the usual.
…Or, it could be because of an idle rumor swirling around the castle.
This is how one hour later, I learned that it wasn’t a rumor but instead, a reality.
A band of ruffians invaded the ball.
?T/N : Just like a newly hatched chick, my first translation ever got posted. Because the short story is pretty long, I split it in 3 parts and this seems like a good sequence to end part. 1 isn’t it??? Don’t hesitate to point out any wrong and grammar mistake you spotted on the fic because this newly born translator seek to improve.