Author: Eica

Chapter 7

 

Young maids gathered in one corner and giggled. Hearing the sound, Liv approached with a curious face.

“What’s so funny?”

“M, Miss!”

One of the maids hurriedly hid the item she was holding behind her back. Her face flushed, and she couldn’t even look at Liv. Liv gave a friendly smile.

“I’m, I’m sorry. Our voices were too loud, right?”

“I’m not trying to scold you, I’m just asking because I’m really curious.”

Liv was quite generous, especially with the young maids, who followed her very well. The maids exchanged glances with each other and showed the hidden items behind them.

“Would you like to read it, too, Miss?”

“A book?”

Liv received the book from the maid.

‘It’s a romance novel.’

It was the perfect book to attract the interest of girls who have just gotten rid of their childishness. Liv smiled softly and flipped the book.

“We’ve already read it. There are a few other books, but that’s the most interesting!”

It was cute to see her looking up at her with bright eyes and talk. Liv gladly took the book.

 

As Liv was flipping the book and climbing the stairs, the door to the study on the second floor opened. Anton and a strange man came out of the study.

“Ah, here she comes.”

It was the first time Anton had looked for Liv when someone visited the mansion. Liv, who was about to enter the room, hid the book on her skirt and timidly approached them.

“Liv, say hello. This is Count Rayleigh.”

“Liv Ragnell.”

“Carl Rayleigh.”

As soon as the man, who seemed a little cold, smiled with his eyes bent, his expression softened. When Liv felt uncomfortable with Rayleigh’s constant gaze, Rayleigh talked to her.

“You don’t remember me either.”

“Yes?”

“You ran into me at the ball last time. Don’t you remember?”

It was the man she bumped into at the ball. Liv hastily apologized.

“I’m so sorry. That’s when I was distracted…….”

Rayleigh smiled.

“I am not asking for an apology. I’m just a little sad that you don’t remember me.”

Liv looked away, not knowing what to do.

“Next time you’re here, why don’t you have a meal? Hale’s seafood is very special.”

When Anton asked, Rayleigh nodded happily.

“Since you say it’s special, I really want to try it. Why don’t you join us, Lady Ragnell?”

Anton looked surprised and answered before Liv.

“Yes, Liv, come along, too. Why don’t you introduce Hale to the Count before eating?”

Liv reluctantly nodded at Anton’s gaze urging an answer.

“It’s a shame that I have to leave soon because of my tight schedule.”

“The door of the mansion is always open to the Count, so don’t feel pressured to come.”

“Thank you. Then I look forward to the next meeting.”

Rayleigh greeted Liv and Anton with a friendly smile. His seemingly urgent steps appeared hurried.

The brief meeting passed like breathing, and only Liv and Anton remained alone in the hallway.

“Even though he is still young, he is a man with good business skills. His reputation is not bad.”

Anton glances at Liv.

“I don’t know why he’s suddenly showing interest in you, but if the opportunity comes up, take it.  It may be an opportunity you will never have again.”

Liv, who understood what opportunity meant, blushed in contempt and bowed her head.

For Anton, Liv was a commodity, not a child. A product whose value has been lost due to such a large flaw. Since a person who was curious about such an existence appeared, he seemed to be looking forward to it.

Liv was depressed at the thought that the only value of her life was marriage for her family.

 

*

 

The gentle waves reflected on the lake were as peaceful as ever. Liv closed the book she was reading and stared blankly at the lake.

Anton’s daily invitations to the mansion to expand his business left the Ragnell’s employees frantic. However, Anton’s expression was always dark as the result did not turn out as he intended.

The sparks started to bounce at Liv.

 

‘If only you didn’t have those scars! If you hadn’t been so sympathetic, men would have lined up in front of you!’

‘You useless fellow who can’t do anything!’

 

The abusive language uttered under the influence of alcohol became more extreme by the day. In the end, Liv was unable to stay in the mansion and had to go outside.

Her eyes, looking at the lake with unfocused eyes, showed severe depression. It was something she always experienced, but she couldn’t get used to it no matter how much she suffered through it.

As the lake moved in the wind, Liv’s heart also trembled. Liv, assimilated with the lake, wanted to fall into it and rest forever. The desire to become one with the lake and flow to and fro came up over and over again.

It was when Liv took a step closer to the lake as if she was possessed.

“Lady Ragnell?”

