67. My Feelings
The holy water-making was a great success, and for the first time in a while, I was relaxing in my room.
“I’ve been busy lately…”
I sat on the bed and reminisced.
Looking back, these past few days were tumultuous.
Not only had I helped the spirit king, I also made holy water. In addition, I regularly went to the spirit village to let them enjoy my cooking.
By the way… ever since then, I had served various dishes to the spirits.
Everything seemed to satisfy the tongues of the spirits. Philip even said, “I’m really glad I met you.”
I wasn’t doing that so that they’d be indebted to me, but because I wanted to be of help. Of course, I was glad to be praised.
Our friendship with the spirits, which was full of questions at first, proceeded very smoothly because of that.
It seemed that the potions and the holy water I made were still in high demand. Even so, Robert and Nigel were controlling the situation.
When people made mistakes, they were likely to come for potions and holy water.
If handled poorly, the demand for water, a ingredient, would inevitably increase. It could even result in the spirits of peaceful that village getting disturbed.
Of course, neither Nigel nor I wanted such an outcome.
Despite the minor mess, I had a fulfilling day.
But what was it…?
Inside my heart, there was some kind of uncertainty…
It was as if there was a gap somewhere in my heart…
I felt like I had forgotten something important.
“It’s strange. There shouldn’t have been any problems…”
I muttered to myself.
The sound of knocking on the door.
“It’s me, Nigel. Eliane, can you give me a moment?”
“Nigel? Alright, please come in.”
I invited him into my room.
Nigel was as cool as usual.
“What’s wrong, Nigel? How unusual of you.”
“No, it’s just… we haven’t had a proper conversation lately. I want to converse with you, are you alright with that?”
Nigel sat across of me.
When I was about to prepare tea—
“—I can’t let Eliane do that.”
Nigel attempted to stop me.
“Don’t worry. I’m doing it because I want to.”
“That should be my line. I can’t have something as ridiculous as making His Highness prepare tea.”
…Or, was someone like His highness familiar with preparing black tea?
While having a small talk, I prepared tea for two.
The smell of herbs tickled the bridge of my nose.
Nigel sipped his cup of tea.
“It’s delicious. No matter what you make, Eliane, it’s always top notch.”
“That’s not true. Isn’t the tea prepared by Abby better?”
In fact, I’ve had a few mini tea parties with Abby. The tea she made was truly exceptional.
During those times, I was taught how to prepare tea. The rest was history.
“How do I say this? Abby’s tea is indeed exquisite, but so is Eliane’s.”
Nigel gracefully sipped his tea.
Everything he did was as graceful as a scene from a play.
Maybe… no, not maybe—
—I was currently alone with Nigel!?
What was more, even though we weren’t married—even though I was merely his fiancée—I invited a man into the room…
…wouldn’t he think I was a terrible woman!?
“What’s wrong, Eliane? Look at me.”
To calm myself, I also took a sip of my tea.
Fortunately, the scent of herbs calmed my mind.
For a while after that, we discussed about adding flowers to the tea.
“Elaine, you seem to be very busy lately, aren’t you exhausted? When I look at Eliane these days, I feel kind of worried…”
By looking at him, I knew that was the main subject.
“I, it’s alright. I’m enjoying myself every day.”
I behaved cheerfully so as to not worry Nigel.
I was sure he was worried about me whom had been busy lately.
I was allowed to live in such a magnificent royal castle, and I was allowed to do as I pleased.
I had no complaints.
I didn’t want to worry Nigel.
I focused on that feeling.
“I see. That’s fine, then.”
Nigel’s smile was akin to a flower.
“Lately, we haven’t been talking. I was worried about your physical condition, but I wondered if you’d find such feelings unwelcome.”
He must be joking.
I didn’t think Nigel actually intended to say that either.
He must had spoken without thinking.
To me, it sounded like he was saying, “we’re engaged, but aren’t you neglecting me too much?”
“I’m sorry… perhaps, I don’t really understand Nigel’s feelings.”
“From now on, I shall behave more like a fiancée…!”
Before I realized it, words were coming out of my mouth one after another.
Otherwise, I’d have been torn apart by my emotions.
At the same time, it was as if I was making an excuse.
Nigel called my name once again.
The next moment.
As he gently stroked my head, Nigel pulled me into an embrace.
“I’m sorry for making you anxious. That’s not what I meant. I love Eliane. I just want to talk more with you.”
Mysteriously, my heart gradually calmed down as a result of Nigel’s action.
He didn’t have the peculiar, sweaty, smell of a man.
Instead, it was as if I was in a garden of roses.
“I’m sorry for behaving a little too aggressive. It’s late. I’ll return to my own room soon.”
Thus, Nigel stood up.
“Y, yes! Thank you for today! I’m glad I was able to have a proper conversation with you for the first time in a while!”
“That should be my line. The tea you prepared was delicious. When we have time, let’s have another tea party.” After saying so, Nigel left.
The moment he left the room, the tension and exhaustion I had been suppressing so far began to weight down on my shoulders.
I rested my body on the back of the chair.
“…Just then, what happened to me…?”
Thinking that I was disliked by Nigel, I suddenly lost control of my emotions.
I loved Nigel. I had no complaints about him.
It was still difficult for me to believe that we were engaged.
But on the contrary, that was precisely the problem.
Nigel was perfect.
Moreover, he was the first prince of that kingdom.
Eventually, I’d be required to stand next to Nigel and behave like a proper queen.
“Well, of course, if it’s Nigel, he would shrug it off…”
Despite that, no matter what he thought, until I actually became a queen, there was no way he could say that.
Everything was different from when I was with Prince Claude.
It was a one-sided engagement. The only reason I was betrothed to him was because I was the saint. Such was the tradition. Despite so, not once had he recognized me as the future queen.
I tried to love him, but failed.
“…Everything is going so well for me right now, it’s honestly becoming scary…”
I muttered alone.
Unconsciously, I may have avoided Nigel because I just couldn’t see myself being his fiancée.
Hence why, I busied myself.
Today, by talking with Nigel, I had become aware of those feelings.
“What would others do at a time like this… let’s talk to Abby…”
During such cases, it seemed that Abby, whom was of the same gender, would make for a better conversation partner than Douglas, a male (?)
Even if I talked to Douglas, his response would most likely be, “Why do humans torment themselves over useless crap?”
“It’s alright. Surely, time will fix everything… I believe so.”
I said to myself.
Let’s call it a day.
By retiring to my bed, a fresh batch of ideas might come to me.
However, Nigel’s words swirled in my head and kept me awake.
***T/N: Nope, still not getting that sense of chemistry between Nigel and Eliane. At best, their conversation felt formal.
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