The Reason Why We Shouldn't Get Married - Chapter 18
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The royal family heard about the rumors circulating around the country and decided Catherine’s death needed to be buried as soon as possible. They didn’t want the issue to be mentioned any more.
“So it happens to be on that date,” Guinness muttered, sweeping his hair back. “That seems like an oddly specific time for it to happen. What do you think, Diana?”
Diana slowly tried to bring back the memories of that day. It was as Guinness said. Looking back on it, everything about that day felt strangely ideal. Both Catherine’s death and the process by which it was cleaned up. How did it get resolved so quickly?
But knowing there was a chance they could save Catherine, she felt a surge of hope.
“Alright. That’s enough for today. I think you should rest a little more. We can talk again later.” Guinness looked into Diana’s eyes. “And I think we should talk to Prince Iandrus, too.”
“…….Okay. Is there anything else we can do for Catherine? Maybe we can get her to leave the capital? Or invite her here?”
“That’s one thing we could do. There’s no armed force that could attack the Philadelphia estate here. It’d be good if we could invite both Prince Jaymus and Lady Catherine and set up a place for them. We could have a Founding Day celebration here.”
“It was at the Founding Banquet that Catherine first collapsed and wasn’t able to get up after that. It all happened in one day.”
“You mean at the breakfast meeting?”
The morning mealtime with the Kingdom’s most loyal families and the royal family marked the beginning of the Founding Day celebrations. It was then that Catherine collapsed.
Diana nodded, “That’s right.”
“Okay. Then there’s a chance someone there is responsible. We’ll start there. The people around Catherine need to know about this, too.”
“Yes. But the more people there are, the more people we must suspect. Someone may have betrayed Lady Catherine as well. And it was the queen who supervised the banquet. She was very particular so she picked all the food herself.”
“But we have you, Diana. If we take things one at a time, we’ll find the answer,” Guinness tried to comfort Diana, assuaging her fears with a grown up tone. “So don’t worry too much. Eat the foods you like and read something nice. You like to play the piano too, don’t you? It would be nice to hear you play.”
“Hm……okay” Diana was hesitant for a moment, but then said, “Thank you, Guinness.”
* * *
It had been a week since Iandrus first came to Philadelphia territory, and he had just received a message saying Diana had recovered enough that he could meet her.
He felt really excited, but somehow at the same time, his whole body was tense and his heart was filled with fear. It felt like he was meeting Diana for the first time in his entire life. Even Cullen noticed how anxious Iandrus was.
“Your Highness. Try and smile a little. If you look like that, you’ll only end up startling Lady Diana. Looks like you’re about to present to her a flower of death.”
Iandrus fiddled with the bouquet in his hands. Before, he never would have thought to be this attentive, but he had to somehow win Diana’s favor and get her heart back.
But he wasn’t used to this at all.
When he asked Guinness what Diana’s favorite flowers were, Guinness just laughed at him and then asked—
‘Are you really that desperate?’
And Iandrus nodded without hesitation. The only time he’d ever been desperate for something was Diana, the only thing in this world worth his desperation.
‘Back when I didn’t know, maybe I would’ve let her go, but now that I realize my feelings, I can’t do that. I don’t want to miss this chance.’
Guinness smiled back at him, but he looked complicated.
‘The Diana I remember was someone that was always dazzling, so seeing her go through all of this doesn’t make me feel very good………But Diana always shined brightest when she was with the person she loved. That’s why I’m helping you, Your Highness.’
Iandrus understood that sentiment exactly. He wanted Diana to shine just as brightly as she did before, and he wanted to be the one to make it happen.
“Is this good?”
Cullen looked Iandrus up and down. “You look good.”
“You’d make any young lady squeal.”
“And….What do you want me to say?”
“Will Diana like me?”
“Well……I don’t know. I’m not Lady Diana,” Cullen shrugged.
It was obvious Iandrus had changed in the last few days. He was definitely more mature than he was before. Was it because of Diana? Cullen wasn’t sure what the hell happened, but the change wasn’t bad.
“Well, good luck. Keep fighting.”
Iandrus straightened out his shoulders.
* * *
It was Diana that allowed him to visit. Diana agreed that her choices up until now had been rash and perhaps a little unreasonable. All she could think about was how she needed to get away from Iandrus.
So she told her parents she’d come from the future and asked for the engagement to be annulled. And when that didn’t work, she made an extreme decision.
