You Can Keep the Male Lead Chapter 2

YCKTML Chapter 2

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My lips didn’t actually touch his, so I’m innocent. It would be better for Rupert to end this painful wedding soon, too.

I glimpsed at Rupert, and while he looked displaced, he didn’t seem to blame me much.

He kept stealing glances at me, and it was not until the words of the Faith continued again that he looked ahead.

“I now pronounce you husband and wife. The bride and groom will now march on to the future together. Bless you, all.”

The orchestra’s powerful march rang out, and I sneaked a look at Rupert as a sign to go. He looked flustered and soon looked away.

So, with arms crossed, he walked forward.

The carpet I stepped on with my bare feet wasn’t as soft as I first thought.

Meanwhile, fireworks exploded and lit up the sky. Seeing and feeling everything, I desperately wished all of this was just a dream.

Erin Spilet’s life in the novel wasn’t easy, and I honestly didn’t have the confidence to endure it.

About halfway through the march, I turned and looked toward the heroine, immediately making eye contact with her.

But her expression was strange.

To my regret, I also knew very well how it felt to attend a loved one’s wedding and watch it.

Because I’ve been through it.

But were surprise and astonishment among the many emotions I felt at the time?

The brunette’s expression was beyond astonishment. She looked downright frightened. She looked at me with her orange eyes wide open, covering her mouth with her hand. What the hell was that?

I’d rather she be angry, sad, or pretend to be okay… those were reasonable reactions. But the look on her face…

Nevertheless, I walked forward, holding the hero’s arm, leaving the heroine’s astonished expression behind.

As soon as I walked to the end, there was suddenly a commotion around me.

Light poured through the wide-open door, and someone walked in through it. The strange contrast between the dark hair of the person who walked in and the blinding light caught my eye.

Who…was it?

As soon as they saw the man, the women curtsied deeply, and the men knelt on one side.

“His Highness, Enoch Dwell Rikephoros[1].”

Beside me, Rupert knelt and lowered his head deeply, one arm raised. I followed suit and curtsied the way the women did.

In the meantime, I thought hard and tried to remember as much information about him as possible.

Enoch Dwell Rikephoros.

If it was Enoch… Ah, he’s the crown prince, the second male lead.

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The hero, Rupert, was passionate about love but somewhat impulsive and emotional, and thus, sometimes showed flaws. Of course, that’s why he might have been suitable as the male lead in a romance novel.

On the other hand, the second male lead, the prince, was perfect from start to finish.

There was a cold yet gentle side to him, yet he never opened up to anyone. Nevertheless, his love for the heroine was deep and genuine.

But he didn’t bother her, and he would help her get out of trouble or take care of what she needed at a distance that wasn’t burdensome.

His most significant role was to make the hero jealous and make him obsess over the heroine.

In the end, he knew that the heroine’s heart could never belong to him, and so he quietly backed off.

Others supported and loved Rupert, but I preferred Prince Enoch.

It wasn’t that I hated Rupert in the novel; it’s just that I got annoyed every time he was self-indulgent.

Now that I’ve seen it here in person, I was right.

Tall, fit, and handsome, the Crown Prince was not at all intimidated by Rupert.

To compare the two, Rupert was a little more masculine while Prince Enoch had a more elegant air to him.

“Your Highness, why have you come to such a shabby place?”

“How can I not attend your wedding? Get up; I didn’t mean to have you kneel like this,” the prince grabbed Rupert’s shoulder and helped him stand up.

“It’s an infinite honor for you to come, Your Highness.”

“His Majesty sends his best wishes. Anyway, congratulations. When did this happen? You didn’t even introduce her to me.”

The Prince and Rupert have been friends since childhood. Rupert was the child of Duke Clifford, the head of the royal faction, and the Duchess and Empress had a deep friendship.

The two men grew up together, so it was inevitable for them to become close.

It was only natural for Enoch to be sad to hear that Rupert suddenly married someone without saying a word.

“What are you doing? Please introduce me.”

The Crown Prince would not have known Erin at all. I’m sure they’ve crossed paths. However, he most likely asked for an introduction because they’ve never had a personal conversation before.

“Ah, yes. This is Count Erin Spilet[2]. She inherited the title after the death of the previous Count.”

“I’m Erin Spilet, no, from today I’m Erin Clifford, Your Highness.”

Enoch looked at me with emerald eyes, pondering for a moment, then slowly spoke. He seemed to choose his words carefully.

He seemed to know why I insisted on being the Duke’s wife.

“…Duchess of Clifford. I’m sorry to hear about the former Count Spilet.”

“Thank you, Your Highness.”

He was consistently polite to me, too. He was definitely a man who was completely different from anyone else.

Come to think of it… yes, the relationship between the two men became estranged today.

Today was the day the heroine caught the prince’s eyes. Where was she? Oh, there she was.

The heroine was already quite close and looking at us nervously.

The heroine’s name was Chloe Verezian, and she was the daughter of a baron.

As soon as I remembered that, the prince’s gaze reached the heroine.

At this point in the novel, Chloe would fall then the prince would run to her.

“Now…”

Finally, the prince took a step. But he moved in a completely different direction than expected.

“Why are you holding your shoes?” He took the shoes that were still in my hand and looked over them.

“Ah, it’s because the heel of the shoe is broken…”

“Are you barefoot now?”

Honestly, I didn’t expect him to care about this. No one here cared that the bride was walking barefoot and had the shoes in her hand.

The thought was depressing yet frightening. What kind of life had Erin Spilet lived to be treated like this?

The prince looked at his shoes and frowned. “Someone deliberately cut the heel of the shoe.”

His voice resonated quietly in the hall. Of course, everyone was holding their breath and paying attention to us.

And at that moment.

Thump.

“Oh, my god!’

As expected, Chloe fainted.

While the nobles around me were in an uproar, I saw the back of a man quickly running away from me.

…Rupert Clifford, the bridegroom who had just finished getting married.

“Chloe, Chloe. Wake up…!”

Everyone would have known that Chloe over that was Rupert’s real love and that Erin Spilet was only his wife by name.

However, speculations and rumors were one thing, and seeing it outright was another.

It didn’t matter that this wasn’t my life and I didn’t love Rupert; I was speechless.

Enoch’s face hardened, seemingly surprised by his friend’s actions, and slowly turned his gaze to me.

“…Madam, no, Count Spilet.”

When the prince called, I had to answer, but somehow I couldn’t speak well. So I didn’t even notice that he had addressed me differently.

The prince brought the shoes the servant brought in front of me and said, “It’s not suitable for a beautiful lady, but I think you’d better wear it first. You have to go outside now.”

“…Thank you for your concern, Your Highness.” I held back the cry that tried to come out.

This wasn’t something to cry about. Robert didn’t hurt me. Whatever this was, it’s Erin’s life, not mine.

I only sympathized with Erin’s life as the sole audience occupying her body.

“Would you like to stay here or go outside,” the prince politely asked, probably intending to escort me if I wished.

He was trying to figure out what the ceremony meant to me and how I felt.

Surely, standing her now only made Erin Spilet more miserable.

I replied to him as calmly and as lowly as I could. As if nothing hurt. “Now that the ceremony is over, I don’t think I’m needed anymore.”

“Wise judgement.”

Enoch gracefully reached out. I looked at Rupert by chance and saw that he was focused on nothing but Chloe. He called out to her, cradling her preciously in his arms.


[1] Most likely a homage to Nikephoros, a Byzantine Emperor
[2] Women don’t usually inherit noble titles, so I merely referred to Erin as Lady Erin. She was addressed as Count Erin, but I thought it was a mistranslation.