18. The Trigger and Love
Time passed and in no time at all, the final day of the performance, ‘My Only Prince’ arrived.
On both the first and second days, I cheered, cried, and died many times due to the dazzling appearance of real-life Mitchell. When I thought of Mitchell, my chest tightened to the point it became painful. I even thought that might be what everyone meant by ‘love’.
When I entered the carriage with Philip when came to pick me up, I was politely thanked by him, “Thank you for inviting me today.” By that point, I had lost count on how many times he had thanked me.
“This should be the third time you watch the performance, correct?”
“Yes, it’s really, really great. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, Phil.”
“I see. Is there any particular scene you deem the best?”
“Well, the scene where Mitchell kneels down and conveys his love… although Phil might not like it…”
“Oh, you mean the scene from page 152, line 3 of volume 2?”
To him who stated such a thing, I was at loss for words. Certainly, it was as he said—the scene should’ve belonged to the second volume.
To me who was stunned, he continued.
“Certainly, in that scene, Mitchell is very impressive. You can also see Carolyn remembering her past and weeping. It seems that the author’s own experience was interwoven into that scene. The realistic depiction convinced me.”
“W, why do you…”
“I did my research.”
Philip said nonchalantly.
He did his research too well. It seemed that he had read all the 31 volumes in a short period of time. Even I didn’t have the slightest inkling of the author’s actual experiences.
I was beginning to feel a sense of competition towards Philip’s mysterious enthusiasm and knowledge. I had been reading ‘My Only Prince’ for almost 10 years. I couldn’t accept being bested by a newcomer who had only begun reading the series last week!
Even so, when I stared at his face, thinking he had a great memory, I once again realized his face was much better than the good-looking actor on stage.
Philip’s beauty was indeed on a whole other level.
For a while, I felt anxious about the attention I received from everyone when I stood beside him. Even standing next to him felt scary and unpleasant. Now, not so much. Probably because I had gotten used to him lately.
“…Phil has a really beautiful face, don’t you?”
Even if I had been staring at that face of his since I was of an early age, I was never able to grow used to his beauty. Really, I couldn’t even complain.
After I had unintentionally muttered such a thing, he stared at me as if he was being struck by lightning. Then, he asked while staring at me.
“…Do you like my face?”
“There’s no woman who dislikes your face, Phil.”
“I don’t care about others, I want to know what you think.”
With a serious face, he asked so.
“Eh, I like it, but…”
He was often close to me. In truth, I did like his face. It was just that I had never mentioned it.
However, it was already a well-known fact that all women thought so. As such, I wasn’t ashamed to admit it.
The moment I saw Philip’s face, which sported a bashful expression, I also became flustered.
“…I also like your face.”
Not to mention, he followed up with such words.
“Not just your face, but also your voice, and also your personality.”
“I love everything about Viola.”
Both his straightforward words and eyes pierced me. Unable to bear it, I hurriedly averted my gaze away. Heat gathered on my face, I was getting flushed.
“…T, thank you very much.”
After a brief silence, I calmed down and decided to ask what I had always been interested in.
“You say you have feelings for me, but is there something that triggered it?”
When asked, Philip nodded.
“…I grew up after being told that you’re my destined woman, someone whom I was supposed to take good care of from an early age. As such, towards you, I feel that way.”
It was the first for me to hear that. It made my heart jump. I’ve heard that the duke’s family was indebted to my family, but the way they phrased it…
“But I think it was the first time I saw you crying that I realized I truly loved you.”
“…When I was crying?”
When was that?
In the first place, I didn’t remember of crying that often. I didn’t like crying, or seeing others cry.
When I was pondering about that, the carriage suddenly stopped.
“Lord Philip, we’ve arrived.”
Hearing the voice of the coachman, Philip extended his hand towards me. “Let’s go.”
I was interested in the previous story, but I also didn’t want to miss the performance. I immediately took his hand.
While moving into the theatre, Philip gained the attention of many. Many people stole a glance at him when he passed.
However he didn’t pay them any mind. He looked only at me, and cared about me alone.
After that, we sat side by side and saw the stage from V.I.P seats, seats which were closer to the stage compared to the previous two days.
When I saw Mitchell, whom I should’ve loved, up close, for some reason, my heart wasn’t beating as wildly as yesterday.
***T/N: He did his research, alright… and by that, I mean he could probably singlehandedly type the entire fandom wikipedia of ‘My Only Prince.’
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