Chapter 55 : Just for the sake of it.
After seeing her brother off, Beatrice, who anxiously checked out the window again and again after seeing him off, opened her mouth in a reserved manner.
“What is it, Atie?”
“Well, well, you know.
As far as my brother is concerned, I don’t think you need to worry about me anymore.
You don’t have to guard me anymore.”
“You see, Edgar-sama was actually scheduled to leave here this afternoon.
If we prepare now, you can still leave before the evening.”
I won’t leave your side until things are settled properly.”
Beatrice knows clearly how busy Edgar’s life is.
And that the demanding schedule is almost entirely Beatrice’s fault.
So now, she feels sorry for Edgar, who stays in this mansion just to reassure Beatrice.
Of course, Edgar is aware of Beatrice’s feelings, but he is not so callous that he would just leave.
Gently patting Beatrice’s head, he lifted his lip to her favorite gentle smile.
“I’m sure that even if I went home now, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on my work because of what’s going on over here.
So I’m going to stay here and watch over you until everything is resolved.”
After a pause, he continued as if he had made up his mind.
“I want to be there for Atie… in fact, I don’t even want to leave you, even if it’s for research.”
Beatrice’s mouth is full of gibberish.
“Already… I think you’ve already noticed it.”
Edgar scratches his cheek in embarrassment.
Still, his gaze caught Beatrice straight on and he continued his words.
“That… I like Atie very… very much.”
“I’ve always liked your smile since you were a child.
I always thought that one day, I would make you feel better, and I would make you smile all the time.
Am I dreaming?
Beatrice wondered absentmindedly.
Edgar had a soft spot for Beatrice since childhood.
Beatrice, who was not strong, always read a book under the shade of a tree, and Edgar was next to her on a regular basis.
Edgar was as quick as Rembrandt to notice the changes in Beatrice’s physical condition.
He was so sensitive to the subtleties of Beatrice’s emotions that she wondered if he had the ability to read her thoughts.
He is kind, dependable, and is also her other reliable brother.
He is an important person whom I felt safe to be with.
A precious, very precious person.
— “I like Atie very… very much.”
By like, do you mean you like me?
Now it sounded like he just said that, but maybe I got sick and heard an auditory hallucination?
Because, no way.
He is kind, smart, witty, kind, and gentle.
We have similar tastes in books, and he is always worrying about me and always putting himself aside.
Such, such a person.
“I’m not lying.”
“So I’m just hearing things?”
“It’s not my imagination.
It’s what you really think.”
“Really, mean… really mean it? Edgar to me?”
“It’s true, it’s true, it’s true.
Atie, I love you… ever since I was a child, only you.”
She couldn’t believe what he was saying and asked many meaningless questions, but Edgar patiently answered her.
Still stunned, Edgar held Beatrice’s cheeks in his hands and looked into her clear eyes.
“I couldn’t bear to watch you give up on your future since you were a little girl.
I couldn’t help but want to share the future with you.
But I couldn’t irresponsibly ask you to think about the future.”
“Then I thought, I’ll be the kind of person who can offer you that kind of future.
If we don’t have medicine to cure your disease, then I should just make one myself.
That’s how I decided to come to Drieste to study.”
Edgar’s palms were warm as he cupped her cheeks.
His eyes were hot, as if they were lit by fire.
“I was going to keep quiet until the medicine was finished.
I wanted to offer you a secure future.
I confessed in such a preemptive manner, but the prospect of the medicine being completed was clear.
Soon… no, I think it will take at least another year, but I will definitely complete the medicine.
So… at that time…”
Edgar held his tongue for a moment.
Then he cleared his throat.
“If it’s alright with you… I’d like you to consider a future with me.”
It was only then that Beatrice had an inkling of his somewhat unusual way of life.
Edgar has no fiancée.
He is the third son of the same marquis family and is much older than his two older brothers.
He grew up in a peaceful and loving family, with a good personality and a good brain.
If one wanted to be assured of a noble position, one would normally find a suitable marriage partner in a noble family at an early age, and the brilliant Edgar could easily have done so.
He is now twenty-two years old.
He was born a nobleman, but his current position is that of a commoner.
Because he was not groomed by any noble family.
He did not even look for a fiancée.
All for Beatrice.
To cure Beatrice’s illness, to complete a medicine that they don’t even know if it can be made or not.
…just for the sake of her.
Last time he got that far, but Beatrice died.
He did not make it in time.
What would Edgar, who was twenty-six at the time, have thought? How despairing would he have been?
When the only wish you sought was not fulfilled, when you conceal your feelings of love, when you did not seek status, family, or power.
And yet he still only says things like that…
As long as it’s okay with you.
“T-Thank you… I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
I, I did this to you…”
“I did it of my own will, so don’t think of it as a burden.
I just wanted you to get well, that’s all.”
Tears welled up in my eyes.
I was tickled by the love that enveloped me, and I was so happy.
I never envisioned the future.
I never dreamed of anything or anyone.
I liked Leopold.
But that didn’t make me do anything about it.
I had no intention of confessing my love to him, let alone getting married.
I didn’t think we would have a future together, even if I wished for it.
So I thought it was a good idea.
Even if it was a contractual white marriage.
I was lucky if I could taste married life as much as others, even if it was a lie.
True love, real love, is so warm.
It’s painful and sad, like having your heart squeezed.
“…am I allowed to dream about the future…”
“I think you’re going to have to dream about it.”
Edgar’s large hand slid down to caress her eyes and wipe away a tear.
“Because I’ve worked so hard all my life just for that.”
Then he smiled softly.
Edgar’s gentle smile, similar to the sunshine found in the middle of winter, slowly melted Beatrice’s heart without her knowing it.
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