Author: lipzoldyck

 

“Your story took up the entire page of the newspaper again today.”

 

“Here, it was published on the front page. Are there not that many articles in the newspaper?”

 

“There aren’t any unusual incidents in the capital these days.”

 

Eleanor and Adrian exchanged conversation as they rummaged through the newspapers piled on the table.

 

At this point, it was a bit early to judge the success or failure of the business, but it seemed certain that the topic was caught. It took quite a while to find a good place among the pouring interview requests.

 

Contrary to Eleanor’s expectations, the interview wasn’t too bad. There was no embarrassing situation because it had been agreed in advance not to ask questions related to the scandal. Eleanor said it was very tidy.

 

She did, but…

 

“But why are places that haven’t even interviewed me so crazy! They don’t even talk about business very much, and all they talk about is my personal life.”

 

[An unfinished love triangle? Eleanor Everett, dig her up!」

[The story behind Lady Everett’s business.]

 

As soon as the newspaper advertisements and interviews appeared, all the tabloids were once again ablaze with the scandal of Eleanor, Kaidel, and Adrian. It was expected to some extent, but the response was much hotter than expected.

 

“Are you going to speak up this time? It’s all a misunderstanding, such nonsense.”

 

Eleanor sat on the sofa, watching Adrian calmly flipping through the newspaper. He shrugged his shoulders slightly and asked.

 

“Do we even have to do that?”

 

“Why?”

 

“I think the effect of the advertisement is certain. Since then, the number of applications has increased tremendously.”

 

“That’s… right.”

 

“People who want to invest also appear.”

 

Eleanor’s face brightened. She slumped down in the seat next to Adrian and asked for his opinion.

 

“Ah, what do you think of that? I read through it all night last night and it didn’t look bad to me.”

 

“All night? I told you to go to bed early.”

 

Adrian frowned slightly in disapproval.

 

“Nothing else I can do if I have a lot to do. So, what do you think?”

 

“I think it’s a very good condition. No unreasonable demands, no unreasonable parts.”

 

“Really? They’re asking me to have dinner, so I’ll have to comply.”

 

Eleanor continued to stretch all the way. Adrian glanced at her and said.

 

“Yeah, but it seems that it will be a little difficult for me to make time next week.”

 

“I know. I heard you’re going to your territory.”

 

“Will you be okay alone?”

 

At Adrian’s words, Eleanor shrugged her shoulders.

 

“Sure, of course. Don’t worry.”

 

Although she spoke confidently, she was actually a little afraid. Many people looked at her with prejudiced eyes, as it was an unconventional move in this world for a young noble lady to take the lead in a business. She shushed everyone, but she also knew that there was a lot of talk around her.

 

Eleanor was determined all over again. The more they did, the more Eleanor felt that she would prove herself proudly.

 

***

 

Eleanor went to the appointment with a resolute resolution as if she was a general going to war. Contrary to her concerns, however, they were very polite. It was to the extent she was almost frightened.

 

“It was a great meal. Thank you.”

 

Eleanor lightly bowed.

 

“We should really thank you. You don’t know how happy I was that you’re able to agree to the meeting.”

 

“Of course. I also want to thank you for your suggestion. I will think about it thoroughly and reply to you.”

 

She smiled and climbed into the carriage.

 

Eleanor, who had been dealing with the Fielding brothers in a graceful and confident manner the whole time, fell half-stretched in the chair as soon as the carriage door closed. As she relaxed, her whole body grew languid.

 

Returning to the Count’s residence, exhausted, Eleanor went straight to Dwight’s room.

 

“I’m going in, yeah?”

 

Dwight had just gotten off work and hadn’t completely changed his clothes.

 

“I’m changing clothes, though.”

 

“Hm, ain’t gonna look. Go get changed.”

 

Eleanor lay on the couch and closed her eyes while Dwight unbuttoned his shirt and changed his clothes.

 

“You said you met the Fielding brothers today? How was it?”

 

Dwight asked.

 

“It wasn’t bad. No, it was better than I thought. They were good people. Also polite.”

 

Dwight laughed at Eleanor’s words.

 

“Of course, it’s obvious.”

 

Eleanor opened her eyes and sat up.

 

“What are you talking about?”

 

“Every newspaper is talking about how Duke Valentine thinks you are special.”

 

“I still don’t understand. What does that have to do with this?”

 

Eleanor asked, frowning. Dwight, having changed his clothes, sat down next to her. He explained.

 

“The Fielding brothers are trying hard to deliver their goods to the Valentine estate. It’s only natural that they want to look good in front of you in such a situation.”

 

“What?”

 

Eleanor’s eyes widened. It was the first time she had heard of it. Dwight asked, puzzled.

 

“I thought you would know, you didn’t?”

 

Eleanor shook her head slowly.

 

Was it not because they saw the potential of the business and wanted to invest, but because they wanted to look good to Kaidel? The thought that something was wrong with her caused her heart to burst like a balloon in an instant.

 

Dwight, who noticed her face darkened, quickly added.

 

“Ellen, that doesn’t change anything. This can’t be considered a bribe, it’s an extremely common sense suggestion. It’s not like they’re asking you for anything.”

 

Dwight put his arm around Eleanor’s shoulder and spoke to her in a bright voice.

 

“At most, they might want to buy some favor from the Duke. They probably are investing because they saw some potential in the business.”

 

However, even with Dwight’s joke, Eleanor’s hard expression didn’t ease. She sighed and said.

 

“I guess I should reconsider this.”

 

“Ellen. There’s nothing bad about that. If the investment goes through, you and the Blake family will benefit a lot.”

 

“That’s true, but…”

 

Eleanor’s mind became infinitely more complex.

