The escort knight waiting in front of the store joined them. After a short walk, they arrived at the place where they parked the carriage.
Like before, Louis offered his hand and got into the carriage after her.
Once Rachel sat in the carriage, she reflexively exhaled. Louis, who sat in front of her, looked worried. “Are you tired?”
“Thank you for your concern. I’m fine.”
Louis’s expression relaxed, relieved. “Rachel, thank you for accompanying me today. This is the first time I’ve had such a fun meal.”
“Me too. Thank you very much.”
“Really… You’re leaving soon, huh.”
(Right. I won’t be able to see His Highness for a while after parting with him today.)
Louis had to go to the academy, and he only had little chances to leave the royal capital as a prince.
This way, Rachel wouldn’t be able to talk to Louis, who presently sat in front of her.
Even though she decided this herself, a sense of loneliness attacked her.
But Rachel fully realized this today.
Rachel didn’t know if their engagement would continue or break off, but she should look to the outside world more.
This familiar place was comfortable, but she couldn’t afford to stay here forever.
“Your Highness…” said Rachel, not knowing what to say.
Louis weakly muttered, “About our engagement… I’m sorry. I can’t cancel it.” He covered his face with his hand so that Rachel couldn’t see his expression. “Instead, I sincerely support you in your journey to your family’s territory. I’m sure you’ll become wiser when we meet next time.”
“I will do my best to meet your expectation.”
“Yeah. It’s a shame that I can’t see your growth, but I will do what I can.”
Louis removed the hand covering his face, showing his refreshing look.
Rachel stared at that expression, burning it into her memory.
The carriage stopped. It seemed that they had returned to the Marquis’ residence.
With Louis’ help, Rachel got off the carriage. She then tried to shake away her unwillingness and said, “Your Highness. Thank you very much for today. I’m sure you are busy. Please rest properly.”
“Yeah, you too. Don’t overdo it.”
“Yes. Well then… Have a good day..”
After that, Rachel released their connected hand and took a step toward the mansion.
Her hand was suddenly caught. Surprised, Rachel looked back.
Then Louis stared at their connected hands, astonished by his actions.
“Um, Your Highness?”
“A-ah. No, um…”
Louis released Rachel’s hand in a panic. Losing the warmth and not knowing what to do now made Rachel feel a bit lonely.
“Rachel. To tell you the truth, I’m very lonely that I can’t stay by your side. I even thought that I want to keep you beside me forever. But I also know that doing that will only bother you.”
“No, I noticed this recently. After listening to you, I realize that I lack a lot of things. That’s why, when we meet next time… I will do my best to be a man that makes you feel like you don’t want to leave me,” Louis said with a clumsy smile. For some reason, Rachel felt bitter when she looked at that face. Her eyes were getting hot.
“So please do your best too.”
“Still, if you have any trouble… I would be happy if you could rely on me.”
Rachel couldn’t look away from Louis’ straight gaze.
Then, Louis let her hand go and smiled softly.
“I’ll write you letters.”
“Me too. I will write what I see and feel to you.”
“...Yeah, I’ll be waiting. Now go home and rest.”
Rachel thanked Louis once, turned on her heel to the front door, and walked straight to there. This time, Louis didn’t stop her.
When she reached the front door, the servant opened the door for her. Before she took a step forward, she looked back.
Louis was still standing there, smiling at her with a calm and gentle expression.
Rachel waved her hand to him, then she turned back and entered the mansion.
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