Chapter ss-23: Side Story 23
The Crown Prince hastily cried out, tapped on the back of my hand, which was holding his hair. "Princess! Let, let me go and we could talk!"
"Let go of what? The only way to get rid of your worthless doubts is to tear off your hair!" "This, this is royal assault! You think you will get away after all of this?"
If we were in the imperial palace now, someone would have noticed us and would probably tried to pull me away from the prince. But fortunately, we were in the incinerator room of the duke's mansion.
In other word, it was my zone. I laughed and replied coldly. "Huh. Then let's cut your neck!" "Ugh! Penelope Eckart!"
Callisto yelled while struggle to get out of my hands. But he didn't put in any strength to pull me out.
So i just kept holding his head and shake his hair as soon as it tear off. 'What would you do if i didn't let go?'
Looking at him being beaten like a fool, my mind filled with grief. I pulled it to the point that it feels like I am going to pluck all of his hair.
I thought about his desperate scream in the background game and suddenly realized that i have never told him that i liked him, nor loved him before.
Even when he nearly died from struggling with a dragon, and I have to chose whether to stay here or go back.
At some point, he would say as if he was the only one who offering all of the affection in this relationship, and if he didn't hold onto me like a madman, i would leave immediately.
I couldn't understand why he being like this.
'I told you that I chose this myself, why are you so anxious about that?' But now I considered that, I think i got just a little bit of it.
- .... I'm scared, what if it's because of me that you have to give up on everything and stay back.
- If you cry later on, and wishes that you should have come back in regret, what should i do? What did i told him back then?
- I didn't give up. I just selected what's better.
- Yes. I chose the advantage of being here, which is better for me.
Compare to my previous life, my fortune is much more plentiful, and so was my goal. But Callisto still concerned about my choice, whether it's right or wrong.
So was myself, I afraid once I go back, I will lose all of the warmth and all the things Callisto shown and made me feel...
- Then how could you say, you left everything for his majesty?
When Cedric said so to me, he was a little irritated. It was unfair.
'Then who am i going to blame for leaving the body which were suffered gastric cancer?' Now that i looked back, his words are somewhat correct.
Contrary to my inequitable feeling, I excluded Callisto unconsciously when I was planning for my future.
I was nervous. My life here, what will happen, how will it go, I have no idea. 'I don't know what will happen to us. What if we break up later and...'
I planned that if I had to live alone without the Eckart or Callisto's help, i would have to get a job, just in case.
'But if you inherit the throne, money wouldn't be a problem, and achieving my goal would be a piece of cake.'
On the other hand, this Prince always paint his future with me in the center. I wishes that his affection for me would last forever.
So of course, I'm scared that this tenderness would break one day, yet he never once care about this. Eventually, in the absence of this primitive faith, we were anxious about the same thing.
And so we blamed each other. "...Is it over yet?"
At one point, I stopped pulling his hair completely.
The warmth of his hand overlapped on my half-strengthened fingers. "You can continue."
"Heep going, until you please. From the moment i ran out of the meeting room, I was prepare for this." The crown prince, who gave me his own ragged hair with his hands, shook lightly.
'Not to mention he was in the state of being beaten unilaterally...'
It was not pleasing to see at all, to say such a thing while his hair was torn apart.
I could see his gaze staring at me. Two dark rings under his eyes from those sleepless night were quite visible.
It feels like my eyes were blur with hot tears. I bit my lips hard, hesitantly open my mouth. "Your Highness."
"Do you remember when i said...I am not Penelope?"
I honestly don't want to talk about my nasty background. 'But what's left isn't important anymore.'
I thought quietly.
The Crown Prince, who was briefly contemplating the reason why I suddenly said this, quickly nodded his head.
"Do you think that's a lie?" "...No."
This deceitful man replied immediately.
"I could still help you taking lead to destroy this empire if you confessed you are one of the Leila." "Stop declaring your wish to me."
"Was it that obvious?"
The Prince chuckled with his expressionless face.
"In fact, given those piles of work I've been through lately, I don't know why I killed the Leilas. I'm a bit regret."
"Watch your mouth! Don't talk so seriously like that while we are still in the Duke's mansion."
Still, he pressed my fingers in his hands to pull out his hair one more time, and he groaned while replied as if he was falsely accused.
"Isn't it better for me to shriek than you to hold the crown prince's head in the dukedom?" "It's fine. Everybody here hates you."
"...It's understandable how you treated a member of the Royal family like this since you learned manners from the Eckart."
He grumbled with a sulky look since he couldn't refute any further. I ignored him and asked while turned his face towards mine.
"Do you remember why I wanted you to have the Golden Dragon's Fang?" "So that I could officially take over the emperor's dominion."
"Yes, and because of that, I saved his Majesty who was dying and have to stay here." "It would be a life ended by suicide anyway once you gone... Ouch!"
Callisto continue to shriek as I pulled his hair out helplessly, he quickly clenched his teeth and corrected his words.
"I am very grateful and deeply indebted to you who saved me. I've been in debt for a lifetime that I can't pay by my whole existence."
'At least you knew that.'
Nodding my head with a satisfied face, I soon erased my expression and calmly told the truth. "That's right. I'm the only lifesaver who revive your life."
