Author: alyalia Editor: popcorn

‘Why am I hiding?’

 

Cersinia didn’t even know why she was hiding. It just felt like she shouldn’t get caught by those two. In the meantime, the two entered the parlour room. The man who followed them nodded at Aronia’s gesture and turned back the way he had come.

 

‘Only the two of them?’

 

Cersinia’s eyebrows twitched, watching the whole situation with only her eyes sticking out from behind the pillar.

 

‘What kind of business do they have that requires them to go into the parlour room alone?’

 

For some reason, Cersinia was annoyed. She hurriedly turned around and walked away from the parlour.

 

‘Urgh, I want to know.’

 

But she came back since she couldn’t get her mind out of the situation. She couldn’t even get to the front of the parlour room, to eavesdrop or have a better look, so she leaned against a pillar that was a little further away. She still felt disgusted by what the butler had said when she met Aronia the other day.

 

“And she could be Your Excellency’s fiancée in the future.”

 

That wasn’t the only thing that bothered her. When she met Aronia for the first time, Aronia deliberately ignored her and snorted at her. But now Aronia was smiling broadly in front of Ben while wearing a gentle expression on her face as if she could never ignore someone. Cersinia was infuriated by her actions.

 

‘Ben might not know that that lady is two-faced.’

 

Cersinia’s face, who had grumbled with dissatisfaction, immediately hardened. She was being carried away by her anger and was acting childish. It made her feel ashamed of herself, and her face heated up.

 

“What am I doing…”

 

No matter who Ben was talking to or whom he was with, was by the end of the day none of her business. Whether it was with Aronia or another woman, it had nothing to do with her.

 

Cersinia leaned her head against the pillar helplessly. She knew she didn’t deserve to be concerned about him, but she couldn’t seem to stop her anger from rising.

 

‘Why am I so annoyed?’

 

‘Why am I shamelessly doing this after rejecting him?’

 

“Haa.”

 

She let out a deep sigh. It was probably just a passing feeling, but it didn’t come off easily. Cersinia, who had been standing in place for a long time, eventually couldn’t stand it and walked toward the front of the door of the parlour room.

 

No sound could be heard from the other side of the door. She put her ear close to the door. The door was so thick that only a small murmur was leaking out to the point where it was hard to tell whose voice it was.

 

‘What are they talking about? Are they really talking about their engagement?’

 

Anxiety struck over her. Even though she knew she shouldn’t do it, her hands were already reaching for the doorknob. The reason couldn’t suppress her instinct. She knew it was a disgraceful act, but she couldn’t stop it. If she gets caught, it would be shameful, but she hadn’t seen anything for now. She had to see it with her own eyes.

 

The doorknob in the parlour room turned very quietly. Cersinia swallowed hard and opened the door very carefully to fit one of her eyes through the gap, trying to find the two.

 

She finally saw Ben and Aronia sitting on the sofa in the middle of the parlour room. Aronia was bursting with laughter at what she thought was funny and was chattering nonstop. On the other hand, Ben kept his lips tightly shut and remained expressionless. His gaze was directed to the other place, perhaps not even listening to Aronia.

 

Cersinia was somehow relieved by his indifferent attitude. Her heart was relieved because he didn’t seem to gently smile nor lovingly gaze at Aronia. Cersinia’s expression, which was dyed with anxiousness, became more relaxed.

 

“Who is she?”

 

At that time, Cersinia fell off the door in surprise at the sudden voice. Her heart was pounding out of her mouth as if she was caught stealing something.

 

“It’s my first time seeing her.”

 

May, who appeared without knowing, murmured as she lifted her face from the door gap. Cersinia was so surprised that she almost screamed. She barely managed to hold it in, but it was really dangerous.

 

“You surprised me.”

 

Cersinia frowned upon seeing May, who still remained calm.

 

“Why are you spying on them?”

 

“…When did I spy on them?”

 

“You were surprised as if you were caught watching them secretly.”

 

May every word pierced her conscience since she was right.

 

“Hmm.”

 

May crossed her arms with a strange smile. Cersinia hated that strange smile. It was a smile that showed that she knew everything. She really really hated it.

 

“By the way, who is she?”

 

“I don’t know. Someone Ben knows.”

 

“She seems to like the Grand Duke a lot.”

 

“…How can you know that?”

 

“I can tell by just the way she looked at the Grand Duke and smiling shyly.”

 

In fact, after their first meeting, Aronia got wary of Cersinia living in the mansion, and she was now constantly putting on her pretty smile in front of Ben. Even a tactless person would notice at once who Aronia likes.

 

“I think she is the most beautiful person I have ever seen in the capital.”

