13. Turning Back is Difficult
“…Lord Noel, this is merely—”
“—Don’t refer to me so casually. I’m Sherry’s, I have no interest in talking with other women.”
Towards Noel, who spoke with a terribly cold voice, Marian’s body shook. I felt like he was saying something ridiculous.
I had the feeling he had said something utterly horrifying, something along the line of cutting her tongue—but there was no way Noel’s beautiful lips could spin such words. I decided to not bother with that anymore.
“Even if you come from a marquis family, if you hurt Sherry, I won’t hesitate. Never show up in front of her again.”
“Did you hear what I said? Are those ears of yours merely decorations?”
Marian’s round eyes spilled tears. While lifting her skirt, she fled the scene. Noel was so intimidating, I couldn’t say anything back.
Noel always smiled gently and was kind to everyone. It was my first time seeing that side of him. I was so astonished that he protected me. At the same time, I shall take the secret that I actually wanted to be glared by such frosty eyes to the grave.
Noel turned around and gently caressed my cheek. His gentle atmosphere was utterly different from his previous one.
“Sherry, are you alright?”
“I’m alright, forgive me.”
“Your cuteness is unforgiveable. Don’t worry about that person anymore. You must be thirsty, let me get something for you right away.”
After asking Cliff to keep me company, he left. I came to get him a drink in the first place, but the roles had since been reversed. I didn’t know how many times had I received his kindness. The only thing that was certain was that I kept falling in love over and over towards him.
“Are you alright, Sherry?”
“Yes, I am, thanks.”
“You’re cuter than anyone else, so you needn’t concern yourself with her words.”
The glass of champagne that Noel brought for me was more delicious than any drink I had ever had. Even after I finished drinking, I was overjoyed. I considered taking the glass home.
Before I noticed it, the music playing in the hall had changed. I realized that it was my favorite song. Noel gently smiled as if he had read my mind and extended his hand towards me.
“Will you dance with me?”
Oh, God. I shall never forget that day. I put my hand on his while crying inwardly.
I had no reason to suspect that he had heard my grievance from Horace, and that he did his best to attend a ball with me.
I had a sweet and happy time. I never knew such happiness existed.
The day after the ball, I went to the Grafton family to discuss the creepy letters. As soon as that dreamy time with Noel was over, fear struck me once again.
Although I could use water magic, it wasn’t sufficient for combat. It may be possible for me to deal with ordinary people, but it’d be difficult if the opponent was also a wizard.
My father was very worried and immediately arranged for an escort. The escort was a former knight, a man who could use earth magic. He’d watch over me from the shadows whenever I went out.
“Who’s that man?”
“Why would you need an escort?”
Soon after, Noel noticed his existence and I was forced to explain. Was that man bad at hiding? I thought such, but on the contrary, it might be due to the awesomeness of Noel.
I was worried about consulting with Noel from the beginning. I was anxious I wouldn’t be able to convey my points well because of the restriction spell. I also believed the letter was just a prank and that my worry was unfounded. I became silent. Of course, it was already too late by that point, because something had happened.
After I managed to explain without saying anything out of place, Noel looked hurt.
“…Do you not trust me?”
Did he end up thinking that way because I didn’t consult with him immediately? By the time I was about to deny, Noel had already opened his mouth.
“From now on, I’ll be by your side as much as possible. When I’m at work, I shall prepare an escort, as well.”
“You needn’t go that far.”
He said my name in a low voice. He sounded angry.
“If something were to happen to you, I would soon follow after you.”
“From now on, please think that you hold the lives of two people.”
Noel’s life… is in my hand?
Of course, that wasn’t what he was implying. However, he sounded prepared for that kind of outcome. Still, just thinking that his life was in my hands changed everything. I needed to pull through.
Afterwards, I brought a magical instrument for self-defense and started to stay home whenever I wasn’t working.
A few days later. During my lunch break, I was having lunch with Sheila at a nearby café. I couldn’t see him, but it seemed that the escort hired by Noel was always watching over me.
I was talking to Sheila about the rumors regarding aristocrats that day. I had never heard any of the rumors she brought up.
“The marquis family has such a rumor…?”
“It seems so. I don’t know if it’s true.”
I was astonished by her skill at gathering information. I inadvertently stopped eating just to hear her story.
“Do you know the daughter of the Marquis of Selvedge?”
“Eh? I do, what’s with her…?”
The other day, the daughter who was lambasting me at the ball was none other than Marian Selvedge, the only daughter of the marquis family.
When I asked what she had done, Sheila looked around her, and whispered to me.
“…I heard that she was involved in a terrible accident a few days ago. It’s a miracle that she’s still alive.”
***T/N: …Noel, reassure her, don’t threaten her more, goddammit.