14. An Unknown Past
It had been a week since I started living in the residence of Count Anderson. Noel whispered sweet nothings to me every time we met, regardless of how flat my reaction was.
It made me feel as if our roles had been reversed.
“What happened while I was away on a business trip!? Suddenly, you’re already engaged and are living together with Lord Noel?”
“I, I will explain, so please calm down!”
Today, after I got off work, I went out for the first time in a while and met Claris. I last saw her two months ago. Of course, I felt safe because not only I had told Noel, I also had an escort.
I was having lunch at my favorite restaurant at the moment. However, she kept asking me questions, so many I almost couldn’t eat. She worked for the Ministry of Magic and had been away on a business trip in a neighboring kingdom for the past two months. Not knowing where I should send the letter, I just sent it to her house. The content was, “I’ve gotten engaged with Lord Noel.”
I couldn’t talk about the restriction spell, so I just said that I followed the book’s advice. Afterwards, Noel and I were engaged. I only briefly described the chain of events in my letter.
“…So, it’s that effective! If I find a man I like, I will be sure to use the same trick!”
“It’s too effective, it’s scary… although, thank you.”
“Even so, Lord Noel must’ve suffered a huge shock due to how cold Sherry was behaving.”
I couldn’t say anything because even then, I was technically still behaving coldly towards Noel. It’d take about two weeks until the restriction spell was lifted. I couldn’t help but feel excited—
—soon, I’ll be able to confess to him!
We finish our meal. Then, while eating our dessert and discussing what to do afterwards, Claris lifts her head as if she had just recalled something.
“Hey, why don’t we visit the knights?”
“Today is definitely an open house day. Sherry, didn’t you tell me that you wanted to visit them before?”
I wanted to visit that place for a long time, but I couldn’t because I was always busy.
Since I already had an escort, there should be no need to inform Noel. Besides, I was going to visit the knights. That place might be the safest haven in the kingdom.
Above all, I couldn’t wait to see Noel in knightly attire. Without further ado, I replied that I wanted to go.
“Wow, how amazing…!”
Upon arriving, I was surprised that there were many women other than us. Claris and I sat in the backmost seats. Immediately, I was able to find Noel. He was shining brightly.
“Such divineness?! He looks so wonderful, it’s as if he appeared straight from mythology! Could it be, I’m in Heaven!?”
“Even after you’ve gotten engaged, you haven’t changed in the slightest…”
Claris was staring at me with a bitter smile. Suddenly, Noel turned towards us.
I could see his beautiful, utterly mesmerizing, face! How blessed I was!
For some reason, our eyes met.
There were so many people around us. As such, pinpoint my exact location should have been difficult for him. However, his eyes definitely met mine.
After briefly making a terribly surprised expression, Noel broke into a smile. At that moment, it was as if my heart had exploded. Of course, it was but an illusion—otherwise, I’d be dead by now.
After he had said something to a nearby man, he resumed his training.
“Are you Sherry Grafton?”
A few minutes later, the same man Noel had talked to approached me. At that moment, my soul was ready to leave my body. The man was very tall, sturdy, and masculine—he was exactly Claris’ type.
“The division leader said that you can move to the front seat so you can spectate easier. Your friend is also welcome.”
“I, is that really alright…?”
After hearing to Claris, who suddenly spoke in a feminine voice, I figured that I correctly heard the man. Thus, I decided to accept the offer and asked him to guide us there.
“…Are you Noel’s fiancée?”
In a place that was easy to spectate, a good-looking, blond, man called out to me.
Claris was a little further away from me, chatting with the man from earlier.
“Yes, that’s right. My name is Sherry Grafton.”
“I’m Chester Farrell. I’m Noel’s best friend, nice to meet you. I’ve always heard about you from him, so it doesn’t feel like this is my first time meeting you.”
He said that and showed a friendly smile. Then, he sat beside me. After hearing that he was Noel’s best friend, I straightened my posture. I mustn’t be uncouth to him.
Noel, who seemed to be tired, was taking a break.
Ooh! He stretched out his arm!
“Congratulations on your engagement! Honestly, I thought it’d take another two years. That man, Noel, is truly amazing.”
“For someone like Noel, who is inherently talented, to be pushed to the point where he has to put in some bloody effort, the power of love is amazing.”
What did he mean by, ‘—it’d take another two years’? What was that about, ‘the power of love’? I didn’t understand anything he was saying and could only smile.
“What’s more, after he was inaugurated as the division leader, he went to see the count all the way in his territory. He had to sacrifice sleep for a few days. Afterwards, he went straight to apply for an engagement, too. He was very impatient!”
He explained while laughing. I was beginning to get confused by facts I was hearing for the first time. There were too many things I didn’t understand, and I didn’t even know where to start.
“How long have you been friends with Lord Noel?”
“I’ve been his friend ever since the day he joined the knight order. I entered three days earlier than him. He said that he left school so he could become the division leader as soon as possible. How odd, right? Imagine my shocked when I found out that the reason was none other than a woman.”
“…What are you talking about?”
Chester, confuse, tilted his head at my question.
“Don’t you know? Noel abandoned his dream of becoming a civil officer and became a knight just so that he could marry you.”
The inside of my head turned white.
***T/N: Lol, thanks for clarifying that up, Friend A whose sole purpose of existence is to tell Sherry about Noel’s forsaken childhood dream.