 

***

 

A few days passed. Eleanor was greeting the children on the front porch, as usual. Seeing Demian running across the corridor, Eleanor smiled and spoke to Kaidel.

 

“Demi is in a good mood today.”

 

“It seems so.”

 

Kaidel glanced into the front door with his hands behind his back.

 

“Would you like to walk for a while?”

 

Kaidel suddenly proposed to Eleanor. He had something to ask.

 

“I’d love to.”

 

Eleanor readily agreed and followed him down the stairs.

 

The two of them started to circle slowly around the fountain near the front door. In the center of the fountain stood a statue of Cupid pulling a bowstring, half covered in moss.

 

It was when they had turned half a turn without saying a word. Kaidel hesitated for a moment before opening his mouth.

 

“I heard you met Nikolas Fielding. He offered an investment, didn’t he?”

 

“Yes, it was like that. I refused.”

 

“I heard that too. If you don’t mind, may I ask why?”

 

The biggest reason Eleanor turned down the investment offer was that she was afraid that Kaidel would get into trouble. But she didn’t want to unnecessarily burden him, so Eleanor chose to let go.

 

“There was no particular reason. I’m just waiting for a better offer.”

 

“Are the conditions not good?”

 

“It’s not like that…”

 

Eleanor slurred her words. Kaidel took a big step and blocked her way.

 

“I’ll ask differently. Does the reason for your rejection of the investment offer have anything to do with me?”

 

She lifted her head and met his eyes. Kaidel raised her eyebrows slightly.

 

He wasn’t as frightening as before, but even so, standing in front of him made her feel somehow overwhelmed. Eleanor, who had been staring for a bit, murmured softly.

 

“Maybe it’s not entirely irrelevant…”

 

Kaidel’s eyes narrowed. Eleanor gave a small shrug and added a brief explanation.

 

“Just in case. Everyone has a misunderstanding between you and me, so there may be people approaching me to please you. I don’t want to take advantage of that.”

 

“You can use it.”

 

“Pardon?”

 

Eleanor opened her eyes at the unexpected response. Kaidel spoke in a calm voice.

 

“You can use my name as long as it helps you. I can cut them off on my own, so that’s nothing for you to worry about.”

 

“Thank you. That’s a very generous offer.”

 

She took her steps again. When she had walked half a turn, Eleanor, having made up her mind, parted her lips.

 

“Still, I think I’d better decline Sir Fielding’s offer.”

 

“Why?”

 

Kaidel asked, tilting his head. Eleanor took a step behind and looked back at Kaidel, who was walking after her, and she replied boldly.

 

“I just want to be evaluated for my ability. That’s more meaningful.”

 

Eleanor smiled brightly. Her rosy cheeks and sparkling green eyes were fresh. Kaidel couldn’t take her eyes off her, even as she was surprised at the closer distance than he thought.

 

She added softly, gripping the hem of her skirt.

 

“And I think that is enough. It may be an arrogant thought, but…”

 

“I think so too.”

 

Kaidel took a big step and stood shoulder to shoulder with Eleanor. At his quick agreement, Eleanor lowered her head and smiled. Clear laughter mingled with the sound of water splashing in the fountain.

 

At that moment, Eleanor’s hair fell like a golden waterfall down the white nape of her neck. The scent of fresh lavender filled Kaidel’s lungs.

 

Kaidel, stunned, held such Eleanor in his eyes. Perhaps the midday sun was pouring its light only over Eleanor, her surroundings were exceptionally sparkling.

 

Kaidel swallowed dry saliva, feeling his throat burn. His neckline moved up and down greatly.

 

Eleanor asked, turning to Kaidel.

 

“Shall we go in now? The children will be waiting.”

 

“…Yes.”

 

How dizzy.

 

Kaidel slowly closed and opened his eyes, feeling a little distant. He couldn’t tell whether it was because they were spinning around the fountain or because of the woman next to him.

 

“Ah, it’s cold.”

 

Then Eleanor wrinkled her nose slightly as if water had splashed from the fountain. She smiled broadly as she wiped the droplets of water on her cheek with her index finger.

 

Thump.

 

Kaidel’s heart, which had been beating erratically the whole time, sank hard. At that moment, he was able to accurately determine the cause of his dizziness.

 

It’s not because of the stupid water fountain. Eleanor Everett, it’s because of that woman.

 

The place where the mossy Cupid’s arrow pierced must have been Kaidel’s heart.

 

“Then I’ll see you later.”

 

After giving him a brief greeting, Eleanor ran into the front door. Missing the timing to answer, Kaidel awkwardly raised his hand and let her go.

 

Kaidel, watching her back as she receded, belatedly noticed that his right sleeve was soaked. He lowered his gaze and carefully touched his wet sleeve.

 

When did it get so wet? He didn’t even know it got wet..

 

The cold sensation touching the tips of his fingers felt exceptionally unfamiliar. Eleanor entered the mansion, yet strangely, his steps didn’t budge even as the carriage was waiting for him right in front of his eyes. He wanted to listen to the sound of water dripping in front of this fountain forever.

 

“Eleanor. Eleanor Everett.”

 

Kaidel quietly called Eleanor’s name. I really wanted to call her today, yet, he couldn’t. He clenched both of his fists in regret.

 

Suddenly, Kaidel realized the name of the emotion that had been threatening his composure all along. It was so clear.

 

It was love.

 

Author's Thoughts

this chapter is sponsored by My Name is not Important (1/14)

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

Ko-fi Ko-fi

Comments (4)

  1. Thank you for the hard work, it’s really appreciated 😊

  2. Guys, if it’s not Kaidel, I won’t know what to do with myself 😭 that being said, if it’s not Izmel or Rian, I also won’t know what to do with myself, send help