If You Wish For Something Useless - Chapter 10
Translator and Editor: Gina and Tea
Chapter 10 – Seeds of Change (3)
Ethan bit his lip in an attempt to prevent the smile that his mouth was about to form. He didn’t act arrogantly as he had in the city. So that Evelyn doesn’t back off in surprise like that time…
How did she read Ethan’s actions? Evelyn said in a lower voice than usual.
“Surely… I didn’t mean to tell you to go. And surely, it’s not like I’m telling you not to go…”
He was certain Evelyn wasn’t the sort of person to talk in such a roundabout manner as if trying to read the room, but there she was, acting exactly like that with him.
Ethan never thought such a cute person could exist.
“Ehem-” He cleared his throat and tried to catch his breath.
He had no idea why Evelyn reacted differently only on this subject, or why she didn’t want him to go hunting.
‘But what about it? I don’t care to know.’
If that was what Evelyn wanted, whatever the reason, he wanted to make it come true.
Trying to control the smile that threatened to take over his face, Ethan said.
“I decided not to go hunting because of the snow.”
He dared to make excuses because he had already experienced this same situation earlier. Evelyn would find it more credible if he attached a plausible reason rather than just announcing he wouldn’t go.
On the day they inspected the port, he personally confirmed that this method was better.
“I don’t think I’ll have time because there are many places to go besides the hunting ground.”
Having said that, Evelyn gave Ethan an opening.
“…Would you like to look around the city?”
It was the first time Evelyn had reached out to him other than asking for help with administrative work.
Knowing that, Ethan was well aware he shouldn’t add more words than needed.
“Because I’m not used to the cold, I’m reluctant to go far.”
Unlike Evelyn sitting silently, Ethan leisurely picked up the tableware again.
“I’ll probably be satisfied with taking a walk in the nearby garden.”
At that time, Archduke Fedora’s delighted face upon hearing they would go to the hunting grounds nearly made him waver. However, the Evelyn sitting quietly in front of him remained a much larger figure in his mind. After urging him to do something else with the Archduke later, all Ethan could see was Evelyn.
This time, perhaps, and just perhaps, the expectations that followed him were clear. The silence that continued was clearly short, but Ethan swallowed unaware in that stillness.
And as if his unspoken desire had been declared, he heard a sweet suggestion.
“…Do you want me to guide you?”
The structure of the garden was familiar because he had already walked around several times. However, if it meant he could walk with Evelyn, he was willing to say that he didn’t even know the way to the entrance.
He wanted to walk through the snow-covered garden he saw from the library. It would be blissful if Evelyn went there with him.
Eventually, Ethan smiled broadly and nodded.
“Can you do that for me?”
“…It’s not that difficult.”
“Then, shall we go to the office together after a walk?”
‘I think I’ve finally found a way to spend time with Evelyn!’
But the joy of finding a solution to his problem was short-lived. Because he felt he was taking advantage of her heart, and his conscience pricked.
Nevertheless, Ethan tried hard to ignore the pangs of guilt. He had no intention of visiting the hunting grounds, even if he was not carried away by Evelyn’s wishes.
‘I found out she didn’t want me to go, so how can I go?’
Therefore, his previous statements were nothing more than actions to ease Evelyn’s heart. He never intended to swing her by assailing her weaknesses.
He repeatedly made excuses to justify his actions.
And sighing inwardly, in just a few seconds he became depressed. Because even though he tried to cover it, the truth was different.
He actually wanted to be close to her and spend time with her, even by such cowardly means.
‘Isn’t this an opportunity to make precious memories with a sister whom you don’t know when you will meet again?’
He had been looking forward to meeting Evelyn so much that he was excited the entire journey to the Principality of Fedora.
It was inevitable for Ethan to give in to desire instead of conscience.
‘Let’s act cowardly until Evelyn reaches out to me without any conditions like this.’
“It’s a trend in dessert shops recently. You dip what you like in this and eat it like fondue.”
