“It’s the aurora!”
The moment pink lights began appearing in the night sky, resounding cheers echoed throughout the city. In the empty mansion, the trio hugging one another widened their eyes in astonishment.
There were seven colors that an aurora could manifest in, and pink was the rarest one of all. It had appeared no more than a couple of times in the long history of the Eirbower Dukedom, and it was said to represent romance and love.
Following the aurora’s blessing was a firework show that formed beautiful images alongside the aurora.
Under this beautiful scenery and romantic atmosphere, the two women felt an intense rush of emotions. However, what they didn’t know was that this beautiful aurora would soon cause an unintended crisis.
“It really is a pink aurora. I heard that it has been decades since the last appearance of a pink aurora. This is a good omen, fitting for us lovers.”
“How beautiful. By lovers, you’re referring to me and darling, right?”
The two women naturally assumed that this was a blessing directed toward Roel and themselves, and the difference in their perceptions brought frowns to their faces. They began glaring at one another.
“What are you saying? You shouldn’t forget that I was the one who tricked… I mean, I was the one who made Roel realize his own mistakes. You’re nothing more than a vase standing by the side, hardly saying a word at all!”
“I hardly said a word at all? If not for the plan… Cough! What I mean is that your words were simply too unexpected! How do you expect me to cut in?”
The divergence in viewpoints regarding the aurora sparked an argument between Nora and Charlotte. Noticing their choice of words, Roel couldn’t help but feel that something was amiss here.
Wait a moment. Trick? Plan? Why does it feel like I’ve just gotten scammed here?
The arguing duo noticed the change in Roel’s expression and their faces went ‘Oh shit’. Roel’s eyes slowly widened as he thought about everything that had happened thus far.
Something really does feel off… Very, very off.
Nora said that the two of us have been lovers ever since we were nine… Did such a thing happen?
I mean, I was still avoiding her when I was nine! I concede, I did have feelings of attraction toward her even back at that point, but lovers? We haven’t even confessed to one another yet!
Besides, we rarely get to spend time together, and there’s very little intimacy between us. Over the years, the only time we shared a kiss was the one back in the Witness State, when I was in a bad condition and she wanted to infuse mana over to treat me.
How in the world are we even considered lovers?
As for Charlotte, I guess I can somewhat be considered as her fiancé, and I did promise to protect her. But if you were to say that we were lovers… Now that I think about it, Charlotte hasn’t really said anything at all.
Wait a moment, does this mean that I’ve actually been tricked earlier on?
No no no, that isn’t right. I was indeed feeling anguished when the two of them left earlier. Such a feeling can be considered as a break-up.
Huh? It does feel like a break-up… but again, it could have been something else too.
Having made sense of his thoughts, he shot a piercing glare at the two women in front of him, but the two of them averted their eyes.
“Nora, Charlotte, there’s a question I would like to ask you. When in the world did I become your lover? I don’t think that we have talked about this before.”
“Cough cough. Regarding that, you should also know that there are things that don’t have to be spoken out loud. Feelings don’t necessarily have to be relayed with words.”
“Exactly. Who says that a relationship needs to be affirmed with words?”
“Is that so? Don’t you think that it’s too casual to leave something as important as a romantic relationship to implicit understanding? I feel like there’s something else here.”
Looking at the strained smiles of the two women standing before him, Roel spoke with gritted teeth.
“Why do I feel like someone is trying to misrepresent my feelings of favorability as an implicit lover relationship so as to make me look like I’m a scum who abandoned my lovers?”
The faces of Nora and Charlotte stiffened the moment Roel popped the question. The same thought surfaced in their minds at the same time.
This is bad. He managed to see through our ploy.
The two of them had gotten too complacent over their recent victory that they started arguing over the uneven division of the spoils of war in front of the person himself, resulting in their own undoing. Charlotte was at a complete loss as to what to do whereas Nora immediately tried to explain herself.
“Roel, it’s not what you’re thinking… Our relationship has always been as deep as that of lovers, so…”
“Are you certain you want to continue arguing about this, Nora?”
