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Rupert’s Big Day?!
I wasn’t sure why, but it seemed that this year was a good year for marriage?
Or at least to the people I personally knew, this year seemed to be a prosperous year to get married, I guess.
After Domi’s marriage that happened quite some time ago, I was attending another marriage of someone that I had never expected before.
Without any rhyme nor wind, suddenly I was invited to Rupert’s wedding ceremony!!
I had never heard of Rupert dating or betrothed to anyone, so this came as a surprise to me.
When I looked at the names…
It was none other than Rupert and Cynthia!!!
I knew that Rupert and Cynthia had a close friendship, likewise with Gale. But there was no trace of budding romance, or they just didn’t show it when I was there?
Regardless, I was obviously interested in attending and so, here I was.
Since the two of them didn’t come from nobility, their wedding wasn’t as grand as Domi’s.
Rupert and Cynthia’s wedding ceremony was held at the beautiful chapel located in Harmonia Academy. As for their reception, it’d be a garden wedding, held at the secluded garden that was located near the chapel.
Apparently, it wasn’t the first time a wedding was held there, and now I came to understand why this garden and this chapel was located at somewhere a little bit secluded from the main buildings of Harmonia Academy that was normally crowded.
Moreover, their wedding was held during the weekend, so it didn’t clash with the teaching and learning activity at all.
It was also a small and intimate wedding, where not many people attended.
Most were the bride and the groom’s relatives and friends.
During the wedding ceremony, the groom and the bride made their first appearances.
Rupert was typically the cool and calm type, but this time, his face was obviously brimming with happiness, and his face was tender.
The bride, Cynthia, was escorted by her father as they walked all the way to the altar.
As Cynthia looked at Rupert, her face that was usually energetic actually blushed.
The ceremony went smoothly and without any hitch. The atmosphere was also solemn.
When the part of the ceremony where parents gave their blessings and the bride and the groom paid respect to the parents arrived, I was very surprised to see who was standing at where Rupert’s parents were supposed to be.
I was expecting a pair of elderly couple with Rupert’s beautiful features—brown skin, pretty ashen grey hair. But instead of them, I saw a familiar figure instead.
It was a petite girl with a beautiful long wavy blonde hair that reached past her waist. Her eyes were closed all the while. She was—Sarrifissia genährt von Harmonie, Harmonia Academy’s chancellor!
But why would she be Rupert’s…?
I wanted to ask questions, but maybe now wasn’t the right time to ask.
So, I could only witness the ceremony solemnly.
It was still afternoon when the ceremony ended.
The reception in the garden would be starting soon, so I also went outside with the others when I saw another familiar figure, standing all alone, his back leaning against the tree.
This light brown haired man was standing at a slightly distant place from the crowd that was gathering at the entrance of the chapel as the bride would be throwing the wedding bouquet. His matte brown eyes were looking at the crowd and at the couple that was the star of this party.
He was clearly the energetic Gale who looked and acted younger than his actual age, but at this moment, he seemed like a different person.
Curious, I walked up to him.
“Oh, isn’t it Lyra?” Gale noticed me right away and shifted his position slightly to the side, as if giving me a place to lean to the tree, together with him. I didn’t turn down his courtesy and leaned on the tree, watching the crowd from a far with him as I opened my mouth.
“Gale, why are you all alone here?”
“Well, I wonder why,” Gale didn’t give me a definite answer. He just forced himself to give a half-hearted laugh and when his half-smiling eyes opened again, I noticed a hint of loneliness in them.
I reflexively followed his line of sight and landed at Cynthia’s laughing figure as she threw the wedding bouquet.
Noticing something, I quickly turned around to look at Gale, who still had a little bit of bitter expression in his face as I asked, “Gale, could you be… towards Cynthia…?”
Gale looked at me with surprise in his eyes, but he quickly put his index finger in front of his mouth, signalling me to keep quiet, before he then smiled bittersweetly again.
“I’m sorry…,” I said, as I felt that I was insensitive for saying things like that.
“Nah, it’s alright,” Gale replied.
After we were being silent for a bit of time, Gale suddenly opened his mouth to break this silence.
“Actually, I’m really, really happy that Rupert is with Cynthia.”
“Eh?” I turned my head in wonder.
I was really sure that Gale had some kind of feelings towards Cynthia, but why would he be happy that Cynthia was with Rupert, instead of looking at him?
“The two of them suits each other. Rupert needs her more than I need her,” Gale continued, “Both of them are my precious friends, and nothing makes me happier than seeing the two of them happy like this. They are just perfect for each other, I feel like they complete one another.”