Evelyn alternatively glanced between the fruits that filled the table and Ethan in front of her.
‘How did I end up in this situation? I think I’m getting a headache.’
“It’s an amusing idea.”
“Right? Perhaps because of the refreshing taste of the fruit, people who don’t like sweets tend to visit these stores often.”
Ethan knew she didn’t like sweets. Because she said it over and over through letters.
‘Yet, I can’t believe you’re saying this.’
Evelyn’s forehead was slightly wrinkled when she saw the chocolate displayed in the middle of the fruit.
Three days after joining Ethan in the snow-covered garden, another change altered her daily routine.
Of course, Ethan was to blame.
The first and foremost. Ethan became talkative.
Most of his topics were requests to do something with Evelyn. It goes without saying that whenever he spoke, he secretly shed the nuance of ‘instead of a hunting ground.’ Fortunately, his ideas were usually indoor activities or a nearby outdoor place for a few moments. They played Othello and chess and unwrapped a gift he had brought from Hereos. For this reason, Evelyn acquiesced meekly. She thought he really wouldn’t go to the hunting grounds if she did that. Hoping to prevent her miserable pre-ordained future.
Though she thought it was vain, she became foolish because she could not release her hope.
In a way, it was like being swung by Ethan’s intentions. However, Evelyn surprisingly had no complaints. It was quite convenient to spend time with newly-garrulous Ethan.
When she was with Ethan, Evelyn didn’t have to think or move according to need. Because he always took care of her first.
Perhaps because she admitted that she liked flowers, he gave her different flowers every day, and it wasn’t bad for her. Truth be told, in just three days it had become natural to accept Ethan’s flowers.
As a result, the vases in the office were decorated with different flowers each day. That was the second change in her surroundings and daily life.
‘And if I have to choose the third one… tea time?’
“What kind of fruit will you choose?”
Evelyn swallowed a sigh as Ethan urged her to choose with an excited expression on his face.
At 3:30 in the afternoon, when her tiredness increased due to the excessive work and concentration decreased, refreshments were always ready.
Thanks to this, Evelyn’s snacks had increased from a simple light cup of tea after a meal, or a small biscuit or fruit when bored. Not to mention having to sit opposite Ethan with a different dessert every day.
The day before yesterday, it was yogurt with chunks of fresh cut peaches, and yesterday it was a pie made of apple jam that was cooked to the point of being lumpy.
Today, bowls and various fruits on the brazier were prepared. Evelyn’s attention as she scanned the table was fixed on the bowl of chocolate. For a moment, curiosity crept into Evelyn’s eyes. It was because she realized that it was made through double boiling. When she looked closely, it looked like a pot had been made to create the double boil, so that the chocolate could remain molten.
It was the first time she had seen one, not only in the principality but in the entire commercial district of the continent.
It was probably a dessert that had just started to become popular in Hereos…
The capital of Hereos was located inland, far from the coast. Fedora and the culture itself were different from the coastline close enough to see the sea just by turning your head.
‘I didn’t know such a place would make a fondue dessert like this.’
Was it inspired by the Sinseollo* bowl of the eastern continent?
The exact source for the items was unknown, but if it’s considered popular, it will soon spread to other countries.
‘Next year, it might be included in the trade goods…’
Having prepared the repast, Ethan picked up a long-handled dessert fork while Evelyn examined the double crafted bowl and unfamiliar dessert format. Affixing a half-cut strawberry, he dipped it in plenty of melted chocolate to coat the berry thoroughly.
Evelyn reached out her hand, thinking of accepting it as it was laid out in front of her. But before Evelyn’s hand could reach it, Ethan moved the fork away.
It wasn’t like he was giving it to her and then taking it away, and she looked at Ethan for a moment, wondering what he was doing. He bit his lips with a look of nervousness.
Evelyn waited to see if he had something to say, but Ethan seemed somewhat flustered.
Yet, even in that silence, Evelyn successfully managed to discern Ethan’s intentions.
