If You Wish For Something Useless - Chapter 6
Translator and Editor: Gina and Tea
Chapter 6 – Different From The Original (2)
“Did something happen between you and Evelyn…”
The Archduke’s expression clouded. He seemed like a troubled person, no, a hopeless person. Then, he sighed with a bitter smile.
Seeing him silent for such a long while, Ethan regretted asking such a question. But the Archduke shook his head as if reading his mind.
“I don’t mean to hide it from you. Just… I don’t know where to start.”
He stared back at the Grand Castle with an agitated expression, and only after some short time had passed, he began to tell the story.
“I think it started around the time she turned fourteen…”
“From then on, Eve stopped calling me father.”
Ethan listened quietly to the story that followed.
“At first, I thought the formal attitude was just a child’s act. At that age, kids usually dream of being adults. So I watched Evelyn’s cute change with a proud heart.”
But the changes he took lightly in the past now brought him heavy anguish.
“By the time I realized… It was already too long after Eve stopped talking to me.”
While he sat on his hands not knowing what to do, the Archduke and Evelyn had already drifted far apart.
Even if he gathered the courage to approach her, nothing changed. Evelyn always evaded him.
“I’m still lacking.”
His voice was bitter as he sighed deeply. How helpless one could be while knowing what’s going on but unable to do anything!
“To you, and Eve…”
Ethan clenched his hand without realizing it in response to the self-pitying tale. The Archduke blaming himself made his heart ache. To be honest, it was still difficult for him to deal with the Archduke. Obviously, the relationship between father and son ended long ago, and there was only an empty gap during Ethan’s youth. It was difficult because he had had to build a new one from scratch.
In fact, Ethan felt more tension than comfort in the Archduke’s company. This is the reason why he unwittingly straightened his back every time he received attention. Because he became conscious of himself. It was definitely different from when he was with his mother Sylvia, and her husband, Duke Orman, with whom he had lived for a long time.
But even if it made him awkward and nervous, the Archduke was his only father. That fact did not change, so Ethan missed him and loved him. Even if the emotion in his heart had a different quality from that he felt for Sylvia and Orman, it was still affection.
Maybe that was why, when he heard the Archduke blaming himself, his heart ached.
Trying to help, he redirected the conversation.
“I don’t know if I can say this… But lately, I think it’s fortunate that the two of you got divorced.”
The Archduke looked curious as Ethan finished his statement. It was clear he wanted to pay attention to his son even though he had measured his words earlier. Because it was visible, the Archduke’s love was also felt strongly. He loved his son who had been far away. Just as Ethan thought.
Although he may not have been the top priority, it was apparent he was deeply loved. How could he hold onto resentment? His heart tingled at the sudden realization.
Feeling shy, Ethan replied awkwardly.
“That’s why my mother doesn’t rush me into marrying… She says… I should settle down once I meet my loved one.”
The Archduke chuckled, and lifting his voice, laughed out loud. Ethan was twenty-four years old. He would be twenty-five at the turn of the new year, so there was nothing strange about him getting married.
Considering that he was the next heir to the Orman’s Duchy, it was right to marry him sooner and secure his position. However, Ethan didn’t currently have a fiancée, let alone being married.
Having been fully briefed in a letter from Sylvia, the Archduke maintained his smile and nodded.
“Yeah, you deserve to say that.”
The Archduke looked at Ethan with warm eyes and spoke in a slightly mischievous tone.
“But marriage without love is not necessarily a bad thing.”
According to Sylvia, Ethan had unconditionally refused whenever marriage talks started.
The result wasn’t necessarily better when meeting beforehand, but it could be bad if they didn’t. The Archduke knew it well, so he offered advice and admonition simultaneously.
“Look at me. I don’t know how it will sound to you…Via and I didn’t love each other. It was an arranged marriage based on the interests of the family.”
“What was the result? Through that marriage, I have a close friend with whom I can share memories for the rest of my life.”
They sometimes shared their feelings of disappointment with the new spouses they met after leaving each other. The unusual relationship between the two made such candor possible. It wasn’t just for that reason the Archduke was saying that.
“Also, I have a son as good as you.”
Having met the most precious gift, even if they were to go back to the past and face the same choice, they would choose to marry each other again.
Witnessing his father’s innermost thoughts caused Ethan to blush up to his ears.
“So, don’t reject it out of hand. Depending on what you do, you might get along well with the other person.”
Ethan scratched his cheek as he checked the Archduke’s eyes. This advice may have cleared the Archduke’s head, but he didn’t know he would be the recipient of a lecture that not even Sylvia had brought up before.
Ethan felt an imperative urge to escape the conversation as soon as possible. Otherwise, since the Archduke and Sylvia were still in touch, they might hatch a plan and ask him to take the Duke’s position as soon as he returned to Hereos.
