The Reason Why We Shouldn't Get Married - Chapter 8
* * *
The news that Diana had gone out for the first time in a while was relayed to both the Grand Duchess and Guinness. The Grand Duchess, who was enjoying a quiet tea time, was pleasantly surprised and smiled. She hadn’t left her room in so long. It was a little strange that the church was her destination of all places, but progress was progress.
Now it was clear that Diana was perfectly sane.
Not to mention how Prince Iandrus was also caring for Diana, seeing how early he had come to visit her in the morning.
“As her brother, have you noticed any changes these days? Apparently she told Jesse to throw out all of her dresses and to replace them with dark colors.”
Which meant in the eyes of the Grand Duchess, the one causing problems right now was Diana.
“Not really? Diana’s already fifteen, so maybe her tastes have changed. Now that she has to become a princess, she might be trying to be more modest,” Guinness replied indifferently. “If there’s a problem, it has to be Prince Iandrus. The only thing she’s had her eyes on for a while is the Prince, so if she’s suddenly changed, wouldn’t it be because of him?”
The Grand Duchess gave a light sigh because she couldn’t deny the validity of Guinness’ words. Diana was a girl who best matched spring, right when new life blooms. Pinks, yellows, light greens—she looked best in dresses like that.
But ever since a few days ago, Diana had entirely changed. She locked herself in her room, not wanting to come out and saying she wanted to break up the engagement. But sadly, this was not something she could allow simply because Diana wanted it. The Grand Duchess thought about her attitude from a few days ago.
When that child was younger, all she needed to be comforted was a simple hug, but she had become too cold-hearted for something like that to placate her. She wasn’t as soft anymore.
“…..How does she look and feel? Does she seem to be sleeping well?”
These were things she couldn’t know just from meeting her occasionally at mealtimes.
“She’s got a small case of insomnia…..Apparently she’s got a lot on her mind since she’s become an adult.”
“She said something kind of strange to me.”
“She said as I’ve grown, so has she.”
“Diana said that?”
Hearing those words, the Grand Duchess widened her eyes. She couldn’t believe that Diana, who she thought would stay like a young girl forever, would say something like that.
“What an odd thing to say,” The Grand Duchess said, frowning. When Diana returned today, she was hoping they could talk. But without her even noticing, it seemed that cracks had already begun to form in their peaceful Philadelphia.
“And Philadelphia’s soldiers will be deployed to the battlefield soon. The war isn’t far off now.” The Grand Duchess murmured.
“Am I really not meant to go?”
“You don’t even know how to wield a sword properly. We have relatives more suitable for that position than you,” the Grand Duchess responded firmly.
The representative of Philadelphia this time would be Guinness’ older cousin, Vedigan. He would be the one marching to war with the soldiers. After all, wielding a blade was what he did best.
“The only thing Vedigan is good at is using a sword. He needs someone on his team capable of using their brain. Otherwise, he’ll be too easily goaded.”
“That’s Vedigan’s job, Guinness. If you leave, what happens to Philadelphia?” The Grand Duchess looked back at her son with a sharp look, asking him coldly, “And what of your sister? What will you do about Diana?”
Hearing Diana’s name, Guinness instinctively nodded. “I understand. You always manage to bring up Diana as a condition with me, mother.”
“Why speak of anything else when Diana works best?”
It meant that she always intended to use Diana as a strategy for keeping Guinness out of war. Their short conversation quietly ceased, but why did he keep remembering what Diana had said earlier? Guinness fiddled with his cold teacup.
‘Take care of yourself before me, Guinness.’
Where did she get that idea from? Diana looked like a simple and cheerful girl but she was a child with a deeper heart than anyone else. She wouldn’t say something like that without truly meaning it.
‘I can’t get married, Guinness! If I do, we’ll all be in danger—You’ll get hurt, too!’
The image of Diana running through the hallways, looking as though she’d seen lightning strike from a clear sky, was one that could not be erased from his mind.
* * *
Iandrus didn’t slow down until Diana’s carriage stopped in front of the church. Eventually, both of them disembarked at the same time.
“Diana.” Iandrus carefully reached out and grabbed her by the hand.
Diana sighed, turning her head slightly. He should be doing what he normally does, so she couldn’t understand why he was acting like this. Diana glared at him with ice in her eyes, but Iandrus couldn’t let go of her hand. It was like he was stuck to her.
Diana, the person he thought would always be by his side, felt like she was going to disappear.
