9. To a Friendly World
After finishing the meal, I was rocked inside a carriage back to my home. I sneaked a glance at Noel’s profile. He was sitting on opposite to me.
As he looked outside the window, his profile was illuminated by the gentle moonlight. He was so beautiful, it was as if he didn’t belong to world. I felt like I could watch his profile for about three days without sleep.
“…Please, don’t stare at me so much.”
It wasn’t until Noel, who furrowed his eyebrows and laughed as if he was in trouble, said so that I realized—instead of sneaking glances, I was full blown staring at him!
What was more, I was expressionless. No wonder he thought I was glaring at him. He probably thought I had grown to despise him even more.
“By the way, I’ve been invited to an acquaintance’s ball next week. Would you like to attend it together with me as my fiancée?”
“Thank you, Sherry.”
Even though I was unworthy to be his partner, Noel still invited me to the ball. Towards my curt reply, Noel, who had a big heart, smiled happily.
That would be my first time participating in a social event as his fiancée. I mustn’t embarrass him, no matter what. However, when I thought of the restriction spell, I was overwhelmed with anxiety.
A few days later, Noel sent the finest dress and shoes to my mansion for the ball. They had very elegant designs and didn’t seem to be outdated. There was no way dress and shoes as fine as those could have been ordered within just a few days advance notice.
While wondering when had he prepared them, I was happy at the first gift I had ever received from Noel. I was about to shed tears of joy. My maid, Dahlia, whom had heard my stories about Noel for many years, was also gently wiping her eyes with a handkerchief.
“Lord Noel knows milady well…! It really suits you…!”
“R, really? Does it really suit me?”
“Indeed! Milady appears to be most beautiful woman in the world!”
Because I was praised by the sweet Dahlia, I became even more overjoyed. As Dahlia looked at the dress and shoes, she opened her mouth, as if recalling something.
“…Milady, that letter has arrived again.”
“They sure have a lot of time on their hands.”
“Just be careful not to be alone outside.”
“It’s okay. It’s probably just some mischief.”
The ‘letter’ Dahlia was referring to was a creepy letter I had been receiving every few months after my graduation. The name of the sender wasn’t written. Words of love such as, ‘I’m always watching,’ or, ‘You’re my beloved.’ were written in it. It was sickening.
At the beginning, I was afraid to go outside. However, more than 3 years had passed without anything happening. As such, I had grown to think that it was purely mischief.
“Indeed! Rather than that, let’s think about hairstyles and accessories that might suit the dress! Get ready!”
After Dahlia clapped lightly, the available maids gathered to hold a strategy meeting for the ball.
The day of the ball.
Oftentimes, I found myself being self-conscious due to Noel’s beauty in formal wear. Nevertheless, I linked my arms with him and stepped into the venue.
Our close proximity kept the awkwardness from stopping. My limbs were about to give out. However, it was also great to find out that I could still touch him just fine despite the restriction spell.
“You’re truly beautiful, Sherry. Everyone is mesmerized at you.”
“No, they are looking at you.”
Ever since we met that day, Noel had been complimenting me non-stop. My heart was making a festive uproar, but my expression was as flat as ever.
“It seems that the rumors are true.”
“That’s Lord Noel and Lady Sherry…!”
As soon as they saw us, everyone by the entrance was astonished. That was only to be expected. After all, Noel, whom was the target of every unmarried lady, had chosen me, a baron’s daughter, as his fiancée.
I expected everything to get even more difficult from then on. Hence why, I was enthusiastic to join the battlefield.
However, for some reason, the responses around me were terribly gentle.
It was like a parent watching over a child. They had such warm looks. If I were to meet anyone’s eyes or pass by someone, they’d kindly say, ‘Congratulations,’ or ‘I’m happy for you.’
I couldn’t understand why and was completely dumbfounded.
In the meantime, my former classmates were approaching us one after another.
“Congratulations on your engagement, Sherry! It’s amazing! Everyone has been rooting for you!”
“You were truly brave, always rushing to Lord Anderson as if you’re a puppy like that.”
“Lord Noel, please take care of Sherry.”
“Yes, of course. I will cherish her for the rest of my life.”
Towards Noel’s words, the women squealed. Of course, in my heart, I also squealed. Everyone kept saying that our love was straight out of a romance novel.
Apparently, everyone was aware that I loved Noel. Whenever they saw me quietly leave, they’d start rooting for me in their hearts.
I felt that I somehow understood the reason for the warm gazes from those around me. At the same time, it made me very embarrassed. Looking at such a me, Noel smiled joyfully.
After that, alongside him, we greeted and were blessed by many people. I was about to die from happiness. By concealing my mouth with a fan, I was able to cover the fact that I had a straight face. Everything was going well.
…It should be about time for us to dance. I was secretly expecting it. After all, today was a ball, and I was his partner. I had never danced with him before. It was actually my greatest pleasure today.
However, it seemed that Noel was called by a knight. It seemed to be important. He was concerned about leaving me alone, but I told him I’d be fine. Afterwards, I gently left the place.
Soon, I found a friend. While I was walking, I heard a voice calling my name.
Oh, it had been a long time.
“Did you finally get engaged to that Lord Anderson!? What kind of magic did you use? How amazing!”
“Yes, that’s right! It’s like a dream come true!”
“You’ve always loved him. Congratulations!”
“…Thank you, Walt.”
Walt laughed, and even congratulated me. Before I realized it, I was laughing happily alongside him. Despite suffering from the restriction spell, I was truly happy.
…Ah, I wished I could laugh like that before Noel.
As I excitedly talked with Walt while pondering that, my arm was suddenly pulled. My vision blurred. When I lifted my head in a hurry, I saw Noel’s face right in front of me.
“You’re really good at provoking me.”
He smiled as he said so. His eyes, however, wasn’t smiling.
***T/N: Oh, shit. Oh, fuck. BLAREEEEEE THE RAEAEAPEPAEPAP AALARMMMMMMMM, THE MALE LLEAD IS POTENTIALLY GOING TO PULL OUT THAT OLD SCHOOL CN CEO RAPEY SHITTTTTTT!!!!!