Broken Engagement and Punishment 6
Up until now, my life has been such a whirlwind of unimaginable things just coming one after another…. It’s been a bit difficult to cope with.
“Didn’t you three receive any punishments?”
But right now, this is what’s most important.
These girls took on such a huge risk all for my sake… It’s only natural that I would be scared to hear about the negative repercussions for them. After all, it’s my fault that they felt the need to do anything. I just had to go and blab to them about not wanting to be queen… and to complain that His Highness should just be with his beloved, and not be forced to be with me… My friends, being way too nice, couldn’t just let all that go. I should have known that such words would goad them into action. But I didn’t see it, and I couldn’t stop them. So that’s why I have to ask, even if I can’t bear to hear the answer.
Without saying anything, Flora just heaves a sigh while Elena takes a sip of her tea and Aisha, typical Aisha, is continues to wear her usual naive, carefree smile. Liechten, still a bit lost, is now staring my way with an incredulous look in his eyes.
“It’s not like we could completely escape the blame… Of course we properly received our punishments,” Elena finally admits.
“But of course! We messed with His Highness’s little angel after all,” Flora adds.
“We were sentenced to three months of house arrest.”
“….. And that’s it?” I ask suspiciously.
For having displeased His Highness, that seems like an awfully light punishment. To be sure, all three of them are daughters of Marquis (not to mention, his former fiancée candidates) so even His Highness would probably have difficulty passing judgment on them… But even so… They are considered to be the actual perpetrators of this so-called despicable harassment. Such a light punishment is highly improbable.
“That’s it…. That, and we were forbidden from contacting you, Cezara.”
“What?! We were??” exclaimed Aisha, jumping to her feet before I could even be surprised by this news.
Flora and Elena shoot her wide-eyed looks saying, “How could you not know??”
“So… That means, that if anyone finds out that you were here….”
“That might end up being very bad for us… But, so long as no one finds out….” Flora says, smirking.
How strange! For some reason, just seeing her confident smile makes me feel like everything will be alright in the end.…. But, of course, that’s crazy. There’s no way things will be alright.
“But, after graduation, it really is possible that we will become unable to visit you,” Elena confesses.
“Seriously?!” cries Aisha, shocked once again.
“Aisha, would you mind being quiet for a bit, dear?”
For Elena, with her typical kind and gentle smile, to rebuke Aisha is quite rare, so Aisha, looking a bit pale, actually did quiet down.
Yup. That’s right. Flora may be more straightforward in expressing her anger and other emotions, but it is the usually calm Elena who is actually the scary one of the group.
Honestly, I might have been a little too lenient with Aisha’s upbringing…. Not just Aisha, actually, Liechten too. I seem to have a soft spot for my adorable juniors that I never realized I had.
“So, we actually came here today in order to say goodbye.”
“Right. That, and just once, we needed to ask you…”
Flora hesitates. Elena, glancing at Flora with her gentle, almond-shaped, amber eyes, gave her a calming smile, encouraging her to continue.
“Althea Cezara. Are you happy right now?”
“We did everything on our own, ignoring your feelings completely. We did know that. But after seeing how His Highness treated you, we just couldn’t bear it any longer.”
“We knew that it was only for our own self-satisfaction…” says Flora, smiling bitterly. But I just grin widely back and say, “Of course I am. I couldn’t be happier right now. And it’s all thanks to you three.”
“Oh. Good then,” is all Flora says in reply, with a gentle smile blooming on her face. From the corner of her eye, a tiny tear trickles down her cheek, and like that, the four of us share a few imperceptible tears intermixed with our smiles.
After that, we each take one more sip of the warm tea that Tracie had poured for us, and then my three friends get up to leave.
Liechten voluntarily sees them off without a word, acting completely opposite to how he had when they had first arrived. With a gentlemanly smile, he courteously hands them in to their carriage, but instead of being happy with his sudden change in attitude, I only feel worried. Aisha falls in and out of love so easily, I worry that she might start liking Liechten this time, and so as I am seeing my three friends off, my heart refuses to be at ease.
Original translation at Carnations Scans