Chapter 24, Wedding Ceremony and Grilled Lobster (Part 3)
“…And that’s how it is, so what do you think I should do?”
“I don’t get things like that. It’s just annoying for me to listen to all of this.”
The discussion that I had opened up to Ekress was rather sincere, but she just completely shut me down.
It didn’t appear like she cared about it one bit as she was currently burying her face in her documents, wearing a displeased expression the whole time. How mean.
I, Ahrius, have been very, very troubled. So troubled that I had even come all the way to Ekress’ room to consult with her about all my troubles.
I don’t know when or how she got here but Riru was also with us. A fork in one hand, a plate with Hamburg steak in the other. I seriously, seriously, just think that this girl is… acting just like normal huh.
It was during a certain afternoon, right when we had ended training early for the day because of the rain. Outside was rather gloomy, and you could hear the soft sounds of the rain reverberating as they splash onto the ground outside and the windows. Perhaps you could even call it calming.
That was the sort of day it was when I barged into Ekress’ room, all the while pondering over my worries.
“Don’t say that…. Tsk. This is a matter of life or death for me.”
“I told you I don’t know! Things like love between a man and a woman! And if you think that I have the time to listen to you, ASK ME, whether or not he remembers the promise HE MADE, which honestly depending on who you ask, just sounds like you’re flaunting your love to us, WELL I DON’T!”
Finally, Ekress slammed the documents in her hand down onto the table and turned to me with an irritated expression.
Looks like she really was quite annoyed. You don’t have to be so cold about it… I droop my shoulders sadly.
That’s right, my troubles lie with Ganglabe. No, well, it’s not like I’m upset with him or unsatisfied with him or anything. He’s attractive, and cool…
No, my problem is about that promise we made back in Alturia, the one concerning our marriage.
“In the first place, to be the one who states himself that, ‘I’ll marry you once I get a territory’, and then forgetting about it to go work on the governmental affairs is really crossing the line, and that’s my thoughts on it at least, okay?!”
“Ah, so you feel the same as me then?”
Ekress was gentle in her own ways. Towards Shuri she would act nice and put on this friendly attitude, but towards other people she would be very straight up with things. Nevertheless, just like now, it’s clear that she’s the type of person who knows how to be considerate to other people.
“Besides, if you’re actually worried then why don’t you ask him about it? Ask him like, ‘What’s happened to that promise?’”
“That… it’s embarrassing to ask him myself…”
“I get it but nothing’s gonna happen if you don’t right…?”
Ekress threw her documents down onto the table again and let out a sigh as she replied. Well, it’s not like what she’s saying is unreasonable. It’s something that can be resolved if I simply choose to.
I’m just scared. What if he thinks that I’m acting like a little girl who’s hanging onto every promise, or what if he comes to hate me because a woman being the first to bring up marriage might not seem very ladylike and even appear needy. That’s why I’ve been brewing over this so much.
Riru, having seen me in this condition, came up in front of me.
A rare smile could be seen on her usual indifferent face.
“Riru understands your troubles, Ahrius.”
How strange. To think that Riru, who never appears to hold any interest besides Hamburg steak or magic engineering, is actually showing signs that she understands the love affairs between two people? What came over her I wonder?
“You’re only thinking about all this because you’re hungry. Let’s go eat some Hamburg steak. Viva Hamburg.”
I take back what I said, she’s just the same as always. I want to punch myself for even thinking that she finally saw the hope of light.
“That’s right, you’re simply hungry.”
Then, came an unexpected agreement.
Ekress tidies the documents on her desk into a stack and got up from her chair.
“It’s almost time for dinner. Why don’t we continue our conversation over there?” (Ekress)
“Good idea, shall we go now?” (Riru)
“No, we will not. I’m telling you, no.” (Ahrius)
It… it can’t be. These two are so heartless, I feel myself tear up as I said.
“What, why not?”
“In the end Ahrius, you’re going to have to be the one who settles this. You’ll never be able to reach a conclusion with that attitude of yours.”
How logical… how reasonable. True, at this rate I won’t be able to solve anything.
‘What’s going on with the marriage?’
