Just where did Al learn these pickup lines? The sugar level just keep going up. No matter how much I translate this kind of chapter, I just can’t have the immunity for all these sugar.
I had the court lady re-brew the tea and finally breathed out.
My face that was red had subsided, and my feelings had calmed down.
I became less flustered after telling myself that it was alright, and I was finally able to turn a natural smile to Al.
“So, this is off topic, but—”
While chatting, Al suddenly changed his tone. I noticed that it would be a serious talk, so I put my cup of tea down and looked at Al’s eyes. He seemed a little hesitant, but quickly opened his mouth.
“You said that you are friends with Miss Carlisle, so let me tell you this…It seems that Will is going to be present during Miss Carlisle’s spirit contract.”
I uttered a sound unintentionally. With furrowed brows, Al said to me:
“I was debating whether I should stay silent even if I knew. But you want to know things concerning your friend, right?
From his anxious tone of voice, I could tell that Al really cared about me. Feeling happy with that thought, I said:
“Thank you for your consideration. I heard about it from Chloe. About that…I was asked by her, so I’m also going to be there when she forms a contract with the spirit.”
“Is that so?”
“…Are you okay with that?”
When he turned a worried gaze at me, I nodded.
A while ago, I might not have been able to nod if I was asked the same question. But I’ve regained my footing thanks to Al’s contracted spirit, and now I can say that I’m truly alright.
“I can’t just ignore my anxious friend, so I think I will go.”
“I see. If I knew you would go, I would have accompanied you, but…”
“I know you’re busy, Al. I’m just going to visit my friend’s house and return.”
I was happy that Al cared about me. With that alone, I feel like I’ll be able to do my best.
“…I think he’s a bit crazy these days. As his older brother, I feel sorry to Miss Carlisle…I’ll ask just in case, but how does Miss Carlisle think of Will? Have you asked about it, Lily?”
“…At the very least, I don’t think there is any feeling of love.”
After hesitating for a moment, I answered him honestly. I didn’t want to bother Chloe by answering with something weirdly misleading.
Hearing my answer, Al’s expression turned grim.
“…As to be expected. I would like to see if there is a woman who has a good impression on a man who forcibly takes the role of her escort in their first meeting.”
Still, if the man is someone with the title of Second Prince, most women will let that act go. Although Chloe is not like that.
I’m glad that my precious friend isn’t someone who judges others by their social status.
“Um…I heard about this from Chloe, but it seems Prince Wilfred have told the Earl that he would like to associate with her under the premise of an engagement. Chloe seemed to feel…baffled about it.”
As expected, I couldn’t possibly say that she seemed to dislike the idea of the Second Prince as her engagement partner. But Al said to me with an expression as if having swallowed a bitter bug.
“You can be frank with me. Let me guess, she must be feeling troubled about Will, right? But the other party is the Second Prince, and her father, the Earl, is rather enthusiastic about it…and Miss Carlisle can’t do anything about that.”
When I affirmed it, Al gently massaged his temple with his fingers and said:
“Certainly, as he said, he did it straightforwardly, but…as before, it is still detestable. Seriously, what was that guy thinking, not checking the other party’s intent first?”
“Um…Al, you told me that Chloe was the 『heroine』.”
When I timidly asked to confirm it, he nodded.
“That’s definitely seem to be the case. He just told me about it. He said that he would get her to be in his own route.”
So Chloe is the 『heroine』, huh.
For a moment, I feel depressed, but I endured it with all my power. Because it is just a delusion of Prince Wilfred, that doesn’t mean it is the truth.
The truth, to me, is that Chloe is my friend. That’s it.
And Chloe is annoyed by Prince Wilfred’s approach. This is also a fact.
“I will stay with her as much as possible during the spirit contract.”
When I told him so, Al nodded in agreement.
“Yes, I think that’s a good idea. About Will…I don’t want to say this, but I’m not sure what to do. If possible, I don’t want him to do anything that could shame the royal family, but…”
Al said while sighing.
“If you’re going to be there, I can feel relieved…If he does something disgraceful, please let me know. At that time, as his older brother, I’ll scold my stupid brother.”
I really felt the seriousness of his tone, and I straightened my back.
“…I really don’t want any of this to get into my father’s ears. My father surprisingly has short temper about that kind of thing. If my father finds out, frankly, it will be problematic. I think he might even reconsider whether to keep my brother, who can tarnish the reputation of the royal family, as the Second Prince.”
