Paperwhite’s genuine confession touched Hyacinth. They had started dating ever since then. As time went by, their love for each other grew deeper and deeper. To Paperwhite, being with him was all she needed; and she had never expected that Hyacinth would propose to her. This day, she was the happiest floral-elf in the world.

        At first, Mysorensis disapproved this marriage, for the politics of royal family was too much for the innocent Paperwhite. She compromised when Paperwhite displayed her rare determination for Hyacinth. Paperwhite’s big day arrived very soon. With the blessings of all the floral-elves, the dressed-up bride walked towards Hyacinth reaching out his hand. His handsomeness was escalated with the gorgeous wedding suit he put on.

        “I’m so happy, but this feeling also makes me fear that everything I have now would be vanished next moment. Yet even so, I’d do anything just to make this happiness lasts one second longer.”

        With this mental preparation, Paperwhite took Hyacinth’s hand and fell into his embrace, commencing her life as his wife.

        While Hyacinth spent most of his time on politics, the introvert Paperwhite always weaved to kill time. This day, quick footsteps sounded outside when she was weaving at home.

        “It’s Hyacinth!” Paperwhite could tell the identity of the visitor just by footsteps. Then she put everything aside to welcome her husband.

        “Welcome back...What’s that?” The curious Paperwhite stared at the basket Hyacinth was holding. He put it on a desk inside a room.

        “I ordered the elves to make you new clothes. From now on they’ll replace your old closet. What you’re wearing is too plain. Those are not for the royal,” Hyacinth said while matching her with a bright red spring dress. Then he nodded with satisfaction.

        “Looks great on you. You’ll be wearing them from now on. The elves will get rid of your old clothes for you.”

        “Huh? But those are from my mother…”

        “Don’t you like the clothes I picked for you?”

        “These clothes are too colourful...I don’t like them, but I’ll wear them if this can make him happy,” Paperwhite thought as she shook her head, deciding to go against her will.

        “No. I like it as long as it’s from you,” Paperwhite said in a smile, holding the red dress tight.

        “Great then,” said Hyacinth. Glimpsing at the clothes made by Paperwhite, Hyacinth frowned and continued, “you don’t need to the chores anymore. Leave them to the maids.”

        “I have nothing to do at home anyway,” said Paperwhite.

        “I’ve arranged archery lessons for you. The instructor will be here at noon tomorrow. It’ll keep you from boredom.”

        “But I’m out of shape…”

        “That’s why you need training. The tiara of future queen is not for some weakling!”

        Paperwhite gradually changed herself under the demand of the pushy Hyacinth. She started wearing clothes she didn’t fancy of, feeding on the water she didn’t like and doing the things she didn’t enjoy.

        Even so, this was still better than the time when she could only be a secret admirer, as long as she could be with Hyacinth. Yet insecurity was still lingering in her mind. Sometimes Hyacinth’s gaze was looking at her, but not looking for her, as if he was looking for something through her…

        This was another archery day for Paperwhite, except that the class ended earlier as she almost fainted for heatstroke. Staggering along the hallway, a strong dizziness suddenly hit her hard. In the nick of time, she accidentally entered a room when she was trying to balance herself——the place where Hyacinth warned not to go in.

        When the dizziness stopped, Paperwhite finally had the clear image of the room. A painting was hung in the center, displaying a mind-blowingly beautiful lady elf. And the most surprising fact was the clothing in the painting, which was the exact same dress as Hyacinth’s.

        “So I was never the elf he loved...All he sees me is just a replacement…”

        “Ha. Ha. Ha…” Paperwhite laughed, but her laughter sounded way more painful than crying.

        “Is that why he married me, just because I’m the daughter of Mysorensis?”

        Paperwhite knew her value better than anyone else. Still she had never expected that this was the intention of Hyacinth…

        “I can live with it even if his love is fake, as long as I have him with me.” Closing the door, Paperwhite pretended everything had never happened. The foolish elf believed her sincerity would eventually move Hyacinth, but soon her fantasy was shattered by the cruel fact.

        At an unsettling night, the furious Hyacinth stormed into the lounge. The unexpected bang jumped Paperwhite. Meanwhile, he swept everything to the floor and yelled hysterically.

        “WHY! Why wouldn’t father choose me even when Cornflower refused to host the Century Feast! Am I that useless to him! Am I that unworthy to the throne!”

        He didn’t stop the madness until the lounge was messy like a robbery. At this moment, Paperwhite came over to hug Hyacinth.

        “You’ll always be my best even if you’re not the king. So don’t be too harsh on yourself——”

        “I MUST BECOME THE KING! Only the throne can prove that I’m the best!” Hyacinth pushed Paperwhite away with his eyes looking at afar, as if he desired a world unreachable for her.

        “Is it not enough for you to be my best? Isn’t my love enough to fill your emptiness?” Paperwhite confessed the truthful feelings finally, and she continued, “will I ever be her?”

        “Her...Did you enter that room? Haven’t I told you not to!”

        “I...I’m sorry…” Paperwhite held herself tight weeping. That vulnerable look drove Hyacinth even crazier.

        “You’ll never be her!”

        Hyacinth left the teary Paperwhite alone in the disastrous lounge. Staring at the cracked mirror, all she saw was a miserable elf in tears——wearing the unmatching dress and an ironic smile.

        “So I ain’t even good enough to be a substitute...If I can’t be your love, then I’ll be your regret!”

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.