Love Doesn't Matter - Chapter 33
Chapter 33 – Shadow
The two of them left the bar. The only traces that they had been there were a jacket and an old hat on the table.
In the darkened alley, only a dim lamp light was quietly illuminating the top of their heads.
Hadius walked silently with one hand in his pocket. He was holding Emilia’s wrist tightly with his other hand, as if restraining her, but Emilia seemed to be getting sucked into the middle of a swirling typhoon.
Walking feebly, she didn’t even know if what she was treading on was the ground. A dizzy vision and a feeling as if she were floating.
Perhaps this is the state of being drunk.
That’s right, she is drunk. She is drunk, so that’s why…
She composed herself over and over again.
Didn’t her Father, who passed away a long time ago, do the same? Alcohol is like a trap that makes you lose your rationality.
It is said that alcohol is what makes people say things they don’t mean, do things outside of common sense, and cause irreparable regrets.
The two of them were very drunk. That’s why she and Hadius did such a strange thing.
But still… How could they…
Emilia closed her eyes tightly. Her heart palpitated every time she recalled herself who consented to the kiss.
Emilia knew nothing, but she knew what a kiss was and what it meant. From the moment they get their first menstrual period, women should always be wary and watch out for men.
“Men are different from women, Emilia. Men can have strange feelings for a woman they don’t love, and even for a woman they meet for the first time. They get caught up in their lust and do things they should never do.”
Kallia always said that.
Weird thoughts, desires, and things you should never do.
They were always vague and mysterious expressions.
Emilia asked exactly what it meant, but Kallia hesitated and did not answer. She just said, “You will find out when you get married. The Pastor told me not to tell you while you are too young.”, patting her head.
But now, Emilia naturally realized it. The kiss just a moment ago is a ‘thing that you should never do’.
Where did it go wrong? Did she provoke him too much?
She did point her finger at the shirtless man. She didn’t refuse when Hadius suggested dancing, and she didn’t push him away when he suddenly stopped.
Emilia became extremely cautious.
What on earth is that man thinking? Is he regretting it, like her?
However, Hadius’ hand holding her wrist was too strong and firm. She couldn’t even think of twisting her arm out.
Eventually, they arrived at the riverside path of the Rivier. Beyond the dark river, the lights of the splendid mansions twinkled like stars.
The calm sky and the pale moonlight dripping down over their heads. The two pairs of footsteps on the stone path resonated like a harmony. Unlike her palpitating heart, the trail was quiet and peaceful. They walked like that a long way back.
To the Basilion House, the world of Hadius Meyer.
Emilia had become more cool-headed.
Today, they exchanged stories about the past for the first time, and Hadius said that he wanted to become an ordinary person at least once. They drank like that and got drunk. Both of them fell into a strange mood, out of their minds.
She just kissed him out of curiosity.
Haley also did that. She secretly kissed the son of the miller in the church. And that was when she was only thirteen years old.
“It is the memory I want to erase the most from my life. But I don’t regret it. I felt like a real adult. And who will know about it? A kiss leaves no trace anyway.”
Exactly, no one will know. Hadius is by no means a man who would gossip about such a thing.
Her life will be messed up again for a while, but it can’t be helped. She has no choice but to forget about it quickly, just like the simple Emilia.
As he stood in front of the plaque engraved with the shield and arrow emblem, Hadius looked back at Emilia.
Probably due to how hard she tried composing herself, Emilia could face him with a serene expression. The words she practiced came out more naturally than expected.
“Forget about what happened earlier, Young Master. We both got drunk and made a mistake.”
Emilia deliberately gave him a light smile.
“I learned an important life lesson from what happened. ‘There is nothing in this world more frightening than alcohol and curiosity.’. Don’t you think so?”
Instead of answering, an unknown look appeared on his face. Unable to bear it, Emilia cleared her throat and turned her head.
At that moment, the iron gate suddenly opened, and someone walked out. The servant who works as a footman at the Basilion House.
“Ah, Young Master!”
