PMZ 067 – ★ Will you marry me?

AN Note: This will last several chapters; the time goes back several months from the last story.  

TL Note: To be exact 7 chapters of Hayato POV, it contains some detail that Alice probably will never know, so I guess it’s worth reading.  

It’s been about three months since I started living with Alice.  

For the first two months or so, I was simply having fun and playing around.  

But lately, it’s been a bit painful. It started when I told her that I like her, and we exchanged tags.  

It was something I did because I decided not to hold back anymore, but the reality is since then, I’ve stuck.  

Usually, after saying “I love you”, I would have said, “Please go out with me as my lover,” but I couldn’t.  

Though at the very least, now I know that Alice didn’t hate me either.  

After that night, when I opened my arms to her and said, “Come here,” she would look a little embarrassed, but she tried to snuggle into my arms anyway, which was really cute.  

When I got used to it, I put my arm around her back and hugged her for the first time. At that moment, I was so happy that I could see a flower garden spreading in my brain.  

Still, I’m stuck.  

It’s not permissible for me to date her. After all, she is the daughter of a Duke. If not because of our unique circumstances, I would never have spoken to her in my entire life, much less lived alone with her. {date as in playing around}  

The best I could do is to take this seriously and say, “Please marry me.”   

But is she okay with that? I don’t think she’d be happy if a man she’d only lived with for a few months suddenly asked her to abandon her nobility.  

The more I think about it, the less I understand. I wonder what happiness meant for Alice.  

And I haven’t had the courage to ask her yet.  

But now I finally understand that “status doesn’t matter as long as there’s love”, which is often said in plays and stories, is not something that someone from a commoner background would say. I understood that when I became a part of it.  

She had too much to lose if she decided to be with me.  

When I’m with Alice, I stand out even more than usual.  

I don’t get asked to shake hands as often as I used to, but the phenomenon of people sending their gazes at me from afar has increased.  

Usually, this would be a very stressful situation. But Alice is always calm and doesn’t break her pace.  

She’s used to being the center of attention. I expect no less from my Alice. Well, not really. But I want to say she’s mine. By the way, since we exchanged tags, no one has tried to mess with Alice, probably because my name is hanging in such a noticeable place.  

To tell you the truth, I was struggling. I had a hard time stopping men who might have ulterior motives from approaching her. I will admit, I’m the one with the most ulterior motives, but that’s a different matter.  

But with this, I don’t have to keep staring at the men from behind Alice, the men who were trying to talk to Alice with ‘that’ objective in mind, those kinds of guys will look at the tag, get a frown on their face, and walk away.  

This helps me a lot.  

It’s not that I want to take away all of Alice’s relationships. I think she should be able to interact with people in a normal and healthy way.  

For example, like now, Alice is chatting with Betty, who is standing at a coffee stand in the guild. I’m glad she’s enjoying herself.  

“… Hayato, you’ve got a wide grin on your face.”  

“You really have changed. Who are you really? You must have switched bodies at some point.”  

I don’t think I’ve changed that much, but I look like a different person to other people.  

The men I’m talking to now are Keith and Ronnie, A-rank members of the same party. They’re pretty strong, and people often call them the ice wizards and the flame wielding swordsmen.  

I like how their second name sounds. I wonder why I’m a chameleon. I hope one day someone will call my former comrades as Ted the poodle and George the sheep.   

“That’s unimportant. I’m happy now.”  

“Ugh. He doesn’t even hide it, he’s serious. Are you sure you’re okay with that? She’s that girl from the house of magic tools, right?”  

“[Social studies] right? At first, I thought, ‘What is that?’ But when I thought about it, I think it has something to do with Lav?   

Since they will take Lav into their family, they might want to understand the commoner better. The Stuart family really has done their best to do just that. I’m impressed.”  

“That’s right. I think they really care about the commoner like us. You’ve met them, haven’t you Hayato? What kind of person is the Duke?”  

“… a scary yet kind person.”  

At first glance, he seems to be a person who is good at drawing out the real intent of others with his gentle atmosphere that would forgive anything and his slightly casual remarks. I think Alice shares the same characteristics.  

“Wow. It’s just like a true noble, isn’t it? in good sense.”  

“You guys are living together, right? Are you guys dating already?”  

The question came straight to the point. I shake my head to deny it.  

“No, not yet. We’re not like that. Yet.”  

Then Keith, the ice wizard, chuckled and spoke.  

“Yet, huh? I wouldn’t be surprised if you were to tell me you’re getting married tomorrow.”  

“Or… ‘I’ll be a dad in six months!'”  

I glared at the two giggling men and leaned back with my elbows on the table.  

“… Don’t say anything like that. True, that I’ve got a one-sided crush on her and I know I said I hadn’t done anything about it, but Alice is going back to her parents’ house in nine months, so I can’t do anything about it.”  

Oh, I said it. The realization makes me feel weak.  

Alice still doesn’t know that she’s going to have to go back to her parents’ house eventually if things continue like this.  

I think I’ll have to tell her sooner or later, but I’m a little scared that when I do, it will be the end of our ambiguous relationship, so I can’t bring myself to do it.  

“Is that so? Hmmm… And then what? Is Hayato going to go solo again?   

It’s a good thing you stopped bringing rare drops because the conversion rate has have gone up, which has helped us.”  

