35. Beyond that One-Way Street
It had been a week since Philip and I confessed to each other. The misunderstanding between us had been resolved.
That day, I was once again swaying inside a carriage heading towards the Duke of Laurenson’s residence. A few days ago, I received a very concerning letter from Phil—
“—I’m worried none of this is real.”
As such, I decided to go see him.
“I wonder how excited Philip is every day. How amusing—I mean, how relieving.”
For some reason, Rex followed me.
When I was getting ready and about to leave, I met him at the front door. He had sent a letter beforehand saying he was coming to play due to being free.
When I told him I was going to the duke’s residence, Rex decided he’d also come. He didn’t even ask for my consent.
“I’m truly glad that everything went well.”
“Yes, thank you.”
I apologized to my family, and also the people close to me, for lying. As for everyone else, I decided to go with the pretense that I had regained my memory. After being freed from having to pretend to be amnesiac, I felt refreshed.
Phil, who had also been freed from his lies, must have also been at peace of that moment.
“Now, he can flirt with you without worrying about anything.”
“I don’t think he’d do that.”
“But, not only are you engaged with each other, your feelings are also mutual. Shouldn’t it be normal?”
“…That’s right, but.”
“Ah, right, it’s Philip we’re talking about. It wouldn’t be strange for that man to take about half a year to muster the courage to kiss you.”
Even though the whole incident had passed, I still had to report to Rex. Rex said that he’d absolutely ask about our progress. I looked outside the window—I didn’t want to report about my relationship to my cousin!
Before long, I could see the duke’s house. For a long time, I had been reluctant to visit the duke’s house. Now, it was as if that phase had never existed in my life.
“Welcome, Lady Viola, Lord Rex.”
Upon arriving, Rex was the first to enter Phil’s room. As usual, a servant guided us.
“Sorry, Philip, I’m here, too.”
Phil seemed a little surprised to see him, but soon showed a soft smile. It was probably because he wanted to thank Rex, as well.
When Phil turned his gaze towards me, he looked terribly surprised. However, while averting his gaze, he took the plunge to speak first.
“…Y, you’ve, arrived.”
“Yes, I have. Nice to meet you.”
For some reason, Philip spoke like Vio-chan.
“When I went to Viola’s house just earlier, she told me that she’s going to see Philip. So, I decided to come with her.”
“Let me see that parakeet.”
“Please, allow it for my sake? I’ve helped the two of you, after all.”
Apparently, Rex wanted to see Vio-chan. In the end, Phil relented towards Rex’s persistence. “I understand.”
“Then, I’ll go play with the parakeet, Vio-chan. The two of you can continue being lovey-dovey with each other.”
“…I’ll escort Rex, so please wait.”
“Yes, I understand.”
While watching the two leave, I sat alone on the sofa. Somehow, I felt a little awkward today. Feeling lonely and a little anxious, I looked around, thinking of what to do until Philip returned.
For some reason, pale pieces of paper were lined up on the wall being displayed with gold frames. When I saw them before, I took no notice of them. I thought it was some kind of art. But, when I looked closely, I felt they were familia…
…They were something that were often seen during cooking class.
They were none other than the wrappers for the sweets I made!
Seriously, what does he think he is doing?
If I saw such things being displayed, I’d feel stupid for feeling awkward!
It was Phil we were talking about. As soon as I realized that, I realized there was nothing to be worried about. My heart grew lighter as my love expanded.
“I’m sorry for making you wait.”
Eventually, Phil, whom had guided Rex, returned. The moment he saw me, he halted. But soon, he started moving again and silently side next to me.
An indescribable silence continued. Why didn’t he say anything? I felt nostalgic for the silence, but…
…When I glanced at him, I saw him lowering his face. Not to mention, his cheeks were bright red!
“Phil, are you okay?”
“…I am troubled.”
When asked, he nodded.
“I’ve always thought that you’re the cutest girl in the world, but now, even more so. As such, it feels painful.”
He muttered such a thing.
At the unexpected reason, I laughed involuntarily. Looking at me, he covered his eyes with one hand. “You’re too cute…”
“I’m happy about that, but why all of a sudden?”
“…It’s because when I think that you love me, you looked even more cute and adorable. I could die…”
Hearing such words, it was my turn to be troubled.
“In the letter, you said that you’re worried about all this being real?”
When I asked, he hesitated a little before explaining.
“…The moment you saw me, you looked very happy.”
“That’s how I realized I’m loved.”
I didn’t realize that at all—my face grew hot with embarrassment.
…Maybe, he had become accustomed to loving me one-sidedly, hence why he was confused. I remembered I couldn’t hide my confusion when I realized his love for me.
“I really love you…”
“I also love Phil.”
“Can I hug you?”
Still, we had a lot of time ahead us. We simply had to get used to being with each other and get to know each other better.
While I was thinking so, I was hugged by him.
Rex, holding his stomach, entered the room. We hurried to release each other and corrected our postures.
“I’m sorry, did I disturb anything?”
“I’m sorry, but you’re just too extreme, hahaha!”
Seemingly recalling something, Rex laughed. It seemed that the reason he had been holding his stomach since earlier was because he had laughed too much.
“Philip, you don’t have to practice your proposal to a parakeet?!”
“I was proposed to by a parakeet, hahaha!”
When I heard the word ‘proposal’, I instantly turned towards Philip. He was covering his face with both hands. Even his ears were red.
Apparently, as Rex said, Phil was practicing how to propose with Vio-chan. When I wondered what Phil was doing, and if he was enjoying it, I was again terrified by the concept of love.
“I’m looking forward to the real thing.”
Although Phil said that with a fleeting voice, I smiled from the bottom of my heart. I was happy that he loved me.
—As for how he continued to fail to propose to me in the future, that would be a story for another time.
“—I’m worried none of this is real.”
…In fact, Phil, is any of us real?
At this point, ‘burst out laughing’ is 100% Rex’s personality trait. Also, also, that’s kinda jerky of him, to reveal about Phil planning to propose to Viola. Let it be a damn surprise!!!
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