Sei Bruno Part 2 ~ Unrequited Love
“Did something happen, sir Sei? You don’t seem to look well.”
“Ah, no, nothing at all. It’s just my sister-in-law is about to give birth so I’m a little worried.”
“Oh, congratulations then, sir. I hope her delivery goes well.”
Even though Momo talked to me out of worry, I could only offer absentminded replies. After gazing at me for a little while, Lady Momo spoke again.
“and here I thought Sir Sei was a whimsical person.”
“What is it lady? So sudden.”
“The person that Sir Sei truly loves is his sister-in-law, isn’t she?”
Having the secret that I have never told anyone being found out so suddenly left me severely astounded. Although I did mention this to Missouri, I never mentioned a name at all. I inadvertently caught Lady Momo by the shoulders frightening her, but I had lost the leeway for consideration.
“How…did you know?”
“When you protected me from Lady Chloe before, you responded harshly to her insults towards your sister-in-law. That somehow led me to the idea.”
I remember that. It was when she was being surrounded by Chloe and her followers who were pressuring her to stay away from the crown prince. I forced my way through and protected her but the words Lady Chloe said to her enthusiastic followers had stabbed my heart.
‘He truly has no taste. The talented sibling kept spending his time chasing slovenly women, and now a country hick. The younger sister of the minister to the right had to be paired up with his boorish older brother instead. Aunt sure is quite pitiful, being married off into House Bruno having such miserable feelings.‘
‘It is true that there’s no doubting how fine of a gentleman you are. Don’t you think that it’s you whom Aunt wanted to marry? She was only forced to compromise due to age diff–‘
‘Shut your mouth!!’
Driven by rage, I yelled with a roar scaring all the surrounding ladies. I took Lady Momo by the hand and escaped from the place. That’s right, escape is the word. All because those despicable ideas that Lady Chloe uttered existed within my heart.
-That Lady Masumi would be a waste on my older brother.
“Sir Sei sure is earnest.”
“I’m not such a beautiful individual. This is an improper love; feelings that cannot be told my whole life. I already have someone arranged for me to marry.”
Describing them as unspeakable feelings, and yet before I realized, I was already throwing my complaints at Lady Momo. How pathetic. I said the same kind of thing to Missouri thinking that she would give up, but this time I just really wanted to open my heart to the miss.
“You fell in love with her so it cannot be helped, sir.”
“Sir Benny also spoke about such nobility issues and other bothersome things but, when it comes to your feelings, no one can take the reins of your heart, sir.”
So Lady Momo is close enough to call his highness by his given name… or so my inner thoughts flew off somewhere else.
Still, the her words of acceptance to my forbidden feelings had saved me. Although such a thing cannot be done so easily done in reality, perhaps, all this time I was waiting for someone’s affirmation.
During that time, Lady Missouri had arranged a tea party with me and Lady Masumi out of consideration. Lady Momo was able to notice my feelings without so much a word, so I thought that surely my behavior was enough for Lady Missouri to notice my feelings.
However, for some reason, I thought that she was being meddlesome. Lady Masumi on the other hand, was angry at me. She had always scolded me about my lifestyle and indifference to Lady Missouri but this time she also talked about my association with Lady Momo.
“His Highness Leddorio is too preoccupied with Miss Palette and is neglecting his fiancee, Lady Chloe. I heard that you’re quite close with the miss recently too. That’s not a good thing.”
“I respectfully disagree, sister-in-law.”
Being called sister-in-law for the first time widened Lady Masumi’s eyes in surprise. I always had a reservation in referring to her as a sister but having called her that myself, even I was surprised.
My meeting with Lady Momo has changed my way of thinking. That rather than spending my life chasing after fleeting affection from ladies I do not love, I should pursue my love for a lone person, instead. Even if that love doesn’t get reciprocated.”
“And that person is Lady Palette? Why are you infatuated with her as well! Just what about Lady Missouri are you dissatisfied? She is such a fine lady!”
Her scolding figure is starting to resonate with Lady Chloe’s. Right, this person is Lady Chloe’s aunt. As I became more conscious of that fact, something within me turned cold.
“Be more affectionate with your arranged partner? That’s quite cruel of you, sis. Don’t you think that trying to maintain a sour relationship is much more unfair?”
“There are things that you can start building after marriage. What’s important is making efforts to support each other.”
“I see… in other words, if Sis didn’t put the same efforts, she wouldn’t have seen older brother as a husband.”
A thumping sound reverberated as Lady Masumi struck the table with both of her hands, standing up. Her jet-black pair of eyes were moist with tears as she caressed her abdomen to suppress her agitation. Normally, I would’ve paid more consideration to her feelings and pregnancy… but mysteriously, I felt no such feelings at all.
“What on earth happened to you? You weren’t like this before. You used to be so gentle… why–“
“I do not want to hear that from you, sis. Lady Momo understood me.”
Leaving behind Lady Masumi in tears with those words, I interrupted the tea party and left the place. I headed to Lady Missouri in order to warn her to never arrange a meeting with her for me anymore.
At the same time, I noticed how my feelings have now inclined towards Lady Momo instead. His highness Leddorio is likely to gather evidence against Lady Chloe for harming her and use them to condemn her soon. The engagement of the two will likely be canceled as a result.
If that were to happen, he is likely to name Lady Momo as a fiancee candidate instead. I have fallen into a forbidden love yet again. But now, I cannot lie to myself anymore. Even though I know that she wouldn’t choose me in the end, I cannot hold another woman’s hand while I carry these feelings in my heart.
“Missouri, I love Lady Momo with all my heart. Could you please break your engagement with me?”
Right after Chloe had been condemned, I bowed my head to Missouri saying that. Of course, both of our houses were in complete opposition to this. Particularly, because of the incidence of Chloe’s banishment from the capital and the complication of my engagement, Lady Masumi collapsed and my older brother was considerably angry about it.
He told me that think it over with or face disinheritance from father but, I would rather leave the house than give up on Lady Momo.
Missouri, who heard about my feelings for the last time, only silently gave her nod as usual. Like a puppet in strings that follows all my demands quietly. Although her absolute compliance and her attitude had irritated me before, only now, I’m quite thankful for it.
“Very well. However, my agreement alone would not be enough to cancel the engagement, sir. I believe we both must prepare for it from both sides. Likely, Sir Sei wouldn’t be disowned just for this, so until you properly convince your father, I believe it would be better to keep our engagement for the time being.”
She doesn’t even try to stop me but only states our current situation as is. Even after being told of my will to cancel the engagement, she remained calm and composed.
Although it feels too late to say this but, she’s rather horrifying.
“But this means that you’ll cooperate right?”
“If that is truly what Sir Sei wishes… however I have one condition.”
Suddenly, the ambiance that clad her body had changed. The Missouri that was reflected in my eyes right now looked like an entirely different individual compared to how she was a moment ago– That’s right, it’s the same with Lady Chloe; It was like she was replaced with somebody else.
“Until all parties are in complete agreement, Sir Sei must never see me as a woman. Can you promise that, sir?”