“Are you calm now?”
“Yes… Thank you. But, Reggie. You mustn’t do that.”
Even now that I was safe, my voice still shook as I spoke to him.
“You mustn’t try and protect me. You should have left me and fled by yourself. Reggie, you are a prince, you have to put yourself above me…”
“I can’t do that, Kiara.”
As the prince, his life should have priority over mine. I told him this, and he immediately rejected it.
“I told you already. It’s common sense to protect your friends.”
“But why go to that extent.”
“…Because I don’t believe that there is anyone who understands me as much as you do.”
At his words, I finally understood what he had been trying to say.
I recalled that moment when we were able to understand each other because we both had feelings that were difficult for others to grasp.
Reggie continued as if to affirm this.
“There are not many people who would listen, much less accept these things that could evoke such ugly emotions, emotions that I’ve long hidden in my heart. So I had no choice but to pretend to be vague or obscure. I have to keep my mouth closed all the time. But you, you saw through me, didn’t you? ‘Reggie, you too have an unkind family,’ you said. I felt like I could finally breathe again when I heard you say that.”
And so, he says as he continues.
“Why it wrong for me to not want to lose someone like you?”
I could not say no again.
But the truth was that Reggie had picked up his sword to fight. I had made him gamble his life to protect my own.
How was I ever to repay someone who did that for me. The only thing that I could think of was to, in turn, gamble my own life for him.
But…I was scared.
“But, Reggie. I, I still don’t know if I could risk my own life for you…”
Apologetically, my feelings poured out before I could stop myself.
“Risk your life?”
Reggie sounded like he just noticed something.
“What do you mean, Kiara? Just now, it sounded like you think something may happen that would require you to risk your life. Why would you say that?”
He asked as he peered into my face. His expression was kind, but there was a will there that suggested he would not tolerate any lies.
I felt that I could not escape this. Even if I tried, Reggie would surely pursue this until I gave a satisfying answer.
But then something came to me.
If I was to gamble my life, would it not be better to have him think I was mad? And it was so unbearably painful to worry alone all this time.
“Reggie, listen to me.”
I said to him.
“I don’t care if you think of me as an ardent believer of the church. I can’t tell you the specifics, but I need to tell you about the things I’ve learned from a dream-like world.”
“In two years Reggie, likely for negotiations with Salehard, you are to become Regent King. When this happens, you will come to this very castle. You will stay here, as it is a checkpoint between the place where you will negotiate. While you are here, the army of Ruain will attack.”
“Ruain will…in two years?”
Reggie’s face was in shock, he clearly could not understand what I was saying.
I became a little fearful when I saw this, but I steeled myself and continued.
“When this happens, you may be killed. But I don’t know if you will be saved by rejecting the post of Regent either. So, you must be careful of Ruain and the Queen’s movements. And come here also. That way in two years… I think I should be prepared. I will protect you. But I am not confident in myself. I’m scared…”
“Wait, Kiara. Calm yourself. You had a dream? A dream where I could possibly be killed, two years from now?”
At the same time, I felt a heavy pain tighten in my stomach. With this, Reggie would without a doubt think that I was some zealous believer of the Eremia faith.
Strong believers of the Eremia religion were known to have a rather fanciful tendency to believe that priests could hear the voice of God in their sleep. Reggie would surely think I was one of them and had gotten carried away.
However, I was not able to gauge Reggie’s reaction.
Margrave Vain, Wentworth, and the others had heard the news and had just now arrived.
Reggie explained the situation in my place, and Margrave Vain immediate set off to look for Count Patorishiel’s men.
As soon as he was gone, Reggie’s guard, Grol returned and he and Reggie went after the Margrave in order to talk.
I was left alone, relieved that I have not been forced to tell him everything.