If You Wish For Something Useless - Chapter 16
Translator and Editor: Gina and Tea
Chapter 16 – Cracks (1)
Having been so obsessed with making a snowman despite the chilly weather, Ethan really caught a cold. Fortunately, his condition got better after only three days. He had no way to beat the unfamiliar cold weather, so he got sick, but his recovery was fast thanks to the years of training his body. In fact, it was embarrassing to even call it a cold. Coughs, a runny nose, and a mild fever were all he had. Nevertheless, Ethan voluntarily reduced his meetings with Evelyn. It was because he couldn’t shake off his fear that he would pass his cold to her. Thus, he suppressed the desire to see her and did his best to recover. It was a tearful effort even though he received a blessing three times a day from the Great Castle’s resident priest.
However, even though he had avoided Evelyn in hope of a more rapid recovery, Ethan couldn’t meet her today either. Because Evelyn was supposed to join Fedora’s ministers for a luncheon after the State Council meeting.
‘She’s doing great even though she’s younger than me.’
The Grand Duke’s outing, originally scheduled for a week, had extended to over ten days, so she was required to take his place because there were too many greedy people who ran wild when the owner was away. Whether in Hereos or Fedora it was no different. Even if the scale decreases from country to family, it is still the same. The elders and vassals were always eager to covet, steal, and eat the family’s property.
Therefore, Ethan, who could have attended as the Archduke’s legitimate son, did not show his face. Just because he’s not interested in it doesn’t mean those eager for power wouldn’t rush to use him. In order not to affect Fedora’s situation in any way, it was better to allow them no room at all. With Archduke Fedora’s absence, Ethan should be wary of any variant.
‘You must behave well.’
The Archduke was stranded at the border due to the heavy snow and planned to return to the castle as soon as the weather became warmer. That was the news sent via the magical telegram, so barring any special events, he would have moved as intended. Even considering the delay due to the snow, they will meet again in a few days. And perhaps Ethan was excited about that because he missed his father. He enjoyed being with Evelyn, but since the Archduke was also his family, Ethan wanted to see his face again as soon as possible.
“I can’t wait to see you again…’
Every day at the Great Castle was enjoyable, so he wanted to see the Archduke again soon. Although the fun had been decreased for the past three days… but that was momentary.
After finishing his meal, Ethan could not control his body shaking with excitement.
“Do that later, and you better bring my coat first.”
In the end, he urged the servant clearing the dishes to prepare to go out. Ethan rose from the bed while the servant, after a brief reply, went to retrieve his coat. He was anxious to go out as soon as possible. The physician Evelyn had ordered clearly overprotected him. For the past three days, he was sequestered in his bedroom. It was definitely overprotection.
Normally very active, Ethan felt a bit sore. He had finally been given permission to have a light walk starting today, so he was in a hurry. He was frustrated because he couldn’t get out of the bedroom and received the nagging from his physician who said he couldn’t permit him but… he could go out for one day.
Ethan curbed himself all morning so that Evelyn, while taking care of state affairs, did not hear the news of his outing. Who sent the doctor to confine him in his room to such excess? In consideration, he endured, so now, why not go out?!
Excited, Ethan ran into a problem as soon as he decided to leave.
A fur coat he had never seen before appeared before his eyes. It was so thick he wondered if people could move in it. Above all else, it seemed like it would be quite ridiculous to wear.
“Bring something else.”
“This was prepared by the Princess. She said the Young Master must wear it when going out.”
Imagining himself waddling in a fur coat, Ethan slowly stepped back and paused.
‘If it’s from Evelyn.’
In all honesty, he didn’t want to wear that coat, but if Evelyn had it prepared, he couldn’t object. Changing his mind in an instant, he tucked himself into the fur coat. At the same time, Ethan felt slightly bothered because Evelyn seemed to see him as a weakling. He was just unfamiliar with the cold, bitter Fedora weather. It wasn’t that he was weak enough to be sick but it was due to the unfamiliar weather. Ethan promised himself he would explain it to Evelyn later. That commitment was strengthened by the servant’s attitude while extending a thick fur hat and fur gloves to him.
His thinking that the clothes were too heavy pushed Ethan’s steps to speed from the bedroom. Philman’s steps behind him also accelerated. At the end of the hasty steps was the garden. Ethan was thinking of completing the snowman he couldn’t finish with Evelyn a few days ago. Since he had made a snowman the size of himself, he intended to make a snowman the size of Evelyn.
As he left the castle, a strong wind blew.
A chill seeped through his bones. The sun was high, but it was a day with no heat at all. Ethan tucked his fur overcoat so tightly that his arms couldn’t go down. Preparing his clothes in advance, Evelyn’s consideration seemed to protect him. Was it because he remembered Evelyn? His movement toward the garden gradually became more urgent.