He didn’t want to meet a woman yet, so he needed to avoid that.
“I’ll think about it.”
“Hm? You’re saying dangerous words.”
“You’re not thinking about it, but you’re going to think about it? Are you saying you don’t want to hear it anyway?”
Ethan’s face flushed from the fact that he was so easily read.
“I’ll respect your wishes, so it doesn’t matter. However, there’s nothing to be gained by revealing your feelings in front of the nobles of Hereos.”
“Perhaps the Duke, who taught you, said the same thing. It would be better if you learn to hide your meaning with words.”
The Archduke was right. Ethan’s maternal grandfather, the Duke of Orman, always pointed out his honesty. He often added an injunction to cleverly hide his inner thoughts.
But today, the Archduke had also mentioned the same thing. It was a little embarrassing for him, since he only wanted to show his good side to the father he had not seen in a long time.
Ethan masked his growing embarrassment with a dry cough.
The week following Ethan’s arrival passed in an instant. During that week, Evelyn brought Ethan to the office in the afternoon only. No matter how many times she thought about it, it seemed terrible to make him work all day.
‘He’s thinking of this journey as his last vacation, but he’s working all day, don’t you feel sorry for him?’
For now, it was enough to recognize the fundamental numerical value and the basic flow, so she decided not to be too greedy.
‘He’s working hard.’
Since he worked more diligently than expected, it didn’t seem she would run out of time until ‘that day’ came. Ethan was used to administrative work, so his speed was also on the fast side. It was natural since he was raised as the sole heir to the Orman Duchy.
At this rate, it won’t be difficult for Ethan to fill Evelyn’s vacancy. Currently, she was only responsible for domestic trade and the internal affairs of the Grand Duchy.
Trial due to disputes within the principality, state administration, diplomacy with other countries, as well as military training and management, etc.— all of that was the responsibility of the Grand Duke of Fedora. She just needed to build the foundation so that he could manage the trade-related business well.
As Evelyn reviewed Ethan’s training schedule, she signed the paperwork requiring her approval. Immediately after removing the quill from the paper, a crackling sound stopped. Evelyn immediately looked in Ethan’s direction.
The job she gave him today wasn’t the kind of thing he could do so quietly. Ethan must check the dozens of tariff clauses Evelyn had already memorized. So, although she should hear the sound of writing continuously or flipping through paper, it was quiet.
Evelyn’s doubts were resolved immediately after raising her gaze. Ethan was looking at her instead of working. When their eyes met suddenly, he lowered his head in surprise.
“Do you have anything to say?”
“No, no, I don’t.”
Then Ethan started working again, rummaging through the tariffs. Evelyn stared at him as if supervising him.
She had been mixing various documents with different types of items to be traded. Just by dealing with that, he could understand most of the tariffs imposed inside the Fedora. So she planned to teach different tasks tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.
Since his future responsibilities were already set, it was better to settle all the amounts delivered within today’s session.
However, especially today, Ethan often peeked at her from the documents.
‘I think you have something to say.’
Perhaps conscious of her steady gaze, Ethan began to deal with his share of work so zealously that she even wondered if he was neglecting his work before.
Evelyn narrowed her eyes slightly. Although he may not enjoy handling things that weren’t related to him, he managed the work she gave him without a single complaint. Rather than complaining, he even giggled, saying it was fun to spend time together.
As a result, Evelyn clicked her tongue several times. It was necessary to teach Ethan the minimum work, but she couldn’t believe carrying the work of a sister he hadn’t known for decades would be something fun.
From his attitude, she couldn’t tell if he was dull or just a fool. However, she could never add the word pathetic. It was all because of the kindness he heaped on his sister. Evelyn knew that.
It was sincere. She was full of jealousy that overflowed without her knowing.
As soon as he heard her, Ethan raised his head again. Even when their eyes met, Evelyn did not avoid it. She just looked at him with slightly tired and resentful eyes.
“What did you say?”
Ethan was eager to know she was talking to him. However, Evelyn stifled his expectations with a smile.
“I was talking to myself.”
Her hand was already playing with a quill on a blank piece of paper. However, what was written there was not writing, but meaningless scribbling. It was just a way to shake off Ethan’s gaze.
Again, Ethan looked away, thinking she was working. At that, Evelyn swallowed a sigh and stared at the nonsense she had drawn.
‘Why are you so greedy?’
She certainly knew it had been decided by birth that it wasn’t hers. And even knowing it, she envied the heroine who would return to her rightful place.
‘It would be nice if I could take it all myself without giving it away.’ Her heart was screaming so insistently that her head started to ache.
Evelyn tried to dispose of her thoughts with the scribbled paper. If it hadn’t been for the interruption by Ethan’s sudden question, she might have been successful.
His calm, soft voice called her hesitantly.
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