The Reason Why We Shouldn't Get Married - Chapter 15
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Diana was wandering in a dream.
It was so vivid it was hard to tell that it wasn’t real. Diana was standing in the crowd on that day of death. Hidden in a sea of people, she lifted up her head and looked up at the guillotine. There, she could see Scintilla’s pale face.
Scintilla was only ten years old. How scared was she to be standing up there at such a young age? Diana bit her lip tightly. If she had the choice, she would rather stand up there with her and face their death together.
She wanted to hug her child and tell her that everything would be okay. But that was not something afforded to Diana anymore.
“Step forward, sinner!”
The small girl, her whole body trembling, was dragged out.
She missed the days when she would tie Scintilla’s messy hair back with a ribbon. Or those peaceful days when Diana would playfully scold Scintilla for laying on her lap and acting childish. She wanted to run her hand against Scintilla’s cheek, calling her ‘Tilla’.
She missed the days when she could call out and say, ‘my flame’.
Diana tried to say the girl’s name. The name that hovered between her lips like a soft flame was so lovely she could feel her eyes tearing up as her cheeks turned wet as the tears fell.
And where was Iandrus at this moment?
His rights, his duties, his power.
What was he doing, watching the nobles trample on all that he had given them!?
Iandrus was the only one with the power to save Scintilla from this, so where was he!? What the hell was he doing now!?
Diana opened her eyes widely, the feeling of wanting to vomit up blood swirling in her stomach. She wouldn’t forget a thing. She would always remember the unfair death of the child that he refused to save.
The square fell in silence.
“What sin has the princess committed……..?
“That’s what I’ve been saying! Is she not just ten years old!?”
“What can a young girl like her do…..? This kingdom is the problem. I heard the Kingdom of Branneux demanded ten-thousand heads roll.”
“Oh no…..will they not stop until they’ve killed us all?”
That damned Branneux!!
Sparks flashed in Diana’s eyes. Branneux was trying to use Leonid as a sacrifice to rise to the position of an Empire. They must’ve been the cause behind Scintilla’s death! What else could it be other than Branneux’s tactic of eliminating the royal bloodline?
But even so, Iandrus was the one who inevitably turned their arrows onto them as he drowned in his misfortune.
And at that moment, Scintilla lifted up her head.
Diana thought Scintilla would be terrified. But instead, her eyes were clear and determined, full of calmness that was unlike a child.
Their eyes met and the girl tensed her lips.
* * *
“Cough! Hah, hah! Cough!”
Diana jumped up like a spring, grabbing the frame of the bed and supporting her upper body.
Her whole body was shaking like a tree. That day, as vivid as the moment that it happened, invaded her dreams just to torment Diana. Her lips were completely dry as the tears formed at the edges of her long, lace-like eyelashes.
In the end, they couldn’t hold the weight and her tears fell freely.
It was like something was squeezing her heart.
She couldn’t even feel the throbbing in her wrist.
“Are you warning me………?” Diana asked, though no one was listening. It was like Scintilla was giving her a warning because she was still failing to cut Iandrus off. “Are you still not at peace?”
As the memories of the past came in, so did the guilt at having failed to help Scintilla in her final moments—suffocating Diana by pressing down on her neck.
If she could just hold that child in her arms one more time, she would gladly walk into hell. But it would be better if she could just take her own life rather than force Scintilla to relive that moment once more. But she didn’t know what to do with this feeling.
Nothing could abate this feeling of longing and pain for Scintilla.
‘If there’s something I don’t know or don’t understand, you can show me!’
Iandrus’ earnest voice clung to Diana’s leg, making her feel sick.
Stupid Diana Philadelphia!
All the answers were already clearly defined. But what could she do if she couldn’t even cancel the engagement. All she could do was struggle, trying to avoid the flow of fate.
Just let me go, Ian.
And so Diana tried to forget that desperate gaze, staring up at her from below.
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After Iandrus returned to the villa, he stood by himself, scratching his head. All the explanations he’d heard turned back on himself. Everything started with him. Because he was too stupid and self-absorbed that he passed all the blame onto other people.
In only five years.
