Chapter 55: Rain
William-sama is not moving, as if he were tied up, in the carriage provided by the academy.
His face was pale, and his lips were tightly pursed.
Meanwhile, I still couldn’t believe the situation.
I remembered the words of the earlier order.
[Message! His Grace the Duke of Moore and the Duchess of Moore are unconscious and critically ill! Please return to the Duke of Moore’s domain immediately!]
(All the carriages in the Duke of Moore’s domain should have been rendered unusable… Is this order a mistake?)
While I was thinking this, the carriage continued on its way.
And we arrived at the hospital near the accident site within the Duke of Moore’s domain.
“Your Grace, this way please.”
As soon as William-sama entered the hospital, a nurse ran over to him.
The nurse led him to a corner room that was a hospital room. The nurse stretched out her hand and opened the door to the room.
At that moment, I stopped in my tracks as I smelled a unique odor in my nasal passages.
(… It smells of mud and blood)
William-sama went into the hospital room as he was led.
Seeing this, I also stepped into the hospital room.
The room was enveloped in a heavy, stuffy atmosphere.
An old man, who seemed to be a doctor, approached William-sama and opened his mouth heavily.
“Your Grace, thank you for coming all this way… I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but I must inform you of a certain fact.”
William-sama said nothing and remained silent.
The old doctor told him.
“His Grace the Duke and the Duchess have passed away. Please confirm.”
William-sama listened to this and still stood silently on the spot.
However, when the doctor started to walk, he slowly moved towards the back of the room.
A large white cloth was spread over a large bed in the back. There were two bulges in the shape of a human being.
The doctor removes the cloth.
There lay two people.
A man with black hair… The Duke of Moore’s face was a muddy color and his arms drooped weakly.
A woman with platinum hair lying next to him… the Duchess of Moore’s originally white skin had become even whiter and there was no color in her cheeks, which were once rosy.
Both people’s eyelids were tightly closed, and blood was oozing from everywhere, and they were covered in mud.
I intuitively understood at a glance.
(These two people are definitely dead)
I realize that their lives are lost and will never return.
“… What was the situation at the time?”
As I muttered without thinking to anyone, a man stepped forward.
On closer inspection, the man was also injured and had bandages wrapped around him in various places.
“This morning, there was an incident where the wheels of the carriage at the Duke of Moore’s mansion were destroyed. The mansion was temporarily in a state of turmoil, and it was decided to cancel today’s official duties, but an old servant remembered that an old carriage was stored in the barn.
I was shocked to hear this.
(There was still a carriage in the barn…?)
The man continued talking without noticing my stunned appearance.
“His Grace the Duke decided to use that carriage to go on official duties. I was entrusted with the messenger today, and I left the mansion around noon. The accident happened when I was about halfway there.”
The messenger man has a dark face.
“At first, I didn’t know what had happened. There was a sudden shock and I was blown away. When I came to, everything was over. I was lucky to fall into a tree by accident, but the two people inside were hit hard on the head…”
The man hung his head as he said this.
I forced out the words.
“… What happened to the other party?”
The doctor opened his mouth to my words.
“The other party’s carriage belonged to a rising merchant family, and they are currently unconscious. We are doing our best, but…”
The doctor closed his mouth at that.
(It’s the same… “You and The White Rose” scenario, everything)
I lost my words and stood there helplessly.
At that time, William-sama quietly approached the two people on the bed.
“… I thought I was prepared to come here, but.”
He knelt beside the bed.
“I still can’t accept it. There’s no way I could accept it.”
His disappearing voice blends with the air in the hospital room.
“I hoped that someday we would understand each other. Even if I wasn’t loved, Father and Mother are for me…”
He stopped talking there.
A dark silence filled the room.
The funeral of the Duke and Duchess of Moore was held on a rainy day.
The subjects were each in mourning, and the Crown Prince, who had come as the King’s representative, and nobles from neighboring areas attended the funeral.
William-sama, the chief mourner, solemnly conducted the ceremony.
Since the accident, William-sama has been doing his duties mechanically like a puppet.
Crown Prince Finlay had a pitiful look as he watched William-sama, but as he had come as the King’s representative, he couldn’t personally speak to William-sama.
Eventually, the bodies of the Duke and Duchess’ coffin were buried in the ground.
I saw their corpses overlap with the end of William-sama in “You and the White Rose”.
(I was unable to change anything this time. In the end, the Duke and Duchess passed away.)
Despair crawls up from under my feet .
(No matter what I do, William-sama, just like these two will also…)
A strong feeling of despair that makes me feel like I am collapsing from my knees attacked me.
The ceremony is over, and before I know it, William and I are alone in the graveyard.
The flower bouquet offered at the graveyard is hit by the rain and shoots out water droplets.”
William-sama, holding a black umbrella and wearing mourning clothes, simply stares at the graves of the Duke and Duchess in silence.
“…It’s so sudden.”
“It was the same when my older brother died. People really do die suddenly.”
He turns to look at me.
I can’t see his expression because it’s hidden by the umbrella.
“Leah, you won’t leave me and die, right?”
His voice is flat and has a very strange feeling.
Feeling William-sama’s spirit being driven to the brink, I swallow my saliva with a gulp.
Seeing him like that, my determination passes through my mind.
(My wish is)
When I close my eyes strongly, the determination I swore at that time revives.
(To protect William-sama and make him live happily)
I look intently at William-sama.
(I won’t give up. I won’t lose to despair. As long as William-sama is alive, I will continue to wish for his happiness. No matter what happens, I won’t let despair take away his heart)
“There is no absolute in things. It is easy to say “I won’t die”, but that is not the truth.”
At my words, the hand holding the umbrella tightens with strength.
“I can’t guarantee it. But…I will try my best to live for you. I promise that.”
When I say this, he shakes his shoulders violently.
Then he approaches me, drops the umbrella, and embraces me.
I stiffen my body. However,
“Sorry Leah, just let me hold you for now.”
Hearing his voice trembling, I stop moving.
(Is it more important to maintain his peace of mind now than whether my gender is clearly revealed?)
While offering the umbrella to make sure William-sama doesn’t get wet, I stroke his back with the other hand.
He hugged me tightly as if holding back his emotions, but eventually he wailed as if he were breaking down.
In the rain, we embrace each other.
That warmth is the proof that William-sama is certainly alive.
I rest my head on William-sama’s shoulder and continue to stroke his back.