Limited Time, Kitchen Maid of the Fourth Knight Order ~I Got a Job Because I Don’t Want to Get Married~ – Chapter 131

𝐆𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐛𝐲𝐞, 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞

The two kneeled swiftly with serious expressions. I was about to get off the chair, but Rolf stopped me.

“. . .We have to apologize to Alice.”

The atmosphere was not light enough for jokes about nibbling on snacks.

The once pleasant breeze felt suddenly cold. They looked at me as if asking for permission to speak, so I nodded for them to continue.

“I’ve confessed my feelings to Alice. I want her to be aware of me. To like me. With those feelings. . . Alice, though perplexed, did not deny my feelings.”

“But. . . that is not mine to accept, it belongs to Edgardo-sama.”

“I was so happy. . . To decide for myself who to like. It was refreshing, and every day was vivid. . . because Alice was there.”

Edgardo bit his lip hard and closed his eyes tightly before bowing deeply.

“Thank you for putting up with my struggles. I will take over the Valka family. Even though I confessed, please understand my decision to choose the Valka family over Alice. . .”

I couldn’t hear the rest.

I got off the chair and knelt in front of Edgardo and Rolf, who were bowing their heads.

“I should have been clear with you, Edgardo-sama. I knew you both were considerate, creating a comfortable atmosphere, yet I did nothing.”

“No, that’s not true! Alice told us her genuine feelings, that she couldn’t respond to our affections right away! I was the one who interrupted her, asking for more time. Alice did nothing wrong!”

“Still, I should have spoken up. Saying I didn’t know when to talk was just an excuse, a way of running away.”

“That’s fine! Alice didn’t say anything until she had sorted out her feelings. Do you know how happy that made us!”

Edgardo, looking up at me suddenly, had no more hesitation in his eyes.

“I liked Alice. I surely will never forget.”

“. . .Yes.”

“Even if I come to like someone else someday, Alice will always be my special one.”

“For me too, Edgardo-sama is. . .”

He’s the person I’ve spent the most time with in the Fourth Knight Order. He taught me by his actions, not words, that handsome men are not scary.

He was like a younger brother, endearing, yet occasionally dashing, and it was hard to remain calm when he looked at me with feverish eyes of love.

“Meeting Edgardo-sama in the Fourth Knight Order was my good fortune.”

Edgardo, who seemed on the verge of tears for a moment, still managed a beautiful smile.

“Likewise, I am glad to have met Alice.”

The wind ran between us, as if to sweep away the definite heat that once existed.

There was only a slight warmth left in Edgardo’s eyes, a strong gaze set on a future he had chosen for himself.

The Edgardo who was scared of his father no longer existed. I even had a premonition that the Valka family would be safe in his hands.

“. . .I’ve decided to support Edgardo up close. I will not return to the Ouldra family.”

“Rolf-sama. . .”

Like Edgardo, there was no hesitation in Rolf’s eyes.

 ㅤ

After returning to his family home, the Ouldra house, Rolf changed a bit.

Until now, Rolf hadn’t particularly cherished himself. But now, it seems like he acknowledges himself, accepting that he is alive, with a newfound positive radiance.

If Edgardo is heading in the wrong direction, it can be clearly communicated. Rolf, as he is now, could surely do so.

“It was enough just to convey my feelings. I wanted Alice to know my feelings, to understand my selfishness that troubled her, and for that, I feel sorry.”

It’s somewhat rare to see Rolf, who always smiles, showing a serious face.

“But I’m glad I was able to express them. I’m relieved that my feelings didn’t go unnoticed. I never imagined myself tied to Alice. . . it was just trouble for her. It’s selfish, but still.”

Despite confessing his love, there wasn’t much of a sweet atmosphere between Rolf and me.

Rolf was always considerate of someone else.

I believe his feelings for me weren’t fake, but he always prioritized the feelings of others over his own.

It’s good that Rolf seems to have decided on his future. I truly think so from the bottom of my heart.

“Rolf-sama can afford to be a little selfish, I think. I couldn’t reciprocate Rolf-sama’s feelings. . . but I will always support him.”

“I support Alice’s dream, too! I even thought about quitting nobility to help with Alice’s shop. But in the end. . . it was just a thought.”

Looking up at a face twisted as if about to cry, I reach out my hand.

“What is this?”

“This is a handshake to support each other’s dreams from now on. Even if we’re apart, surely, we will remember each other at times, right? It’s to encourage ourselves when it’s tough, a reminder that we’re not alone.”

After hesitating for a while, Rolf extended a trembling hand. It wasn’t a handshake, but just a touch, so I grasped it firmly from my side.

“Rolf-sama will find a woman who he considers irreplaceable in the future.”

“. . .Hearing that from Alice now is hard to endure.”

“You shouldn’t do this next time.”

To confess just to lighten Edgardo’s feelings.

Smirking and deliberately squeezing the hand I held, Rolf widened his eyes in surprise before shrugging his shoulders.

“. . .I give up.”

“Fufu, you shouldn’t underestimate a maiden’s observational skills.”

“To think I’d get serious right after giving up.”

“Ah, so you weren’t serious until now?”

“No, I was serious! It’s not a lie! It’s just a play on words!”

I laugh at Rolf’s flustered state, and Edgardo starts to laugh as well.

Eventually, even the bewildered Rolf joins in the laughter.

Bathed in the soft light of the afternoon, we were laughing from the heart.

After a while, as the laughter naturally faded, a refreshing silence brushed our cheeks.

Once we leave this place, the confession becomes a thing of the past, and we’ll interact as friends. Comrades who met in the Fourth Knight Order and struggled to capture Dyson.

He gently diminished my trauma and was almost always with me on holidays.

At first, I was tense just being near him, trying to keep as much distance as possible, but now I feel secure despite being so close.

 ㅤ

“May I also shake hands?”

“Yes. Let’s both do our best, Edgardo-sama.”

“Indeed, let’s do our best. If Alice is ever in danger, I’ll rush over at any time.”

“I’ll definitely source herbs and sausages from Edgardo-sama’s place, so please give me a friendship discount.”

“The sales are left up to Rolf.”

“Rolf-sama, please!”

“Understood, leave it to me.”

The large hand pulled away, and Edgardo gave a wry smile.

“When we confessed, a wall instantly came up. But when it comes to giving up, that wall disappears, doesn’t it?”

“Ah. . . I’m sorry.”

“No, it’s fine. It was good to know from the start that you had no intention of accepting our feelings. Being led on can cause one to hope unnecessarily.”

“If Alice falls in love, we’ll support her. No matter who the other person is.”

A slightly red face met Rolf’s knowing wink.

“Even so. . . just like you said at school before, we were really met with resistance by Alice.”

“And it’s our loss.”

“Stop teasing, please!”

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