Knowing what he would become in five years, he was disappointed. After becoming an adult like that, he couldn’t even be surprised to know he lost everything. It would be even stranger if someone wanted to stay with someone like that.
Like Diana said, she lost everything because of Iandrus.
Iandrus bit his lip.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
“Have you noticed any strange movements in Branneux these days?”
“I’m not sure. Branneux’s been overly cautious since that clash three years ago.”
Three years ago. It was Philadelphia that went out to meet them on the battlefield back then. They fought on the frontlines, returned with accolades, and that was what caused this engagement to be moved forward. Philadelphia and the royal family wanted to be united sooner so that they could keep Branneux in check. And it was also to quiet those who were attempting to cause internal arguments.
“Sooner or later, Branneux will start showing suspicious behaviors. Maybe I should plant some people there.”
Cullen stared at the young prince with surprise in his eyes. Of course, he knew that children of the royal family and those of high ranking noble families tended to stand out, but not Prince Iandrus. Rather, he was the kind of person to hide his abilities to avoid attracting the attention of the king and queen.
But now he was suddenly stepping up.
“Planting people is possible, but it would be easier just to buy information. There are already many government channels dedicated to monitoring Branneux. So…..”
“Yes, but that’s the problem,” Iandrus muttered, pacing around the room.
If the issues relating to Branneux weren’t solved, he would have no choice but to let go of Diana. In the story she told, it wasn’t just the two of them that would face misery. The entire Kingdom of Leonid would be engulfed in a chaotic fireball.
“……I wonder if he’ll help?”
First of all, they needed to protect Catherine Craydon and monitor her at the same time. But she was already Jaymus’ fiancée, so he would only be inviting a ridiculous misunderstanding if he approached her carelessly. So he thought maybe it would be better to ask Jaymus for his help.
He was different from the negligent king and selfish queen who saw him as a useless mass in comparison to her own child. If it was Jaymus, he would listen to what Iandrus was saying. And if the work he was doing was in the interest of national security, he wouldn’t hesitate to help.
But Jaymus was someone who had more eyes on him than Iandrus. It would take a good reason to get him to move.
“What are you talking about? Weren’t you at the Philadelphia estate?”
“Then why are you saying this? Didn’t the Count talk to you about Branneux?”
“I’m impatient…..Branneux is capable of some underhanded and nasty tricks. We have to move quietly and swiftly, without anyone finding out. At least until we have some clear evidence.”
“…….I’m sure there’s something I can dig up. In a way that doesn’t dig too deeply, that is.”
“Do everything you can.”
This was much better than missing Diana while sitting on his hands, doing nothing. Iandrus thought back on the heavy request added on by Guinness. He said he didn’t want him to see Diana until her condition stabilized.
It felt like his heart was being pierced by a spear. Diana, who he had once held peacefully in his hands, had entirely escaped his grasp somehow.
Iandrus let out a heavy sigh.
But he couldn’t refuse the request just because it hurt. He couldn’t run the risk of Diana doing something like that again. Even if he could stop that, he wouldn’t be able to save her. Or even if he did, Diana’s future would be unhappy if this news ever got out.
“I’m going to be staying at the villa for a while.”
“What are you planning on doing?”
“I’ll go fishing.”
“Or maybe I’ll read some books.”
Iandrus swallowed hard. He didn’t want to leave this place so long it was at least close to where Diana was, so he should distract himself in the meantime. As soon as Guinness said it was okay, he was planning on running to her side.
Feelings he had been ignorant of for so long were reaching depths he never knew were possible, and were getting heavier and heavier by the moment. He looked towards the Philadelphia estate where Diana was.
Guinness said to him before that this wasn’t a problem that would be resolved just because he and Diana didn’t get married. So long as the royal family and Philadelphia were targets of Branneux, they would find some way to repeat the tragedy.
It was clear that Branneux’s ambitions were endless. Even if they didn’t get married, it would only rear its ugly head in some other form. So it would be better to nip it in the bud if they could.
But he still felt sick. It was like his mind was going blank.
What if, even after the fight with Branneux was finished, he still couldn’t capture Diana? What if Diana said she still couldn’t forgive Iandrus? What would he do then?
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