Author: alyalia

“There has never been a time before when the Lady faced such rudeness in social circles.”


“Society is just like that. Relationships and opinions change, and the dynamics shift too quickly with the current. This too shall pass.”


“No. I should have paid more attention. After hearing about it, I felt it was all my fault.”


“There’s no need to think that way…”


Selleana hid her baffled expression and calmly set down her teacup.


“Considering the years of our acquaintance, I was preoccupied with setting an example in front of the nobility who have only criticized the Lady’s recklessness.”


 Every choice of his word… Selleana had to restrain herself from frowning.


“I thought a statement should have been issued, forgiving the Lady’s rudeness regarding her participation in the selection, given the circumstances.”


“No. It was premature to ask, considering the schedule hasn’t even been released yet. Knowing how troubled Their Majesties and His Highness were, I understand if they resent me.” Selleana emphasized that the selection schedule had not yet been announced.


“Right… Duke Elard said he would guarantee some of the dowries discussed regardless of the outcome… That should prove Elard’s honor.”


My father? I thought he was just waiting for me to give up… Was he preparing for the possibility that her opinion might prevail? Recalling her outburst at her father yesterday, Selleana felt a bit guilty.


“Anyway, after hearing about yesterday, I realized we never had a calm discussion about why you made such a choice.”


Aah… as I mentioned before.”


“I should have been more attentive to you.”


“No. Your Highness has been considerate enough.” Selleana felt uneasy with his constrained response and tried her best to appease him.


Don’t bother anymore. I never expected anything from you anyway. She hid her irreverent thoughts behind a smiling face.


Pondering, Pavellian glanced at Selleana while resting his chin on his hand and abruptly said, “Could it be a rivalry?”




“We’ve thought of each other as spouses for over ten years. Now, with the selection approaching, it’s as if I’ve made you compete with other ladies.”


“No, that’s…” Overwhelmed by surprise, Selleana couldn’t find the words to respond properly and just kept her mouth shut.


“Even at His Majesty’s birthday party, I chose Lady Jenon as my partner instead of Lady.”


“No, that’s definitely not it.”


“Is that so?”


Pavellian’s cerulean eyes lingered on Selleana for a long while as if trying to discern any falsehood.


“As far as I know, the Lady hasn’t been in a situation to reveal a suitor yet… How about just participating in the selection?”


“Wasn’t that a matter Your Highness promised with the Empress?”


“But isn’t it true that you haven’t found anyone suitable for the Lady’s lavish lifestyle who would also uphold Elard’s dignity and not burden the imperial family?”


There was something odd in the middle of that statement, but Selleana decided to let it go for now.


“Or I thought… maybe it was too hard to find such a person from the start.” Pavellian crossed one leg over the other. Regardless of Selleana’s preferences, there was an undeniable charm to the crown prince’s relaxed posture.


“Was it all a strategy? Mentioning another man to somehow awaken my affection for the Lady?”


“How could I dare to presume such a thing.”


“If that was the goal, it worked.”




Was it a hallucination?


“The Lady needed love. Wasn’t that what was said?”


“No, that’s not it, Your Highness, I didn’t specifically—”


“If the Lady needs it, then let’s do it. Love.”


What? Why is he acting like this? As Selleana’s expression turned peculiar, Pavellian’s eyebrows twitched slightly.


“Why? Wasn’t that what you wanted?”


“How could I dare to demand Your Highness’s feelings.”


“You already did, why?”


“I… did?”


“Watching the Lady at His Majesty’s birthday party, saying that you found a suitor, and then again ten days ago… on what would have been the Lady’s entrance to the imperial palace, I felt it again.”


Pavellian’s deep blue gaze did not stray from Selleana. “I realized that I cannot be without the Lady.”


Is he… insane? Selleana’s mind raced. Should she apologize to Eunice Jenon or genuinely feel pity for her? Was he acting like this because other male leads in the story were causing a fuss?


Surely, my original story is about a relationship after marriage, so we don’t have feelings before marriage… No, no, I don’t want to think about the original story now! Above all, Selleana couldn’t trust his gaze. She had seen much more intense passion in blue eyes just the night before…


“Your Highness, you’re joking too much.”


