Author: Niks





‘Because I have a present to give you!’


Yeah, to be honest, I’ve only been thinking about it since the dance was over.


Like, ‘When would I be able to give my gift to Rudrick?’


Until we danced, I was full of thoughts of wanting to run away immediately, let alone give his gift, but now that it became a little more comfortable, I could only think of this gift.


While Dahlia was wondering whether or not Rudrick would come to the dinner party, she had just brought it, just in case.


‘Who knew an opportunity like this would come?’


I kept pressing down on my excitement.


Since Duke Bouser came, the atmosphere has been chaotic and there has been no chance to show it, but in fact, I deliberately didn’t talk about gifts with Rudrick since.


As it was his first birthday with me, I wanted to make impressive memories. If so, I think a surprise gift would be perfect.


‘When should I give it?’


I measured the timing by talking with Rudrick about what happened in the hall a while ago.


If possible, it would be better if the story was ripe, a moment that Rudrick didn’t even think of.


But when? While I was groaning inside, unexpectedly, Rudrick spoke up first.


“Are you okay?”


“Uh, huh?”


I couldn’t hear properly because I was lost in my thoughts, so I turned to look at Rudrick in surprise.


Rudrick suspiciously narrowed his eyes.


“What’s wrong?”


“Huh? Oh, no! Nothing’s wrong. But what do you mean ‘wrong’?”


“I mean the dance from earlier.” ᴿᵘᵈʳᶦᶜᵏ


Phew, I almost got caught getting numb at my feet. After I quickly managed my expression, I pondered on Rudrick’s words for a moment.


Then I scratched my head and thought about whether to say it or not, and finally spit it out.


“Uh… It was okay, but…”


“Huh?” ᴿᵘᵈʳᶦᶜᵏ


After hesitating for a while, I smiled awkwardly.


“I actually thought I’d fail.”


I could feel Rudrick’s strange gaze.


Hmm. It’s kind of weird to say this, but I didn’t know we’d dance together until the morning. Did you think the same too?”


“Oh… Well, that…”


“No, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t practiced dancing for a while. I practiced alone and sometimes got lessons.”


While I was talking, I suddenly felt feverish and started to speak like wheezing, and Rudrick, whose eyes were wide open, nodded involuntarily.


“Oh… Anyway, when I stood in the hall, my mind went blank. My vision turned really dark then.”




“If it weren’t for you, I might have really run away.”


“Run away? Dahlia?”


As if it were unexpected, I pouted and shouted.


“I may look like this, but I’m a bit shy sometimes.”


Rudrick’s skeptical gaze deepened, but I turned my head as if I didn’t know.


Of course, strangely, I didn’t hide anything in front of Rudrick, but it’s true.


“What were you talking about anyway? Oh, I asked if you were okay.”




“Honestly, I didn’t even have the heart to think about it and say I’m okay. Thinking about it now, I don’t know…” Dahlia said awkwardly, scratching her cheek.


“After that, it seemed a little more fun. It’s just… I’m glad I could dance with you.”


For a moment, Rudrick’s eyes widened. I fanned myself, feeling that somehow my face felt hot.


I just said what I felt, but I think I’m feeling embarrassed for no reason. Eventually, unable to hold back, I quickly spoke.


“Yeah, it was a bit disappointing! I practiced so hard, but I forgot everything in reality, and I stepped on your feet a lot. Come to think of it, are your feet okay?”


“Feet? Oh, yeah. Not really…”


“Phew, that’s a relief. I was worried that it might get bruised. But next time, I’ll practice properly and show you my true skills…”


“Next time?”


In response to Rudrick’s dazed question, I asked back as if it was rather strange.


“Won’t there be a lot of opportunities to dance in the future?”


“In the future…?”


“Yes. I could be invited to a social party later, and have my debutante, and there’s an upcoming imperial event every year.”




As if he had never thought of it, Rudrick vaguely blurted out the end of his words. Seeing that, I smiled lightly.


“Would you dance with me then?”


Rudrick stared at me in confusion. He, with his mouth slightly open like trying to say something, eventually couldn’t say anything.


