Even after his interaction with Dudrick, Julius spent his days in anguish without coming to a decision about whether he would meet Emilinne or not.
Maxián, his best friend, couldn’t stand seeing him mope around so he invited him out.
“You seem to be troubled over something recently. If you just stay at home, you’ll become even more depreseed. Why don’t we go out to the city and clear your mood, Julius?”
“…… You’re right. Let’s do that, Maxián.”
Maxián had been a little forceful, but Julius was grateful that he was concerned about him. Thus, he agreed to Maxián’s invitation.
Even Julius knew that it was impossible to solve something by worrying about it endlessly at the estate. Though he also knew that going for a walk would resolve nothing. Still a walk would be a nice distraction so he went.
He normally used a carriage even when travelling within the Royal Capital, so it had been a while since he’d walked there from his estate.
“By the way, do you have a destination in mind?”
“We’re going for fresh air, so we don’t need a destination, do we? Ah, let’s go this way.” Even though Maxián had said that they didn’t have a destination, he had chosen the path without hesitation.
Julius also didn’t have a destination in mind, so he followed after Maxián.
“I’ve never walked around here before.”
“Really? That explains it.”
“Huh? Explains what?”
“Nothing, it’s not a big deal. Don’t worry about it.”
Julius was confused at what Maxián was implying, but Maxián evaded his question and urged him to keep walking.
The two fell silent and looked at the scenery around them. Normally they would have noticed it as they walked.
Even though there was silence, it was not an awkward one. The two seem to enjoy just quietly gazing at the scenery. Julius’ gloomy mood, which had resulted from his isolation in his estate, was slowly brightening as he watched the calming views.
However, Maxián suddenly asked Julius a question, breaking the silence, “Oh yeah, Julius. It’s about Emilinne, but……”
The words that had left Maxian’s mouth shattered the tranquility and shocked Julius who let out a gasp.
“Have your feelings towards her not changed?”
“── Of course not. I proposed to her. The feelings I have haven’t changed.” Julius declared.
Julius had readied himself when he heard Emilinne’s name, but he was surprised because Maxián had said something that he hadn’t expected.
Julius was certainly worried about whether he was disliked by her or not, but his feelings for her hadn’t faded at all.
Maxián was walking in front of him so Julius couldn’t see his expression.
Therefore, he didn’t know that a young man was settling his feelings in this place.
“Then, you can’t remain like this.”
“Maxián?” Julius raised his voice questioningly at Maxián’s words since he could feel a strong will behind them. But then he noticed the scene around them.
Julius had been led here by Maxián and finally noticed that the scenery was familiar.
He usually came here by carriage so even though he saw the same things, he did not recognise it.
“…… You set me up, Maxián.”
Julius glared at Maxián who was looking looking wry because he had led Julius to an area near the Verjus estate.
This was because Julius had noticed that the place he’d arrived at was near the Verjus estate.
Judging from Maxián’s words and appearance, it was no mistake that they had ended up here. He started off with the intent to lead Julius here from the beginning.
“I said it before didn’t I? You can’t remain like this.”
“That’s, I thought that but……”
“Or are you telling me that you wanting to propose to Emilinne was a lie?”
“It wasn’t a lie!”
Julius knew that Maxián was trying to provoke him, but he still argued back.
“If so, then you shouldn’t run away.” Maxián said and pointed towards the Verjus estate.
He had pointed to a carriage that was stopped in front of the estate. Emilinne’s close friend, Lillyshia, peeked out from the carriage.
There was no mistake that she, too, was in on Maxián’s plan. The timing was just too perfect.
“Maxián, can you tell me one thing?”
“What is it, Julius?”
Julius understood the situation when he saw Lillyshia so he resigned himself and asked one question.
Maxián wouldn’t have orchestrated this set up if he had not already known what was troubling Julius. Julius had, however, only told one person of his troubles.
“Who’s the person pulling the strings……?”
“…… It’s His Highness, Dudrick.”
Maxián remained behind and Julius entered the Verjus estate behind Lillyshia.
Lillyshia was here because even if Emilinne was avoiding Julius she’d still probably open the door for her best friend.
It was a surprise attack but Emilinne had isolated herself in her room so if they wanted Julius and her to meet, this was the only way.
“I’m sorry that I’m causing trouble for you too, Lady Lillyshia.”
“It’s fine, I also want Emilinne to go back to how she was.”
Julius didn’t know how far Dudrick had interfered. The people at the Verjus estate did not seem surprised to see Julius despite the fact that it was only supposed to be Lillysia. They behaved as they would normally.
Both Julius and Lillyshia spoke to each other as they walked through the corridor.
“Back to how she was, huh?”
“If Emilinne has secluded herself because she hates me then she probably won’t go back to how she was before.” He said this self mockingly as his anxiety returned the more he continued. But he noticed that Lillyshia had covered her mouth while giggling.
He knew that she wasn’t the type of woman to laugh at other’s misfortune. However, she couldn’t have been laughing at anything else but that. He shifted his eyes curiously at her.
“I’m sorry, Julius-sama. I couldn’t help but laugh. But, I think that there’s no need for you to worry.”
“Why do you think so?”
“Because I’ve known Emilinne for a long time. She wouldn’t hate you even if the sky was falling down.”
“I hope…… so.”
The anxiety in his heart hadn’t completely faded but all he could do was believe in her words and prepare himself since he had come this far.
They arrived at Emilinne’s room while talking, Julius stayed silent and stood behind Lillyshia.
She exchanged looks with Julius before knocking on the door.
“……. Who is it?” Emilinne responded to the knock.
Juilus wanted to speak out after hearing her voice for the first time in a long time, but held his tongue.
“It’s Lillyshia. Can I enter, Emilinne?”
“Lillyshia? …… Okay, come in.” Emilinne invited Lillyshia in, even though she was a little hesitant.
Lillyshia thought that the door would be locked since Emilinne had secluded herself but the doorknob turned normally. She hadn’t locked herself in.
Lillyshia beckoned Julius and pushed him into the room. She remained where she was and closed the door.
The two who had sent Julius off to see Emilinne, stood in front of the Verjus estate, staring.
They did what they had to do, so it was pointless for them to stay here any longer; but they were worried about what might happen and couldn’t leave.
“Is this ok?”
“It’s fine. This is good.”
In this situation, Lillyshia, who concealed her feelings for Julius from the beginning, was better than Maxian who acted foolishly and aided his rival.
Even if it was a request from the Crown Prince, Lillyshia was worried about Maxián’s complicated state of mind.
“Lady Emilinne is indispensable to Julius’ happiness. In the end, I can’t deny this fact.”
“That’s…… true. And perhaps, for Emilinne……”
“Yes, that’s why this is for the best.” Maxián said sadly, yet straightforwardly, as he stared at the estate.
“Do you want to borrow my shoulder?”
“It’s an honour but…… I’ll refrain. If I’m spoiled now then I’ll become dull.”
Maxián held his head up and Lillyshia reluctantly did the same. The two stayed in the same spot for a while.
It was as if they were watching over Julius and Emilinne.