was happy to receive the letter and the pendant with Leo’s eye color.
That person, Rembrandt-sama, gave me a lot of advice, and I was able to gather the courage to take action.

…I also thought that maybe I could become stronger little by little.
Then I felt happy, thinking that, one day, I might be able to stand next to you with dignity.”

“I… see.”

Leopold nodded quietly.

He had already come here with his own answer.

Still, the reason he was listening to Natalia now was to understand his own feelings, and also to confirm the depths of his lover’s heart, which he hadn’t known until now.

“Thinking about it, that person… Rembrandt-sama told me, ‘Don’t wait for someone to help you, you have to act first yourself’…”

Leopold suddenly smiled.

“I’ve also been told that by him a lot”

“Leo too?”

“Ah.
He told me many times to think first, don’t just take words at face value, and anticipate the true meaning behind them and the consequences of acting on them.
I’ve heard it so many times.”

“Fufu, that’s amazing”

“Ah.
He’s like an educator.
He didn’t even have that kind of duty.”

As if he lost some of his nervousness, the hint of awkwardness in his smile faded a lot.

“So that’s why I feel that Leo is different than before.
I mean, I feel that you’re more composed than before.” 

“Is that so?”

“Yes.
You did your best, Leo.”

When Leopold tilted his head, Natalia affirmed it and continued.

“I couldn’t do it.
I couldn’t do it like Leo.

No, I knew I shouldn’t try anymore.
I shouldn’t try so hard to be the kind of woman that Leo’s parents would approve of…”

“Natalia.”

“Yeah, I thought so.”

“…and why is that?”

Leopold asked back gently.

As if he already knew the answer.

“I… killed Beatrice-sama so that I can be with you.
I killed my best friend… who was kind enough to offer a white wedding so that you and I could be together.”

“…”

“I guess that’s what I would do just to get something I really want.”

Tears welled up in Natalia’s eyes.

But Natalia held them back and continued.

“So I knew I shouldn’t try to do my best for you.
I shouldn’t try to stand next to you… It’s my fault for loving you.
I shouldn’t keep loving you the way I do.”

“…”

“So let’s just… say goodbye.”

“…Natalia.”

“Farewell, you will fall in love with the one who is worthy of your family status.
And then you will be united with that person.
And then… and then…”

“Natalia.”

“Please be happy with her.”

The tears she had been holding back fell from Natalia’s eyes.

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