I asked the Crown Prince, who nodded quietly as if he agreed.
"Then what do you think about my original body which I used to lived?"
Whether it's hard to understand what were I saying or not, Callisto reacted a bit slow. "...Huh?"
"I am not the real Penelope, so i must have my own body, too." "What..."
"Why would I need the Golden Dragon's fang once I gone back to my original world?" I tried to speak as gravely as possible, but the end of my voice was quavering.
I couldn't help it. Who would take care of my death? And honestly, I still don't believe it.
I have to die so foolishly in my old body, which had suffered so much. Just by thinking about it, my mind suddenly filled with grudges.
'I wonder if you realize that you fell in love with a person that you didn't even knew her face.' I glared sulkily at the Crown Prince.
"That... What are you talking about?"
Calisto, who seemed to have reconsider my words with a confused face, suddenly lowered his hand which was holding mine and wrapped around my cheek.
His red eyes shook outrageously. For a while, he still manage to ask while barely biting his lips. "Don't tell me..."
"Were you dead?"
I didn't expect him to be that appalled.
Callisto's response, with a face turned pale, seems a little strange.
I was confused, but this thing* probably had been organized quite a while ago. (**She meant that her old body probably intended to be out of use soon.)
This obscure feeling inside me settle down faster than I thought.
As soon as I opened my mouth, a dry voice came out. Just like we were talking about other people's affair.
"I saved your life and stayed here, so by now I probably did." "...Oh my god, Penelope Eckart."
Callisto called me out with a sigh just when I confirmed what he thought was true. He, who could not continue to speak, let out a small squeal.
"Ah, fuck this... Why don't you tell me sooner?" "I thought it was not that important."
"How can it's not important, it is a matter of your life!" "Because I didn't regret saving you."
At the response, he lost his words and stared at me in bewilderment.
The feeling of guilt and regret vividly passed through his magenta red eyes. "...I don't know what to do with you."
He stretched his hands touching my cheeks as he murmured with a painful expression. "I'm fine."
I meant it. So I reassured him with an moderate voice.
I told him that so he wouldn't be anxious about my choice, and I won't ever regret choosing it. But still, Callisto's hand showed no sign of unraveling.
When my eyes met his, it was filled with an unfamiliar sorrow. I adjoined to the end of the reassurance. "I told you before. Even when I want to go back now, I can't."
"How can that be the same thing...! Ha..."
He suddenly stop talking and take a long, deep sigh. A short silence fell in the incinerator room.
I still clenched the crown prince's hair, and he graped my cheek in a monstrous posture that would scared anyone.
And we stared at each other for quite a while, like a fool. "...Did you get it know? I told you didn't give up on anything."
By the time Callisto's concern and thought were sorted out, I silently open my mouth.
"So, stop all the doubt and disbelief in me. I was upset whenever your Highness did that, to the point I want to tear out all of your hair."
"I didn't know. Whether you made such a choice."
At my words, he distorted his face and a moan leaked out of his mouth. "If I knew all of this... I would never told you something like 'don't go'." "It was crazy, and I was going to take care of it by myself, then."
I thought I was talking to myself, but when I came back to my scenes, I have already spitted it out. But I didn't take it back.
When I hold my head down and stared at him, he seemed to say 'Huh. So you gonna keep it that way.' with a brief grin.
Then he opened his lips as a frown appeared on his face. "I'm always afraid."
"I'm afraid you will blame me for just sitting there." I sighed at his words and finally let go of his hair.
"It's my choice to stay here, your Highness. You are not at fault." I firmly drew a line and dropped his hand around my cheek, too. As I spoke, I took a step back from him.
"It's your yesterday behavior that I wanted to blame." "...Princess."
"I understand. You were anxious. It's partly because I didn't speak properly about it...Your Highness and I, everything is new."
I shrugged my shoulders as I tried to shake off his hair that was tangled between my fingers.
I didn't realize dating was this hard until now. But I forced myself to swallow the lament and continue my words.
"...But I will repeat, if you just keep acting this way, it actually made me resented myself for stayed here."
A relationship that have failed to overcome each other's anxiety will continue like an egg on an owl. And it will become inevitably fragile in the future.
It is time for the Crown Prince to face it.
"Maybe I'll leave you, or I maybe I'll find a way to get back to my original world." "No!"
Callisto shouted in contemplation at my words. "I, I am all wrong."
"Don't say that. I swear I won't do that again, huh? Please forgive me."
In a second, those words of apologize poured out of his mouth rapidly while he narrowed the distant between us.
As he lose his temper easily, the cold sweat dripped down his face, and he looked desperate as if he was dying.
I loved him like that.
You're an arrogant, arrogant man, but you're a fool who's willing to give me the world. 'But you are lovesick, and you just can't let it go.'
That I thought a couple would not fight in the early state of the relationship. "Only with those words?"
I asked the Crown Prince, who apologized one after another. "I'm more angry than I thought, ha."
"Then... What should I do so you won't be angry anymore?" "Well, who know..."
At Callisto's impatient voice, I pretended to think and laughed reluctantly. "You just saw the Duke, didn't you?"
His eyes widened as he glanced down at the door. "Are you telling me... to kneel down?"