113. What I Wanted
- Side: Claude
“W, will Leticia and Eliane really be alright!?”
The two had just fallen due to the stairs having collapsed.
Claude rushed to Nigel.
“Yes, Eliane can use barrier magic. She just assured me that they’ll be fine.”
“I, I see…”
Regardless of Nigel’s explanation, he was still anxious.
Looking at Claude, whom was trembling with anxiety, Nigel chuckled.
“Fufufu, you must love that Leticia woman a lot. Rest assured, Eliane has forgiven her. I’m sure she’ll help her.”
“I hope so…”
“Let’s go. It’ll be better if we rejoin them sooner.”
As Nigel walked ahead, Claude rushed to follow him.
Because I chose Leticia, I ended up breaking my engagement with Eliane. I hope Eliane doesn’t resent Leticia for it…
He inflicted that upon himself—Claude couldn’t help but think so.
“By the way, Nigel, you look pretty calm. Aren’t you worried about Eliane?”
As they walked, Claude asked Nigel.
“Worried? Well, I trust her. If she says she’ll be fine, she’ll be fine.”
“Aren’t you being too nonchalant!? Eliane is also a girl!”
That was when Claude noticed it—
—even though Nigel seemed laidback, his right fist was tightly clenched.
…! I see, Nigel is also worried about Eliane, but is desperately holding back his feelings… He’s probably doing it to keep his head clear…
Claude, on the other hand, was just worried about Leticia and refused to see the big picture.
His Highness the Prince of Lynchgiham…!
He heard that Nigel was of the same age as him.
Even so, how could they end up being so different from each other?
Claude, who noticed that, was appalled.
“…I’m sorry, of course you’re also worried about Eliane. Thinking only about my own feelings was too egotistical of me.”
“Hmm…? That’s not true. When I said I trust Eliane, I meant it.”
The more Nigel did so, the more apparent their difference became—
—Claude felt dejected.
…By the way, in the old days, I was often compared to His Highness Nigel.
Claude’s tutor would always bitterly compare them.
It was said that Nigel had been called a ‘prodigy’ ever since he was a child.
At the mere age of six, Nigel became eligible to take the academy entrance exam. His swordsmanship was first-class—the knight captain admired him a lot.
Yet, Nigel also had the dignity of royalty. His etiquette was both perfect and impeccable…
On the other hand, I… I spend more time playing than studying… it’s only natural we’re so different…
Moreover, at that time, he was also indifferent towards his tutor. That resulted in her dismissal.
The more he thought about it, the more he could understand the difference between Nigel and himself.
But… why would such a flawless man involve himself with Eliane? Maybe, he just wants her power as a saint…
As he stared at Nigel’s back, his curiosity was piqued.
When Nigel was about to jump and save her, Eliane stopped him.
Looking at Nigel’s face, as he supported her, it was obvious that their feelings for each other were strong.
The appearance of Eliane when she was talking with Nigel—Claude had also never seen that before.
He was so surprised, he could only give them an odd look.
Nigel turned around a little.
“What is your relationship with Eliane? It doesn’t seem like the two of you are just friends…”
“Eliane is my fiancée.”
Claude was surprised to hear Nigel’s words.
“I, is that so…? but, Eliane isn’t even a noble lady. Why would you get engaged with her?”
Apart from that, because she was the ‘saint’, it was customary in Claude’s kingdom for him, the prince, and her, the saint, to get engaged.
“As a member of the royal family, I also understand that wanting to stay together with your beloved doesn’t suffice as a reason to get married.”
Nigel went on.
“But, Eliane is so much more than that. I believe everyone will accept my engagement with her. Also, there’s no use crying for spilled milk?”
Nigel showed a challenging smile.
Eliane was formerly Claude’s fiancée.
Therefore, it made Claude feel complicated, however…
…How strange… as of right now, I just want Eliane to be happy.
Claude genuinely thought so.
“Could it be, you are feeling some kind of loss over Eliane?”
Nigel turned a keen eye on Claude.
“That’s not the case! I’m all over Leticia, right now! I do feel bad about Eliane, but all I can think of is Leticia!”
“I see. I’m positive that woman also only has eyes for you.”
Nigel said gently.
Just by thinking about her face already made Claude happy.
She said she’s a sorcerer… but my feelings remain unchanged.
For some reason, her attitude had changed.
However, Claude didn’t find that unwelcome. On the contrary, it felt like he was speaking to the real Leticia.
Until now, Claude had an inkling that Leticia was wearing a mask.
…However, before his very eyes, Leticia had removed her mask.
That alone was enough to make Claude happy.
Nigel’s eyes turned sharp once again.
“Well, just in case that you indeed have feelings for Eliane, I’m not going to lose you. Should that happen, let’s compete in a healthy way.”
“I don’t think that will happen. Also, I don’t feel like I could beat you in the unlikely event that even occurs.”
That said, Nigel turned his gaze away from Claude.
“…You truly love her.”
Claude threw such words at Nigel who kept walking forward.
“I’ve gotten over Eliane properly. It’s Leticia who I’m worried about—does she truly love me? I have never asked myself such a question. However, after my kingdom was invaded, Leticia changed. As such, I have no choice but to think about it…”
It was merely intuition, but Claude felt like the way Leticia gazed at Nigel was different than how she normally looks at others.
Well, in the first place, it was Prince Nigel from the neighboring kingdom.
However, apart from that, Claude had an impression that whenever Leticia stared at Nigel, her gaze turned warm.
Well, Nigel is handsome, and smart… Unlike me, he has his bearings as a prince. Of course he’d be deemed more attractive.
Claude mocked himself.
But, did Nigel see through Claude?
“I don’t think that’s actually the case.”
“I think Leticia loves you. In fact, I can guarantee that.”
Nigel thumped his chest.
Seeing that, Claude suddenly had an urge to laugh.
“What are you talking about? You don’t have to encourage me.”
“I’m merely stating facts.”
However, Nigel didn’t seem to be joking.
Why would Nigel…?
“Oh, look. Are they Leticia and Eliane?”
At the direction Nigel was pointing, two women could be seen waving.
Neither of them seemed to have been injured.
“T, there’s no doubt, they’re Leticia and Eliane!”
“Eliane said it, didn’t she? That they’d be fine.”
From the bottom of his heart, Nigel also seemed to be relieved.
As I thought, Nigel was worried about Eliane…
Honestly, Nigel didn’t feel like a real person to Claude. Especially when they were so different…
…However, when he saw Nigel’s current expression, Claude was convinced Nigel was a man, just like him.
Claude earnestly wished to become someone as competent as Nigel one day.
Claude and Nigel proceeded to the bottom of the stairs, towards Leticia and Eliane.
***T/N: If the wall has ears… like, if the slumbering Demon King and the Original Saint could hear what kind of stupid bullshit they’re discussing the entire way before reaching them, they must be rolling so hard in their grave right now.
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