He had his mouth open, like a child begging for food. It would be odd if she didn’t know his intention after seeing his behavior.
This time, she couldn’t hold back a sigh. When Evelyn exhaled, Ethan’s shoulders dropped slightly.
When she saw his reaction, she decided her worries were meaningless. This activity was all about lingering with Ethan anyway, there was nothing she wouldn’t do.
“Ah,” she said, and Ethan brought the fork closer to Evelyn’s lips.
Quietly taking the strawberry, Evelyn ate it and contemplated Ethan with renewed interest.
His shoulders were squared again. As she gathered from the telltale twitching of the corners of his mouth threatening to become a full smile, he seemed quite satisfied.
It was a little unexpected because she didn’t think he would like something like that. It didn’t feel bad though, rather…
“Is it tasty?”
She thought it was nice because it brought back nostalgic and warm memories. More than a decade ago, she used to eat food fed to her by Archduke and Archduchess Fedora in the same manner.
She was happy back in those days when she chewed food like a baby bird.
“How was it?”
‘Why am I answering a question that differs from that past with the same smile I used to give at that time?’
‘It feels like the longing I had been trying to repress has deepened because of Ethan.’
‘If I keep him from leaving the Castle like this, can I go back to those days?’
She lost her mind for a moment, but Evelyn nodded as she chewed the strawberry and chocolate.
‘Chocolate isn’t that sweet.’
She usually preferred fresh fruit to a sweet dessert. In most cases, she only ate the fruit decorating a dessert. Shaking off as much whipped cream or other lumps of sugar as possible.
As such a picky habit was repeated, the Castle’s chef removed dessert from Evelyn’s diet. However, it was better than she thought to combine sweets and fresh fruits together.
‘Come to think of it, I also ate two slices of apple pie yesterday.’
Evelyn was unaware that Ethan had brought the chef from Orman’s estate. There was no way for Evelyn to know that when he heard that she ate the apple pie made by the Duke’s chef, Grand Duke’s chef blamed himself and started researching desserts.
She just stared at the plate lined with fruit.
“Would you like more?”
It was comfortable. Ethan noticed every glance and gesture she made and took care of her wants.
‘If you live your whole life like this, you will be pampered. It’s good.’
Evelyn’s eyes narrowed slightly.
‘You don’t have to ask if you’re already dipping another strawberry and waiting’
After she was silent for a while, Ethan asked once more as if urging her.
His gold eyes were sparkling with excessive anticipation.
‘As long as my hands are fine, it’s not like I couldn’t just ignore him but…’ Evelyn just opened her mouth wide.
A smile bloomed on Ethan’s face at that little movement. He was already feeding Evelyn strawberries. She felt the kindness that he devoted to her today as well.
Even before she could calm down and not allow herself to be intoxicated by Ethan’s warmth, Evelyn had a new goal in mind.
Is Ethan one of the best ML of all times? The answer is YES.
*Sinseollo: or royal hot pot is an elaborate dish consisting of meatballs, small and round jeonyueo (전유어), mushrooms, and vegetables cooked in a rich broth in Korean royal court cuisine. The dish is a form of jeongol (elaborate chowder-like stew). It is served in a large bundt pan-shaped vessel with a hole in the center, in which hot embers are placed to keep the dish hot throughout the meal.
Sinseollo is the proper name for the cooking vessel in which this dish is served, which has come to mean the actual dish as well. Sinseollo is a composite word of sinseon (신선), “Taoist immortal spirit” and ro (로), ‘brazier.’ Jeong Hee-Ryang (정희량), a scholar in the court of Joseon Dynasty’s King Yeonsan, turned to a hermit-like life in the mountains after being exiled and disillusioned from politics. He made a small brazier to cook his meals, a portable cooking vessel that would cook various vegetables in a single pot. He disappeared in the mountains and legend says he became a sinseon, so the cooking vessel was named “brazier for a sinseon.”
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