5.2 The Day of Collision~
***T/N: Howdy! Before the start of our belated chapter, I’m taking this opportunity to show y’all my take on how our Danna-sama and Maria look like! Here ya go~
Alright, thanks~~~!! *bow*
The Day of Collision~pt.2
Maria had obviously put two and two together. Even for a moment, how could I ever forget that she was sharp-witted?
Several leads were scattered about.
Thus, for her to arrive at such a precise conclusion, was actually a natural course of action— atleast for Maria.
Nevertheless—Maria appeared downcast.
“So, judging by your reaction, it seems like I wasn’t mistaken after all. That makes me unhappy. To be able to reach a truly unpleasant conclusion in a single attempt, it’s nothing to be proud of.”
She released a melancholic sigh.
“You’re such a simpleton, it brings me pain so much as to look at you.”
“Me? I am …a ’simpleton’?”
“Indeed. Very much so. Here, I shall bestow upon you some basic knowledge, one that you failed to realize until now—“ Her red lips slowly spun the string of words:
“—you love yourself the most,
“We appear to be on the same wavelength, share the same interests, and be similar in so many ways and what-not—hence, you loved me. …That’s what you thought. …Ugh,even the thought of sharing just one similarity with you turns my stomach. Such a revolting idea…” Her tone was filled with repugnance, as if she was about to throw up.
“Such things, …It isn’t, it can’t be true…”
It couldn’t be.
‘Similarity’? What ‘similarity’?
She was a charming and eloquent lady, and most importantly, sociable. The polar opposite of me.
—yet, she also had a vast array of knowledge, coupled with a nimble mind.
The time she took to process things almost equaled mine.
Is that so…?
…I see now,
All this time, had I been unsconsciously comparing myself to her?
“Your love, it was not—and was never—intended for me. It was towards your own self, was it not, Gilbert…?”
I was stunned.
“The size of your pride equals the wide ocean, the vastness of the sky; it belongs on to a whole different level.”
And her next words made me even more agape:
“And I think that’s fine.” She said brightly. “Isn’t that what it means to be human? I’m like that too. Perhaps, we do share one or two similarities.” Her smile, ceaseless.
“—Yet, however, it is also in that similarity where a major difference between us lies. Have you noticed it yet?
“It is precisely because I love myself the most that I want those people whom I cherished to be happy.
“Because I found myself in them.
“Hence why, I’m willing to give my all, and even sacrifice myself for my beloved people.
“—but what about you?,
“Your love for yourself has become your own greatest limitation. Toward those outside of yourself, or beyond the realm of your expectation—you denied them all.
“What I am saying is, I understand how high you value yourself. However, please, stop dragging your surroundings into it. Deal with your own mess, okay?,
“Other than that, do feel free to wallow in that self-pity of yours—take your time! It seems to come in great abundance, after all. I find your exercises in futility your most discerning feature.”
Indeed, Maria had said all that.
“My, you look so pale. Would you be so kind as to tell me why?”
“…You dared to ask that?”
To be chastised like there was no tomorrow, was there any human being out there that won’t be agitated? That described what I was feeling perfectly; agitated to the point of trembling—“—or is this what you were aiming all along? My utter discomfort? Is that what you were trying to accomplish? Then congrats—”
“—take my advices; think before you speak.”
She didn’t even try to hide her dismay anymore. Maria then offered:
“Would you care for a drink?”
“Am I mistaken? We’ve only met a few times during our childhood, and now, we can only meet in the palace. So, my deduction might be biased, and I am sorry that I did it without permission. …Well, you know yourself best. I expected you to be defensive. Or resist, even if a little. ”
To resist—there was no way I could do that.
Since everything she had said was the truth.
I loved myself the most.
Knowing that no one could rival my vast knowledge swelled my pride.
Even more so when my research aided my brother beyond the capability of anyone else.
I was truly satisfied with myself.
In truth, my intention behind apologizing to Anne Marie was entirely to stop the torment of guilt. I wanted my peace of mind back—just that.
