Chapter 14: Falling Together, (1)│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com
• Nadia Jest’s point of view
I became engaged to Donato Hymes, the eldest son of the Hymes frontier count, when I was ten years old.
The marriage was arranged to strengthen the Hymes family’s relationship with the Viscounts of Jest and to keep the Hymes family in power in the empire.
It was what was known as a political marriage.
It was a natural marriage between two noble children, and I had no reservations about it.
But… Donato Hymes, the man I was engaged to, was, in retrospect, the worst kind of man.
“You! You’re just my fiance!”
“What are you doing! You’re such a moron!”
“You’re a total… Why did my father choose you to be my fiancée?!”
Donato hurled abusive words at me every time we saw each other at the table set up for us to deepen our relationship.
Violence was all too common.
But I can’t fight it; I just accept it.
Because if I told Oto-sama and Oka-sama, they would undoubtedly protest the Hymes family.
If we do that, it is obvious that the Hymes frontier count, who adores Donato, will wreck our house.
So… I’ll just have to accept it.
All that matters is that I serve Donato better.
That was what I thought.
Five years after my engagement to Donato, which was nothing but a pain, Donato and I attended the Imperial Academy according to the rules of the Empire.
Even though I had met Donato frequently before, we were never together at all hours.
But at Imperial Academy, I will live in a dorm with Donato and be with him all the time.
I had no choice but to put up with it.
And on my first day at Imperial Academy, I followed Donato into the auditorium while he yelled at me.
—I ran into Ivan.
But I was taken aback because Ivan was looking at me while crying for some reason.
Donato had already left me for the auditorium, so I ran up to Ivan and called out to him.
“A-Ah… I’m sorry… I think I got some dust in my eye…”
Ivan smiled as he wiped his tears away with the sleeve of his uniform.
I thought he was trying too hard, but I could tell he was happy, so I returned his smile.
…At that moment, I was impressed by Ivan’s smile.
He had been crying just moments before, but now he had the biggest smile on his face, as if he had met a long-lost relative.
We, along with the other new students, then finished the ceremony in the auditorium and went to our classrooms.
Fortunately, Donato was in A class, which was different from mine because he came from a border family.
My heart would have shattered if we had been in the same class.
…No, even if we had been in the same class, it would have been impossible in retrospect.
because Ivan was always looking for me.
He seemed to know everything about me, always giving me the words I desired, caring for me, cuddling me.
But seeing him lying on the floor after Donato had hit him with a wooden sword in a fight broke my heart.
As a result of me… It’s my fault… I’ve caused him to suffer so much!
Nonetheless, Ivan simply joked that he was fine and that everything was fine.
He wasn’t seriously hurt, but that didn’t mean he was unharmed.
But I was afraid that if I pressed him about it, I would betray his kindness, and all I could do was cry.
Ivan has always been by my side since then… No, I wanted to be by his side.
Ivan accepted me without hesitation, and I thoroughly enjoyed every waking day.
Especially since Donato had his sights set on that unprincipled baroness.
He suggested I take a summoning class, which seemed to fit perfectly with my love of creatures, and thanks to him, I was able to summon up to five of the six most powerful magical beasts by the time of the graduation ceremony.
Fufu… My summoning art teacher was enthusiastic about the idea of me becoming a teacher at the academy after graduation.
Ivan seemed pleased to see me in this state.
I was more than happy that he was happy.
I love him.