8. Fate of the Engagement (2)
It was still long before sunset.
Yet, every day was filled with rain, and the skies were cloudy today as well—as if reflecting her own feelings.
Amelia squinted at the view outside the window.
“Milady, you are making that face again! It’s really mesmerizing …see? I know you can appear beautiful if you want to!”
Hannah cooed, smiling proudly behind the mirror.
Amelia, whom was reflected upon it, tied her hair a little higher on the back of her head. A crimson dress adorned her. Around her neck was a choker encrusted with a large ruby. On both of her ears were a matching pair of ruby earrings. Due to the room’s lighting, they simmered, although still failing to compare with the glow of Amelia’s golden hair.
“It’s been months since Milady last attended an evening ball. I’m sure everyone will find Milady’s beauty pleasing to the eye—even the Earl of Falmouth.”
From her expression, it could be concluded that Hannah’s imagination was running wild—yet her expression is still lovely, though… On the other hand, Amelia sighed with a depressed face.
“Hannah, I’ve told you already, I have no intention of socializing with Lord Falmouth. I refuse to.”
“I know—but, but! Earl Falmouth is a gentleman who didn’t break the engagement even after he saw your ruthless attitude! Surely because he knows that you’re really a kind-hearted girl inside! Yet, Milady still insists on treating him coldly like this! You’re playing with his heart, Milady! That’s just wrong—!!”
Hugging her body with both hands, Hanna swung around in the room—before dramatically falling, and kneeling on the floor. Fake tears flowed down her seemingly weeping face.
—Amelia sat on the chair, only staring silently at Hannah.
Hannah glared back, disappointed that her Master showed no response. But soon, she stood and walked back to Amelia.
“—Milady…!! Know this, us servants sincerely wish for your happiness…!! Earl Falmouth will surely grant that wish of ours—…I believe he can make Milady happy…!!”
Hannah’s expression was serious. No doubt the words genuinely came from her heart.
From the bottom of her heart, Amelia felt happy.
Amelia recalled the previous thousand years of her life—
—has someone ever wished for my happiness before…?
Perhaps there was, only she didn’t notice.
Her thoughts were only preoccupied with chasing that person’s shadow. There was no room for anything else.
…My happiness, huh? She never really wished for anyone else’s happiness.
Now, there was a person whom sincerely wished for her happiness.
Now, there was a person whom was able to convey that while gazing straight at her.
—I’m truly glad, thank you…
A girl whom was still younger than twenty, living a life of servitude, had wished her such.
If possible, I wanted to grant her wish. Just accepting that feeling alone isn’t enough—Amelia wished.
“…Thank you, Hannah. I’m truly overjoyed to hear that from you.”
Amelia’s pure white hands gently took Hannah’s hand, as she closed her eyes to pray—
—a future where she could be happy with William, such thing didn’t exist.
…But, if you wish for my happiness, even for a little bit, I want to make that wish come true.
—…I want to live up to your wish.
A small light lighted up in Amelia’s heart.
She made up her mind.
For real this time, everything was perfect. No one had noticed a thing yet.
Amelia slowly opened her eyelids. Her expression wasn’t of the usual cold and antisocial Amelia.
Hannah involuntarily took a deep breath, looking at the rare gentleness etched on her Master’s face.
“Milady… Thank you…”
Amelia stared at Hannah and smiled, declaring—
Her voice was as calm as ever, yet it wasn’t cold nor indifferent. It had the warmth that enveloped everything. Her step was light and graceful—she was no longer the ‘Amelia’ Hannah knew.
Amelia headed towards the entrance hall, leaving Hannah whom was completely tired in the room.
When she walked down the stairs to the first floor, her parents were already present on the hall, having finished their preparations for the evening ball.
Amelia was an 18-year-old girl. She called out to her parents with a cool and quiet voice.
For a moment, the two were alarmed, yet, when their line of sight met with Amelia—
—they were completely dazed, as if dreaming.
“—you… did something happen?”
At the end of Richard’s—Amelia’s father—gaze, was a girl walking down the stair with featherlike steps.
Unlike his usual daughter, she had a smile etched on her face.
It was as if he was looking at a completely different person…
Richard glanced over his wife. He had a feeling they shared the same thought.
Their daughter looked even more charming than her usual calm, dignified self.
All the servants were completely stunned, too—but the head butler and maid held out their hands and smiled.
As if oblivious towards everyone’s reactions, Amelia spun around in her dress.
“Mother, this dress… don’t you think it’s a little flashy? It’s not good to be too conspicuous, I think. Ah, if I knew this would happen, I would’ve properly listened about William’s preferences…”
Amelia puffed her cheeks—at this moment, she looked like a young maiden with irresistible charm, someone everyone couldn’t help but fell in love with. At least, that was what everyone who was present thought.
“A-Amelia, is something wrong?”
Towards her daughter’s ‘transformation’, Marianne—Amelia’s mother—couldn’t hide her surprise.
…When I had my breakfast this morning, my daughter was still acting like her usual self—silent, and indifferent.
Now, Amelia even called Earl Falmouth with his first name! Even if she was close with him, someone of a lower status wasn’t supposed to address their superior like that…
Hearing Marianne’s question, Amelia felt a little embarrassed.
“Hannah has persuaded me… that I was rude to William during our last tea party. Yet, he still forgives me—Hannah made me realize this. She’s truly a wonderful person I can’t find anywhere else… That being said, everything she said make senses, so I—“
Amelia paused before staring directly at her parents, and told them:
“When I see William today, I’m going to tell him. “I accept your proposal”—is that good enough?” Amelia’s blue eyes swayed, filled with anxiousness.
Richard and Marianne looked at each other—they never expected to see such an expression coming from their daughter.
Of course, as soon as the Marquis’ son had proposed to Amelia, she and her family were obliged to accept. When he finally voiced his agreement, he had intended to make Amelia accept it, too, regardless of anything.
Her sudden wish was akin to hitting a jackpot.
Without holding back, Richard proclaimed to his daughter;
“—Good. Today you’ll also meet with the Marquis of Winchester. There, we’ll tell him directly that you’ll accept the marriage offer. In other words, your engagement will be official today—Marianne, it’s as you intended.”
“Yes, that’s right, Dear Husband.”
Richard’s eyes glistened—
—Amelia noticed, without fail, her father’s deep ambition, and smiled innocently.
***T/N: Woah! They are going to a ball! I, too, am excited for the next chapter!