Chapter 63 – The Letter (2)
“…Didn’t you write it?”
“I did write it!”
However, it had been completely ruined and devoured by a pool of black ink.
“And it was taken away.”
By Professor Lassen.
Ian’s eyes shimmered. Since olden times, harsh punishments were imposed to anyone who tampered with a letter to the royal family. Such as the death penalty.
“Heh, but it wasn’t written well anyway.”
Louise hastily added.
“I don’t think that’s true.”
“It is true.”
“Well, what did you write?”
“Well…in the first line.”
Louise carefully recalled the contents of the letter, and let them flow from her thoughts to her lips.
“I wrote…happy birthday.”
“That’s a good introduction. And?”
“I asked you what it feels like to be an adult. “
“I don’t feel anything. Yesterday and today aren’t much different.”
His reply echoed her letter, and she smiled.
“I thought so too. So I moved on to the next sentence. “
“I’m looking forward to what you say next.”
“Don’t raise your expectations. So then…”
Louise hesitated. What she wrote next was completely inappropriate.
“I thanked you for tolerating my stubbornness. I mean, when I asked you to…”
“I didn’t expect you to say you were thankful for breaking our engagement on my birthday. That’s refreshing.”
“Well, it was only an accident that I wrote it.”
“I suppose so. I can imagine how embarrassed you probably looked after you wrote it. And then?”
Fortunately Ian didn’t seem to take issue with her mistake, so Louise relaxed and spoke more confidently. This was the most important part.
“I said I hope you will continue to be good friends with me.”
“Of course I will. Including Simon.”
He never left his beloved cousin out of the oath of friendship.
“And I signed it. Then letter was finished.”
“After the ink dried, I carefully folded it.”
“Now will you explain where the beautiful words in the letters are?”
“…In the introduction?”
“There seems to be something missing. Hmm, considering Louise Sweeney’s writing style…”
He nodded his head as if he were making calculations, then soon came to a conclusion.
“I think you wrote something else down after you promised our friendship.”
“It’s something you were surprised by…Then you finished the letter and signed it quickly.”
“D-did you send someone to spy on me?”
“No, I do my spying myself. But it’s not a difficult deduction considering your way of thinking, your writing style, and the way your emotions flow.”
There was so much he observed about Louise that she sat right up. Ian stared innocently down at Louise, oblivious to what was wrong.
Well, that was stalking. He had such a horrible obsession with her that he could figure out what was in her head!
“Am I wrong?”
He seemed nervous. She didn’t understood what he was so worried about.
“N-no, you’re right.”
“I knew it.”
Fine, was he happy now?
“So what was it? Now I’m even more curious.”
“It’s not a big deal. I was wondering if it was okay to write it but…”
“But you wrote it down?”
“The truth, that is.”
How much does this guy really understand her.
“What was it?”
“Well, it’s…I know it’s not going to happen.”
Ian seemed willing to listen to Louise’s lengthy explanation.
“You’ll stay at the Academy until this year and then you’ll be very busy after that. Not as the student council president, but as the crown prince. I know that His Highness has to do a lot of work for this country.”
He nodded his head, encouraging her to keep talking.
“So what I wrote at the end of the letter was just a little wishful thinking.”
She had to do this properly.
“So I hoped–“
Louise delivered the words of the letter as casually as she could.
“I hoped that I could celebrate like this next year.”
It sounded like a trivial thing, but it was something impossible. There was no such thing in the novel where the villainess and the male lead met afterwards and celebrated birthdays. However, Ian didn’t seem to think about the forbidden relationship between the two. Well, he didn’t know anything about the original story.
“Well, of course…”
After a short pause, he pecked her lips again.
“We can celebrate like this next year too.”
“…This was not what I thought of when I was writing this.”
Louise grumbled and covered her hand with her mouth. She had already gotten over the surprise of the small kisses and was worried that she was starting to like it.
“Writing isn’t always read as the author intended.”
“Then the reader’s interpretation is too impure.”
“I can’t help but read it that way. Why not stimulate the imagination?”
“Honestly, why does the president…”
Why does the president keep doing this? She didn’t finish her question. He wouldn’t have understood if she asked anyway.
“That’s an interesting start to a question.”
“Don’t worry. I really don’t want to answer any more questions either.”
He slowly stroked her ear hidden beneath her hair.
“I promised you.”
He repeated that day’s promise in a heavy voice.
“A year. Then I’ll leave you alone.”
Louise didn’t mean to be alone from him.
“It’s alright. If you have someone in your heart, someone in your mind…if you have that feeling.”
The hand caressing her ear paused.
“I will accept it.”
Louise couldn’t bring herself to say that it wouldn’t be her that would have feelings towards someone else.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
“Seeing how far you can run away from me.”
His face radiated confidence, as if he was certain that Louise would not be out of his reach. It wasn’t even a competition.
Louise really hated losing to Ian.
“I might go really, really far.”
“Maybe. My territory is pretty wide. Just enough that it would take a year or so for my lady to walk.”
“Well, if I look hard enough, maybe I can find a good-looking guy.”
Ian’s face darkened a little at that. Come to think of it, she would cause quite a stir among other men. Louise Sweeney was smart and hardworking. She was also honest, pretty, and her hair felt amazing. And her lips were so soft and sweet that he wished he could taste them some more right now…
If he went there, he’ll have to endure being scolded by Mrs. Sweeney during summer vacation, but he could put up with it.
Ignorant of the complicated emotions swirling in his mind, Louise let out a small yawn. The exhaustion from today was catching up to her now. It was incredible that she bore that heavy burden on her shoulders.
He hugged Louise close and patted her back like before. He heard another yawn.
“Do you want to sleep like this?”
“I’m cozy and comfortable, so it’s okay, but…”
When will this girl stop being so vulnerable?
“…I’m sorry you have to be on the hard floor on your birthday.”
Louise’s words started to slur, following the gentle rhythm of his patting.
He whispered in a small voice so as not to disturb her sleep. A muffled laugh came from his arms, followed by her steady breathing. Ian listened to it, breathing perfectly in time.
Finally, Louise succumbed to slumber. Ian leaned his face against Louise’s hair and murmured into it.
“…I’m cozy and comfortable too.”
Before they knew it, a short dawn arrived at their feet.
Early morning the next day.
Louise swallowed nervously as she stood in front of Professor Hewitt’s office. The teacher’s assistant probably didn’t come to work, and the professor was busy with his own private study. He may take offense at this unscheduled visit. However, there was no other way.
She struck up the courage to knock on the door, and she heard permission given from inside. Louise carefully opened the door, holding herself as the example of the most polite posture in the world. Polite, not patronizing. Professor.
“Ah, hello, Professor Hewitt.”
Louise carefully looked up and examined the professor’s expression. Despite her perfect manners, he was glaring daggers at Louise.
“Why are you here?”