Startled by the sudden sound of a voice, she turned around and saw a man she had seen from somewhere looking at her. It was Carl Rayleigh.

He approached with a soft smile.

“It’s been a long time. Lady Ragnell.”

“Count Rayleigh…….”

“Well, <Everyone’s Lover>…… It’s a very famous romance novel.”

Liv’s face turned red when Rayleigh said the title of the book she had put on the floor.

“This, this is……”

“I’ve read it, too. I remember that it was about a man who was everyone’s lover who met a woman and settled down, right?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“I tend to enjoy reading romance novels, even though I may look like this.”

‘Romance novels…… This man?’

“You’re laughing at me right now for reading romance novels, aren’t you?”

“N, no. It’s just amazing.….”

“That book is very famous. Everyone pretends not to read it, but there are probably many other men who read it besides me. Unlike them, I’m an honest type.”

Liv smiled awkwardly and nodded her head.

“By the way, what brings you here?”

“I was passing by in a carriage and got off for a while because I liked the scenery. The houses are very unique.”

“Hale has a lot of stones, so most of the houses are made of stones.”

“I see. In particular, this place blends well with the lake and feels like a painting.”

“That’s why I like this place the most, too.”

“I’m afraid I might have interrupted you with your reading.”

“Not at all.”

Rather, he pulled her up, who almost fell into the water.

Liv turned her head and looked back at the lake. The deep puddle feels like a beckoning to come. She knew all too well that death awaited her if she followed it.

The lake was her shelter. Whenever she felt unbearable suffering, she came to the lake to clear her mind. After pouring out her feelings into that wide puddle, she was able to stand up again.

However, as the days passed, the meaning of rest gradually changed. Not a rest to live, but a rest to give up everything.

Rayleigh’s eyes saw a clean profile of Liv, without a single scar. He scanned her face with a fresh expression and spoke to her.

“It must be quite a distance to Ragnell’s mansion, but I can’t see the carriage.”

“I like to think while walking, so I don’t bother riding a carriage in Hale.”

As Liv answered and straightened her head, the wind scattered her hair. Between the strands of hair, a scar that did not match the beautiful face was seen. Rayleigh looked at it.

“Then why don’t you walk to Ragnell’s mansion with me? I think now is the right time to think.”

 

*

 

Rayleigh and Liv walked side by side.

The two had a lot in common. Their love for reading and when they think of freshly baked apple pies, their mouth waters. They like plain things rather than glamour, and even losing their mother at an early age was similar.

If there was only one difference, it was the degree of affection they felt for their own estate.

“As it is a place I love, I thought that everyone living there would be happy. I thought I needed money to do that, and as I increased my business one by one, I became as busy as I am now, but I have no regrets because I got such good results.”

Liv, on the other hand, had little affection for Hale. The only things she liked about this place were the lake and the shabby bookstore.

“You’re really amazing.”

“No. I was just lucky. Doesn’t the lady also care about Hale?”

Liv averted her gaze and lied.

“Yes, it’s where I was born.”

‘How would it feel to love the land where you were born and raised.’

Liv was a little depressed.

But that feeling was fleeting. Rayleigh was a very pleasant conversation partner. Liv was excited about the person she had not met for a long time and talked without realizing the passage of time.

In a pleasant atmosphere, the two arrived in front of Ragnell’s mansion. Liv hid her regret and called Rayleigh.

“Count Rayleigh. I had a great time today.”

“How about calling my name, Carl, instead of Count?”

“Yes?”

“The title of Count has long since disappeared, so I want to be called something other than that.”

Liv looked at Rayleigh with unfamiliar eyes.

Although the nobility had long since disappeared, nothing had changed. The same was true of the title. Liv had no choice but to follow the opinion of the majority.

“If the Lady doesn’t mind, please call me Carl.”

Liv’s eyes lit up. Rayleigh was the first to say this.

As she felt the pleasure of meeting a person she knew by chance on an unfamiliar street, she felt like she became close to him somehow.

“Well, um…… Carl…… I’ll head inside.”

After saying goodbye, Liv was about to enter the mansion when Rayleigh hurriedly stopped her.

“Lady Ragnell, can I come over for a meal next time?”

There was a slight tension in Rayleigh’s expression. Liv replied kindly.

“As much as you want.”

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.

Table of Contents
Reader Settings
Font Size
Line Height
Font
Donation
Amount
Eica

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

Ko-fi Ko-fi

Comments (0)