When he recognized his master, he looked strangely surprised. At the same time, over the footman’s shoulders, she saw an unfamiliar carriage coming. Judging from the direction, someone had visited the Basilion House and was going back.
As expected, the carriage slowly stopped in front of Hadius. A long, dark shadow is cast under the lamp.
“How fortunate. I was just about to leave.”
The man in the carriage took off his hat, revealing his face. It was a middle-aged man with a lot of wrinkles around his eyes. Hadius smiled softly and approached the man in the carriage.
“It’s been a while, Assemblyman Richards. What brings you here without notice?”
“I was so curious after hearing it from your Mother that I couldn’t bear it. So I took the liberty of coming here all of a sudden.”
The man answered and glanced sideways at Emilia.
For a moment, Emilia felt as if a snake was climbing up her back.
She was contemplating whether she should greet him while suppressing the strange feeling, but Hadius suddenly turned his head towards the footman.
“Kirill, is there a carriage ready to go back to Erndorf?”
The footman blinked, bewildered, before answering.
“Then, take Miss Bern and go.”
“Yes. I understand.”
Hadius turned to Emilia again.
Thanks to the sudden visitor, she had come to her senses, as expected. Rubbing her sweaty hand against her skirt, Emilia prepared to say goodbye.
What should she say? She wants to wrap it up well…
Hadius concluded it without giving her time to think.
“Then, shall we part ways here?”
“… What? Ah…”
There was nothing wrong. Hadius had to receive his guest, so he had to leave.
But why does she feel so weird?
Hadius looked a little awkward, somehow uncomfortable that the man in the carriage kept staring at him.
“… Then, I will go.”
Emilia gently said goodbye. Contrary to her confused mind, her body followed the footman without hesitation. In an instant, everything was going back to the world she was accustomed to.
It worked out well. She was glad that they parted ways right away.
She didn’t have the confidence to talk nonchalantly.
Since the moment Hadius turned his direction to the side road, she thought it was a one night’s dream anyway.
She can’t be deluded by him exchanging jokes, for taking off his tailcoat for her, and for giving her a beer with floating petals. The kiss was just a mistake caused by the beer and the dancing. Everyone makes mistakes.
As she walked along with the footman, Emilia repeated those words over and over again.
For a long time, William Richards kept his eyes fixed on the spot where the ‘commoner chick’ stood. He, who had been squinting while chasing the woman’s back, opened the carriage door and titled his head towards Hadius.
“Can we talk for a second?”
Hadius smiled and got into the carriage. In the darkened space with the door closed, the green eyes under the droopy eyelids flashed slyly.
“Is that the girl? The fiancée who is causing you much trouble.”
“As the rumors say, she is quite a beauty. Now I understand what I heard about men coveting her as a lover at the dinner party.”
William chuckled and lit a cigarette. Taking a drag, he crossed his legs with languid eyes.
“Anyway, what are you going to do now? About that chick. Can you really shake her off?”
“When the public opinion calms down, I plan to visit His Majesty immediately. To announce that we have agreed to break off the engagement…”
William’s drowsy face shook from side to side.
“You can’t let your guard down just because you gave a bone to a growling dog. Don’t look down on them. They don’t care whether you two agreed to break up or not.”
“But you can’t just leave a negative reputation alone.”
“Exactly. Reputation is important. In our world. That’s why I came here in such a hurry.”
William suddenly nodded eagerly and rubbed his hands.
“The truth is, the Parliamentarians are tougher than I thought. if you leave them alone, not even the King will be able to control them. Maybe they will push ahead with your marriage. Because of the Rochester Bill, your engagement has become symbolic. Unfortunately, there is no way to refute. Your family’s seal is stamped on that crappy letter, and didn’t the King even notarize it five years ago? I think we should change our plan at this point.”
“By changing the plan, are you perhaps thinking of using force?”
The word ‘force’ rose in the thick cigarette smoke.
“Now that you have said that, what do you think? After all, she is your fiancée.”
Hadius looked at William, expressionless. The green eyes flashed cunningly.
“Is it alright if I just kill her?”
The inside of the carriage felt tight, with a choking atmosphere.
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