Marriage And Absente - Chapter 3
Translator and Editor: Shin and Wraith
After taking out the cooked dried fig bread, Swan turned towards him. Under the light of a hanging lantern, the man put one of his arms on the table before sitting with his back straight.
Even though the cut on his side was pretty deep, his waist and shoulders were straight without any sign of tilting or bending. It seemed that he was familiar and comfortable with that posture. He was definitely not a commoner. Whatever he did… it was very difficult.
Swan served the hot bread and stew on a tray and carefully passed him a wooden spoon. She served the stew in the best bowl in the hut. The stew was made with carrots and a large cut of venison, a very valuable ingredient.
She rarely got the chance to eat fish or meat, but she wanted to treat her precious guest with something precious, even though the man wouldn’t know about it. But it didn’t matter to Swan. Even though it would be difficult and tricky, she wanted him to stay a little longer.
Being handed over the spoon, his voice became softer. While Swan was handing over the spoon, their fingers touched slightly as Swan lowered her head and her cheeks flushed.
“Should we light up the lantern more?”
“No, thanks. There is no need for you to work more.”
“But the fire is a little weak …”
“Then I will do it.”
The man got up and lifted a candle. Then, in an instant, he added more fire to the lantern. It was a quick and concise movement. Swan coughed and pressed her chest slightly to calm her beating heart. The body of the man who got up to light the fire was big.
The outline of his robust and built muscles was visible through his thin shirt. Swan pulled her head down.
She had a hard time getting that shirt. There were no men’s clothes in the hut because only women lived there, including her grandmother, mother, and Swan herself.
She wasn’t expecting a man to stay in her house even if only for a short time. Anyway, Swan, who had never had a father, with the help of Uncle Tom, the only one who connected her to the village, borrowed the shirt from the blacksmith who was said to have the largest body size in the village.
If that man had a normal physique, it would have been easy to find. She had a hard time borrowing clothes from the biggest man in the village.
Suddenly Uncle Tom came to her mind. Usually, Uncle Tom visited the cabin once every four days. However, since she found the man near the cabin, he visited the cabin almost every two days to look after the man with her. It seemed that he was worried about a big stranger staying in the cabin where a maiden lived alone.
Anyway, it was already 17 days since the man was found near the cabin. In the meantime, Uncle Tom came and went to give him the shirt and pants that he needed. Moreover, Uncle Tom also helped Swan decide what they would do with the man’s belongings.
At first glance, the man seemed to be a noble, so there were many decisions that she couldn’t make on her own.
It would be nice if Uncle came back quickly and saw that the man has already woken up.
While thinking of Uncle Tom, who had not come to the cabin for two days after the man awoke, Swan looked at him.
The tip of her lips trembled followed by her cheeks. She was frustrated that her red lips and cheeks wouldn’t stay still.
“How is the taste…?”
She shook her head lightly to come back to her senses. The man who ate a big spoon of the stew raised his head. Her heart felt like it was dropped on the floor. The man who didn’t even say anything for courtesy looked dark.
She felt like the soft part of her heart was being cut off for no reason. While analyzing his expression and mood she felt pathetic. Even though she woke up at dawn and served more milk than usual, his expression was dry as if he ate horse feed.
The man who was chewing the venison murmured while lowering his gaze. Feeling the burden of Swan’s gaze, the man avoided her gaze and just focused on chewing and swallowing the food.
“D-Do you want some more? I still have more stew.”
She cooked a pot full of stew with venison, enough to feed one person for four days. She thought that the bigger someone’s stomach, the more they would eat, but considering how he ate, she thought she would have to eat it all by herself later.
He didn’t say anything about the taste of the food after that. Following the man’s example, Swan also just lowered her head. Throughout the meal, she was curious whether the stew was well seasoned or whether the meat had a fishy smell. She couldn’t concentrate on eating.
As the silent meal came to an end, Swan served biscuits and hot tea. She served it because she wouldn’t be able to sleep if the fishy smell of the meat remained in her mouth. The tea brewed with dried oat flowers was warm and fragrant.
Uncle Tom, who hated tea, also delightfully drank Swan’s tea. Even people who didn’t like water and tea because they were addicted to alcohol happily drank it, so she wondered whether this would suit his taste. However, she couldn’t help but feel discouraged throughout the entire process.
“What should I do? It looks like the stew doesn’t fit your taste.”
She hesitated and picked up the kettle. The man did not reply. The man held the white teacup in his hand as Swan poured the tea, thinking that hopefully, he would at least drink the tea.
“Drinking it at night will warm your body and make you sleep better.”
She muttered while putting away the kettle. The man, who sipped the tea little by little, looked at Swan. Swan also gazed at him. It was thin, but the refined shadow was dark and steep without discoloration.
He was a man who exuded a majestic atmosphere just by sitting down. The nature of his expression was ascetic but also heterogeneously delicate and colorful. His black hair was like graphite and his two eyes looked as if they were dyed in blue dye.
He was impressive enough to make the heart of a corpse residing inside a coffin beat. Swan lowered her head like a sinner again.
She had never seen such a handsome man anywhere in the village. He was the type of man that you would never meet again were you to part ways with him. She wouldn’t be able to encounter anyone with a more beautiful appearance than the person in front of her if she let him go.
Yes, it will definitely be hard.
It was when Swan walked to the kitchen with an empty bowl that the man asked her.
“Where are you going to sleep?”
Turning back, the man’s eyes were facing the bed. Swan had no idea as he scratched her chin. This is because she usually slept on the floor next to his bed. There was an armchair where her grandmother used to sit by the window, but it wasn’t an option for a place to sleep.
“Where did you sleep before?”
“I guess I took your resting place, right Miss?”
“I slept on the floor because there are a lot of mattresses here …”
She didn’t know what to say. Suddenly the man looked out of the window. He seemed to be thinking about what to do, but there was no way to know it for certain.
“Since there are no other houses, it seems that you’re living here alone.”
The man turned his gaze towards Swan. His eyes were sharp like the beak of a predator bird. Swan bit her lips because it sounded like an interrogation.
All of Swan’s family lived in this cabin. The mother of her mother and even her great-great-grandmother. The women of the Lophenin family never mingled with the villagers below the valley.
She didn’t know why. She didn’t even ask. However, Swan has lived in this cabin since she was young. Born in this cabin, she considered this cabin as her own world and lived there. Even though she didn’t expand the cabin, there was no difficulty in her life, but she was lonely.
Considering the absence of her mother, she knew what loneliness was. That’s why she was glad to meet Uncle Tom from the village.
“How long does it take from here down the valley?”
“Oh my, are you going down? Now?”
Swan was surprised and opened her eyes wide. It was unexpected. The man who said he lost his memories and hasn’t recovered yet says that he wants to go down to the village? Besides, it was almost midnight.
“No, but I can’t stay here forever.”
Her throat tightened as she looked at him without blinking. The words “I can’t stay here” stuck in her head and kept repeating.
It is natural. Of course, he was someone that would have to leave someday. Still, she froze and stared at him.
“It takes about 30 minutes on foot.”
“I see. When does the person named Tom come?”
“Ah, once every four days? Actually, he comes every time he wants. But I’m sure he’ll return you your belongings; he’s not a bad person ….”
“If you say so, of course, he will.“
He nodded. The man picked up the mattress on the rocking chair and looked at Swan.
“I will sleep on the floor. The bed is for the lady.”
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