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A band of bandits invaded the ball.
Moreover, they were numerous.
The imperial knights immediately appeared to protect the king and his wife.
They rushed toward Gilbert's, His Majesty Dion's, and also Maria's sides.
"Duchess, you too, make haste and evacuate—!"
The imperial knight beside me prompted before he too engaged the bandits.
Screams and angry roars resounded throughout the place.
Swords were brandished.
The ones shedding blood weren't only the imperial knights and the bandits. The nobles whom were merrily dancing, suffered injuries to the blade as they scrambled toward the exit.
…I wonder, where is Gilbert-sama?
…Aah, that's right, after all, he will never stay apart from Maria-sama.
Right now, he must supporting Maria-sama, who went pale next to His Majesty, the King.
I'm unsure why, but my flank is burning.
I can no longer walk straight.
It's too painful to even stand.
Save me, please save me, …Gilbert-sama!please save me, …
As my hand reached out towards Gilbert, our gazes finally met.
Almost immediately, as if losing interest, he looked away.
And I stared at Maria-sama, who was nearby.
…Aah, that part about 'being happy' is a flat-out lie.being happy'
I want to become Maria-sama.
To like everything that Maria-sama likes.
To be called by the name 'Maria'.
To live as Maria-sama.
My flank burns, yet my whole body feels cold. I'm getting even colder…, it's unbearable.
However, nobody reached their hand toward Anne Marie.
That was the first time I felt something wet on my cheek ever since I got married. It rolled down as my vision gradually welcomed the impending darkness.
I was greeted with the sight of a person with a terrifying yet relieved expression the moment I awoke.
"Thank God… Who would've thought that would happen, …I'm truly glad you opened your eyes."
That person with a very beautiful face seized my hand, and held it tightly to the point that it hurt a little.
To be worried about me until that extent…
This might be unscrupulous, but I was a little happy because of that.
I could feel his love.
"There's still a slight fever. Summon the doctor at once."
To the maid waiting at my side, he instructed something. …I wonder why the doctor needs to be called.
The maid too, was tearful as emotion overcomed her.
He kept muttering something.
"… In that commotion, I truly apologize for leaving your side. If there's anything you need—anything you want, I'll arrange it at once."
'Do you want anything? Anne Marie.'—and so on.
I tilted my head.
"More importantly… my husband, aren't you being cruel? Have you forgotten my name?"
"…Now, now, I understand that you miss Anne Marie who's already passed…"
She was a childhood friend of mine.
The girl who was always alone.
The girl who was always staring at me when I stood beside my husband.
"Even as a a joke, don't you think it was in bad taste? Am I not Maria?"
Call my name, quickly.
He shooked my hand away in fear, and at the same time, there was a knock on the door. The doctor summoned by the maid had arrived.
"Madam, may I ask for your name?"
"It's Maria. Everyone keeps mistaking my name. How come they?"
"If you say that… Now, I too am unsure. This is a very perturbing situation."
"Ever since I had become his wife, I remember it very well—everytime my husband called for me, he always said Maria."
Gilbert, who had not uttered a single word after releasing my hand, turned even paler.
Why is your face turning so stiff when you loved me so much?
"My husband is very amazing, you know? He presented Maria with her favorite gifts—lots of them!"
I recalled that wonderful period of when we were engaged. I can't hold back my smile.
In contrast to my bliss, everyone else for some reason looked sour.
T/N : We almost reached the end! …of Marie’s pov, that is.
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