The Reason Why We Shouldn't Get Married - Chapter 14
* * *
“Guinness, I…..I can’t share in his misfortune anymore. I can’t do it again. I don’t want to lose any more people that I love to Iandrus,” Diana said, her body trembling.
The day Philadelphia was purged was still clear in her mind. It was a day when the sky felt especially high above. Diana would never forget a thing about that moment. The day she saw Guinness’ neck get cut by the guillotine, his head falling to the ground just after her mother.
Just imagining it made her sick.
But she couldn’t say this part of the story. It was too terrifying to repeat loud.
Diana jumped out of bed, falling down in front of Guinness and taking his hand. Immediately, Guinness reached out to support her staggering body, pulling her to lean against him.
“Diana! It’s okay, you don’t have to say anything more.”
Diana leaned against Guinness’ arm, feeling his body temperature. Guinness was alive and well right now. His heart was pumping out warm blood, keeping his body alive. His breathing was steady and his beautiful eyes were full of life.
As she watched him, she bit the inside of her mouth.
He’s alive. He’s alive.
He wasn’t dead. He was still alive. Everyone in Philadelphia was still alive. There was still time for Diana to fix things. But the hardest part was that all a fifteen year old girl like Diana could do right now was act a little stubborn.
Like cutting her wrists and shocking her loved ones.
Diana’s heart ached as she looked up at Guinness’ stiffened expression.
Seeing the bandage wrapped around Diana’s wrist redden with blood again, Guinness sighed and pulled up her body, carrying her to her bed, saying, “You’ll need to see a doctor first. You’ll feel better once you take some medicine to help you sleep.”
Guinness swept his hand across Diana’s forehead. The feeling of him wiping away her cold hand was very sweet.
“Guinness……” Diana cried as she called out his name.
“It’s okay, Diana. Everyone’s alive. For you, this is reality. That future hasn’t happened yet.”
Guinness spoke, making his voice as soft as possible. He knew these words alone would not be enough to alleviate her fears, but he hoped they would give Diana some strength. The look in her blue eyes was making it certain to him that her story was true.
Guinness gently kissed Diana on the forehead, “It’ll all be okay. I know it.”
“Hm,” Diana murmured, nodding her head slightly.
“You better get some sleep now, Diana.”
Guinness glanced at Jesse, who had searched and found a scented candle that was good to burn for better sleep. Then he gave Diana the medicine that the doctor prescribed earlier with warm water.
“I’ll have the doctor take a look at your wrist once he comes. And when you fall asleep, everything will pass. Just like any old nightmare.”
“…..Okay.” Diana swallowed the tears that were about to fall and buried her body under her blankets. Carefully, Guinness took her injured hand in his own as he heard her whisper, “Guinness, I’m so sorry……….”
He didn’t miss the sound of her quiet and trembling voice. He didn’t fully understand Diana’s desperation to make this choice, but he believed in her. He already promised that he would always trust her words.
Diana wasn’t refusing to get married because of some childish tantrum.
Guinness stayed by Diana’s side until she fell asleep. As he watched the steady rise and fall of her chest, he narrowed his eyes.
The Kingdom of Branneux.
They’d been at odds with them for a very long time, especially Philadelphia. They were always at the forefront of any clash with them. It seemed entirely unbelievable to think Branneux would extend their hand to Leonid in an attempt to amicably resolve the issue. Maybe Diana omitted some details or perhaps there were some things even she didn’t know.
Diana seemed to think that everything would be fine as long as she could pull Philadelphia out of the fight entirely. It looked like it was hard for her to completely recount exactly what happened because she hadn’t entirely freed herself from that future yet. But…….
Guinness let out a sigh as he watched the doctor suture Diana’s reopened wound again. That ugly wound, bound in rags, gripped Guinness’ heart.
“……Will it leave a scar?”
“I, I’m sorry…….”
Guinness shook his head. Though her wound hurt him, he couldn’t ignore Diana’s words. They were heavy as if they were pressing down on him like stones. If her words were true, then it must’ve been some kind of divine revelation that allowed her to escape that tragedy. Escape to the past, that is.
