If You Wish For Something Useless - Chapter 11
Translator and Editor: Gina and Tea
Chapter 11 – Seeds of Change (4)
Her thoughts at that moment were… contradictory.
If she really believed that she could alter the future by blocking Ethan’s entry to the hunting grounds, then she could enjoy this warmth to her heart’s content.
However, she was unable to do so and drew a line for her sanity and safety, reminding herself that she must one day surrender that warmth. She still believed the events of the original story couldn’t be stopped, and thus her identity will be revealed eventually.
And yet, she was still trying to keep Ethan away from the hunting grounds.
‘What on earth does this look like? Either you want it to be revealed or you don’t.’ Sighing, Evelyn shook her head. ‘What are you doing?’
She was a foolish and pathetic person, so no matter her decision, she would still act the way she was doing right now.
‘So just, for now, just, yeah, just…’
Even though she repeatedly tried to ignore it, It was clear that the warmth that he radiated toward her without cease took away her cool-headed reasoning.
While she was mocking herself for her pitiful actions, Ethan had already dipped the next fruit.
He had chosen an apple, and Evelyn shook her head right away. She didn’t enjoy hard-textured fruits. The apple pie she ate the day before was good because the apples in the jam were soft and fluffy.
Noting her refusal, Ethan immediately replaced the apple and dipped another fruit. His new option was Kiwi. Evelyn nodded as if permitting him, and he dipped the kiwi in chocolate, waiting for her permission.
Eating the fruit like a baby bird, Evelyn licked her lips. It was a reflexive action responding to the possibility that chocolate dripped on her lip.
Observing her licking, he grabbed a napkin and wiped Evelyn’s lips gently. When their eyes met above the cloth, Ethan was the only one who flinched. Still, it seemed a stubborn desire to completely clean Evelyn’s lips kept him from lowering his hand.
Blinking a couple of times, they remained silent for a moment before there was action. Putting down the napkin, Ethan reached out his hand with a careful movement. Like a person who was worried about surprising a fearful wild animal that might run away.
Evelyn was curious about his next move, so she just sat still and watched.
Then Ethan’s hand gently landed on her head. For a moment, Evelyn’s eyebrows raised slightly, but she didn’t step back as she had while looking around the city.
The longing and regret she had tried to erase had long since flourished. It was only a little later that Ethan, who had frozen in his seat, began to move his hands.
Evelyn let him as he slowly started petting her head. Instead of avoiding the touch as she used to, she adjusted to the sensation with her eyes closed.
As she leaned on Ethan’s hand, she felt like she was about to cry.
‘If I could have the present and the past that was like this present for the rest of my life, there would be nothing more I could wish for.’
Why were these coveted things given to someone other than her?
Ethan had started his personal training around sunset, so it was late at night when he returned to his bedroom.
After washing off his sweat, he left the bathroom and immediately picked up a book placed next to the bed. He intended to read the book Evelyn had recommended until he fell asleep. When she came to the library in the morning, she had recommended a few books for him to read.
Although he used the hunting grounds as a topic to satisfy his personal greed, Ethan was careful to not interfere with Evelyn’s schedule.
It was impossible for her to be with him all day.
‘You’re a lot busier than I thought.’
So, he had to be satisfied with just increasing the time they spend together, even if it was only in her spare time. Ethan inserted what he wanted over and around her basic schedule.
Having a five-minute conversation and getting a book recommendation when Evelyn comes to the library.
Taking a 10-minute walk after lunch.
Eating snacks together during an afternoon break when her concentration is low.
Having dinner and engaging in some simple indoor entertainment.
Just that much. Even if they spend more time together, it was one or two hours in total.
For Ethan, that was enough. Even if it’s not that much time right now, once it accumulates, it will have its own value.
Just like Evelyn, who had avoided his touch a few days ago, quietly surrendered today.
Even after opening the book, Ethan’s mind was full of Evelyn.
Today, he even stroked her hair, so it was even more difficult to shake her from his thoughts. He looked down at the hand that touched her hair and replayed the scene from a few hours ago.
The feeling of that time was still there. It was only once, but it was as clear as if it had been engraved on his hand.
Her head was soft and warm, like touching a little furry beast. At that moment, Ethan, who saw Evelyn as something like a small, cute rabbit, shook his head with a strange look.
‘It doesn’t seem right…?’
No matter how much he thought about it, Evelyn and rabbits had no resemblance.
“Is it because of her personality?”
‘It was difficult to approach her, and there is a bit of a crankiness that makes you feel self-conscious, such a soft animal…’
Even though he voiced the idea aloud without thinking, it was easy to accept it. It was quite easy for Ethan to picture Evelyn as a cat.
“A white cat.”
Among the options, a cat with pure white fur was the best. It suited her, as he imagined her taking an arrogant step with her tail raised. The same was about her expressions of likes and dislikes, and her raised prim look.
Ethan stuck out his lips in thought. He ended up closing the book he hadn’t even read.
Evelyn Lokt Fedora.
Having met her in person, she certainly belonged to the candid side. Still, it was strangely difficult to read her thoughts.
‘Can I say that through her I understood the admonition that Duke Orman had been so persistent in?’
