Author: alyalia



“Even though I know I have to control myself, it’s not easy. I’m sure Count Cloette feels this way too.”


“Yes. Reiad sometimes forgets to eat because he’s looking at me.” The lover intervened and responded with a sharp voice.


“I see.” Edward smiled leisurely at her.


The four continued their conversation over tea after finishing their meal. As the day darkened, the conversation, which had unraveled various topics with love through a mix of tension and relaxation, became sporadic.


“I think it would be best to go to the bedroom. It’s already late at night.”


When Reiad said that, a faint blush fell on his lover’s face. Luize held the hem of her skirt under the table and looked away to avoid seeing them. Then, a large, warm palm was placed on the back of her hand.


“It’s a good idea.”


When she raised her head, red eyes were looking at her.


* * *

Outside, the rain poured down hard. Raindrops hit the windows and window frames with fierce force.


Luize opened the window and saw that Reiad’s room at the other end had been lit. The mansion’s main building was built in the shape of a ‘U,’ so you could see each other’s rooms from both rooms at both ends.


Shadow flicked across the scarlet curtains. Luize was a little relieved that the heavy rain made it impossible to know whether the shadow was owned by one or two people. She felt better not to see it. Luize carefully closed her curtains and headed out towards the terrace that led to the garden.


Her room had windows on three sides. Luize couldn’t forget the first time she came to this mansion. It was the first time she had ever found a room she liked so much. The windows on both sides were wide and large, and the front side even had a terrace in the direction of the garden, so on a clear day, the light of the whole world seemed to fill her room.


It was a different world from Perils, which had been dark all four seasons. Her heart swelled as if she would only continue having happy days in the future, away from the forest with a thick shadow of death. How foolish she was at that time, full of expectation and happiness.  


Knock, knock. Luize put on a nightgown over her negligee and approached the door. Perhaps because she skipped the training for the first time in a long time, she didn’t move her body much and was tired as usual.


Creek. Her eyes widened as she opened the door.


“Edward. What happens?”


Standing in front of her, Edward wore plain pants and a shirt. Despite his comfortable clothes, he looked neat thanks to his undisturbed posture and wrinkle-free clothes.


“I find it difficult to fall asleep, perhaps because the place is unfamiliar. If Miss Luize doesn’t want to sleep yet, I wonder if we could spend some time together.”


“…It’s late at night.”


“It’s a good night to spend with lover.”


“Edward, I have no desire to progress further with you more than now.”


Edward curled the tail of his mouth slightly. He closed the distance between them and lowered his upper body like a lover whispering to her. “I know. This is something that has been written in the contract several times. ‘We won’t share a relationship like a couple,’ ‘We will stop this relationship as soon as either of us falls in love with the other person.’ I remember everything exactly.”


“Then why did you come to my room at this time?”


“I could feel the presence of servants coming and going around here for a while. I think they’re trying to find out if we’re spending the night together.”




“I intend to follow the flow, as I have been invited here as Miss Luize’s lover.”


“…Come in.”


As Luize stepped aside, Edward entered her room. She closed the door and turned around.


Edward suddenly stood in front of the window with a view of Reiad’s room. He lifted the curtain slightly to check the other side and put it down again.


“The structure of this mansion is unique. If it hadn’t been raining, you would have had a pretty good view of the other side.”




Edward stood facing Luize. Luize then looked up and made eye contact with him. Even though she wasn’t short for a woman, the height difference with him was quite significant. His body smelled like the bath salt that Luize usually used as if he had just washed.


When she looked closer, he noticed that his hair was less dry. His slightly long black hair flowed toward her, tracing his natural curve. Underneath it was a calm tension in the red eyes that had been looking at her all day. His skin was completely fair for someone who had been on the battlefield all year. Perhaps it’s because Perils has been a dark place all year, so he hasn’t seen the light.


Luize thought he was fortunate not to have a facial scar while he was at Perils. His thick, long black eyelashes, red eyes, and fine black hair contrasting with his fair skin were clean without any blemishes. No matter which direction you turned your gaze, it was a face that made you exclaim with admiration that it was handsome.


High nose bridge, sharp jawline, bright red lips, and dark eyebrows. While she was looking at him, his appearance was so unrealistic that she suddenly wondered if he was really a living person.


