“Thank you for letting me know Chris had arrived, brother.”
“What, don’t worry about it. She’s your fiance right? I had heard you hadn’t met for a while so, just gratefully receive my kindness.”
“Of course, thank you very much.”
My palms began to sweat at their conversation. I wanted to rip His Shameless Highness Endo’s smug smile off his face, but that would be a careless move. Most importantly, even as he talked to Endo Charles’ eye didn’t leave me for a second. I could sense the glare in his eyes.
It seemed Charles wasn’t very happy with me. Well this had been going on for two years already. And then at the party, our long awaited reunion, I had been too scared to face him.
It was clear why Endo had brought Charles here.
Endo knew I was avoiding Charles. It was undeniable since the whole reason he had called me to the palace was because of those rumors. That’s why he had thrown us together like this.
Still something didn’t quite make sense.
“Your Highness Endo, just how much of a fool can you be! Even though you knew I didn’t want to!? I knew you were dumb as soon as I met you, but to think you’re this idiotic!’
“What? You bastard, what are you saying all of a sudden!”
Having easily been provoked Endo raised his finger and yelled back.
Unlike the red face of the ape Endo, Charles didn’t react at all and kept eyeing me cooly. He was blocking the only exit from the room so I couldn’t run away.
Darn. He was being much more cautious than usual. It was obvious he wasn’t going to let me run away this time.
My only chance was to use Endo.
“Insulting someone out of the blue, how can you call yourself a lady!”
“Then why don’t you spit out your true motive in calling me here today?! If you can say that much maybe I’ll even say that Your Foolish Highness isn’t an idiot!”
“My motive? My only motive is to beat you into the dust!”
“Ha, I don’t think so!”
I glared back at Endo, he was somehow an even bigger idiot that I’d thought. The hell did he think he was saying. What is he even thinking? Didn’t he call me here to torment Charles? He was the one who so confidently told me to become his queen!
It made no sense for him to put me and Charles in the same room!
“Your Highness Endo….you, can you in all honesty say that?”
“Of course. Today I fully understood. I was born to smash an arrogant bastard like you to pieces.”
What an utterly useless reason to be born. I just couldn’t stomach being lectured about arrogance from this conceited ass.
“Christina Noir. Reconciling with my brother is child’s play if it’s to teach you a lesson!”
“Reconcile?…Big brother? Were we in a fight?”
Sure enough Charles hadn’t been aware of the hostility his brother held towards him. It was a very Charles reponse. I sent Endo a death glare.
“What an honor. I am the reason such brothers have reconciled. How glad I am to hear that….as if! Just what are you planning?!”
“Sure I don’t know the particulars bastard, but I know you’re avoiding Charles, right? Since that’s the case I figured it would be interesting to bring you two together. Hahaha. I didn’t think I’d see results so soon!”
“Grr. This lying bastard who couldn’t even carry out his original plans….! Just you wait, one day I’ll finally beat you to death!”
“Ha! Just try it, I’ll have your whole family killed for treason against the country! Are you prepared to condemn your whole family? I didn’t think so! With your level of stupid pride, all you can do is say big words!”
“Stop kidding around fool! As if I would leave behind proof!”
He would already be dead right now if I didn’t have to protect Michelie. Even if it’s not by my hands, Endo will be assassinated eventually. Letting a fool like him become king will ruin this country.
“First of all Your Highness, why don’t you try and remember your little speech from when you challenged me to a match! If I lost, what was it you said you were planning to do again? Do you really need me to remind you? It was something along of the lines of ‘become my queen’ wasn’t it? Ha!”
It happened so quickly I couldn’t believe my eyes. Without a second of hesitation Charles drove his fist right into Endo’s abdomen.
“Wa- Charles, you bastard-?!”
“Hm? What was that? Big brother is also my enemy? Are you Michelie No.2? You seem exactly like her. ‘Ch’ did you say? Cheek? I can pinch your cheeks?”
Endo screamed as Charles mercilessly pinch and pulled at his cheeks. Rather than pain, it seemed to be from the humiliation. Probably the most humiliating thing anyone had ever dared do to him.
“O-Oi wait a sec Charles!”
Endo tried to escape from Charles, waving his hands as he spouted excuses.
“Stop- I said stop it already. I’m not your enemy. I’m your ally. I was just fooling around…It was a prank on her! I would never actually ask a feisty bitch like her to be my woman!”
