Chapter 25: First night
Although it had already become night, Diana decided to return to the mountain cabin with Leon.
Ilsa brought a lantern and a bag filled with freshly baked bread.
“Diana, stay strong.”
“Onee-sama. . .Thank you.”
“Leon, take care of my little sister.”
“Yes. . .I apologize for causing you trouble.”
“Don’t say that. Diana chose you, so I’m sure everything will be fine.”
Diana mounted her beloved horse, Regina, with Leon sitting behind her.
“Goodbye, Onee-sama. . .!”
Ilsa waved her hand until she couldn’t see the two anymore.
Lowering her hand with a hint of loneliness, she returned to the entrance of the inn.
Gustav was waiting there with a serious expression. Ilsa furrowed her brows anxiously.
“. . .We need to talk.”
【”𝕬𝖜𝖊𝖇𝖘𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖎𝖊𝖘.𝖈𝖔𝖒” – 𝕯𝖎𝖘𝖈𝖔𝖛𝖊𝖗 𝖆 𝖈𝖆𝖕𝖙𝖎𝖛𝖆𝖙𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖜𝖔𝖗𝖑𝖉 𝖔𝖋 𝖑𝖔𝖛𝖊, 𝖕𝖆𝖘𝖘𝖎𝖔𝖓 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖆𝖉𝖛𝖊𝖓𝖙𝖚𝖗𝖊, 𝖜𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖊 𝖞𝖔𝖚 𝖈𝖆𝖓 𝖎𝖓𝖉𝖚𝖑𝖌𝖊 𝖎𝖓 𝖆 𝖈𝖔𝖑𝖑𝖊𝖈𝖙𝖎𝖔𝖓 𝖔𝖋 𝖙𝖗𝖆𝖓𝖘𝖑𝖆𝖙𝖊𝖉 𝖓𝖔𝖛𝖊𝖑𝖘 𝖜𝖎𝖙𝖍 𝖉𝖆𝖎𝖑𝖞 𝖚𝖕𝖉𝖆𝖙𝖊𝖘 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖊𝖝𝖈𝖑𝖚𝖘𝖎𝖛𝖊 𝖆𝖈𝖈𝖊𝖘𝖘 𝖙𝖔 𝖆𝖉𝖛𝖆𝖓𝖈𝖊𝖉 𝖈𝖍𝖆𝖕𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖘.】
For the first time in a while, the two rode on horseback together. Diana leaned against Leon, who held the reins without hesitation. Leon also rested his cheek against Diana’s forehead. The lantern illuminated the night road, creating a somewhat melancholic atmosphere in conjunction with the starry sky.
“How did you know that I was crying at that hot spring inn?”
Leon answered somewhat awkwardly.
“. . .George told me.”
Diana’s eyes widened.
“. . .George?!”
“Yeah, that person came all the way to my shack just to tell me that.”
“. . .What’s the matter?”
“I have no idea. But. . .”
Leon hesitated for a moment before speaking.
“That person. . .said, 〝Don’t become like me.〟”
Diana pondered silently.
“Like George. . .?”
“This is just speculation, but that person must have done things to make a woman cry or suffer.”
Diana recalled the image of Leon’s older brother, who had wine poured on him in the village square.
“. . .I wonder if there’s something he regrets.”
“Probably. By the way, Diana, what did you say to my brother at that inn?”
Diana blushed slightly.
“W-Well, it’s nothing. . .”
“Tell me, please.”
“Umm. . .I. . .I said I really hate Leon.”
“. . .Huh?”
“. . .because I got kicked out.”
Leon quietly chewed on those words, then nodded as if he suddenly understood.
“That George. . .Surprisingly, he seems to understand that kind of woman’s heart.”
Hearing that, Diana couldn’t help but laugh.
After safely arriving at the mountain shack, Diana entered the shack first and lit a candle. Leon reattached Regina to the shack and asked her.
“Has Diana already had dinner?”
Diana shook her head.
“No, not yet. But Leon, I’m not very hungry.”
Diana stood directly in front of Leon and looked up at him as if waiting for something.
Leon looked puzzled for a moment, then smiled.
“. . .Me too.”
“My heart is full, and my stomach is full too, I’m sure.”
“Yeah, same here.”
Leon tousled Diana’s hair and pulled her forehead closer to his shoulder.
Diana wrapped her arms around Leon’s back. After holding each other for a while, they finally felt relieved.
“. . .What is it?”
“. . .Shall we go to bed?”
Leon looked slightly surprised but quickly smiled and nodded.
The bed was too small for both of them.
But Diana had been dreaming of that cramped position for a long time.
Leon gently laid Diana down and softly kissed her lips.
“. . .Hey, Leon.”
“. . .What?”
“Is what you said in front of Onee-sama earlier true?”
Leon whispered in his wife’s ear with a feverish tone.
“. . .It’s true.”
“When I approached you in the Heinz mansion’s garden, you didn’t respond at all.”
“That was because. . .”
“I thought Diana was too out of reach, so I thought it would be rude to talk casually.”
“. . .I’ve always wanted you to talk to me.”
“Even if you say that. . .”
“. . .Yeah.”
“I thought those feelings towards Diana were just base desires, so I suppressed them.”
“That’s. . .Those feelings aren’t base at all.”
“That’s what I thought back then.”
“. . .I see.”
“Can I touch you?”
“. . .Sure.”
“. . .”
“. . .”
“Suddenly, in that place――”
“Was it not good?”
“. . .It’s fine.”
“. . .”
“. . .”
“. . .Kiss me again.”
“. . .”
“We’ll be together forever, right?”
“. . .Diana.”
“Don’t let go anymore.”
“I will never let go.”
“. . .Thank you.”
Diana pulled Leon’s sweaty body closer.
A strange sensation, as if drifting in a dream, enveloped Diana.
The two of them, who had finished everything, held hands on the small bed and closed their eyes, feeling more relieved than excited.
Before they knew it, they had fallen into a deep sleep, like mud, until the next morning.