Author: Eica Editor: Eica

Chapter 11

02. Marriage

 

A study filled with acrid smoke.

Liv left and Dane and Anton sat opposite each other with a table between them. Dane lit a cigar and spoke to Anton in an arrogant tone.

“You must have changed your mind in the meantime. You welcomed me so kindly.”

“Ahem…… There will be no reversal of the decision, right?”

“I have no intention of doing so, so you don’t have to worry.”

In spite of what he said, Dane seemed to be out of his mind. Anton glanced at him.

‘It seems like he got offended by the conversation I had with my daughter.’

His pride was hurt because he had heard that she would rather marry another man. In addition, he himself was so overcome with emotion that he said useless things. He would be in despair if he pretended this never happened when he already came here.

“I think it’s because my daughter is very confused by the sudden news of the marriage. Don’t worry too much because I’ll try to talk to you. That child will eventually accept the marriage.”

Dane let out a hazy smoke without saying a word.

The quiet and calm lake of Hale resembles her. Sometimes, when life was overwhelming and he wanted to be comforted, he went to the lake.

Everybody has such a day. Every day feels meaningless and you just want to die.

Watching from a distance as she sat alone on the grass and calmly read a book would bring an indescribable sense of ease to him. When she wasn’t in sight, he would look at the lake where her eyes would have touched countless times, soothing his empty heart.

The image of her rising up urgently from the sudden shower, bringing a basket of food and eating while looking at the lake, lying down and enjoying a nap, and walking around the lake and thinking deeply about something.

The driving force that caused him to rise again was there. At some point, the lake became his shelter. His own secret resting place that he doesn’t want to show anyone.

But today, an uninvited guest appeared at the shelter.

When Carl Rayleigh, who had come on horseback in a hurry, took Liv in his arms and said something with a mournful face, she hurriedly ran away. The man who was left alone could not leave and looked around, looking at the back of the woman who was moving away.

It was like a play. The main characters were the two of them and the villain was him.

Dane sucked his cigar deeply.

He already knew their relationship. In the first place, he didn’t think it would be easy. The old man, blinded by money and power, could be controlled, but it was a different story if it was her heart.

‘No, it’s not bad. Wasn’t it all reported?’

Nevertheless, there is a clear difference between what was told and what was seen with his own eyes.

Anton handed over the contract. Dane checked Anton’s signature and put it in his inner pocket.

He’s done with his business. Even though things turned out as planned, he felt very dirty. He knew the reason too well.

‘Did the woman who ran out go to that man?’

“May I ask you something?”

Dane, who was rubbing the cigar into the ashtray, moved his eyebrows to signify a question.

“It’s out of order to ask this when it’s already done, but why Ragnell?”

Anton knew he had many better options. Ragnell needed him, but he had no reason to be a Ragnell.

The cigar was crumpled in the ashtray without mercy. Even though the embers had already died and only ashes were spitting out, Dane did not stop. He seemed to be deep in thought, and he looked like he had heard a funny thing.

“Do I have to answer?”

“What?”

“You’d better not ask useless questions. You just have to take what I give you.”

Dane rose from his seat and touched his hat and said, “Well then.” Through the slowly closing door, Anton was seen sitting with a dumbfounded look.

It was when he was about to get out of the mansion and into the carriage.

“Are you really going to marry me?”

A voice as delicate as a single flower was heard.

Liv was standing by the gate with trembling eyes, looking at Dane. Her eyes are red from how much she cried.

Dane lowered his foot from the carriage and approached her.

“Do you not like it?”

“……Yes.”

“The marriage? Or me?”

Liv replied that she didn’t want to marry as if she were sacrificing solely for the sake of her family. But when asked if she didn’t like him, she didn’t say no.

‘It’s not that I don’t like him. It’s just uncomfortable. Because…… I become conscious of everything when I stand in front of him.’

Dane, who had been patiently waiting for Liv’s answer, asked again.

“Then, Carl Rayleigh.”

‘Carl Rayleigh?’

“Are you disappointed that you couldn’t marry Carl Rayleigh? You cried so much that the corners of your eyes turned so red.”

“…….”

“What was so good about him? If it’s something I can do, I’ll try.”

“…… I don’t know why his name comes up.”

“Because your marriage partner was Carl Rayleigh.”

The look on Liv’s face was one of complete surprise when she heard what he said.

‘Marriage partner?’

Liv had thought of Rayleigh as just a like-minded friend.

It is now that she understands her father, who has been kind to her for a long time. In addition, Rayleigh’s sudden proposal…….

“I had no idea. My father set me up with him…… I’m not in that kind of relationship with him.”

It was obvious. Her father must have been happy at the thought of finally being able to sell the troublesome product.

