Translation and editing: Team Foxsunes
Blood rushed to my head and I raised my voice without giving any second thought. This has to be a lie, are you kidding me? The man, seem to be aware that he had done something bad and had an awkward look on his face. However, father didn’t look guilty at all and had his usual friendly smile, was father this kind of person?
「Both of you are so mean.」
I muttered this quietly, like a sore loser, and the man shifted his gaze away from me in guilt, but in contrast, father kept smiling and said
「But Filmina, you would have hesitated on him and wouldn’t have told your true feelings if I hadn’t pulled off this little stunt, right?」
And just like that, he stated the obvious.
Even if it’s annoying, it is as he says, and that’s the reality. I looked up bitterly at father, he laughed quietly when he saw me looking at him like that. He took my hand and gently pulled me up to stand.
「Now that you know how Filmina feels, it is all up to you, Agedilius.」
He tapped on my shoulder and pushed me towards the man. I walked towards him, almost falling forward. The man opened his arms and enveloped my body, hugging me tightly. Resistance was futile, for it had been sealed by the right amount of force he put into doing so, and I couldn’t even twist my body.
「E-Edi…..! I am not angry anymore, so let go of me!」
What is this man doing in front of father? Where did he throw away his shame to? Go right now, and pick it up. I cussed at him inside and tried to get away, but all I accomplished was to be held tighter by him.
「Oh my, it is a good thing to see that you guys are intimate.」
「Father, don’t stand there looking at us, please stop him!」
I replied to his gentle and mischievous comment by twisting my neck and shouting somehow, but he didn’t listen to my desperate wish. I was stuck there, in his arms for a while.
I pushed his chest mustering all the force I had, showing that I had enough of it! At last, his hold got weak, sp I took the opportunity and pushed my body away from his. I took a long breath out, out of relief, and glared at Edi, purple in the face.
「Edi, you see. I am…..!?」
I lost my words the moment I saw his face. 『I am』what did I want to say? There definitely was something I wanted to say, but my words disappeared after seeing the transparent dews rolling off his red eyes.
He was crying. His facial expression is blank as usual, but the tear that fell on my cheek wasn’t an illusion.
Upon hearing my voice, he realized that he was crying. He blinked multiple times as if to say that he couldn’t believe, he couldn’t face that he was crying. He didn’t stop and it really looked beautiful, and somewhat unreal.
He muttered, I wanted to tell him that it was a big deal, but he looked as if he wouldn’t allow me to do that.
He wraps his hands around my waist again, and weakly embraces me. It was so weak that I could’ve rejected the advance if I wanted to reject it, but I could never do such a thing after seeing his tears. I stayed in his arms quietly before hearing father’s calm and gentle voice from behind.
「Agedilius. Return with Filmina for today. I’ll contact the Black Lotus Palace」
His voice was trembling even uttering a single word, but I pretended not to notice it. I think I deserve praise for that.
* * *
The man kept his silence on our way back home, but it wasn’t like the uncomfortable silence in the morning. The man’s hand was firmly holding mine. It had the same gentle warmth as father’s hands.
We kept being rocked by our carriage for a while, before we finally reached the mansion. He came off the carriage before me and offered his hand to me, so I can step down with ease. I borrowed his hand gladly, and it didn’t let go of my hand even after I had set foot on the ground.
Like that, we opened the lock and entered the mansion, and an atmosphere we were familiar with for the past year surrounded us.
「…..What is it?」
Probably because he was crying until moments ago, his eyes were still red and he looked like an adorable bunny. To be honest, he isn’t that cute. In fact, it would suit him more to be called a beast or a raptor that preys on rabbits. I used my hands to wipe his wet eyes and the man narrowed them, taking my hand. There, I asked him about something that had been bothering me for a while.
「Why were you at father’s place? What about the job? And did you meet Lucious? Did you make up with him?」
I kept on asking since I felt like the silence would crush me with awkwardness. The man-made an expression showing mixed feelings again, the same expression he made in front of father.
「Because I wasn’t able to understand why you were angry, no matter how much I pondered upon it. Also because I felt angry with myself.」
「I see….. So that’s why you were there?」
It wasn’t the best choice of words, but the point that he made an effort is something deserving admiration. I gazed at him and gave him a questioning look, asking him to explain what happened after that. He held my hands tightly and spoke in a clear voice.
「My head was filled with what you said and it didn’t let me work. I left work for Widonicole and went to see father. Then father told me that 『No matter what, Filmina and I are always praying for your happiness.』Even though I am more than happy enough. I told him that and he laughed at me saying that I was still young and inexperienced. And you contacted father at that moment.」
「Oh so, it was father’s idea to eavesdrop on me?」
「Yeah, but I had the final say in that.」
「Of course you did.」
I wouldn’t have shown such a pathetic side of me if only I had known he was listening. And then I suddenly realized. That’s why. Ah, so that’s why. Father already knew that I’d be stubborn in front of this man so father hid him and urged me to speak up about my true feelings that even I didn’t know of. As expected of the man I have been admiring forever.
「I can’t really win against father no matter what I do. 」
「I am your husband though.」
「My my, why are you stating the obvious here?」
「It’s ok if you know it. Sometimes after looking at your reactions, I feel like you married me just to become the daughter of my respected adoptive father.」
Huh, so you came at me like that. I laughed at him for sulking. He got offended and wanted to say something but before he could, I shut him up by placing my fingers against his thin lips
I smiled at the man, who looked surprised after shutting his mouth. I stretched out and brushed my lips against his. I smiled further at the man who has his eyes wide open with surprise.
「So, is it fine for me to assume that you’ve understood why I was angry and why you were angry?」
The anger that raged inside my heart last night was nowhere to be found. My heart was calm and at peace. The man nodded, and gently brushed my cheek.
「You got angry because I kept looking at myself and not the surroundings. I got angry because you kept looking at the surroundings and not me」
He gazed at me, asking with his sunrise-tinted eyes, did I get it wrong? To that, I let out a sigh of relief. I felt the words uttered by him seeping into me. I was angry because he looked as if he was clueless about the people around him who cared about him. On contrary to that, I looked as if I prioritized the surroundings rather than prioritizing him. I couldn’t help but think to myself that it was like a quarrel between children. Then again, we’re not children anymore, since we were able to realize that. Like children, we wouldn’t follow what people keep telling us, but we can follow our will and choose on our own, since we are human after all. Hey, did you. Did you.
「Did you find an answer?」
What is happiness to you? That was the meaning behind my question. To that, the man’s sunrise-tinted eyes, slowly twinkled. He even eavesdropped. If he hadn’t found an answer that I don’t know what else to do. Although I don’t know if he noticed these thoughts of mine or not, he lifted up my hand that he had grasped tightly and gently kissed my fingertips.
「I’ll tell you the answer when we are with Lucious, so please wait till then.」
「Before that, please properly make up with him, alright? Since he’s going to return to the mansion tonight.」
「Yeah, I know ― I’m sorry about that.」
「No, I’m sorry.」
We apologized to each other and laughed a little. He spoke nothing after that. I wouldn’t deny that I felt like asking him whether it was okay to hear his answer here and now, but I didn’t want to disturb him and come between him and his answer. So, I decided to stay quiet. Except, Lucius never returned that night to the Lancent mansion. Last night, he went to the imperial villa saying that he’d be back by tomorrow night, but the youth that we had a fall out with had suddenly disappeared.
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