T/N: Caution on the feels. Hurt and sadness ahead.
Side Story 12 – The Childhood Friend’s Conflict 2
She was so dazzlingly beautiful at the engagement ceremony; the wondering why it wasn’t me beside her almost made me cry.
No matter how much I hated it, morning came.
Participating in Lidi and His Highness’ engagement ceremony was a retainer’s duty.
Dragging along my heavy body, I headed towards the audience’s space.
Lidi, led by the Prime Minister, was gracefully advancing toward the center.
Midway through, it felt like our gazes had connected for an instant, but it may have just been my imagination.
The ceremony advanced and His Highness knelt in front of Lidi.
I had thought that I would be the one to propose to Lidi one day, but for it to be taken by His Highness; I never would have imagined it.
I was vexed by my inability to do anything but watch as the ceremony proceeded.
His Highness read the engagement rites. As he added his own words, I immediately understood that he was serious about Lidi.
As much as I wanted to feign ignorance, his eyes were full of affection. She, who was on the receiving end of those eyes, also had a lovely expression.
The excessively certain fact that there were no gaps in the relationship for me to take advantage of, dawned on me as I watched.
The ceremony ended safely with His Highness delightfully smiling, escorting the faintly blushing Lidi.
The pair that was leaving the ceremonial room looked to be a couple with reciprocated feelings, no matter how you looked at it. I couldn’t stand such a scene and averted my eyes.
When I returned to my room at the tower, I fell down on my desk.
I couldn’t get the sight of the two of them out of my head. It was painful.
The thing I valued most for many years had scattered away entirely and the feeling of it makes me want to cry.
Inside my wavering consciousness, the only thing I could recall was her face.
After that, I couldn’t even remember how I spent the rest of the day.
When I came to, it was already the next day and I was sitting down in my seat, as usual.
I glanced at the clock hanging on the wall and got up in a panic.
Before long, it would be time for the maintenance of the Transfer Gate.¹
Leaving my room, I headed in the direction of the (transfer) gate.
As I did so, I heard my subordinates noisily chatting about something.
「That’s why, His Highness is……」
「That’s a lie, right? Yesterday was the engagement ceremony……」
The words they said attracted my attention, and by the time I noticed it, I had already called out to them.
「Hey, what are you talking about?」
「Captain² William. No, we were discussing His Highness bringing a lady to his private room yesterday……」
「……His Highness did? With who?」
「Well, that is something we don’t know……」
As soon as I heard it, blood went up to my head.
I didn’t think the lady to be Lidi.
When the engagement ceremony ended, her tasks ended and she should have gone home to her residence.
The shock I felt towards His Highness was so great that I couldn’t stop my anger.
After snatching her away from me, he left her in order to sleep with another woman. Are you making light of her (Lidi)?
I absolutely couldn’t forgive that. The inside of my head was in uproar.
I wasn’t even able to hear my subordinate’s words.
I wanted to have a word with His Highness.
I quickened my pace as I headed towards the cause of the fury that had stirred up in me, to His Highness’ office.
En route, I stopped my feet when I saw a familiar back. I called out naturally.
The lady who looked over her shoulder turned out to be Lidi, after all. However, she was wearing an unfamiliar dress that was completely different from the one she had worn yesterday.
Thinking it odd, I saw red bruise-like marks in various places around the bottom of her neck.
It didn’t take me long to realize they were marks of one’s possessions.
The surprise made me freeze for an instant.
Lidi, who appeared completely unaware of the marks, appealed her desire to go home.
At her words, which conveyed a sense of uncertainty that she would be able to return home, I recalled my subordinates’ conversation.
His Highness, who brought a lady to his private room.
Lidi, who was wearing different clothes from the ones she had worn yesterday and wanted to go home.
The marks of ownership around her neck.
All of it pointed to only one answer, and I didn’t know what to do next.
Even so, there was no indication of a grim emotion within her (Lidi).
She was in her usual happy attitude, and, looking at her smiling appearance, I understood that, at the very least, it was consensual.
As she wanted to go home, I sent my house’s carriage to take her and saw her off.
I couldn’t bear to be beside the her that was covered in His Highness’ color/marks.
When the carriage became distant, I breathed a sigh and returned.
The feeling of wanting to have a word with His Highness had completely disappeared.
Carrying my bottled emotions, I walked mindlessly.
I then saw the flustered appearance of the Head Court Lady.
It seemed as if she were looking for someone.
Perhaps, Lidi ran away. From His Highness.
And then, it would be likely that His Highness didn’t intend to let her (Lidi) get away.
I understood then why the head court lady was flustered.
I felt slightly pleasant. While I thought that, I called out to her. (E/N: Hurray for giving Will those little victories against Freed.)
It was the responsibility of the one who sent her (Lidi) home.
「Head Court Lady Grimm.」
「!! If it isn’t William-sama. Pardon my impoliteness.」
The head court lady quickly bowed her head. In response, I told her to raise her head.
I then informed her of the necessary matter.
「If you are looking for Lidi, I sent her home. It was her wish to return home.」
The head court lady showed surprise at my words.
「The Princess did……? Such a thing, she was supposed to be in a situation where she could not move……」
「If the one you are thinking of is certainly Lidi, know that she was very lively. If you do not intend to let her get away, pay close attention from now on. She does not apply to common sense, after all.」
「!!……Thank you very much.」
After giving her thanks once again, the head court lady left at a quick pace, likely heading off to report this information.
Whether His Highness went after Lidi afterwards, I do not know.
If she (Lidi) asked me to save her, I would lend a hand anytime.
No matter what anyone said, I would continue to be her ally.
As I realized that simple thing, my body lost its strength.
――――That’s right. This would be fine for me.
To be able to help her (Lidi) was my joy. It had been that way since before.
If that was the case, all I had to do was continue doing it.
I needed to do nothing different from what I had been doing until now.
For the time being, I decided to compromise my feelings and gradually raise my face.
¹ – Transfer Gate; actually is like a transportation portal and is managed by the magic division ofc lol since it’s controlled by magic and people can teleport thru this. The gate isn’t discussed that much during this time but we’ll get there~ just thought to give a heads up about the meaning.
² – ウィリアム団長 = it says William Dancho, which technically, means leader/head? lol Leader William sounds weird to me so I just changed it to Captain. Tell me what you think suits best or if you have a better translation~
T/N: I just feel miserable every time I read Wil’s pov damn. Most of you seem to want Wil and Freed to fight lol but I just want to him to be happy huhuhu Wil my poor bebi~ (ﾉε｀◎)
As usual, thanks to Broken Jinsei and Aki_24 for all the help~ Oh and thank you so much to Luce for the Ko-Fi ❤
E/N: For once, I’m not super late. I decided to tackle this one because I was told this chapter was shorter… Even though it was still longer than I thought. I’m still transitioning around irl and figuring out my schedule, so the last chapter is barely edited and the next chapter might take longer. However, I do still exist and continue to work on these chapters alongside your wonderful translator, so I hope you continue to read, support, and enjoy! (Sorry for the long wall of text. ^^||||)