“Well, even now, though you working as the young lady’s bodyguard, you also hunting the monster around the royal capital, tell me Hayato… isn’t it hard?”  

“No, Not at all.”  

On the contrary, it’s fun.  

I can walk around downtown at my leisure while chatting with Alice, watching her growth, enjoy the sunset together and say, “It’s beautiful,” or observe Alice’s happy face when she finds a drop.  

I can feel the excitement as I did three years ago when we first escaped from the orphanage and went out to the suburbs on our own for the first time.  

The familiar scenery is so much more colorful when Alice is around.  

Because Alice is with me.  

I don’t think I’ll be able to enjoy myself as much as I used to if I’m going solo again.  

And before I knew it, I had this subtle smile carved in my face.  

—–  

When I got home and finished my routine, it was already late, and all I had to do was go to bed.  

Alice made me a cup of chamomile tea after my bath. The thin black nightgown is a bit of poison for my eye, but mostly it’s pleasant, so I don’t dare say anything.  

Tomorrow, Alice will officially receive her rank evaluation.  

While talking about it, I sipped my tea and answered her question. I don’t know what’s going on in my face, but she suddenly has a loving look on her and pats me on the head with her hand as if she would do to a small child.  

“W-What is this Alice, stop it.”  

“Can’t I? You’ve been working hard all these times.”  

Oh, that’s what she meant.  

It’s not usual sympathy that I hate, but her acceptance of me for who I am, that simple feeling hit me hard.  

She acknowledges my hard work, and not because I’m an orphan or soloist. I’m just like everyone else. I’ve never been truly alone; a lot of people had helped me to get this far.   

Somehow a memory of my father is floating in my head. 

And because of this, I could feel the back of my eyes was burning, so I deliberately switched the topic to “the story after I started living with Alice” and answered. I don’t want to cry over something like this.  

“Not really, it’s normal. Ah… Three months flew very quickly, and I’m sure the remaining nine months will…” — I messed up, I told her.  

I knew I had to tell her someday, but right now, that “someday” had come.  

Alice stared at me and asked for an explanation. I had no choice but to go with the flow. I straightened up, sat back down, and faced Alice straight on.   

“…… The Duke considers the time until the date of Aklys’s marriage to be Alice’s vacation time.”    

“Really?”  

Her eyes opened wide.  

After a few moments of silence, she withdrew her hand from her teacup and placed it on the table weakly.  

“…So, after nine months, I have to leave Hayato, either by joining the church or married to a widower?”  

When I was about to mention her other option to living freely in a villa, neither as a second wife nor in a church. She continued–  

“……Hayato. …I don’t want to be separated from you. I don’t mind the church, but I don’t want to be second-wife… and I’m afraid at the thought that I can never see you again.”  

Lies near her trembling hand was a single vase of autumn cherry blossoms that I had placed in her hair during the day.   

Alice had arranged it for me. It’s just a flower I found on the side of the road, no different from a wildflower. I had told her that she could throw it away when she got home.  

A hot feeling welled up deep in my chest.   

I don’t know what I’ve been worrying about.  

Because I had already decided what I wanted to do from the beginning.  

Don’t joke about never seeing me again.   

I want to live my life without ever leaving you.  

I put my hand on Alice’s hand and asked,  

“will you… marry me?”  

Alice looked up and stared into my eyes.  

I wonder if my feelings had been conveyed.  

I wonder how you feel when I suddenly say something selfish like this.  

“If Alice really doesn’t mind living as a commoner, I want Alice to marry me…”  

Tears spilled from her beautiful eyes. One after another, the tears spilled over without ever stopping.  

“Don’t cry, Alice.”  

Because I haven’t told you what I want you to hear the most.  

I want you to forget about marriage or my commoner status for this moment because there’s something I want you to fully understand. I–  

“I love you.”  

As soon as I said it, my heart was filled with so much joy to the point that I can accept any answer she would give to me.  

TL note:   

Ch 034 has been edited to match this chapter, well… small edit since Hayato phrasing his word a little different than what I imagined. Also, some typos (lol). 

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5 Responses

  1. mya aila says:

    Thank you for the chapter!!!
    Oh, no wonder he didn’t regret getting shackled/attached to a power.
    I was sort of sad when that happened; especially when I read Alice’s thoughts on it XD

  2. Sum Gai says:

    this line kinda threw me off for a bit: “[Social studies] right? At first, I thought, ‘What the heck is that?’ But when I thought about it, I think it has something to do with Lav?” I think instead of Social studies it sounds better with Social status

    • liejinsan says:

      uh, maybe I put the wording wrong?
      I’m referring to the excuse Alice uses for living as an ordinary person, or rather Stuart’s excuse.
      they let Alice live as an ordinary person under the pretext of Social Studies, with Hayato as a bodyguard.
      I will edit it after this to make it clearer, thank you.
      edit: uhhh yeah, I’m having a bit of difficulty with this phrase, I will discuss it with my friend who clearly a better English speaker. may need to wait a bit…

  3. Pruplesh says:

    I love to add pictures here, i have some cute memes for the occasion uwu 💜

    Thanks for the update! Lot of love for you
    (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*.✧

  4. Saphti says:

    ♥️♥️ so sweet

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