I have never been this nervous in my entire life.
The evidence of my palpitating heart. It had never beat this much even when I was on my first wild hunt with my father. Just the fact that she was in front of me, it felt like my senses heightened and my body instinctively knew of an unimaginable crisis yet to come.
However, it would not make sense for Count Kraus’ eldest son to be improperly tense in front of the lady. After I managed to calm down my overloaded senses, I faced the young woman in front of me.
She was pale-white, with long hair resembling the snow. Her eyes were like a refined amethyst, a clear and transparent violet. Simply the sight of her lips slightly curling upward would invoke the fruitless imagination of the men around her.
“A woman of great beauty,” such words were not wasted on her.
Seeing every feature that had been described in writing, now in reality, I realized how poor my imagination of Elena Edelweiss truly was.
Her elegance and beauty made me ponder about many things again, but I was able to quickly come to my senses due to my strong sense of purpose. If I, who had been so wary of her, was rendered to this state, I can’t imagine what the original defenseless males were like.
So there was a reason after all as to why those guys would take out everything for her, be it their liver or gallbladder.
Ken, who was standing beside me, was someone who had experienced all the things in the world. Yet, even he was staring at her in a daze. It went without saying what hot-blooded young males would do. They would have swarmed in like buzzing bees to the honey in front of them. In fact, the day after Damian’s engagement fell through, the majority of the men at the academy said the time for the suitors had come. She would then be terrorized with letters of courtship starting from the academy’s entrance ceremony.
“Nice to meet you, Lady Edelweiss. I’m Damian Kraus, the eldest son of House Kraus.”
“… Nice to meet you, Sir Kraus. I’m Elena Edelweiss, the eldest daughter of House Edelweiss.”
Although she did hesitate a little, Elena smiled and responded to my greeting. The smile made a dynamite burst within my calm heart.
As I thought, this engagement should be broken as soon as possible. I’ll actually fall for her at this rate and end up doing who knows what for her.
I stepped on Ken, who was still in a dazed state, signaling him to leave. Whether it was fortunate or not, Ken winked at me and exited with Elena’s maid.
When the two of them left, it was only me and Elena in the room. It was good to send them out because I wanted to speak to her a bit comfortably, but now that it was only us here, I was starting to get nervous. To reduce the tension even a little, I poured the tea, which had already been prepared, to the teacup and handed it to her. I also poured one for myself and lightly washed my mouth with the taste before I spoke.
“We’re to be engaged, however, this is the first time we’re meeting in person, is it not, Lady Edelweiss?”
It was an engagement between the rumored beauty of the empire, and me, who was known for nothing else but my position as the son of a master swordsman in the empire.
To explain this mystery and the reason for our strange relationship, there was actually a small backstory as to why we were engaged when we have never met each other before.
My father, Count Richard Kraus, head of House Kraus, and her father, Duke Joachim Edelweiss, head of House Edelweiss, were old friends. In this era, political marriages were common between noble families. So the two close friends promised each other, “Let’s marry our children in the future!” Lo and behold, when Elena was born and with Damian being the eldest, they set us up.
However, the promise was only verbal and we had not been formally engaged. Perhaps they wanted to respect their children’s wishes as this was a once-in-a-lifetime marriage. Therefore, this was a meeting before the official ceremony.
Originally in the novel, the two of them had already been officially engaged. Well, this is good for me. If I’m lucky, our engagement can be called off here.
There shouldn’t have been any reason for the original Damian to be such an impertinent jerk to her early on in the novel. Elena could also have had some doubts about getting engaged to him. But her actions explained it all.
“Yes…” She quietly answered, fiddling with the teacup I handed her.
As one could tell from her appearance, she was weak to express her opinion and had an introverted personality. If the heroine, who was the heart of the novel, continued to behave like this, an event would occur to fix this character’s personality. It was very unfortunate that the opportunity for her growth was from our broken engagement.
She did not have this personality because she had been mistreated when she was little. On the contrary, Joachim Edelweiss adored her and was a complete fool for his daughter, and her mother was also kind and caring. A human’s personality was not simply determined by the environment in which one grew up in. She was simply born with this kind of personality.
