Hope’s Love and Despair (2)
“Long time no see you, Hope.” I smiled at the brown-haired woman seated beside Daisy. “You are as beautiful as always.”
Hope’s eyes brightened when she saw me, but in the next second, her eyes dimmed and she lowered her head.
A few seconds later, she looked at me with an indifferent expression and bowed. “Your highness.”
She then looked at Daisy and smiled. “Thank you for accompanying me to talk. I’ll need to leave now.”
Then, without waiting for Daisy to reply, she bolted towards the door and ran away.
I looked amusedly at the scene, but instead of stopping Hope, I let her go. I then looked at Daisy and smiled wryly. “Sorry, Daisy. It looks like I have to deal with this first.”
Daisy smiled sweetly and shook her head. “Don’t worry, your highness, I understand. Go after sister Hope, and please, treat her well. Sister Hope is a very pitiful person.”
I stroked Daisy’s short hair and kissed her forehead. “Don’t worry, I know what to do.”
After that, I followed after Hope.
In truth, I just needed to take one step to catch up with her, but I wanted to let her vent her sadness out first. I could feel that Hope’s mental state was not the best at this moment.
For a brief instant, I could not help but feel a bit depressed. After helping Claire and coaxing Lena, Hope is the third woman I had to hear out today. I wonder why I find this more tiring that killing a demon god.
Actually, killing demon gods is much more entertaining. At least it allows me to blow off a little bit of steam.
After Hope left my room, she ran through the palace’s corridors while letting out tears. She finally stopped when she reached a secluded place and started to cry quietly.
She did her best to wipe her tears with her hands, but new tears would form in the next second. Her beautiful brown eyes turned red and puffy due to the incessant tears.
“Be strong, Hope.” She whispered to herself between sobs. “This is for the best.”
“What is for the best?” I approached Hope from behind and spoke with a sigh.
“P-Prince!?” Hope was surprised, but in the next second, she looked away and tried to hide her tears. “W-What are you doing here?”
I sighed sadly and walked towards her. My hand reached towards Hope’s cheek and wiped her tears gently. “As I thought, you are more beautiful when you are smiling.”
A startled expression appeared on Hope’s face. She bit her lips hard and forced back the tears that wanted to escape her eyes.
“Why are you like this, Hope?” I asked while looking right into her eyes. Hope’s shivered feeling my gaze, but then, she looked away.
Biting her lips until a drop of blood fell formed on them, Hope reunited all the courage inside her and forced herself to talk.
“… Your highness, I’m sorry, but this must stop. I can be considered as his majesty’s woman, and I’m her majesty’s confidant. I, I can’t betray her like this.”
After saying those words, Hope turned pale. However, I could see the determination inside her eyes.
I fell silent for a few seconds and looked straight into her eyes fixedly. Hope was a bit nervous, but this time, she did not move her gaze away. This was her way to show her determination.
Heaving another sigh, I grabbed her hand.
“Come with me.” I said. Hope hesitated for a moment, but after a brief moment of struggle, she decided to follow me. After all, for her, tonight was the last night we would spend together.
We walked through the palace corridors and came to the garden. During the walk, I remained silent, only observing the scenery while holding the hand of the beautiful woman.
“Y-Your highness, stop. It will be bad for both of us if someone sees us.” Hope finally said when she saw I did not have the intention of stopping. I put on a smile and caressed her cheek. “Relax, I used a technique to isolate this place. Nobody else will come here.”
Hope was confused, but she did not speak again. Anyway, tonight was the last time we would be together, so she decided to be a little willful.
After we walked for almost ten minutes, I opened my lips.
“Hope, I’ll never force you to do something against your will.”
Hope did not answer. She lowered her head and looked at the ground quietly.
To be honest, at the start I planned to make use of Hope for my revenge without caring for her feelings. I wanted for the empress to be betrayed for the person she trusted the most. I wanted for her to look helplessly while her old friend stabbed her from behind.
It’s the same for Elene. Although I did not mind being nice to her, her feelings were not as important as my goals.
However, something that happened not long ago made me reconsider my actions.
For the first time in a long time, I saw hope.
Hope to end these endless cycles, to end the countless meaningless lives.
Maybe, this will be my last reincarnation.
So, I don’t want to leave behind any regret.
And I don’t want to see the people close to me regretting something.
Of course, I’ll not stop trying to make Hope to betray the empress, but I’ll use a gentler approach this time. I want for Hope herself to make the choice without being manipulated for me.
Lifting Hope’s beautiful face, I slowly approached her lips.
Then, I kissed her gently.
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