Marriage Proposal

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“Anyway, there’s something I wanted to talk to you about.
It’s because the circumstances have changed in various ways.”

“What is it?”

“Your family has a little to do with it, but first of all, I’d like to talk about my feelings….”

Ramilio was reluctant to cut to the chase.

“If I can be of any help, please let me know.”

Lucrezia loved to be relied upon by others.
He was surprised at how lively the voice sounded.

“No, I mean….”

But Ramilio was reluctant.

“….
By the way, what’s your mother doing now?”

“She passed away.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.
What about your stepmother?”[1]

“She’s the second wife.
She gave birth to my sister, then left for another man.”

Ramilio’s tension visibly lowered.
He must be at a loss for words.

“What about your parents, Ramilio-sama?”

“They died, along with all of my relatives, in an epidemic.”

“Oh my… that was during the epidemic ten years ago, wasn’t it?”

“That’s right.
I was kept in a monastery deep in the mountains, so I survived.”

Lucrezia felt a strange sense of intimacy when she saw the forlorn-looking Ramilio.

“We’re very much alike, aren’t we?”

“I suppose we are.”

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Ramilio looked straight at Lucrezia.

Her golden eyes seemed softer in the sunlight, giving her an even warmer yellow tinge.

“You’ve never felt like a stranger to me.
Ever since I knew of your existence only by letter, I’ve felt sympathy for you.”

“Ramilio-sama….”

Lucrezia couldn’t take her eyes off him.
She unconsciously pressed her hand down on her heartbeat, which suddenly grew stronger.

“I understand well the fluster you felt when you were asked to marry me.
I’ve been in a monastery for a long time, too.
So, I want you to be happier than anyone else.
I promise to do whatever it takes to make you happy.
That’s why…”

Ramilio hesitated.

“….I’m, uh….”

He seemed to want to say something, but it was unclear.

“….
So, in short, I’m―”

Ramilio was completely silent after saying this.

His gaze lingered on a procession of ants that hang on to the pastry crumbs at his feet, all the way across the table.

Lucrezia had waited long enough.

‘I wonder if it’s so hard to talk about? Ramilio-sama is acting strange today.’

Ramilio’s face had been red all day.
It’s gone beyond peach-colored and turned crimson.

She felt awkward and wanted to ease his tension, so she opened her mouth.

“I knew before I came that the rumors about Ramilio-sama were exaggerated, so I wasn’t at all displeased.”

Lucrezia smiled at Ramilio, who seemed to be taken aback.

“From the moment I saw the article in the newspaper that said ‘eyes like insects,’ I thought that perhaps I could cure him.”

“T-that’s it…? I’m sure there were many other terrible things written about me.
You must’ve felt at least a little disgusted.”

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Lucrezia gushed faintly.

“Ramilio-sama is a kind person, isn’t he? He is always concerned about me, a total stranger, and always goes out of his way to be kind to me.
But, that won’t do.”

Lucrezia wanted to make it clear that this was a bad habit of Ramilio’s, so she said it as firmly as possible.

“I’ve told you many times that I’m fine, it’s not good for you to believe what you think you know.
Even if you’re concerned about me.
I didn’t come here to marry a man I didn’t want to marry, and I don’t have any regrets.”

Lucrezia reminded him.

“You’re a kind person, so you tend to overthink things, don’t you? But, I’m fine.
Please trust me and consult me about anything.”

‘I hope this will make you feel a little more relaxed.’

As Lucrezia gazed expectantly, Ramilio leaned languidly over the table.

The movement was enough to make her hope that he was ready to confide something important to her.

“I understand.
Since I made you say that much, I have to take responsibility.”

Ramilio got up from his seat.

He quickly knelt at Lucrezia’s feet, who wondered what was going on.

He took the hand of Lucrezia, who was startled, and squeezed it tightly.

“Please marry me right now without saying anything.
We should have our reception tomorrow and be fully married.”

Lucrezia instantly remembered all the things they needed to do to become husband and wife.

Her face instantly became red.

“….?!”

As expected, Lucrezia froze for a while, unable to say anything.

The serious look in Ramilio’s eyes told her that this wasn’t a joke.

“P-please wait, didn’t we just get engaged the other day?”

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“That’s not enough.
I really….
want to marry you right now.
There are many reasons….
but anyway, I want to.
That’s the main reason.”

Lucrezia panicked.

“D-dress… reception dishes… a-and also a reservation for the cathedral.”

“I’ll be sure to hold a grand parade for the whole country at a later date.
For now, let me hold a ceremony just for my people.”

Lucrezia, who had been educated to be a marshal’s wife, could clearly see that this was a bad idea.

But for some reason, despite her rationality, her heart couldn’t stop pounding.
Perhaps Lucrezia was delighted.
As she could see it herself, her reason to refuse wobbled.

‘What’s wrong with Ramilio-sama today?’

It’s as if he’s a different person.

Immediately afterward, she recalled that he was greatly stirred up, and his impatience deepened.

‘I did indeed tell you that you could consult me about anything, but…!’

“W-why, that?”

“You want to know why.
Right now I can only ask you to trust me.
But I promise you this.
I will never make you unhappy.”

Ramilio had been holding Lucrezia’s hand the whole time.
It was as if he wouldn’t let her go.

The place that he touched was hot, and she was sweating behind the silk gloves.

He stared up at her with his golden eyes.

‘What a wonderful man he is,’ she thought out of place.

“O-oh…”

Lucrezia’s head was boiling and she could no longer think properly.

“I’m very happy about your feelings, but, you know, there are still arrangements to be made for the ceremony after all…”

“Are you happy?”

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“W-well, yes, of course, but…”

“Then, it’s settled.”

“Eh…?!”

Ramilio’s uncharacteristically overflowing confidence and self-centered words and actions―

Lucrezia’s heart palpitated for some reason, and she was at a loss for what to do.

In her panic, she could think of only one thing.

‘Ah, that’s right.
This is what a lady would do in such a situation.’

Lucrezia pretended to faint and fell into Ramilio’s arms in order to escape the scene.

“H-hey! What’s wrong, Lucrezia?!”

Lucrezia desperately continued to pretend to faint while hearing Ramilio’s voice as he hurriedly tried to call a doctor.

She was held sideways like a princess and almost screamed, but held back.

‘Ramilio-sama, you have a lot of strength… even though I’m not that light.’

She was filled with apologies for her ridiculous act.
But, she couldn’t even ask him to put her down.

Thus, Lucrezia was returned to her own bed by Ramilio.

She stayed still until he left, but as soon as there were no people in the room, she jumped out of bed.

‘I’ve decided what I’m going to write in my diary.
I’ve to write it as soon as possible..’

A sudden courtship would surely be of great interest to future descendants.

Translator Notes:

1. Sorry everyone! There was a mistranslation in the previous chapter, it was supposed to be ‘stepmother’ rather than ‘mother-in-law’ ↵

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