“This is driving me nuts. Seriously.”
I quietly clicked my tongue. It was the break of dawn and everyone was asleep. In the meanwhile, I sat on a chair by my lonesome with a slim book in my hands.
There was no title on the lime-green leather cover of the book I was holding. This was a given since it wasn’t a book sold on the markets. Rather, it was a book I wrote myself. Evidently, the book was written entirely in Korean, and not in the letters used here.
The first chapter was filled with rows of disorderly texts, exposing my urgency when I came to possess this body. At the time, I had only focused on randomly writing down the contents of the novel whenever I remembered them. The letters written in the book were thus too shoddy to be called sentences. The handwriting was so messy that if someone had seen it, they wouldn’t be able to tell if it was words or a drawing of an earthworm.
I, the writer, couldn’t make out several things either, meaning it would be a pain to organize this later on.
I flipped page after page, and then arrived at a part which made my hand freeze.
Unlike the previous parts, it was written in clear handwriting.
“Careful, my ass.”
I scratched the paper with my fountain pen as if I were going to dig the letters out. I crossed out the line several times.
Now, I mused about what had occured today while staring at the unreadable sentence. Obviously, if things had gone as planned, our meeting would have either ended with a canceled engagement or a simple greeting for the sake of formality. So how did things turn out this way?
The last thing she said was still echoing in my ear.
Then shall we get engaged? Formally, I mean.
“Why would you say that…”
I even passed the decision over to Elena, letting her make her own choice. I did so because I didn’t think she viewed our engagement in a positive light, but the outcome was different from what I imagined.
Oh, my God. To think that THE Elena Edelweiss offered an engagement to me.
I don’t know what kind of face I made when her lips uttered “let’s get engaged,” but I know for sure it was a dumb one.
Based on her personality from her novel, I had prepared dozens of questions and answers for today. However, none of them addressed the engagement offer she made. It’s because I’ve never once expected her to bring such an offer up.
“Did Elena ever say that to the other Male Lead candidates in the original work? I have no recollection of it though.”
If there was someone, they wouldn’t have been referred to as a “Male Lead candidate.”
In the novel centered around Elena Edelweiss, male characters were connected to her since the genre was a romance fantasy.
In fantasy novels, there were many heroines around the male protagonist. Similarly, there were several male characters who were in love with her. However, it wasn’t clear who would end up with Elena, so everyone just called them candidates.
It had not been explicitly mentioned which candidate Elena had affection for. The men, who liked her, did all sorts of things to be of help to her, leading to a butterfly effect. Elena would then take care of the aftermath. It wasn’t a typical romance fantasy where a male and female would openly court or date each other.
Well, there may have been a romantic development with a male lead being chosen if the story had continued until the end. Unfortunately, the novel was not complete. I also hadn’t read anything about her personally liking someone.
At the time, Elena had been greatly hurt from her relationship with Damian and had firmly shut all men out. The Elena before me now was not the same so that might have been the reason why. But, to my knowledge, she did have a childhood friend by her side who was a Male Lead candidate.
He had been the variable that made me feel secure as I came up with my plans.
On one side there was Edelweiss of Dawn, one of the seven great towers in the continent, and on the other side, there was Artwein of Twilight.
The one I had in mind was Richard Artwein the Great Mage, eldest heir to House Artwein, who will come to be known as the World’s Link in the future.
In the original work, Elena and Richard’s relationship wasn’t bad. They were childhood friends, and it had already been stated that Richard was secretly in love with her for a long time. I thought if Elena had to choose between the two of us, she would definitely pick Richard.
I don’t know what Elena thought of him since it had never been described in the novel. At the very least, it’s clear she’s closer to him than she was to me, who only met her today. That’s why I expected Elena to break the engagement since she had Richard.
But did she see Richard as nothing more than a friend?
My prediction had been completely off the mark.
“I have no clue why you would choose me over that gifted childhood friend of yours.”
Despite his young age, Richard Artwein was famous for being the genius magician born from House Artwein. In comparison, my family was well-reputed for being swordmasters. I, on the other hand, was not particularly famous. I was merely the eldest son to a swordmaster. That’s pretty much it.
Taking into mind the difference in our skills and the time we spend with one another, it was rather strange she chose me.
