If You Wish For Something Useless - Chapter 4
Translator and Editor: Gina and Tea
“It’s due to the Sol Imperial Kingdom, which leads the trade in the eastern continent. No, would it be more accurate to say it’s thanks to them?”
If the Principality of Fedora had the northeast coast of the western continent, the Sol Kingdom occupied all the western part of the east continent.
They are the powerhouse that took over 30% of the eastern continent as a territory.
Since there were only seven subordinate countries, there were not many who could defy the Sol Kingdom in the East.
“If it is the Sol Kingdom… It is currently the most active place in trade activity in the East.”
“Yes, you’re right.”
Ethan must have heard of their names, too.
Because the Sol Kingdom of the East was the most well-known country in the western continent.
“A delegation visited Hereos, and we had the opportunity to meet with them. Of course, I don’t know the details.”
And since the location had potential, they chose to not just hear about the business, but also to experience it firsthand.
“Even if they say that their status in the eastern continent is absolute, it is not enough.”
“What does that have to do with these trade statistics…?”
Ethan couldn’t directly relate the statistics before him to the Sol Kingdom status.
It was understandable, no one could understand unless they knew about the incident between the Sol Kingdom and the Fedora Grand Duchy, although neither side spoke of it.
Evelyn intended to tell Ethan the story. She continued speaking in an even tone.
“The King of the Sol Kingdom commanded everyone to go through Fedora when anyone traded with the Western Continent. Do you understand?”
The question of ‘Why the hell?’ filled Ethan’s golden eyes.
This was the result of the event that occurred in the early days of the discovery of the new continent, just after the western and eastern continents recognized each other’s existence about 20 years ago.
The Archduke of Fedora once saved the Prince of the Sol Kingdom.
The incident started when a ship sent from the eastern continent ran aground.
Ethan’s eyes widened at Evelyn’s story.
This happened exactly 19 years ago, two months after Ethan left the castle.
Even within the Grand Duchy, only the number of people who could be counted on one hand knew the story.
And certainly, the situation inside the Sol Kingdom wouldn’t be much different.
“Of course, that’s not all of the reasons.”
‘I wonder if there are places where this is not the case, but the Eastern Continent culture places great importance on honor and dignity.’
At that time, the ship departing from Sol was boarded by the first delegation from the East to the West Continent.
The King of Sol wanted to hide the fact that the ship carrying his delegation had failed to overcome the typhoon and was damaged.
And due to all those circumstances, this was the first time Ethan heard the tale.
‘Thanks to them, Fedora made a huge profit, so it was a great deal.’
In addition, because Fedora’s location was good, the traders didn’t suffer any loss, so most of the eastern continent followed the will of the Sol Kingdom.
Explanation finished, Evelyn turned back to her paperwork.
Ethan, too, focused on the paperwork before him but glanced at Evelyn frequently.
Still unfamiliar with the administration of the Grand Duchy, he asked several questions, and each time, Evelyn calmly explained.
They continued to work after a brief post-lunch tea break.
But as it got dark, the two were forced to put down their papers and quills.
Knocking on the door, Grand Duke Fedora arrived. Evelyn stood up after telling him to come in.
Opening the door, the Archduke entered with a slightly puzzled expression.
“I greet His Grace, Grand Duke.”
“Fath… I greet the Grand Duke.”
Ethan stood behind Evelyn and imitated her greeting looking at Evelyn and the Archduke with slightly perplexed eyes.
The Archduke’s eyes showed a mixture of surprise, anxiety, and also joy.
“Eve, Ethan. I stopped by because you were together.”
Instead of meeting the Archduke’s gaze, Evelyn spoke with her head slightly bowed.
“I asked him for his assistance because I thought it would be okay for my brother to know, but if you do not allow it, I will follow.”
She said so, but Evelyn was hoping for his father to grant permission for Ethan to enter the office.
Her responsibilities now would be Ethan’s work next year.
If he started reviewing the paperwork this way, he will be less lost on the first day when he takes over her job.
It was necessary to minimize the confusion that came when the person in charge of administrative affairs changed.
Evelyn waited for the Archduke’s answer without revealing her intentions.
‘I think he’ll allow it, but…’
The Archduke had already said to Evelyn repeatedly before Ethan’s visit.
“Eve, don’t worry about the succession. You are the heir to the Principality. Ethan is just my son.”
To this, Evelyn also repeatedly answered that she knew.
So it was very likely that Ethan would be allowed to enter her office.
If Evelyn wasn’t wary of him, the Archduke wouldn’t want to reject Ethan either.
Having already lost his son for love, he would not want to hurt him again.
“…Do as you please.”
“Thank you, Archduke.”
As expected, the Archduke issued the permission Evelyn had been seeking.
But her father looked bitter while giving that approval.
The Archduke’s golden eyes darkened, and Ethan’s golden eyes shook in confusion.
On the other hand, Evelyn’s scarlet eyes were calm.
“But it would be better to stop for today. It’s already dinner time, so let’s eat.”
“Yes, we will do that.”