 

At May’s words, Cersinia had no choice but to admit it. Aronia was an attractive woman no matter who looked at her. Her appearance was enough to make you look back if you passed by her on the street. In particular, her feelings that were openly visible on her face made her even prettier. Because a woman in love was more beautiful than any other jewel.  

 

“Let’s go now.”

 

Cersinia turned around, completely defeated. She could never beat a person who was honest with their feelings.

 

“Huh? The Grand Duke is smiling.”

 

May murmured as she peeped over the door. Cersinia, who turned around at the sound, quickly pepped too.

 

May’s words were true. She couldn’t hear what they were talking about, but Ben smiled softly. His smile made Aronia happy, she was now smiling shyly and blushing.

 

‘How can he smile? Even if it’s not with her, he’s someone who doesn’t smile in front of others…’

 

Cersinia’s grip on the doorknob tightened, and her heart dropped. She was so annoyed to the point that her head was steaming. She quickly pulled her face away from the scene because it was hard for her to watch. She took a step which made a crackling sound.

 

“Huh? Cersinia, the doorknob…”

 

May looked at the door and Cersinia alternately with a puzzled face and soon followed her. A small piece of wood fell in front of the door of the parlour room where the two passed by. There was a fist-sized hole in the place where the doorknob was supposed to be. The doorknob was in Cersinia’s hands, who was walking with a cold expression, apparently in anger.

 

* * *

 

At that time, the parlour room. Ben rose up from his seat without minding Aronia, who was talking.

 

“Grand Duke?”

 

Aronia questioned his sudden action, but he ignored her and strode off towards the door. It was as if he had heard someone say Cersinia’s name. When he reached the door to grab the doorknob and turn it, it fell helplessly. There was no one in the hallway. But there were few pieces of wood on the floor.

 

“Grand Duke? Is someone outside?”

 

He stared at the doorknob in his hand. He didn’t know why it fell or where the doorknob on the other side went, but somehow the empty hallways had a faint scent of Cersinia. He closed and opened his trembling eyelids at the scent he had been longing for.

 

“That can’t be true.”

 

He smiled helplessly in disappointment. Now, he was even pained from it. He grabbed the doorknob he was holding with more strength. A lot of veins appeared on the back of his hand. Cersinia couldn’t have come to see him since she said she didn’t want him.

 

‘She told me not to wait.’

 

His expression was distorted to the fullest as representing his troubled heart. He looked at the hallway one more time just in case. However, there was no one, not even a servant. He roughly closed the door where the doorknob fell and headed back to his seat.

 

“Oh my, did the doorknob fall off?”

 

When he put the doorknob down on the table, Aronia explained in surprise. Ben sat on the sofa and didn’t answer. As the silence came again, Aronia opened her mouth, noticing the atmosphere.

 

“By the way, it’s really surprising that the Grand Duke is wearing a bracelet.”

 

Aronia brought up the bracelet again. Since entering the parlour room, she was excited and talked about this and that alone, and Ben stayed indifferent the whole time. He didn’t make eye contact but only gave one faint smile and one-word answers.

 

Then she found a bracelet on his wrist. Contrary to his cool and charismatic appearance, the crimson bracelet was too cute for him. When she brought up that topic, Ben smiled gently, and it was the first time he showed his smile to her. She liked it so much that she brought up the subject again.

 

“It’s already late.”

 

“Oh, it already is…”

 

But it was only her mirage, and he no longer smiled. Aronia got up from her seat. Because Ben’s words clearly meant that she needed to leave now.

 

“I won’t send you off.”

 

Ben never even gave Aronia a glance. His gaze was fixed outside the window until Aronia said goodbye and left the parlour room. The glow of the setting sun now lit up the sky. His wrist was wearing a crimson bracelet that looked like the sunset that had not set yet. 

 

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Comments (1)

  1. Irritating want to drop this, her emo schizo shoujo bs is giving me the shts, dragging sht out because of some BS plotpoint the author wants to delve into, it’s not compelling/interesting or even relevant, it’s just boring crap. Since the burning at the stake this story has been steadily going downhill.

    She turns into an emo, yet manages to fend off a gang to save may, then she spends 3 years letting a leech live off of her while telling her to get lost. Yet never does
    She allows herself to become a marshmallow for some stupid reason and suddenly her missing friend/sibling shows up out of the blue? Bleh

    First she decides to go into the dangerzone on purpose after discovering his name, gets shocked encountering main characters, as though they shouldn’t be there?

    Stays in denial over feelings she knew he had from before his disappearance, plays around looking for answers by overhearing gossip in a cafe???… Then decides to go to a info guild? Gets jealous gets mad and dgaf about the wounds he sustained? It’s not that fking hard to guess…