Home Post 1564-chapter-53


Enfrise continued his story afterward.

He learned to read relatively quickly but often got scolded by his tutors, leading him to believe he didn’t have the brains to study. That was why he devoted himself to mastering various weapons instead.

He also shared how the Emperor initially took an interest in his magical abilities, only to dismiss him when he realized his magical power was too weak to perform any significant spells.

“I don’t want to speak ill of your father, but he really does seem like a terrible person.”

“Is that so?”

“If he had been in front of me, I might have had a few words for him.”

“I would have stopped you if you had. The former emperor was a ruthless man. He didn’t forgive those who opposed him or stood in his way.”

…Gosh, was my neck on the line? I just criticized him a moment ago, too.

Turning pale, I touched my neck when Enfrise, sensing my thoughts, chuckled softly.

“Don’t worry. The former emperor is no longer in this world.”

…Was he dead?

I haven’t yet experienced the death of someone close to me. Maybe that was good luck, or maybe it was bad luck.

My grandmother had always talked about dying ever since I was little. After every health check-up, she’d fret about her results and what needs to be checked next. At first, I believed her and was terrified whenever she said she felt so suffocated she could die,

— I’ll hurry… so please don’t die, Grandma.

I used to cry my eyes out back then.

Death had always been an unknown and a source of fear for me, even at moments when I thought about dying myself.

“But… yes. Just hearing you say that does make me feel a bit better.”


Judging from his stories, likely wanted his father’s recognition and love. His father’s death meant he could never receive that recognition again.

Yet, how could he smile like that?

“I like everything about the Grand Duke.”


“I like that your hair is as dark as the deepest night. It’s like no light, no color can ever dilute it, and it doesn’t fade into anything else. It’s very much like the Grand Duke.”

He gripped my waist more tightly. I hoped he didn’t take my words as mere flattery.

I truly mean all of it.

“I really like your golden eyes. They’re more radiant than any gold I’ve seen and brighter and prettier than the sun itself.”

The appearance he hated, the one he couldn’t think highly of…

To those unaware of his struggles, it was simply lovely and beautiful. Whether it became a wound or a healing for him, I couldn’t say.

“The Grand Duke’s facial features are so distinct and beautiful. Your eyes are clear, your nose is sharp, and even your lips are pretty. How can a man’s lips be so well-shaped and have such a nice color?”

Enfrise just listened quietly. Perhaps it was my imagination, though it felt like his grip on my waist tightened a bit more.

“Did you know? Even your ears are pretty. They peek out from between your black hair in such a charmingly round shape. Plus… Ah.”

Oh no, I’ve blurted out too much. I didn’t mean to go on about his ears…

“And what about them?”

…Why did he have to start speaking now, just when I was trying to divert the conversation?

“Well, and your neck is just impeccable. Your skin is so fair it draws the eye irresistibly.”

It might be inappropriate to say it was sexy, right? Or that I sometimes thought about biting it gently when it turned red because it looked so inviting, or I wanted to leave a mark on it because it was so beautifully long.

Those weren’t things you should say to someone else…


“And you’re tall and statuesque. Your fingers are so elegant, too. If you played an instrument, it would be mesmerizing.”

“What kind of instrument… do you like?”

“I like them all. Can the Grand Duke play any instruments?”

“…No. But if you want to see it, I could learn to play something starting now.”

…Honestly, I showered him with physical compliments, but the biggest reason I felt drawn to him was really this.

“Still, the most beautiful thing about you is your character.”


Enfrise’s voice cracked as if he couldn’t believe what he was hearing, but it didn’t faze me.

I continued.

“I like that you say you love me but don’t use it as an excuse. I appreciate that you stop if I say I dislike something. I like how you’re stubborn yet open with me.”

“That’s…because you say so.”

“I like that you don’t realize how great you are. The Grand Duke might not know it, but everyone probably thinks the same as I do.”

“…I think you’re the only one who sees me that way.”

“That’s not true.”

Had I overdone it with the compliments? Maybe he couldn’t recognize the sincerity because of it. If I had known, should I have held on to the compliments a bit? Still, he really was incredible. Why couldn’t he see that? Why wasn’t my message getting through?


I was upset.

