Author: Eica Editor: Eica

Chapter 6

 

Liv stared at the window stubbornly. If it hadn’t been for the sound of horses’ hoofs treading on the muddy ground and the sound of raindrops hitting the top of the carriage, there would have been a quiet silence between them.

Her face itches. Liv wanted to raise her hand and touch her face. She was concerned about the scar hidden inside the hat.

There was no one in society who did not know Liv Ragnell. It was an open secret that Baron Ragnell’s only daughter had a large scar on her face from the burns.

Anton sent Liv to the ball at a younger age than others to get her married early. The ball she was forced to go to was terrible. People looked at Liv and talked to her, and she had to endure the shame alone.

Whenever she attended a ball, she always had her hair down to cover the scar, however, people’s attention was focused on the scar that was visible whenever the wind blew her hair. She felt like a clown herself.

Fortunately, as time passed, people lost interest in Liv. Now, even when she showed up to the ball, no one pretended to know her. Even her close friends did not greet her.

It was rather comfortable. She just had to sip a drink in the corner and pass the time in moderation.

It has become rare for others to look at her scars, and now she is very concerned about it for the first time in a long time. He won’t be able to see it properly because it’s covered by the hat anyway.

Liv pretended to smooth her hat and made sure her face was properly covered. Nevertheless, the anxiety did not subside easily.

Compared to Liv, who was looking at the window with a lot of tension, Dane’s face sitting in front of her looked very calm.

‘You’re more stubborn than you look.’

The hand that he reached out to go to the carriage and the hand that he held out when she climbed the carriage. Liv never held his hand.

On top of that, she didn’t even glance at his side. He had to caress the corners of his lips because he thought he would keep smiling like a madman.

‘Will it still be the case when you get out of the carriage?’

He was already curious.

“How do you feel coming to Lesbourne after a long time? Hasn’t it really changed a lot?”

Liv couldn’t say anything for fear that if she opened her mouth, a trembling voice would come out. Dane did not react much as if he expected Liv to not answer.

“No matter how beautiful a place is, a sewer is necessary.”

Liv quickly realized that the sewer meant the back alley. Whenever she hears the topic about the back alley, she feels a sense of guilt for some reason that digs into her chest. Dane did not miss the subtle reaction.

“How was it. How do you feel about seeing the sewers of the Empire?”

“……it’s not a sewer.”

She spat out with emotion.

‘Why are you saying that. He…… he…… he definitely lived there. How could you describe the place you lived in that way. It is clearly a place where people live…… So why.’

“Then what shall I say?”

Liv didn’t say anything and shut her mouth again. Dane asked Liv again, perhaps regretting it.

“A pigsty?”

Liv hardened at the words stuck in her ear and turned her head to Dane. He was looking at her with a very relaxed face.

She wasn’t the only one who remembered. He didn’t forget that day either.

Liv struggled to remain calm.

“…… Just, a village.”

“Village?”

“Yes. Just a small village.”

“Hahaha.”

Dane couldn’t help but laugh at the innocent Liv’s words. The rigid carriage was filled with Dane’s laughter.

Dane stopped laughing and looked at Liv with a happy face.

“Then why were you so scared a little while ago? If it was just a village, there would be no need to be so scared by what I said.”

“Anywhere is dangerous at night…….”

“It’s dangerous everywhere at night…… So is it the same for the nobles?”

When Liv, who didn’t understand what he said, couldn’t answer, Dane brought his face closer to her as if telling a secret story.

“As you know, I am from a humble background, so I do not know much about nobles. Do nobles really keep their dignity at night? When it gets dark, everyone tends to have a bad heart.”

Liv couldn’t answer that easily. As you get older, no matter how much you are confined in the corner of a village, you will naturally learn something.

They pretended to be noble on the outside, but the nobles were the same anyway. Sometimes it was ugly and sometimes it was dirty. How can they say that they are the only ones with dignity.

Liv opened her mouth with difficulty, struggling to figure out what to say.

“……the status system has long been abolished. Now there are no nobles.”

Waiting for an answer with a pleasant expression, his lips stiffened with her unexpected answer.

‘Abolishment of the status system……’

There were no nobles now.