“Diana, let me go with you. I want to…..”
“You.” Diana spat out in a quiet voice. “It’s because you don’t know anything.”
“You can say that so easily because you don’t know a thing!” Diana couldn’t stand it anymore shouting loudly.
The eyes of the people visiting the church turned towards the both of them all at once. Struggling to chew back her anger, Diana bit her lip, then shook off Iandrus’ hand.
“What….What do you want me to do?”
“Don’t follow me, Iandrus,” Diana said, her gaze colder than ever. “That’s the only thing you can do for me right now.”
As she turned to walk away, Iandrus watched her back. The sight of her figure wearing a deeply colored dress was rapidly moving further and further away. Holding her coat, Jesse quickly followed, eventually looking back with an uneasy face. But…..
But Diana didn’t look back even once.
Iandrus had never seen Diana’s back before, but all he could do now was watch her walk away. Both a few days ago and now today, too. The sight of it felt like someone was poking his heart with a sharp needle.
“Diana……” Iandrus muttered aimlessly. After being deprived of something he once thought was only natural, it felt like there was a whole in his heart. Iandrus thought for a moment. As he realized before, if he let go of her hand now, he might lose Diana forever.
“What were you thinking, Your Highness?”
“. . .”
“I think this might be kinda bad. You think so too, don’t you, Your Highness?”
As the Prince next to him stayed quiet, Cullen let out an awkward laugh.
* * *
Diana took a deep breath.
“It’s alright.” Diana cut Jesse off without listening to her. “I’m fine, as is His Highness. You don’t need to worry.”
She didn’t want to talk about that bastard in a church where she had gone to pray for her children. When she entered the threshold of the church, her heart started fluttering. Iandrus was not qualified to set foot in such a place. He did not deserve that right.
The right to mourn their children.
Diana’s dark dress fell heavily against the floor.
“Your mom is here, Scintilla.”
Diana opened the door to the prayer room. It was a place where anyone could come and go, so there were many people already there praying. Diana quietly found a spot and fell to her knees.
Moving silently, Diana loosened the cross from around her neck, pressing it against her lips. Where was Scintilla now, she wondered. Very different from her second child that was never born….Where did she end up?
The grip she had on the cross in her hands shook. If she didn’t make the same choices as before, Scintilla would never be born. That lovely and warm existence would be completely erased from this world. As though she never existed.
Her heart was aching so badly.
It hurt that she was the only one who could remember Scintilla. It was too tragic that no one could remember the love and kindness Scintilla showed. Twenty year old Iandrus, consumed by misfortune, didn’t even face his daughter properly. He would constantly leave Scintilla unattended, and eventually dragged her into his misfortune without hesitation.
Without the protection of the king and her father, Scintilla was exposed to so many threats. After the incident, Iandrus entirely lost the will to live, so even if Scintilla were to perish in her childhood, he would not have noticed or cared.
Diana’s power alone was not enough to protect Scintilla. Philadelphia was already overwhelmed trying to defend the incompetent Iandrus and the fragile Diana. No matter how big their family was, it was too much trying to support the royal family.
And yet, despite such a cruel environment, Scintilla grew up beautifully and healthily.
‘Mom, what’s this?’
‘It’s a flower. What do you think of it? Is it pretty?’
‘Yes, Mom! It’s as pretty as you are!’
‘Now that this flower is yours, you must give it a name. What would you like to call it?’
‘Hm…..Well, this flower is pretty and my mom is pretty, too…..So can I give this flower your name, Mom?’
She couldn’t forget the sight of her brilliant smile. She was a child as warm as the sunlight casting shadows through the windows of the church. In Diana’s mind, Scintilla was still alive.
She wanted to see her daughter again.
If it meant seeing her again, she didn’t care if she had to repeat that hellish marriage all over. As long as she could hold her baby again, it would be worth it. But she couldn’t force her child to endure death a second time. Even if she managed to find happiness at the end of the road for herself, it would only end in tragedy for Scintilla.
She wouldn’t be so arrogant as to say she would definitely protect her this time. Diana was already too old and tired to make that kind of promise for the girl’s life. She’d rather bury this small flame in her heart forever.
“I’m so sorry, Scintilla. My darling flame. My sweet baby.”
Diana’s whole body was trembling as she kept her lips on the cross in her hands. It was like the grand whirlpool of fate was washing Diana away, herself far too small to fight against it.
So she quietly chanted her only prayer.
May my best choice lead to the best for everyone.