19. A Misunderstanding
While listing the baked goods to bring to the training ground, I recalled something.
“Ryan sure is strong. I mean, Ricardo seems to be quite a strong opponent. I don’t know, at least he loves to appear as one.”
“No, Ricardo is really tough. He was second in the last competition.”
“Is that so? Then, it wasn’t a lie.”
I glanced toward him at the unexpected words.
If Ryan said it, then Ricardo must truly be strong.
It sounded strange for a man who loved to talk with money. However, I recalled that he had trained in swordsmanship ever since he was little.
As of the present, he no longer had any money to do the former.
Ryan pondered his words.
I could predict what he was about to say.
“…In other words, you’re the one who beat Ricardo and took first place?”
“…To use the word ‘beat, is kind of ruthless.”
“Hmm, would ‘trampled over’ make it better?”
“No, that makes it sounds extra ruthless.”
Ryan complained—however, we knew that we were joking with each other. We immediately laughed out loud.
“You looked really cool back then. The princess will be proud to be protected by you.”
“You’re engaged to the first princess, right?”
I hide my heart ache and asked with a smile.
The official announcement would be next week.
Then, it would finally become known to the public. Newspapers would be scattered here and there.
When I saw it, would I even be shocked anymore?
“Congratulations, the two of you will make a very good pair.”
At the very least, I had to laugh and congratulate Ryan.
Surely, Ryan would turn shy and show his adorable expression once again.
I’d be satisfied with only that—or so I thought.
Ryan spoke with a sullen expression. His eyebrows furrowed.
I was confused by the unexpected response.
The information came from a reliable source.
A gossip-loving friend who worked at the royal castle. She was very good at eavesdropping.
“…The one who got engaged is my brother.”
“Ah, huh, what?”
I was stupefied.
Incidentally, she certainly didn’t say which member of the Clifford family was getting engaged…
…Since they were talking about Ryan and the first princess, I naturally assumed that they were getting betrothed.
“…Indeed, an offer of marriage did come up to me before, but I refused.”
Truly curious, I asked.
After all, marrying the first princess would guarantee his future.
Perhaps, it was because he wanted to concentrate on work. That was reasonable enough.
Ryan was on his way to success. He might have wanted to be evaluated on his own skill since he was a serious and talented person.
As I tried to convince myself, Ryan remained silence. He kept staring at me, but refused to say anything.
Was the situation so complicated, he couldn’t explain it?
In any case, I gradually felt happy.
I knew that just because he wasn’t engaged, it didn’t mean that he would reciprocate my love. I was simply happy that he wasn’t spoken for.
“…Princess Cattleya is like a sister to me. I’ve been together with her since we were children. My younger brother, Keith, has been closer to her since forever. I refused the marriage offer in consideration of Keith. I’d prefer for the both of them to be happy.”
It was for the sake of his younger brother and the princess. Perhaps, that was also why the king was fine with the idea.
It seemed that the princess and his brother would have a happy marriage—one that wasn’t purely based on political arrangement, especially considering that they were close from the start.
Regardless, Ryan still seemed displeased.
“If the princess were indeed my partner, did you feel anything when you hear that?”
“Well, she’s a suitable partner for you.”
It pained me to acknowledge that, but it was the truth.
He was a beautiful man, while she was a beautiful woman. I had also heard that the first princess was very talented.
In fact, both her skills and beauty were impeccable. She also had a strong backing. There wasn’t even a point in comparing myself to such a person.
If Ryan had agreed to marry Princess Cattleya… I’d be at ease.
When I admitted that, Ryan looked moody.
“I understand. It seems that Flores only regards me as a mere acquaintance.”
“Huh!? That isn’t true! I want you to be with such an impeccable person exactly because you’re a very important person to me!”
“Yes, you’re the most important to me—like, number one! So, I want you to be happy.”
If it was possible, I had wanted to be his partner. But it wasn’t.
As such, from the bottom of my heart, I could only wish for his happiness.
Ryan’s mood gradually rose, perhaps because he had heard what I said.
If he was pleased with those words, I’d say them to him as much as he wanted.
At least until the day he found someone he truly liked and stopped visiting.
I’d do my best to provide a comfortable space for him.
***T/N: Oh, c’mon!!! You’re already throwing heaps of sugar at the audience seats to the point it’d be strange if none of us got diabetes!!! Date, no, GET MARRIED ALREADY!!!!!!! //closes her umbrella, which is covered with sugar
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