It happened while I, Leila Violet, was attending the ball as a knight escort.
“Amelia Scarlet, I’m calling off our engagement!”
The words were declared right here in public where many aristocrats had gathered, all the noise and hubbub was instantly silenced.
With her radiant, jewel-like red hair, Amelia was a wonderful woman, a beauty envied by many, who always made effort to fulfill her duty as the prince’s fiancee. Her large blue eyes are trembling, the words come as such a shock to her.
And here in front of me stood the man who was supposed to marry my best friend, who just irreparably humiliated here in the eyes of the public: Prince Leon Elliott.
“What do you mean…?” Amelia asks in a quivering voice.
The prince only moved his eyes to look at the trembling Amelia. “You don’t know? You’re always acting foolish and failing to fulfill your duties as my fiancee!”
What are you saying, you idiot? I wonder how much work she’s doing on behalf of a prince who doesn’t work himself. She’s been working tirelessly for the country while you’re off fooling around with other noble girls.
But that doesn’t seem to matter to the prince.
“I’ve always been loyal to you…” Amelia whispers.
At last, tears spill from her eyes, she can’t take anymore. It’s no good for a lady to shed tears in public. I ran up to her immediately.
“Amelia…” I say.
She trembles as I touch her shoulders. I don’t know if there was love between the two, their engagement was originally a political marriage. Still, I was always watching her give him her all.
“Hhmph, is she all you have?” the prince says as he leaves with another lady, he quickly loses interest in Amelia.
He doesn’t look at her faint. I hug her as she curls up and shrinks and immediately take her to her mansion. I sit her up in her bed but she’s unresponsive.
“I’ll fetch you some hot tea, I won’t be lo–”
“Leave me alone!” Amelia yells. She turns her face down, her tears spill once more. “I’m sorry… this isn’t your fault, Leila…”
I immediately approach her and pat her on the back. With my only desire to see her get some rest, I stayed by her side until she fell asleep.
But still, she didn’t recover. She didn’t eat for two days and her condition was growing worse and worse.
“Is she still in her room today?” Amelias father asked me as I escorted him to her room.
“Yes,” I say. “At this rate… perhaps we should contact Prince Leon–”
“I will not stand for it!”
A first step would be to reconnect with the Prince. But Amelia’s family is outraged and I agree with them. Still, it would be fine as long as she’s safe.
When did I begin to love her?
I have fallen in love with someone I should never have fallen for. Not just a man, but Amelia, another woman like myself. It’s a love that should never have be seen. I was happy for her to marry the prince for her happiness but now that plan’s been killed. I entered Amelia’s room and approach her laying in her bed.
What should I say? I feel like she will only hear me out once. I couldn’t think of anything to say, so my words came out in a hurry.
“Amelia, why don’t you come to my home for a while?”
There is no reaction from Amelia. With the tension gone, I regretted speaking from my heart.
“I’m not forcing you to–”
“I’ll go,” Amelia said as she turned over on her side. She’s a little uncomfortable but I’m glad she responded, so I immediately make preparations to move.
My parent’s home is an old house in the countryside. It was close to the farmers and although it was not luxurious by aristocratic standards, it was a cozy place to live.
I had met Amelia by chance in a castle courtyard and began to talk to her frequently, studying at the with her, and eventually I started working by her side as her knight escort.
“There’s not much of anything there but I think you can relax because there’s plenty of nature and quiet,” I said.
I never thought this would be the reason I’d return home after such a long time, but I’ll do whatever it takes to get her back to good health.
Father and Mom welcomed Amelia with smiles. “Welcome, Amelia. We’ve heard from Leila, so please spend as long as you need with us.”
“Thank you, she already told me.”
She hasn’t eaten yet, so her speech is slow and quiet. I immediately took her to a room, we’re exhausted from our long journey. You can see the mountains from the window, so this is the room we give to guests who want a view.
“Nothing seems to have changed here,” Amelia said.
“Yes, it’s a place that I’m proud to call home,” I said. “Excuse me for a moment–!”
I ran outside and picked up a red flower called a “salvia”. I took it to Amelia and handed it over. She looked at it curiously.
“Do you remember? We used to drink them like this before?” I said before I sucked out the sweet nectar. When I was a kid, I used to spend my time doing this every once in a while.
“What are you doing, Leila?!” Mom yells. “You’re not going to feed Amelia that!”
“Mom!” I cried. “No, this isn’t like that!
When she got angry like this, I always hid and cowered from her, but I’d forgotten about her wrath after so long. Amelia snorted and chuckled while Mom nagged at me.
I was happy to see Amelia smile after so long. And she put the salvia into her mouth and sucked out the nectar.
“It’s nostalgic, isn’t it…?” she said. “So very nostalgic…”
She teared up, I approached her and hugged her. Even something as simple as that makes a little bit of the unpleasant memory disappear. Then, little by little, she began to eat again and return to her normal routine.
“Hey, Leila?” Amelia asked.
She suggested we do something, to go out somewhere with me. So, I decided to show her a hill with a good view.
“Watch your footing, Amelia,” I say.
“I will, I will,” she said.
She was returning to the way she was before, but not completely just yet. It’s fine, as her recovery should be gradual.
From this hill, we see the whole village and the river. And this is the best place to watch the sunset.