Because of how she naturally looked, she was supported by others even if she didn’t lift a finger. However, her weak nature was the burden and made her more timid. She was the complete opposite to Damian, who was arrogant and snobbish since birth.
This could be why she followed what Damian said, who spoke however he liked. It’s probable that the original Damian said they should get engaged as soon as he saw her, and the meek Elena accepted it without a word.
Others had a difficult time approaching her because she gave off those special aristocratic vibes. In a way, it’s almost comedic how their engagement was arranged due to Damian’s straightforward personality.
She was able to change after their breakup. She would become someone who would be able to refuse all the suitors that come to court her. The chickling, who couldn’t speak a word, would be able to make a chirp.
But right now, the person in front of me is one who couldn’t even tweet.
What should I do in this scenario?
The reason why she changed in the novel was because of the negative emotions she got from her not wanting to be controlled by Damian. There must’ve been a number of more complex reasons, but it was undeniable that “Damian” had turned into a trigger.
Then, do I have to be nasty here like the original Damian so that she can change?
I don’t like that. It’s not like I’m going to press the self-destruct switch myself. I am determined to live a life for myself, not for her. I don’t have to be the one to step forward since there were brash losers all over the place at the academy who would make her feel awful. The original male leads would also take care of them. I just needed to portray an image of myself that was neither good nor bad, and break this engagement.
First things first, I think we need a change in topics.
I said nothing from my end, so she didn’t have a reason to bring up a conversation either. It’s not like I didn’t want to talk with her, I was just hesitating and fidgeting with the teacup because I didn’t know what to say.
It can’t be helped. I have no choice but to lead the conversation.
I removed the cover of the silver plate that had been placed there with the tea next to me. There were several desserts, most of which looked sweet. I prepared them in advance because the novel mentioned that she liked sweet things. Sure enough, when the plate cover was removed, I saw her eyes twinkle at the sight of the desserts. It made me feel relieved.
“I usually enjoy eating sweets. It’s embarrassing, but I prepared some in advance to have them with you. Do you perhaps enjoy sweets too, Lady Edelweiss?”
“Ah, yes. Yes, I do enjoy them.” She replied, distracted by the appetizing desserts.
These were all made by our head chef, Youngjoo Sung, who poured his heart and soul into making them, so how could anyone not stare? He was supposedly a talented individual who worked at a famous restaurant in Jeju Island.
With the prepared tongs, I placed one of each type on Elena’s plate, and handed it over to her.
Does this look that tasty to her?
I said to her earlier that I liked sweets, but it was just an excuse to give her dessert. I don’t really eat too many sweets. It made me nauseous if it was too sugary.
I roughly cut a slice of the cake and took a bite, but I couldn’t eat any more because it was too sweet. I quickly drank the tea placed beside me to balance out the sweetness in my mouth.
What do people like about these?
Of course, I know that I was not as good with sweets compared to others. I could only eat chocolate with high cacao content. I generally didn’t eat what was sold in the market. In the past, I even got beaten up for recommending 99% cacao chocolate, thinking it was common to eat.
After being lost in my past memories for a while, I hadn’t seen Elena’s reaction. Although the dessert looked like a work of art, it was over the top sweet. Even for Elena, it may be too much for her to enjoy.
“Is it to your liking, Lady…”
Munch munch munch.
It was as if I was worried for no reason. Seeing Elena scarfing down the cake with a blissful expression left me speechless.
My heart had been in critical condition when she curled her lips slightly to smile, but her genuinely happy expression had an indescribable destructive power. I had never held a possessive or shady desire for someone in my entire life, yet her smile had a beguiling effect that made me want her to have her eyes on me and me alone.
Do I need to break it off? I’m different from the original Damian…
I pinched my thigh since useless thoughts kept invading my mind. The barrier of reason, which I recovered by self-inflicting pain, buried the uncontrollable emotions deep within my heart again.
This is driving me crazy. Every little move she made impacted my feelings immensely. For me to say I fell for her with a single glance was too strange. Wasn’t it insane to feel this possessive because a pretty person smiled?
It seems that it’s more dangerous for her to be by my side than I thought.
Teaser of one of our upcoming projects. It’s a Fluff wholesome novel with its fair share of heartwarming comedy. It has received good reviews. Mass release will happen at a later date, for now I hope the readers enjoy these 3 chapters.