Lady To Queen - Chapter 123
Chapter 123 – I Wish To Be By Your Side Forever
“It’ll only be for a moment, Nil,” Rothesay gently reassured, and since Petronilla trusted him, she did as he asked. After Rothesay took a deep breath, he started his final preparations. He arranged the candles hidden behind them into a heart before picking up a bouquet of a hundred roses. In a way, it was a rather classic, old-fashioned way of proposing, but Rothesay couldn’t think of any other way to portray his feelings of sincerity. With an anxious expression, he looked at Petronilla.
He was finally properly conveying his feelings to her. Because he loved her so much, he wanted to always be with her. He wanted to always protect her and love her. Rothesay continued to stare at her with nervous eyes. Meanwhile, Patrizia was starting to grow impatient.
“Ro, can I open my eyes now?”
“Ah, wait! Wait!”
I still haven’t prepared my heart yet!
After he willed the redness of his cheeks to calm down, Rothesay called out to Petronilla, his voice slightly shaky.
“Nil, you can open your eyes now.”
At those words, Petronilla slowly opened her eyes, and a look of surprise instantly washed over her face. Rothesay’s face flushed pink as he averted his gaze.
“This is awkward.”
“I wanted to do it romantically during the day, but I didn’t think I’d be able to properly do it under the sun. If I look into your eyes, whisper my love straightforwardly, I think my heart would explode.”
That’s why I needed to do this at nighttime. Rothesay was too weak-hearted to propose to her while looking at her straight in the eye. That was completely different from saying that he loved her. In any case, she looked to be quite moved.
“Oh, Ro…” Patrizia said, her voice thick with emotion.
At the very least, things were still going smoothly. With another deep breath, Rothesay spoke her name.
It’s been a while since he called her by her full name, since she was always his loveable ‘Nil’ to him. Petronilla nodded as she took one step forward, and Rothesay, still unable to calm his nerves, willed himself to calmly convey his feelings to her. He told her his honest thoughts.
“My family is not as great as yours, and I’m not a very capable nor affectionate man.”
It was something that he worried about often. His father was a Count, and her father was a Marquis. Since Petronilla was so kind, she never took any concern from that matter, but the ones who worried about things like that in general were the lower-class people. She was a wonderfully charming and lovely woman. She was a higher class than him and could certainly find happiness with a more talented and kind man.
“Nevertheless, I will do my best to make you happy.I want to be with you forever as a man who shares all your pain, happiness and sadness, who comforts you when you face any difficulties, and who congratulates you when you are happy. I’d like to stay by your side forever as that type of man.”
Despite that, he selfishly wanted to pursue his own desires. Just the thought of her smiling, talking, and loving another man made his heart ache with sadness. He wanted to make her his. He wanted to announce to everyone in the world that she was his woman.
Was that considered a selfish desire? Even if it was, he didn’t care. Life before he met her was something he didn’t even want to think about, and life after he met her had only ever been an absolute perfect heaven.
Rothesay didn’t think he would be able to give Petronilla as comfortable and luxurious of a life that her younger sister, Patrizia, had. No matter how much he tried, he wouldn’t be able to provide the lifestyle of an Imperial family member for her.
But even so, he was confident that he could make Petronilla the happiest woman alive. He would dry her tears when she was sad and laugh with her when she was happy. He did not want to spend a single second away from her for the rest of their lives.
“So…will you marry me?”
Rothesay finally asked the question as he pulled out the ring and placed it on top of the bouquet of roses. His voice was no longer shaking, but his heart was beating just as fast and as hard. What if she rejects me? What if she tells me that she wants to be with another man? He looked at her with the most pitiful eyes.
The answer came swiftly. Happiness instantly washed over him. A smile that he wouldn’t have been able to hide bloomed across Rothesay’s face as Petronilla quickly walked over to him and accepted the bouquet of roses. She took the ring from the top of the bouquet and slipped it onto her left ring finger with a joyful expression, before hugging him with her free arm. Petronilla’s voice was laced with sheer happiness as it rang through Rothesay’s ears.
“There will never be something as important and blessed in my life as meeting someone like you.”
Oh, God. This was truly the happiest moment of Rothesay’s life. His eyes stung with unshed tears.
“Thank you for saying that to a man like me, Nil,” he said in a rough voice.
“You don’t have to be so humble and modest. Because you’re the greatest man in this Empire, no, in this world. I love you, Ro. Thank you so much for proposing.”
Petronilla confessed these words with tears streaming down her face. Rothesay returned her love with a face mixed with smiles and tears.
“Thank you for accepting, and I love you more, Nil,” Rothesay confessed ardently as he looked at her with a gentle expression. He never wanted to lose something like this. Seeing the love in his eyes, Petornilla, of course, was beyond happy, and she giggled before leaning in first and kissing Rothesay.