“You mean…he’ll be disowned from the royal family?”
“Yeah. Although that’s only in the worst case scenario. It is not necessarily true.”
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Al’s expression seemed serious, and no hint of lies could be seen anywhere.
“That’s why I want to stop him myself. He did some stupid things, but I still think that he’s my cute twin brother. I really don’t want to abandon him…seriously, I hope he will return to his senses soon.”
To me, Prince Wilfred is only someone who treats me as a 『villainess』 and someone who bothers my friend Chloe. But, to Al, he is his only younger brother.
It seems that he is like what Victor-niisama or Yugo-niisama are to me.
When I thought so, things started to make sense.
—That’s right. He is important. Naturally.
Someone who I don’t deem important could be important to someone else. I suddenly understood such a matter.
“…So, um, with the exception of his story about the 『game』, Prince Wilfred is normal?”
After pondering about it for a moment, I asked Al. He nodded while tilting his head.
“Huh? Aa, that’s right. He’s basically crazy only about things related to the 『game』. That is why I’m troubled.”
“I see. Then…I hope he return to his senses soon. I will also cooperate however I can.”
I smiled at Al who was blinking in confusion.
“Because Prince Wilfred is important to you, right? If so, he is also important to me.”
That’s how it is.
I had set my mind to make Prince Wilfred pay someday. No, I’m not giving up. But, that may end up making Al sad.
Because Prince Wilfred is someone important to Al.
If so, that is not what I want. I don’t want to get the last laugh that much to the point that I would hurt my lover’s precious person.
I think, I want to protect the things Al cherish because he is important to me.
When I explained that to Al, albeit perhaps poorly, he stared at me wide-eyed.
“Um, is there something wrong?”
Did I explain it wrongly? When I thought so anxiously, Al quickly denied it.
“No, not at all…but, didn’t you hate Will for calling you a 『villainess』? Are you okay with accepting it easily like that?”
“I don’t hate him though? Because of him, I became aware that I was bad, so I’m grateful for that.”
I wasn’t lying. In fact, if he hadn’t pointed it out back then, I wouldn’t have had Al’s love.
In that sense, I must definitely thank Prince Wilfred.
So I want Prince Wilfred to regain his senses at the earliest opportunity, because that would be good for both Al and Chloe. If there is something I can do to make that happen, I won’t hold back anything in my cooperation.
When I told him that, Al’s eyes narrowed and said with a low voice, “You really are…”
“No, I just think that you’re a really good girl. I didn’t think that you would cherish him just because he’s precious to me. But, you’re certainly correct. —Eventually, we will all be a family.”
I didn’t think up to that point, but that is true. When I marry Al, Prince Wilfred will be my younger brother by marriage.
—My younger brother.
Yeah, that sounds good.
“…I’ve never had a younger brother, so it might be fun.”
When I told him so, Al’s eyes narrowed kindly.
“That’s right. So why don’t we cooperate so we can both cherish our younger brother, Lily?”
“Thank you, I’m counting on you…By the way, Lily. With that, I’ve come to love you again, can you take responsibility?”
Feeling surprised as I didn’t know why he said that, Al laughed with a troubled expression.
“No, I think everyone will fall in love when they hear something like that. Hey, Lily. Are you trying to make me fall in love with you every day? Even without doing that, I already love you very much, so I’ll be in real trouble if you don’t moderate it.”
“T-that wasn’t my intention at all!”
Rather, I want to do it if I can do it intentionally.
Desperately wondering how it came to this, nothing came up to my mind.
When I was troubled, Al tilted his head.
“That’s right. I’m falling in love with you every time, so I think it’s better that you’re not doing it on purpose. You’re more of a devilish woman rather than a villainess. You attract me and never let go. Of course, I won’t allow you to attract anyone other than me.”
—Do you understand?
As if teasing me, he said so in a very sweet voice. My face turned red and I shook my head. Because if it was something I have no knowledge of, there’s nothing I can do.
“I-It’s just your imagination.”
“Then why do I fall in love with you every time?”
“I, I’m not sure…”
If we’re only talking about the strength of our affection, I can definitely say that mine will come out on top.
But it’s really nice to be told that he loves me, and my face broke into a smile subconsciously.
As I was looking at him happily, Al’s shoulders drooped for some reason.
“…yeah, I feel like I just can’t win against you.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’m just feeling ridiculous for sulking a little bit.”
I was becoming more and more confused. But Al smiled, and I loved him like that, so it didn’t matter anymore.