If You Wish For Something Useless - Chapter 12
Translator and Editor: Gina and Tea
Chapter 12 – Useless Hope (1)
Disclaimer: Mention of child alcohol consumption and a slight suggestion of alcoholism
The reason Evelyn stayed in her office until later than usual was because she had other work to do. She intended to prepare and complete all data for the Archduke before she left.
Since he possessed the overall information, there was no need to attach every detail. Still, there was a lot to do.
‘I think I’ll just have to work for another three or four days. Just organize the rest and you’re really ready to leave. Since he understands the practice, it should be enough.’
The reason for concluding that the person who would see this material was the Archduke was simple.
Ethan will have a hard time settling right after she leaves.
“But then again…”
A small murmur escaped her lips. She was still being contradictory. She didn’t stop preparing to leave and, at the same time, she was still trying to prevent Ethan from going anywhere near the hunting grounds.
Her own behavior was frustrating.
At that moment, the sound of a knock cut through Evelyn’s sighs.
‘There’s no one to disturb me at this time, who could it be?’
After brief permission, the door opened. Ethan pushed his head through the gap.
Making eye contact he smiled softly and asked,
“Can I come in?”
‘I’ve already told you to come in, but why are you asking again?’
Evelyn nodded as she looked at Ethan, who was always cautious around her.
Ethan entered, being careful not to make any sound.
Evelyn’s head tilted to her side.
‘Why… is he acting as if he’s walking on eggs?’
Ethan was sometimes overly cautious. He acted like he would run away if Evelyn was startled.
It was difficult to say that his judgment was wrong because she had that history of backing away in surprise at his touch in the city but…
‘Wasn’t that just an unconscious reaction out of embarrassment? How can you be so obviously careful like that? …It’s not that I hate it.’
Evelyn didn’t hate being treated like glass that would break if he did something wrong, or like a timid wild beast. She suddenly turned her gaze away, thinking that her heart itched.
As Ethan approached her, she organized the pile of papers on her desk, and by the time he got there, Evelyn had already arranged all the important papers that shouldn’t be viewed by others.
“It’s late, what are you doing? Why aren’t you resting?”
She brought Ethan inside, but she didn’t know why he was visiting.
“Well… I’m just worried that you’re still in the office…”
Ethan didn’t say clearly why he had come all the way here. Evelyn tilted her head.
“It’s something I usually do.”
“It is, but…”
Ethan smiled awkwardly like an embarrassed person. Then he looked at the papers Evelyn was putting in the drawer.
“Is there anything I can help you with?”
“Could I ask what’s going on…”
“It’s just this and that.”
Instead of talking about business, he continued to ramble. Scratching his cheek bashfully.
Then Evelyn asked a question.
“Are you free?”
“No, I’m not…” For a moment, his imaginary tail wiggled, and continued with an awkward smile,
“I suddenly thought of you, so I wanted to see your face for a moment…”
“You see me every day, don’t you?”
“That… Yes, but…”
Ethan looked into Evelyn’s eyes, then turned his head. Then his true intention came out with a dry cough.
“Nothing special, just… Ehem, I just wanted to see you again.”
Evelyn bit her lip, speechless. Still, she couldn’t help but respond to the words that immediately followed.
“I didn’t mean to surprise you… I’m sorry.”
“I was not surprised.”
“There was nothing to be surprised about. I was just curious about what you were doing because you showed up out of the blue.”
Since she was told that he had no special purpose, the question was settled neatly.
‘I’ve never been surprised by his visits, but I don’t know why he’s apologizing.’
“So you don’t have to apologize. It’s not wrong to visit me.”
Ethan laughed at the nonsensical remark. Evelyn narrowed her eyes as she saw him laughing out of the blue once again.
‘Why are you laughing that much? Is it that funny?’
Or maybe it was his weird side? Even in the city and now, she didn’t know why he laughed.
Whether he knew or not that Evelyn was looking at him suspiciously, Ethan was still trying to catch his breath and wiping the corner of his eyes.
“Thank you for saying that.” He said, rubbing his eyes.
Evelyn only nodded lightly with a puzzled expression on her face.
‘I don’t know why the hell he was thankful for my words.’
But, wasn’t it even weirder to ask why when someone says ‘thank you’? She decided to just shut her mouth and agree.
“I’m telling you this because I’m older, but if you need help, please tell me.”
She tried to come up with a simple answer saying he had already done enough, but Ethan wasn’t finished talking.
“I’ve been having a lot of fun lately. I am happy every day after I meet you.”
Unlike Evelyn, who was bewildered by the sudden remark and shut her mouth, Ethan kept talking.
“Therefore… As much as I am happy with you, I want you to be happy with me too.”
“So, if there is anything I can do for you, please tell me. Because I will do anything for you.”
‘Why do I feel sad after hearing those words?’
Perhaps it was because of her emotional turbulence, Evelyn unwittingly pulled out her inner feelings.
“…Me too, it’s not bad.”
She also thought she would like to enjoy his warmth forever, if possible. She insisted in her heart that she should let go of his hands since it wasn’t her place, but that was not the truth.
