10. No Matter What Happens
That day, five days before His Highness Abel’s birthday party, I was invited to the residence of Duke Laurenson.
It seemed that Philip’s younger brother, Cedric, wanted to meet and talk to me who had no memories. He was two years younger and had always been good to me.
The moment I arrived, I was immediately guided inside. It seemed that Cedric would be having tea in the hall today, probably because I was with him.
“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.”
Philip, whom was facing a small desk in the back of the room, didn’t notice me. He was holding a pen in his hand, likely doing some work. Not only was I late, the last thing I would’ve wanted was to disturb him.
I whispered to the maid that it would be alright to prepare tea after Cedric had arrived. Then I sat down a little further away.
I couldn’t help but take a look at Philip who was sporting a terribly serious face. I was surprised by the sensuality produced through his gesture of tugging his hair behind one ear.
He seemed to be quite focused.
Suddenly, he looked distant and sighed. He must be doing a very difficult task.
I noticed a piece of paper that had fallen by my feet. I casually picked up his work-related document—and was at loss for words.
The paper was covered with my name, which had been scribbled over and over again. It was unmistakably Philip’s handwriting.
…Is this a new method of cursing someone?
Moreover, shouldn’t that paper be a fairly important document?
I didn’t have the courage to return the eerie paper to him. Not even telling him that his paper had fell. I thought it was definitely something I shouldn’t have come across. For the time being, I gently hid it in the gap between the sofas.
While doing so, a bright voice echoed within the room.
“Viola! Thank you for coming!”
With the arrival of Cedric, Philip finally noticed my existence. He stood up as soon as he saw me and approached me.
“Since when did you arrive?”
“Probably about ten minutes earlier? I called out, but you seemed to be busy…”
“I’m sorry, I was lost in thought.”
When I apologized for being late due to the traffic, he showed a terribly relieved expression, for some reason.
Afterwards, Cedric introduced himself politely just like in our first meeting. The three of us surrounded the table. He sipped his tea as he told a lonely story. That said, it was just a conversation between me and Cedric.
“Last week, I attended an acquaintance’s evening ball. My brother was immediately surrounded by the ladies and got attacked.”
Only then did I recall that they were invited into an evening ball on the day of my accident.
Concerned about my physical condition, he seemed to have participated alone without saying anything. I felt sorry for him.
“There are rumors that Viola scared her face, or that she broke her legs—everyone seems to be expecting my older brother to annul your engagement.”
Not knowing such was the case, I couldn’t hide my surprise. Everyone had a penchant for rumors. It was common for rumors to have neither roots nor leaves.
Even those people could see that our relationship wasn’t good. That might had encouraged those rumors.
To begin with, even though he had a fiancée, Philip was very popular. He had a good family, good looks, was smart—basically, everything about him was good. The only bad thing was the fact that he disliked women. However, the fact that a certain number of people liked that coldness of his was certainly true.
“…It was exactly at that moment my older brother broke.”
“‘No matter what happens to Viola, it matters not to me! I can’t think of a future that doesn’t has her in it! Otherwise, I’d just remain alone for the remainder of my life!’ The others and I were super surprised.”
Why would he do that?
Surprised, I turned my gaze towards Philip. He turned away from me, his expression was saying, “Don’t tell her anything unnecessary.”
Even if I knew those words were a lie, I felt touched—
—or would have, if I hadn’t seen that sheet of paper.
What was that about…?
I couldn’t help but feel concerned…
However, if he indeed said such a thing in public, wouldn’t we become a hot topic? I was even more nervous about attending next week’s party.
Eventually, Cedric moved towards my side and took my hand. Philip scolded him for it, “Oi.” But he was ignored as Cedric continued.
“Viola, tell me if you have any problems.”
“Yes, thank you.”
“Your vibes have changed… you’re more mature than before.”
My strategy to change my clothes and hairstyles was still underway. That was the only thing praised by Rex. It seemed that the impression created by one’s appearance was quite important.
“Is that so?”
“Yes, you’ve become beautiful.”
It was when I tried to thank him for his words—
“—Viola has always been beautiful.”
Suddenly, Philip said that. Cedric was more surprised than I was at his words.
“…M, my brother, did you suffer from a head trauma, too?”
“The older brother I know isn’t the kind of person who can say that in front of others.”
Of course, the Philip I knew also wouldn’t say that.
“Huh? What is this… eek, scary!”
Meanwhile, Cedric picked up the cursed paper from earlier. When Philip saw it, he stood up in a hurry, and slammed the paper against the table with tremendous force.
“…Viola hasn’t seen it, right?”
“I don’t think she has.”
Of course, I couldn’t firmly say I saw nothing. As I thought, it was something I shouldn’t have seen.
“But, seriously, what’s that? It’s such a turn off.”
“…While I was waiting, I unconsciously wrote those when I thought something might have befallen Viola, or that she had decided not to come.”
The conversation between the two who kept muttering never reached my ears.
“Anyway, I was also invited to His Highness’ birthday, so if anything were to happen, call me right away.”
“I’ll be there with you, so you’ll be fine.”
“Thank you for your concern.”
The appointed day came in no time.
…Is this a new method of cursing someone?
No, it’s just a medieval simping method.
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