Chapter 16: Fiancé (Provisional)
“. . .!”
Upon hearing my greeting, the male servant looked at me as if he had seen a monster and silently ran away.
. . .Actually, recently I had been avoided by the servants, only the male ones, and I was quite shocked by their reaction. Nevertheless, I trudged towards the garden. It seemed that Hugo, who was the gardener, had also moved to the estate right after that.
Since then, I continued my morning walk with Ralph. And when I went outside today, Nadia was also there. The two of them were sitting on a pure white bench, waiting for me against the backdrop of beautiful flowers.
The sight of the handsome man and beautiful woman sitting together against the backdrop of beautiful flowers was too picturesque.
“Good morning. I’m happy to see Lisette-sama’s face first thing in the morning. I love you,” Ralph said.
“Good morning, Lisette-sama. I love you too!” Nadia added.
“G-Good morning. . .”
Walking through the beautiful garden, I sat down. I was sandwiched between the two of them who were sending intense gazes towards me. Nadia firmly held my hand with her pure white hand.
They were more interested in hearing about me than talking about themselves, so I decided to consult them about being avoided by the servants.
“Hey, do I have a bad attitude or something that makes people uncomfortable. . .?”
“Did someone say that to you? If so, I’ll. . .”
“N-No, it’s not that! Actually. . .”
I hurriedly calmed Ralph down, who seemed like he was about to say something dangerous, and told them about being avoided by the male servants recently. Nadia let out a deep sigh and said, “Really, how pathetic.”
“Don’t worry, Lisette-sama. You are more wonderful than anyone else. It’s all Onii-sama’s fault.”
“. . .”
On the other hand, Ralph had an indescribable expression. Although I was told that I hadn’t done anything wrong and not to worry, I couldn’t help but be concerned about their attitude towards me.
“Oh, by the way. What are you planning to do for Onii-sama’s birthday party, Lisette-sama?”
In the midst of that, Nadia asked with a smile, forcibly changing the topic. But in reality, I had been thinking that I should give an answer soon.
“Well, I think it might be troublesome if rumors about us being engaged start spreading.”
“There might be various difficulties in the future.”
His relentless “Why” attacks, which were probably unintentional, made me flinch. I knew that Ralph currently liked me in some way, but it wasn’t guaranteed that it would be the same for the rest of our lives.
Ralph was only seventeen years old. It would be more troublesome for him when the topic of marriage came up. In this country, a history of a broken engagement would be quite a stain. That’s why I wanted to suggest considering other options.
Although I felt awkward and rude to honestly convey my feelings to him, who currently liked me, I was troubled.
“So, um, someday with another woman. . .”
“For me, there will only ever be one woman.”
Ralph said that with a dazzling smile, and I realized that it was futile to try to persuade him. I gave up quickly. Honestly, I felt a slight flutter in my heart.
Nadia, who was clinging to me, said, “Onii-sama sometimes says good things,” with a smile.
“. . .But, because I haven’t even mastered the manners of a noble lady, Ralph might be embarrassed.”
“Don’t worry. Let’s study together from now on.”
Nadia said that, enveloping my hand with both of hers and smiling like a flower.
With Ralph’s assurance that he would take care of everything regarding the troublesome mother-in-law figures, I had no reason to refuse.
“. . .But, I’ll do my best.”
In the end, I nodded.
“You’re doing well, Lisette-sama. You’re amazing.”
Two days had passed since I agreed to play the role of Ralph’s temporary fiancée. Starting today, I had a private tutor and was taking lessons. Beside me was Nadia, who had returned from school.
Although I was being taught the bare minimum of manners, I couldn’t help but feel that they were things that should have been learned from a young age, and that they would easily be exposed if I rushed through them.
“Let’s stop here for today. Please review before the next lesson.”
“Yes, thank you very much.”
When the class was over and the teacher left the room, Nadia suggested that we have tea and take a break. Ralph was out due to work.
As I took a sip of the tea that was quickly prepared, I felt relieved. It was tiring to do something unfamiliar. But since I had taken on the role, I had to do my best.
“You must be tired, so I’ll arrange for a massage later.”
“Oh, there’s no need to go through the trouble. Thank you.”
“From now on, Lisette Onee-sama will attract attention, or rather, she is already the center of attention. Let’s do our best. It may be tough, but I’ll help you.”
She had already started calling me Onee-sama, and I decided not to comment on it.
Wait a second. . .
“Yes. The news of Onii-sama and Lisette-sama’s engagement has already spread throughout the capital.”
It felt like it was just two days ago when I accepted the role of a temporary fiancée. Yet, it seemed that news had already spread throughout the capital. I wondered what had happened.
“Apparently, when a certain Count’s family proposed to Onii-sama yesterday, he declined, saying that he already had a fiancée, and it quickly spread.”
“I see. . .”
How much influence did this person named Ralph Redford have? Even though it was temporary, I realized the weight of being his fiancée.
“There are many people aiming for the position of Onii-sama’s wife, you know, with Onee-sama’s charm, it’s only natural. So let’s drive away those worthless women!”
Nadia clenched her fist with a cute face and voice, but her statement was quite extreme.
Seeing me troubled by the idea of driving them away too much, she smiled mischievously.
“. . .Onee-sama, how do you feel about Onii-sama?”
“Well, I think he’s a wonderful person.”
However, he is just too burdened with emotions. I feel like there are many parts where he is out of sync with others.
That being said, he is kind, handsome, and strong. Without a doubt, Ralph is someone who deserves better than someone like me.
“In that case, why don’t you really marry Onii-sama just like that?”
“Onii-sama will definitely cherish Lisette Onee-sama for the rest of his life. I guarantee it.”
Nadia seemed to be seriously suggesting that Ralph and I should get married. Seeing me at a loss for words, she continued.
“Please look at Onii-sama with those eyes, even just a little.”
Nadia wore a beautiful smile that resembled Ralph’s and offered me a bite-sized cake, saying, “Ahh.”