And of course, Rothesay didn’t avoid it. He readily accepted and returned the kiss.
The sound of bells and the flapping of pigeons rang through his ears. In this moment, he believed that no one else in the world was any happier than him.
The news of Rothesay’s successful proposal spread across the entire kingdom through the grapevine, along with the fact that they would spend their married lives at the Grochester estate.
One sunny day, Petronilla and Rothesay were spending time together at the Bradington estate’s terrace, when Petronilla turned to Rothesay with a question. “When we get married, your parents will lose their only son. Are you really fine with that?”
However, Rothesay replied effortlessly. “They are the ones who told me to live outside when they heard the proposal was a success. Their honeymoon phase is still going strong, to the point that if they were just a few years younger, I might have gotten a little sibling.”
“Goodness.” Petronilla giggled. The Bradingtons’ marital life has long since been notorious throughout the kingdom. “But still… is it really alright?” she asked again.
“I’m fine with it. Are you not, Nil?”
“It doesn’t matter to me either way. Soon, your parents will become mine as well.”
“I’m the same way. That’s why…”
Rothesay leaned down towards Petronilla, planting a chaste kiss on her forehead with a smile. Petronilla closed her eyes with a small hum as Rothesay slowly pulled away.
He was happy.
“Enough with that. Why don’t we just think about our wedding tomorrow.”
After Petronilla accepted Rothesay’s proposal, they decided to get married three months later. Though the people around them said that it was much too early, it didn’t matter to Rothesay and Petronilla. They wanted to get married as soon as possible and start living and loving under the same roof.
“Ro, Nil. I’m sorry for interrupting you.”
It was then that a tender voice called out to them. It was Countess Bradington, the woman who would become Petronilla’s mother-in-law starting from tomorrow. With a benevolent smile, she walked towards the couple.
“Wilter’s come to visit, Ro.”
Wilter, that guy. He’s seriously got awful timing… Scrunching his face up, Rothesay looked at Petronilla. It was clear that he didn’t want to leave.
Petronilla gave him a smile. “Hurry and go, Ro.”
“Are you leaving, Nil?”
“No. I’m not going anywhere,” Petronilla said, still beaming. “I will always be by your side.”
“You have awful timing.”
Those words came tumbling out of Rothesay as soon as he stepped into the living room, and Wilter bristled.
“Cheeky bastard, you’re really going to treat your best man like that?!”
“But still, you should have some sense! I was having a wonderful time up until now,” Rothesay complained.
“Traitor. So once you’re married, you’re never going to meet up with me again?”
“Are you jealous? Gross.”
“Whatever. I quit. I might as well find my own significant other.”
“Please do. And stop bothering me,” Rothesay said teasingly before getting down to business.
“So. Why are you here?”
“Ah, I have something to give you.”
Having said that, Wilter took something out and handed it to Rothesay, and Rothesay accepted it with a suspicious expression.
“What’s this?” he asked.
“See for yourself.”
It was a red cravat.
“What’s this all of sudden?” he asked. “Why a cravat?”
Wilter shrugged. “I thought I should at least give you something for your wedding. I thought over it before choosing the easiest gift.” He gave Rothesay a pat on the shoulder. “I don’t think I’ll be able to say this to you tomorrow since you’ll be busy. Live the best life you can.”
“What’s with you, you’re so embarrassing…” Rothesay muttered. But despite Wilter’s words, Rothesay was touched. They had known each other since they were children. It certainly felt strange that Rothesay was getting married first before his friend.
“In any case, you better head back. I need to go back to Nil,” Rothesay said.
“You dimwit! You’re not even married, yet you’re already like this?!”
Even as he grumbled, Wilter flashed a grin before walking out of the room. The door closed with a thud, and Rothesay looked down at the red cravat in his hands. So I’m really getting married, he thought.
“Yes?” Rothesay said reflexively.
“It’s me, Ro.”
“Nil.” A large smile spread on his face. “Come in.”
Petronilla cracked the door open and peeked inside to look at Rothesay before giving a fresh smile and walking towards Rothesay.
“What did the two of you talk about?”
“He gave me a cravat.”
He shook the cravat in his hand that Wilter gifted with a smile. Petronilla stared at it before getting closer to Rothesay. He watched her with a strange expression until Petronilla called out his name in a small voice.
“I have something I want to say to you. I know it’ll be better if I said it tomorrow, but I really want to say it today.” With a smile, she confessed, “Thank you so much for proposing to me.”
“Because of you, I think I can truly become happy. I am already happy right now. You probably wouldn’t truly understand how I feel.”
With those words, Petronilla leaned in to kiss him first again. Rothesay didn’t dodge it and pulled Petronilla into his embrace. As he passionately returned the kiss, he thought,
‘Thank you so much for accepting my proposal.’
It was a sweet kiss shared the day before their wedding.