2. Kaelen Laverion (1)


Most of our conversation revolved around the one common interest we shared—Adelia.


When I spoke, he would respond briefly or simply nod his head, as he had just done.


In fact, having a conversation alone with him like this was almost a first for me. Adelia had always been by my side, and Kaelen would exchange a few words with his sister before briefly addressing me when we were in the same space.


So, conversing with him in a situation where Adelia was absent felt awkward.


However, as we slowly talked about various things, emotions I had long given up on started to resurface bit by bit.


Perhaps because of this, I found myself casually blurting out a thought that suddenly popped into my head.


“But honestly, I did say I was crying out of happiness to you, Lord Kaelen, but there is some sadness mixed in too.”


I had enjoyed seeing Adelia become the lady of the Creighton family and looked forward to her future living happily with Calix. However, after realizing the truth of this world and seeing my friend’s happiness while I had only focused on that one aspect, a corner of my heart felt strangely empty.


Upon reflection, it was natural to feel such emotions.


We had been together since we were young, especially because our parents were close friends. 


The Laverion family was a prestigious noble family, while ours was a small, lesser-known family, but regardless of these differences, the adults shared a deep friendship. 


And because of that, Adelia and I were the closest friends to each other.


However, the Creighton family, to which Calix belonged, primarily lived in their estate rather than the capital city. 


That meant I wouldn’t be able to see Adelia as often as before, and that thought naturally made me feel a bit melancholic.


“…Didn’t you just say you were happy a moment ago?”


With an expression as if he couldn’t believe his ears, Kaelen’s previously calm voice changed abruptly. 


His gaze turned sharp in an instant, and the atmosphere around him sharply shifted. 


I had never witnessed such rapid emotional changes in him before, and I hesitated for a moment before scrutinizing his expression.


He was looking at me with an expression that seemed to convey incomprehension.


It was indeed strange and unusual, but since today was a special day, I decided to accept it naturally.


Adelia’s wedding meant a lot, not only to me but also to Kaelen. In fact, he might be even sadder than I am. Now that his only sister had left, he was left all alone as the Duke Laverion.


I opened my mouth again, empathizing with his emotions. “I won’t be able to see Adelia as often as before. And without Adelia, it will be hard for me to visit the Duke’s estate.”


The Laverion estate had a beautiful garden with a stunning view of the sky. It was so breathtaking that visitors couldn’t help but praise it. ‘If you visit the garden even once, you’ll start reserving tea and fragrance sachets made from the flowers there for every season.’


Sitting on a garden bench amidst multicolored blossoms, watching the sky turn crimson during sunsets, I often wished for peaceful days like these to continue. Above all, the garden was a place I loved, and I had been entrusted by my family to take care of it due to my passion for flowers and plants.


I looked at him with sparkling eyes and asked, “Could you perhaps entrust me with the garden work at the Duke’s estate in the future?”


Honestly, I wanted to say that I wanted to continue managing the garden, but the words couldn’t come out of my mouth. I was afraid Adelia might find it troublesome if I kept coming to a place without her.






“You’re my fiancé, so why are you allowed to come to the Duke’s estate?”


His gaze as he said this somehow seemed hurt, and I felt a mixture of confusion as I gazed at him for a while, not knowing what to make of his emotions.


But then it happened.




My mind, which had been tangled in trying to understand the meaning of his words just moments ago, went completely blank when he called my name.


I uttered in a dazed expression, ‘My name…?’


He called me Helena. It was a name I had never been called by him, despite having known him since childhood.


Kaelen had always called me “Lady Rosentia.” Of course, he rarely used even that title.


That’s why I considered it an unspoken boundary, a line we couldn’t cross in our relationship. 


In noble circles, addressing someone by their name was usually only allowed between individuals of similar intimacy, like Adelia and me.


It was a privilege reserved for close relationships, and therefore, something that could never happen between Kaelen and me, who were formally engaged…


But then, in that moment when he called my name, it felt like something that had been holding us back had shattered.




As if to reassure me that it was no mistake, he called my name again.


“Yes, that’s right. I’m Helena. But, sir, you…”


I was about to say something more, but I suddenly snapped back to my senses, and my words trailed off. I became aware of how I must have appeared and sounded at that moment.


‘Why am I so flustered and stuttering like this? If I overreact like this just from having my name called once, he might think I’m strange.’


I absolutely didn’t want to come across that way to him.


So, I quickly gathered my thoughts and tried to regain my composure in order to act as I normally would.


“I apologize. It’s the first time you’ve called me by my name, so I was a little flustered…”


I forced a slightly awkward smile, raising the corners of my lips as I looked at him.


“Is it unpleasant for you to hear me call your name?”


“No, no! It’s just that names are usually used between close friends.”


But I had already gotten tangled up in his demeanor, and whatever he said next would only make me feel more uneasy. Plus, I noticed a slight twitch in Kaelen’s forehead at my previous words, and I bit my lip in frustration.


“Oh, it’s not that you shouldn’t call me by my name, sir. You’re also incredibly important and dear to me, just like Adelia.”


“Important and dear?”


“Yes, please don’t misunderstand. I didn’t mean to say that I dislike you calling me by my name.”


I made an effort to convey my intentions as clearly as possible, all the while carefully observing Kaelen’s face.


Apart from the fear of revealing my feelings, I didn’t want him to misunderstand and get hurt by my words. While it was unimaginable that someone like Kaelen could ever be hurt by someone else’s words, I still preferred not to take any chances. 


Thankfully, it seemed that my sincerity had gotten through, as his expression returned to its polite neutrality.




Suddenly, my heart pounded loudly. Due to the consecutive bombshells that had been dropped, I was now slightly on edge, waiting to hear what he would say next.


“Can I expect to see you at the mansion often in the future?”




Why would he interpret it that way?


I wanted to ask him that question in the spur of the moment, but I managed to hold my tongue.


“Even without Adelia, you are still my fiancée, so it’s only natural for you to visit the mansion, isn’t it?”


“Oh… yes, that’s right. Because we’re engaged…”


“So, if you want to come to the garden, feel free to do so anytime. You don’t need my permission.”




But the idea that I could freely visit the garden made me unexpectedly excited, and I found myself speaking with enthusiasm.


The answer to my earlier question had only just come from his lips.


“That garden was created and maintained by you, so it’s only right.”


Kaelen nodded slightly while keeping his gaze fixed on me.


“Thank you, Your Grace. Even if I come to the mansion, I’ll only take care of the garden. You don’t need to worry; I won’t trouble you or anything like that.”


He even knew that I was managing the garden.


Feeling quite pleased with that knowledge, I expressed my gratitude and smiled brightly at him. I reassured him about our future plans.


But why…?


‘I’m really all over the place today.’


He was always a hard-to-read person, and today, for some reason, it was even more pronounced.


Why does his expression suddenly turn so cold…?


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