Liv’s head fell horribly down like a broken branch. It was miserable. Women of noble families have always been treated like this. She was fed up with dealings under the guise of marriage.

‘I didn’t want to show this to him. He is the only one……’

Compared to him, her life was unsightly. She doesn’t know what to do. Liv’s face contorted.

‘Why is it that only embarrassing things happen in front of this man? Why do I get smaller when I stand in front of this man? Why…… am I this small and insignificant?’

“As long as you didn’t know. That’s just a thing of the past. Now you have to see the reality.”

His voice softened.

Dane carefully lifted Liv’s disappointed face with both hands. He could see her messed up face as she burst into tears. It was cute to see her lightly sniffling.

“I am your marriage partner, not Carl Rayleigh. I can’t change it anymore.”

Dane brushed her tear-soaked cheeks with his thumb. As Liv’s eyes and nose turned red, she bit her lips, trembling, and new tears dripped down her cheeks.

‘Ah― I can’t stand it.’

Dane held Liv in his arms. Liv hugged him without any resistance. He could feel her slender frame and the trembling of her sniffling body was also conveyed.

Half of it was to really to soothe her, and half of it was because of his petty mind that had not forgotten what he had witnessed in the lake.

It didn’t matter anyway. Whatever the reason, he was happy to hold her in his arms.

“……I don’t want to get married.”

Liv, who was tucked into his broad chest, whispered softly. Dane lowered his face to Liv’s ear and spoke in a clandestine voice.

“Is it because I’m from the back alley?”

“It doesn’t matter who you are……. I just…… I never wanted to do it like this…….”

“Like this?”

“I didn’t want to be sold like this. I think the only reason I was born is for this…… I…… I don’t want to…….”

Overcome with emotion, Liv’s crying grew louder.

Dane admitted his mistake. He also did not intend to rush in this way.

She might get scared and run away, so he was thinking of approaching her very slowly and with all his heart and soul. But the arrival of Carl Rayleigh made him impatient, and everything was messed up.

“Shhh…… Stop crying, Liv. I didn’t take your feelings into consideration at all. I’m sorry.”

Liv leaned over to the warm hand that brushed her back.

Unlike him, who burns without being extinguished even by a strong wind, she, who is only a tiny candle, is easily extinguished by a small wind. It was an insignificant life. That’s why she was distressed.

‘I wish he would swallow me. If he swallowed me and erased me without a trace. Then I wouldn’t have to hate myself like this…….’

Liv let out a rough breath as if vomiting in his firm chest.

 

‘What have I done?’

Liv, who stopped crying, came to her senses and came out of his arms.

“I’m sorry. I’ve been out of my mind for a moment. Then I’ll go in now. And…… Please think about the marriage again. I really don’t want to.”

“I’ve given you my arms for a long time, but I can’t believe you’re throwing it away like this…… This is…… It is no different from the appearance of a male prostitute who was abandoned and left to take care of the bed.”

“Yes? What do you mean…… No, it’s not!”

“Don’t you think it suits me?”

“Stop saying that. You’re not that kind of person!”

“The rumors about my father are true. He was quite a famous man among the ladies. Did I say that I have good dexterity……”

She doesn’t know what kind of reaction he expects from her and what she should say to him. Does he want her to frown as if she has heard something dirty? Or does he want her to comfort him warmly?

“A father…… is not someone you can choose.”

That was all Liv could say. Just as she couldn’t choose her father, so did Dane. If only parents could be chosen, there would be no unhappy children in the world.

Dane laughed lightly.

“Lady Ragnell, do you know that you confuse me? Am I unpleasant or pitiful? I’m confused, so I don’t know how to treat you.”

“T, that is!”

“You don’t make eye contact as if you don’t want to see me, but you talk to me as kindly as you do now, and you act as if you hate touching my hand more than dying, yet you still let me hug you in my arms. I don’t know what the Lady is thinking at all.”

Liv was speechless. Even she doesn’t know what’s wrong with herself, so what should she say to him?

Her feelings for him were full of inexplicable things.

“Then let me ask you one question. Am I unpleasant?”

Liv looked up at Dane with a distant face.

He wasn’t unpleasant. He wasn’t like that to her. Liv shook her head.

“Then…….”

“Liv!”

Someone called Liv anxiously. Turning his head, Dane’s expression hardened as soon as he recognized who the protagonist of the voice was.

Author's Thoughts

Hello, everyone~! Eica, here. If you find any mistakes, please do not hesitate to inform me. And, I'm sorry in advance for any mistranslations that might occur.

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Eica

A lazy cat who wants her honied indolence back. NOTE: Updates will be sporadic. Any of my novels will be updated randomly.

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