Dane couldn’t forget the day he fell into an endless sense of loss. Everything he’s been doing was just for one thing. His long-cherished desire shattered in an instant.

He had to revise his plans urgently. Because of that, he moved around the back alley again, but he had no regrets. This was the only way left for him.

Dane looked at Liv silently for a long time before opening his mouth.

“What does the lady think of the abolition of the status system?”

Liv’s mind became complicated by a question she had never thought deeply about.

Anton, who was running wild at the time, gradually calmed down as time passed. It was because the status system disappeared only on the surface, but everything remained the same. Anton smiled contentedly, saying, ‘Look, the truth does not change.’

Liv recalled what she thought.

She was scared of the rapidly changing world, and she was briefly depressed by the unfamiliar feeling that she was no longer a Baron Ragnell. She observed the family’s servants and maids, and headed to the center of Hale to secretly listen to people’s reactions.

Finally, she remembered the man in front of her. A figure of him who would be more pleased than anyone else that the status system was abolished came to mind.

But everything remained the same over time, and she was worried that he might have been disappointed. She didn’t even know why she was thinking like this.

“I think it’s an inevitable wave of society.”

“Inevitable?”

“The world is already full of big and small revolutions. The abolition of the status system is also one of them.”

The neighboring country was in turmoil not long ago. Peasants were protesting fiercely against the landlord. It was a very small article in the newspaper, but Liv read it over and over again.

These small embers continue to be fanned around the world. The world is constantly changing. If you don’t let yourself keep up with the flow of change, the country will fall behind.

“You seem to have a pretty positive view, Lady Ragnell.”

Liv smiled sadly.

It wasn’t a positive thing. Rather, she is still useless now, and she was afraid of how much more useless she would become in the future. Nevertheless, she wanted to humbly accept the changes in the world.

‘You’re the exact opposite of me. You’re going to keep moving forward, but not me.’

Dane’s toes entered Liv’s eyes. Feeling somewhat embarrassed, she curled her toes.

It was a moment when she wanted to hide somewhere. Self-loathing, which had been quiet for a while, ran wild in front of her.

Silence passed between the two of them at the end of those words.

Unlike Liv, who feels fear just thinking about the future that has yet to come, Dane felt the present he had hoped for so much by looking at the woman in the same space as him.

 

*

 

The carriage stopped in front of the Ragnell Mansion and the door opened. The rain that had been falling steadily stopped as they approached Hale.

Before Liv could get up from her seat, Dane stepped out and reached out. Liv didn’t hold his hand again this time.

No one came to meet her. Liv lowered her head lightly and walked alone into the mansion. The damp grass made a soggy sound.

A faint smile appeared on Dane’s face as he looked at Liv’s back. As soon as he couldn’t see her, he took out a cigar from his pocket and lit it.

It was sadly a short meeting.

In the pitch-black darkness, white smoke faintly scattered. Each time the cigar is sucked in, the flame at the end glows red and then disappears.

Dane glanced at the mansion with sharp eyes. It’s small and old.

The size of the mansion means power, and the shabby degree means history. Thus, it could be said that the Ragnell family has a deep history, but is not very powerful.

Dane took in a deep breath. The flames burning red in the dark revealed Dane’s greedy eyes.

The plans that he recorded in his head were messy and he devised new plans. When the plan was outlined to some extent, Dane threw his cigar to the ground and climbed into the carriage.

After sitting face to face and talking in person, he felt urgent. It was unclear whether he would move as planned.

 

*

 

Liv entered the room safely and sighed. Anton, who had gone out to expand his business, has not yet returned home.

She stood in front of the window and looked out. She could see from a distance that the carriage did not leave and was standing there.

She raised her hand and touched her chest. She had just gotten used to the sensation, but her heart was still beating rapidly.

“Phew……”

Liv took a deep breath and tried to calm down.

She never expected to sit alone in the carriage with him and have a conversation. Perhaps because she was so nervous, she couldn’t remember what she had talked about with him.

‘By the way, why was he still in Lesbourne? I’m sure he’s staying in the capital. Did he go there to remember the past for a while?’

Soon after, the carriage moved. She couldn’t take her eyes off the moving carriage. Liv stood in the room and watched the carriage moving away.

Strangely enough, her mind was complicated.

 

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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