21.2 [Day 2 (5)]
After he had asked, the girl became surprised. She rushed out of her chair and gave a perfect curtsy.
“My apologies for the late greeting. My name is Lorona Ruth.”
“I’m delighted at having been able to meet you, Your Highness Astel.”
Astel was utterly fascinated by her eloquent greeting which exuded femininity.
“You are aware of who I am?”
“Yes, I heard word of you from our surroundings.”
It was when Astel tried to further inquire Lorona of her identity—
“—Lorona, there you are.”
“Your Highness Velbutte.”
With a fluid movement, a boy appeared beside Lorona.
Astel, who understood who he was, blinked many times and compared the two.
“Prince Astel, do you require something of my fiancée?”
It was akin to a punch to the face.
He recalled a second late—
—only high-ranking officials from both kingdoms had been invited to that place. He felt relieved upon realizing she didn’t belong to the royal family. Nevertheless, it was but a momentary relief.
“…Then, you’re the fiancée of Prince Velbutte.”
Lorona nodded quietly. The feelings reflected upon her eyes were that of a gentle trust. Thus, he had to accept that Lorona was supposed to marry Velbutte.
Astel couldn’t say anything anymore. He could only stare at the two who seemed like a match made in Heaven.
He only vaguely remembered what happened afterwards.
He was overwhelmed by the fact that his first love was destined to be someone else’s wife in the future. Only the fact that he went home heartbroken was rooted in Astel’s heart.
Every time he saw that cookie, he was reminded of Lorona.
When it was the season of violets, he was reminded of her clear eyes.
Regardless of how uncouth it was, he still thought of her.
Astel dismissed his memories of the past and glared at another document lined up on his desk.
“…Did Lorona truly die in an accident?”
As of the present, what occupied his thoughts was the reason why Lorona died in such a place.
Some of the baseless rumors spoke of how desperate she felt after the annulment, that she died during the carriage trip.
However, Astel was aware—
—her dignified departure.
She was Lorona. No matter how desperate she’d feel, she’d always remain composed.
The seeds he had sown to relieve Lorona of her remorse had already begun to grow. All he had to do was wait for them to sprout.
The more he investigated, the more suspicious he grew of Lorona’s death.
“Let’s do a little more research. If we closely investigate the carriage Lorona rode, we might find something.”
Astel clenched his fist.
If Lorona’s death was, in fact, planned—then someone must pay!
He wanted Lorona to rest in peace.
Astel stopped Kaiser who was about to leave the room.
“…What’s the situation regarding the temple?”
“They’ve consented. I think they’ll get in touch with you soon.”
“But, are you serious? To replace Lady Lorona’s body…”
“I am. I can’t leave Lorona to them.”
The count had decided to bury Lorona in the family hill.
As such, he wanted to at least bury her with his own hands.
Once upon a time, she had said that she wanted to sleep peacefully in that beautiful place.
He understood the selfishness his wish. At the same time, to Astel, that was the only way he’d be able to let go of his love.
“…Alright, I’ll prepare the replacement corpse.”
Kaiser was about to say something more, but in the end, he only bowed and left the room.
While listening to the sound of the door closing, Astel closed his eyes as if exhausted.
***T/N: Y, yea, bury her right, Astel,
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