Author: alyalia

The nausea stopped. The sensation of queasiness remained, but it was no longer necessary to forcibly suppress the urge to vomit. With a trembling voice, he spoke again. “…I love you.”


A pair of blue eyes widened in shock. Reiad slumped to the ground as if melting in place.


“Luize. I love you.”


Perhaps the effect of the potion had worn off. Despite talking nonsense, he no longer felt nauseous.


Haha. What is this…”  He rubbed his face while bowing his head.


When did it start? When he first brought her home? Or on a date? It was impossible for mere physical attraction to develop into something more.


“Are you not okay?”


“No, I’m not okay.”


Tears quickly filled the purple eyes that had been gazing at him in awe.


“I’m not okay at all…”


…Maybe it was then. The beginning of everything. The opening act of a ridiculous play, a chance occurrence in a trivial village near Perils.


The hand covering his face trembled finely. His shoulders shook with a burst of laughter, heavy like the sobbing figure before him.


* * *

The next day, the annex of Grand Duchy Lindeman was completely empty. Luize had left before dawn, taking only money, a bag, and a sword.


Edward picked up the purple dress that had been neatly placed on the bed. If he had known it would end like this, he would have told her how beautiful she looked in that dress when she first wore it. It was foolish of him to have remained silent.


Knock, knock. Edward turned his head at the sound of knocking on the already open door. Maxion stood there with a stern face.


“Luize stopped by before she left. She asked if I was an accomplice.”


“And what did you answer?”


“I said yes.”


“…I’m sorry for that.” Edward laid the dress, now without its owner, back on the bed with a subdued expression. “As you said, Luize didn’t fit in with our affairs.”




“I’ll order the annex to be cleaned.”


“Leave it.”




“Just leave it as it is. Everyone’s busy with the expedition preparations anyway. We’ll clean it up when we return.”




Edward and Maxion stared at the purple dress on the bed as if they had made a promise.


* * *

The news of Luize leaving the imperial banquet alone spread quickly. Rumors circulated that Edward and Luize had a falling out after the banquet, as people claimed to have seen her leaving the capital.


Once it was said that Luize had returned to her hometown, interest in them waned. The grand duke would soon be on an expedition, and he wouldn’t appear in social circles for a while. Even aside from the topics that have already ended, there were plenty of interesting things in the capital.


 “Lord Edward.”


Ah, we’re short on water bottles?”


“Yes. And as you ordered, I’ve compiled a list of old items that need to be replaced.”




Edward signed the documents, occasionally behaving as if something was missing since Luize’s departure. He would habitually head towards the annex in the morning or the secret training ground after lunch, stopping himself each time.


After running into Maxion while checking the unused training ground, Maxion looked at him curiously. “Why are you here?”


“Just taking a walk.”


“On this path? There’s nothing here, right?”


“Walking the garden alone gets boring.”




With the expedition only two days away, the knights were checking their equipment and adjusting their condition.


“We have an extra tent. Ah, it was for the swordsman Benny, who’s not joining this expedition. We’ll leave it behind then.”


“…Keep it.” Edward, checking the final equipment, spoke with an inscrutable face.


“Do we really need this?”


“Having an extra might be useful.”


Ah, okay… Then, this sleeping bag?”


“Leave that too.”


After similar exchanges, Maxion approached Edward. “Previously, we bought replacements for used items in villages along the way. We have enough supplies to replace any defective items.”


“Right, we did that.”


“Lord Edward.”


When Maxion called him with a serious voice, Edward looked at him.


“Luize has left.”


“You sure know how to hit where it hurts.”


“The Luize I know is stubborn and wouldn’t change her decision once made. Given the critical conversation she overheard, she’s even less likely to return. Even if it was a truth mixed with lies, she probably won’t come back.”


“…Right. Luize was someone I had to let go anyway.” Edward continued, looking at the busy knights. “I’ll leave the rest of the checks to you.”




Receiving salutes from Maxion and the knights, Edward left the training ground and headed towards the main building. He muttered with an expressionless face, “Is it emptiness I’m feeling?”


Had he grown attached to her in just a few days? His gaze drifted towards the annex where Luize had stayed. It looked desolate even though only one person just disappeared.


“It had seemed quite splendid until a few days ago.”


He had been the one to harshly push her away, yet he kept thinking of her. It was indeed strange. Edward chuckled hollowly and moved on.


* * *

In the early morning, as dawn broke, flags with a falcon in flight fluttered on the streets of the capital. The grand duke’s knights, receiving the emperor’s send-off, passed through the central streets of the capital.


Though the citizens applauded and cheered at the sight of the knights in their gray and white uniforms, the knights themselves did not look cheerful. The citizens praised them as the Grand Duke Lindeman’s ‘Silver Falcon Knights’ for their solemnity, but the reality was far from solemn.


“Another expedition? The emperor must not want to see us alive. Barely healed from one wound before we’re sent to the front again.”


As soon as they crossed the wall surrounding the capital, the dark brown-haired knight took off his black mask and grumbled. The healer with his dark-brown eyes was named Robin. His ordinary appearance and smaller stature made him stand out among the knights, making him a perfect stand-in for Benny, hence his role as Luize’s double today.


Hahaha! Isn’t that what life is all about?” Hendrik, with silver hair and pale eyes, laughed heartily next to him. He has blue-silver hair and dark eyes, and like Maxion, he’s from the North and has a large stature and bronze-colored skin. He was a knight from a noble family, a rare occurrence within the order.


“…We’re going to get scolded.” A dark-haired knight named Aiven muttered to himself. His bangs nearly covered his eyes, giving him a slightly dark demeanor.


“Quiet. There are still people on the walls watching.”






“…As expected.”


Maxion’s remark silenced the knights as they followed Edward, riding a large black horse at the front. Normally, they would have made some remark, but Edward remained unusually quiet. They knew their lord to be highly responsible, especially since the plans for the expedition had been a bit rushed. They were sure he was worried about the knights’ well-being. Looking at their lord’s burdened shoulders, the knights felt a bitter sentiment.


Meanwhile, the person who was being watched by the knights was thinking about something else. The color of the sky resembles that person’s eyes. He remembered comparing the dawn sky to Luize’s mysterious purple eyes and silver hair. The thought of not being able to see those colors again left him feeling empty. He had thought he was accustomed to farewells, but  Luize’s absence still felt unreal days later.


“Are you alright?” Concerned by his silence, Maxion moved closer to Edward.


 “Nothing’s wrong. Does my condition look bad enough to bother you?”


“…I’m glad you’re okay.”


“You treat me like I’m made of glass, Maxion.”


Edward smirked and sped up. Crossing the plains and passing a small forest, they would reach a village by evening. He couldn’t live forever haunted by memories of someone who had left.


When the knight procession reached a high grass-covered hill, Edward’s expression hardened.


“…That silver…”


Was he seeing hallucinations now? The figure he saw couldn’t possibly be there. Perhaps he was losing his mind.


Maxion, catching up, stood beside Edward. “Why have you stopped?”


“Maxion, could you hit me on the back of my head?”


“…I value my life, thank you.”


“Look down there.”


Following Edward’s gaze, Maxion looked down the hill. His eyes widened. “Why is she there…”


“So, I wasn’t seeing things.” Edward signaled, and the knights halted. “I’ll go check. Wait here with the knights.”




Edward quickly rode down the hill. Dismounting as soon as he reached the bottom, he approached the white horse and the silver-haired woman beside it.


“It’s been a while, Edward.” Luize, with her silver hair tied up, spoke calmly. 


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