I can imagine the instant I propose that question to Ganglabe, and the thought of him looking even slightly annoyed makes me so scared that I just freeze up.
Even now, my body trembles just thinking about it.
“I’m scared… just imagining the thought of me saying that to Ganglabe… and the idea that he might look even the slightest bit frustrated…”
“I can’t imagine that being the case at all though~…”
Ekress mutters with a dumbfounded expression but… what did she just say? I couldn’t really hear her…
“D-I-N-N-E-R! DINNER! Let’s go Ahrius, Ekress.”
Seeing that I was about to go deep into my thoughts again, Riru came to tug at my clothes.
“You’re not going to solve anything by thinking here. Let it be for a bit and calm down. You might think of something in the meantime.”
“It’s just as Riru says. I’m getting hungry as well, let’s go.”
Riru and Ekress said then left the room, heading to the dining hall.
“Wai-, please wait for me!”
I run after them flusteredly, heading to the dining hall myself.
…True, I’m starting to feel the hunger pangs hitting me now after that long consultation.
“You have to be careful of hurting his pride as well.”
After we finished our meal in the hall I went to have a chat with Shuri, who was packing up, and told him about the whole ordeal.
In this empty dining hall was where I started talking to Shuri about it. About, what Ganglabe might think of our wedding.
The answer being, that the topic has never even been brought up. And then he said to me.
“He probably just forgot since he’s been so busy.”
I was so shocked that I almost fell to the ground.
Shuri seemed to fully understand my plight after seeing how I acted and said.
“To have the woman he loves keep waiting for him after all this time and still continue to prolong this affair… I don’t know what to say, what a monster. I’m going to go to Ganglabe-san and…”
“Wha-wait a second there!”
In a hurry, I attempted to calm down the heated Shuri. If Shuri was to make a move here, then what exactly was I left to do?
“She’s right Shuri-kun. This is, after all, Ganglabe and Ahrius’s problem, which is why you shouldn’t be too much of a busy body.”
“Yes, yes, that’s exactly right.”
It was unexpected but, the one who salvaged the situation here was Ekress. I thought she was feeling like this was all more bothersome than it was worth give our previous conversation so, why did she step it now?
It looks like Shuri has finally calmed down after hearing what Ekress had to say and put down the cleaning cloths he had gripped up high in the air.
“So, what are you going to do then? I think that Ganglabe-san has been so busy lately that any thought about your marriage has just straight up vanished from his head.”
“I feel the same way. Ganglabe’s dream is almost within reach so that’s where all his focus is going towards.”
After hearing what Shuri and Riru had to say, I felt even sadder than before. His dream, you say? I understand that that is very important indeed. Important enough to forget about me…
Before I knew it, I felt so depressed that I could feel the tears about to form.
“Look at yourself Ahrius, all you’ve been doing is mope around, not doing anything. Shuri-kun, can you think of anything?”
“Well obviously you’ll just have to talk to him about it. Ask him what’s going on with the wedding. I don’t think he’ll understand your problem if you don’t talk to him about it, you know?”
“Ugh. How… how reasonable. If I don’t tell him then-”
“No wait, let’s get Ganglabe-san to tell you instead.”
…. What? I froze in place for a second, not understanding what Shuri just said to me.
Since that was the exact reason I’ve been so worried in the first place, Shuri’s solution sounded so paradoxical that I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
“Shuri-kun. Ahrius has been so troubled precisely because Ganglabe isn’t saying anything.”
“Yes, I get that. And if possible, you would’ve wanted him to tell you on his own accord, while the rest of us just quietly stand by the sideline and watch. Right?”
Shuri said as he looks at me. Yes, exactly that. If possible by his own accord.
“But that doesn’t look to be possible so, I’m thinking we should get Ganglabe-san remember it, and then take action himself.”
“It’ll be fine. Everything will be fine as long as I get Ganglabe-san remember.”
That… isn’t that basically the same as asking Ganglabe himself?
“Shu-Shuri, you know, that’s-”
“It’s just as Shuri says. It’s would be for the best if Ganglabe remembers his promise and take responsibility for what he said to you, Ahrius.”
“Ahh, of course. That was still a possibility. Good one Shuri-kun!”
