p>“I didn’t tell Natalia this.
I was told that I couldn’t live past twenty because of this congenital disease.”

“Eh…”

“That’s why…”

Beatrice wrapped her hands around Natalia’s hands.

She then chuckled at Leopold, who was standing next to her.

“That’s why I had given up on getting married.
My father also told me that there was no choice.
Since there was no point in having a daughter who would die in a few years after marriage… but Leopold-sama.
I don’t know if you would.”

“Eh?”

“Beatrice?”

They tilt their heads together.

Beatrice bitterly smiled at the idea of them being so close to each other.

“You take a wife who is meaningless to you.
For the sake of making one last memory of poor me, you ask my father to take me to be your wife.”

Natalia and Leopold’s faces paled quickly.

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“Trice, that…”

“I’m sure that my father will give the Marquise of Reinalpha financial support in return.
If he marries me, who is useless as a wife.
And I’ll be gone in a few years… and then, Natalia, you will marry Leopold-sama as his second wife.”

“After… as… wife…”

“Yes.”

Beatrice nodded emphatically.

“By then the Reinalpha household’s economic situation should have improved.
At least it should at least be getting to the point where things begin recovering.
And if you’re a second wife, fewer people will find fault, blaming you for the huge disparity in family gap, isn’t that right?”

“Ah…”

As soon as they understood what she was talking about, a light flashed in both of their eyes.

“Surely, then…”

“But Trice, wait.
No matter how desperate I am, I can’t let you do something like that for me.”

“It’s okay, Natalia.”

Beatrice, who thinks she has found her mission, smiled kindly at them.

“It’s a life that will dissipate in a few years anyway.
So, you know? Let me at least do something for my dear childhood friend… and friend.”

“Trice.”

“And you know what, Natalia? Don’t worry.
As you can see, because of my body, even if I were to get married, it would still leave me in a clean relationship with Leopold-sama.
That’s right, it’s a white marriage.”

“White… marriage… is that really what you want? I’m so sorry I let Trice get to that point…”

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It’s okay, Natalia.
But you know, I can’t tell you exactly how long I have left to live.
I will see my doctor later, but until then, can you wait for Leopoldo-sama? Your father needs to be persuaded, too.”

“…yeah! Of course!”

“I hope that’s alright with you, Leopold-sama.
You don’t have to love me.
I would be your wife, even if only on paper.”

“…I understand.
Beatrice, thank you.
I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.”

It should be Natalia and Leopold who rejoice.

And yet, as they talked, Beatrice was also shaking with joy.

She could be Leopold’s wife, even if it was only a formality.

I thought it was all over.

I thought this love would never come to fruition.

Even if it was a position as a wife that she would surrender in just a few years.

Even if Leopold’s love was not directed to herself until the end.

Even if it was a loveless marriage where she would never get an embrace or even a kiss from him.

Still, this desire of hers can be accomplished in a certain way.

And after her death, they can weave a happy future together.

She made the best offer she could for both of them.

Beatrice, at that time, did not doubt this belief.

She never thought that anyone’s malice existed there, not even a little.

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