Love Doesn't Matter - Chapter 22
Chapter 22 – Impulse
‘Do you want to look like a servant?’
‘After hearing it, it’s not bad. I feel like I’m playing with a maid.’
The two contradicting expressions filled Emilia’s head.
Does he like it, or does he hate it? What is she supposed to do?
After frowning, thinking about it, she relaxed for a moment.
That man is someone that doesn’t make sense. She doesn’t need to worry about every caprice.
“What does the title matter now? When we break up, we won’t meet anymore.”
Hadius didn’t care, even though she answered pretty coldly. One cheek was just slightly dented; and then it smoothed again.
“… That’s right. It’s better not to be impatient. Otherwise, it will only ruin things.”
The word ‘things’ penetrated uneasily into Emilia’s heart.
“‘Things’? What do you mean? … Don’t tell me… You’re not scheming anything weird again…”
While she was talking, the ball came to mind. Emilia straightened her back and stared at the man across from her.
“Alright, I see. That… Was that also your doing? Countess Lüen’s ball.”
She thought he would make an expression as if she had hit the nail on the head, but it looked like Hadius was unaware of the situation. Although she was taken aback, Emilia did not erase the suspicious look on her face.
“A party the Countess invited us to. It’s not just a dinner party, it’s a ball, out of nowhere… It’s weird.”
“Were you invited to the party?”
“Are you pretending you don’t know? Odelia Lüen. The Countess from Nowak… Teaching at the Cavendish mansion… Inviting people to her private residence…”
“I think I have heard of that name.”
Only then Emilia realized it.
He wasn’t pretending he didn’t know. He really didn’t know.
“Ah… So, it wasn’t something the Young Master set up…”
Her tensed up shoulders relaxed, and a dispirited laughter flowed out. Across from her, she felt that Hadius was waiting for an explanation.
“… The truth is, I was invited to a ball a few days ago. By some Countess. She is called Odelia Lüen, and she is very famous in the social world… She said she was holding a ball out of nowhere, so I thought it could only be the work of the Young Master. I thought you were trying to get me to practice dancing, for the graduation ceremony…”
The fact that she barked at the wrong tree made him laugh. Embarrassed, Emilia rubbed her neck.
“Anyway, seeing that it has nothing to do with the Young Master, I will have to refuse the invitation. I was a little curious about what a ‘ball’ is, but… I sufficiently did the most important dance practice with you, a while ago…”
Emilia muttered, with no particular thought. But did he figure out the faint regret from her tone of voice? Hadius asked,
“Do you want to go?”
As he contemplated something.
At the unexpected question, Emilia replied,
What she said to Mitch a few days ago was the truth.
She wants to dress up in a pretty dress and become a perfect lady to give everyone a shock; a little childish vanity.
Above all, the ball is not just about dancing.
“I want to listen to music. In terms of musical instruments, I only know the piano and violin. But I heard that Mrs. Lüen ball will have a performance by a chamber orchestra-class band. So, I wanted to go even more. I want to listen to music.”
She muttered dreamily, and then she smiled bitterly the next moment.
“But it would be better not to go. It’s obvious that I’m not going to be welcomed anyway.”
After speaking, Emilia had a very strange feeling.
It’s weird. Why is she the only one that keeps talking? Her head turned towards Hadius.
The back of her head turned cold for a moment. Because Hadius had a very troubled expression. The faint wrinkles between his eyebrows looked quite serious.
“Well, I don’t know if I can.”
Understanding what he meant, Emilia’s eyes widened.
“No, I don’t mean that.”
It was useless even if she shook her head vigorously. Hadius muttered to himself, pretending not to notice.
“It’s not easy because it wasn’t in my plans, but, if things go well, I think we can go together.”
Emilia swallowed a groan.
“No, I didn’t mean to ask to go together…”
“What should I do…”
Emilia’s perseverance was completely exhausted in front of Hadius, who pretended not to hear as if his ears were blocked.
“No, I am not going. Don’t mind it. It is not hard to decline the invitation…”
“No, don’t decline it yet. I will take some time. So that we can go together.”
