10.2 The Decorative Trees and Evemeria
Dia was scorched by her vehement desire to cross to the other side of the line where those beautiful, gleaming creatures existed. However, reality remained the same—
—she was but a citizen of Fashitar.
Her father’s words, which warned her sternly against wanting him, rippled back in her heart. Dia stood quietly, enduring the memories.
…Aah, just like that Great Magician, I also wish I could court the forest creature…
Nevertheless, the die had been cast.
During that stormy night, Dia had already spoken of her wish. Perhaps it was due to her wording, or it was something else—the truth stayed, he was displeased with her.
Rather than fulfilling her own promise, when he had reached out to her with great pains, she instead wished for her own family. That was her only chance, and yet her once in a lifetime wish was unforgiveable. Now, she had lost everything, even the chance to wish.
Once a year, Dia would met him at the ball in the Kingdom of the Night, where the Duke of Gilasfi ruled the night as one of his vassals.
The most exceptionally beautiful memory in Dia’s mind came very easily—all she needed to do was close her eyes—
—it was always the memory of that night.
The man who told her that her father was the subject of the King of the Midnight Throne was said gentle prince. He had patted Dia on the head after spotting her in front of the treat of spirits that no man should eat.
That night, when the Prince held her hand and told her to come again, she danced quite awkwardly.
Perhaps after that tragedy, she had no heart left. Or perhaps it was still there, but small.
However, she had decided to love that person in whatever way she could inside that small heart.
The picture book became her most precious treasure in the world because it contained something about the King of the Night. She read it almost every day.
I had forgotten, but it seems that I’ve also told of the story to Jillreid…
Unlike Richardo, whom she had not become acquainted with until she had entered the Royal Palace, Jillreid, who was close with Dia’s sister, frequently visited Gilasfi’s mansion.
Perhaps, amidst her excitement, she had divulged to him in those days.
Perhaps because her childhood self had boasted to him about her beloved person.
That was why Jillreid was quite disturbed by the tragedy in Hydratarts Forest and visited Dia in her room.
Although unskilled in political bargaining, he himself was quite intelligent.
It was as if he expected for her to point out that those non-humans were the cause of the accident. His behavior was also strange. It was as if he didn’t actually want to ask her, but rather confirm something with her.
No way—did he perhaps know that the visiting ‘Joel’ was the King of the Night all along?
Wouldn’t that make him someone who was closer to the truth than anyone else?
His Highness Jillreid… he truly has moved on from that tragedy…
…the moment he realized the forest’s anomaly and felt the presence of the non-humans, if only he had come while still bearing in mind the tragedy that has befallen my family, he might’ve arrived at the truth.
Once I leave this kingdom for good, which will also signal the beginning of the end, Jillreid may be this kingdom’s last hope…
It was kind of awkward and a little difficult to think that there existed someone who could dismiss the scar they had inflicted upon someone else.
However, if he managed to overcome the upcoming disaster…
Jillreid, who was deeply adored by Dia’s elder sister… then even if a little, she might start to believe that fate still had something good in store.
Dilvier called out to Dia who was staring at the ornamental tree.
In a low-pitched voice containing vigilance, Dia straightened her posture and stretched her back.
Soon after, someone gently stood next to her, and Dia turned to face that person.
“Hey, are you admiring the ornamental tree?”
Standing beside her was Richardo, who was dressed in a dark, green, glamorous garments that suited his blue eyes. He smiled gently.
A quick glance at his back revealed his new fiancée—the daughter of the Marquis, Marietta, along with his escort knights. The knights stood on the pillars of the outer corridor, looking somewhat uneasy at Richardo.
“…His Highness Richardo, good night.”
“The Clavis sermon has just finished. We’re going to admire the ornamental tree as part of the religious tradition. I see that instead of your maids, he’s the one accompanying you instead.”
Well, it was actually as he said. Dia nodded softly to Richardo who was staring at Dilvier.
“The words reached me that he’s quite competent. But, wouldn’t it inconvenience you to not have a woman’s aid by your side? Anytime you need something, my mother will readily lend you a maid, so please, don’t hesitate to let us know.”
“Yes, I shall do as you said.”
However, she only meant that as a courtesy.
He was her fiancé no longer, there was a wide gap between them. Therefore, she couldn’t do as she pleased.
Royalty and minions—those who decided who were to be killed, and those who were killed.
But I won’t let myself be killed by you.
It was the most important secret of Dia.
It was the last secret of Gilasfi, hidden from the Royal Family of Fashitar.
Even if he was the one who would deal with Dia directly at the ball two days later, he wouldn’t be the one to finish her off.
Even if Richardo poisoned Dia’s glass with his own two hands, the one who will finish her off would be none other than the King of the Night Kingdom.
…and, if only you would…
It was a thought as quiet as a piece of snow that fell into her chest. Dia stiffened.
Her wish, which should’ve been buried deep in the bottom of her chest, extended its stubborn branches and leaves through a door that should’ve been closed.
Engulfed within despair, never would she had thought that pitiful wish would still persist for three years after reuniting with Noin. Waiting to be realized, it wouldn’t wither even until now.
However, it would be wise if she ignored it for now.
Whenever that wish came to mind, Dia’s heart sway, and Richardo wasn’t a mediocre enough prince to overlook the slightest fluctuation of emotion.
“…Dia, you’ve been supporting me well for a long time.”
“Well, well, if I’m going to be praised by His Highness here, won’t I become embaressed?”
Dia almost frowned—he didn’t miss it after all.
Even so, it seemed like Richardo was convinced that Dia’s reaction was the poison taking effect.
She didn’t want to raise his suspicion. Richardo assuming that the poison wasn’t working was the last thing she wanted. But, she also must give him an appropriate, expected, response.
If she shook off their help and retaliated against them, wouldn’t they think of it as a retaliation towards fate that she couldn’t choose for herself?
On the day of the ball, the revenge that Dia would wrought was intended to clear her own hatred of that day. It was by no means to get Richardo to have a change of heart or anything—it was only to lighten the burden of Dia’s own heart.
***T/N: God forbid for this asshole to not reappear and rub salt on Dia’s wounds. I wanna hear Mariethot talk… Wanna know her personality…