I wished I could boldly reveal myself to him. Then, I could share my experiences with him.


The concept of parents, at least to me, was that they labeled you a bad child if you annoyed them and a good, mature child if you pleased them. It was expected of me to care for them, but when they cared for me, it was seen as a sacrifice.

You know, Enfrise.

To me, the relationship between parents and children wasn’t much different from relationships with others. It didn’t matter what they said or did to you.

…Somewhere in the world, someone cherished and treasured him immensely. You were the keeper of my heaven.

With him, my heaven began and persisted.

And if he disappeared, my heaven would too.

“Grand Duke. The Grand Duke is… an incredibly precious to me. If I lose the Grand Duke, it’s like losing a significant part of my life. It’s a huge thing to be such a precious existence to someone.”


Even though he had told me everything, I hadn’t been able to tell him one thing… that I wasn’t really Chaperil. Then, he… wouldn’t need to protect me anymore.

I was selfish. I said I liked him, and I demanded that he not hide anything from me and get angry over secrets… Yet I hadn’t told him something I needed to.

What would he do if he found out? He’d probably be angry.

He would be very angry.

But even so, he wouldn’t be able to harm me.

Not because of me, but because of Chaperil.

That was why I was telling him this… not out of hypocrisy. Not to ease my conscience. He said he loved me even after I lost my memories. He told me that your feelings deepened… He didn’t know how much that saved me.

How much it meant to this selfish person…

“Don’t cry. If you cry…”

Was he afraid I might slip away if he let go?

Enfrise, unable to wipe away my tears, just held me tighter.

The endless forest path was nearing its end. Even in broad daylight, the forest path darkened, blocking the sun, yet something glittered at the end of my sight. Reflecting the sun’s rays, dazzling…

A bright light.

“I wish the Grand Duke could see. I wish you could realize how incredible and lovely you are. I’ll keep telling you, again and again, even if you get sick of it, and beg me to stop.”

As I murmured, almost as if replying, Enfrise gently rubbed his face against the top of my head.


* * *


“Are you alright?”

“Stop asking, I’m fine. How about the picnic, is it okay?”

Just before getting off the horse.

Though it seemed like Enfrise had noticed, showing him me crying was a bit embarrassing, so I quickly wiped my face. However, my eyes felt hot, probably swollen.


Without pointing it out, Enfrise silently took my hand and helped me down from the horse.

“The sunlight is stronger than expected.”

“It’s better than I thought it would be.”

Having endured summers in Korea, I could manage this. Considering the date Tambor mentioned earlier, it must be mid-July now, which wasn’t too bad, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t hot. It was just that the sunlight was just not as harsh as I expected.

“Where should we set up?”

“Hmm, somewhere with tree shade where the breeze is nice?”

Although the forest had a cool vibe, I still hoped for some breeze now that we were outside. Enfrise, holding the picnic basket in one hand, took my hand with the other as we started to walk.

“Let’s walk around and look for a good spot.”


I really didn’t feel like moving.

Maybe it was because I seldom went outside as a child. I never even went to the beach, which seemed to be a common destination for most people. That made swimming lessons in elementary school quite embarrassing for me.

I was caught off guard when they announced swimming classes. I didn’t own a swimsuit.

I called my mom, but she was busy and told me to go shopping with my grandmother. And my grandmother, well…

— “Why do you need a swimsuit? Just wear regular clothes once, and that’s it.”

I didn’t realize until I got to the swimming class that you couldn’t just wear regular clothes in the pool. Eventually, a teacher, seeing my predicament, lent me money to rent a swimsuit so I could participate.

Of course, my memories of swimming are the worst.

Conceivably, because I’d never done it before, but no matter how much I relaxed my body, I just kept sinking. While I tried kicking while holding onto a board, I just stayed in place, so I ended up giving up on swimming and just stood watching my friends.

And then I thought, reading a book at home seems much more enjoyable than this. Maybe that was when my homebody tendencies started.

“Let’s go.”

Seeing Enfrise smiling brightly, shimmering under the sunlight, made me think…

Perhaps I should try to adjust to him this time. He seemed genuinely happy.

With that thought, I willingly moved forward. I never imagined that… those kinds of events could unfold at this peaceful lakeside.