How would you feel if your fingertips touched that skin? As Luize was thinking that, she quickly looked away from his face. What a crazy idea.


Edward opened his mouth. “Do you like flowers?”


“Yes, I like it.”


“I think there might be a flower you particularly like.”


“I don’t know.”


Luize thought for a moment and slowly nodded. “The scent of roses…”




“I didn’t just say it for empty words. I really like the scent of roses. The bath salt Edward used today had the same fragrance. It’s the one I usually use, though I don’t know if the servants paid attention to that or not…”


“Did you notice that?”




“As Miss Luize said, the servant recommended it. I had a vague guess, but I guess I should go along with it.”


“I thought Edward usually uses this scent,” said Luize, often recalling the scent of roses she smelled on him.


“I have used scented bath salts at the recommendation of my therapist, but I don’t usually use them regularly.”


Edward smiled with embarrassment. He lowered his head slightly towards her. “Miss Luize smells the same.”


“…I guess so. Because I used the same thing.”




The eyes of the two met closely. The closer they got, the more sensitive her senses became. The silence in the room felt louder, and the sounds of raindrops hitting the window frame sounded louder. She was concerned about the warmth of her breath as he was about to touch it and the movement of her body rising and falling as she breathed.


Luize took a step back. “It’s too close.”


“…I think I can get closer.”


“I want to get some air for a while.”


“It’s not a nice day for a walk.”


“It would be fine to open the terrace window a little.”


Luize turned around and headed to the terrace. Edward, who was looking at her back with sunken eyes, opened his mouth. “I ask this out of curiosity, but Miss Luize, am I just a tool to change your husband’s mind?”


“I consider Edward as my friend.”


“Miss Luize that I know, doesn’t shy away from her friend like this. I remember that you held Maxion’s hand first.”


Luize still had her back on him, and after a moment of silence, she parted her lips. “I feel like if I get too close to you, I’m really committing an affair. If my husband comes to his senses right now, I…”


Luize trailed off her words. Maybe it’s because she’s used to him looking at other people. There was no longer Reiad, who only looked at her.


“Miss Luize, there is no guarantee that the count will change his mind just because we do this. I thought Miss Luize was beginning to realize that too.”


“Yes. That’s right. Still…”




“Thanks to him, I can have fun with Maxion and Edward. I’m satisfied with this for now.”


Edward stared at her with no expression on his face. How can someone who is so proud and strict about swordsmanship be so passive when it comes to matters related to her husband?


“Is that so? If Miss Luize is satisfied, then that’s enough.”


Luize opened the terrace window slightly. A wind containing heavy moisture blew through the open gap and inflated the curtain. She tried to tie the curtain up, but the window opened a little more, and a strong wind came in with the raindrops. The curtains fluttered high out of Luize’s reach. The sudden wind even put out the light of the candlestick near the terrace.


Long, straight fingers simply grabbed the high-flying curtain. Before she knew it, Edward, who approached her again, neatly arranged the fluttering curtain and tied it with curtain strings.


Luize quietly looked at him like that. Although it felt new to him, there was nothing unnecessary about his movements. It only looked dignified and beautiful, as if he were a performance artist.


“Well, things might be different if the count changed his mind and visited Miss Luize’s room right now.”


“…My husband will never come here.”


“We won’t know that. It’s not strange for couples to visit each other’s rooms at this hour. It’s a bit nasty to do that when there are guests, but I think the count can get away from that.”


“Not really. Ever since Reiad and I were spending our first night…” She stared out at the terrace. “We’ve never spent a night like that again.”


“…Not even once?”




Edward’s voice gained strength. “Is it because of the contract you said you signed when you got married?”




Luize looked at the garden with a particularly exhausted face. Edward’s expression hardened.


She turned her head slowly toward him. “Most lovely things in the world are beautiful without any scars. And I’m far from that.”


“What do you mean…”


“Will you close your eyes for a moment?”




Edward, who was still looking at her, closed his eyes slowly as she had asked. Luize, who confirmed his eyes were closed, loosened her waistband and took off her nightgown.


Thud. Edward’s eyelashes fluttered slightly in bewilderment when he heard the sound of the nightgown falling. Luize carefully grabbed his wrist and placed it on the back of her neck. Edward’s hand touched her back through the thin negligee.


“Touch it.”


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