Peach of June - Chapter 1
1. The Reason Why I Am F*cked Up
There are so many strange words in the world.
‘Twice in a woman’s life, there are times when many men come to her. The choice of a man at that time determines a woman’s life.’
These are the words of sister Bella.
“Are men that important in women’s life?”
When I asked, sister Bella smiled as if she knew she would get such a question.
“Of course they are. Women are just as important in men’s life.”
“If you say so, I have nothing to say.”
After hearing my response, my older sister smiled kindly again and spoke as if taunting me.
“Leah, I’m not talking about what women do and men do. Twice for others but once for us. You know that, right?”
My sister is talking about the time when men are coming. It is said that there are times when men are coming twice in a woman’s life.
But for the women in our house, that period is only once; three months from June to August, the summer of turning seventeen.
At that time, men who want to marry the women of our Riverrun family come to Riverrun Island and spend their summer vacation. In other words, it is a three-month marriage process during summer vacation.
Riverrun Island, at the northern tip of the Empire, is quiet and cool even in the hot summer. The lavender forest surrounding the castle is at its peak in summer. This is the best place to spend your summer vacation.
All the men of the aristocracy who are not yet married dream of going on vacation to Riverrun Island. There are also many who are aiming for the enormous dowry of the Riverrun. The Queen chooses three or four of them and gives them the right to go on vacation to Riverrun Island.
The men spend the longest vacation allowed by the Queen while walking through the lavender fields in the detached palace of the mansion where the cool breeze blows. Reading, writing, contemplating, attending tea parties and proms, and talking to our seven sisters known for their beauty.
They call this the ‘magic summer’.
When the last night of August is over and the cold wind begins to blow, the magical summer of dreams is over. Men propose to a 17-year-old girl from the Riverrun family. On the first day of September, Riverrun’s daughter chooses one of her suitors.
The wedding will take place in September. After September, a long winter will soon come to Riverrun Island. Riverrun’s daughters leave the island before the snow covers the entire island.
Sister Bella was lucky.
That year, the Queen had chosen five suitors – the more suitors, the better. All five fell in love with her and proposed to her with all their heart.
Among them, there was a man who captured the heart of Isabella Riverrun. When she got married, it turned out that he was a better person than she had expected.
“I wish I can be as lucky as you, sister.”
“You will, Leah. Any man will like you.”
“I am not as pretty as you, sister.”
Isabella Riverrun is the most beautiful woman in the kingdom with wavy blonde hair and green eyes. Sometimes even I’m mesmerized when I look at her eyes.
“You’re not trying to say that women are all about looks, are you?”
“Not just women, but also men. It’s all about looks. At first glance, you can only see looks anyway.”
“Then, will you choose the most handsome among the men proposing?”
“Isn’t it natural? But the problem is whether a handsome man proposes to me or not.”
“Leah, seeing you grunting all the time, you must be nervous. But don’t do that. You are pretty. Aren’t you one of the seven beautiful Riverrun sisters?”
“That’s the rumor. Isn’t Riverrun’s third daughter the prettiest?”
I answered my sister’s words with a pouty mouth. Bella never gets tired of me grumbling.
“Leah, anyone will fall for you.”
I repeated the grunts I used to say.
“I hate the color of my dull eyes. It would be nice if mine were green like yours.”
“I want to have gray eyes like you. Only you are special with pretty gray eyes. When you’re in the lavender forest like now, they strangely shine purple. Those are really pretty eyes.”
My sister, as always, does not get tired and accepts my grumbling. In fact, I may be repeating my grumbling because I want to be comforted by my older sister’s kind words. It sounds childish, but it can’t be helped. The only one who treats me so kindly is Isabella.
“You’re the only one who says that.”
“Anyone will fall for your eyes. It’s true, Leah.”
“What if no man falls in love with me? What if the man who loves me is ugly? The man I fell in love with may not like me.”
“There will be. At least one will like you.”
“Yeah, let’s say all the men have a crush on me. Let’s say there’s someone I like. But can that person be as good as your husband, Jamie Orle? It’s a very small chance.”
Sister Bella said with dreamy eyes as if she was thinking about Jamie Orle.
“I don’t want to leave my life to a small chance.”
“What can I do? We were born as daughters of Riverrun.”
Smiling, my sister kissed me on the forehead wishing me luck.
But my sister’s kiss didn’t work for me. That summer, there were only three suitors the Queen sent to our island:
Duke Julien Renal.
Count Phil Rosemond.
Antoine Güell, the second son of Count Güell.