Instead, he smiled faintly and uttered only a word.




We looked into the distance for a moment. The dinner party was in full swing.


People’s laughter and stories leaked in with the sound of music behind, and there was a calming silence flowing through the patio where darkness fell.


Standing on the terrace railing, basking in the cool breeze, I noticed a fact I had forgotten.


‘That’s right, the gift!’


Oh my! I totally forgot that and chatted with Rudrick.


Now was not the time to relax and enjoy peace with Rudrick. If I let it go like this, I won’t be able to hand it over until the end of his birthday.


‘That’s not enough.’


I glanced sideways at Rudrick.


Rudrick, who followed me blankly looking up at the night sky, having a careless expression that I wanted to see so much.


Perhaps there’s no better time to give a gift than this.


Yes, it’s nowI decided to open my mouth and…






We spoke out at the same time.


Rudrick and I looked at each other with our eyes wide open.


How could the timing of saying this overlap? I opened my mouth, secretly admiring it without hesitation.


“I’ll tell you first.”


“Huh? That, yes…”


In my mind, I also wanted to say ‘You tell me first’, which was common in scenes like this, but now my situation was more urgent.


If I fall into the moment while listening to Rudrick again, and might not be able to give him a gift.


‘Let’s listen to his story a lot later.’


After making that decision, I started talking about what I had prepared since yesterday.


“I also wanted to congratulate you properly.” ᴰᵃʰˡᶦᵃ




“You know what? Decoration with ribbons, attaching balloons, setting off firecrackers, and preparing a cake in the center for a surprise party.”




“But somehow, things turned out like this, so I couldn’t prepare for that. It’s a shame, but it’s your birthday party, so we could do it again anytime.”


Spitting out my words quickly, I took a breath for a moment. Then I immediately looked around and pulled out something.


“But I have prepared one properly.”


It was a small box worth holding in one hand.


Rudrick’s gaze naturally headed to the box in my hand. I stared at the box and held it out to Rudrick.


Rudrick quietly took the box. His hand trembled softly as he unwrapped the little ribbon from the box.


Soon after, the lid of the box opened, and Rudrick’s eyes grew bigger.




It contained a pocket watch.


The date was engraved on the outer surface of the pocket watch. It was the day when Rudrick and I first met, the day I made him cry.


The gift I chose after much consideration was eventually an item to commemorate our first meeting.


Rudrick seemed to have enough clothes and accessories, and I don’t know if he would like it when he received it. But I thought it would have enough meaning.


And I was right. Rudrick’s hand, holding the watch, was trembling endlessly.


“It’s my gift. Happy birthday, Rudrick!”


Rudrick didn’t answer.


In a long silence, I waited for Rudrick’s answer.


Rudrick kept his head down.


I couldn’t see his face, so I couldn’t tell what kind of expression he had, but seeing him biting his lips, he seemed to be holding back something.


Rudrick’s trembling voice came late.


“Da- Dahlia…” ᴿᵘᵈʳᶦᶜᵏ




“You know…” ᴿᵘᵈʳᶦᶜᵏ




My heart was pounding.


What would Rudrick say? ‘Thank you for wishing me a happy birthday?‘, ‘It’s your first time doing this?‘. Did you really not think about it? Are you touched that I prepared a present?


Whatever it was, whatever I hear, I would be happy.


So tell me quickly. I waited for Rudrick’s words with twinkling eyes. And I saw it.


Raising his head, he was crying.


“I’ll… leave.”






Before I knew it, the wind was getting colder.


It was spring when I met Rudrick, and the day was entering the beginning of winter.


I stood by the window blankly, and soon closed the window and turned around.


It’s because looking up at the cloudy sky reminds me of that day with Rudrick.


-‘I’ll… leave.’


Rudrick hugged the present I gave him and burst into tears silently.


Looking at him, who stood and cried for a long time, I couldn’t help but be speechless.


And I didn’t realize it until late.


Why Rudrick has avoided me so far and why he has been stuttering every time he sees me.





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Comments (1)

  1. Awwww poor boy. You’ll see her again when you’re all grown up! 😉