Chapter 7:

Wedding Bells


“What the—!?”

An earthquake!?

But it is not an earthquake. It is something worse: a sea of girls, clamoring, noisy, all rushing through the hospital halls excitedly.

Confused and a little terrified, Romeo scrambles to back up against the door to Endo's room as they come straight at him. The girls come to a sudden stop and form a semicircle around him. However, their gazes aren’t fixed on Romeo himself. It is almost like they are being herded there for a separate reason.

From the sea of girls, a boy emerges: tall, blond, foreign-looking, and confident. He's handsome and extremely well-dressed. Behind him stands another girl, looking quite nervous. She’s wearing glasses and a French maid outfit, holding a smartphone as if she is ready to take a picture.

“Good day, sir." The boy speaks up first. "Would you mind terribly if I asked you a question?”

I’m the one with the questions, though!?

Before Romeo can answer, the boy continues, placing a hand over his own chest, nodding his head politely.

“Have you perhaps seen a beautiful maiden with long, dark hair entering one of these rooms? She usually wears a red ribbon as an ornament.”

Huh? Is this weirdo talking about… Yuri?

“...what’s it to you?”

Romeo replies more defensively than expected, but the boy seems unfazed, shrugging.

“As soon as I heard the news that her brother was hospitalized, I left an important family reunion overseas and took my private jet here immediately. My family matters can wait when it comes to the well-being of someone dear to me. Besides, I missed all these princesses, too.”

He winks at the girls behind him, who immediately shriek with delight. Romeo gags.

“Yuri’s busy right now. I suggest you come back later.”

Romeo’s menacing delinquent glare slides right off the boy, who instead widens his eyes in delight.

“Ah! So, she is in there! How wonderful! I was afraid I’d miss her! Now, if you’ll excuse me—”

But as he reaches for the door behind Romeo, he is blocked again. Hands in his pockets, Romeo refuses to let this guy out of his sight. The boy steps back again, tilting his head in confusion.

“Yes? Can I help you? I need to go in there…”

“How do you know her?”

“... Pardon?”

“How do you know Yuri?”

The atmosphere immediately turns tense, and the girls started whispering among themselves. The girl in the maid outfit quickly steps forward. She looks incredibly nervous, the smartphone in her hands trembling visibly.

“P-Please let him through! He came from so far away for this, you have no idea how much his family opposed—”

The blond boy moves his hand in front of her to stop her from talking. It works.

“I’m sorry. Where are my manners? I let my ardent emotions get the best of me, and for that, I apologize. My name is Franz. I’m Yuri’s—”

The door opens behind Romeo, and Yuri peeks out, gasping in surprise the moment she sees the other boy.

“Franz!? What are you doing here?”

Romeo’s heart skips a beat after hearing Yuri’s voice so close to his ear, stepping aside instinctively to let her enter the hallway. She closes the door behind her and brings a finger to her lips in a "shhh" motion.

“I’m sorry, but could you please not make too much noise? My brother is trying to rest…”

Franz brusquely pushes past Romeo, his politeness completely thrown out the window. He holds Yuri’s hands between his own— much like how Yuri had done to Romeo that time in the alley. Romeo feels something heavy in his stomach.

Yuri! How are you feeling? Are you in distress? Do you need a shoulder to cry on!?”

“I-I’m fine, it’s my brother who’s in pain…”

“Oh, nonsense! Emotional pain is just as horrible— nay, worse, than physical pain! Oh, sweet Yuri, how you must be suffering right now…”

The dramatic way Franz talks to Yuri seems to drive the horde of girls crazy, to which the girl in the maid dress responds by loudly shushing them.

Yuri gently tries to tug herself away from his grip, but Franz doesn’t allow it, keeping her in his grasp. Romeo sees this and his eyebrow twitches.

Who is this guy? Why is he so chummy with Yuri? And who the hell are all these girls?

“Thank you for worrying, but really, I’m okay. My brother has a concussion, but it’s nothing too serious. He’ll be fine in a few days.”

Yuri looks at Romeo and gasps quietly.

“Ah, Romeo! I was looking for you. I'm sorry for ignoring you before. I was just so focused on my brother…”

Romeo perks up, feeling bad for making Yuri worry about him, even though there is absolutely no reason to. It is understandable that she’d have other priorities.

“No, don’t worry about it.”

“Hm? Yuri, who is this gentleman?” asks Franz who still hasn't let go of her hands.

“Ah, right! Romeo goes to school with me. He’s a friend.”


A friend!? She called me her friend! Even though we’ve barely talked, she already thinks of me as a friend! Whoa!!

“... And this is Franz. He’s… also a friend.”

Huh. Well now, Romeo doesn’t feel too good about a label that lumps him together with this clown.

Franz scoffs, smiling. He lets go of Yuri’s hands only to wrap an arm around her waist instead, pulling her close to him.

“Come now, sweet Yuri. You don’t have to be shy about it. Tell him who I really am!”

Yuri blushes and tries to avoid his gaze as best as she can. She looks uncomfortable, like she wants to pull away but is too nice to do so— at least, that’s how it looks to Romeo, who has half a mind to pull out his bat right now.

“Franz…” she pleads quietly.

“Fufu. Look at you. You’re so shy you can’t even say the words, can you? Not to worry, I’ll say them for you!”

“Franz, don't—”

Yuri tries to stop him immediately, but he continues, giving Romeo a smug, defiant look.

“Yuri is my fiancée.”