A Thousand Years of Separation~Today, I Shall be the Villainess~(WN) Chapter 40
The sky was immersed in thick clouds.
Two hours had passed since the sun rose. It was already well over the promised time.
The castle gate was open—it usually stayed so from sunrise to sunset. There was a moat surrounding the castle, and a stone bridge leading to the city.
Under the tree on the side of the bridge, William stood alone, waiting for Arthur. He kept glancing at people whom were entering and leaving the gate.
William was growing impatience. His expression revealed annoyance.
Lewis' owl must had delivered the message to Arthur. Arthur wasn't one to be late for a meeting. William's meeting was sudden, indeed—but, if it inconvenienced Arthur, then he at least could send someone to inform him.
So why didn't Arthur come?
—did something happen?
William pondered so, but in his eyes, the castle stayed the same.
William, with his back leaning against the trunk and his arms crossed, furrowed his eyebrows.
After thirty minutes more passed, William finally saw no point in waiting and was about to return—
—when Arthur finally showed himself.
The moment Arthur came out of the gate, he immediately noticed William. He ran to William, out of breath.
William gazed severely at the breathless Arthur. Looking at how irritated William was, Arthur turned apologetic.
"I'm sorry, I overslept."
William almost fell over—after all, Arthur said something utterly ridiculous. Arthur stared awkwardly at the awestruck William.
"It's the truth. I'm really sorry."
Towards Arthur, who apologized fervently, William felt somewhat strange. Arthur's usual dignified attitude wasn't there. William suppressed his anger and asked Arthur.
"…Did something happen?"
Arthur was certainly William's close friend, but he was still a prince. A prince was taught not to lower himself or apologize to others easily. William understood that Arthur had received such an education.
Therefore, Arthur usually didn't apologize to others when there was no reason to—it was in line with not putting himself in situations where he should be the one to apologize.
But, for such a prince to oversleep?
William wondered if there was another reason. However, Arthur only narrowed his eyes, denying William's inquiry.
"…it's nothing, really. I had a nightmare, that's all."
Arthur nodded slowly.
His expression was dead serious—hence, William could figure out that it was really a terrible dream. But… only because of a bad dream?
Arthur's nightmare cost him two hours of wait?
William's frustration returned again.
William sighed, as if amazed.
"…you're this old, already, and still terrified of a nightmare? Grow up, please."
William was now incredibly baffled at Arthur. Still, Arthur said no more.
William became suspicious of this anxiety-ridden Arthur.
William had been thinking since last night.
The truth of Lewis' words, who returned alone from Aldebaran last evening. To confirm it, he summoned Arthur this early morning.
The nightmare that Arthur saw, could it be just an excuse to evade or at least postpone this talk?
Was Arthur hiding something? Was there something he didn't want to talk about regarding Amelia? —William thought so.
"Arthur, I want to ask you something."
William uttered innocently, his face not revealing a single emotion. Arthur's expression mirrored him.
"…what is it?"
Arthur responded with a low voice. His heart was full of anxiety regarding Lewis. After all, he was only assuming the reason for William's call—Lewis must be involved in this—other than that, he knew nothing.
The two stared at each other for a moment.
William was relieved that Arthur had switched back to his dignified aura, otherwise, he wouldn't have known how to act.
William stared at Arthur.
"Listen to every single one of my words—back then, when we went to the lake, you were alone with Amelia for some time. What did you do to her?"
William's jade eyes glared straight at Arthur. The hues were tinted with anger, which confused Arthur.
"Why would you ask me such a thing?"
Arthur interjected, but William dismissed him.
"Answer my question—or, could it be, there's something you don't want me to hear?"
William's glare turned sharper. His suspicion of Arthur, which were reflected in his eyes, grew intense.
Arthur reflexively avoided William's gaze—otherwise, I would be able to read his thought.
However, his gesture only convinced William that he was hiding something.
William narrowed his eyes.
"…Arthur, what a hell of a thing you've done. For a long time, I've always been amazed at how expert of a player you are—but this time, you've crossed the line."
When William said that in an ice-cold voice, his eyes were full of disdain—however, Arthur couldn't comprehend them.
"—what are you talking about right now?"
Arthur asked William, but his question no longer reached him. William had snapped completely.
"—you're still trying to find your way out of this—?! Because of you, Amelia lost her voice! She had directly told Lewis that! She didn't fall into the river by accident—she jumped of her own will! Carla said so while apologizing! Because of you, Amelia was going to die!"
William's unexpected story made Arthur speechless. His back was immediately drenched with cold sweat.
"Look at yourself in the mirror! You're this kingdom's prince! If she was just some other woman, I wouldn't bat an eyelid to your hobby! But she's different! I certainly don't love her, and you noticed that, didn't you!? That's why you laid your hands on her! It's unforgiveable! You must never touch her!"
Arthur's face distorted because of William's words. Deep darkness welled within his heart—
—both Lewis and Amelia; they had joined hands and deceived William!
However, Arthur also knew that his words would never reach William. He couldn't say anything further to William.
"—Arthur, from your perspective, it might have been an exciting game. Why, isn't she the Count's daughter? Yet, they are still this kingdom's foundation! If the Marquis' future wife's reputation is soiled, it would surely incur her father's wrath!"
Certainly, what William had just said was the truth—however, it was a false truth fed upon William by Lewis and Amelia. However, revealing so would ultimately lead to his own power being known.
…I can't say that. He must not know about it.
Arthur bit his lips.
William misunderstood that and had a self-depreciating smile on him.
"…don't worry, I won't report you to the Count. This is my responsibility. It was because I wasn't by her side at that time. I'm going to pick up Amelia with Lewis. But, never get close to her again. If you ever show up before her, I'll never forgive you."
William glared at Arthur without any hesitation, for a second, it was as if his jade eyes had turned dark—
—Arthur felt that he had caught a glimpse of Lewis himself in those eyes.
***T/N: Only now, the only actual chemistries I’ve seen was that of William with those around him, except Amelia. Or Amelia with those around her, except William. I guess it’s bcs they never knew each other before…
~a budding translator~