Chapter 20 – Make Haste
“Inabelle told me. Please don’t punish her for what I said,” she tacked on hurriedly. “But why did you hide it from me? Is it because I lost my memory?”
He just stared at her, unsure on how to reply. He sighed deeply without averting his eyes, then blinked and simply replied, “Exactly.”
Color returned to his pale face. She had spoken so straightforwardly that he couldn’t hide anything, and just kept talking. “I was worried that you might be burdened by that accident seeing as it took your memory. I thought it would be too much, even if you have already recovered considerably.”
“But that still is about me. Even if I have lost my memory, I would have been able to cope with it if you had told me.”
“I couldn’t talk about it easily because there were so many rumors about your condition. And he’s no one else but the Grand Duke…”
“That’s why I should have stepped out. The rumors about me will die out if I show there is nothing wrong with me. Who would call the Duke a liar, after all?”
Since the rumors about her had already spread like a wildfire, she could only douse the fire with crystal-clear facts. The best way to do so was through the words of the most reliable person, claiming that she had indeed lost her memory but was otherwise fine. Her memory didn’t change her into a strange person, it merely disappeared; it couldn’t be seen as a problem. After all, it didn’t affect her daily routine. And who wouldn’t believe Lucius if he said he saw his fiancée without any complications?
To hide in the shadows was not the best choice, but to march forward without hesitation. That was how to ensure success.
Edwin nodded as he listened to her daughter’s words, contemplating. “Right, I see. I rushed the decision too much. And I should have been more considerate of you…” he said, feeling a little apologetic.
She curled her lips into a warm smile, looking at her father. “You did it because you were worried about me. You didn’t do anything wrong, father. I understand you did it for my best. It’s all happening because I lost my memory.”
“You lost it because of an unexpected accident, it’s not your fault either,” he said firmly.
“Then there is nothing me or you did wrong. No one is to be considered responsible.”
“Do you really want to go ahead with the marriage?” Curiosity littered his voice.
“Yes, of course.” There was no reason to avoid it, so there was also no need to delay it. Moreover, she wanted to marry Lucius as soon as possible; she couldn’t afford delays. Then, she would become a lovely wife. “You wanted to postpone my marriage because of my physical condition, right? It looks like I will suffer from the after effects for a long time.”
“Exactly. It was a big accident, we don’t know what kind of side effects can appear and when. You might look fine now, but they might show later on…”
“We don’t even know if my memory will be back.”
“Right. It may take a long time before your memory comes back, and we don’t know when it will happen. And even if it will never come back… I wanted to spend together some of the time we hadn’t before.”
“…I see.” She didn’t think about that. Since his relationship with Tiana wasn’t that good, she didn’t expect him to worry that much about the whole situation. Maybe he wanted to heal his relationship with Tiana, using the opportunity made by her memory loss. Tiana had no remembrance of her and of the people around her, so many people, like Edwin and the Duke, might have wanted to start anew with her.
If the original Tiana had ever regained her memory, she would have gone back to her past life, but seeing the situation she was involved in, she had a strong feeling that it was never going to happen. As long as she was possessing her, the old Tiana would not return. Everyone could bury the old memories and start making new ones. She remembered the words he told her when she first opened her eyes in that body.
“No matter what memory you have, you’re my precious daughter.” This man was just accepting her as she was, not forcing her to do anything. She was deeply moved back then, because no one before had cared for her as a daughter. She was jealous of such a father; she wanted to thank him. But it would never be enough, no matter how many times she’d thank him.
She looked at him gently and opened her mouth again. “But wouldn’t refusing the marriage proposal be a source of trouble for you, father? I heard there’s only two months left before the marriage.”
“I asked for the Grand Duke’s understanding. He took it better than expected and accepted my apologies, but… the real problem is, the Grand Duke isn’t the only host of the wedding.”
“Who else will be there?”
“Marquis Calvino, the maternal grandfather of the Great Duke. He’s the one who proposed this marriage.”
Ah, of course he’ll be there. She nodded and pretended it was something she didn’t know about. If they could persuade the most problematic person, this marriage could move forward without much trouble.
“If that person has a valid alternative, we can proceed with the marriage. It will not be a bother to me, to you, nor to our families.”