Chapter 48: Breaktime
I roll around on the bed, groaning.
I’m not sure whether it’s safe for Garen, the Fifth Prince, to marry a commoner like me. In my first life, I learned some manners and culture, but not enough to be the Fifth Prince’s wife.
Besides, I’m looking really bad right now. I’m not well educated, I’m not charming, and I doubt I’ll be accepted into the royal family.
What are you going to do about it?
It’s the first time somebody has proposed to me.
And it was Garen, the man I was once in love with.
──I love you.
I remember Garen’s eyes and his words.
I haven’t even been with anyone yet. Nonetheless, marriage… It doesn’t feel real, even though it is real.
To quiet my mind, I inhale the perfume of the “matchmaker under the moon.” I couldn’t sleep because I was so scared, but as soon as I inhaled the gentle, sweet perfume, I fell asleep.
“Shrine Maiden, you seem to have been able to sleep after that—you look great.”
“Yes—thanks to the “matchmaker” that Your Majesty gave me, I was able to sleep.”
Like before, I asked the Demon King for a job and completed paperwork, and now it’s time for a break.
the Demon King smiled slowly.
“Dreams connect you to the Goddess. Keep the “matchmaker under the moon” with you at all times.”
I completed my task and went back to my room.
I ran into Garen on the way there. Garen, in contrast to my exhilaration, seems absolutely normal.
“The moon is beautiful tonight, isn’t it?”
“!? Y-Yes, it is.”
I’m not sure what it signifies and am perplexed by what should be a casual greeting. Garen bursts out laughing as I turn aside and nod.
I’m not sure what’s going on.
“No, Mika is just too cute.”
Cute?! I flush somewhat since I’m not used to people saying it to me.
“You’re conscious of me, aren’t you? That makes me very happy.”
I think it’s impossible not to be conscious of him when he proposes to me. Every time I see him, the words from his proposal replay in my mind.
“As I said yesterday, I don’t mind if you reply slowly—that’s how I highly regard Mika.”
Garen smiles and walks away. I return to my room and roll over on my bed.
Sweet. Too sweet. Is this truly what the prince means? I don’t have much tolerance for sweet words; they’re very destructive.
Garen claimed he loves me… and I no longer harbor a hatred towards Garen, and I’m grateful to him for turning back time. But then why…
Why didn’t you stick with me back then? Even if the king had ordered you to guard the Saint, I would have preferred to have Garen at my side.
Oh, my God.
“What’s the point of talking about the past?”
I know. There’s nothing I can do about it now.
I groaned and shut my eyes.
When I opened my eyes, I was lying on the execution table.
My arms were restrained, and my clothing had deteriorated into something shabby.
“Impersonating the Saint is a severe felony with no mitigating circumstances.”
Looking to the side, I see the executioner reading the charges aloud in a high-pitched voice.
“Why am I…”
Shouldn’t I have been sent back in time and given a new life? Or was it all just a dream?
One of the audience members said, “Kill her!” and another yelled one after the other.
“Therefore──I sentence you to death.”
Wait. Why? Why? Garen, help me.
I looked for Garen in the crowd, and my eyes met the Saint’s. Garen stepped forward to shield the Saint and glared at me.
“Any last words?”
Why, Garen? I want to say something, but I can’t. It’s as if it’s not my body at all.
The guillotine blade was dropped──
“Haa, haa, haa.”
I got up with a jerk. My head is still intact. I take a peek around and realize I’m on a familiar bed in a guest room of the Demon King’s palace. I’m relieved to learn that it was all a dream.
When I peered out the window, it was pouring.
“A memory rain…”
Perhaps the Memory Rain’s power is greater than the power of the “Matchmaker under the moon.”
I still can’t believe I had a dream about my execution. I keep thinking about Garen and having this dream… I thought I was over it, but I’m disappointed in myself because I’m not.
Somehow I don’t want to be alone in the room, so I leave the room.
──If it was raining memories, wouldn’t the Demon King be singing a song?
I know it’s very selfish of me, but I wanted to hear the Demon King’s lullaby.
I heard a familiar singing voice as I stepped out into the corridor. I rush and get toward the singing before it ends.
“… Shrine Maiden?”
the Demon King, who noticed me, looks back.
“You are pale. Did the “Matchmaker under the Moon” fail to work?”
the Demon King touches my cheek with concern. The warmth made me realize that this is reality.
“What’s wrong? You’re crying.”
I saw tears welling up in my eyes. I rubbed my eyes furiously, but the tears refused to stop. I was about to rub some more when the Demon King stopped me.
Instead, the Demon King hugged me. the Demon King is so tall that when he hugs me, I am completely covered by the Demon King’s cloak.
the Demon King strokes my head with one hand, oblivious to my surprise.
“You’ve had a rough time, haven’t you? It’s okay. Nothing will harm you here—Is there anything I can do to help?”
“…Could you sing a song, please?”
I want to hear you sing.
“If that’s what you’re looking for.”
With that, the Demon King stroked my head and sang me a lullaby.
As the Demon King stroked my head and sang lullabies to me, I became more and more calm.
“I’m sorry for the trouble I’ve caused you.”
“You should not bother. But I’m relieved that the tears have stopped—your smile is bad for my heart, but it’s much better than your tears.”
the Demon King smiled.
“Thank you, Your Majesty… I’m always grateful for your help.”
I’m always shown my embarrassment in front of the Demon King. I need to be stronger.
“I wish I could help you, Your Majesty.”
Looking down, the Demon King made a suggestion.
“Then, Shrine Maiden, will you do me a favor?”
What is the Demon King’s wish?
“Call me by my name. You address Garen and Yulin by their given names… I’m your friend, and it bothers me that you don’t address me by name.
“Are you sure?”
Is it proper to address the Demon Lord by his given name, given that he is the greatest authority in the land?
“That’s exactly what I want you to do.”
“Okay, um… O’Dowell-sama.”
“Thank you, Mica.”
I’m a bit embarrassed to call the Demon King by his name because I’ve always addressed him as Majesty. But strangely enough, it has become familiar on my tongue.
“It’s already late at night—Mica, have a good dream this time.”
“Thank you, O’Dowell-sama, and dream good dreams.”
I bid the Demon King farewell and returned to my room. Because the Demon King had held me, I could smell the perfume of the “matchmaker under the moon” all over my body.
The rain had already stopped.
This time, I fell asleep so deeply that I didn’t even dream anymore.
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