I reflexively turned towards the voice.
I was surprised that His Highness was so close to me, I almost jumped.
His Highness had a haggard look as he reached to touch my cheek.
“Tia, you’re Tia, right…?”
Towards his quivering, confirming, voice, I lost my reply.
I didn’t know how to answer, so I just shut up.
That was right—I had to say I was Tiarize.
Speaking of which, His Highness would surely recognize me and take me back to the Kingdom of Haulfa anyway.
But still, why couldn’t I say anything?
“What are you saying, she’s Fern…”
The woman pursed her lips in confusion.
His Highness stroked my cheek gently, but then dropped his hand to look at said woman.
The woman’s cheeks dyed slightly red.
It reminded me that His Highness’ appearance is pleasing to the eyes—especially a woman’s.
A graceful and calm beauty with a long nose bridge and long eyelashes. His slightly long bangs made him look like a boy and concealed his true age.
His Highness turned towards her for a moment, but his eyes soon found me again. He opened his mouth—
“—you’re Tia, right?”
After going through a process of elimination, I had decided that since things had progressed this far, I really couldn’t keep quiet.
I nodded vaguely, and told His Highness.
“It’s been a while, Your Highness, why are you here…”
The moment I said so, I immediately felt warm—
—before I realized it, I was already inside the arms of His Highness.
He held me tight.
It was a bit painful, but I didn’t dislike his embrace for some reason.
“Tia, Tia…! It’s you isn’t it! Tia, I’ve finally…!”
Both his voice and hands were shaking.
I finally realized—that was it.
His Highness was likely very worried about me—his trembling told me so.
This was the first time I had ever heard His Highness frantic.
For some reason, feeling his embrace, my eyes became wet.
For the first time, I returned his hug.
His body was as solid as I expected, but also warmer than I thought.
“Your Highness, I…”
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Tia, I’m sorry for being so late, sorry, forgive me…”
Towards his dozens of apologies, I frantically shook my head.
I didn’t know why His Highness apologized like that.
I could see the confusion of the woman from before.
I tried to pull myself away from His Highness, but that didn’t happen as I was embraced tightly.
“I’ll explain later, please return for now.”
I said to the woman.
Then, there was the voice of Kevin. Both of them were leaving—
—wait, wait, wait!? You are going to leave us alone?!
I was suddenly assaulted by the thought of being alone with him—I wasn’t ready for this!
“Y, Your Highness, um!”
“Call me Will.”
What did he suddenly say?
I was confused and raised my face—however, it wasn’t like I could see his face. He buried his face in the nook of my neck. His Highness then said, while still hugging me firmly.
“I want to make sure that it’s indeed Tia, please?”
“Please, just once is fine, Tia.”
I couldn’t refuse if he pleaded like that.
Above all, I knew he was concerned about me.
I muttered, holding the hem of His Highness’ clothes.
“Will… I’m home.”
I spoke in a faint voice that seemed ready to disappear at any given time.
However, it reached His Highness.
His Highness embraced me tighter, as if refusing to let me go anywhere.
His strong hug made my face hot.
“Yes, welcome home, welcome home, Tia…”
“Your Highness, by any chance…”
His voice was surprisingly gentle, it tickled me.
“By any chance, are you… crying?”
I asked modestly, but His Highness tensed.
I thought so because my shoulder felt really warm, and his voice was shaking too much.
Slowly, His Highness pulled away from me.
His beautiful emerald teal eyes were indeed wet.
His distorted face was breathtakingly beautiful.
It was my first time seeing His Highness’ tears.
We had been engaged for more than a decade, now, but I had never seen him cry.
“…Yes. I am. Sorry for being so pathetic, Tia. However, I’m just really glad that you’re safe.”
“Wai—um, Your Hi—Will, don’t cry, please. As you can see, I’m alright.”
I felt like the moment I was about to say ‘Your Highness’, Will’s face distorted in pain—as such, I reworded it.
When called by his name, Will looked astounded and widened his eyes. But he immediately calmed down.
I extended my fingers to wipe Will’s tears.
Will touched my hand—the warmness of his hand was also comfortable.
“Yes. Tia, is it okay for us to stay like this for a while?”
“It’s okay, until you feel better, Will.”
“Thank you, Tia, I’m glad you’re alright…”
He told me with a blunt voice. Even my chest felt the pain in his sad voice.
Will hugged me until he calmed down.
***T/N: This is supposed to be a tearful reunion but the only thing this chapter managed to incite in me can be summarized using one line–“ugh who cares.” //insert squidward face here.
I utterly dislike (an overunderstatement) Tia because she’s dumb af. Nothing about Williant is likeable, this guy is questionable at best, every single one of his actions doesn’t seem to stem out of genuine sincerity. He would claim that he did this and that for her but in the end it’s him who got the greater benefit out of everything–there is always something in it for him also, a catch. Not to mention, whenever he did something, the first thing he always make sure was that there wouldn’t be any risks for him, rather than the safety, the feeling, or every other things that have to do with the other party–in short, he’s a fucking scumbag and this chapter makes me roll my eyes so bad I’m seeing stars.
What do you think guys? Has Williant redeemed himself by showing the almighty magical showdown and also tears to the woman he loved?