Chapter 14 – The talk with the Crown Prince
Liz ran through the long corridor of the second altar. She continuously ran forward.
Envoy Lloyd had just conveyed as so, “I’ve talked with the Head Envoy for you. Prince Keeva is waiting for you around the corridor in front of the hall”
“Thank you very much!”
“How enthusiastic of you.. Hm? Wait, that ring?” Lloyd pointing out to the ring in Liz’s hand while looking surprised.
“The ring which was owned by Prince Keeva, the rusty ring buried underneath the ground, it looks exactly like that if the rust is cleaned off, I’m sure.”
“Is that so”
The ring which Keeva held dear since his childhood was not the golden ring which was worn by the Gerd’s young lady, rather, it was similar to the silver ring which he had planned to gift to Cecil.
Liz once again held the ring tightly within her grasp.
Although I’m not sure of the details, but maybe Eugene has a gist of the truth behind the incident from five hundred years ago. Hoping that Eugene held even the slightest feelings for Cecil, and that he really does made me truly happy.
“I’ll be going, Lloyd-san”
“oo? Ooh… Be careful on your way” Though Lloyd did not understand a thing, he still sent her off with a slight smile.
Keeva had arrived at the rendezvous spot.
As he felt the presence of Liz, he slowly faced towards her, and locked his gaze towards the albino girl approaching him with an unfazed and clear expression.
Not minding it, Liz shouted out “This!” while out of breath.
Keeva stiffened the next moment, and his mouth opened wide in a daze as if he was looking at a dream.
“This… How did you… Why’s it here? Why are you holding- I.. It should’ve been buried together with me in my grave”
“It was not left in your burial. It was left by Dio Haward and kept by the descendants of the Hawards for generations, and given to me current descendant.”
Keeva’s eyes opened wider.
“The current… Don’t tell me, is it Claire?”
Liz was surprised.
“You know about Claire?”
“Just her name. I’ve never directly met her, but I did hear that she was among the priestess candidates”
And then he whispered “I see, so Dio did..” as he burned up in a fever.
“It seems Dio Haward said about how the owner of the ring will someday appear and to return it back, so never let go of it, or so.”
Hearing Liz’s words, Keeva’s eyes faltered as he felt how dear it was.
“I see… So Dio, that little brat, even though I comforted him every time he cried about how he’s not a capable magic holder. But what do you know… He properly… casted a splendid magic”
As his eyes turned teary while looking at the ring, the sight of him making a happy smile does seem fatherly. And it was a face that Liz, that Cecil did not know. Feeling a slight pain in her chest, Liz softly spoke.
“Dio is Eugene’s child right? I heard he’s an adopted child”
“Aah, that’s right”
“And I heard Eugene did not wed another all his life”
“..Aah, that’s the truth”
As Keeva avoided looking at Liz, he nodded in response. Liz stared upon the side of Keeva’s face. The expression in his face felt as if he was hiding something else.
Liz carefully continued on.
“You planned to give that ring to me- to Cecil, right? Why? I thought, Eugene had married with the Gerd’s young lady”
Keeva’s expression distorted the next moment.
“What’re you talking about? The one who married to another person was you”
“What are you talking about? Cecil did not get married to anyone”
Stating the fact as it is, Keeva’s eyes slight widened. He did not believed how he felt more happiness deep down in heart rather than suspicion and that his face beamed for a moment. The next moment, he gritted his lips and stared at Liz with a gaze of admonition, and spoke out in a low tone.
“You don’t have to lie. I received a letter from you, did not believe the contents, and went to see it for myself. But you were no longer in the house where we cohabitated, and the room was empty, and no matter how hard I looked for you, I couldn’t find you. Then, the old lady whom you adored like your mother, the landlady, told me about how Cecil had married off and went away”
I was flabbergasted. Because I did not understand a thing.
Cecil did not send any letter.
It’s true how Cecil was close with the landlady who lived on the lower floor, she was a very kind person and treated Cecil who had no parents kindly. And even after Eugene headed towards the Haward house, she comforted Cecil who was crying over how he did not come back, and she even visited Cecil who was sick from the epidemic.
But even so, she lied to Eugene? Why?
“I don’t really understand but… Cecil did not get married. She couldn’t get married, since she died from the epidemic after how Eugene went to the Haward house”
“Eh?” Keeva replied. From his expression and tone, it was evident that he have never heard of it.
Repeatedly blinking his eyes, Keeva slowly covered his mouth with his hand. It looked as if he was putting everything together in his head which had gone blank.
(His hands sure are big.. and he has long fingers too)
Liz who was thinking about something else looked back towards Keeva. His beautiful face had turned pale as if he was not himself.
“Died? Cecil did? Right after that….?”
Liz looked away.
Keeva who was looking at Liz looked so very pitiful, and was so full of sadness.
“Then, by the time I went to see you, you already…. That’s why the room was empty, and you were nowhere to be found—“
Staggering and losing his strength, he leaned on the wall. His eyes which momentarily looked aged then looked towards Liz with a sincerity. It could be seen how he’s honestly trying to face with all this whilst receiving such a shock.
“did.. you.. die..-“
I could not properly hear his stutters.
“Did you die alone…?”
Liz swallowed her breath. This is Eugene, that’s how I perceived him right now. Eugene is asking the question right now.
Words could not come out of Liz’s mouth. How she stiffened in place shows the plain evidence.
“It couldn’t be…”
As Keeva stuttered, he buried his face in his hands, and slided down the wall and squatted down.
“What’s exactly going on.. What have I done…..”
Seeing his quivering body, Liz moved her gaze to the opened window.
Through the big window by the wall of the corridor, various lights of green shined through and glittered.
And how different is that to Keeva there right now?
Eugene thought Cecil was married off to another man and abandoned him.
We both believed that the other abandoned us, and thought we were betrayed by the other. And even with such a misunderstanding, we both still thought about the other.
Liz looked back to Keeva. He who is now full of wounds and scars would fall with just a slight budge. She then carefully asked him as to not provoke him.
“You said so before, didn’t you? That we may have a misunderstanding about each other. That’s exactly it. But, there are still some things I don’t understand. Please tell me. About what happened to Eugene”
The truth that Liz, that Cecil did not know what happened five hundred years ago.
As if to answer her plea, Keeva slowly lifted up his face and opened his mouth–