Love Doesn't Matter - Chapter 5
Chapter 5 – Gift
After staring into the cool man’s eyes for a while, Emilia came to her senses.
“Hello, Young Master.”
A heartless greeting, with neither pitch nor rhythm.
“You haven’t changed.”
“Acting like a servant.”
There was a reason Emilia could not respond right away.
He made it clear long ago, at the engagement ceremony. Don’t use the word ‘master’ in front of him and don’t use honorifics.
‘Do you want to look like a servant and not a fiancée?’
He asked so.
Nevertheless, up until now Emilia has been calling him ‘young master’ and using honorifics proudly, without exception. It was not stubbornness; she had her reasons.
She didn’t want to act that way. If she did not use honorifics, she wouldn’t look like a commoner nor a noble, but rather an ambiguous and strange being. Except for her, her family and friends still must call him young master and use honorifics when addressing him.
That is what status is. Just because you went up to the top, you cannot transform into a different being in an instant.
“… There is no helping it. I can’t change the world, so even if I look like a servant, you have no choice but to bear with it.”
Contrary to his words, Hadius laughed. In front of the rolled-up corners of his mouth, which she saw for the first time, Emilia felt a little dazed.
Come to think of it, it is the first time since the engagement ceremony that the two of them have a conversation alone. He was always surrounded by people and when they talked, it was only formal greetings and ceremonious regards.
“Unfortunately, Wischer wasn’t invited today.”
What are you talking about, suddenly?
He approached the frowning Emilia. The old shoes stepped back, without her realizing it.
“I can’t approve of anyone who doesn’t fit you.”
Only then Emilia remembered.
Erger Wischer. The person who became her partner at last year’s dinner party.
“That’s funny. I know I’m the one who doesn’t fit the Young Master.”
The carefree and frivolous eyes kept getting on her nerves.
“I don’t know why you keep talking about him, but at least Master Wischer is a person of conscience and compassion. Unlike anyone else. Come to think of it, he does not fit in. With the Meyer family.”
“Is that how Erger Wischer approached you? Showing sympathy and compassion?”
Emilia managed to hold back the groan that was about to burst out.
“Can I tell you one thing? Some men hide their promiscuous intentions in sympathy and compassion.”
Her exasperating self suddenly felt dejected.
What am I doing here now?
“Anyway, thank you for the advice. It doesn’t make much sense, but I’m sure you didn’t have any bad intentions.”
Her uninspired voice continued, sternly.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve greeted each other like this. It was nice and I had a good time. Soon, the carriage will arrive. Then, I’ll…”
“Follow me. Let us walk a little.”
Let us walk?
Hadius took the lead, passing by a surprised Emilia.
Her pulse accelerated again. With her head, she looked back at the memories from the past 5 years. Have they ever walked alone, just the two of them?
Never. This, too, was the first time since the engagement ceremony. Anxiety preceded the excitement.
“No, I will say it again, the carriage will come soon.”
He turned around.
“The carriage will be a little late.”
“If you’re curious, follow me.”
Emilia, who could not even move, was soon forced to follow him.
They walked along the banks of the Rivier River. Both remained silent as if they had made a promise.
It was only when he passed under the green willow trees that the man’s steps stopped, without warning. With his gaze somewhere along the calm river, he suddenly asked an unexpected question.
“How is Mrs. Bern?”
Emilia’s eyes doubled their size. Soon, they went back to their original form.
“Yes, my mother is healthy.”
“I heard you have a younger sibling.”
As Charlotte and Mitch came to mind, her lips softened without her being aware of it.
“Yes, I have a younger sister and a younger brother.”
“… You must be happy.”
She doubted her ears for a moment. Was the word happiness such a cold and unfamiliar word?
“… Am I wrong?”
“Yes, I’m living happily and well.”, Emilia replied, sincerely. Her mind was filled with confusion and doubt, but she didn’t hate this moment.
The wind was making beautiful ripples on the surface of the water and whistling through the reeds. A pleasant sound that is gentle to the ears and makes you fall into a strange mood.
Her eyes, chasing the river, turned to him once more. Deep in thought, he was shining alone, unaware of anything around him.
The white shirt was dazzling in the sunlight. Her trembling gaze followed along his shoulders, down until his cuffs. The family’s crest on the buttons threw Emilia into a bitter mood.
Three arrows piercing a shield.
The symbol of the great conglomerate family, who dominated the continent with steel and finance.
Is it because she still has some lingering feelings? Looking at the same place, with her shoulders side by side with him, the emotions that had risen just before subsided and somehow became faint.
At least once, such a time may have been necessary.