“It doesn’t mean you don’t have to be honest, it means you don’t have to show all your cards.”
“Also, being honest doesn’t mean you can’t hide your feelings.”
Ethan had never thought that Evelyn was lying. She only had the intuition that there were things better left unsaid. Or maybe she was so good at lying that she could fool him.
But for Ethan, it didn’t matter whether Evelyn was good at lying or not. His attention was focused on the other side.
He certainly talked to Evelyn, but he couldn’t tell what she was thinking.
Just by watching her for a few days, one could tell she speaks straightforwardly, yet, there was no story about herself among the words she brought up.
He couldn’t tell about her feelings, her likes or dislikes, anything.
“By the time I realized… It was after Eve stopped talking to me.”
It wasn’t that difficult to understand what Archduke Fedora said.
Those who have been with Evelyn for a few days would easily understand Ethan’s thoughts now.
Ethan had been immersed in complex thoughts alone and suddenly flinched.
“Because I’m pretty.”
While mulling his thoughts, he remembered an even more unexpected moment. As the emotions of that time came to mind, a clear smile spread over his face, replacing the complexity that was swallowing him just before.
She just said something natural, but he could understand why she thought she was so cute.
In fact, he agreed that Evelyn was pretty.
Although he knew her appearance from the portrait he had received in Orman, the moment he first saw her, he was swept away by her beauty.
Big scarlet eyes, voluminous eyelashes, a tall nose, and pretty, fine lips. Her facial features were glamorous overall.
Evelyn’s portrait in Orman left an elegant and calm impression, but when he met her in person, she was bright and colorful. When a firm and clear expression was superimposed over the appearance he knew, it was as if he was looking at someone else altogether. He had always imagined her with a small and neat figure, but she wasn’t.
‘Because she was small when they painted the portrait.’
Perhaps because of the full-length portrait he received when she was 12, Ethan naturally assumed Evelyn was small. Even when she was grown up, she wouldn’t reach above his chest. The life-size portrait of a small girl showed her barely reaching 17-year-old Ethan’s solar plexus. Perhaps that’s why the impression of a small girl continued.
But meeting Evelyn in person, she was tall enough to slightly exceed his shoulder. The Evelyn that Ethan had formed in his mind was nowhere to be found.
“Since ancient times, beauty has been treated as an excellent strategy in various military tactics.”
‘Who would have known that she could dictate strategic tactics based on her own looks?’
He had met a completely different person. But it was more enjoyable than unfamiliar.
‘Would it be strange to say that getting to know the real Evelyn is more fascinating and enjoyable?’
“If you’re not popular with women with that kind of face, isn’t there a problem?”
“…Thank you for the compliment. Brother is also handsome.”
He had met countless women who blushed at the sight of his appearance, but that was the first time he had ever received such a blunt and calm compliment. There was no interest or admiration in her demeanor. She only gave him an objective evaluation.
Ethan chuckled as he remembered Evelyn holding the bouquet.
Beautiful, smart, and sometimes coy Evelyn.
It was unbearably enjoyable, so he laughed once again.
Nevertheless, a bitter feeling grew in a corner of his heart… Because the difference between his and her feelings was painfully obvious.
Ethan looked forward to the day he would meet Evelyn, whom he longed for, but Evelyn didn’t seem to miss him that much.
It wasn’t like he wanted her to return as much as he handed to her but… it was a shame.
He felt a bit disappointed.
“What would she be doing now…”
Ethan pulled the rope after a short thought. Soon, a servant designated to attend him while staying in the Grand Duchy entered.
“Do you know where Evelyn is now?”
He stared at the man’s back as he hurriedly left the bedroom to find the answer.
He couldn’t stop thinking, that was why he asked, but he didn’t want anything more than that right now. If she had already retired to her bedroom, he wouldn’t disturb her rest.
However, the answer he received from the servant who returned shortly after, rendered Ethan’s worries meaningless.
“She is in the office.”
It was already well past 10 pm, but was she still in the office?
He knew Evelyn was going to the office after dinner, but he didn’t know she was working until that late.
“The butler said the other day that the amount of time the Princess spends in the office has increased significantly.”
“Yes, my Lord.”
Frankly speaking, he thought that the burden would be reduced by helping her with some administrative work, but that didn’t seem to be the case.
‘Is it because of the absence of the Archduke?’
Ethan looked at the clock in his room and was again troubled. ‘I’ve already taken away her time and satisfied my greed, but if I wander around again…’
“Will it bother you?”
Ethan frowned, not hearing the servant’s response.
He hesitated for a long time because he couldn’t deny his own question.
Wouldn’t it be a burden on her if he showed his face at this time, maybe he would make her uncomfortable…
Weeks had passed and Ethan still couldn’t predict Evelyn’s reaction. Perhaps that was why he was constantly cautious about things related to her.
He couldn’t take a single step each time anxiety, disguised as prudence, held his ankles. But for some reason, the warmth left on his palms seemed to encourage him.
She didn’t back down startled as she had in the city, so maybe he was a bit closer to her than before? Didn’t he feed her fruit today?
When he thought of Evelyn’s full cheeks, his ears got hot.
Agonizing over the sight of his own hand, he eventually rose from his seat.
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