17.3 The Other Side of the Gate and the Last Road
After her unclear question, a heavy and long silence descended.
Ricardo’s expression remained unwavering. In the heavy, hard silence, Dia stood.
It was Ricardo who gently touched her arm, so Dia—whom was staring at her feet—regained her awareness.
“…Then, will you tell me the reason why?”
“If that is what you want.”
“Even if you do tell me, it would benefit no one, don’t you think? No one will see it as a kind gesture. Because I knew it was for the sake of the kingdom, I kept my mouth shut. However, in truth, even if I wanted to say anything, I couldn’t. There are simply no words.”
Ricardo, whom was staring at her, still retained his gentle gaze.
Without the slightest hesitation, he was smiling. He was still that graceful and elegant first prince—no trace of his sadness and discouragement could be seen. Dia too, didn’t experience any fluctuation of emotion anymore.
“Is there any point in telling you? I think you know everything from the beginning. The knights said you were sleeping in the shadow of a garden plant in the balcony. That you weren’t aware of anything that had happened. Still, it’s quite baffling and uncertain as to how you managed to enter the palace. I can only arrive to the conclusion that someone made a decision in your favor back then—the same someone must’ve told you everything.”
“It’s as if you’re saying it’s quite regretful that I survived.”
“I’m not saying that. In fact, I didn’t expect for you to enter the palace, nor that you would become my fiancée. However, it was indeed disturbing when you asked nothing and didn’t even hate me. That was when… and that was how I came to see something in you… and I don’t need that. Perhaps there are times when I came to hate you.”
Dia smiled fleetingly.
What was it that he saw in her? What was it that he found unnecessary?
However, if she asked Ricardo such questions, it would only shorten Dia’s lifespan.
She was going to die—bare and empty as she was.
Despite so, she had taken the hand of someone she had always yearned for.
She had no intention of regretting the decision she had made that day.
Because this way, I might be able to obtain Noin—
—she couldn’t regret it.
Surely, it was as Ricardo had said—unnecessary.
In truth, she wished she would actually find something dear with that place and its people—
—but in the end, her wish to destroy them all with her own hands remained the same.
Dia waited for Ricardo to continue without saying anything.
Having been next to him for a long time, she knew he wanted to speak soon.
It was quite strange to have that kind of relationship, indeed, but for some reason, the two of them already knew things about each other.
Truly, truly so.
If Ricardo wasn’t the one who killed Dia’s family, and even attempted to kill her, she might had accepted all of him—his foolishness and ruthlessness included.
“This kingdom decided to purge the Duke of Gillasfi because we have a condition that disallows us from leaving this kingdom, and it turned out that we can’t secure enough food to meet the growth of the kingdom.”
“Thus, there was no choice but to clear the forest. Is the Duke of Gillasfi’s remark a hindrance to that?”
“Superstitions run much deeper than you think—they take root in the people’s hearts. They’re close to faith, and that’s why this kingdom has to be wary against those that do not actually exist and are outside the church of this kingdom. Ideals and dreams also enrich the mind, and those that have taken root and are considered as customs aren’t to be considered evil. However, we don’t need those fairy tales—they only strangle the people. …Gone are the peaceful days when we were able to love fairy tales. No matter how painful it was, we have to move forward.”
Innocent is bliss, ignorant is death.
Ricardo’s words actually shocked Dia a little.
He was certainly one of the brutal guys who had killed all of Dia’s loved ones.
It may not be entirely their fault for not knowing the whole truth.
But, it was also their predecessors who gave birth to them.
Maybe the King and the Prime Minister know the truth… but there may also be no one in this kingdom who is aware that the outsiders—the non-humans—in the fairy tales actually exist…
“…It sounds to me as if Your Highness Ricardo wants to believe in fairy tales.”
When Dia said so, her former fiancé’s blue eyes quietly glanced at her.
For a moment, it seemed as if he was at lost for words—but then, he grinned.
“It may be so. I loved your family, and when I was a kid, I used to talk about dragons with my uncle. I dreamed that someday, I would be able to leave this kingdom and see the other kingdoms where non-humans lived. But it is no curse or anything that keeps the people of Fashitar from trying to leave this kingdom. It’s a kingdom where people with genetic diseases which couldn’t adapt to the climate of the outside land gather—they can only thrive in this land. Such is our condition—we can’t go anywhere, we can only survive and prosper in this land.”
Is that why you killed them?
The absence of knowing was their own undoing, despite so, they directed their own dissatisfaction at something else, and made the final decision which was to deprive the Gillasfi family of its future.
That was why.
Dia too, would deprive them of their futures—for her own sake.
When she lifted her face, they had arrived at the entrance of the hall.
However, even though the knights guarding the door had bowed to the first prince, Ricardo still stood silently at the entrance.
The knights got confused by the prince, who didn’t attempt to step into the hall.
“…Are you satisfied with that?”
“I haven’t given you a satisfactory answer, yet.”
“Then, just one more question—the last one. Why did Your Highness make me your fiancée?”
In front of the knights who were confused by the unmoving Ricardo, they couldn’t stop as they were, and the two proceeded into the hall.
The sound of Ricardo’s footsteps echoed on the floor—the ladies in colorful dresses bowed and the magnificent chandelier glittered.
Once she stepped onto the other side of the hall, it would begin.
Tonight, the final ball Dia would be having at that royal palace would take place—and it would also be her resting place.
Dia gently touched the precious rose ornament necklace she had, before stepping onto the stage.
***T/N: Now go die because of your own ignorance, Retardo. Up there, on such a high horse, enjoy the nice view–while it lasts. ///TEASER TEASER, HUR DUR/// next chapter title would be ‘Dia and the Last Ball’ ugh it gave me chill….. Will be released next week!