However, Ethan, nearly running to the garden, did not have to build more snowmen. The item he wanted to make was already occupying one side of the garden. A snowman studded with scarlet garnets reminded him of Evelyn’s eyes in the portrait. Staring at it in bewilderment, the corners of Ethan’s mouth rose upwards. There was no evidence anywhere that it was made by Evelyn and yet, he was expecting it just in case.
“Actually… I wanted to make you and me.”
‘Did you remember the words of that day?’ Ethan smiled shyly and took off the fur hat he was wearing to place it on top of the larger of the two snowmen, the one modeled after himself. The snowman was wearing gloves on the branches as arms and even had a hat. The snowman built to fit Evelyn’s height was already wearing the scarf and gloves she had been wearing that day in the garden a few days ago. His heart fluttered as he took a few steps back and looked at the snowmen standing side by side.
“Haha.” He laughed brightly as he rubbed his chest.
“Did Evelyn make it?”
He asked Philman, standing near him, but the only response was an ambiguous smile, neither positive nor negative response. Of course, he didn’t know the answer, so it was inevitable. Ethan wasn’t too disappointed even though he didn’t hear an answer. In fact, he was reluctant to ask anyone. Because he thought he would feel disappointment if the answer was no. He wanted to know the answer, but on the other hand, he didn’t in hopes that Evelyn might be the one who made it.
As Ethan was wandering in his warm, soothing sensation, he heard a voice call him. Looking back, he saw a man he knew well.
It was the old gardener who had given him the branches a few days ago.
“At that time, I was so excited that I couldn’t even say anything. Thank you so much.”
Ethan pointed to the snowman’s arm. The gardener was clearing the night’s snowfall before it froze and replied with a warm smile.
“I’m glad it was helpful to you two.”
“Thanks to you, I made a snowman that looks quite like me ”
“It’s an honor if you think so.”
Ethan looked at the snowman with proud, twinkling eyes.
“Are you feeling okay now? Everyone was very worried.”
Softened by the gardener’s question that followed immediately after, his face fell.
‘Had the news of my cold spread wildly in the castle while I was locked in bed?’ Ethan let out a clumsy cough from embarrassment. He couldn’t help but worry that not only Evelyn but also the people around the Castle would see him as a weakling. And since he was wearing a very thick fur coat right now, he was in no position to escape that statement.
He thought he needed to explain things, but he hesitated to remove the coat to make the point.
‘It’s true that it’s quite cold.’
While Ethan struggled with the warmth enveloping his body and the pride in his lifetime of training, the gardener spoke once more.
“I don’t know if I can say this to someone who was sick, but…”
“Can you visit the garden more often with the Princess in the future?”
Ethan blinked a few times, then smiled and nodded.
“If Evelyn has time, there’s nothing she can’t do. But is there any special reason?”
‘What does the garden mean?’
The gardener laughed bitterly as if he had waited for Ethan’s question.
“This foolish old man was so happy to see Princess Evelyn smiling again…”
‘Evelyn smiling?’ Ethan’s head tilted. It was true she didn’t smile often, but recently she started to smile, at least faintly. Ethan thought that he hadn’t seen her smile because they weren’t that close yet.
‘Don’t tell me, she didn’t smile at all?’
However, even before bringing up the question, the gardener continued talking.
“I don’t know how many years have passed since she laughed like that day and played in the snow.”
“Um? Evelyn said she built a snowman when she was a kid…”
“Yes, it was like that.”
The gardener’s voice had a bittersweet tone. From what he said, Evelyn, who once played in this place full of snow sculptures, suddenly stopped coming to the garden. When she went for a walk or held a tea party, she entered it, but that was all.
“But the day before yesterday, she played again and smiled brightly while looking at the Castle.”
Ethan’s eyes grew bigger than usual. The words he heard just now were the confirmation that it was Evelyn who did the newly built snowman. A wave of joy washed over Ethan so much he felt ashamed that he had hesitated to hear the answer earlier in his fear it hadn’t been her.
“Were you together then?”
Ethan’s voice began to rise in excitement.
‘Did Evelyn really make that snowman?’
“Oh, yes. I was the one who raised the snowball.” The gardener pointed his finger at the head of the third snowman and said, “The Princess couldn’t place it by herself so I helped her.”
“And while working on it, I asked about placing arms and she said yes so I found branches to fit the shape well.”
“She brought her own scarf and gloves… Ah! And she said that it was a gift for the Young Master.”
As excited as Ethan, the gardener told him the whole story.
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