Author: Eica Editor: Eica

Chapter 13

 

Liv stood in front of the window and looked at the back of the carriage that had picked up Anton. She saw a newspaper on the desk.

A few days ago, the newspaper published an article about Liv and Dane’s engagement and continued to harass Liv with ridiculous gossip.

The most excited person was Anton. When the news of her engagement to Dane drew people’s attention to the Ragnell family, Anton, who had always been the one inviting, was now the invitee and was very busy moving around.

It had reached a point where she could no longer resolve it. Everyone found out about Liv and Dane’s engagement and sent her congratulatory letters and gifts.

Liv didn’t open anything. All she did was sit helplessly in her room and read the newspaper filled with gossip.

“Miss, the captain is here.”

There was a knock on the door, followed by the maid’s voice. After hearing what Liv said about her fiancé, she called him Captain in front of her.

Dane continued to visit the mansion after that day and tried to meet Liv, but she refused. Even today, Liv was silent as she lay on the bed, burying her face in a pillow. A couple more times, the maid’s voice was heard, and soon the sound of footsteps faded.

“Haaa…….”

Liv hid under the covers. She wanted to run away somewhere.

A knock on the door could be heard in Liv’s ears as she closed her eyes and tried to keep her composure. It was an unfamiliar sound that wasn’t the sound she always heard.

“Lady Ragnell, you’d better open the door yourself before I open it.”

‘Oh, my God.’

Liv jumped out of bed. It was Dane’s voice.

Liv walked up to the door with a bewildered look on her face.

“If you have come all the way to the door, please show me your face now. If the lady doesn’t open it, I’ll open it right now and enter.”

“What’s going on?”

“I think I’ve given you enough time.”

He opened the door a step ahead of Liv, who was in a hurry to lock the door.

It was the first time they had seen each other since that day. He was stronger and bigger than he was then. Liv hurriedly turned her head to hide her scar.

He skimmed through the area beyond Liv. A desk cluttered with paper and a pile of unorganized blankets came into view.

Liv blushed and tried to close the door, but he slipped his foot through the crack in the door to prevent her from closing it.

“Please leave. My mind hasn’t changed.”

“Don’t you think you’ve come too far for that?”

Dane’s gaze turned to the newspaper on her desk.

“There was already an engagement article in the newspaper, and Baron Ragnell was already taking advantage of it. It would be a real chaos if we suddenly break the marriage. Are you confident that you can handle it?”

Liv looked at him with sorrowful eyes. His eyes were unwavering.

When she was young, she once saw a rat caught in a mouse trap while secretly going down to the kitchen in the middle of the night with Lohan. Feeling the presence of someone, the rat cried relentlessly and struggled to escape.

As Lohan and Liv faltered in disbelief at the sound of the tearful cry, the servants passing by heard the sound and came down to the kitchen. Then the rat’s fierce cry gradually diminished, and finally fell silent.

The rat, who was struggling vigorously to escape, gave up hope that he could live because of the increased number of legs. She learned resignation from a rat that day.

She looked like a rat now.

Perhaps she had been expecting a day like today for a long time.

‘Marriage for the sake of the family was inevitable…….’

It’s just that she’s a little more surprised that the target is Dane.

Dane stepped out of the gap in the door.

“I will be waiting for you downstairs. Come out when you’re ready.”

 

***

 

When Liv came out in her outdoor clothes, she saw a carriage. Dane was standing next to that.

She didn’t want to be alone with him in the narrow carriage.

“…… I want to walk.”

“Sure.”

The two walked side-by-side. There was no destination, no conversation. Liv, who was looking over the wooden fence, spoke first.

“Is the article in the newspaper your doing?”

“No.”

There was no lie on his face as she looked at him to uncover the truth.

‘It’s my father.’

Liv braced herself for a fall. She guessed it, but just in case.

He must have seen her crumbling face. In the end, her father chose money and honor over her. She was only just that to her father. It was more painful than she thought when faced with reality.

“Don’t worry about the article. After all, it’s just a crude piece of writing written according to one’s own taste in order to get attention.”

The newspaper, which published the news of Dane and Liv’s engagement, continued to write articles viciously criticizing Ragnell as the days went by.

