4 (2) – 13
Camilla didn’t say a word to Alois.
After the five young musicians were released and went their separate ways, she still couldn’t recall saying anything then. Nicole was worried, but she couldn’t even summon the willpower to reassure her that she was okay.
She just wanted to be alone.
As soon as they reached the Lörrich mansion, Camilla looked for a place to be on her own.
Nicole would be in the room she was given. Who knows just who would find her if she went to the balcony again. Just where could she go in the mansion that no one would think to look for her?
The feelings inside her seemed to overflow more and more with every step she took.
Camilla knew just how it was that the world saw her.
Camilla knew that people saw her as a stupid woman, who obsessively fell down the path of a foolish love.
A love that would never come true for her.
Still, Camilla had pridefully stuck out her chest, confident in the belief that what she felt was true love.
But right now, Camilla was at her lowest point. She knew that her heart was standing on a knife’s edge.
Her body felt wracked with doubt.
– Why is Lord Alois so kind to me?
Camilla knew that Alois treated her gently.
When she first came to Mohnton, her view of him was a monstrously ugly toad, someone who would abuse and terrorize her at a whim. Yet after talking to him and getting to know him better, she came to know that he wasn’t an awful man.
Alois would take care of Camilla. She would be much happier with him than fruitlessly chasing after Prince Julian.
She knew that.
– Just why couldn’t Lord Alois have been the one I fell in love with instead?
But she couldn’t change her feelings. The love Camilla had held for Prince Julian for over a decade was not something so easily undone.
– If that’s the case…
She breathed out. Camilla realized that the heart which she had poured out in love was shattered, like the remains of Victor’s violin in the snow.
– If that’s the case, I wish I had never been in love at all.
– I wish I had always been alone.
When Alois left Camilla’s room, Klaus stood in the hallway as if he were waiting for him.
“Yo. Camilla wasn’t there, huh?”
“I don’t know where she is…”
Nicole had told him that Camilla wasn’t in her room.
What’s more, Nicole seemed anxious that the usually animated Camilla had been so quiet and gloomy on their way back. But despite how worried Nicole was, Camilla had apparently gone off somewhere on her own.
“So, I guess you wanna meet up with her then?”
As Klaus asked him that, Alois lowered his eyes.
He was worried about Camilla and wanted to make sure she was okay. But right now, it was obvious that Camilla was avoiding him. She might end up in an even worse state if he suddenly met her.
What’s more, Alois felt like he had shamed Camilla in public. She was accused of being in love with Prince Julian and whilst she refrained from answering, he had jumped in and affirmed it.
Alois wanted to see Camilla. But Camilla probably didn’t want to see Alois.
“I wish you could see your face right now.”
As Alois looked at the floor, Klaus poked fun at him.
“I could never quite figure out what was going on behind that mask of yours, and I can’t tell you how much I hated that about you. Honestly, it’s like you didn’t give a damn about anything at all. You didn’t ever reach out to truly rely on anyone, it was like you didn’t care about what happened. Like today, you’d never have done anything like that before.”
“…Is that so?”
“You got involved in Blume’s politics, even advocating for the entertainment they call vice. No matter what you think, this is directly going against Franz and my uncle. It’s like you’re intentionally trying to fan the flames now or something.”
If Alois thought about it, he definitely wasn’t wrong. As it stands, it still wasn’t clear whether Klaus or Franz would inherit the family title. It was a reckless idea to get on Franz’s bad side, as he was a potential pillar of the Mohnton territory in the future. Even if it wasn’t intentional, using his own name in public the way he had would only create more enemies for himself.
But just as he obtains enemies, he might garner allies as well. Maybe that’s something he had learned from Camilla these past months.
“…If that’s the case, Klaus, maybe it would be best if you became the heir apparent after all.”
Saying that, Alois raised his head.
“I have no intention of allowing this kind of illegal ‘justice’ to continue, nor will I permit vigilante mobs to run the streets like this. If Franz becomes the head of the household, I will continue to be at odds with Blume. Blume will become much more unstable than ever imaginable. Therefore, you have to become the Lord here.”
“I thought you might say something like that,” Klaus spat with a frown, after hearing what Alois had to say.
“Everyone sure is keen to push everything on me, huh? They don’t care about what I want, only what I can do for them.”
“Don’t say that. It’s because I know you’re a good man that I’m relying on you.”
“Hearing that from you doesn’t exactly make me happy.”
Alois spoke honestly, but it only made Klaus frown even harder. With a deep sigh, his shoulders sank as he shook his head.
Then he muttered to Alois, a hint of anger in his voice.
“…Nothing for it, I guess. Well, I should have expected people to want to rely on a genius, after all.”
Scratching at his hair with his hand, Klaus glanced at Alois with an upturned eye. Far from his usual playful look, his eyes looked spiteful, but there was something earnest in their depths.
“I’ll tell you where Camilla is.”
“You know where she is!?”
Alois almost choked on his words as he asked Klaus that in shock. Coughing slightly, he was embarrassed by just how loudly he had shouted.
As a Duke, Alois had confidence in controlling his emotions. Yet for some reason, when it came to Camilla, he found himself losing control more and more often as of late. Alois felt he had lost a little bit of dignity, exposing those emotions that he usually tried to keep under wraps.
Klaus looked uninterestedly at the bashful Alois.
“You’re not too bad, are you?”
“…What do you mean?”
“Nothing. So, you want to know where she is, right? There aren’t many places where you can be alone in a mansion like this.”
Klaus’ serious expression from a few moments ago was erased as a playful grim leapt to his face.
It looked as if he were about to mock Alois, but in the next moment, he said it without a care.
“Even if I went, I wouldn’t be much comfort to her. Get going… Camilla is in a garden of mid-winter flowers, like a field covered in pure white snow.”
Edited by: ApoPie