32. Crossing Each Other and Their True Intentions
Although upset, I decided to be honest about everything. First and foremost, I had to apologize. Afterwards, I’d confess my love to Philip.
I slowly nodded.
Philip’s eyes widened immensely.
“…Everything, from the very beginning…”
“I’m sorry for telling such a terrible lie.”
His face was full of agony—it was as if the world had ended. Merely seeing him made my heart feel like it was being torn.
At first, I just wanted to break off our engagement because I thought none of us were in agreement for it.
I wasn’t even aware that Philip had always loved me. I also never imagined I’d end up falling for him.
Philip, who retreated a few steps, went straight to a table that had been prepared near the entrance.
For some reason, Philip picked up the big empty ice bucket that was on it.
Then, for some reason, he put it on his head.
His out-of-nowhere action made us all freeze in place.
I had been surprised by Philip’s mysterious behavior many times, but at that moment, I truly failed to understand.
I couldn’t think of a single reason why anyone would wear an ice bucket in that situation.
I was upset by the unclear development but gradually calmed down.
“Philip, why are you wearing that…?”
Because of the tension in the room, no one could say anything. It was Rex who broke the tense atmosphere.
“…I can’t face Viola.”
Philip’s voice was fleeting as he answered.
Also, that came out of nowhere…
Rex burst out laughing.
“Give me a break! My stomach hurts! That’s your reason? This reminds me of the reason I like you so much, Philip!”
As if finding it unbearable, Rex couldn’t stop laughing.
If I truly loved Philip, I had to chase after him.
Certainly, when I thought of the lies Philip had uttered so far, it was obvious why he was uncomfortable. I felt embarrassed and wanted to die—still…
“Phil, I’m truly sorry. Please, listen to me.”
When I called out to him, Philip’s body bounced in an astonishing manner.
Because of that, he accidentally hit his head. There was a dull sound from the ice bucket.
“…It’s alright, already. I’m truly sorry.”
“No, I should be the one—”
“—It may have been short, but that was the happiest dream in my entire lifetime.”
“P, Philip, pardon the interruption, but Viola isn’t standing there. You’re facing the wrong way.”
Wearing the ice bucket seemed to have caused him to lose his sense of direction. Philip kept discussing our future while facing no one.
Rex said. “Wow, I feel bad for laughing, and I actually want to help—but, oh God…” While wheezing.
“I know how kind you are. I know how, deep down, you must have been suffering acted the role of being my fiancée. How foolish and terrible that must have been! I’m so sorry…”
“No, Philip, listen! I—”
—as Philip kept on apologizing, I realized my voice had never reached him.
While holding the ice bucket, he left the room.
I quickly chased after him. But by the time I left the room, he was no longer in the long corridor.
Alone, I clutched my head. I didn’t know what to do.
A week later, I was rocked inside a carriage heading for the Duke of Laurenson’s house. I hadn’t had contact with Philip since then. He didn’t reply to my letters, either.
After consulting with his younger brother, Cedric, I was told to come to the duke’s residence.
“Right now, Philip is pretty much unhinged. In a few days, he should calm down. You can probably visit him then.”
“This all happened because Philip refused say anything.”
Afterwards, Rex comforted me. Certainly, Philip was bad at giving explanations. Regarding the incident with Mirabell, he could’ve said a few words in advance…
…However, my inaction—my lack of effort in approaching him—was also a fact.
He wasn’t the only one to blame.
By the way, Natalia, who was clueless to everything, went home with a stunned expression after hearing Rex’s explanation. That was only natural, judging from the situation at hand.
“Hello, Viola. It’s been a while.”
“It has been a long time, Lord Cedric. I’m sorry for the sudden visit.”
“I also apologize in behalf of my brother.”
Upon arriving, I immediately went to the drawing room. There, I sat while facing Cedric.
Philip, who returned home with the ice bucket on his head, had been cooped up in his room the entire week since then. I got worried upon hearing he hadn’t been eating.
“It’s my fault.”
“I don’t know what happened. Still, I think that my brother, who insists on running away even after Viola tried to talk to him, is in the wrong.”
He said so while sighing deeply.
“Lord Cedric, Vio-chan has finished with her stroll.”
Vio-chan was perched on the palm of a maid who suddenly appeared. Hearing others call her Vio-chan made me uncomfortable.
“Where should I place Vio-chan?”
“Hmm… I wonder. Let me take care of her.”
The maid gently released Vio-chan, and she proceeded to jump towards Cedric.
Vio-chan’s muttering had changed. Although she wasn’t sentient, Vio-chan looked depressed.
“Because of my brother, even Vio-chan is in such a condition. My brother’s condition forced me to take the bird away from him.”
The story pained my heart.
Because of me, Vio-chan was also having a hard time.
I gently stroked Vio-chan’s small, colorful, body. She muttered, “I want, to disappear…”
That must be how Philip was feeling.
When I thought of that, I wanted to cry.
“Anyway, I’ll inform my brother of your arrival. Please wait for a moment.”
“…Yes, thank you.”
Cedric placed Vio-chan on my palm and left the drawing room.
Alone with Vio-chan, I apologized to her. I fed her a bird snack from inside my bag. It should satiate her hunger, even if a little bit.
“…To be honest, I’m a bit scared.”
I expressed the feelings I had kept hidden to the bird. To me, the bird didn’t feel like a stranger.
I was actually scared of being hated by Philip. I didn’t get that kind of impression, but it was possible. When I considered such a possibility, I shuddered.
If someone were to realize another went so far as faking amnesia to break off their engagement with each other, of course that person would be hurt. It also wouldn’t be strange for said person to be disillusioned.
…The more I thought about it, the worse it became. It was my old, bad, habit.
“…But, if I truly felt forced to be with him, I wouldn’t have baked those sweets for him. I also wouldn’t have bought a pair of matching necklaces…”
Teardrops stained my dress. But Philip wouldn’t know.
At the same time, I realized how much I had come to love Philip.
Vio-chan was staring at me with a blunt gaze and mysterious expression.
“I, am, truly a good-for-nothing…”
She muttered such a thing again—the same negative words that filled my heart with guilt.
“It’s no good…”
“Now that it has come to this, I’m willing to do anything…”
What did she mean by that?
“As I thought…” Towards me, whom was tilting my head, Vio-chan continued. “Viola alone, I refuse to give up on.”
The words shook my vision. At the same time I felt relief, love rushed in and wringed my tears.
…I was the one who didn’t know anything.
I wiped my overflowing tears over and over again. After taking a deep breath, I stood up.
***T/N: The shock is too much, he becomes goblin slayer!!!
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!