“. . .I was forced to kiss, but, um, I swear I didn’t do it. . .Well, to be precise, I was about to give up, but then Ester came before that.”
His Kol only reveals what was in their heart at that time, and it doesn’t mean that they remember everything from the past or present. Therefore, to find out what you want to know, you need to guide the conversation.
This time, there was no opportunity for the prince to do such a thing to the princess, so I was worried that Theodore might have been treated badly or said something terrible without my knowledge. But if it was just an attempted kiss, I’ll let it go for now. It’s not good, but still.
“It was the Imperial Prince who proposed a plan to frame me for her crimes, but the Imperial Prince actually intends to kill the princess. Of course, it’s for the sake of starting a war with Acardi.”
“…The Imperial Prince is at it again, doing the same thing. He never learns,” Theodore’s kol nodded as if accepting it, in a way that seemed quite ordinary. With everything that has been happening regarding me and the princess these past few days, it felt like I was hearing Theodore’s true kol voice for the first time in a while.
“. . .There was a maid named Bella, right?”
“She seems to be impersonating me at tomorrow’s birthday celebration.”
“…Then, what about you, Ester?”
As I began to explain the big reason why I didn’t tell him about this, he seemed to understand immediately.
“Well. . .What are you going to do? I don’t know, but it’s not hard to imagine that it won’t be peaceful.”
My transfer ability allows me to take anyone with me as long as I can touch them, and I can consciously choose to take only certain people. Even if I were to be crucified and bound with ropes, it wouldn’t be a problem.
So, if I were to speculate. . .perhaps they don’t know that the power of a saint cannot be nullified by Hinderan stones, or maybe they are using it as a threat or a hostage.
“I don’t want the princess to be killed, so I’ll handle myself. Theodore, please continue to be her partner and protect her as planned. . .I didn’t think you would accept my request.”
I didn’t mean to blame him, but Theodore growled in frustration.
“There’s no room for argument. I was prepared to endure anything rather than make you cry like this. . .but. . .”
He had been looking straight at me until then, but now his gaze wandered awkwardly. It was a strange sight, and I chuckled.
“That’s not why I said that. You were ordered to protect me, the first princess, above all else.”
I believe in his feelings now, but even if Theodore didn’t like me, it was his duty as the next king consort. No matter how much I pleaded, I couldn’t overturn the orders of my parents, the queen and the king consort. That’s why I wanted him to at least remain ignorant. Otherwise, it would be my fault for hiding it.
However, when Theodore heard my words, he looked dissatisfied. He slowly shook his head, then stood up and sat next to me, pressing his forehead against mine.
“I want to protect you, respect you, love you, and dedicate my entire life to you. . .not because you are a princess, but because you are Ester.”
His paraiba tourmaline eyes pierced through me at close range, telling me that his words were sincere. But even if that were true, I couldn’t shake off the feeling of why someone like me would be chosen.
“. . .But isn’t it because I am the first princess that you became my fiancé?”
“”That’s getting it backwards. I became so determined because I wanted to be Ester’s fiancé,”
That couldn’t be right. We had only met for the first time on the day we became engaged. I tried to recall if we had met before, but I realized that once you meet someone as captivating as him, you wouldn’t forget him.
However, Theodore didn’t seem to want to give any additional information about it.
“Anyway, I’m not the kind of person that Theodore thinks I am. . .”
What were we talking about again? I didn’t mean to be so self-deprecating.
Then, Theodore moved away slightly and took out a small box, opening it.
“Ester, this is for you.”
“What is this?”
He took my left hand and gently put on a flower crown ring that I had seen and liked at a jewelry shop. It was the perfect fit for my finger, even though it was a one-of-a-kind ring. On his right hand, there was a ring that was probably designed as a pair, with a laurel wreath motif.
“You were looking at this ring, weren’t you? I would be happy if the reason you noticed it was because of what I’m thinking.”
“. . .Yes, I was. I was thinking about the day we first met.”
Theodore smiled as I answered honestly. The flower crown he had worked hard to make, which was far from perfect, was my precious treasure.
“On that day, you were genuinely happy with the poorly made flower crown I made, and she recognized my efforts. You may not remember, but you also helped me. There are so many things I love about you, such as your unwavering efforts to become a good queen and your kind nature that can’t completely reject me even though you want to push me away. . .I can’t even begin to describe them all.”
Did I really help him? I don’t remember ever being helped by him, but his voice was so gentle, his gaze so strong, and his touch so warm that there was no doubt in my mind that he was telling the truth.
“Even so, if you think I’m not worthy of your love, I’m certain there will never be anyone in the world who can love you for a lifetime, no matter how hard you search.”
Even without my biased love, I think Theodore is the best man in the world. So there must be countless people in the world, not just in Acardi, who are better than me. However, Theodore was serious when he said that, and I was. . .happy about it.
“. . .My heart will always belong to you.”
As he said those words, my vision began to blur.
In this continent, it is generally customary to give a ring on the left middle finger, which means “I dedicate my heart to you” or “I want to be the center of your life.” in that case, one would also wear a ring on their right middle finger, which means “I have already dedicated my heart to you.”
Usually, these rings are exchanged during a wedding ceremony and worn on both middle fingers. However. . .
“I was actually planning to give you a ring that I had custom-made, but I couldn’t wait to give this to you.”
“. . .I haven’t prepared anything yet.”
“It’s okay. I already knew that. I was thinking about how to make you believe in my feelings for you. . .”
To give the ring first means, in essence, “love without expecting anything in return.” His feelings had already been trusted two days ago. And now, with this… there was no doubt left.
“. . .Thank you, I’m happy. I’ll treasure it and keep it as a lifelong treasure.”
I touched the ring that sparkled in the sunlight with my right hand and clasped my hands together as if praying. Tears flowed uncontrollably, but this time, they had a different meaning.
I couldn’t believe that I had been trying to break off our engagement when I loved him so much and he loved me so much. If I were to get married, I wanted it to be with him. He was the one for me, and I was the one for him.
“Ester. . .”
He hugged me gently, and I clung to him, wrapping my arms around his back. His collar was still grumbling as usual, but I believed in Theodore’s words and warmth.