Chapter 91 – Brutal Rights (1)
“It’s only because I’m using to seeing you in the Academy.”
He was losing his composure because Louise wasn’t wearing the uniform. Yes, that was it. Let’s just say that.
Louise peeked open her eyes, and Ian smiled and shook his head.
“This kind of thing is Simon’s specialty.”
Ian muttered. Of course if Simon were here instead, he would not given up on his task.
“Lord Simon is very kind.”
“…He’s a good guy.”
He said it grudgingly and pulled away his handkerchief for a moment. He had something to say.
“Did Simon help you a while ago? At…at the cathedral.”
Louise noticed that Ian could not bring himself to say the word funeral. Perhaps his heart was bruised too deeply that it hurt. Louise answered as lightly as possible, hoping that he would be alright.
“Yes. He helped me when I was in trouble. Where did you hear that?”
“At a family dinner.”
“I was mentioned at such an important occasion?”
“You are mentioned quite often. Everyone likes you.”
“Are you serious?”
“Of course. You are mine and Simon’s friend.”
“I’m interacting with some amazing people.”
She sometimes forgot her friends’ high status when they were together.
“At the next dinner, please tell him I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make a scene at the cathedral.”
“My grandmother, the former queen, knows it was not your fault. She praised Simon for it.”
Louise had an incredulous look on her face, and Ian gave a warming smile in return. Louise was generous and sweet always took care of Ian and Simon. There was no reason for the adults who knew her to dislike her. If they did in the first place, Ian and Simon wouldn’t have been allowed to go to the greenhouse.
“Why was that girl harassing you?”
Louise found it surprising the way he said spat out “that girl.” Even now, events were flowing far away from the original.
“Ah, um. I’m sure she has a reason.”
Such as being weighed down by the threats and expectations of her fairy godmother. Such as a sense of purpose to rise higher than her crumbling family.
“No matter what.”
Ian brushed back Louise’s hair that had fallen past her ears.
“There is no reason for you to hear something like that from others.”
But what about the warning from his grandfather? If a common child dared to go to a higher station, everyone would be doomed to misery.
“And like I said.”
He spoke in an unwavering voice.
“If the lady I want says yes, I don’t care about anything else.”
“…Like Your Majesty the king?”
“Yes, just like my father did.”
Louise looked at his face and gathered up the courage to say something else.
“But…you care about your grandfather.”
“Of course I do.”
Ian had answered right away.
“I love him with all my heart.”
Perhaps he had thought about the answer in advance.
“As for the only thing he said to me…I don’t want to make excuses and run away from the truth.”
Ian’s remarks were audacious, but he knew that if he stopped everything because of his grandfather’s words, he may resent him in the future. Ian did not want to do anything that might make him hate his grandfather. He wanted to protect his love for him forever.
“…But my grandfather would certainly hate me.”
He put on a wry smile.
“Ask him someday.”
“Well, after I die suppose…but I’m scared to hear the answer.”
“I’ll stay with you.”
“Thank you. When my grandfather disowns me, I want you to console me like that day.”
“I’ll have to think about that.”
“I’m being so nice, can’t you just comfort me a bit?”
His pouting voice made Louise laugh, and Ian picked up his handkerchief again.
“Come here. You still have a black spot on your chin.”
“You haven’t cleaned it off yet?”
Well, for a while he needed time to be patient by himself and wasn’t paying attention to wiping it off. However, no words were suitable as an excuse, so he shifted them slightly.
“I’m not very skilled in this. Anyway, I’ll get better, so please come closer. ”
The handkerchief now scrubbed at Louise’s chin. Louise worried what she looked like because he’d been wiping her face for so long.
“Well, I must have been in a bad shape.”
“Don’t worry, you’re still the most beautiful girl even with black dust on your face.”
“Oh, that’s a relief.”
She could faintly hear a song beginning on stage. The story seemed to be moving in a romantic direction, a warm affection weaving through the notes.
“That’s a good song.”
“Yes…it’s a sad song.”
“But it’s beautiful.”
“There’s no reason that beauty and grief can’t coexist.”
Without Louise asking, he explained the performance’s plot to her.
“It’s an old classic. It’s about a human man who fell in love with another being.”
“Yes. The translation is different depending on the time period. Sometimes they are called agents of God, angels or goddesses.”
“Does their love finally come true?”
“…Not so hasty, now.”
Ian’s voice was scolding, and the sweet song continued. While the lyrics didn’t travel clearly through the walls, the emotions certainly did. The actors’ feelings were not diminished in the least bit; they rang loudly in the heart for the listener.
“I’m sure you’re curious about the conclusion of the story, but why don’t you concentrate on what’s happening now?”
He now carefully swept away the glittering powder from her eyes with his fingertips.
“It’s a scene where the hero confesses.”
“…To the other being?”
“No. To the air.”
Then it wasn’t a confession. It was a monologue that wouldn’t reach anyone.
“But he means it with his whole heart.”
“Even if it doesn’t reach.”
“It doesn’t reach, but he does mean it.”
Louise fluttered her eyes shut and thought about the story a little more.
“…His love doesn’t come true, does it?”
“Jumping to conclusions as always. Can you concentrate on his confession a little more?”
“But I can’t hear the lyrics.”
“There’s only one word that goes into a true confession.”
Louise frowned slightly.
“But this long song isn’t a single word.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
His fingers that were around her eyes now swept through Louise’s face, naturally bringing them to look at each other.
“The other words exist to speak that one word anyway.”
Those beautiful words would carry the implicit meaning of his heart. The music as well.
Louise tried to imagine his way of thinking. One by one, she peeled off the layers of words, until she realized the hardest word in it.
“The…the words are kind of embarrassing.”
“Really? I thought you would like it.”
“A-anyone would like it!”
“Which is why I’m worrying.”
He took his hand off Louise’s face and looked a bit worried.
“What I’m trying to say is…I don’t know what kind of words you like to the extent that you would accept them.”
“You considered the possibility that I would reject you?”
Louise said something she hadn’t meant to say.
“You could say no. I remembered the time when I asked for partner and scratched your head.”
”That’s too much to think about! Don’t ask that while scratching someone else’s head!”
“But why do I have the urge to do it when you say that?”
“Because the president has a bad personality.”
“You’re the who has a bad personality. What’s wrong with scratching your head? I almost kissed your dusty face because I like it so much.”
Louise flung herself back, covering her mouth with both hands.
“Huh, who has a bad personality?”
Ian said, disappointed as he looked at the large distance between the two. Louise couldn’t possibly answer him. Today, the two never got to circle the date on the calendar.