I Was the Unrequited Love of the Male Lead Chapter 40


I thought that I wasn’t worth the price of my dress. Everyone around me was happy but here I was all depressed by myself.

I sat carefully on a pile of firewood at a corner of the square. I did not like my new dress getting dirty but it seemed like this was also the same place where Arielsa went back to whenever she finished watching the lighting ceremony.

Music began to play as the pair of men and women started to gather in a circle in the square. I thought that I should go back after a little while so I stayed. But when I was going to stand, someone suddenly approached me.

“Were you the one?”

The person was Chaers. And he frowned at me as he spoke.

“Yes?”

“Look at this.”

I could see a long and bluish bruise on his forearms when he rolled the sleeves of his clothes.

“Sir Chaers?”

“Sir George asked me where I went with his daughter on my back in the middle of the night. If it weren’t for Miss Belia… sigh.”

Parents are the ones responsible for their children’s education, so who’s responsible for their parents’ education?

I couldn’t help but cry out and ask about him. It seemed like rumors spread around the castle just by breathing.

“What happened to your arm?”

“The Duke would be angry if there was a fight between his vassals so we decided to arm wrestle.”

“Then…”

“Who can even beat Harpel’s Shield in terms of strength? Fortunately, Miss Belia hit him on the back and took him away to the bar.”

I was absolutely timid when I spoke to him.

“I’m sorry.”

“Why are you cooped up here like you’re going to die?”

“……”

“You won’t answer?”

“I wasn’t? I was just looking around.”

“Ah, goodness. Stand up.”

I stood up while staring at Chaers hand that was stretched towards me. The fluttering light from the huge bonfire casted some light on us that revealed Chaers’ face. I couldn’t understand the unpleasant and uncomfortable expression on his face while he reached out for me so I just stared blankly at him.

“Thanks to Sir George, I couldn’t tell the Duke to cancel the punishment.”

“Ah…”

When I gingerly placed my hand on Chaers’ palm, he pulled me near the bonfire.

I felt even more depressed. The dance that was being done by the young villagers around the bonfire was much more lively, exciting and faster than the one that Duke Kyron taught me. Rather than doing a patterned set of movements in one spot, the pair of men and women kept on switching and running around. It was something that I couldn’t learn in a day.

Chaers was holding my hand tightly and leading me but I was sure that stepping in would mess up their ranks so I pulled my hands away from him. But Chaers just clicked his tongue and brought me there.

Just watching the dancers run around was making me feel dizzy.

‘Harpel territory’s spring festival this year was ruined by the Duke’s maid. She was terribly uncoordinated.’

I felt like I was going to do something that would be added in the revised version of < The Snowy Desert >.

“Waaah!”

Chaers had already grabbed my hand and pulled me in line before I could even say no. I placed my hands firmly on his and went around safely but I twisted my legs and fell down on the next turn when we were changing lanes. Chaers quickly pulled me up to escape the huge line that flowed around the bonfire.

“How can I take a kid around who falls down even when we’re just walking.”

He seemed to be embarrassed by the fact that I did not know how to dance but he did not look like he was angry. Rather than angry, I thought that it was a bit strange since his voice sounded a bit happy and pleasant.

“Stay here. I’ll get you some drinks. You can have just one glass of alcohol under my watch but―”

“―I’m going to go now.”

“Huh?”

“You’ve already received your punishment. So, I’ll go now.”

“Arie…”

However, Chaers did not hold me back. It was because he saw the tears that dripped from my cheeks.

❄❅❄

I went back to Duke Kyron’s office. I wanted to go back to my room right away but there was no helping it. He told me to report to him once I got back. I roughly wiped my tears as I knocked on the door. I did not even care about whatever I would see in his office.

In fact, I thought that I would just cry a bit more if I went straight to my room so I thought that it would be better if I just went back to Duke Kyron’s office.

I knew that I was a novice. It was really nothing for someone like me to fall like that while dancing. But strangely enough I felt sad about that fact.

I greeted the Duke like I did when he allowed me to go out for just an hour.

“Duke, I’m back.”

Duke Kyron looked a bit surprised but he did not answer me. He just continued to sip his drink as he watched the square from his window.

I tried to speak as casually as possible.

“Should I tell them to bring in some snacks?”

Duke Kyron glanced at me briefly before shaking his head for a bit.

“It’s fine.”

Then, Duke Kyron turned his back again and stared outside of the window.

“Why aren’t you playing anymore? Did Chaers make you angry again?”

Look at this Duke Kyron! He knew that I hated it!

But I couldn’t get on his nerves. After all, he was the one who took my clothes and gave them back to me. I was the only one who was being sensitive about things.

