"Well then,let us proceed in accordance to our previous arrangement."
"…Hahaha, it seems that you too, Count, have somesort of plan in mind."
Thus I replied with a cheerful laugh that contrastedhis.
Afterthe Minister departed from the King's side, he found himself standing by theside of a window—
"Hence,from now onwards, the House of Brent refuses any kind of further involvementwith the affairs of Duke Westin. Gilbert is on his own now. I shall give himone chance to properly apologize to my daughter and that shall be it."
"Ihave to tell you thought, that kid finding it within himself the will toproperly apologize is already a spectacular turn of events on its own."
TheMinister did not demand any direct sanction, however, the King made a casualremark while shrugging his shoulders.
"I,who belong to the rank of Count, is about to exact punishment on a member ofthe royal family. Towards this, Your Highness isn't even batting an eye?"
"I'mwillingly closing my eyes upon this. Let's say your resignation letter greatlymoved me."
—I wonder,what kind of misdeed have I committed upon the kingdom, or perhaps, was it committedby the kingdom itself? …For this tragedy to befall my daughter…
Thatwas his one particular reason for resigning.
ShouldGilbert have come today and tried something funny, Liliana and Raymond would bethere to intercept him first. The thought about his eldest daughter and songranted the Count a brief respite.
"Donot think lightly of that letter for the intent behind it is true. Your Majestyshould keep your word and separate the two."
"Idid not demand any kind of punishment for Gilbert, because I know how pointless it would be.I doubt that lad's even aware of the word 'repent', or 'reflection'."
—Because punishing him will bring me nothing;not even any hint of satisfaction.It's utterly meaningless to do so.To face ourselves; our mistakes, isa very painful thing to do.And I believe that he is incapableof enduring said pain.Or at the very least, not yet.
"'Donot show your face to my house ever again'… is what I would have liked to sayevery time I saw him, but then, I feel the only thing that would change is thetarget of his obsession. I bet he'll just find yet stranger things to obsesses over."Like the Queen, for example.
"YourHighness, treat this incident as how you would a 'national interest', and thishumble servant of your kingdom shall nobly swallows his anger."
—and if this approach of mine remains futilein the end…
'Thatshall be it'—the Minister kept his silence, but the sharp glint of his eyestold of the extent he was willing to travel.
"Well-understood.To further proof the authenticity behind my volition, I hereby stand here todeclare it again with my own mouth—The royal family shall fulfill theirresponsibility of healing your daughter, til the end."
"…Evenbetter if you did so since the start."
"Pleasedon't say that… this was truly an unforeseeable event."
Andby no mean it was.
ForAnne Marie to be driven to the wall by him, and finally break like this…
AnneMarie was an excellent daughter, and Gilbert too, was an excellent person. Hethought of himself as one, thus he failed to notice anything or anyone elseoutside of his own self.
"Thisheart-rending outcome has stirred the heart of my dear wife, Maria."
"Itis true, and truth to be told, mine feels the exact same."
Tragically,that was also the exact reason behind his daughter's ailment.
The'injury' was precisely in her heart.
Hence,she became like that.
"MinisterRick, you said that my brother doesn't know the meaning of both repentance andreflection—however, I don't concur."
"…ShouldI be asking why?"
"IfI were to guess your evaluation of him right now, he must be positioned in the'lowest-of-the-low'—I should just say, if this annulment were cemented, it'llalso affect Anne's evaluation of you.
"Exactly, I'm sure if that daughterof mine were to know about this matter, she wouldn't ever give up in pursuingit.
TheMinister was silent for a while.
"Likewise,if we don't end things now, attachment will likely grow between them."
"…Well,yes, that could happen…"
Thatwasn't what the King had meant to say, yet, it was also an undeniable fact—andhe believed that the true meaning behind his words were conveyed to the Minister.
—suddenly,it came into his mind:
"Inthe first place, does the Anne Marie oftoday
approve of the divorce?"
"Sheshould." The Count asserted.
"Certainly,when my daughter was young, Gilbert was second to none in her heart. When the betrothmentwas decided, I remember how happy she was that day, and then, …then,
I rarely heard about her since…But just by looking at the current her, I can already determine the shift inher feelings. With a little persuasion, I know I can get it through herregarding this matter."
"Backthen, when she was still well, did she ever say anything to you?"
"Nothingat all. She gloriously upheld her role as a Duchess and did not reveal anycircumstances of her house—not in the slightest.
Butnow, no matter how much I think about it, I think her aim wasn't to assure usthat everything was fine, but to convince her own self that it was."
"Youmean, she was self-suggesting?"
"Yes,that. Not only is divorceprohibited without the King's permission, she's also too devoted to engage in extramaritalaffairs."
Hence,no matter what kind of human scum her husband was, she was obliged to stay withhim forever.
"Ormaybe because the thought of spending one lifetime with someone you cherishedwas good enough for her—regardless of whether or not he reciprocates it. SinceI, myself, thought along that line."…Until now, I've never thought ofit that way.
"Ifwhat you said is true…"
"Nevertheless,once Anne Marie recovers in the truest sense, whether or not she still lovesGilbert will be put to question."
—to treat Anne Marie with all our might.
Theyoung King repeated what he hadpromised to the Minister.
***T/N : Sometimes translating the title could be confusing because the author use the term chapter no longer, but the day i-xx. Anticipates for the next chapter k! Since it will be juicy!