“Not you too, Ekress!”
While I was spacing out, the idea just kept spiraling down and down without me! No, it can’t go on like this!
This is, after all, mine and Ganglabe’s problem. Just as I had told Shuri earlier.
Which is why I have to be the one to take action. This concerns my future after all!
“Ahrius-san, no matter what you say or act, you’re nothing but a coward. Which is why we’ll have to do something in your stead.”
….What, did just he say?
“Shuri, just wait a second there.”
“What is it?”
“You said I was, a coward?”
“Am I wrong?”
There is no way I can stand for such a baseless insult! Before I had noticed, I had gotten up from the table and told him.
“Fine then, I’ll just have to show you that I’m not a coward in any way!”
“You don’t have to force yourself, you know?”
“Yea, it’s impossible Ahrius.”
E-even Riru and Ekress stepped in to comment with that face of astoundment.
“It isn’t impossible!”
“Then how do you plan on telling Ganglabe-san?”
“He’ll say it himself!”
“So… you’ll get him to remember?”
“Exactly, I’m so angry at Ganglabe for forgetting about our promise after all we’ve been through that I can feel the rage starting to burn inside! The best thing to do now is to make him remember, and then have him suffer with worry like I am now!”
“Then how about I tell him and get him to remember discreetly?”
“That’s good! Go for it Shuri!”
“That’s the plan then.”
I could feel my head instantly cool down after saying that.
Did I just perhaps, get tricked?
“Well, since we’ve received Ahrius-san’s permission, let’s talk strategy.”
“Good start. How about we figure out how to get the two of them alone?”
“Good idea, Ekress-san.”
Ah, I give up. They’re deciding everything without me now.
I try desperately to work my brain as I took a seat. At this rate, the thing that should’ve been my judgement, my call, is going to go to Shuri and the others.
“Ah, I would like you to have the final say over this, so why don’t you come over here and join us Ahrius-san?”
“Uh, well, I guess I have to then! Thank you, everyone, for your help!”
I feel like I just got lead along but then the revelation that I am indeed the type of person who just goes with the flow as I end up thinking, ‘Oh well.’
Anyway… I guess it’s fine since I do get the final say.
So now, after involving countless, immeasurable… just a lot of people, we made Ganglabe remember about the promise, and had even got a proposal out of him.
Everything’s great. Everything’s… wonderful.
Just that… as the date of the wedding ceremony creeps up ever closer, the smidgen of worry in my heart continues to grow.
Worrying about whether I’m really right for him.
If it’s Ganglabe, he should be able to find better marriage partners. For example, he could take the hand of another country’s princess, deepening the relationship between the neighbouring countries.
After going through all of that, I came to the conclusion that I’m not right for Ganglabe.
I was pondering over this, thinking about all of that, alone in my dressing room on the day of the ceremony.
I lock the door to let myself concentrate on my worries.
“Is he really alright with me…?”
I ask myself that same question over and over again, continually slicing at my heart, cutting it into pieces.
I zoned out the countless knocks coming from the door and just kept thinking. Thinking about whether I should really go through with this.
There’s no way I should. If I was to truly consider our future, then I should just quietly back down here.
He has a country now. There definitely should be a much more fitting person out there for Ganglabe, someone who can show everyone out there that he has the capabilities to fulfill his dreams.
That’s right, in any case I don’t have to be his wife, even a concubine is…
No. I hate the very idea of it!
The me of the past, hidden deep inside me, raised her voice in protest. Closing my eyes, I could see a younger version of me glaring at me, teary-eyed, looking like she was about to cry.
I don’t want to either. I don’t want to give Ganglabe away to anyone else.
“Ahrius-san. Can you hear me?”
It was then that I could hear Shuri’s voice.
That calming voice of Shuri’s, coming from the other side of the door.
“Eh? Shuri? Is that you over there, Shuri?”
I call out to the voice opposite the door, and a response comes back.
“Yes. I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to peek inside nor do I think that I should go inside, which is why please just let me say what I have to say. Ahrius-san. Do you believe in Ganglabe-san?”
Do I believe in Ganglabe? Hearing Shuri’s words, the words that bottled themselves inside of me, burst free.
