The Reason Why We Shouldn't Get Married - Chapter 13
* * *
Iandrus picked up the pace. The sound of his footsteps rushing up the stairs echoed out in the silent royal palace. The stillness and seeming perfection of this place only served to suffocate him.
“Yes, Your Highness. Is everything alright?”
“I need to pack my bags. I’m going with Cullen to the royal villa for the next month, starting tomorrow.”
“Yes, of course.”
The chamberlain bowed his head deeply as Iandrus took off the coat of his uniform, throwing it to the floor. It was not unusual for the second prince to go on trips every now and again.
“Should I say anything to the king?”
“Do as you please.”
Iandrus nodded vaguely. The king wasn’t interested in him enough to say anything, so he wouldn’t care if Iandrus slipped away as he usually did. As he tossed this and that into his bag, he lifted up his head.
“……..Let my mother know, too.”
“Yes, of course.”
Iandrus let out another deep sigh.
He didn’t want to lose Diana. It was funny that he was only realizing the true nature of his own feelings right as she was slipping through his fingers. He really loved Diana.
Iandrus took a deep breath, roughly shoving his belongings into the bag the servant had brought. He would not be returning to the palace until his business with Diana had concluded.
……I can reach her, right?’
Iandrus’ eyes shook like he was about to board a boat, prepared to face a storm.
* * *
As soon as she opened her eyes, she quietly groaned. The throbbing pain in her wrist seemed to prove she was still alive. Diana stared blankly at the pattern on the ceiling.
“…I’m in the territory now.”
Dreamlike as it was, everything was real. Diana cut her wrist and spoken to Iandrus but she turned away from Iandrus’ tears. Diana remembered passing out again after that, but she could vaguely remember Guinness taking her away after that.
“Oh, my lady!” As Diana tried to stand up, Jesse ran up to her, grabbing her with a teary face. “Are you alright?”
“Yes, I’m fine.”
“Do you have any idea how scared I was? You were losing so much blood, I thought my heart was going to drop out of my chest!” Jesse shouted out as huge droplets of tears ran down her face.
“Haha, Jesse….” Diana smiled briefly, biting her lip and pulling away from Jesse. Now that she had finally left the capital and made her way here, she felt like she could finally breathe. Here, it felt like ‘death’ was very far away.
“I’ll need to tell the Count that you’ve awakened. I’ll also call for a doctor. Will you be alright by yourself?” Jesse felt very restless. “Just in case you…….”
She wouldn’t do it again.
The room had already been entirely cleared out, not a sharp object in sight. From scissors and nail trimmers to even the sharpest piece of paper. Anything of the sort was removed from the room.
“You can relax, Jesse.”
Jesse looked back at Diana several times before excusing herself from the room. Diana fiddled with her wrist. Even now, it was still aching and throbbing.
Still, she thought it was worth it. Because she did this, Iandrus could finally understand how serious Diana was being, and Guinness even believed in her. And now she was finally able to escape to the territory. While she was here, Iandrus would likely leave her alone.
“……..I thought he hated me all this time, but I guess not.”
The face he made when he said he loved her came to mind and she bit her lip. He must’ve been resorting to that trick because he knew nothing else would work. While she stayed here, she’d be able to prove his words to be a lie.
Iandrus was a second prince, cherished like a flower. Diana couldn’t stand the idea of him saying he loved her with such an arrogant and prideful personality.
Considering her options, Diana leaned back. She heard she’d lost a lot of blood, so that was probably why she felt so tired and dizzy. Her head already hurt just thinking of Guinness coming in to nag her.
And just as she thought, a disturbance came.
“You can’t leave her alone!”
“But, young master….”
Guinness, who was yelling at Jesse as he barged in, threw open the door.
“You shouldn’t shout at Jesse like that, Guinness.”
“….Diana.” Guinness approached and quickly sat down next to Diana. Scooting his chair closer, he checked around Diana’s face. “Hah. Alright, I think you’re okay.”
Guinness’ shoulders sagged after seeing the color had returned to Diana’s face. Ever since they returned to the territories, he hadn’t been able to even sit properly—busy with making repairs, organizing Diana with a place to stay, and bringing in a doctor. But the entire time, he couldn’t shake off his worry for Diana.