Pavellian crossed his arms and then stroked his chin with one hand. “A joke… I merely think it would be best for the Lady to stay by my side in the future, for your sake as well… Is that not considered affection?”






“Above all, sincerity is important to me.”


And you didn’t ask about my sincerity. Holding back those words, Selleana met his gaze squarely.


“If my feelings for the Lady have deepened, but that’s still not satisfactory… I really don’t understand the Lady.”


“I apologize. As Your Highness knows, we are quite incompatible, and I believe only genuine love can overcome that.”


Pavellian’s eyes narrowed. “It seems we don’t understand each other more than I thought…”


Who’s supposed to say that? Selleana hoped her expression wouldn’t seem too disrespectful as she dropped her eyebrows apologetically.


“I didn’t want to do this, considering our past… but.”


Pavellian placed a document on the table. Selleana’s expression froze upon recognizing its content.


Why is my name on there…?


It was a selection participation application, filled out in Selleana’s name, with the seal of the Elard family head as well.


Father…! Forget about feeling sorry earlier. It appeared that in preparation for Selleana’s potential non-participation in the selection, the imperial family had negotiated in advance to have an application ready for immediate submission.


No wonder the imperial family agreed to negotiate…!


Selleana forced herself to maintain composure. 


“The harvest hunting competition. I will wait until then. Bring me the Lady’s suitor, the one she speaks of with such sincerity.”


“Your Highness.”


“Otherwise, this.” Pavellian gestured towards the document. “I’ll submit it myself.”


* * *

<Magically Frozen Water Knows Everything>. Rakrensius was lying long on the sofa, his face covered with a book he had read a few pages of and then abandoned. The office felt particularly silent on days when Selleana did not visit. He had adjusted his workload so that her visits would not interfere with his schedule, and today’s work had been finished long ago.


Does the lady like stories like this? The books she borrow suggest otherwise.


A self-deprecating thought crossed Rakrensius’s mind as he realized his habit of finding traces of the angel everywhere.


This is beyond me…


The night Selleana had abruptly visited the tower, he had been unable to contain his worry and handed her a summoning magical device, leading to an awkward tension between them. What remained in the pit of his stomach afterward was a raw fear. This shouldn’t be happening. What if it became known that the lady had visited him at night? What if it was discovered how significant she had become to him?


…No, it’s been fine so far.


It would be different from ‘that time.’ It’s not too late. It can still be corrected.


“That, I will have to think about it then…”


Yes. If there’s a chance for reconsideration with Selleana. Even if her curiosity about him had faded, albeit a delusion, it would be regrettable.


[…Meanwhile, the bazaar’s participants include the mother and daughter from Elard, who have long supported the temple’s orphanage…]


Rakrensius recalled Selleana’s schedule from the weekly magazine that had arrived today. Reluctantly but unavoidably, it was time to end this prank. Before everything concluded with regrets.


* * *

“Shumidt and Dalsen have both submitted their applications for the selection competition.”


A few days later, in the courtyard in front of the Great Temple. Selleana and Doloret, who had come to assist with the bazaar organized by Duchess Elard, took a moment to chat. Shumidt and Dalsen were from families within Pavellian’s circle of acquaintances.


“What about Jenon?”


“Not yet. But in the meantime, Marquis Jenon has had two audiences with His Majesty the Emperor and has been frequently meeting with other heads of the crown prince’s faction.”


“…Lady Jenon has made up her mind, then.”


Everyone except her, the companions of Pavellian, had either submitted their applications for the selection competition or planned to do so soon. Thanks to Rosalli, there were quite a few participants from other families as well. Now, the only issue was Pavellian, who suddenly acted like a possessive man.


“Don’t worry. Even if you can’t find that man, surely we can scour the continent to present someone as your suitor.”


“Thank you, Doli… Of course, the best case would be finding Collin.”


“Has the Master of Tower not said anything more?”


“No. He’s been too busy lately to have a proper conversation. Just borrowed a bunch of books, that’s all.”


“Since you’ve made a contract, he’ll surely take care of it… But since we don’t know exactly how the magic works, it’s hard to guess why it’s taking so long.”


“It’s okay. We’ve come this far, and it’s all thanks to you. And what about Prince Laten? Have you found a reason to send him back…?”


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