10. [Day 1 (7) -part 2]
When Velbutte was 17-years-old and was enrolled in the royal academy, instead of his fiancée, Lorona, the only figure that came into his mind was the sweet Lumina.
Even though Lorona would be enrolling the following year, Velbutte’s feelings were steadily leaning towards Lumina.
Lorona was such an excellent student, Velbutte was glad they weren’t in the same grade.
She always maintained her excellent grades, and she was well-behaved.
Her appearance which was strict to everyone around her and herself, was more dignified than Velbutte’s, a member of the royal family.
‘As expected of the prince’s fiancée!’
Every time someone complimented Lorona, a dark feeling would swell in Velbutte’s heart.
She never said anything, but it was apparent that Lorona and Velbutte were being compared to one another. Velbutte suspected that she might be looking down on him, someone who was mediocre despite being a prince.
When Velbutte was a senior, Lumina enrolled as a freshman. While everyone else kept their distance from him, Lumina never acted any difference towards him. She’d treat him with the same cheerfulness she always carried with her.
Rather than an untouchable woman like Lorona, he much preferred Lumina who acted intimate with him.
At that point, two secret messages come to Velbutte.
—The countess, Lorona Ruth, frequents the shantytown and has been conducting a shady business.
—The Ruth family has also been purchasing forbidden weaponry and contraband.
At first, he thought both those messages were outrageous pieces of libel.
However, when he investigated them, they were mostly true. Lorona would frequent the Miez Corporation, a place no noble lady should enter. She was also involved in the business owned by a commoner… Not to mention, she was highly enthusiastic about it.
For an unmarried young lady to spend a lot of time with a commoner… that would lead to some terribly nasty rumors.
Moreover, for the count himself—the head of the Ruth family—to parade around playing at being in the military, it painted an especially ugly story on the whole family.
As for the countess, who secretly bought contraband, once that piece on news reached the social circles, she’d be ruined.
Had he married Lorona without knowing anything, the royal family would have been brought great shame.
The count and his wife can do whatever they want. Rather, if I use this secret information well, I can ensure the annulment of my engagement with Lorona.
Count Ruth was their strongest soldier. However, he wasn’t good at bargaining with aristocrats.
Surely, with a decent amount of threats, he’d withdraw from his military play and sign the annulment document.
At the same time, it was just a matter of keeping the contraband Lumina’s mother was buying a secret.
Since rumors hadn’t spread, he could simply quell the information with the power of the royal family.
Velbutte, with his briming determination, couldn’t be stopped anymore.
To shatter the perfect Lorona’s pride, to reveal her misbehavior at the graduation party, and announce the annulment of their engagement.
If she dared to go against it, he would threaten her with the secret of the count and his wife. That way, she wouldn’t be able to do anything.
But, contrary to his expectations, let alone resist, Lorona didn’t have anything to say about their annulment.
Without being upset, Lorona’s beauty remained untarnished until the end.
Then, she died just like that.
“…Was it truly an accident?”
“It seems that the wheels were broken. So, the carriage probably fell over. The coachman was thrown out and fainted, but my older sister… was in that carriage… oh, how terrible…”
As Lumina’s crying became distant, the inside of Velbutte’s chest buzzed for a reason he did not know.
He couldn’t breathe.
He couldn’t help but wonder where Lorona had been until the moment she died.
As she had been found in the morning, then the accident must had occurred between midnight and dawn.
Lorona’s dignified expression. Lorona’s back which didn’t show a hint of regret. Those images were vividly revived in his mind.
He’d never be able to see the beauty of that goddess again.
“Velbutte… what will happen in the future?”
At the quivering voice, Velbutte ceased his thoughts and gazed at Lumina who was within his embrace.
The cute Lumina hadn’t changed since the first time they met.
However, it was as if her brilliance had suddenly dimmed.
“…Then, it’s only natural for you to begin your mourning. There are still many things to do and procedures to undertake. We should refrain from meeting for a while.”
“—There is no helping it, is there?”
For the first time, Velbutte was annoyed by Lumina’s dissatisfied expression.
It didn’t matter how loudly he declared his annulment, on paper, his fiancée was still Lorona.
Even if he wanted to get engaged with Lumina, that could only happen after clearing away the problems of the count and the countess.
Does she understand that?
“Anyway, I’ll have someone escort you to the count’s house before the sun goes down. I’ll do something about it tomorrow. I have to talk to the count and countess.”
Lumina nodded reluctantly to Velbutte’s words. As she went home, she kept looking back over and over again.
“…Where did Lorona go?”
He didn’t know why he was so concerned about it. However, he felt anxious that he knew nothing about it. Somehow, he was terribly restless.
The future should be bright, but he was still uneasy. It was as if his foot was in a grave.
“It’s alright. There should be no problems.”
Muttering to himself, Velbutte tightly closed his eyes.
***T/N: Lol, he lost interest in the thotty sister just like that after knowing he can no longer rub it on Lorona’s face.
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!