41. The Third Prince is Too Dazzling! I Can’t Look at Him Directly!
Chapter Forty-One: That Thing that is Rough for a First-Timer
I’m posting two chapters in a row, so please read the previous chapter if you started here today.
I hope you enjoy the final chapter!
“Wow! What a beautiful view!”
I came out into an open area after having to hike for a bit, though, and my eyes are regaled with the sight of a shining lake. From among the trees in front of me, I can see the royal city spreading out at the foot of the mountain. I see what looks like white water lilies beautifully scattered on the lake’s surface that glitter under the blue sky’s light. The lilies are in full bloom, and it is an incredible sight. Thanks to my glasses, I can drink in every detail’s magnificence.
Gil’s “somewhere special” is a mountain near the royal capital. There is a royal villa on the hillside, so he planned for us to spend our vacation here.
By the way, the place where I am standing now is a lot higher than where the villa is located. Were I a genuine, born-and-bred noble lady instead of, well, me, I wouldn’t have been able to make it all the way out here. Anyway, the sense of accomplishment of just standing in this place and to have come so far is amazing. How refreshing it is to breathe in the clear air under the blue sky and stretch.
I casually turn to where Gil is. I see him looking for and picking up pebbles that he seems to judge as having the right weight and shape. He bounces them up to three times in one hand to try them out and turns around to me with a happy but mischievous child-like smile.
“Hey, check out these shots!”
After saying that, he starts skipping stones on the lake’s clear pristine surface. I used to do this too when I was a kid. When you see a lake or river, you just want to pull your sleeves and see just how many bounces you can get.
Although I suddenly find myself wanting to do some throws, I was told to check out his stone-skipping prowess. I follow his throws, wanting to see if he really is any good at it.
The lake’s surface seems to quiver as each stone bounces on it, sending ripples spreading out.
As I watch the trajectories of each of Gil’s throws, the white flowers on the surface start soaring toward the sky all at once. What I think are water lilies start moving with gentle movements that can not be explained by the wind.
Butterflies. It is a flock of butterflies that shine gracefully in pearl colors.
Their beautiful colors fill the sky as the light from the sun above and the reflections from the lake below. It is a wondrous sight as if from a fantasy world; the best I can describe it would be as if a myriad of gemstones are being scattered across the sky. They fill the sky with their gently swaying rainbow colors.
As the wondrous spectacle takes my breath and I am left speechless, I feel my left hand being taken. Gil is there by my side, and he takes a knee to the ground.
“Miss Lina Randall, would you please be the wife of Gilbert Trayce Elvasti?”
Gil’s deep, beautiful navy blue eyes gaze at me with a determination I am seeing for the first time, with a bright blue sky filled with a living, flying rainbow behind him. His golden hair is shining, reflecting the butterflies’ light.
“I beseech you to grant me the honor of being the person closest to you and the promise to stay with me forever.”
And so, while half-stunned in blank amazement, I receive a proposal that belongs in a mythical tale’s pages.
“I will endeavor so that you can always smile from the bottom of your heart. I want to be the one who can always see happiness in your face and protect that smile. Please nod and accept my pledge. You are the one I love.”
I feel as if I am far away in a dream, listening to Gil’s voice, but I suddenly regain my senses and shake my head in a hurry. This is not the proposal I longed for.
Gil is frozen in shock, but I can’t give up on this.
“This is no good! This is not it! If I hear your words while you’re using your dreamy prince effect at maximum power, it just sounds shady and wrong!”
“Why you… How can you call my fully-powered proposal shady?”
Upon hearing my words, Gil’s perfect prince’s face, with its crisp, beautiful features, turns to a pitiful, wretched face with droopy eyebrows. But to me, that is definitely better.
“I already know. I want the Gil who is natural and unaffected and just his real self around me. That’s why I want to hear it in Gil’s true words, not the words of the shining prince with a proposal worthy of a fairy tale.”
He renews the grip on my hand.
“Well, it’s just… it’s a once in a lifetime thing, isn’t it?”
Gil loses his breath for a moment, but after a short pause, he looks at me with resolution and nods firmly.
“I-I get it, then listen with all your heart, okay!? Damn, this is so embarrassing…”
After looking down briefly, Gil exhales slowly for what feels like a long time and then looks up at me.
“Lina, I love you. I’ll give you my everything, so give me all of you… I want you to marry me.”
Gil’s serious face is dyed red with shame. His unadorned words and facial expressions convey to me his sincerity without the slightest doubt, even if I can’t see his aura. In contrast with his previous proposal, the words he is giving me now stir my heart. I’m so happy I don’t know what to do with myself! I feel so hot inside my chest it hurts!
