31.2 The end is Always Sudden
Mirabell, who seemed unaware of his expression, turned on her heels and left.
Philip kept his silence. His complexion was also terrible. I didn’t know what to do and was confused.
Eventually, he covered his face with one hand and muttered, “You’ve misunderstood.” in a voice so small it could disappear.
“I didn’t know you were listening… I didn’t know I made you cry…”
“That day, it’s not what you think. Let me tell you, I didn’t mean anything I said that day…”
Philip seemed ready to cry at any moment. I had never seen him so distraught before. I could only stand there.
Suddenly, he pulled my arm and started walking somewhere. That was when Rex appeared.
“…I’m sorry. I need some time alone to cool my head.”
“Rex, take care of her.”
“Even though I’m not exactly her guardian? Well, sure…”
Philip left the place by himself. His extreme shift in mood raised both my concern and anxiety.
“Let me guess, did something happen?”
I told Rex what I heard earlier, and what I had said.
“Uwah…” Rex said with a rather awkward expression.
“We can’t talk here, can we leave for a moment?”
“It’s an emergency. Philip is too pitiful.”
…What on earth did Rex know?
I quietly followed him while avoiding everyone’s gazes and we entered the break room in the back. Normally, it wouldn’t be good for us to be seen together, but it was an emergency. It couldn’t be helped.
As we sat opposite to each other across a table, Rex leaned on the chair and sighed deeply.
“The main reason you thought you were hated by Philip, is it because of what Her Highness Mirabell said?”
Towards my immediate reply, Rex had an unusually dark expression on his face. “I feel responsible…”
In a terribly awkward manner, Rex opened his mouth.
“…Actually, everything you heard between Philip and Natalia was but an act.”
“Did you know? At that time, Her Highness Mirabell was terribly selfish. The moment she set her eyes on a target, she wouldn’t give up until she got it.”
I had certainly heard of such.
At Rex’s words, my heart began to beat at an alarming rate.
“At that time, she’d prey on men with either fiancées or lovers. One day, she targeted Philip.”
“Philip is the eldest son of an influential duke family. Even if she’s a princess, he has the power to refuse her. But, Her Highness Mirabell at that time wasn’t one to give up easily. She was willing to harass other ladies, even resort to treachery.”
“In the meantime, Philip consulted me. He didn’t want anything to happen to Viola, and I suggested he act to avoid making waves. As long as Her Highness Mirabell lost her interest, the two of you would be safe, right?”
It was easy to imagine the future from there.
The memory of those days revived like a magic lantern. My chest constricted with pain.
“Thus, every day, in a place Her Highness Mirabell always frequented, Philip endlessly spoke about how he wasn’t interested in Viola and how he wanted to break off his engagement. Besides, wouldn’t Natalia be great at that? I requested for her help, and success was basically guaranteed from that moment on.”
“…I didn’t know it’d create a different problem.”
Afterwards, Rex muttered. “I’m sorry.”
The moment I heard everything, I wanted to cry right then and there.
Everything about that day was a misunderstanding!
In the past, Philip was merely being naïve and bashful, or something like that!
However, there was no way I could know of such a thing back then! Hence why, it couldn’t be helped, I thought.
“…Afterwards, I told Philip that I hated him.”
“Since then, our relationship became awkward.”
In retrospect, he did say, “I hate you, too.” Which only deepened the misunderstanding.
But, what did he mean by that?
“Anyway, it isn’t your fault. Don’t worry too much. The reason why I didn’t tell you about it is because I didn’t want you to worry. Besides, Philip and I also felt guilty about it.”
“Now that you’ve heard the full story, are you alright?”
“Yes… I think.”
“Good, then. Now, you definitely have to chase after Philip. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that he’s dying.”
It was as Rex said. Philip must be wallowing in tremendous guilt and self-loathing by now.
“…Hey, you can pretend that your memory is back.”
“You’ve fallen for Philip already, right?”
“…Yes, I have.”
When I nodded deeply without hesitation, he smiled with satisfaction.
“If you pretend that your memory has returned, and you confess to him, Philip will surely be resurrected to life.”
Rex said such, but I began to wonder if I could pretend…
…I had already learned the truth behind most of his lies.
It’d be unfair for him if I were to keep silent about everything. At that rate, I felt like I’d have to keep lying for the rest of my life.
“…Hey, Rex. If Philip were to learn the reason I faked amnesia was to break our engagement, what would he say?”
He’d probably ask, do you hate me?
It was when I said that to Rex—
“—I heard everything!”
Suddenly, the door opened with a bang.
In a hurry, I turned around. There stood both Natalia and Philip.
Due to the surprise, I had forgotten to breath and solidified like a statue. Rex, whom was also surprised, had a blank expression on his face.
—How much did Philip hear?
Even if I wanted to tell him the truth, not like this!
Ruthlessly, it seemed that my unpleasant premonition was correct.
Eventually, in a tone as if he had given up on living, he asked me,
“…Was everything a lie from the start?”
***T/N: Holy hell, IM NOT READY TO BE SLAMMED BY THIS 4000 KMPH TRUCK!!!! TRUCK-SAN!!! AUTHOR-SAN!!! HAVE MERCY!!!!
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