52. Red Eye (4)
“—Violet, I found an interesting book.”
“—Violet, I got delicious sweets so let’s eat together.”
“—Violet, the weather is nice today, let’s take a walk in the garden together.”
Whenever I found something, I beckoned to you.
I wanted to spend as much time as I could with you—and I wanted you to like me.
That was why, I would give you everything you wanted.
“—what do you like, Violet?”
Would beautiful flowers make you happy? Or was it confections? Ah, but you were also studious, so you might prefer a rare book from a foreign country.
I asked you many times—
“—what do you like, Violet? Is there anything you want?”
But you never answered my question. As such, I could never bestow you with anything.
Every time you heard my question, you seemed troubled.
Why do you always appear troubled?
I liked you, was all.
I just wanted to make you happy.
“Your Highness, forgive me, but I can’t accept it.”
Yet, you continued to reject me with a sad, troubled, face.
I never understood why you made such a face. The voice within your heart never rejected me. Why did you make such a face?
“Your Highness, can you please quit doing this? It’s… troubling.”
—and why would that be?
Because I was a prince and you were a maid? But that didn’t matter. If you would only say that you wanted me, I would easily give up being a prince. Such was the extent of my love.
But, that didn’t seem like what you wanted. Then, should I do more than that?
“Arthur, after a long time of not seeing you, it seems that you’ve changed.”
Henry, who showed his face for the first time since he enrolled to school, told me so. He came to visit during Christmas holiday. The colorful Christmas garlands which spread out in the garden—as he stared at it, he didn’t seem satisfied.
“Is it because of that maid?”
I saw Henry frowning.
His tone was different from the usual Henry I knew. I felt disgusted, for some reason. Henry, too, kept avoiding my eyes.
“Violet… she was adopted by Baron Parks. Are you aware of that, Arthur?”
I was shocked.
I never knew about that.
The fact that Violet was adopted by a baron.
That was when I finally noticed it—I knew nothing about Violet.
“Your face is telling me you don’t know a thing about that. Alright, let me tell you, Arthur. Her parents died in an accident. Her mother’s relatives, the Parks Family, were her foster parents. However, bad rumors circulate from that house. The real intention behind sending her to become a palace maid was probably to get rid of her. You better not get too close with her. I smell trouble.”
My eyes widened at Henry’s words. He looked serious—he was truly worried about me, I was sure of that. But I couldn’t just accept his words easily.
Maybe because Henry knew her more than I did. Henry knew something about her that I didn’t. Because Henry didn’t think favorably of her.
“B-But… the Baron…”
Bad rumors? I wondered if I could do something with my authority. That was right, such a house could be crushed immediately. Indeed—I was the Prince. The prince of this kingdom. There was nothing I couldn’t do.
I stared at Henry. This was probably the first time I opposed him. However, Henry maintained his composure, never once showing that he was offended.
“Let me tell you. A Baron is certainly not a big house, and if you ask your father, you could crush it in an instant. That’s right, the Parks Family also doesn’t have anything. Even more so, there are bad rumors swirling about them. What do you think will happen if you get along with that maid? The Parks Family would surely take advantage of your relationship. When that happens, can you reject them? Can you?”
That was indeed true. That was indeed right.
Henry’s words were sound, and were always so. He was sincerely thinking about me.
Ah—what should I do?
Then how was I supposed to love you?
The wind that blew on my cheeks felt piercing.
I lowered my gaze and cried.
I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t think of anything.
After looking at such a sight, Henry let out a small sight.
“Well, certainly, she herself isn’t inherently bad, per see… I’ve heard the talk about her at school. She’s certainly not a bad person. So… if you truly love her, don’t bother her. Don’t let anyone know of your feelings—I wish you good luck.”
“But, how am I supposed to—“
“—you should think about it yourself.”
Henry then told me he was going home. I felt a little lonely. I was determined to see Henry off outside the gate.
Ever since three months ago, Henry hadn’t changed—instead, it was me.
But this wasn’t good—I wasn’t good enough.
I had to think for myself.
Instead of relying on my authority as the prince, I should be like Henry. I should get to know more about you like him.
After all, if you truly didn’t want me, you wouldn’t even bat an eyelid towards me…
…I wanted to change. I would absolutely change.
I would study more so I would be able to protect you. I hoped you would someday answer my feelings.
All to see your smile—I hoped you would like this me.
I looked up at the winter sky. It was far, far, away—but it was as clear as your eyes—and dyed in light blue.
***T/N: UMMM, 12 YO AND IS READY TO GIVE UP EVERYTHING FOR THE SAKE OF A MAID HE DOESN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT? UMMM????? PRINCE MATERIAL AT ITS FINEST.