In today’s meeting as well, I didn’t force her to get engaged to me, I only pressured her to make her own decision. If anything, I had been hinting at her to not get engaged to me during our conversation. She nonetheless responded in such a manner, which meant it was a decision she made of her own volition.
Then, what exactly did Elena see in me to give that response?
No matter how much I contemplated, I couldn’t find the answer. Only she would know.
“Well, the good thing is, she just gave me the offer and I haven’t replied to it yet.”
If I couldn’t come up with something no matter how much I deliberated, it would be better for me to come up with another method. There was still a year left until the original plot began. I had to make her break the engagement somehow until then.
Was there another way to do this without me having to commit misdeeds like the original Damian?
Despite racking my brain again and again, nothing popped to mind and I was getting a throbbing headache.
“Agh, forget it. Let’s just sleep.”
I gave up thinking about it.
Time passed within an instant. The dark sky had suddenly transitioned to a clear blue.
The bed was like a time machine. Just laying down for a bit made time go by super fast, so it couldn’t be anything but a magical item. In my previous life, my cheap bed did its job, but a modern commercial good couldn’t even compare to the stuff that the Count had owned.
The bed in my room was one of the few things that I was satisfied with ever since I possessed this body.
Perhaps it was because of my deep sleep, I was thirsty after waking up. I summoned an attendant for a drink. After gulping down the cup of cold water, I went into the bathroom to shower. The spray was powered by magic, not science. I was always impressed no matter how many times I saw it. The droplets falling onto my body chased away my remaining drowsiness.
I didn’t know when he came in, but I saw the attire Ken had prepared when I returned to the room. The clothes were made with the highest quality of black fabric. On the left sleeve, there was a dragon embroidered in gold, symbolizing House Kraus. It was elegant and luxurious.
I dried myself off with a towel and casually took the clothes from Ken.
“The Count says not to come for breakfast.”
“Huh? Did I do something wrong? Why is he suddenly starving his son?”
“That’s not it, he says to have a meal with Lady Edelweiss at the eastern annex.”
“….I see he’s totally trying to stick the two of us together. Tell my father, I understand.”
“For some reason, you look displeased. Don’t tell me, Young Master, did you do something to affront the lady?” Ken asked, tilting his head at my frown.
“No, how does my frowning make you come to that conclusion? Wouldn’t it make more sense for Lady Elena to do it?”
“Of course not. Young Master would do something unconsciously. Lady Elena would not.”
“Ken. Are you really my butler?”‘
“I’m just kidding. Just kidding. But what exactly is the issue? You should be happy to have scored such a beautiful fiancée. This is the first time I’ve seen such a gorgeous lady like her in my 50 years of life. Wait, nothing seriously happened, right?”
Concern showed on the plain old butler’s face.
I told Ken not to worry, and dressed up before heading to the annex where my breakfast was waiting.
Morning in the mansion was busier than I expected. As soon as the servants woke up, they drew the curtains for each window and started cleaning the interior and exterior as per usual.
After I entered Damian’s body, I behaved like a model student, hence everyone greeted me with a smile before going off to do their tasks.
In the past, the maids used to give me caramel or snacks without my parents knowing. Perhaps it was because I’m grown up now, but it was a little disappointing they didn’t do it anymore. Just because I didn’t like sweets didn’t mean I didn’t want them to do nice things for me.
I stopped my line of thought there, and remembered what happened yesterday.
“Ah, Ken. Tell the chef to prepare the same desserts as yesterday after our breakfast arrangement.”
“Young Master, you don’t eat much sweets tho… Ah. I understand.” Ken replied with an understanding smile and opened the door to the annex, to Isilia Hall.
“Young Master, I hope you enjoy your meal with Her Ladyship.”
“Enjoy your breakfast too, Ken.”
As I passed through the door, the sunlit room came into view. On one side of the Isilia Hall were the glass walls, which had been created in the alchemists’ workshops. It was a famous part of the mansion where one could gaze upon the flower garden under the morning sun.
However, what appeared before my eyes was not a flower, but a single person. Her snowy silver hair reflected on the glass, glittering from the sunlight. As if a star had fallen onto earth, she shined brightly making nothing visible, but herself.
It was quite the dangerous morning.
I hid my hands behind my legs, pinching them, before giving a small smile.
“Good morning, Elena.”
She smiled when her crystal clear violet eyes saw me.
“Good morning to you, Damian.”