Author: rolypoly

That’s also an illusion that doesn’t fit Brielle’s place.

 

This feeling was all due to his behavior.

 

Things like the strong grip of his hands and the sound of his urgent breathing through her hair.

 

It’s like he came running to get Brielle…

 

‘No way.’

 

Brielle tried to push away the shameful thoughts.

 

‘The Duke isn’t that kind of person…’

 

“Brielle.”

 

As she struggled with the illusion she couldn’t bear to shake off, a low voice came from him, standing right behind her.

 

“I apologize.”

 

Brielle squeezed her palms, which were sore from the wounds from her fall.

 

“You don’t have to apologize to me.”

 

She herself had a remarkably firm and cold tone.

 

“I’m not… even a real Duchess anyway.”

 

As she tried to say something that would hurt even herself, the strength drained from the hand that was holding her.

 

Brielle took a couple of steps forward without missing this moment and moved away from him.

 

When she turned around with enough distance, she saw the silhouette of a huge man. He was looking down at his empty hands.

 

It was dark, so she couldn’t see his expression, but from that slow action, Brielle thought that he might have been hurt for some reason.

 

‘…Why?’

 

It was Brielle who should be hurt in this situation.

 

How dare she face a man’s past with a crush? It’s also a very secretive past.

 

But couldn’t he be hurt?

 

Above all, we are… a fake couple.

 

Didn’t he even say that one day?

 

「Fortunately, we can make the marriage ‘null’, so your reputation will not be damaged.」

 

If divorce is the beginning of a wonderful journey to sort out the past and find a new path.

 

The annulment was to completely erase their marriage, as if it had never even existed.

 

Yes, some marriages will require this ‘annulment’.

 

‘…But I.’

 

Brielle raised her head slightly.

 

Beyond Maximilian’s long hair, which fluttered in the summer breeze, came the sight of a huge winter castle.

 

‘I… like it here.’

 

If the marriage becomes null and void, this kind of heart will cease to exist.

 

Is that all?

 

She was also praised by the friendly people of the castle, saying, “Queen of Snowflakes.”

 

Not to mention getting sweaty from clearing the snow in the garden with Clarisse.

 

And the blunt letters that sometimes come through the cracks in the door.

 

It will all be something… that never happened.

 

Brielle tried to suppress her lonely heart. Then words completely different from her sincerity flowed out of their own accord.

 

“It’s really okay. The Duke and Queen had a precious relationship. That’s why you’ll be particularly happy to see each other! Right? I fully understand. T, that’s… I also had people I liked in the past, so I know…”

 

“…you mean a man named Harry?”

 

“Yes?”

 

Brielle was a little surprised at the unexpected question and asked back. He came a step closer.

 

“That man who brought your mother to the capital.”

 

“Yes? No!”

 

Brielle waved her hands in surprise.

 

She couldn’t have such feelings for a friend who grew up like a sibling.

 

“…So it’s not.”

 

Then he answered in a slightly melancholy voice and lowered his head.

 

“You must have someone else. I don’t know…”

 

Of course he did.

 

Before coming here, Brielle was a person who belonged to the servant’s society.

 

So naturally, most of the people she knew were people the royal prince didn’t know.

 

‘But why do you care about that?’

 

Perhaps this is why Brielle can’t easily stop her feelings for him.

 

It’s just that he keeps misleading her.

 

“Anyway…”

 

Maximilian cleared his throat and gave an unsolicited explanation.

 

“A little while ago, Her Highness the Queen gave me advice on Clarisse’s future…. That opinion tended to go against the will of the royal family, so it seemed like she was getting people out.”

 

“…”

 

“It was a formal engagement with the queen. Now, there is no need to have a conversation with that relationship in mind.”

 

So why is he making excuses for this one by one?

 

This noble prince must have no idea how strongly Brielle’s heart shakes whenever this happens.

 

That’s why, Brielle decided to talk about it.

 

“I have a favor… to ask of you, Duke.”

 

She stepped back a little more.

 

Until the distance that can never be called close.

 

“Please tell me.”

 

As he was about to approach again, Brielle raised one hand. He paused when he noticed the signal.

 

Brielle hesitated for a moment.

 

“Now, I want…you to stop.”

 

However, after the first word came out, it became relatively easy to convey sincerity.

 

“In a situation like this, if you care about me, or things like letters… it’s a bit too much.”

 

“…Is that so?”

 

“Yes?”

 

Brielle answered in a deliberately stiff voice.

