6. A Thousand Years of Memories (6)
“—this is purely an assumption; I don’t think Amelia actually hates people—she’s just pretending, for whatever reason. However, if I may hazard a guess, she may have done so in order to avoid the engagement. William, you’re well-known for your fair treatment—and Amelia is using it against you, by mistreating the maid, that is.”
Lewis’ explanation only made William’s confusion grow.
“…But why would she do that? For what purpose?”
Pretending to be inhumane, and putting it into practice in front of me—
—Lewis answered the question;
“I’ll admit that I’m confused, too. Maybe she just doesn’t like the idea of being engaged.”
“…But still, was all of that with maid and tea party necessary?”
If she hates the idea that much, she could just be honest with me. One word; and I’ll understand. I’m not the kind of man who’ll force a relationship to continue when the other party despises it so much. That’s just not right.
William was a man with clear conscience. Then, he inquired further;
“Lady Amelia is famous for being inhuman. She only needs to make it clear to me—that she hates people and doesn’t intend to accept anyone’s proposal—shouldn’t that have been enough?”
Why would she bother enacting such a charade with her maid—he couldn’t wrap his fingers around that.
Lewis paused to let his master collect his thoughts.
“Yes, yes… I understand your bafflement—but, what if Amelia purposefully did that so she could be hated by you?”
“—not only to call off the engagement, but also to be hated by you.”
“That’s… how should I know? Until today, I’ve never spoken to her.”
“Moreover—did she get burnt?”
“The maid who was drenched with tea—did she get burnt?”
“…Why would you ask that—“—what does his question mean? William recalled Lewis’ serious expression—burnt… that’s right. That tea should have been hot. But did her skin turn red…?
“I’m uncertain, but she most likely didn’t.”
“You saw the entire processes, correct? When the tea was poured in to the cup, was it steaming?”
“…If I remember correctly, there was no steam. I recall feeling odd about it—in other words, the tea was also prepared beforehand?”
Lewis stared straight at William.
“No doubt about it. The maid knew this would happen, hence she prepared cold tea. It wasn’t an accident when she ‘spilled’ some onto Amelia’s dress. Everything was staged.”
“…She, wants to be hated by me this much? …Why?”
William pondered—he was fairly confident in his likeability. He was also confident that people, in general, wanted to be liked by others. Why on earth would she want to be hated? Why, why…? William scratched his head.
Lewis cleared his throat, “—that’s because Lady Amelia hates you,” and mercilessly revealed the cold truth.
William pondered even harder—Hate? Me? Somebody whom she has never exchanged a single word with before…?!
The man called William Cecil had absolutely never been rejected before. It was due to his prestigious family, good personality, and admirable traits. He was respected, admired, favored, and envied—but hated? Never!
Hence, it was a whole new experience for him. For his entire life, his environment was made to suit him—not the otherwise. It was an environment where he was accepted and well-liked. He believed he had rightly earned said environment because of his hard work.
Because of that, he lived a worry-free life—he never minded what others might think or feel about him. He was at ease—because no way someone like me would be hated …right?
Who would’ve thought that someone he had never exchange words with would hate him to such an extent…
I always make sure to be a gentleman to every woman I meet.
I have never cheated, nor done anything that would make them hate my guts.
But Lewis concluded that Amelia hated him. To an extent that she would do such a thing just to avoid a mere engagement. For a reason he wasn’t aware—this is unbelievable…
Lost for words, William’s expression turned difficult.
Lewis grinned at the pathetic state of his master.
“Earth to Master, oi, are you okay? Have you decided what you’re going to do yet?”
“…What I’m going to do? As in? What do you mean?”
“Did you forget already? Lady Amelia desperately wants to avoid being engaged with you—what shall be your response?”
—Amelia Southwell. An earl’s daughter, whom at the age of eight, had miraculously perfected all her lessons. Possesses a bad reputation in noble society; is praised to high heaven by servants—the difference is like night and day.
Under that inhuman and ruthless façade, what could she be hiding, I wonder?
…Interesting. Very interesting.
The corner of his lips rose. “I will not withdraw the engagement. Instead, let’s proceed. Besides, you want it to succeed, too, don’t you, Lewis?”
William and Lewis stared at each other. Both eyes carried the same will, the same determination.
William, whom was interested in Amelia’s real self, and Lewis, who acknowledged Amelia as a competent lady fit to be William’s spouse—
—suffice to say, they reached a middle ground.
“Besides, time is aplenty.”
William looked out of the window.
He wondered what he would find underneath that façade of an Ice Queen—
—a proud lion or a venomous snake? Or, perhaps, a normal person?
The aversion he had felt towards Amelia had long been forgotten. With eyes full of curiosity, William gazed at the far away sky.
***T/N: Dayum. Lewis must’ve read the spoiler somewhere…