What was the point of cheating if the truth was already different?
Ethan bowed his head as Evelyn swallowed the bitterness. He was trying to cover his blushing face with his hand. It didn’t help much because Evelyn was looking straight at him.
“Th- that’s a relief.”
Realizing that it was no use, Ethan started fanning himself with the hand he had covered before. Evelyn’s eyes were fixed on Ethan, who couldn’t hide his joy while coughing shyly
A person who rejoices and gets excited at every word she says. He always loved her and shared his warmth with her.
Evelyn felt as if the Archduke was standing in front of her. They acted just the same.
At that moment, greed lifted its head in her heart.
‘Even if you’re going to leave, aren’t you still here?’
‘Maybe it’s the last warmth allowed, but shouldn’t we enjoy it to the fullest?’
The color of her growing greed was so dark that it was impossible to understand.
“I won’t go “
‘What’s more, hasn’t Ethan already declared it? So, a miracle may really, really happen.’
‘Then everything that flutters in front of your eyes now becomes yours.’
‘In fact, isn’t Ethan preferring your presence more than going to the hunting grounds?’
When her greed was disguised as hope, Evelyn could no longer ignore it.
“You have already come…”
When the name of what was pushing her inside changed, Evelyn took it completely.
Until then, Evelyn always followed Ethan’s lead, she never took the initiative. So that if things go according to the original, she wouldn’t be left hanging miserably.
She had kept her distance with her mind ready so that she wouldn’t become weak at the moment she had to let go.
Even if Ethan did not go to the hunting ground, the anxiety buried deeply in her heart made her take a defensive attitude.
But not anymore.
“Would you like a drink?”
For a moment he tilted his head with a bewildered expression as if he did not understand the situation, then Ethan said with a smile.
“Yeah, let’s do that. Now that you are an adult, you should learn to drink.”
Evelyn was about to bend down but paused. While Ethan pulled the rope, she glanced at the bottom drawer.
‘How many bottles of liquor did I put there?’
She used to drink when alone. It was her little hobby to collect bottles of alcohol, one by one, without the servants’ knowledge. It’s already been more than a year since she had been in and out of the drinking warehouse.
‘Is it reasonable to keep your sanity after your place is denied and finding out that your family is not yours at the tender age of fourteen?’
Her stomach was crushed to the point where she had to borrow the power of alcohol. Because she didn’t dream when she fell asleep drunk. It was the only time she could ignore the memories of her previous life and the contents of the original novel.
Evelyn alternated her attention between Ethan telling the servant who arrived at his call to prepare a table for drinks and the drawer and rose from her seat.
‘I don’t have to tell you.’
The servant withdrew while she was moving to the sofa and Ethan approached.
“It’s your first time, so I told her to bring in several different types. Try a light wine first, and if you think you’ll be okay, let’s try something else.”
His assumption was unwelcome since Evelyn preferred strong liquor. Wine wouldn’t even scratch her liver.
‘I should drink it first and say that liquor is better.’
It would be appropriate for a mouthwash. Evelyn nodded and smiled.
Did the smile look quite innocent? Ethan didn’t seem to have any idea of Evelyn’s drinking history at all.
Evelyn was able to face the drinks and snacks that the servants had prepared for them without any misgivings. In one corner of her office, a dinner table was set next to the sofa, and Ethan poured the wine.
“It has a strong acidity, but… People who don’t like sweets tend to like it. Have a taste.”
Smiling softly, Evelyn tilted the glass that Ethan had handed her. All the way until all the swirling red liquid disappeared.
Ethan had thought she would take a sip and put down her glass and now reached out urgently. However, when he took the glass back, the contents had already disappeared.
“Evelyn, are you okay? Aren’t you dizzy?”
Evelyn swallowed a false laugh again. ‘Will there be anyone who falls as soon as they swallow alcohol?’
“Do you get drunk as soon as you drink alcohol?”
“That- it’s not…”
While Ethan was fuming, Evelyn picked a coveted bottle of liquor. There was a sense of familiarity in that bottle.
She had the same bottle in her collection inside the drawer.
“Wine is like any drink. I want to drink this too.”
While Ethan was sputtered, Evelyn steadily filled a glass with ice and alcohol. After that, little by little.
“This is delicious.”
“Uh… is, is that so? It’s a strong drink… Do- do you like it? Isn’t it bitter? That, um… Even if it’s your taste, it would be better to drink it slowly.”
As he stuttered, Ethan kept talking as he gently dragged Evelyn’s bottle toward himself.
He didn’t stop until he hugged the bottle as if rationing its contents.
Evelyn’s eyes narrowed.
The way he held the bottle tightly in his arms looked like he was struggling to hide stolen property.
‘There are many other types, so why bother? If he wants to hoard it, he should put all the bottles away, or if I open another bottle, then it’s useless.’
Unable to comprehend Ethan’s actions, Evelyn clicked her tongue inwardly.
Either way, Ethan watched her as he carefully closed the cap of the bottle and tucked it into his side.
Afterward, as soon as their eyes met, he smiled awkwardly, thinking perhaps she seemed a little too cute.
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