“But, what about you, Gale?” I asked.
“Hmmm… I don’t have that many close friends, let alone female friends. I accidentally caught feeling for her, as she is close to me. But I know that we are just not fated. Don’t worry, I’m sure I can move on quickly. From the beginning, I never had any chance and I have always been supportive towards the two of them,” Gale explained.
“About Rupert needing her more than you, that is—”
“Let’s say that Cynthia is like the sun. Rupert is like the moon, don’t you think? Then, what about me?” Gale unexpectedly asked me a question.
“Uhm, sun,” I quickly answered.
“Exactly. The moon needs the sun, meanwhile the sun doesn’t need another moon. Just like that.”
I couldn’t say anything anymore after that, so I remained silent. But when I looked at Gale, though there was a hint of sadness and loneliness, I could clearly see his sincere happiness when he looked at the two friends who were so precious to him.
…In both lifetimes, I didn’t have any experience with romance at all. Therefore, I still couldn’t really comprehend Gale’s sentiment.
When the reception officially started, there were some speeches delivered. Gale gave his speech as the close friend of both parties, and surprisingly, Rupert also gave a speech there.
And the question I had earlier was finally answered in his speech.
“I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone who’s gathered here and who’s given their blessings to my marriage. And…,” Rupert shifted his line of sight at Sarrifissia, who smiled.
“Especially towards Sarrifissia genährt von Harmonie, for I wouldn’t be able to get to know all of you here, let alone to stand here, if it weren’t for her help during my early years,” He paused for a while.
“Everyone who’s invited here are the people I trust and some of you might have known this, but… I was born in the Gamma cult, to a devout parents. Due to the ruckus that destroyed that very cult, I lost my family and became one of the surviving children. During that dark time, Sarrifissia-sama extended her hand to help me break free from the twisted upbringing and she took me under her wings. Just like her, I grew up in this Harmonia Academy, and that was why I picked this venue as my wedding place. Therefore, I’d like to express my deepest gratitude towards Sarri-sama… towards the person who I considered as my own mother.”
At Rupert’s mention of ‘mother’, Sarri-sama seemed stunned and her red eyes that were usually closed to the extent that her eyes formed a line, were slightly opened before they closed again.
Her stunned expression then changed to that of happiness.
I had never heard about Rupert’s past before, so I was also stunned upon learning that.
The Gamma cult… I had always thought that they were just myth or part of history that I would never encounter, but Sarri-sama and Rupert were former members of the cult.
When I was attacked during Harmonia Academy’s festival, it was suspected to be the evil doing of the Gamma cult that should have been exterminated.
So, do they still exist even now, hiding in the dark, waiting for the right moment to strike?
If it is true, why did they target me back then?
Though my mind pondered over it at the mention of the Gamma cult, today was still a happy occasion. The time to eat was finally there, and my serious and heavy thought was quickly replaced with food as I was quite hungry.
The people who attended this wedding were Cynthia and Rupert’s friends, so obviously, there were lots of people working for the royal palace, though I wasn’t clear who were actually their friends among the royal spies.
But since so many people of the same job or mission gathered, though they had spoken a few pleasantries and things about the wedding or Rupert and Cynthia, they also talked about their job.
That included Dad, who talked with people who looked like his colleagues.
As I wasn’t too far from him, I clearly overheard their concerns.
“The political situation is really worrisome this time around, don’t you think?”
“What? Isn’t it just like the usual? I don’t see anything odd from this time’s conflict.”
“No, no. It’s just that… Don’t you think that the Naraka Empire is moving towards the direction of… the breach of the peace contract?”
“Ridiculous! Don’t say something of ill omen like that!”
“But all the evidence are pointing to that direction! Don’t you think they’re getting more hostile these days?”
“This… Ah, let’s just pray that it won’t head towards the direction. We’re all working hard to quell them and to work out the peace between the countries as usual, right? If Naraka Empire and Cielle Kingdom were to clash in a war, our Riviera country would inevitably be involved. Who made our country to be positioned between them? Sigh…”
My hands that were busy entering food into my mouth stopped when I heard their words.
The elven kingdom, Cielle, and the Oni empire, Naraka, were often in clashes with each other, but usually, the conflicts would be able to be resolved quickly. It couldn’t be helped since the two weren’t friendly with one another and were so prejudiced against the other one.
Like what the last person speaking said, I really wished that it won’t escalate into something bad…
Though ordinary days might get boring, I sure don’t wish to have my days become exciting and thrilling due to something that can be recorded in the history book!