“Oh? Care to repeat that big brother? You did it to humiliate Chris? Even if you were just fooling around, you know, I’m so angry I don’t know what I’ll do?”
“Why- What are you saying Charles! Your enemy is over there!”
Endo seemed to be panicking not only at the sudden fight, but also that his inferior younger brother was winning. As Charles unleashed his anger, the room fell into chaos. However, on the flip side of chaos was opportunity. By provoking Endo to distract Charles, I had finally found an opening.
Since they were busy fighting each other, I tried to silently sneak to the door.
“Where are you going Chris…”
A shriek escaped as I jumped in surprise.
Until just a second ago he had been occupied with punishing Endo, but he had somehow caught onto my escape attempt.
Since my back was turned, I hadn’t seen how it had happened, but Charles had managed to catch the edge of my sleeve with his fingertips. I felt restrained by that slight touch.
In this situation I couldn’t run away.
Resigned to my fate, I cautiously turned towards him. Seeing his unexpected expression made my breath catch.
His blue eyes were swimming in tears.
Still holding my cuff, it looked like those tears would start falling any second now.
“Ah, no, that um, Your Highness Charles–”
“Why do you run away when I try to meet you? When we talk, why are you always in your second form? When you were talking to my brother you were just regular Chris. I don’t understand. Even though I’ve been thinking about it this whole time I still don’t understand at all.”
As I was being questioned by those teary eyes. My mask begun to chip away and my lips wouldn’t move.
“Is it about the right distance to keep? Even though I said I’d let you decide, is this what you’ve decided? If, if this is the distance you’ve decided, then I hate it.”
Even as he brought up the conversation we had two years ago, I still couldn’t say a thing.
Caught by his eyes I bit my lip as my throat seemed to stop working. I had never seen Charles make an expression like this. I felt like my heart was being wrenched out of my chest, and yet still I couldn’t get a single word out.
“Chris…is it that you hate me?”
If I hated you everything would be so very simple. If it was just that then I would just smash your self-esteem like I did Endo’s and bend you to my will.
Rather it’s because I like you that it’s all so complicated. From the moment I realised my feelings, I haven’t had a clue what to do.
I know I can’t just touch you like I can with Michelie. And I know I can’t just mess around with you like I can with Surfania. Even when I asked Mariwa what I should do my all-wise tutor only said I should think on it myself.
I have no idea just what I should be doing. Since I can’t think of any answers, all I can do is run away. Even if I’m a genius, I still don’t know what to do with these feelings when someday everyone will betray me?
Who could understand my position?
I can’t tell a soul the things I know, so no one can understand why I’m so afraid.
What should I do so that I won’t be hated by Charles—
“Oi what the hell do you bastards think you’re doing. What are you going to do by just staring at each other.”
I had completely forgotten Endo even existed. But at his sudden interruption everything suddenly became very clear.
I looked at Endo with hollow eyes that reflected my blank heart. He looked dissatisfied that things were not going according to how he thought they would.
“Hate each other more. Compete, fight, argue so I can be entertained. Isn’t that what you guys always do?”
“Is your head okay big brother?”
Even Charles’ seemed worried about Endo’s sanity. He had completely jumped from misunderstanding to downright fantasy. Unfortunately it was too late to do anything about his stupidity now.
I made my way to the door without a trace of emotion.
Of course it wasn’t to run away. Blankly I opened the door and rang the bell, the person I was looking for came running quickly.
“What can I do for you, Lady Christina?”
“Please take His Highness Endo away.”
“Eh? Ah, certainly.”
Looking at my expressionless face, Viscount Igusa seemed to guess Endo had done something. It seemed I didn’t need to say anything. Entering the room, Igusa smoothly grabbed Endo by his collar before he even had a chance to run away.
“A, wait, Igusa! Lemme go! From here on Christina Noir is going to lose face–”
“I understand, Your Highness Endo. As your instructor I am overjoyed at your desire to undertake extremely severe sword training. Thus, I shall do my best to train you.”
As Endo was dragged out the door and down the hall, Endo’s voice was lost. His screams that had been so loud just a second ago were now silenced.
The corner of my mouth rose just thinking about the pain that Endo was about to receive.
With the root of evil gone, my low spirits completely changed into bright ones.