 

If she didn’t do that, the regrets left in her heart… that is, the sincerity of wanting Maximilian’s heart would spill out. 

 

“Okay.”

 

Fortunately, he accepted her opinion.

 

Now, Brielle was about to say thank you.

 

However, Maximilian’s words that followed were a little faster.

 

“Actually, I was also worried that writing a letter might be a nuisance to you. But in the same situation as before…”

 

He seemed to be pondering for a moment, then blurted out the end of his words.

 

“It is impossible for me not to care about you, Brielle Sheridan.”

 

“….”

 

“I find your misunderstanding very troubling.”

 

What else does that mean?

 

It was so dark here, so she couldn’t tell his expression or his intentions.

 

“I am not… a noble, Duke.”

 

“No, you are the only Duchess of this castle.”

 

“That’s not what I meant… It means that I’m not familiar with the aristocratic language of refraining from expressing specifically. So please be clear. The Duke to me…”

 

‘What do you think?’ The words were almost whispered.

 

It was so small that it barely reached his ears, but Brielle quickly regretted it.

 

Even though she clearly knew what kind of answer would come, she fell into useless expectations again.

 

Feeling embarrassed for some reason, she started talking on her own without waiting for an answer from him.

 

“Actually, I know you must be very sympathetic.”

 

Why on earth did she ask if she could answer it herself?

 

Brielle thought she was pathetic, but somehow the ugly words that kept coming out didn’t stop.

 

“Even though I was the one who deceived you, you were kind to me. I’m the daughter of a maid, and she picked me up and raised me even that little bit. It’s not like I’m unaware of the grace of taking in a woman of unknown birth. I’m not!”

 

“I am drawn to you.”

 

“Yes! Of course you will…. What?”

 

“I told you that I was drawn to you.”

 

Pretending not to know the heat she felt in that voice, Brielle looked away.

 

At least to protect herself.

 

If she has vain expectations and then comes to the conclusion that it is just human ‘attraction’, the scars of unrequited love will be further widened.

 

“I, I…”

 

When she steps back again as if she were running away.

 

Maximilian, who had narrowed the hook distance, grabbed her and clasped her in his arms. 

 

The moment their bodies touch each other. 

 

A cheeky heart fluttered, and the weight of suppressed feelings was so heavy that it hurt.

 

“…How come.”

 

He answered the question she had barely asked with her lips open.

 

“There is glass behind you.”

 

“Ah, I… forgot.” 

 

“….” 

 

Brielle didn’t go to step on the glass anymore, but Maximilian didn’t let her go from his arms. 

 

No, on the contrary, it seemed to be getting tighter little by little.

 

It seems…. to have some other purpose.

 

Brielle raised her gaze, which was fixed on his chest.

 

Perhaps it was because her eyes had gotten used to the darkness, or perhaps it was because she was close enough to lean on his arm, and now she could see Maximilian’s expression clearly.

 

When their eyes met, he slowly asked a question.

 

“Is this also an aristocratic language?”

 

Is it about being attracted?

 

Or is it about an arm that draws her more and more strongly? 

 

“…I don’t know, so.”

 

Brielle grabbed hold of him without realizing it, but she managed to bring out an answer while gripping the hem of his clothes even more tightly.

 

“I want you to make sure I know.”

 

Maximilian carefully held Brielle’s hand.

 

At first glance, the wounds on his palms seemed to be sore and somehow itchy.

 

“Brielle Sheridan.”

 

He called her name, bringing the back of her hand to his lips.

 

No, in fact, it seemed that his sincerity was implied in that short call, almost to the point of reciting it.

 

“….” 

 

For some reason, he seemed unfamiliar to Brielle. 

 

To think that a person who always looked huge and great was thrilled to hold the back of her hand as if it were a great treasure.

 

“…Duchess Sheridan.”

 

He kissed her deeply on the back of her hand, addressing her with other words. It was a kiss that was almost like engraving him.

 

Brielle bit her lip without taking her eyes off him.

 

His appearance was very polite, but his hot breath that reached her wrists was not aristocratic at all. 

 

‘W, what should I do…’

 

Brielle was in trouble.

 

Now she knows that her unrequited love is going in a surprisingly good direction.

 

But then…? 

 

What is it?

 

It’s good, it’s really good. 

 

For some reason, Brielle was afraid that a world she didn’t know would unfold.

 

No, maybe. 

 

…The expectations were the same.

 

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Comments (3)

  1. ohhhh so i think brielle must be this “ceci” that max cared for when he was younger? i think the ages match and it wouldnt make sense for that to be clarisse