22. The Absolute Truth
“Today, Vio laughed, it was too cute—”
“Today, Vio called my name, I’m happy—”
I was terribly surprised by Vio-chan’s words. For a while now, the bird which had been perched on my arm kept talking.
A parakeet should only imitating a person’s words. In other words, someone was saying such words before her. Even merely imagining it felt surreal.
In that mansion, only one person would say such a thing.
“Viola, she sewed a handkerchief for me, I’m about to cry—”
The words spun by the bird’s adorable little beak gradually caused my chest to tighten.
Why would he talk about that to a parakeet!?
It was strange. Thinking about that was already strange enough. For some reason, even though I wasn’t sad, I felt like crying.
Vio-chan went on.
“I, truly love her—”
At that moment, my heart bounced like never before. In a blink of an eye, my suspicion turned into conviction.
It was too farfetched to think that even Vio-chan was an accessory to his lies. Well, if that was the truth, then shame on me. Even so, it was already too obvious by that point, anyone could figure it out.
…I really didn’t understand.
For the words of a parakeet to be more accountable than the words of the person himself… As if a bird’s words being the decisive factor wasn’t already weird enough.
Still, it was enough.
It was enough for me to realize.
—Philip loved me.
I didn’t know why, though. Despite that, he kept expressing such words to a parakeet the same color as my hair and had a name similar to mine.
There was no doubt.
Besides, considering all the words of love he had said to me, the words he had spoken to the bird weren’t that surprising. After all, he had said he was willing to die for me to my face.
“Lord Philip, towards me…”
As soon as I became sure of it, I became restless all of a sudden. I didn’t know what to do. My strength faded, and I crouched down spot. All the while, Vio-chan was still perched on my arm.
After that, I didn’t know what kind of face should I make when I saw Philip again. Until now, I had never seen him that way. In fact, I couldn’t remember how I had been interacting with him…
…I decided returning Vio-chan was my priority.
When I was thinking that—
Philip, aka the person I currently didn’t want to see the most, stood before me with a concerned expression.
“…What’s wrong? Are you un, well—”
The moment his gaze landed upon my right arm, Philip froze. In an instant, his expression changed—it was as if the world had collapsed right before his very eyes.
It was a first for me to see him that upset. But, that reaction of his was only natural. If I were in his position, I’d straight up die of shame. I wouldn’t be able to live it down.
…Was that the reason he had been hiding Vio-chan’s existence from me?
Or rather, how did the duke’s servants care for Vio-chan while she spouted those embarrassing lines? Merely thinking about that embarrassed me.
Anyway, as of the moment, I desperately turned my head. I was thinking about how to lessen the damage he had suffered.
…I decided to feign ignorance and act as if I just happened to find Vio-chan.
When I decided to do so—
“—T, there’s a sparrow on your arm. It’s dangerous, I’ll catch it now…”
Philip said that with a fleeting voice. His voice sounded ready to disappear—
—even I wasn’t idiotic enough to believe that a purple sparrow existed. Besides, a sparrow? Dangerous???
However, I decided to just go along with his painful lie. My heart broke for him.
“T, thank you, I’m terrified of sparrows. I’m glad you’re here. It suddenly landed on my arm. I’m so scared, I can’t move…”
I said that with an expression that screamed, ‘This little bird hasn’t spoken a word to me.’ Philip was apparently relieved by that.
In my heart, I apologized in Vio-chan’s stead.
“Viola, told me that she loved me, even though it’s a lie. I’m very happy. Aah, I love her so much!”
That was Vio-chan’s longest sentence by far. I could no longer stare at Philip’s face.
—ever since that moment, I bestowed the title, ‘the densest bird in the world’ to Vio-chan.
At that moment, there was an unprecedented amount of heaviness in the air as we sat across from each other.
In the aftermath, he silently lifted Vio-chan and handed her over to a servant. We then walked together without speaking a word to each.
The maid who brewed our tea also seemed to be terribly nervous. She must had noticed our terribly awkward atmosphere. She probably thought we did something pitiful.
After about 30 minutes of silence, which made me feel nostalgic, Philip opened his mouth.
“…I have embarrassing and painful stories that made me want to disappear, that could serve as an explanation to various things—which one do you want to hear first?”
He offered me some ridiculous options. When I first heard his offer, I felt a conviction in my heart—
—sorry, but I don’t want to hear either of them.
However, it seemed that he was determined for me to hear them.
“…The embarrassing one, please.”
I decided to ask regarding Vio-chan.
***T/N: I love that the bird didn’t just soak Phil in fuel, but also throw the lit match herself.
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