Childhood Friend’s Conflict 3
“It’s good His Highness’s determination to marry has strengthened”
“Yeah, you are right”
“Nn, you aren’t drinking at all. Here, drink more!”
The victory party. I tried heading towards His Highness, when Margrave Shallum splendidly caught me.
Whenever he drinks, Margrave Shallum becomes talkative.
Being caught by a bothersome person, I sighed in my mind.
As expected, he started talking before I could say anything to him.
I resigned myself to keep him company for a while, and although it was tiresome, I faced him.
“I had always been worried. That His Highness would marry out of duty without knowing love”
Margrave Shallum’s story about His Highness is what everyone keeps talking about.
He’s overjoyed. I understand that, but I wish he wouldn’t bring up that subject with me.
Certainly, His Highness falling in love is great news.
A person who he loves and who loves him being on the side of the lonely His Highness who protects the country and will one day inherit the throne, what a welcome story for vassals.
―――― If only She wasn’t the one I love.
Not noticing that I turned my eyes away and gave him a half-hearted reply, Margrave Shallum continued talking by himself like usual.
I think he normally deserves respect, but just now it’s inevitable I’d find him irritating.
“I was surprised when I heard the engagement announcement. Moreover, there’s only half a year until the ceremony, isn’t that speed unusual. We had all been concerned about when His Highness would finally abandon his irresponsible attitude, but it seems there was no need for our assistance. I heard His Highness cherishes his fiancée to the extreme. I am truly joyous”
“… That’s right”
I heard Margrave Shallum’s story directly from His Highness some time ago.
I get it, so could you not deal anymore damage to me.
Hearing my reply, Margrave Shallum seemed dissatisfied.
“What’s with those dispirited responses. Ah, what about you. His Highness already settled down. It won’t be long before you are talked about”
That’s awkward, the talk turned to me.
Me getting married? I’ve always wished to marry only Her, so who would I marry now.
“… No, I’m still fine”
“What, is there a woman you are fond of? If it’s you, you could have any woman you wish for”
He doesn’t hold ill will, but still, I got irritated.
How dares he say that when the one woman I love won’t look at me.
I was about to reflexively reply like that, but I realized it’d be foolish to deal with a drunk like that.
I held my tongue, and after shortly informing him I’ll be going to His Highness I left the spot.
Although I arrived at His Highness’s side, the young ladies around were terribly unpleasant.
I was honestly repulsed by the women I don’t like ogling me.
I was already irritated by Margrave Shallum’s words, so I couldn’t suppress my anger when She was slandered.
To my surprise, His Highness got truly angry at Her being treated with contempt.
Despite playing the key role in the victory, of all things he abandoned the victory party in the middle and really left.
As we returned to the office, while drinking alcohol with His Highness I got lost in vague thoughts.
When I secretly peeked at His Highness, he was gazing outside the window.
The Royal Capital is in that direction――――.
Looking at His Highness’s expression tinged with sorrow, I could easily imagine he’s thinking of Her.
His Highness seemed to want to say something to me, and it was the same for me.
I felt like asking something. But, what should I ask?
Should I enquire whether he’s serious about Her. No, I already know that.
There can be no mistake, His Highness earnestly loves Her.
Even though it hurt before, because I’m a person who loves the same woman as him, I understand.
The outcome has been decided already.
It’s been decided His Highness will marry Her, I couldn’t even enter the ring.
There’s nothing I can say.
Ultimately, His Highness refrained from saying anything as well.
Honestly, I was grateful. I wouldn’t know how to reply.
Although we were silent, the room felt comfortable.
I felt we exchanged what we couldn’t with words.
Right now, it’s impossible, but I hope one day I can bless them.
I thought so.
The day we return.
With soldiers gathered at the Transfer Gate, the gate was activated.
Thanks to the experience in operating it, the transfer finished without problems, and the scenery turned into the familiar castle in an instant.
The soldiers returned to their families right away. Everybody was notified they are free until the victory celebration party.
“Because there shouldn’t be any large campaigns for a while, give your body a rest”
“Yes. I’m planning to give my subordinated vacations, is that fine?”
His Highness called out to me.
When I asked about holidays, His Highness laughed and nodded.
“Of course. Everybody wants to spend time with their families. I will contact you later, but I think the holidays request will be approved in about a week”
“Everybody will be delighted”
I broke into a smile hearing His Highness’s words. I was constrained for a month. I want little holidays.
Then, the familiar figure of my beloved person appeared in the corner of my vision.
It certainly is Lidi. There’s no doubt with Alex and Prime Minister next to her.
Although why is she here crossed my mind, I raised my hand a little to make her notice me.
But, in response to my words, His Highness’s gaze followed mine.
His Highness’s expression that turned bewitched in the blink of an eye left me surprised.
I was astonished by his sweet expression of happiness that I’ve never seen before.
And then I once again remembered.
That it’s fiancées and relatives who are allowed to come here.
Realizing that it’s natural for her to come here as His Highness’s fiancée, my whole body stiffened in an instant.
His Highness spread his arms and called out to her to come.
She showed hesitation for a moment, still the next instant she jumped into His Highness’s arms.
Just before she reached His Highness, her lustrous hair brushed against my fingers.
Slowly her hair slipped through them. And she herself passed by in front of my eyes.
I had no choice but to watch it in slow motion.
She dove into His Highness’s chest with a crying face, and His Highness hugged her happily.
Being the one closest to this spectacle, I couldn’t get any words out.
“Lidi, I’m back”
Her sweet voice had an obviously different heat to it. That alone made it clear whom she desires.
I’ve always wished the emotions contained in this sweet voice would one day be directed at me. That wish was mercilessly smashed up. Having the reality thrust at me, I firmly shut my eyes.
Even though my feelings hadn’t reached her, I’d hoped I could support her.
I’d wanted to one day bless the two of them.
Those weren’t lies.
But, I realized I’d only said such excuses to deceive myself.
Because, it’s still so painful.
My heart is screaming so much.
Rather than His Highness, I want to see myself there, I thought so while shedding bitter tears.
Even so, I know.
I understand I couldn’t be chosen.
Because, even now she hasn’t noticed me.
From the start her gaze was only on His Highness.
At the sight of those two, who no matter how you look at it can only be seen as a pair of lovers exchanging a passionate hug, I couldn’t even bring myself to lower my raised hand, I was completely crushed.
These are just getting worse and worse… (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