The Gap Between You and Me - Chapter 52
He said proudly. He acted as if he had done something really good.
“You’re crazy. You… You’re out of your mind.”
Herietta was fed up.
“If it’s such a good position, then shouldn’t Princess Laysha take it?”
“Princess Laysha can’t. The person whom Velicia brought up as the groom was Prince Bernard.”
Herietta was not very good at social rumors. She was even oblivious to the news that was taking place in Brimdel, so she had no way of knowing about things that occurred in Velicia, a neighboring country. After reading her expression, Shawn explained,
“Bernard Chenchila Shane Pascourt. He’s the second prince of Velicia, and although he’s the prince, the rumors aren’t all that great. Thanks to him, his right to the throne was also taken away by the First Prince.”
“Well, don’t worry too much. At least he’s not an old man in his seventies. It’s not the worst.”
Seeing Herrietta’s expression getting worse and worse, Shawn chuckled and added,
“I still don’t understand your suggestion. Since he’s not a good person, I can understand His Majesty’s desire not to send Princess Laysha to him. But why me? If you think about it a little bit, there must be a lot of young ladies in this country who are much more suited to the position than me.”
“You’re not well known to the public. The problem is that young ladies living in capitals or large cities are too well known in society, and to use commoners who had neither heard nor seen of them, the risk of being discovered later is too great as they are not educated as aristocrats. They could be educated, but it would take too much time.”
Shawn skillfully explained the reasons for choosing her. Upon listening to his explanation, she almost thought that his story was so believable that he might have been telling the truth and not a lie.
But it didn’t matter anyway. Herieta didn’t even have the slightest bit of heart to accept his offer.
“Don’t tell me you’re thinking that I’ll agree with you?”
“Why not? As I said before, this would be a great opportunity for you.”
“What is a good opportunity? Do I look stupid enough to take a risk like this? If things go wrong, and my identity is revealed, then how are you going to take responsibility for it? It’s not just me who’s going to be punished, it’s going to shake the whole Mackenzie family. Otherwise, I could be executed for deceiving the royal family.”
“So, you have to be careful not to get caught.”
“Do you think it’s easy?”
Herietta, who could not stand it, burst in anger. Even if she can’t clearly get her thoughts through words, it should have worked to some extent. It felt like she was talking to a wall instead of a person.
“And even if I don’t get caught, I can’t accept such a ridiculous offer. So don’t waste your time and find someone else.”
“Well. Can you really disobey me?”
Despite Herietta’s stubborn attitude, Shawn did not lose his composure.
“Have you not forgotten? The document I showed you earlier. And where is your poor little brother now?”
“On a battlefield where it is difficult for even an experienced military commander to stand, how long can your little brother hold a sword properly?”
Shawn whistled and muttered. Herietta’s face turned an earthy color.
“Now… Are you threatening me?”
“Yes. If you do not accept my offer now, your brother will soon end his short life in Bangola.”
“Do you think I’ll stay quiet enough to do that?”
“What if you don’t stay quiet?”
“I will go to the capital immediately and report your conduct to the Crown Prince. Then he won’t leave you alone. You could be punished severely for deceiving the royal family.”
Herietta said boldly. Because she believed he would feel threatened if she offered to tell the Crown Prince the truth. Contrary to her expectations, however, Shawn only laughed out loud with his head tilted back.
“You still don’t seem to understand the situation. Could it be that I did all this on my own? Is it a serious matter for the marriage between the royal family?”
“What is that… ?”
Herietta asked nervously. The self-confidence of the other person for no apparent reason created an ominous energy in her heart.
Shawn, who had been sitting there all along, got up. The eye level, which was relatively slightly lower, suddenly changed upward.
“It’s no use complaining to the Crown Prince. As long as I have my backer’s permission, there’s nothing he can do. I mean, you still don’t know what I mean?”
A black shadow fell in front of her with his back to the window.
“And if he ever asks you about your brother… Well, it’s a little annoying, but I can just say that I was late for getting things done due to unavoidable circumstances in the middle.”
Shawn clicked his tongue and muttered to himself. Then he looked at Herietta.
“But I mean. How long do you believe your brother can survive on the battlefield?”
“It will take quite some time for you to see the Crown Prince and settle this matter again.”
He paused for a moment and then tilted his head to the side and narrowed his eyes.
“Are you really okay?”
A picture of Hugo flashed in Herietta’s mind.
‘Sister. I want to live.’
‘I don’t want to die.’
The tears that flowed from her eyes and wet the back of her hands.
It felt like she was short of breath.
* * *
Herietta was sitting by the window of her room gloomily. The scenery outside the window was as calm and quiet as usual. The room was also so quiet that the sound of the ticking clock and the regular breathing were all the noise there was, so it was so quiet that even the sound of a needle falling could be heard.
Everything is as usual, but her mind was not. It was as if a strong storm had raged and a tidal wave had come. The whole thing turned into a mess, as if it had been deliberately put together.
If the state of a person’s mind can be embodied in the weather, there will most likely be no one who could survive in it.
But all of this was an inner conflict that only Herrieta knew of, and on the surface it was invisible.
Through the closed window, the faint sound of the horse’s hooves could be heard. Herietta naturally lowered her gaze and looked at the source of the sound. She saw a man pulling a horse out of the stable.
Horses that are normally ridden by humans need regular exercise, so it was a common sight around this time.
A faint smile spread across Herietta’s numb lips. It was all too easy to figure out who the man leading the horse was, even from quite a distance.
Even though the weather was getting colder, he rolled up the sleeves of his clothes to the middle of his forearms, rather than hiding in a coat. He hopped on the horse and began to ride the horse with great skill. So his figure disappeared from her view.
Herietta, who was looking at the empty space, quickly closed her eyes. The warm heat that had arisen for a moment cooled her down.
It wasn’t that she didn’t know what to do. She knew well enough to be hurt that she had to make the right choice. But the situation was not so simple. Because she couldn’t judge based on what was right and what was wrong, or just what she wanted.
No. To be precise, it has become impossible to do so now.
It felt as if both of her wings were cut off and her limbs were tied up and she was driven to the edge of a steep cliff.
Herrietta tilted her head back and rested her head against the window frame. Then, slowly, she inhaled and exhaled. She hoped that her heart, which as heavy as stone, would be as light as her breath.