The Archduke left the office with a shallow sigh and said that he would wait in the dining room.
At that, Evelyn and Ethan began to organize their respective work.
She could feel Ethan’s eyes boring into her non-stop.
However, Evelyn didn’t explain to him why her relationship with the Archduke was so awkward.
There was no reason for her to explain anyway, and she didn’t want to say there was a reason.
‘What good would it do to talk about it?’
She was just forcing herself to embrace a past and a future she never wanted, but was it more likely that Evelyn was firm in her intent to avoid the conversation? Even after leaving the office, Ethan didn’t speak at all.
Evelyn and the Archduke had always eaten together before Ethan arrived. Now he joined the meal.
For the time being, the three of them will continue to sit at the same table.
Since it wasn’t a large party for dinner, their meals were prepared in a private room on the second floor.
Conversation between the Archduke and Evelyn had long ago died, so mealtimes were generally quiet.
It wasn’t much different today. All that happened was the conversation between Ethan and the Archduke from time to time.
The three emptied their plates with barely even a sound of dishes hitting each other.
Even after the meal was over, the Archduke hesitated as if feeling remorseful.
But Archduke Fedora was busier than Evelyn. In the end, he had to excuse himself first with an unwilling expression.
After that, Ethan cautiously spoke to Evelyn.
“Are you planning to return to the office?”
Evelyn nodded meekly.
However he took her affirmation, Ethan coughed embarrassedly.
Evelyn asked him a light question out of courtesy.
“Oh, you too?”
“Ah… that, umm…”
Ethan had been thinking about his answer for quite some time.
‘Do you even choose your words so that there is no misunderstanding like before?’
It was after Evelyn glanced at the door of the private room that he spoke again.
Ethan hastily spoke to her, as if she seemed to be leaving at any moment.
Well, no matter how hard they work, it won’t be easy to find a suitable replacement for her work.
“Please do not misunderstand this. Actually… I thought we would have a lot of time to spend together, so I thought about things I wanted to do. But I was a little saddened that we couldn’t do that. You don’t have enough time to satisfy my greed.”
He never thought that Evelyn, who was just about to come of age, was so deeply involved in business.
She didn’t even disclose details about her work in the letters they exchanged. At the very least, all she mentioned was helping the Archduke.
“It’s true that I don’t have enough time.”
Evelyn wasn’t paying attention to Ethan and misunderstood his words once again.
She wasn’t very interested in digging into Ethan’s significance.
She just thought she could use the current situation to draw him into administrative work a little more often.
“But if Brother helps me like you did today, I can make more time for myself.”
Ethan delayed responding, but the hesitation didn’t last long.
“Did I help?”
“Of course you did.”
After repeatedly rubbing his lips like choosing his words, he said something Evelyn hadn’t expected.
“To be honest… I had a lot of fun today. I was able to see what you usually do, and spend time together with you.”
Evelyn remained silent waiting for the next words.
“Maybe it will be difficult for us to meet often in the future. I’m an Orman, and you’ll have to live here taking care of Fedora.”
‘What do you want to say?’ Evelyn tilted her head.
“After that, it will give me the strength to enjoy the days as I do now, so I want to take this opportunity to get a little closer to you.”
“Even if we don’t see each other often, the fact that I’m your elder brother doesn’t change and the fact that you’re my sister doesn’t change either.”
For a moment, even though she was embarrassed by his unexpected words, Evelyn’s gaze was nailed to Ethan.
Because for the first time, his lips held a tender, warm smile.
He was a handsome man who stood out even when he had a blunt expression on his face, but his face was completely different when he smiled softly as if to melt away.
“So I’m happy if you say that you need my help, and that I’m helpful.”
Those were words full of affection from an older brother who cared for his one and only sister.
“I want to do everything you want.”
What was that emotion that rose at that moment?
Evelyn tried hard to keep a straight face and keep her features neutral.
‘What should I do? The sister he cherishes and cares for is not here.’
Watching Ethan’s affectionate sincerity falling in the wrong place upset her.
Evelyn lowered her eyes and swallowed a bitter smile.
She tried to turn away from Ethan, who would be smiling in a place she won’t see.
“Of- of course, I’m not trying to pressure you.”
But that didn’t mean that Ethan’s overt kindness disappeared.
A cautious but upright warmth continued to hover around Evelyn.
As tenacious as if looking for a rift in her walls.
“If I make a mistake because I don’t know you well yet… So, from now on, if my request is burdensome, will you decline it?”
It seemed he was asking “did you not like it that I asked you for tea today?” As if he wasted her valuable time.
“That — I seem to be a little excited after meeting you. I’ll try my best, but if I’m being immature, just give me a harsh scolding.”
She was almost speechless, but Evelyn was able to respond in time.
“Don’t take it too seriously. If it’s okay with you, Brother, please help me tomorrow.”
Following the brief silence, her voice was soft.
But there was no emotion in it.
“If that’s what you wish, gladly.”
Nevertheless, the voice trying to reach her was much too warm.
Enough to make the heart of the one who didn’t deserve that warmth flutter helplessly.