She didn’t regret it, but at least now she understood that it wasn’t the most mature decision, nor was it the correct path she could’ve taken.
‘Diana, I’m so sorry.’
She could remember the day that Iandrus only briefly let go of his pain. It was when she was holding Scintilla close to her chest, begging him to spare her. Iandrus was the only one with the power to help them and so Diana begged with everything she had.
Scintilla, still only a newborn, cried as if she could sense the atmosphere between her parents.
And that was the answer Iandrus gave her. Diana could see the tears streaming down his face, witnessing firsthand the swamp of despair he had fallen into. Iandrus was dying in the seat he was given.
‘Hah…” Diana let out a long sigh.
When she removed the emotions and fear, and focused on reality, it was obvious that Philadelphia and the royal family could not overturn this engagement so easily. It was possible they could find a replacement for Diana, but that would be difficult with only four months left.
Which meant that the marriage would likely proceed as planned.
Diana smiled bitterly. This was the part where she needed to relent and decide what she would do next. This time, she would not painfully hold onto Iandrus. Now, she would boldly turn away from him if the time ever came.
‘It’ll be okay, Diana,’ she reminded herself, touching not only the wound on her wrist, but the throbbing one on her chest as well. She might regret today’s choice someday, but………
‘It’s all my fault, Diana. I, I’ll change.’
She decided to believe in those words just a little bit.
Diana lightly nodded her head. She was ready now. The black dress that was wrapped around her body flowed down and every time Diana moved, the dark fabric moved with her. Under the beaming sunlight, she stood out greatly.
Iandrus hesitated, but then awkwardly held out a bouquet of flowers. It was the first time she’d ever received such a romantic gift from Iandrus. The sweet smell of flowers danced around Diana’s nose, invading her heart.
Diana clenched the hand that was holding onto the flowers. It had been a long time since she desired these sorts of things, but it felt like all those feelings that dried up were all coming back at once. Like the flowers, they were blooming splendidly.
“Are you doing well now?” Iandrus’ gaze reached Diana’s wrist.
Iandrus would never be able to forget the day he saw Diana bleeding from her stitched up wrist. The fear that his stubbornness might consume Diana was enough to overwhelm him. Remembering that time was enough to make the fear reach out and grab him.
The black ribbon tied around Diana’s wrist caught his attention and wouldn’t let go. And the fact that he had been pushed away so much also scratched Iandrus. Diana was desperate to get away from Iandrus. So desperate that she did this to herself.
Noticing Iandrus’ messy thoughts, Diana spoke first. She could guess what he was trying to ask.
It was like she could feel Iandrus’ gaze on her wrist, causing her to instinctively cover her wrist.
“…..It’s fine. I’m alright now.”
“Okay. Thank you for inviting me here today, Diana.”
“And thank you for coming.”
It was so painfully awkward.
Diana gave a stiff smile and Iandrus responded just as strangely. The two of them had not conversed normally in a very long time.
The atmosphere was freezing like ice, even though the warm sunlight of Philadelphia was filtering through the windows and spreading throughout the room. Diana played with the teacup in her hand.
There was sunshine reflecting off of it.
Iandrus’ gaze turned to the teacup in Diana’s hands, staring at it the entire time. He loved Diana’s hands, with nails colored charmingly like apricots. Even in a black dress, she still looked as lovely as a fairy. As though flowers were blooming from the tips of her fingers.
Iandrus’ cheeks turned red. It felt like he was peeping in on something very secret. The sunlight reflecting off of Diana’s hands was beating against his heart.
Diana had particularly small hands. Iandrus himself was growing very fast, so he looked different every day. That meant his own hands and feet were particularly large. So when Diana, who was smaller than most ladies, and Iandrus, who was taller than most men, were sitting in front of one another, the difference was obvious.
Feeling embarrassed, Iandrus shifted his hand to the side, slyly hiding it.
He felt ashamed for some reason.
Iandrus felt as though Diana’s small hands could melt in the sunlight and disappear. Meanwhile, Diana quietly stirred the tea in her teacup with a spoon.
Then, the sweet scent of melted sugar hit him. Suddenly it felt like his heart was pounding, rising and falling in his chest. It was the sugar dissolving in the tea—a fantasy caused by Diana’s dainty hands.
Iandrus swallowed harshly.
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