Author: alyalia



Rakrensius quickly turned his head away, fearing his face might be recognized.


“You looked so pretty and sparkling at the banquet hall. Why do you keep hiding such beauty?”


“Lady, that’s ru—”


“I’m sorry for being rude.”




As Selleana nodded her head, Rakrensius found it difficult to say anything more. Even then…


“Ah, it’s really soft.”


“Wha-what are you doing now?”


Selleana’s hands were fiddling with Rakrensius’s hair, which covered his shoulders.


“I’ve been wanting to touch it for a while.”


Ha, Lady is really…”


“If you don’t want to show your face, you don’t have to.”


“No, you should at least ask first…”


“Even if I asked, you would have said no, right?”


“Why would I say no?”


“Because I want to do it.”




Eventually, Selleana knelt on a bench and started to genuinely play with his hair. The silky strands twined through her fingers.


“How often do you cut your hair?”


“…When it gets bothersome.”


“Wouldn’t it be better to cut it short, then?”


“Then I would have to cut it too often.”


At the man’s immediate response, Selleana chuckled. Her skillful hands began to braid a bunch of his hair tightly.


Rakrensius had given up on everything. Perhaps the only consolation was that the moonlight, stealing the color of everything, would hide how his ears had embarrassingly reddened.


“If you don’t want it to be bothersome and not having to cut it often, is trying it up the answer?”


Silence affirmed the answer.


“Shall I guess one more thing?”


“As you wish…”


“You keep it at a length that’s manageable to tie up because it’s bothersome to deal with when it gets too long?”


Hmm, Rakrensius swallowed his saliva. Selleana laughed out loud, realizing she had guessed correctly.


“You’re really efficient.”


“Yes, quite different from Lady.”


“Is that so?”


“Speaking of which…” Rakrensius chose his words carefully, trying to cool down the inexplicably growing familiarity from Selleana. “About Lady seeking that man. It’s quite inefficient to look for someone you’ve only met once, for just one night…”


“One night? Nothing happened.”


“Yes, yes. Anyway, it seems too inefficient to look for someone you’ve only seen once.”


As if she had anticipated such a response, Selleana snorted. “Well, I found out a bit late.”


Suddenly, one side of Rakrensius’s hair was braided and fixed with a lace ribbon that had been adorning Selleana’s hair.


“It seems I can fall in love easily.”


Fall in love easily… Rakrensius had no reply to Selleana’s words. Selleana, enduring the silence, grabbed the same amount of hair from the other side.


“Falling in love easily might also… cool off easily, don’t you think?”


“Are you worrying about the permanence of my love now, Master of Tower?”


“Well, it’s for both parties.”


“You really have a way with words.”




Selleana tugged roughly at Rakrensius’s hair, which she was holding in annoyance.


“It hurts.” Though it didn’t hurt at all, Rakrensius gave her the reaction she wanted.


 “The point is, it’s not about love. It’s realizing that I can’t promise a lifetime to someone without feelings.”


The man, who had obediently let his hair be handled, showed a posture that seemed attentive.


“I was going to become the crown princess for Elard and for myself too, you know?”


“It’s the best option.”


“Since I was young, I’ve been told that’s the only way for a daughter of Elard to become more noble.”


After remembering her past life, she became aware that she and Pavellian weren’t compatible at all… Selleana just endured it. Because of her family’s belief and because that’s how society is.


“You know, today isn’t actually my first time here at this garden.”


“Is that so?”


“I’ve been coming to the imperial palace every two months to see the first prince, and I always made sure to stop by here.”


Naturally, Rakrensius remembered the girl who used to shout about her struggles from a place visible from his window, and he silently laughed.


“That’s because… I couldn’t really talk to the first prince. He’s rather conservative and… has a sense of superiority, you know…?”


“Is that so?”


“Isn’t it?” Selleana’s reply sounded doubtful, as if questioning.


Rakrensius laughed hollowly, not knowing the exact situation because he had never properly faced his half-brother. A sense of superiority.  It sounded quite rebellious for someone of the Elard family to speak of the crown prince like that. But since he grew up learning from a friend, it made sense, though Selleana’s way of thinking was clearly different from that of ordinary Nepelsian nobles.


Di would find this interesting. He had felt this way when talking about Wilshe, but indeed, there was a reason he liked her.


Ah, anyway.” When there was no response from Rakrensius, Selleana resumed the halted conversation. “So, it was really tough every time I came to the imperial palace. But if I went back as is, the coachman would tell my father about my bad mood, so I killed some time at the imperial palace.”


“You were a precocious young lady.”


“I’ve been visiting the imperial palace not just for a day or two, so I wandered around wherever I could… and that’s how I found this place.”


“Secluded and quiet, perfect for shouting out your frustrating thoughts before leaving.”


“Exactly, exactly.”


Selleana, who had been agreeing thoughtlessly, realized something was off a beat too late. Shouting out frustrating thoughts…?


“Wait, did you…?” Selleana inadvertently pressed on Rakrensius’s shoulder. “Really? You saw me then?”


Rakrensius was just as flustered. I had no intention of pretending to know. It was not the time to reduce their closeness by mentioning a childhood connection. What was I thinking, bringing up a childhood connection…


But it was too late to turn back. Selleana seemed unwilling to let it go, not removing her hand from his shoulder. Reluctantly, Rakrensius replied slowly. “Well, how could I not notice a girl cursing loudly on a random day?”


Ugh.” Selleana retraced what she might have shouted in this place. D-did I say life was XXX? D-did I curse Pavellian…?


Rakrensius had left the imperial palace three years ago. But she had been coming and going there for about five years. She hoped she hadn’t made any blasphemy-worthy comments in those five years. Her panicked heart bounced wildly.  


“W-what kind of a girl? If it’s a really pretty girl, wasn’t she just lamenting the situation?”


“Was it?”




“Well, let’s leave it at that.”


“I-it’s not about letting it go; that’s just how it was. Why do you act like you’re being generous?”


Selleana was baffled by this strange person. Perhaps the shock sobered her up. Why am I acting so informally…?


Selleana, beloved by all in social circles, had only a few she was truly close to. Rosalli, Doloret, Agnesia, Michi. Friends from the Transmigrators Club. To others, she was just a face in the social circle, always wearing a charming smile like a mask. Especially to gentlemen. So why was she so comfortable around Rakrensius? Even though he had left the palace, a prince was still a prince. It was supposed to be a brief acquaintance. ‘


It’s not that I look down on the Tower Lord…


Amidst the awkward silence, only the end of the braided hair remained at Selleana’s fingertips. “


Ah, we talked about all sorts of things,” Selleana muttered awkwardly, fiddling with the hair a bit more. She gathered the newly braided strand with the one she had done earlier at the back of the neck and tied it with a ribbon. All of this should have been embarrassing, yet the man compliantly let his hair be handled. Was this why she felt comfortable around him?


“… It’s strange.”


Selleana’s fingertips gently traced the bumps of the hair she had braided.


“Talking with the Master of Tower feels like talking to someone I know…”




“Is it because we see each other almost every day?”


There was no response from the man. Selleana hadn’t expected a reply to her statement. After a while, silence settled again.






“Your request, I will accept it.”

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