25. His Beloved
Afterwards, Ryan told me that the problem with the border had been safely resolved. However, due to a promotion, he had been busy with assuming his new duties and resolving his remaining ones. Apparently, the knight’s formation had also changed.
“Thanks to that, I couldn’t come here for a while.”
“It must have been tough…”
“Well, that’s not all.”
“Did something else happen?”
“Various things did.”
Ryan spoke ambiguously with a mysterious smile.
Regardless, I was sure it had nothing to do with me.
I was a little concerned. Nevertheless, as a store owner, I shouldn’t overstep my boundaries.
I shouldn’t wish for more than that.
“In any case, I’m truly glad that your subordinate is safe.”
“Still, I’ve shown you such a pathetic sight.”
He bashfully looked down.
He was mistaken. I had never thought that he was pathetic.
On the contrary, I loved that considerate, gentle, side of his—he cherished his subordinates to the extent he’d blame himself if anything were to occur to them.
“…How uncool of me.”
My laughter inadvertently spilled out before Ryan who could only grumble.
“But I never thought that you’re cool from the beginning?”
“Oh my, that was uncouth of me. What I’m trying to say is, there have been many instances where I thought of you as cool afterwards. However, from the start, I’ve always thought of you as cute.”
He loved sweets. He’d laugh at my jokes. He’d also refrained from saying bad things about people.
I loved everything about him.
Ryan murmured, as if contemplating my words.
With wrinkles between his eyebrows, Ryan appeared to be dissatisfied with something.
Thus, I spout out involuntarily.
“Ryan, what a face!”
I was aware of how rude that was. Regardless, all I did was smirk. As if he had been rid of whatever it was that concerned him, Ryan’s expression loosened.
Then, he narrowed his eyes, as if looking at something dazzling and exhaled a great sigh before finally announcing—
“—…There’s someone I love.”
When he told me that in a tone as if he had just revealed a secret, my thought process halted.
The feeling of happiness I had disappeared all at once.
…Of all days…
It was probably the worst day of my life.
It was worse than those days I spent waiting to separate with Ricardo.
It wasn’t like I wanted him to reciprocate my feelings. But, if he were to talk about his beloved to me… I’d rather just die.
I was happy when I thought things were coming along, and that we were getting along just fine…
…But I didn’t want it to come to that.
“…She’s a nice woman. She is strong and independent.”
Ryan’s expression relaxed in happiness. His eyes looked dreamy.
He didn’t seem to notice that my expression had tensed.
I didn’t want to listen anymore…
…Regardless, I couldn’t just block my ears. As such, while quivering, I mustered an answer—
“She is able to provide for herself. She also has a gentle yet determined heart. She doesn’t easily yield to authority.”
My hands trembled.
I was about to cry.
I didn’t want to listen to Ryan talking about someone he loved.
“Just the other day, I showed her myself in a miserable state, but she wasn’t repulsed.”
After that, did he cry in front of another woman?
…It seems that he didn’t just show his vulnerable side to me.
…Well, of course, I was a mere café owner.
“Hence… I grew fonder of her.”
“I’m happy for you.”
“Yes, and I’m also thinking of confessing.”
My chest hurt.
I wanted him to stop, but I didn’t have the right.
The reason he wanted to return early was so he could confess.
…Since it was Ryan, that woman would surely accept him.
When I imagined Ryan laughing alongside another woman, my tears overflowed.
I looked down so that he couldn’t see me cry. If he were to be gentle to me, I’d surely cry aloud.
“…Once, she was forced into an engagement with a certain arrogant son of a duke. Afterwards, she wanted nothing more to do with those abused their power.”
My mind blanked for a moment.
I looked up at Ryan.
Perhaps feeling embarrassed, it was his turn to lower his face. His cheeks were blazing.
He didn’t seem to notice my shock.
***T/N: Flores, you’re being too dense…!!
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