His eyes, which had been frowning heavily, slowly began to grow bigger.
“The fiancé’s duties are not one-sided. I can’t impose it on you only.”
“It’s really fine. I didn’t think in the slightest about wanting to go with the Young Master…”
“I can’t give a definite answer either. Just don’t cancel it.”
She must reject it more strongly. If it doesn’t work out, she was thinking of suddenly screaming, even if she didn’t like it.
But why doesn’t her tongue move? Why is her heart beating like this again?
Emilia was devastated when she realized that what was rising in her heart was anticipation. Fear and excitement were intricately intertwined like a ball of yarn.
The last silence lasted much longer than before.
By the time the lamp wick had burned more than half, Hadius’ mouth opened again.
He reached out and opened the door slightly. The heavy rain had subsided, but it was still pouring.
Hadius looked up at the sky and then looked back at Emilia, as if he had made up his mind.
“Wait here. I will get Beppy to bring you clothes and an umbrella. I have to go straight to Nowak, so let’s say goodbye here.”
“No, let’s go together.”
Emilia jumped to her feet, with the blanket wrapped around her.
“Just stay here.”
The look in the man’s eyes was too stubborn. She had no choice but to sit down again, with the trembling she wanted to deny.
“Tell me the date and place.”
Thinking, ‘What’s wrong with me?’, Emilia reproached herself; but with her mouth, she recited exactly what Countess Lüen had said.
“Tell me if there is anything you need.”
“Anything… I need?”
“Something like a dress or an accessory.”
Emilia shook her head vigorously.
“No, I can take care of that on my own.”
Hadius stared at Emilia, silently. The eyes that were seeing through her did not contain any emotions, but it seemed like they were criticizing her shabby dress.
“If you are perhaps worried that my outfit won’t meet your standards…”
“No, that’s not what I meant.”
She felt sincerity in his strong tone of voice.
She knows. Hadius didn’t say that simply because he was ashamed of his fiancée wearing shabby clothes.
Despite that, Emilia was upset for no reason.
“Anyway, I don’t want it. I don’t want to receive anything from the Young Master anymore.”
“You are the fiancée of the Meyer family. You are attending a social event while wearing the family name.”
“This family talk is extremely tiresome.”
Emilia made more sarcastic remarks on purpose, and Hadius pretended not to hear.
“We’ll talk about that later.”
He opened the door wide open.
Without even giving her a chance to answer, his sturdy figure disappeared into the rain.
Hadius didn’t arrive at the Basilion House until it was late at night.
When the lights of the carriage broke through the dim darkness and reached the signboard with the family crest, Tobias, the butler, opened the door as if had been waiting.
He noticed immediately that the clothes his Master was wearing were different from the ones he wore when he departed. His hair, which had become disheveled from being wet in the rain, was also different from usual.
“I got caught in the rain by accident.”
Hadius tapped on the butler’s shoulder, as if telling him not to worry, and went straight to the bathroom.
The servants became busy. Pip, the starter maid, drew the bath and prepared the bed while his Master changed his clothes.
A few moments later, Hadius immersed his body in the hot water. His stiff muscles relaxed, and something that had been raging in his heart snapped.
He couldn’t control his impulse to do something that wasn’t planned. He can’t believe they’re going to a ball together…
It was as unexpected as the sudden heavy rain. His plan must be immediately revised and each variable calculated.
What should he do first?
He should start by moving up the breakfast meeting with the King and the parliament members. He should check the attendance list once again. He must not forget to contact Huntington and other newspaper reporters in advance. For now, building up the public opinion is the top priority. That will make the rest easier…
Hadius’ busy mind became blocked in an instant.
Since there was a setback, there weren’t just one or two things he had to prepare; but his thoughts kept getting scattered like grains of sand.
A thin wrist held tightly in his hand, and a delicate scent, like wildflowers.
Shouting they could get away from the rain over there, with an extremely innocent face…
Hadius closed his eyes, firmly.
It was a gesture to shake it off; but, far from that, the lingering scent spread even deeper in the hot steam.
The arm that was extended in the bathtub covered his eyes with difficulty.
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