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FMDF – Side Story 6

The Lily Palace was still peaceful today.

A white palace with reverence and solemnity. It was a scene that resembled the owner of this palace.

Not long after Diana entered the Lily Palace, aristocratic young ladies often came and went. But as the days went by, most of the people who visited the Lily Palace were priests rather than nobles.

And the decisive event.

After the marquis’ wife openly clashed with Princess Diana in the background of the Lily Palace, even the few noble friends who were left separated.

Even Madame Harmonia, who once helped her both physically and mentally.

Diana sat alone in a quiet patronage.

“…”

In her hand was a letter from Madame Harmonia a while ago.

It’s been a long time since she didn’t reply to her. Still, the reason why she read the letter regularly was because of the sincerity of Harmonia was felt in every line.

Harmonia’s words were always the same. ‘You have to act like a crown princess.’

Diana had the hardest time accepting this.

People should always be the same, so why do they have to change when their status changes? Isn’t that what she hates the most? Changes with time and place?

Why Helios and Kaelus were attracted to her was also her unchanging beliefs and actions.

A saintess who lives on the basis of a solidly rooted truth, not a politician who changes according to the situation. Both men loved that aspect of her very much.

“…I can’t lose.”

Diana crumpled up the letter.

The day before, I met Hestia in secret and came back. And more determined.

I’m going to get Kaelus back.

“Kael…!”

The sly Hestia attacked Diana’s gaps like a demon. She counter-attacked by strikingly overturning her logic.

That’s it. That black villain whispered a sweet temptation too.

   “To Kael… … to apologize…?”

   She almost fell apart.

The temptation that leads her to give up her beliefs and morals that she had kept while struggling alone in the palace.

“If I apologize to Kaelus…”

Diana swallowed a trembling sigh.

She can’t do it.

She must never go back on what she said. It is also unacceptable to apologize without sincerity just because the situation was difficult right now.

It is so difficult to live up to one’s beliefs.

“Whoo….”

She hoped Kaelus knew her true feelings.

Then he doesn’t have to swallow his tears alone.

~~~~

Helios found the emperor’s residence with Kaelus, who was about to be promoted to duke.

“Your majesty, Marquis Kaelus is here.”

“Oh, you’re here?”

The emperor was relaxing in his comfortable indoor clothes. He was very pleased when the two sons entered.

“Now that we’ve passed the cabinet meeting, all we have left is the title ceremony, Kaelus. It’s a pleasure.”

“But with something more important ahead, my heart is heavier than joy, your majesty.”

Kaelus responded modestly.

Helios also said with a faint smile.

“In fact, the Marquis contributed greatly to the stability of the political situation. I should have done it earlier, so I feel late, your Majesty.”

“Yes, that’s true, Helios. I felt very sorry for Kaelus for not being in a hurry.”

The emperor’s voice sank in confusion.

Kaelus did not forget that his promotion to the throne and his wife’s estates were the products of political transactions between Helios and Hestia. Therefore, it was nothing to be pleased with himself.

If he recites an accusation against the temple instead of Hestia in front of the emperor.

“…”

Those two who want to protect Diana will be deeply embarrassed.

The current imperial authority gained by Kaelus’ purge of Duke Orcus may soon fall again into his hands.

If the emperor and Helios give up Diana, they will maintain their authority, but if they choose to do the opposite.

“Haha, it’s nice to see Kaelus with good news today.”

“…I’m grateful, your majesty.”

Kaelus responded politely.

~~~~

After leaving the emperor’s residence.

Helios returned to his office as usual. Kaelus also walked slowly outside the Lion Palace because there was nothing more to deal with inside the palace.

Then, one person caught his eye.

“… Greetings to the great little moon of the empire.”

Kaelus was courteous with a cold sinking heart.

A soft smile bloomed on the other person’s face.

“At ease, Kaelus.”

Kaelus, looking at Diana, was confused.

He thought she’d never show him that smile again. But in just a year, Diana smiled as if she had gone completely back to the past.

She didn’t blame him any more. Kaelus also had no more regrets about her.

