Merry Christmas and Happy new year
Thank you Rumble Fish for editing my mess
“The ‘opening ceremony’ will be taking place tomorrow. But leaving that aside for now, Dean, you clearly made preparations for this situation already. How much of my plans do you already know?” (Iris)
Dean’s understanding of my plans had slight differences here and there, but was overall very similar.
He was aware of what I had done with the church and its demolition. He heard most of it from my side and various rumours that were floating around, and made his preparations based on the information he pieced together.
“I understand the steps you will be taking, but will you go out and meet that person with such a face?” (Dean)
“Such a face?” (Iris)
“You may not be aware of it yourself, Milady, but you look terrible right now.”(Dean)
No, you look terrible, I wanted to retort, but even I can’t refute his words.
“Everyone here has noticed, but, even though they are worried, no one has said anything to Milady out of consideration, which is why I wish to speak my mind here. I have heard many things about Milady, and, through my experience working directly with Milady, I became curious… Milady, whose engagement with the second prince was annulled, who now works hard for her people, and continues to work hard for her people in the midst of this storm… she has not cried once, nor has she shown signs of weakness, even in her voice. She continues to move forward with all of her burdens bottled up inside. Why is it that you try to be so strong?” (Dean)
“… You are wrong. I have not once tried to be strong.” (Iris)
Not crying… Being strong. Is that “Iris’s” will… or the me now? Fate is strange.
“Separating yourself from your feelings, are we?” (Dean)
No. Please, stop. I don’t want to rely on anyone like that again. Please, stop cornering me. I bit my lip.
“My tears will resolve nothing.” (Iris)
The words that came out of my own mouth were the words I least wanted to hear.
“… ‘Tears will resolve nothing.’ Hmmm. Although, I do agree with that statement, caging yourself in like that is much worse than crying. It is through tears that you will be able to break out of your cage and truly move on. You must face your feelings head on, even if they are dangerous, because it will give your heart closure.” (Dean)
I cannot hold it in anymore… As soon as I thought that, all the emotions and feelings that I suppressed burst forth.
“Then, what do you suggest?! Cry in the corner and scream for help hoping for someone to come and help me?! Are you trying to tell me that crying and complaining will solve this situation!? You know as well I as do that nothing will happen…!” (Iris)
I want to stop, but my brakes are not working.
“I don’t have the luxury to just drop everything and cry! Even with my engagement — It was painful and frustrating just how powerless I was!” (Iris)
Even though my love has since cooled down after the annulment, I can’t say that I don’t still think about it. I am worried about where I should go from here and frustrated at my previous hateful self. But crying will not give me confidence and have a sunshine over my head. So I gave up crying. I decided to instead use my head to negotiate with father.
Even after I arrived at the fief, I was still unsure of everything. In my past life, I was just a regular accountant that you could find at any tax agency. This is my first time I have to learn and deal with political strife and situations. I was always worried about whether my choices would actually improve my peoples’ lives and if I would be allowed to implement policies. All these questions nagged at me.
“Even now, excommunicated from the church… me, a sinner… What the heck? What did I possibly do to deserve that kind of declaration?!”(Iris)
Drip. Drip. I can feel my tears falling.
“It’s hard. It’s so hard. Why? Why is this happening to me?! I just want to run away, scream, and shout, but…”(Iris)
I try to hide my tears with my hands, but they drip from my palms.
“And all this because of my useless self… My chest hurts when I think my people and their suffering. They have all tried so hard and done so much to build our fief… Because of me, all of them are suffering. I am so useless and pathetic… This is so painful.”(Iris)
Like mud, my words become messy and ugly, my emotions confusing the words that spill from my mouth. The words that came after had both my emotions and Impulse in them.
“If I cry and beg for help, will someone come to rescue me? No. I would just become a deadweight that should be abandoned. Even if I did reach out for help, as a member of the Armelia house, just being called a sinner affects everyone associated with me. Unless I can get them to retract that declaration, nothing will change. Until then, I would just be a liability.” (Iris)
Yes, even if I relinquished all of my authority and status to someone, as long as I am still a sinner who is excommunicated from the church, it will still affect the conglomerate and my family. That is how bad being excommunicated is. Even if I can’t erase having been called a sinner, at the very least, I need to get rid of that declaration.
“I’m trying to stay strong… Dean, you’re wrong. I am not holding back tears because they’re useless… I can’t cry, because… what if I get abandoned again?” (Iris)
I was afraid of becoming a burden. Even though I know it’s stupid to think that way, I still don’t want to lose everyone. I harbor that fear in my heart, because, maybe… just maybe it might happen.
“I am not trying to be strong… I’m just trying to look strong. But I couldn’t even manage that. I’m just a pathetic human being – that’s what I am.” (Iris)
After expressing my feelings, my tears overflowed. This may have been the first time since I became Iris that I tried to express my disgusting and confused emotions.
“… Your display of strength is truly beautiful… but, please, do not lose sight of who you are in that façade. This is the wish of everyone who works with you. You not allowing yourself to be vulnerable or to take a moment for yourself… Given your position and past, this is something that can’t be helped, but if you press on like this, you will worry the people who share your journey and you may lose your way. Please do not forget this.” (Dean)
Dean’s expression as he expresses his true thoughts looks very serious. This even feels like one of the lectures my father used to give me. But I now understand the meaning behind those words, Father, and very painfully so. Thank you, Dean.
After a long time… well, after having cried so much, I would have fallen asleep where I was had Dean not caught me and told me to rest while indicating that he would handle the rest of today’s work. If it weren’t for him, I would still be working. This was the first time I slept so soundly; I fell asleep the instant I laid my head against my pillow.
The next morning, when I looked into the mirror, I saw that my eyes were still red. However, my complexion and heart felt refreshed. Now, it is time for the “opening ceremony”.