10.2 From Today, the Address is Uncertain
However, the very next day, there was a sudden change.
Early in the morning, the door of Tistye’s room was slammed open.
Entering in a hurry were the guards of the royal palace. Blood was drained from their faces.
“Hurry, come with us!” One of them grabbed Tistye’s hand.
Without knowing what had happened, Tistye then ran to the throne room of the royal palace.
She was shocked when she saw the person standing there—there was her father; the current King, the Queen, the Consort, her sisters—
Donning his usual black cloak, his favorite long sword was clenched in his hand.
“You finally came.”
Gaizel noticed the arrival of Tistye and immediately approached her, grabbed her, and carried her over his shoulder. Suddenly, while still holding Tistye, Gaizel made a proclamation to the throne.
“I’m taking her with me.”
“H-huh, Your Majesty, what are you—?!”
As soon as he said so, Gaizel turned his heels around on the red carpet and walked away. He had no further business of being there. On his path, the guards held their spears to halt him—however, with one swung from Gaizel, their spears flew as if they were but toys.
None of the other subjects dared to move due to the extraordinary intimidation Gaizel exuded.
Eventually, they left through the entrance hall, heading straight outside the royal palace.
Gaizel’s favorite horse, the black horse, was tied to the entrance of the city. After sitting Tistye on the saddle, he immediately straddled the horse.
“…Your Majesty, umm…”
Shortly after Tistye had uttered so, Gaizel’s black horse began to gallop. Behind her, the people of Lacie were chasing them, but the distance gradually increased—soon, none of them could be seen.
As the horse galloped, Tistye screamed.
“Lord Gaizel! Why are you doing this!?”
“That should be my question!”
Gaizel’s words, both cold and silent, took Tistye’s breath away. When she tried to argue against him, the voice of his heart rushed into her.
[“Finally, finally I get to meet her…! I missed her so much…! I’m truly glad she’s safe… but, she seems a little unwell? Is it tiredness, perhaps? Why would you disappear from my side? As I thought… she hated me all along…”]
“I, I am…”
Gaizel dexterously sped up his horse using one hand. His other hand was hugging Tistye. The horse galloped with tremendous momentum, as such, all Tistye could manage to do was desperately cling to it so as to not be shaken off.
The black horse stormed through the desert surrounding Lacie. There was a considerably long distance between Verscia and Lacie, therefore, they wouldn’t be able to arrive in one day.
In anticipation towards the setting sun, Gaizel headed for a small town.
The place, which was renown as a lodging town for travelers and adventurers, was lined with shops. It had a miscellaneous atmosphere, unlike the royal capital of Verscia.
As they walked silently through the back alleys, she spotted a woman dressed in revealing clothes.
Gaizel wore a sand-repellent cloak on top of his attire, and Tistye donned a similar mantle before entering the town. The reason was to prevent their features from being exposed.
They passed through the gambling halls and the colorful townscape—Gaizel was heading towards a bar. The second floor of the bar seemed to be a simple lodging place. The owner was bald with stout physique. He handed a room key to Gaizel.
“The two of you, are you headed for Verscia? It seems that the kingdom is now in confusion due to the absence of their Emperor.”
Tistye watched the exchange with a flurry of feelings. In the end, Gaizel said nothing further and went to the stairs leading to the second floor.
The provided room consisted of merely a simple bed, a desk, and a chair. Gaizel sat on the bed and told Tistye to sit properly. But Tistye hesitated and confronted Gaizel while standing.
A tense silence flowed into the room.
It was Tistye whom finally opened her mouth.
“…For what reason, did you do all this?”
“’For what reason’, you ask?”
“Because, at this point, I no longer have anything to do with you, Lord Gaizel…”
“You’re the one who left as you pleased. I don’t remember ever divorcing you.”
Gaizel’s horrifying, but eager gaze caused Tistye’s mind to turn frantic.
“That’s… but I am doing this for Your Majesty!”
“Who decided that?”
“Anyone would! Compared to you, who is truly important to the people, I am not worth it…”
Tistye realized that tears were spilling from her eyes. However, she didn’t even bother wiping them away. Instead, she opted to single-mindedly speak of whatever was on her mind.
“I was supposed to be given to the previous emperor… as a mere hostage… Your Majesty, you took me as your wife because you felt sorry for me, right?”
Water droplets permeated the dry wooden floor.
Even though I never wanted to say any of this…
To tell the truth, she was happy—very happy.
Gaizel, whom she had hoped to meet, suddenly appeared before her. Not only had his presence shock everyone, it turned out the sole purpose of his arrival was to pick up Tistye.
But he was the Emperor of Verscia. He shouldn’t be overly merciful to the princess of Lacie.
“I’m not worthy of the title ‘First Empress’. Your Majesty should have a nicer, more wonderful person standing by your si—”
She was unable to voice the final part of her sentence. Again, silence filled the room.
Then, Gaizel sighed.
“Is that all you wanted to say?”
“‘Is that all’—wha…!?”
Before Tistye had noticed it, she was already being embraced by Gaizel. In front of his dazzling chest plate, Tistye was puzzled about what to do. Despite so, Gaizel strengthened his arms, which were encircling her.
“Don’t be mistaken. I never took you out of pity, nor did I do it out of scorn. I wanted you to be the First Empress—because it was you.”
It was Tistye’s turn to get confused.
“B, because it was me?”
“That’s right. You might not recall this, but I’ve been to Lacie before and met with you.”
The words reminded her of the dream she had the other day. The black-haired boy she met at that time—it was the young Gaizel!
“I lost my mother and came to Lacie through the help of Van. For me at that time, my mother’s presence was absolute…”
Gaizel, whom wasn’t good at expressing his emotions, hadn’t shed a tear at his mother’s funeral.
There were probably many adults who whispered at the sight, “what a fearsome child.”
But there was no way a young child wouldn’t be sad after losing his mother—
—Gaizel just didn’t know how to express those emotions.
“I didn’t know what to do, and wandered alone. That was when I met you.”
White skin like snow and lustrous hair like ice. The majority of people in Lacie only had red hair and eyes—so Gaizel was fascinated by her beauty at the very first glance.
However, in front of such a Gaizel, she suddenly attempted to hide that appearance of her’s. Therefore, Gaizel accidentally blurted it out—“It’s beautiful.”
“Back then, even during those hard times, I couldn’t admit that I was in pain, nor that I was sad—all alone, I kept holding back my tears. …I was such a weak child.”
Nobody was aware of Gaizel’s true feelings. He himself turned to distractions as to not be affected by them.
The one who noticed, and then supported Gaizel’s heart—was probably Tistye, and Tistye alone.
“That day, you saved me. Ever since then—all ever wanted was to see you again, at least once.”
Gaizel’s voice became low, however, his embrace increased in strength.
At the same time, the voice of his unadorned heart poured into Tistye’s chest.
[“How happy I was at that time… you don’t know that it’s you who has supported my heart all along, this entire time… from that day, you became my reason of living. I kept hoping that someday, I would be able to meet you again—truly, ever since that day, I’ve always… always loved you.”]
Perhaps, because he had heard her small utterance, Gaizel finally relaxed. However, he didn’t seem to plan to release her from his arms. While staring at Tistye, he straightforwardly told her—
“—I love you. I will never accept anyone else but you as my wife.”
The heartfelt confession from this impossibly CHERI boy DIDN’T just make me cry.
IT EFFING DIDN’T, STOP LOOKING AT ME *wipes a single tear.