Seeing that it was hopeless, Nora decided to back down and avert her eyes. That was more than enough to confirm Roel’s doubts.
While the two of them had been closer than ordinary friends since childhood, it was still two different things to be as close as lovers and being lovers. Affirmation of the relationship represented a clear commitment.
Roel admitted that he had handled this matter badly with regards to Nora and Charlotte. His unannounced departure must have surely left them deeply worried, prompting them to search all around for him, and he regretted his actions.
However, it was another thing for them to emotionally corner and guilt trip him like that, especially when it led to his earlier breakdown. It definitely didn’t feel good to know that his emotions had been toyed with, regardless of what kind of intentions they had in mind.
“Hah. I never thought that there would be such a maneuver. If not for the two of you letting it slip in your argument, I might have never realized it. It really is a trick tailored specifically against me,” Roel harrumphed furiously.
His infuriated response caused Charlotte to cave in. She burst into tears and unhesitatingly betrayed her comrade.
“Darling! I don’t know anything at all. That woman orchestrated it all on her own!”
“Charlotte! What are you saying? You darned traitor!”
“Traitor? Isn’t this different from what we planned at the start? Darling, I have no part in this. Wuuu.”
Nora was infuriated by Charlotte’s betrayal. She was going to blow her top, but her airs quickly withered upon meeting Roel’s gaze.
“Roel, things are different from what you’re thinking. I-I simply got too agitated earlier, that’s why…”
With her scheme brought out to the open, Nora could only desperately attempt to salvage the situation, but to her alarm, Roel wasn’t reacting at all. She was taken aback for a moment before slowly lowering her head.
“I’m sorry, Roel… But I swear that it wasn’t intentional. I never thought that things would turn out like this either. Charlotte can testify for that.”
“… What do you mean?”
“Darling, I can vouch for that. I admit that we did plan something on our way here, but this wasn’t it…”
Following that, Charlotte began explaining their initial plan.
The two of them had a lot of pent-up emotions from being abandoned by Roel, which led to them discussing a plan to express their dissatisfaction toward him. However, their end goal was just to make him apologize for leaving them for so long.
The only problem was that Nora had chosen to take an overly forceful approach right from the start.
She forcefully claimed that they were lovers, and it worked because Roel did cherish her a lot and he was still flustered by her unusual behavior. This setting lay the foundation for her to pressure him later on.
But things started to go out of hand when they learned that Roel distrusted them. It wasn’t really that big of a deal now that they thought back on it since his rationale was not wanting to put them on the spot rather than distrusting them, but they still lost control of their emotions for a moment there.
The following act of them turning around and walking away was actually part of the script, but the deviation in atmosphere, setting, and tone had vastly changed the nature of the scenario. They were only expecting an apology, but somehow, it ended up heaping humongous pressure on Roel to confess in order to hold onto them.
In a sense, the outcome was better than they had expected, but at the same time, it had also forced Roel to confess his inner vulnerabilities in front of them.
By that point, the two of them had already known that they had gone overboard. So, they quickly tried to console Roel and bring the matter to a close, but who could have thought that they would slip up right after?
“In other words… I was played like a fiddle.”
Roel looked at the two uneasy women in front of him and harrumphed furiously. Hearing those words, Nora and Charlotte quickly shook their heads and refuted his words.
“That’s not the case! I concede that there were elements of an act in the earlier confrontation, but my emotions were absolutely sincere. I’m overjoyed that you were willing to open yourself up to me. I can swear on my name as a Xeclyde!”
“The same goes for me too. Darling, I never knew the extent of the feelings you harbored for me, and I was unaware of those fears lingering in your mind. Not once have I ever thought of playing with your feelings, you have to believe me on that! Wuuu!”
The panicked Charlotte hugged Roel tightly as she started tearing up whereas Nora insistently grabbed onto Roel’s hand, refusing to let it go. There was no way Roel could struggle free of them in his current powerless state, so he could only sit down and attempt to calm his emotions.
At the same time, he thought of a classical phrase in his previous life.
The more beautiful a woman is, the more deceitful she is.
This matter isn’t over yet!