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Chapter 175 Wish
“Dan, why would you call me to this place? I need to get back to him as soon as possible.”
“Ah, you’re such a cold woman.”
Although the tone of voice was different, and no names were being said…the voice was Yuri.
And then, the man’s voice belonged to the man named Dan…Mimosa’s fiance.
Were they…doubts surged into my heart, turning my face ashen.
“I know you’re forcing yourself, pretending while you’re next to him. I just wanted to let you have a place where you can rest a bit….”
“You’re out of your depth. I need to go back.”
“Ah. Please wait, Miss Yuri.”
Hearing her name made me inhale deeply.
Had she disguised herself? Or did Dan know her true self?
“Sorry. I told a boring lie. The truth is that…I’m in love with you. All I want to do is meet you in private.”
I peered into the cracked open door. Dan knelt on the ground, and kissed Yuri’s hand.
“I can’t handle all this…I’m also excited to see you here.”
As if moved, Dan moved to hug Yuri. She didn’t fight back, didn’t resist.
“I’m nothing but a lowly baron’s daughter. Even so, my father has always urged me to find a high-ranking man. It’s fortunate for me that the prince himself fell in love with me at first sight, but I abandoned myself for that sake. And yet, you seem to have unearthed my true self. Because of that…I feel like I can relax when I’m around you.”
Judging from her words, Prince Edward was the one who didn’t truly know what she was like.
I believed that her normal self was all an act. Right now, what she was saying was the truth.
“But you already belong to another woman.”
Yuri’s voice was melancholy. Dan responded hurriedly.
“Not at all…my heart belongs to you, of course.”
That line was enough to shatter the version of myself that was still trying to think calmly and clearly about having Tanya investigate Dan and Yuri’s relationship, Dan and his his family and how they related to the Towair Kingdom.
I woke up. Or perhaps, it was better to say that I switched perspectives entirely.
Dan was Mimosa’s fiance.
Although before that point, I only thought about it from an indirect point, thinking that Yuri had added a member to her ranks of pawns…but he was also the fiance of an important friend.
Even worse, Mimosa had written letters to inform me how well the courtship was going.
It wasn’t someone I didn’t know, who I might not worry about.
It was a friend. Being betrayed by her fiance, just like me.
Thinking about a future like that, everything went dark before my eyes.
I immediately started to walk in the other direction, returning to the hall. All I could think about is that I needed to immediately explain the situation to Mimosa.
It didn’t take me long to find her standing in the corner alone.
“What’s wrong, Miss Alice?”
“I have something to tell you. Can we talk over there?”
“I’m very sorry, but…”
“I just need a moment with you.”
I begged her again even after being rejected.
Perhaps she understood my pleas. After a moment’s thought, she said yes to my request and followed me.
I took her out of the hall and sat down with her in a random room.
“Mimosa…where is your fiance?”
“Who knows? He said he would go and rest in the resting room for a while. He’s probably tired out from greeting people all day long.”
So he was with Yuri.
No, I didn’t need to ask Mimosa to know that. I had seen him, and I shouldn’t be hesitating to believe it.
Even so, I drilled Mimosa, hoping that perhaps I had gotten things wrong.
Hoping that I had seen wrong, somehow.
Even now, I hoped from the bottom of my heart that what I had seen and heard wasn’t true.
“…Mimosa, although it’s hard for me to ask…can you abandon your engagement to him?”
“Why would you say something like that so suddenly? You should understand that after all the public announcements, we can’t go back on what we’ve said.”
“There’s still time…! I don’t think he’s the right man for you.”
I wanted to tell her the truth, but I couldn’t.
The possibility of hurting her stopped me from speaking what I had seen earlier.
…Even so, I knew that if I didn’t explain myself, she would still be hurt.
“Don’t say that. I know better than anyone else who’s a good fit for me. If that’s all you have to say, please excuse me.”
Hurriedly, I reached out and grabbed Mimosa’s hand as she turned to leave.
“Hold on…! To be frank, I’ve heard quite negative rumors about him and his relationships with other women. So, Mimosa…”
She shook my hand off. My mind went blank.
“That’s fine too. As long as he’ll come back to me in the end.”
Seeing her eyes, I realized the truth then and there.
“Could it be…you already knew, all this time?”
Her gaze wavered.
“Are we done here? I’ve said, it’s fine. So this should be–”
“It’s not fine at all! I can’t bless a marriage that won’t make my friend happy.”
“‘I’ll be the one to decide the value of happiness. I’ll be happy as long as I’m by his side.’ That’s what you said to me when I tried to talk to you about your engagement to Prince Edward. I’ll be happy as long as I’m by his side. So please, stop talking about him like that.”
“But I was the one who ended up hurt that time!”
I couldn’t help but shout, letting my emotions run hot.
“I wanted Prince Edward to be happy…! That’s what I really thought right up until that incident happened! Even if he didn’t care about me, I would be fine. As long…as long as my family could aid him in his ambitions…I would be able to find meaning in being by his side, accompanying him. But none of that was true!”
Tears streamed down my face. My emotions were too strong to control at this point.
“I don’t know when it started, but my heart started to fill with dark feelings. I hated that version of myself, and I spiraled out of control…Mimosa, I don’t want you to have memories like that.”
“Iris, you…aren’t acting like a noble.”
Mimosa’s face was completely blank as she said this.
“As long as you were by his side, you would be happy? That’s what you really thought. You wanted someone to respond to you with genuine affection. You really aren’t acting like much of a noble.”
She said this coolly.
“The blue blood of nobility flowing through my veins is my heritage. It’s something that I’ll have to keep protecting, from here unto forever…that’s why my mother, my grandmother, and all the ancestors that I’ve never even met continued with dignity in their political marriages. Isn’t that what a noble is?”
I couldn’t respond to her question.
It was such an unbelievably correct statement.
“So, even if he has some other woman, as long as he’ll return to my side I’ll be fine. For this political marriage, all I need is his bloodline. If I can contribute to my family that way, that will be the best kind of happiness for me. According to this definition, Iris, you’re the one who has confused the meaning of marriage.”
The words cut into me like blades.
“Mimosa, is this really okay?”
My words were like a child’s question.
“Yes. Compared to romance that can never be fulfilled, I would rather live on in a more steadfast manner…that’s what I’ve decided.”
Her words of determination cooled my mind.
“Is that so…sorry, then. For saying things you didn’t need to hear. Since you’ve made up your mind, then I’ll stop talking now.”
With my response, she started to smile.
…But her eyes were still devoid of happiness.
In fact, I would say that they were positively tragic.
“Well, then, I can’t let him wait. I’ll be taking my leave here.”
Before I could take a better look at her, she was gone.
She didn’t want to leave me that kind of impression.
“Isn’t that a lack of determination in itself…”
I said that before she disappeared from my sight completely.
A marriage for the sake of one’s family…that was an absolute in a noble’s life. In fact, it was a duty of nobility.
Right now, I was even considering using myself as a pawn in a marriage to the Acacia Kingdom’s prince.
So I understood that I was being selfish. But even so…
“I hope that you can pray for your own happiness, not the happiness of your family…”
I hope that the genuine happiness on her face from when we used to spend time together would blossom once again into smiles in the future.