12. The Betrayed and the Betrayer
- This comes with insight to the feelings of the stalker. Please proceed with caution for it isn’t for the faint of heart.
“Sherry, you look very sleepy today.”
“I’m a bit sleep deprived…”
After having yawned so many times, I lost count. I went to the desk and summarized the results of the other day’s experiment. Recently, I had only been tasked with paperwork which made me drowsy.
Yesterday, Noel invited me to talk, but I seemed to have fallen asleep on the sofa almost immediately. Even though I tried my best to stay awake, I fell asleep during the pivotal moment. Moreover, Noel had to carry me to bad.
What a blunder…!
“By the way, you came to work in a very luxurious carriage this morning. Your fiancé?”
“Actually, I’ve been living with him since yesterday…!”
“Is that so!? Please tell me more about him later!”
The one who stared at me with beaming eyes was my subordinate, Sheila. Even though she was a commoner, she was very smart and had strong magical power. I felt that the day I’d be her subordinate was near.
She was also a precious friend who was willing to listen to my talks about Noel. Sheila was secretly writing an aristocratic romance novel, and she was using me as a reference. Was there any part of what I said that could be used as a reference?
At that institute, everyone was equal. No one had to worry about their social standing. As I thought about how I’d love to continue working there even after getting married, my pen suddenly ran out of ink.
The pen I used was a special one—it had been given to me by my father. The replacement was in my bag. When I went to the changing room, I noticed something stuck in my locker.
An envelope was jammed between the locker doors. The recipient said, ‘Sherry Grafton.’ My heart made an unpleasant sound at the familiar handwriting.
—Why is this here?
When I opened the envelope, I found various letters inside. The moment I saw their contents, a short scream escaped my mouth. The stack of papers, which slipped from my hands, scattered across the floor.
Scribbled over and over with blood red letters on them were words of blame such as, ‘I will never forgive you.’ and ‘Traitor.’
“Sherry, are you truly alright? Your complexion is terrible.”
“I, I’m alright.”
“I’m worried. Let me escort you to your carriage.”
In the evening, Sheila called out to me. She had finished her work, and was preparing to go home. What a nice girl!
After that, I gathered the letter with my trembling hands, stuffed it into the trash can, and returned to work. Because of my terrible complexion, everyone was worried.
Until now, letters had never come to my workplace. The sender might already know that I was no longer living with the Grafton family—even though I had just moved yesterday.
‘I’m always watching.’
Recalling that such a sentence was written in a letter that arrived in the past, cold sweat drenched my back. Was the sender truly fond of me and now angry that I became engaged with Noel?
I began to feel a sense of crisis, thinking that it wasn’t merely a prank.
Above all, how did the sender enter the institute and the locker room? It was truly creepy. I couldn’t imagine someone trespassing in my workplace. I shook my head to ward off those thoughts.
For the time being, I kept talking to my coworkers while keeping watch over the situation. In case of an emergency, I shall ask my father for an escort. Anyway, I had to make sure that I was never alone.
“An amazing person has arrived.”
I looked up at Sheila’s voice. Many women had gathered around a carriage parked at the institute. As I approached, wondering what had happened, I saw Noel in a casual attire.
“Sherry, thank you for your hard work.”
When Noel spotted me, he happily and ran up to me.
Am I sleepwalking right now?
This must be a dream, right?
The moment Sheila, who was next to me, saw Noel in person, she petrified like a statue. I could understand her feelings really well. When I saw Noel for the first time, I also couldn’t say anything for an hour.
I thanked Sheila for accompanying me and boarded the carriage with Noel. For Noel to come pick me up… it was like a dream. Just by being with him, I felt that the fear and tension I was feeling had been resolved.
“A little after this, would you like to go out with me?”
Inside the carriage, which was already heading in the opposite direction of the residence of the Anderson family, he asked that.
Heck, even if he didn’t ask, I’d gladly follow him anywhere—be it to the battlefield or the depths of hell.
When I asked where we were going, he smiled.
After that, I enjoyed a dream-like shopping date. I chose a dress and shoes for the ball. The entire time, Noel kept praising my appearance regardless of what I chose. For such happiness, I had probably used my lifetime’s worth of luck.
I had chosen a black tie for him. Then I realized that there was nothing that didn’t suit him. When he asked me which one suit him better, everything suited him!
In the end, I could only say, “Anything is fine.” But that time, my words were correct.
“I’m really glad to be able to spend time with Sherry, even though we’re in quite a rush.”
Although the invitation to a ball was sudden, I was happy to be able to attend with Noel. I missed the opportunity to dance with him at the previous ball and prayed that we’d able to this day.
When we arrived at the venue, many kept calling out to us. I was happy to be introduced as his beloved fiancée each time. Although, it was also a little embarrassing.
The wave of people finally dispersed. When I took a breath, I saw a man I was familiar with.
“Cliff, it’s been a long time.”
“Indeed. How have you been?”
He had been Noel’s best friend since the days of the magic academy, and I used to talk to him a lot at that time. Even after graduating, I met him at social gatherings about once every six months.
Cliff was cheerful and friendly. There were many daughters who had been his fans ever since he was a student.
“It’s been a long time since I last saw Sherry.”
“It’s been a long time, Cliff.”
“…You don’t seem to be doing very well, are you alright?”
“Yes, I’m fine.”
Due to the restriction spell, I was extremely quiet even though I was with Noel. Cliff stared at me strangely.
“You usually have a cute smile.”
“I, is that so?”
“Cliff, please refrain from flirting with my fiancée.”
“No way, that’s not what I intended at all.”
Cliff said that and laughed, before placing a hand upon Noel’s shoulder. Afterwards, the three of us talked. That was when I noticed that Noel’s glass was empty.
I stepped aside to call someone. As they were talking, I went to another table.
“What’s so good about you?”
I was suddenly called out. When I turned around, Marian, who had been rumored to be close with Noel, was staring dagger at me.
Recently, my surroundings were so supportive, I let my guard down. I forgot that I might encounter such a situation.
“D, do you need something?”
“Why are you Lord Noel’s fiancée?”
She looked really strange, and not to mention, persistent. To be honest, I just wanted to leave.
“Where am I lacking? In fact, aren’t you the inferior one here? Be it your status, face, style, and magical power—they are all below me!”
She was right. There was no mistake in what she was saying.
When she saw that I couldn’t say anything in return, Marian gained more confidence. She didn’t hesitate to lambast me.
“For a long time now, I’ve been thinking of how much of an eyesore you are. You’re a noble lady, what are you doing in an institute? How sickening!”
I was silent the entire time. However, the moment I heard those words, I raised my head. It was unforgiveable for her to badmouth my workplace. It was when I was about to rebuke her.
“If you say anything more, I will cut off your tongue.”
When I turned around, I saw Noel staring with cold eyes and Cliff smiling.
***T/N: The stalker is Cliff, isn’t he? :D~ I mean, he’s always trying to locate her back in academy. ‘I Turned into a Stalker after I Fell in Love with the Girl who Stalked my Friend.’