“It’s beautiful…” Amelia said.
“I know…” I said, “I used to come here a lot.”
It was so long ago that I forgot how many years exactly. The time I spend with Amelia is priceless.
“I didn’t really want to get married…” Amelia muttered.
I know already. She was depressed after her engagement was decided. Still, she acted like she was happy about it for the sake of appearances.
“Do you not like the idea?”
“No… it’s just…” Amelia cuts herself short and silence follows. She seems nervous, hesitant to say another word.
I decide to wait.
“There was another person I liked.”
My heart suddenly made a strange noise. It’s making a buzzing sound and breathing is suddenly getting more and more difficult.
“So I worked hard to forget them and tried to run out of time to even think about them. But I was a fool. It’s all for nothing now, after all. I wonder if I should stay here for the rest of my life.”
She stretches her arms wide towards the sky and sounds happy. But as for me—I was hugging Amelia from behind before I knew it.
“Hey, what’s with you, Leila?!” Amelia asks.
With the pressure so high, I didn’t want to take it anymore.
“Amelia, I… I love you.”
It wasn’t at all passionate. I said it quietly, like a whisper.
“That surprised me,” Amelia said. “I love you too, Leila.”
I scream like a child that needs comforting.
I tell her again that I missed her. “I want all of you, Amelia. I’ve always cared about you more than the Prince, and I love you so much, I want you to choose me over anyone else.”
I said it out loud. I know I can’t go back to the way things were anymore.
She doesn’t say anything. Perhaps she hates me. Her hand pries my arms off her.
“Uh, um, Amelia…?”
She doesn’t answer as we walk back down the road in silence. The quiet is horrifying and I regret what I did. When we got home, Father called Amelia; apparently there was a letter from the castle. The contents were unbelievable.
“If you boil it down, it’s a guide to reuniting with the royal family because the Prince can’t keep up with his duties–?!”
“I will return to the royal castle at once,” Amelia said. “Please come with me, Leila.”
I wanted to stop her. But I’ve spoken my feelings, so sooner or later I’ll have to go back there anyway, I had no choice but to obey the order. The silence continued in the carriage and even if I broached the subject, I only got empty replies.
I’ll resign if she gets engaged again.
It’s bad for me to just be near her, so I should just leave.
With heavy feet, we head to the throne room together. Prince Leon was tied up while many heavyweight soldiers watched over him. While I was wondering what happened, the King himself bowed to us.
“Forgive me, for what my idiotic son has done this time!”
According to his account, the King knew of Amelia’s achievements and wanted her to become queen. However, it seems that Prince Leon only knew about it after returning to the country, all while never reporting to the King during his adventures.
Prince Leon lets out muffled yells of protest, he can’t speak at all for the cloth gagging him. He’s said to normally be cool and composed, but now he’s probably asking for help, but without a sliver of hope to be seen.
Amelia doesn’t look at the sorry Prince and instead confidently and determinedly locks eyes with the King. “Are you proposing I should get engaged with this man again?”
“No, Leon has been deprived of his right of succession. The Second Prince will receive it, so please support him instead.”
The Second Prince is a relatively decent person. He’s smart and unquestionably a superior equestrian and swordsman to Prince Leon.
But Amelia shook her head. “My apologies, I refuse to get engaged with either.”
Her answer bothers the King. “Is that so… it’s hard to find someone of your talent, even for someone of my status. Could you please reconsider and assist me?”
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Amelia said. “I’m planning to replace your lineage with that of the Scarlet Duchy.”
The whole room is abuzz. It’s reckless for a woman to aim for the head of state. If you don’t gain legitimacy, a legitimate male heir will inherit the throne. Amelia’s father is also surprised and frozen in shock.
“And Prince Leon?” Amelia says as she looks at him with a relieved smile. “I didn’t like you, either, so thank you for calling off our engagement.”
Prince Leon’s face was hilarious but I was worried about Amelia.
She returned to the mansion with me. She postponed speaking with the rest of her family and went straight to her room. She told the butler she wouldn’t need any meals today. And as soon as she returned to her bedroom, she fell on her bed.
“It’s been so long…” Amelia mutters.
I let out a dry laugh. “Forgive me…”
I’m resigning now. That we’re alone, it’s a great opportunity to do so.
“Amelia, um, I–”
“Leila, come over here,” Amelia said.
I thought I would resign while I still had the courage, but I still did as I was told. Suddenly, Amelia hugged me and kissed me.
I let out a muffled gasp, caught completely off-guard as Amelia pushes me onto her bed. I stare at Amelia’s face so close to mine with the canopy in the background. After what seems like forever, Amelia’s eyes grew warm and she laughed like a child up to no good.
“Finally away from that idiotic prince…”
“Amelia, what are you going on about?!”
Once again, after such a long time, we’re speaking to each other. It’s all so much that my head is drawing a blank…
“I’ve always liked you…” Amelia said, “that’s why I’ve thought about this long and hard.”
My first real night alone with Amelia has come. I’ll spend this time with her until someone comes knocking, for as long as we feel like. I’ll be happy with my beloved and enjoy the present than worry about what will happen in the future.
So much of ourselves are intertwined, both mind and body… my deeply beloved girlfriend, next time I’ll make her just as happy…!