Silently looking over her wound, Guinness said, “Please prescribe Diana medicine that will help her sleep.”
“……This child needs stability for now. We should give her time for her wound to heal.”
“Oh, yes. I understand,” The doctor said, agreeing with Guinness.
Before solving the problem, she needed a break more than anything. If she ate well for a few days and got a couple nights of good rest through the power of medicine, her mind will be clear once she wakes up.
As he left the room with the doctor, Guinness gave Diana another kiss on the forehead.
“Never leave Diana’s side, Jesse.”
He would never allow her to tremble alone in fear again.
* * *
The doctor prescribed sleeping medicine just as Guinness asked. He wanted to prevent Diana from agitating her wound any further due to her unstable emotions.
After confirming she was deep in sleep, Guinness carefully closed the door to her room. After taking his meal and starting to feel tired like a baby chick after a long day, he was just about to head to bed.
“Oh, you’re here, Your Highness.”
“Guinness. How is Diana?”
As soon as Iandrus arrived at the villa, with a pitiful face after a few days’ travel, he said that he needed to come here right away without rest. Lost in confusion, Cullen asked where he was going but ultimately didn’t hesitate to follow.
After pulling their horses from the stables and racing all the way here, Iandrus could let go of his fear of losing Diana. It felt like she would completely disappear, like she was never there at all. He would only be able to relax for a moment after running into Guinness and being able to see her face under the supervision of the servants.
“…..She’s fine. She just fell asleep. Although, Your Highness, I have something I need to tell you.”
Guinness’ expression was quiet. It was incredibly solemn, like he was about to issue Iandrus a death sentence, and the ominous darkness of the hallway instilled in him a mounting sense of dread.
Turning away, Guinness guided Iandrus into an empty office.
The office was a place where family affairs were meant to be discussed. That was how heavy this conversation was going to be.
As soon as Iandrus sat down, Guinness asked him, “How much do you believe in Diana?”
“I think most of what Diana says is true……She’s very honest. She isn’t the kind of person to stubbornly insist on nonsense.”
Guinness gave a faint smile.
There they sat, a count and a prince—Guinness, twenty years of age, and Iandrus, fifteen years. They were both such weak forces, but even the weak could become strong if they banded together.
“Diana’s mental state isn’t very stable right now. That’s not to say I don’t believe her. I just think she should focus on resting for now.”
“…..I know,” Iandrus quietly responded.
Guinness took a deep breath and began recounting all the things Diana had told him. As he listened, Iandrus seemed surprised, but sometimes his expression would slip into sadness. And then, at the end, he couldn’t hide his bitterness.
“……..Jaymus dies. Because of me.”
It was a sentence that didn’t feel real.
Jaymus was the only person who cared for him. The queen hated him and the king couldn’t care either way. He was the only one who willingly acted like family to Iandrus. Despite only being five years apart, Jaymus would often take on a parental role, acting like a great adult.
‘I’ll give this to you, Iandrus. You can eat this.’
If there was only one cupcake, he would always give it to him.
‘Are you studying well? You have to study hard so once you grow up, you can take care of yourself, Ian. So at what age do you want to become an adult?’
No one would nag him if Jaymus didn’t.
‘Have you eaten properly today? What are you still doing up at this hour?’
Or worry for him, either.
If Jaymus were to die within a few years, then…….He could already feel his stomach churning. Iandrus bit his lip.
“No one will believe this. The vision of adults is much narrower than ours is. They won’t even hear it out, much less believe it,” Guinness said, nodding along.
“Then first things first. We’ll start with Lady Catherine Craydon, who apparently dies of an illness sometime this year,” Iandrus said with focused eyes.
“Is it a disease we can cure?”
“No, Guinness. What’s strange is that Lady Catherine dies of an illness at all. The queen considered numerous things when picking out Jaymus’ future wife. Personality, intelligence, family, as well as health. It doesn’t make sense that she would get sick.”
“I’ll look into it as well. Count Craydon is friendly with us, and Lady Catherine’s younger brother is a member of the same riding club as me.”
“Alright. We’ll follow this thread as far as we can.”
The two of them stood up from their seats and shook hands.
Without Diana’s knowledge, a great change was about to begin.