“My mother told me that it was unreasonable for me to hold a grudge against you. She told me that you noticed that she was pregnant, but you still took the responsibility of marrying her without questioning her about the other person. She was grateful for that alone and did not desire anything more from you.”
Anton’s mother was grateful to Denis who married her, who got pregnant out of wedlock, without criticizing her, but it seems that she was also feeling guilt because of that.
“That’s when I thought of repaying the favor to the person who made my mother suffer until the day she died.”
“It’s not like that. It’s not like that, Anton.”
Denis said that Anton was having a misunderstanding. He then looked at His Majesty.
“Your Majesty. Things have come this far, isn’t it all right for us to tell him the truth already?”
“Yeah. It doesn’t matter.”
Denis looked at His Majesty with calm eyes. His Majesty returned him the same gaze. It seemed that both of them had overcome many difficulties to reach this point.
“Your Majesty may have known, but when my wife came to the Troyl as the maid of the Duke Manela’s daughter, we were only childhood friends who hadn’t even exchanged the promise of engagement. She only thought of me as an older brother.”
This is my first time hearing this. I selfishly thought that Anton’s late mother was my former Father-in-law’s fiancée. Denis first told His Majesty about his relationship with his late wife and then informed us, who did not know the circumstances.
“It was me who fell in love with her. From an early age, I was feared by the other children around me because of my big body, but it was only her who was not hesitant to greet me. With her voice that resembled the chirping of birds, she was someone lovable I couldn’t leave alone.”
Denis explained how much he cherished his late wife. Anton listened silently.
“When she told me that she will be accompanying Duke Manela’s daughter to Troyl, I was so worried about her I tried to stop her numerous times. But she went without a change of heart. Our families were then on very good terms, so I visited her in Troyl in place of her worried family and delivered her letters and supplies from them. She was the maid of Duke Manela’s daughter who came from Ligisia, so the other court ladies apparently didn’t take kindly of her. With no ally on her side, there was only one person who was always kind to her. That was, at that time, His Highness Liamus. One day, my wife informed me that she harbored feelings that she shouldn’t have.”
Anton’s late mother seemed to trust Denis, so she must have consulted with him about her feelings, which were unlikely to be reciprocated. However, it must have been something
Denis didn’t want to hear. She basically confessed to having feelings for another man.
Now, Denis spoke with nostalgia about the person he yearned for, but couldn’t have.
“As I went to see her a few more times, she gradually became less spirited. She said she was troubled because His Highness the Crown Prince was courting her. He fell in love at first sight with her young lady and made her the Crown Princess, so why was he trying to make a move on her? She was deeply troubled.”
His Highness the Crown Prince of Troyl, fell in love at first sight with the Duke Manela’s daughter while visiting Ligisia and sought to ally the two countries by marrying her. I heard that the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess were on good terms, but was he actually unfaithful to her?
“One day, a tragedy struck her. She managed to escape when the Crown Prince tried to assault her thanks to Prince Liamus who happened to pass by. Because of that, she wasn’t able to hide her goodwill towards him, but thankfully, her feelings were mutual.”
I feel like I understood. How terrified she must have been after being assaulted by a man she didn’t like. There, the person she was in love with appeared and saved her, causing her to want to hold onto him.
“Nevertheless, unlike Ligisia, Troyl was a country shaken by the struggle for power. Prince Liamus was the Eight Prince and although he was the son of the Queen, he was far down the rights of succession. Prince Liamus, who had been targeted several times by assassinations and poisoning, wanted to protect her and decided to say goodbye. In tears, she parted from him and realized that there was a new life rooted in her.”
I wondered how Denis, who spoke so matter-of-factly, knew so much about the situation. Isn’t it too detailed to have heard it from Anton’s late mother?
“That was you, Anton. I am a selfish man. Knowing that she cared for the child’s life and didn’t want to abort, I insisted that I will be the child’s father if she didn’t want to give it up. At the time it seemed like the only way I could have the woman I was in love with.”