The engagement was made because Anton Ragnell caught Dane’s weakness, and while comparing Liv and Dane’s appearance, the high-nosed Liv Ragnell did not understand her situation and refused to meet him.

“Do you know when I first saw the lady?”

A soft voice settled in Liv’s ears. Dane looked ahead as if he didn’t expect an answer.

“The sound of laughter across the gloomy street made me wonder what kind of idiot was laughing like that in this gutter-like reality.”

As a child, Liv’s main stage was the alleyways of Lesbourne. As she played in the tangled alleyways, the last thing she faced was always the back alley.

“That was the first time I saw you. Even though I knew you were a noble child who would never get involved with me, I couldn’t keep my eyes off you. So you don’t know how happy I was when you stumbled into where I am. Although it was the day that I deeply realized my plight.”

It was foul play to talk about childhood stories. Especially if he uttered such vulnerable words, Liv had no way of dealing with it.

When Liv’s hardened heart remembered that time, it cracked and she could not shake off the hand that was gently grabbing her. A large, rough texture can be felt in the palm of her hand.

He sat Liv on the fence and knelt down on one knee. After that, he grabbed the hem of Liv’s skirt and brushed off the mud that she didn’t even know was buried in her skirt. The parched soil scattered like dust and fell to the floor.

“The one who wrote the article knows only one thing and not two. The man was willing to be used in order to marry the woman, and when the high-nosed Lady Ragnell did not meet him, he visited every day and begged her to let him meet her. Shouldn’t it be written like this?”

“Why are you doing this to me? As you can see, I have a big scar on my face…… Our family won’t be of any help to you.”

Dane smiled subtly as he looked up at Liv from below.

“I remember the Lady laughing over the smallest things. Don’t you do that now?”

“……that’s when I was young. Everyone changes over time.”

“It’s not wrong to see someone who hates being touched by my hand allow me to even touch the hem of her skirt like this.”

Liv blushed and pulled up her skirt, and Dane let go of the hem of her skirt without any regrets. Under the hem of her pulled skirt, Liv’s ankle was slightly exposed.

Dane carefully grabbed Liv’s exposed ankle and gently rubbed it with his thumb.

“You’re going to have a marriage that won’t lack anything.”

“…….”

“Beautiful dresses made of soft fabrics, a variety of food you’ve never eaten, and gorgeous jewelry. I will make you the most beautiful and precious lady. Everyone will envy you. You just have to enjoy that gaze to your heart’s content.”

Is it because of the warmth that touched her ankles, or because of the tenderness of his voice? An unexplained feeling of weariness swept through her entire body.

A married life that hadn’t even happened yet was pictured in her mind. As he said, she was living a more peaceful marriage than any other lady.

But this is so weird.

“And you? What’s left of you after you give me everything? I have nothing.”

The hand that was gently caressing her ankle slid under her skirt and brushed her calf. Soft flesh rubbed against the man’s hand. Liv inhaled a trembling breath.

“I have you, don’t I?”

Dane kissed her small knees above her skirt. Kneeling on one knee and kissing a woman’s tiny knee, he was like a pure martyr.

But unlike his seemingly faithful lips, his rough hands tickling her calves and his eyes looking at her as if they were eating her were irreverent. Still, she can’t shake him off. In the end, Liv closed her eyes as if to run away.

Her feet rested helplessly on Dane’s thighs. The man’s pants got dirty because of the dirty shoes. The man didn’t even budge as if he didn’t mind it. Rather, he made sure that even one knee touched the ground so that she could comfortably raise both of her feet.

The large hand that gripped between her calves and ankles kept wiggling, unable to keep still as if he had touched something hot.

He was not a pure believer. He was just a mere human being. A desire sprang up in front of his eyes.

“Haaa……”

Dane sighed as if he was holding back. Liv trembled at his hot breath. The hand that looked like it was going to come up to her calf pondered for a moment, then came down and touched her ankle.

He tightened his grip on her ankle, then immediately relaxed and began to caress her. She felt a hand gently caressing her ankle.

Liv opened her closed eyes and looked at Dane. Because of the snow, she couldn’t see what kind of eyes he had. She didn’t know why, but she missed his eyes.

“Dane…….”

 

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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