“Hey! Tell me your answer already! I’m gonna have a heart attack!”
Gil erupts loudly, overwhelmed with impatience and bashfulness. Why does he want to rush to my answer when he already should know what it is?
But before I say anything, I throw myself onto Gil’s chest, who is still kneeling on the ground. I overdo it a bit, though, and he loses balance and lands on his butt. I end up with my lower body fitting snugly between his spread open knees.
“If I’m the one for you, I’ll be happy to!”
How luxurious is it that these arms, which catch me in our fall so firmly and swiftly, though a little flustered, and are now wrapping me in a warm embrace, will always be mine? Not just these arms, though. All of Gil. All of this person I love is mine!
“I like you, Gil. I love you! Don’t you look at any other girls, though, okay?”
“Like I would! I really like when you look straight at me, and I see myself reflected in your eyes. Just our eyes meeting is enough to make me feel better every time. But… Take your glasses off now.”
Gil wants me to take off my glasses, even though I’m finally tasting true happiness at long last, while a bit embarrassed. I won’t be able to look at his beautiful face.
“I want to kiss you. Your glasses are in the way.”
Gil’s fingers reach out to the arms of the glasses. He swiftly removes my glasses before my hands can stop him, and I reflexively close my eyes. I’m rendered unable to look at what’s happening, and I suddenly feel anxious.
“W-wait, please wait! It’s too embarrassing like this! Let’s make it more normal…”
“I won’t wait. It’ll be alright, don’t talk.”
Even so, I am swiftly kissed just as I draw breath to say something. My body stiffens by this slightly hasty gesture taking me by surprise. Gil seems to sense this, and in response, he again presses softly on my lips with his, as if trying to relieve my tension. But that is not it! I am struck by the sensation of the ground giving way beneath my feet, and I cling tightly to Gil’s chest.
“Take a breath, Lina…”
He whispers to me while holding my lower lip in his. Even if I am told that, how am I supposed to breathe? Gil pulls a little on my lower lip, which now can’t move at all. I notice he seems to start laughing a little.
“Lina, your breath.”
He keeps his lips on mine as if not being able to get enough and not wanting to let go. Every time he gives me one of those irresistible, light kisses of him, he makes exquisite, small sounds with his lips. My heart beats endlessly as I can’t get tired of the soft touch of his lips pressing onto mine from ever-changing directions. My head is swimming, and I can just abandon myself to the flow. With this fever running through my head, my body starts to feel as if it has become one with my heart, and I can feel my heartbeat’s rhythm in every part of my being.
But… it’s time! Seriously! I put both hands on Gil’s chest and decisively push him to separate myself a little from him and shout.
“I-I’m… at my limit! Let go…”
However, he takes my hands and raises them towards him. They end up resting behind Gil’s neck. Now face to face even closer, I try to turn away my eyes, but my chin is held. Gil laughs lightly at me, seeing me flustered at my escape route having been denied completely. I may be unable to open my eyes, but I know Gil’s expression exactly. He’s sure to be making that mean and boyish smile, is he not!? What a no-good guy! I wanna run away!
“G-Gil, I can’t take it anymore! I’m gonna die! My heart is gonna jump out of my mouth!”
“Well, that’d be bad. Let’s cover that mouth.”
Gil’s lips then press on mine for so long and so strongly I can’t afford to feel their softness. His hand holding my chin glides across the contour of my face, making the area below my ear tickle, and he runs his fingers through my hair. His other hand behind my head slides down across my back and then presses me against him as if not wanting to leave the slightest space between him and me.
After the longest kiss in all my life, I find myself out of breath and softly gasping, lost in the embrace of Gil’s arms, where I let go completely and just allow Gil to cradle me in his arms. I am so happy in his embrace that I don’t even notice the wondrous scene around us, the living gemstones dancing down from the bright blue sky as if small grains of living light and quietly settling back on the lake’s surface.
But as Gil’s fingers continue to run through my hair so tenderly, I remember something. I have had one of those grains of light on my chest. This is Gil’s first present to me, a light that, like our love, will never change, will never stop shining. When I think about it like that, I can only think what a wonderful, wonderful gift it actually is.
I place my cheek against Gil’s chest and snuggle softly on him. How can I convey to him this feeling of utmost satisfaction I am filled with now? I will never forget this day. At times it can be embarrassing, tough, and a little frustrating. There may still be sad or harsh things ahead from here on forward. But, no matter what…
Mean and gentle Dazzling Prince, I love you!
◇◆ The End ◆◇