Chapter 59 – No Matter What Happens
Once again, I heard a knock on the door. A voice I knew very well asked, “Are you awake?”
This was… The visitor that I was most worried about. Nonetheless, I told him to come in.
Slowly, the door was opened, and I saw the usual green hair appear in front of me… Gilles’ seemed to be in pain right now. He must have been worried sick after I fainted in his arms.
That said, he seemed to be a bit relieved when seeing that I was well. Even if his complexion is still horrible, “Gilles?” I said.
He didn’t reply at first. He seemed to be extremely hesitant… But eventually, he replied, “Lady Liz.”
“What happened?” I asked him.
Once again, he stayed silent. Even after I beckoned him to move closer, he still remained silent as he approached.
It hurt me to see him like that… With my eyes, I urged him to sit next to me, to which he obliged.
Then, after another pause, he finally said something, “I just cremated him… My father.”
“Ah…” I couldn’t find the words to make a reply.
“I wasn’t allowed to bury him…” His voice was quiet, and each word that he said seemed to increase his anguish, “It’s not like I never killed anyone before, but…” He left out a small sigh as he said this.
Then, once more, he went silent. He was probably searching for the right words… I tried looking at his face to see what expression he was making, but his eyes were focused on his own hands that were holding his thighs tightly, so I couldn’t see his eyes.
“I may not have killed lady Liz, but I fought many who came after you… To protect you, I’ve killed many.” Gilles suddenly said this, seemingly changing the topic.
“You killed… Because of me?” I asked him.
“No. I did it out of my own will.” He instantly denied it, then raised his head and faced me.
His expression was quite unlike his usual one. He was tense. His beautiful face was overflowing with sorrow.
“I thought I was used to it… But my hands are now dirtied with the blood of my own father… This hurts.” He explained.
I put my hand on top of his and said, “It’s okay.”
“No, it’s not… I justified the murder with the pretense of protecting you, lady Liz, but… I cannot push the blame of my father’s death on you. It pains me to realize that this is what I have been doing…” Gilles was incredibly tense right now, yet he tried to force a smile to come out. But that painful expression couldn’t ever be referred to as a smile.
It’s been so long since I’ve last seen Gilles be this hurt… I don’t know what to do. I want to tell him that he shouldn’t worry about it, but such half-hearted words will be of no comfort to Gilles right now.
While I desperately sought out the right words to say, Gilles, still maintaining his pained smile, said, “And I’m scared of you hating me, lady Liz… More than the pain of killing my father, I’m terrified of being hated by you.”
I reached out my hand towards his cheek, but he stopped me… He stopped me, even though he was about to cry.
“I’m scared of you seeing me kill people. I’m scared of you hating the murderer that I am… I’m a terrible man, am I not?” He asked me.
I couldn’t withstand seeing this pained smile of his anymore, “Gilles…” so, for the first time in eight years, I reached out to Gilles. I reached out in the same way I did when I was a child. He could have easily stopped my slow movement, but he did not refuse me this time around.
I hugged him. What I had wasn’t quite a bowl, maybe it was a cup at best, but… Nonetheless, I invited him into this shallow mountain that couldn’t even be called a ridge.
Gently, as if he was a small child, I held him in my bosom, letting his green hair touch me, while I carefully rubbed his trembling back.
We’ve each grown a lot since the last time. Gilles was now big and strong, while I was starting to get a more womanly body… And yet, even though I was holding his large back, right now, Gilles felt terribly small.
“I won’t ever hate nor show any disdain towards you. I absolutely won’t.” I told him. Gilles is a very important person to me. I want us both to accept one another and… I want Gilles to forever remain by my side.
There’s no way I’ll ever hate Gilles. No matter what happens, I won’t hate him.
Slowly, he lifted his face… When was the last time I saw him cry?
He was tearful, his body was shaking, and his wet green eyes were exposing all of his conflicting emotions at once.
As I wiped the tears that spilled on his cheeks with my finger, his face contorted even more, making the tears flow faster… I don’t want to see him like this, I don’t want to see Gilles cry.
I called his name, then gently patted his back. In a slow steady rhythm, just like I did in the past, “I’m by your side.” I told him. Even if your hands are dirty, even if you dirty them for me, I won’t leave you. I’ll accept it all… Because you’re special to me, Gilles.
As I compassionately hugged him, Gilles moved his face closer to mine. While the tears kept on dripping, “I’m sorry.” he whispered that directly to my ear.
… It took me a moment to realize that his mouth was approaching mine. It was only when I felt the moist flesh touch my lips, that I realized what was happening.
A strange noise came from the back of my throat. Heat was transferred from the place where we touched one another… And gradually, not only my lips, but my cheeks too became hotter.
It was salty. The taste in my lips was salty. It was all that happened, but my heart was in pain right now. And this pain came from a feeling that was different from fear or sorrow.
For the first time today, Gilles embraced me. He pulled me into his arms, while our lips remained connected.
My heartbeat was getting faster, and yet it felt as if this wasn’t happening to me, but to someone else. It was all so sudden that I couldn’t even process what was happening.
Eventually, Gilles separated his lips from mine, “Gilles…?” Was the only word I could mutter.
I lost my strength, my face was hot, and Gilles was the one who had to support me this time around… It’s fine, I don’t have time to worry about this right now.
Gilles put his hand on my back and hugged me once more. He surely felt my quickened heartbeat as our bodies touched one another, “Lady Liz… Can I stay by your side?” He asked me.
I slowly nodded to his anxious voice.
It’s a given, isn’t it? Gilles is my valet, of course he can stay by my side.
He seemed to be relieved by my nod. Finally, Gilles seemed to be relaxing. He kept on hugging me tenderly, sharing his body’s heat with mine… I did not refuse him.
Then, after a while like this, Gilles seemed to calm down, so he separated from me, gave me a smile, then left the room.
And I, flopped down onto the bed… What do I do?
I allowed him to take my lips… It was a normal kiss. Not one on the back of my hands, not on my cheeks, nor on my nose… It was on my lips. A mouth-to-mouth kiss… We kissed.
I was overwhelmed by him. Was it okay to let him do it? But… Could I even refuse him in that situation?
No good… I traced my lips, which still had his heat, with my fingertips, and was reminded of the sensation of the kiss.
It wasn’t an adult’s kiss, so maybe this was okay? It was just a touch, and there was no sweetness… I could only feel the salty taste of Gilles’ tears.
Stroking my lips was embarrassing. I could still feel his touch… I suppose it’s a good thing I don’t care that much for first times.
Still, one shouldn’t kiss a girl who has just been attacked… Though Gilles too was also hurt.
… I’m not scared of Gilles. This is the only thing I understood right now… This very strange feeling.