Kaelus thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just bury it as it is, without considering the mistakes of the past, where all kinds of emotions were intertwined.

He had no intention of trying anything to restore the relationship. He just wanted to live their lives in each other’s place without any help, without hate or longing.

Kaelus already had Hestia, and Diana was not a substitute for her.

Nevertheless, Diana approached softly.

“You must be coming to see his majesty.”

“Yes, your highness.”

His dry answer made Diana feel sorry.

 Would it be better to move places?

“If you weren’t busy, would you go to the Lily Palace?””

“I’m sorry, I’ve had a lot of work.”

An inorganic refusal to return her invitation.

Diana, contrary to her serene appearance, was deeply lost inside. It was unfortunately a talent that Diana did not have to lead a wooden-stone opponent.

“That’s right…”

She managed to get a bitter smile on her face.

But she should not let Kaelus go like this. She could not convey all her true feelings only when she encountered him in  the palace in this way.

You have to pluck up your courage.

“Kael, I heard you’re going to be a duke soon. So….”

Kaelus looked at Diana expressionless. Diana was handed something from the maid who followed. Judging from the maid’s attire, she also seemed to be from the new building.

Diana had a small cloth pocket in her hand.

“I made it to wish you good health. I want you to take it.”

He didn’t know exactly what the contents were, but it must be something like a holy object made by a saintess.

Kaelus accepted it for now.

“Thank you, your grace.”

With a brief thank you, he turned around without hesitation.

“…”

A backside without a moment’s hesitation.

Diana was absolutely lonely.

Hestia’s whispers rang again like a hallucination.

[Apologize to him.]

Does that make everything easier?

“…”

She was shaking.

Diana closed her eyes tightly.

~~~~

Kaelus returned home and sat in his study as usual.

When he put the political papers on the desk, something in his bag caught his eye.

“…”

The cloth bag that Diana gave him.

Kaelus had a fundamental question. Why the hell is Diana coming to him?

He knew her relationship with Helios had deteriorated. But why does that lead to a change in relations with him?

Moreover, he was Hestia’s husband, whom Diana hates.

“Hmm…”

I opened my pocket for now. As he expected, it contained a holy bracelet with some coarse beads sewn together.

Leaving it still on his palm, Kaelus was lost in thought.

Diana is under a big illusion.

She seemed to think that Kaelus’ feelings will be the same as before.

So if she gave him a little thing like that, he would quickly give his heart as affectionately as he did back then.

So easily.

“…”

His eyes narrowed as he looked at the holy object.

“Well, it’s not unreasonable…”

A bitter talk with oneself.

A man with a crush was about to die because she married another man. Looking back now, it seems that at that time, he seriously threw his reason and lived only in emotion.

Kaelus really loved Diana.

He really burned everything down, so there was not even a little regret left.

“Whoo….”

He shook his head.

He rose slowly from his seat. It wasn’t dinner yet, but he decided to start a fire in the fireplace a little early.

A slow flame. In it, Kaelus threw in the holy object in  his possession.

Soon the bracelet burned black.

“…”

Kaelus looked at the shape with an indifferent stare.

In fact, it wouldn’t matter if he put it somewhere in the corner, but he would hate it more if Hestia was disturbed by that thing.

“Hestia. Hestia.”

He recited it a couple of times. A feeling that spread warm rather than hot.

How hungry he was for being there even though he pushed away a little out of impatience.

Hestia saved him, and his life after that was entirely due to her.

Then why can’t he live for Hestia with his free time?

“First of all, a real husband and wife…”

Kaelus laughed his head off.

A wife who sends infinite affection to him but strangely does not cross any line.

He didn’t know how to explain it to her. Love seemed to be love, but he don’t know exactly the identity of it.

But it doesn’t matter. If the opponent doesn’t cross the line, shouldn’t he just cross the line?

“It wasn’t a dream, Hestia.”

The lips he stole in the middle of the night were sweet. Next time, he wouldn’t steal, but he’d get it proudly.

A smile spread.

His heavy heart quickly became lighter.


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