I answered immediately. Naturally. If I didn’t then there’s no way I could’ve come this far with Ganglabe.
I had fallen for him. Admired him. And wanted to be by his side.
Which is precisely why I am here now. I am here because I want to be with Ganglabe.
I wholeheartedly trust him. My thoughts will not change.
“Most likely, what you’re worried about is something on the lines of ‘Am I right for Ganglabe? For a man with the vision and talent capable of acquiring a country for himself, there is surely someone better than me for him to marry…. Better yet, he could invite some princess from a neighbouring country, and that person with the legitimate royal bloodline can take forefront, while it’ll be better for me to stay behind as the concubine’, right?”
Before I knew it, my mouth had already been sealed shut. I wonder why Shuri can always, no matter the situation, sense what people are thinking.
It really is such a mysterious ability. I mean, he did just basically hit the mark on what I was thinking.
“It’ll be alright. Because everyone, Ganglabe-san, me; we all believe that the two of you are perfect for each other. No matter how or what happens, the two of you would still be together. After all, that’s how deep your bond for each other are.
Which is why, you don’t have act like a grown-up. Just be happy.”
Be happy? Me? Be happy?
Is it really alright for me to be happy? Someone like me?
…No, that’s true. This marriage was what I had wished for. What I’ve always dreamed of.
And it was Ganglabe who suggested it. Let’s get married, he said.
Ganglabe proposed to me, just as I had always wished.
All of the people around us came to congratulate us for it.
I look down at myself. A single, pure white bridal gown.
I look in the mirror. There was only a light layer of makeup on as always, done beautifully.
It reminds me of the happy smiles on Riru and Ekress, who were standing outside.
Teg and Cougar’s smiles drifted into my head as well.
Every one of them, would be there to celebrate mine and Ganglabe’s wedding.
Just thinking about that made the worries rooted inside of me start melting.
Just as I could feel something big begin to bloom from within my chest now that my worries had finally melted away, I—
That was when… a voice interrupted, no, it was a voice I wanted to hear.
I look to the door and there he was standing.
The person I love. The one I love more than anyone, above all else.
I get up from the chair and made my way over to him.
Without a care, I jumped into his arms, burying my face in his chest.
I could feel a confused tremble from Ganglabe’s body. However, it was only for an instant.
Immediately after, Ganglabe embraces my body, pulling me ever closer to him.
“Sorry, I’m such an idiot. I thought that I was the only one who was constantly worrying and feeling anxious.”
“No, not at all. I’ve been foolish as well. I had actually been worried about our wedding.”
“I had been too…. I was worried whether or not I was worthy of you.”
“I too, had been pondering whether I was fitting for you or not.”
I look up and saw Ganglabe’s face.
On that face was a refreshingly wide smile going from ear to ear. It was as if everything that had been haunting him had vanished.
“However, all of those worries were for naught! Ahrius, let me say this again.”
Ganglabe takes a deep breath as if he was preparing his heart for something.
What is he planning on saying? What is he thinking right now?
I pour all my focus onto him so that I don’t miss a single word.
“Please marry me. You are worthy of… no, I belong only to you, and you belong only to me! No matter what anyone else says, the only man worthy of you is me. You agree, yeah?”
“Of course! The only woman fitting of you is me. You are mine and I am yours. Forever and ever!”
“Since that’s the case, what do we have to worry about!”
We smiled at each other. Everything I had been worrying about up till now had all been ridiculous. Everything I had thought about had been foolish.
We love each other. Not anyone else, nor with anyone else.
Only the ones reflected in our eyes, the two of us, were fitting for each other.
“Ah…. your wedding dress, looks good on you.”
Separating a little, Ganglabe looks at my outfit and said.
“You too, Ganglabe. Those clothes look really good on you.”
I reply in a similar vein.
And then, without either of us needing to say a word nor taking the initiative, our hands came together as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
“Then, shall we go?”
With that we left the room.
Thank you, Shuri.
Worrying doesn’t get you anywhere, does it~
toldya~ next chapter tomorrow, or the day after 😡
There are some awkward sounding phrasings. :v I need to read more and expand my vocabularies.