Chapter 32: By the Canal
She descends the steps to the canal-side walkway as if drawn in.
And she begins to walk to one of the benches to rest when
A familiar voice can be heard echoing through the air.
In a panic, she turned to see Elliot standing at the top of the stairs, breathing heavily.
Olivia tries to flee instinctively.
“Wait a minute!”
Elliot sounds desperate.
“I’m sorry for chasing you; I should probably come back, but I had a feeling I wouldn’t see you again if I didn’t talk to you today.”
(Good intuition.) Olivia looked away as she began to run.
That’s precisely what she was about to do.
“I’m sorry you’ve had to wait so long, and I know it’s not fair for you. But please, listen to me!” “
She looks into Elliot’s clinging eyes and sighs, “It’s not fair to be cool at a time like this.”
She really wants to give herself more time to think things through.
But she doesn’t think it’s appropriate to reject him right now.
(We’ve come this far; let’s make up our minds.)
Elliot approaches and descends the stairs slowly.
Olivia turns her head and exhales to release the tension.
Then, ready to face the situation, she looks up at Elliot standing in front of her.
“Eh!” Her mouth opened wide.
“What’s wrong with you, Elliot? You’re covered in bruises!”
On his eyes, there is a large bruise.
When you look more closely, you can see that he has another bruise on the side of his face and many minor bruises.
The same can be seen on his arms and hands through the rolled-up sleeves, and his right arm is even bandaged.
“… Although this is still quite obvious, many things have happened…”
Elliot casts an awkward glance away.
“Let’s sit down for now,” he says to a stunned Olivia, and after a brief pause, she sits.
He bowed his head and turned his body towards Olivia.
“First and foremost, please accept my apologies for scaring you at Daregas.”
“…I’m also sorry for not thanking you for saving my life,” Olivia bows her head as well.
“How much do you know about what happened?”
“I’ve heard the majority of it from civilian officials. And Elliot went into great detail about it in his letter, and I believe I understand what happened.
―um, more importantly, why are you covered in bruises? What happened to you? Does it have something to do with why you’re late? “
Under Olivia’s concerned gaze, Elliot looks embarrassed and mutters,
“Should we start with this?”
He opened his mouth slowly, looking out over the canal at dusk in front of him.
“…When I returned from Daregas, I returned to the Frerance household. I told my family that I would court Baronet Olivia Carter.”
Olivia’s eyes widened as she heard the unexpected words.
(…? Courtship?! He told his family?!)
“As I said, the Frerances are a martial family, and my father said, [if you want to carry out your will, you must first beat me!] and so we fought.”
“Did you fight?”
“Yes—I fought and eventually defeated my father—He’s a skilled fighter, but he can’t seem to beat the passage of time.”
Olivia, who is at a loss for words, only nods, “I-I see.”
“Yes. But then my eldest brother appeared. [You must defeat me, the next duke, or you will not be recognized]… I don’t think he was opposed to it; I think he simply wanted to fight me.”
“However, unlike my father, he’s stronger and slightly better with a sword than me; after five days, I still couldn’t defeat him, so I used my last option.”
“What is the last option?”
“Yes. I abandoned my defense and went all-in on offense. I won as a result, but my face swelled up. I couldn’t come here with that face, so I spent the next few days trying to keep my face cool.”
Elliot rubs his bruised cheek.
Olivia was surprised.
Wounds can only be healed magically a few times per month at most.
Perhaps his other injuries were severe enough that magic couldn’t penetrate the surface bruises and wounds, forcing him to heal naturally.
“…That explains why it took so long.”
“I apologize for the delay, but I felt it would be irresponsible if I didn’t come to you with closure.”
Elliot exhales, and a cool spring breeze gently ruffles his blond hair.
Then, with a determined expression on his face, he kneels in front of Olivia on the bench and looks her in the eyes.
“Olivia, I’ve always loved you; will you please stay with me?”
The sound disappears as if there are only two people in the world.
She feels a shattering joy.
But then she looks sadly down at the ground.
“…But I’m the daughter of a baronet, so I’m going to drag you down and make life difficult for you.”
“You know, life is a struggle.”
“And if anyone says anything, I’ll silence them; I can’t fight them as I did last, but there are other options.”
“…But I’m a magic tool maker, so I can’t be a noblewoman…”
Elliot smiled at Olivia, who was looking painfully at the ground.
“Of course, I’m aware of that; I’ve always admired your commitment and hard work.”
Elliot takes her small, downcast hand, in his gently.
When Olivia looks up, she is captivated by his eager eyes.
“I love you for being a magic tool maker, the manager of Olivia’s Magic Stone jewelry store, and the daughter of a baronet, so let me protect you and everything you cherish.”
Like the straightest amethyst, his eyes are a powerful inspiration to Olivia.
Feeling warmth welling up in her chest, she smiled, her moist eyes narrowing.
“I have no sense of direction, and I get lost just as easily as I did today.”
“…I eat a lot, you know?”
“Yes—That’s what I like about you.”
Elliot smiles softly and affectionately kisses Olivia’s hand.
Olivia met those kind purple eyes.
(I want to be with this person. I want to accept everything about him.)
At that moment, a cold wind blows between them.
Olivia’s hair is blowing in the breeze.
As if in a panic, Elliot jumped to his feet.
“It’s not good to be cold, so let’s go back.”
Olivia nods and rises.
Following a brief pause, she mumbles in a low voice, her ears turning red.
“I don’t know what to say at this point—I want to stay with you, too.”
Elliot is overcome with emotion and pulls Olivia into his arms, embracing her tightly.
Olivia places a gentle hand on his back.
In the pale purple sky, the stars begin to twinkle.
In the distance, the sound of bells in the wind tells the time.
The canal was silently flowing as if it was watching over the two embracings.
Viscount Bergor, his associates, and his uncle’s family were tried.
The Bergor family has been annihilated.
The accused viscount and his uncle received life sentences.
Her aunt, Henry, and Catherine were all transferred to a frontier settlement.
The knight who said to Olivia, “Thank you for playing bait.”
“There was talk of entrapment against the Viscounts of Bergor, so I figured they could have used her.”
He stated this.
He acted the entire time as if he had no idea what was wrong.
“Even though he could have helped, protected, and led others, he hurt them by spreading lies based on his own assumptions.”
“He lacks the moral fortitude of a knight and is unworthy of character.”
He was suspended, fined, and demoted, and he had to start over as a member of the Guard, a group of subordinate knights.
Olivia and Elliot also paid a visit to the Frerances.
while being thrown about by the abrupt start of another duel.
For the time being, Elliot has agreed to take over the Viscountcy of the Frerance family.
Olivia was given a higher title after she was knighted for her achievements as a magic tool maker.
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