“No. I’m sure Sir Chaers is the one who’s angrier?”

“How come?”

“I fell down… I thought I was good but baam! I fell down. Sir Chaers is popular in the castle so I think he’s mad because I humiliated him.”

Duke Kyron did not answer me.

Why is he asking me if he’s not going to answer back?

I blamed him deep inside as I went to my seat. I placed my chin on the window sill and looked at the bonfire in the square. From this distance, it looked like a giant christmas tree made of flames.

I finally acknowledged my depression as I looked at it from afar.

‘I guess I’m getting sentimental since it’s spring.’

I laid down my cheeks like that and tried to ask Duke Kyron ‘Duke, aren’t you going out?’ but I stopped in my tracks when I remembered the contents of the original work.

He thought that dancing was useless. When he was relying on the Southern Marquess, he looked like he was being dragged to his death sentence as he reluctantly attended a party. He would just stand near the wall before coming back. Even the heroine blamed and hated him for not asking her to a dance.

“Ah… I guess it’s already burnt.”

I watched as the huge bonfire christmas tree collapsed. It’s gigantic height was immediately halved. I couldn’t help but exclaim in regret.

I heard a light clink as the Duke placed down his glass.

“Come here.”

You said you didn’t need anything.

I grumbled to myself as I walked towards the Duke. He jutted his chin and pointed towards the square.

“Oh my…”

I couldn’t help but let out a gasp. Through the windows of the office, I could see one of the towers emitting flames. Then, I spoke with a frown.

“Aren’t they supposed to do it after the festival?”

“I decided to enjoy the festival in my own way this year.”

“Duke…!”

‘Our male lead must be crazy.’

But I still smiled despite that thought passing through my head. This man looked at the burning castle tower in enjoyment. But his face looked more beautiful and fascinating under the light of the flames. And this was a secret that I wouldn’t say for a long time. However, I’m just a stranger here. I didn’t have the right to say what was normal or what was crazy.

A fierce fire rose from within that castle tower. But that tower was not something that could be seen from the streets of the village and the square where most of the people were at now.

We stood side by side in front of the window as we watched the tower burn down with the fierce flames. After a while, Duke Kyron stepped back and reached his hand out to me.

“Duke?”

Seeing the command in his eyes, I placed my hands on his. It was as if I was possessed as I followed him to the center of the office.

He raised both our hands in the air. It seemed like we were going to dance the festival dance. I could see a crooked smile on his face as his mouth opened. It seemed like his mouth was saying ‘Yeah, I must be crazy.’.

He ignored the dance from the square as he moved to a pace that I could follow. However, the thumping of my heart was louder than the sound of my steps. I felt like I was finally experiencing the spring festival.

I laughed loudly as we circled around the office.

We enjoyed our own festival as we watched the burning castle tower.

❄❅❄

The next day, Harpel Castle was turned upside down.

The people only found out that one of the castle towers had been burnt down and destroyed after the bonfire in the square was almost gone and the dancing people were going back to their homes. While most of the adults were still dizzily swimming under the influence of alcohol, the tower was burnt down.

People were also banned from entering the tower due to the risk of a collapse. In fact, it was just a measure to prevent the people from finding out that it was an intentional arson.

Anyway, the people felt hideous and alarmed because of the fire. So, the atmosphere was a bit gloomy despite the still ongoing spring festival.

However, Duke Kyron, who suffered from a disaster in his own home, just continued to work without saying much. Although I wore an orange dress from the clothes that Belia made for me, I still couldn’t feel the joy of wearing something new because of this. He just spoke lightly as he sealed his letter in an envelope.

“I’m forced to refuse His Majesty, the Emperor’s invitation due to the circumstances of our territory.”

I nodded as I answered him.

“There was a fire in the castle so the Duke can’t leave.”

This was our secret plan. A plan to refuse the Emperor’s invitation to a hunting contest.

―It’s Chaers.

I was like a rabbit rushing towards its burrow as I speed ran to my seat to avoid Chaers. Duke Kyron just stamped and sealed the envelope with wax before handing the letter over to Chaers.

“We’re refusing the Emperor’s invitation. I will not do any outdoor activities for the time being.”

Chaers accepted the letter grumpily as he whispered grimly. Something that he rarely did.

“Wasn’t it supposed to be the day when the festival ended?”

Chaers whispered about the subject since he was conscious of my presence but I could understand everything. I knew that he was complaining to the Duke about the change of date with the plan to set the castle tower on fire.

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I was surprised that Chaers even mentioned this so I just quietly listened.

“I was upset to see everyone playing around except for me. Is this more than enough for an explanation?”

“Ha…”

❄❄❄❄❄


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