If what she heard before is true, Hadius will sooner or later return to his old fiancée. Even if it is a relationship only in name, it needs to be sorted out.
However, she did not know how to bring it up.
“I’m going to graduate soon.”
“Yes, I’ve heard.”, Emilia managed to answer back to the sudden words.
“I will be called ‘Duke of Meyer’.”
Is it too much for a man who has just turned twenty years old?
But he had mature eyes for his age. It was like that when she met Hadius for the first time when he was sixteen, and it is the same now.
“Do you not like it?”
“No way. I am satisfied that I have everything I want. I do not know how to give up one thing to get another. There is no compromise.”
Contrary to the extreme words, his face is only calm.
“It’s the exact opposite for me. I don’t think there is anything free. To get one, you have to give up the other.”
So, she gave up Hadius in her heart. To regain a normal and happy life.
I will be abandoned even if I don’t give up, so knowing ‘I also abandoned him’ in my heart is important. That was Emilia’s last pride, that she couldn’t let go of until the end.
It is funny. Whether she does it or not, the other person doesn’t care.
Suddenly, she was sick of all this.
“With all due respect, I’m still worried that I might miss the carriage.”
The two eyes, filled with worry, turned to the sun setting in the sky.
“If it is okay, I would like to go back now. I don’t think the dinner party is over yet, so the Young Master should go back at once…”
“Now that I keep listening to it, it’s not bad.”
“Young Master. I feel like I’m playing with a maid, so why doesn’t it feel dirty?”
Leaving such shocking words, Hadius took another step.
Emilia, who was standing there like someone possessed by something, hurried after him again. Without any opportunity for the heart to calm down, another surprising question followed.
“What about the bridal lessons? Are they going well?”
Emilia cleared her voice and replied, “Yes.”.
“Did you also learn to dance there? Something like the quadrille or waltz.”
“… Yes. A little.”
“That’s a relief.”
Her steps suddenly stopped.
“What’s a relief?”
“I can’t attend the graduation ceremony with a woman who can’t dance.”
She thought she heard it wrong. However, the words ‘graduation ceremony’ clearly got stuck in her head. He got closer and closer, in the blink of an eye.
“Attend it as my fiancée.”
Emilia shook her head, firmly. Something dangerous is on the verge of overflowing.
“That is nonsense.”
“Why is it nonsense?”
“Of course… The Young Master and I… That kind of relationship…”
Her gibbering self was suffocating, but she could not help it. The whole conversation felt absurd.
“If you need a partner, you can do it just like you did at the dinner party. Take another partner.”
“The graduation ceremony is different from the dinner party. I heard there is a ball. I have a fiancée, so I can’t dance with another woman.”
“No… I don’t want to.”
“You don’t want to?”
“Yes, I don’t want to.”
Hadius laughed, loudly.
“Did you forget? Our relationship is not a matter of likes or dislikes.”
“No matter how… You want me to attend it and dance as your fiancée? Did you think I would say ‘Yes, I understand.’ obediently, without asking why? Do you think I’m that stupid?”
Hadius, who had stopped walking, looked at Emilia’s blushing red face.
“Our Majesty the King always attends the graduation ceremony of the Elfort Military Academy. He will be curious if I show up with someone else. He might get angry, asking where I left the fiancée He gave me.”
Her lips, which were wide open, slowly closed.
“Do your duty. Emilia. As my fiancée.”
She couldn’t even hear the arrogant tone. Emilia was once again in shock, before coming to an unexpected conclusion.
Whether they like it or not, unless the King officially allows them to break off the engagement, they have no choice but to be fiancés to each other.
Even if it is the Meyer family, they can’t just disregard the King.
“So, since a while ago…”
She finally understood Hadius’ strange behavior today. On the day of the graduation, they must show that they are earnestly keeping their engagement in front of His Majesty the King.
“Come on. we’re almost there.”
Hadius walked again, as if urging a stunned Emilia. Emilia, following along, was dazed as if she had lost her consciousness.
I have to go to Hadius’ graduation ceremony… And on top of that, a ball?
Emilia walked mindlessly, like she was in a trance. Suddenly, she thought she walked for too long.
Looking around at her surroundings, it was really strange.
How come they aren’t going back?
Just when she was looking around, a carriage came into sight.
Hadius stopped right in front of it.
The man, who looked like a coachman, took off his hat and greeted politely.
“Get on. It’s your carriage.”
“This is the coachman, Beppy Dilson.”
The person named ‘Beppy’ didn’t even catch her eyes. Emilia stared at Hadius, completely lost.
“What… Is this?”
“It means I’m giving you a carriage. As a gift.”
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