7. A Gentle Stare
When we arrived at the river and alighted from the carriage, a firm scaffold made of wooden boards had been set over the riverbank. A carpet had been carefully placed on top of it to ensure that neither my dress nor shoes would get dirty.
Also there was a pair of comfortable looking chairs. How much preparation did he go through for fishing in the river? I couldn’t help but wonder why was I fishing in the first place.
Upon sitting upon one of the chairs, Philip gave me a fine fishing rod. When I was confused because I was unsure of what to do, I found him staring at me with a mysterious look.
Eventually, Philip muttered, “You must’ve forgotten this, too.” It was aAs if he was convincing himself.
I, in fact, hadn’t forgotten anything, but had simply never been fishing before.
I was even beginning to fear his flawless acting. It was too faithful to the setting.
While asking him to teach me, I dangled the thread over the water.
Thanks to the umbrella, the sun wasn’t too blinding and was instead pleasant to my skin.
As I listened to the gurgling of the river and the occasional chirps of the birds, I felt very calm.
Although again we were in silence, that time, it didn’t feel so overwhelming.
I was honestly disappointed when I heard we were going fishing, but upon trying it, it wasn’t so bad. In fact, I had begun to enjoy it.
“It’s difficult to catch one.”
It had been about 30 minutes, yet there was no sign that we’d be catching any fish.
It wasn’t like I was in desperate need to catch one, because I was satisfied by merely breathing the outside air and relaxing. I said that matter-of-factly.
Philip suddenly excused himself. I was vaguely wondering if I should be concerned about it—however, after a few minutes…
…Suddenly, a school of fish came from upstream.
I had knowledge of neither rivers nor fish, but I knew the sight before me was odd. When I felt it was staged, I was told;
I was stunned, but only once Philip said me that did I realize a fish seemed to be biting on my fishing rod. No wonder I felt a tug.
After immediately pulling the fishing rod in a clumsy manner, a small fish about the size of my thumb was revealed caught on the hook.
“Phil! I caught one!”
Despite the invisible, suspicious, power at work, I was only able to catch a fish of that size… but for some reason, I was still very happy. I said that on a whim, but the moment I turned my eyes towards him, my breath was taken away.
Philip was softly narrowing his eyes. He was staring at me with a terribly gentle expression.
While I was fascinated by his appearance, the servants of the duke appeared out of nowhere, apparently to remove the small fish and place it in a bucket. Afterwards, everyone applauded me—
I truly felt embarrassed. I wished they would stop.
“Did you have fun?”
After I nodded to his sudden question, he said, “Good, then.” He returned his eyes to the water surface.
After catching some small fish and having some fun, we moved to a nearby meadow. The maids of the duke laid out some sheets and prepared lunch. I was able to enjoy a luxurious lunch that wouldn’t make me think of the outdoors.
By the way, Philip was very beautiful—even during meals. When I was a kid, I wanted to be like him, and did my best in learning table manners.
“It’s very delicious.”
I had a good dessert after the meal. While I was leisurely drinking tea, I heard a cute voice saying, “Meow.”
When I turned around, a kitten was looking at me with its round, golden, eyes from a distance.
“H, how adorable!”
The moment I opened my arms and squealed, the kitten approached me. Just looking at its cute figure, my chest tightened.
When I stroked the kitten, it felt comfortable and started to purr—what an angel!
By the way, I had never seen Philip trying to stroke a cat, or a dog, before. The whole time, he’d just stare at me—could it be, he didn’t really like animal?
After caressing it for a while, the satisfied kitten left. Although I felt a little lonely, I suddenly noticed something as I muttered cheerfully towards at back.
“That kitten looks like Phil.”
“…Is that so?”
The kitten had a dark blue fur, which was close to black, and a pair of golden eyes. It also had a very beautiful face, like that of a girl.
“C’mere! …Just kidding.”
The day was more fun than expected. Perhaps that was why I got carried by the atmosphere. After making such rare joke, I was at loss for words when I saw Philip.
His face, although riddled with confusion, was also flushed for some reason.
I expected a cold rebuttal from him, “No, I’m alright.” His unexpected reaction baffled me.
After a period of awkward silence, which almost costed me my heart, he suddenly came up in front of me, and sat down. We were face to face. My line of sight was entangled with his passionate gaze from such a short distance—it couldn’t be deflected!
…What kind of situation is this?
Then, after hesitating for a moment, he leaned his head, and rested his forehead on my shoulder.
***T/N: ///Covers nosebleed/// T-the adorableness of this socially inept man goes above and beyond…!!!!
—ok tell him to oink while being on all four next.
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