In the end, it was for my own sake.
To be brutally honest, was there ever a moment when I truly thought about her? Any moment at all?
I pretended to regret what I did in the past, acted like I blamed myself over and over—when in all actuality, I had forgiven myself since long ago.
I let them all go as I planned for a way to ensure that it wouldn’t even matter in the future.
I was so sure apologizing would do the deed. I was so sure it would reopen the door to my once comfortable livelihood.
As long as she accepted my apology.
…Yet she did not.
Self-introspection; I had never intended to do any of that.
Nor to break the shackle of ‘heartlessness’ that everyone had branded upon me.
—Why would I?
In this world, there were many more majestic events more thrilling, satisfying, and rewarding to research. More than my own cause.
When you put self-searching and brooding next to discovering a whole lot of new things that add to the mind, it made the former seemed rather pointless, don’t you think?
“So, this is it. This is who you are and whom you’ve always been. Poor thing, no one ever pointed it out to you—either because of your high status or simply because it’s just not worth the extra effort.”
Maria looked wholehearted when saying that, like there was actual pity coming from the bottom of her heart.
Yet I hardly felt the same thing—or even knew why I should even feel a shred of pity towards myself.
It might be because of her crescent-shaped eyes as she smiled, but during this entire conversations, she never tried to contain her venomous words.
And then, she diverted her eyes away, as if losing interest, and glanced down towards the table.
“My! We were so engrossed in our conversation that we forgot about the sweets! Here, eat some, I highly recommend them to you. I told the chef to make the flavor as they are since I’m fairly confident you’ll like it.”
Curious, I bit into one.
Flavor originating from a mixture of sweet-smelling herbs immediately filled my mouth. Suffice to say, it was too heavy for my taste buds.
I immediately sank into disappointment—
“It’s too fragrant for my taste.”—and unintentionally voiced my dissastisfaction.
Just a moment ago, she looked so confident. I thought she had fully grasped my preference. Turned out it was all—
“—Huh? You dislike it? I thought you would, since Dion likes it.”
Having the same line thrown so casually into my face choked me on spot.
Seeing me go rigid, Maria continued on, unfazed;
“I’ll share with you yet another one of my honest feelings, …Did you know the reason I used to be kind to you since long ago was because you resembled Dion?”
“Every single time you came up to me with a story, I was bored to death. But how could I not withhold my true feelings and endure? Your face resembled Dion’s! It’s a good thing, isn’t it? Truly, you have to be grateful that you were his little brother, otherwise…” Saying so, she laughed graciously.
She was saying, she never even once looked at me, but my older brother instead.
With a face resembling that of my older brother, she could ignore my silliness.
When Maria noticed that I had returned to my earlier dazed state, she sighed again.
“What? Don’t tell me you actually believed that? If you and Dion had been so similar, I wouldn’t even consider marrying him. In that case, he wasn’t, which is why I married him.”
Even when she plainly told me it was a lie, there was no way for me to brush it off.
The words she had spoken to me that day had certainly left an everlasting mark.
Her gesture had brought me immense pain which was beyond words, but they also let me understand what she was trying to convey. At last.
“You’ve finally managed to feel what Anne Marie has been feeling this entire time—no, it is I that’s finally been able to make you emphatize with her. Be sure to thank me later, okay? Gilbert.”
Maria smiled gracefully, and it came from her very heart—I no longer doubted it.
The Fool learns from experience, The Wise learn from their predecessors.
“Someone as foolish as you will never learn unless you actually experience it.”
Her smile filled me with gratitude.
I wanted to thank her, but just ‘thank you’ wouldn’t and will never be enough.
Certainly, this was the smile that had once captivated me.
Everything she said was correct. Undeniably so.
Ever since Maria had started doing this, this was probably the first time I realized how much of a fool I was. Furthermore, I no longer had any objections for being called that—
—Since I am indeed The Fool.
***T/N~pt.2 : Translating this chapter has been a ride. Right when I thought Danna-sama couldn’t sink any lower than that, he had indeed proven me wrong.