The Best is Saved for Last [Chapter 2]
Chapter Two: Wonderful ○○○-sama
First of all, let me say this: Earl Greeden was a perfect gentleman. To be honest, I never dreamt that he would welcome a weak little girl who had been forced on him. He was a man of dignity and fine physique that was reminiscent of his youthful heroism. His long hair, which was more ash-gray than white, was tied in an elegant ponytail. His back was straight out from his days of wearing his Knight’s uniform. His sweet features and calm eyes, which surely had been popular with women when he was young, were still very impressive. He had a brilliant aura around him that was as attractive as it was powerful.
He greeted me at the gate himself and escorted me to my room with a gentle smile on his face. He was clearly a cool grandpa. When we arrived at the room we were to stay in, he spoke in a soft, kind voice.
“I am sorry that you have to marry such an old man. I have a very short life left to live. Can you give color and comfort to this lonely old man?” He spoke like a handsome prince. His gentle eyes were cobalt blue and surrounded with wrinkles that made him look even more dignified. He knelt down and kissed the hem of my dress softly before standing up to gaze at me. There was a silverfish astringency to him that I found calming and attractive.
My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by him calling my name. I didn’t know that I had zoned out, and I had to quickly get a hold of myself to stop my emotions from sipping into my face.
“Miss Nako?” he called in his sweet, calm voice.
“I know I was forced on you by the King and the prime minister. I am sorry for the inconvenience,” I replied. I didn’t want to be a burden to a person as wonderful as him. His gentle expression grew heavy as I continued to talk. “It’s all right if you throw me out,” I added. I needed to make things clear as fast as possible. I didn’t want any confusion to linger.
“Excuse me. Did the majesty force you on me?” The Earl was genuinely shocked.
“No… Well, I just thought he did. But…”
“Miss Nako. It was certainly an urgent matter, but I don’t think I was forced into it. I may not be able to give you the dignity that comes with being in a normal relationship. However, I hope to be a good partner to you.”
“You don’t find it annoying? Really?”
“Not at all. It’s been a long time since we have had a young lady here. Everyone in the mansion was looking forward to seeing this dreary place brighten up and look gorgeous.”
I realized that everyone in the mansion, from the gatekeeper to the maid, had gentle eyes. I was vaguely wondering if only people of the same character gathered around him, but his explanation made more sense. However, one question still needed answering. I still didn’t know why the Earl was so kind to me.
“Excuse me,” I started, summoning the courage to put my curiosity into a question.
“What is it?” The Earl asked in an encouraging tone that made it easier for me to speak.
“I don’t have special powers.”
His inquisitive expression turned into a natural gaze. He didn’t seem to have any hidden intentions. It was a weird conversation to have, but I needed to clear the air. If I didn’t, I was bound to feel uneasy around him. I wanted to ask him if he expected me to restore his youth. However, that question was too impolite, and I couldn’t bring myself to ask.
Earl Greeden wrinkled his brows and embraced me slowly. He smelt bitter and sweet, like a cigar, but not quite.
“You don’t need any special powers,” he reassured me. “The country is now calm and full of peace.”
I let out a breath of relief.
‘thank you, I will do my best,” I replied with a polite smile. I wondered what he wanted me to do or expected of me. Perhaps he wanted me to study socialization and housekeeping. That would have been quite difficult. Still, I was determined to do what I can. I made a mental note to ask Lynn about what exactly my duties were.
He looked at me with a gentle, soft gaze that pierced through my heart. “Yes, please do your best. But within reasonable limits.”
“Well, Earl… What should I call you?” I asked.
“Anything is fine,” he replied.
“Well, then…. Can I call you my husband?”
His eyes widened slightly in surprise. He stroked his trimmed beard as his lips spread into a slight smile.
“I am the happiest person in this country. I can’t believe that a beautiful woman such as yourself would ask if she could call me her husband.
I immediately fell in love with the expression he had on his face. I found myself reluctantly admitting that the prime minister had done a great job in finding a place for me in this world.
“Nako-sama, he really is withered,” Lynn said as she quickly cleaned up the luggage she had brought in.
“Don’t say withered. He’s my husband, you’re being rude.”
In a few minutes, Lynn finished unpacking all my luggage. I didn’t have much luggage to begin with. I had left the jewelry and accessories that I had received from the prime minister and other aristocrats in the palace. They were gifts for a sacred virgin, so I left them for them so they wouldn’t hold a grudge.
“He seems to take good care of you,” Lynn muttered calmly as she looked around the chamber.
The sun shined brightly upon the simple and beautiful furniture that gave the room a stylish and relaxed ambiance. It was almost as if he had it specially prepared for me.
“Well, I’m leaving now,” Lynn said as she started to walk out of the room.
“Yes, Lynn. Thank you so much.”
Before sunset, Lynn came back to say goodbye as she was returning to the royal palace. With her gone, I began to feel a bit lonely. Since the day I was summoned, we had always been together for one reason or the other. However, I understood that it was just like her to make a spontaneous decision and go with it.
In the evening, I had dinner with my husband. He took the time to introduce me to the servants who worked in the mansion. Just like my initial experience with them, everyone in the mansion was so kind and friendly. I was tempted to ask if they were chosen because of their personality. The auntie, Miss Rottenmever, who was in charge of teaching manners and etiquettes, looked slim, firm and strict, but her eyes were kind.
I was surprised when my husband said that everyone, including the servants, ate together. Although I was surprised by the meal’s scenery, I was not too nervous. I soon found myself happily chatting and laughing with everyone.
I genuinely enjoyed the meal. Since the day I was summoned, I had been eating alone while all the waiters stood by. I wasn’t comfortable with the waiters watching me as I ate. I always lacked appetite, and my body, which was already lean, grew thin and skinny. However, at the Earl’s table, I felt comfortable eating with his household.
“Don’t you feel calm?” he asked, noticing that I was looking around a lot.
“I’m glad it’s lively,” I replied with a smile, which my husband responded to with a smile of his own. The wrinkles at the corner of his eyes deepened as his lips spread.
The dinner served was comparable to the eastern part of my world, especially the rice. My excitement peaked when I saw the common staple food been served. I was so happy to be able to eat it again. Rice was so rare in this world. Even in the royal palace, I was only able to eat it once.
I quickly packed the nostalgic taste into my small stomach. It was delicious. I could swear I was in heaven. My husband kept looking at me with a loving smile on his face, which made me feel special. The maids and the working men around us gossiped endlessly, covering their mouths with their handkerchiefs. I didn’t realize it then, but it was at that moment that Earl Greeden fell in love for the first time.
“The husband prepared it for his wife,” maid Martha informed me with a meaningful smile on her face.
I glanced at my husband to confirm the statement.
“I told you to keep it a secret,” he said as his face grew red, and he looked away while stroking his beard.
In my mind, I was grateful for the excellent information. My husband was too cute.
“Let’s have the marriage ceremony in a year. Until then, please take your time relaxing,” he declared as a matter of fact.
I held back my desire to shout, “I don’t mind if it’s right now.” Instead, I just smiled as hard as I could.
“Thank you for your concern,” I said in a lovely and quiet tone.