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Chapter 55.1

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Jerald’s (Jed’s) Point of View
I met Gabrielle four years ago.
It was when the Fall Empire was hosting a large ball.

Of course, as an “Unnecessary Prince,” I was not allowed to attend.
The ostensible reason was that I was ill, but in reality, it was because they didn’t want anyone with lowly blood in their veins to attend.
My father tried to get me to join, but I refused. I hadn’t appeared on the stage for twenty years. I didn’t think I wanted to attend now.

On the day of the ball, noisy voices could be heard from afar.
All the residents of the Imperial City must have gathered at the venue.

“Right.”

Since there was no one here now, I can enter the Knights Order’s training grounds.
I’m not sure what a grown man like me was thinking, but I’ve always wanted to visit the place where the Knights Order stood.
That’s what I thought, and I slipped out of the room.
Just as I was about to pass through the garden, which was rarely visited by people, I heard a cracking sound.
The bench in the garden, that I had thought was empty, was occupied by someone else.

A girl gazing at the moon in a daze.
She was dressed in a silver and white dress, with crystal clear white hair and red eyes reminiscent of rubies.
The girl was as beautiful as a goddess, and I was instantly captivated.

“Who are you?”

I tried not to let anyone notice me.
That was all I wanted, but I was so taken with her that I couldn’t help but call out to her.
I wondered what kind of voice the beautiful girl had.
The girl trembled at the sound of my voice and looked at me timidly.
I thought she was beautiful in profile, but she was even more beautiful when I looked at her head-on.

“And who are you?”

She had a beautiful voice, like rolling a bell.
It was her stern gaze that didn’t give me time to fall in love with her.
I took a second look at my appearance. I was dressed in a simple training uniform, which was not appropriate for the Imperial Castle.
As a nobleman, she must have been wary of me.

“My name is Jerald.”

I’m someone whose existence is not supposed to be known by anyone.
I knew that, but I gave her my real name because I wanted her to know who I was.

“Jerald? That is the First Prince’s name, isn’t it?”

She blinked when she saw my hair color.
Red hair was the sign of Imperial family.
There’s no way that she, as a noble, didn’t know that.
I smiled at her as she stared at me in disbelief.

“Would you tell me your name?”
“It’s Gabrielle. Gabrielle de Olivier.”

Gabrielle rose from the bench and performed a ladylike bow so beautiful and graceful that even the untrained eye could see it.
I’m sure she was a little wary because she was not sure if I really was the first prince because of my modest appearance and inadequate clothing, despite the fact that I have the sign of Imperial family.

“I heard the First Prince was absent because of illness. Is that wrong?”
“I’m someone who is not supposed to appear before the public.”

She looked at me with an expression of incomprehension.
A hint of agitation in her bright red eyes.

“I’m an unneeded human. That’s why I’m not allowed to appear in public.”

I laughed self-mockingly.
I knew it was not a good idea to tell her the hidden secrets of the Empire, but I wanted her to know about me.
The girl gave me an angry look.

“Are you stupid?”
“Pardon?”
“There are no unneeded people in this world. Isn’t there at least one person who needs you?”

The image of my father flashed through my mind at her words.
She noticed this and smiled at me.

“From the looks of it, there is someone.”
“Yeah, there is. But…”

What my father really needs, what he really loves, is not me. It’s my mother, who has a somewhat similar vibe.
If he really cared about me, he wouldn’t have let people treat me as an ‘unwanted prince’.

“That person doesn’t need me in the true meaning.”

Gabriel muttered a meaningful, “Hmm.”
I shut my mouth, thinking that I shouldn’t have talked about this.

“Do you want to be needed by someone, Prince Jerald?”

Needed by someone?
I had been treated as an unwanted person since birth, so I had never thought about such a thing.

“… I don’t know.”

Gabrielle frowned in annoyance at my response, thought for a moment, and then clapped her hands together.
I was startled by the sudden loudness, and she looked at me as if she had come up with a good idea.

“Prince Jerald, won’t you become my friend?”
“Friend?”
“Yes, a friend.”

What exactly does a friend mean?
How can I be friends with someone if I can’t even leave my room?

“I cannot leave my room for reasons… I might never see you again.”
“That doesn’t matter. As long as I consider you a friend, and you consider me a friend, our friendship will last for eternity.”

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