Can't Come Back - Chapter 2
“Welcome, sister-in-law. Is it just the two of us in the dining room today?”
The next day, towards the end of the afternoon, Berlia went to the dining room for an early dinner. Dean’s brother Cain arrived first and sat in the dining room. He greeted Berlia.
“It is. My husband said he had an appointment to eat outside today.”
Berlia took a seat across from Cain. Soon after, the chef started serving meals for two. Berlia, who was looking at the food that the servants were serving one by one, glanced at Cain for a moment. He looked at the food being served with an expressionless face.
And the moment she turned her gaze to Cain once more, their eyes met. Without realizing it, Berlia blushed and avoided his gaze.
“What’s wrong, sister-in-law?”
Cain, who saw Berlia avoiding his gaze in surprise, asked in a calm voice.
“Oh no, nothing. The food is all here. Let’s eat.”
“……have a good meal.”
Berlia quickly concealed her expression and offered Cain a meal. All the food was served, and they started eating.
‘You’re always cold…….’
Looking at Cain’s face sitting across her, she thought so.
The Duchess of Berlia Hildayden had a crush on Cain Hildayden, her husband’s younger brother, for over three years. It’s already been three years and six months.
However, it has been only three years since Berlia and Dean married.
Yes, Berlia had Cain in her heart before she married her husband, even before she got the proposal from Dean.
She recalled the first day she met Cain.
That day, Berlia made her social debut.
At seventeen, she was young and innocent.
She couldn’t sleep the previous day because she was excited about her social debut. Berlia took her first steps to the banquet hall with admiration and a dream of a society of splendid nobles.
‘Everyone is shining……so bright.’
But the moment she stepped on, she couldn’t raise her head because she was so shabby.
It was because the dress she was wearing looked too old. None of the ladies came in an old dress like her. It seemed that Berlia was the only one wearing her mother’s dress.
She thought she was pretty well dressed. The night before, she wore her mother’s dress and looked in the mirror, immersed in the illusion that maybe she was getting a proposal right away from a nobleman.
But the reality was different. There was no shabby girl other than Berlia in the banquet hall. Her shining golden hair only had a small hairpin made of sapphire that her father gave her mother.
But what about the other noble ladies? From colorful dresses with jewel powder to dresses with expensive and bulky jewels. Unlike Berlia, who could not even wear a common necklace, they decorated themselves with splendor from head to toe, such as earrings, necklaces, and tiaras.
She bowed her head, unable to lift her face in embarrassment. She was looking at the ballroom floor, but she had her ears open. She could hear laughter. It seemed that the people in the banquet hall were gossiping about her.
‘I don’t think this is the right place for me……’
Berlia ran out to the veranda because she could no longer put her feet on the banquet hall. Finally, she came out into a place where no one could see her and sighed, thinking that she should go back home just like that. It was when she thought that she had a futile dream,
“Was there a guest who came first?”
A man’s voice came from behind her back. Berlia reflexively turned her head to look at the person who was talking to her.
Short dark green hair, big stature, broad shoulders, slightly sharp eyes, and black pupils darker than his hair. Whoever looked at him, he was a man of great looks. Berlia looked blankly, then realized her situation and hurriedly bowed her head.
She didn’t want to show her shabby appearance to such a wonderful man. How shabby was she in his eyes? At that thought, her face turned red.
“Young Lady, would you please raise your head?”
The man approached her. Berlia, who was looking down, could see his feet. He was standing right in front of her. It was something she had never thought of.
“Raise your head, Young Lady.”
He said it again. Berlia raised her head slightly.
“A little more. Raise your head a little more and look at me.”
There was some kind of power in his words. Following his words, she raised her head more and met his eyes. His dark green eyes were looking at her. It was difficult for Berlia to keep looking into his eyes, so she tried looking down again without realizing it.
At that time, the man’s hand stroked Berlia’s cheek.
“Don’t lower your head.”
Berlia opened her eyes wide and asked back, facing him. He smiled and said to her,
“It’s so nice to talk face to face like this. You’re beautiful, Young Lady.”
Berlia was startled and stuttered her words. The splendid banquet hall was filled with beautiful noble ladies that anyone could admire. Berlia, who was the most shabby among those young ladies, was told that she was beautiful by the man. She thought that the man in front of her might have had a fairly low eye.