He was terrified Diana might try something while he was gone and that he might not ever see her again. He knew she was a girl who was incredibly stubborn ever since she was little, so how could he forget the lengths she would go to get what she wanted?
Letting out a sigh of relief, Guinness plopped himself back down in his chair.
“…..I didn’t tell mother and father. I didn’t want to see my sister get institutionalized.”
“They might not have sent me.”
“You think so? Father would rather lose his reputation than lose you,” Guinness said in a firm voice.
On the outside, the Grand Duke of Philadelphia seemed cold to anyone who didn’t know him, but on the inside, his love for his daughter was great. That was why the royal family wanted to take in Diana.
To forcibly gain Philadelphia’s loyalty.
Having recalled that point again, Diana nodded. “You and father are very similar, Guinness.”
“Who else would resemble father if not his own son? Now, Diana. I want to hear why you felt you needed to do this. Don’t be vague—tell me everything in detail. There has to be some kind of reason why you would put such an ugly scar on your wrist. It’s not like you to suddenly be against this engagement or to wear only black dresses.”
As Guinness asked, Diana shut her mouth and bit her lip.
Scintilla, her unborn and unnamed baby, and Iandrus.
Not to mention the long story of Jaymus and the royal family. She didn’t know exactly where to start. “It’s a lot to talk about.” Diana ended up whispering.
“We have plenty of time. Why do you think I brought you to the territory?”
“Like I told you before, I came back from the future. I died and ended up returning.”
“How did you die, Diana? Old age?”
“Of course not. If I had, I wouldn’t be here.”
Diana turned to Guinness, looking as though someone had been strangling her, terribly out of breath. She was terrified, her words hushed and breathless. “Jaymus is going to die, Guinness.”
“The year I turn twenty, Jaymus dies.”
“What are you talking about? Is he sick? Or did something go wrong? The king is deathly ill right now, so Prince Jaymus is supposed to take the throne soon.”
“No. The king won’t die soon.” Diana shook her head. “The present king decides to send envoys to the Kingdom of Branneux the year I turn twenty.”
“But Branneux has been our sworn enemy for years. Why would he…….?” Guinness said, his face looking awfully confused.
This was something that would be difficult to understand, five years before it even happened. Knowing that, Diana smiled bitterly.
“The Princess of Branneux will come to our country as the future bride of Prince Jaymus.”
“You mean Prince Jaymus’ wedding will be delayed? What about his current fiancée?”
“…..She will die of a disease this year. Prince Jaymus said he would get married after being allowed an appropriate mourning period. So, five years in the future, he takes the Princess of Branneux as his fiancée. It was his way of extending a hand of friendship to them.”
“I see. So what happened after that?”
With a defeated expression, Diana pulled at her blanket.
The Princess of Branneux would die in their country. It was an obvious murder. Branneux demanded recompense and an investigation into the incident, declaring that an inappropriate response would result in the situation escalating to war. The king selected Iandrus to be the representative to convey their response.
However, prior to leaving for Branneux, Iandrus fell from his horse and ended up hurting his leg, forcing Jaymus to go in his place. And then…..
Jaymus, heir to the kingdom, could not return, and Iandrus was forced to ascend to a throne he was not prepared for. Though his death was sudden, the pain it left behind was great.
And that’s when Iandrus completely lost his mind.
He changed beyond all belief, to the point where it was hard to believe he was the same person as before. He constantly threw himself down, his guilt endless at the belief that he had killed his own brother.
When it happened, the king and queen poured out their cruel criticism. They acted as though Iandrus was the one who had orchestrated Jaymus’ death. Though no one was truly responsible for it, a great war began to flow between Leonid and Branneux.
‘I should have died. It shouldn’t have been Jaymus. I was the one that should’ve died!’
He lived with those words constantly coming out of his mouth. Sitting in a throne that was meant for Jaymus, he must’ve felt like he was suffocating. Meanwhile, there were rumors spreading that Philadelphia had allied with Branneux. Though it was just an aimless rumor, it gradually grew in volume until it eventually reached Iandrus’ ears.
And that’s when it started.
When the relationship between Iandrus and Diana, already rocky, started crumbling completely.