5. Unexpected Past
“Before I return home, I wish to exchange some words with your parents.”
I rose from the sofa with Philip. Our hands were still connected.
It was embarrassing to be seen by my parents like that… Even my father, who suggested the annulment, would be left in wonder.
“Umm, Phil, won’t you release my hand”
“Do you dislike it?”
“That’s not the case, but I’m sweating…”
At last, my right hand was released—
—or so I thought.
I was relieved, but before I knew it, his right hand was firmly grasping my left hand.
…No, I’m certain that’s not the problem…
…In the first place, I was the one who initiated it. Reflecting on the utter failure of the operation, I couldn’t think of any reason to convince him. Therefore, I quietly went to the hall, where my parents were expecting us.
When they saw us return holding hands, without arguing or anything, they already looked overjoyed. “As we thought!”—
—why am I being overcome with such bad feelings?
“Please, I desire to remain engaged with her.”
I coughed—when he said he was going to exchange some words, that was what he meant!?
“But, considering her state, rather than supporting, won’t she only encumber you, Lord Philip?”
“For Viola to be by my side—that’s all I need. I will do my best not to be inconvenienced by her, who has no memories. I will cherish her more than anything, and be prepared to do anything for her. I swear to protect her for the rest of my life.”
Philip’s expression was terribly serious. Not to mention, his previous words sounded like a proposal!
At the very last, he said. “I love her.”
My parents seemed impressed by his words. In fact, my mother was wiping her eyes with a handkerchief!
…Those words of his had to be a lie. Otherwise, why would that Philip utter such a long sentence?
“I understand Lord Philip’s feelings. Viola, what do you think?”
“Eh, I, uh—…”
“Earlier, she said she’ll stay by my side.”
“Oh, is that so? That’s good to hear.”
Was he referring to the fact that when he said, ‘don’t leave’ earlier, I had nodded?
To begin with, there wasn’t much for me to say. However, when I saw how relieved my parents were, I could only mutter in silence.
After firmly promising my parents he’d come see me next week, Philip went home.
A week later.
While swaying inside of a carriage meant for the house of the Duke Laurenson, I wondered about my future.
Breaking of our engagement in my current situation felt completely impossible.
After a lot of thought, I decided I would figure out why he lied. To be honest, my interest had truly been piqued by that.
I am usually escorted to the drawing room when I come to the Duke’s house. But for some reason, today, I was taken to Philip’s room. It had been a few years since I last visited his room.
“We always converse together like this.”
Ah. His lies were still in great shape today.
While the maid was brewing tea, I casually wandered around his room. Before a picture hanging on the wall, my gaze halted. It depicted Philip, the duchess, and also his younger brother, Cedric.
In the picture, his dark blue hair, which reached down to his waist, was tied together—it made me nostalgic.
“That was when I was 13-years-old.”
Noticing my profound gaze at the painting, Philip explained.
—That was right. After growing it for a long time, why would he cut his beautiful hair?
It happened suddenly. One day, he cut it until it only reached his neckline. In his case, no matter what hairstyle he had, he looked good.
“I cut my hair.”
“I see. You look wonderful!”
“…Is that so.”
Surely, right after that, I had that kind of conversation with him. I remembered being confused—why did he report it to me like that? Especially when the change should have been apparent to everyone.
“Your hair used to be long. Your current hair looks wonderful, too, but why would you cut it?”
“Because you said you like boys with short hair.”
“I see…—huh? I said that?”
Philip nodded to me who had unintentionally retorted.
I didn’t remember saying anything like that to him—there was no doubt about it! It must be a good thing that I faked amnesia. …Inadvertently, I had told him a proper lie.
While I was pondering, he went on.
“To be precise, I heard you say that to a friend.”
“Yes. When Baron Preston’s daughter asked you the type of boy you like—long hair or short hair, you said you liked those with short hair.”
Baron Preston’s daughter, Jamie Preston, was my best friend.
I recalled it immediately—to the point I almost let out a gasp.
As he had said, I recalled her asking me that at the evening party a few years ago. That carnivorous girl friend of mine said that the type of man she’d approach that day would depend on my response.
During that evening party, a male acquaintance of mine, who expressed that Jamie was cute, had also participated. Hence why, ‘short hair’ was my answer. Personally, I do prefer short hair, but that wasn’t a priority.
…Certainly, Philip was there. But who would’ve thought that he overheard our conversation?
Well, if I thought about it carefully, the time of the evening party and the time he cut his hair did coincide.
“…Merely because of that, you cut your hair?”
“For me, it’s precisely because of that.”
Due to my casual, simple, statement.
He had been growing his hair for many years—and merely because of that, he cut off his beautiful, long, hair.
“…Why would you—”
“—Even if a little, I want Viola to think that I’m cool.”
He smiled gently as he said that. My heart leaped.
Why would he say such a thing?
But for some reason, I didn’t feel that Philip’s lie was as incomprehensible as before.
…It’s as if Philip truly loves me.
***T/N: NGL, I’m picturing Philip as blue-haired Diluc.
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