Perhaps not knowing what Berlia was thinking, he pointed to the banquet hall and continued,
“Raise your head like this even inside the banquet hall. There is no need to lower your head. You can be confident enough. There is no need to be shy.”
“B-but, I am so shabby…… Compared to the young ladies in fancy dresses inside the banquet hall, I am……”
Berlia’s voice got smaller and smaller.
“You’re not shabby at all. In my eyes, you look more beautiful with that small sapphire pin than the noble ladies adorned with colorful jewels and fancy dresses in the banquet hall over there.”
Having said that, the man thought for a moment as he looked at Berlia.
“Still, it seems that your neck is a little empty,” he said.
“Ah, as expected……”
She did not have money to buy a necklace. The dress and necklace were the basics. No matter how much this man in front of her tried to cheer her up, the fact that she herself was lacking remained unchanged. It was then.
Berlia, who felt the cold metal on her neck, widened her eyes in amazement. She looked down and saw that a necklace with emeralds, the same color as her eyes, was hung around her neck.
“It’s a gift for you, Young Lady. It was a necklace that did not have an owner yet, but it seems to have found the perfect owner today.”
“Are you really giving this to me? I can’t accept……something precious like this.”
She couldn’t possibly accept such an expensive item from a man she saw for the first time. Besides, she couldn’t give it back later because she didn’t know who this person was or where he lived.
Thinking it was too much for her to have, Berlia took off the necklace and tried to return it to him.
“Don’t do that. I hope you will wear this necklace, Young Lady.”
The man carefully stopped Berlia from putting her hand on her neck and trying to loosen the necklace. And he continued,
“You are so beautiful today, Young Lady. So raise your head with confidence.”
Berlia was able to gain courage thanks to the man in front of her. Hearing what he said gave her a confidence she never really had. She smiled broadly at him.
“Thank you very much.”
“……don’t mention it.”
As Berlia smiled brightly at the man, her face seemed to turn a little red. Berlia wanted to ask his name. Thank you, I want to remember your name. If we meet again someday, it would be nice if I could repay you.
“Where have you been, the Duke is looking for you now.”
And when she was about to ask his name, someone found him.
“Oh right, I’m coming.”
The man left the veranda hurriedly following the person who came to him, without saying goodbye to Berlia.
Berlia looked at his back and clenched her fists tightly.
‘Yes, I can do it. Don’t be shy. If I do it poorly, it will only make me more shabby.’
Thanks to the man who gifted her the necklace, Berlia, who had courage, returned to the banquet hall. For some reason, wearing the necklace the man gave her, she even felt like she was not too different from those lavishly adorned ladies.
“Excuse me, Young Lady. May I ask your name?”
“Hello, Young Lady. I am the Count of Radian.”
“Excuse me, but I was the one talking to this beautiful lady first.”
As Berlia stood in the banquet hall with her head raised, her beautiful appearance began to catch the eye of others attending the banquet. Gradually, noblemen approached her and talked to her.
She was able to get the attention of several noblemen as she had dreamed of before her socialite debut. However, the man she met on the veranda had already come into her heart now. She kept thinking of him, and it was difficult to concentrate on the conversation with the other noblemen who approached her.
“Young Lady, if it is not rude, is it okay if I can talk with you for a while?”
“Ah, yes, of course.”
While Berlia was in trouble among the approaching noblemen, a noble lady with orange hair spoke to her. Berlia felt grateful to her and started a conversation with her. Then the other noblemen were naturally forced to withdraw from the place.
Berlia thanked her, “Thanks for your help. My name is Berlia from Baron Kinderton.”
“I am Cadellin from Viscount Delphis. Looks like you’re having a hard time. If you talk to me for a second, those men will also look for other women. When a new pretty woman appears, they always do that.”
Cadellin smiled and shook her head. She was a girl with a bright impression. Even though this was her first time seeing her, Berlia somehow liked Cadellin. So the two of them talked a little longer.
“Young Lady Cadellin, may I ask you something?”
“Sure. What is it?”
“Can you tell me who the dark green-haired man over there is?”
Berlia was curious about the identity of the man who gave her the necklace. She asked Cadellin, hoping that he might be from a Viscount family or maybe a knight. It was because she wanted to approach him if he was in a position she—a Baron’s daughter could approach.
“Green-haired……? Are you talking about His Highness Cain? He is the second son of the Duke of Hildayden. Doesn’t he always look great?”