Chapter 2Chapter 2
Translated by Hikaru
Edited by Mel
Isabelle couldn’t take her eyes off Riggs until he was only a dot on the horizon. She sighed at the thought of his face, which had hardened once the marriage proposal was mentioned.
I’ve never seen him think so hard.
Riggs’ most serious moment that Isabelle’s ever seen was when he was 10 years old, and he was playing hair salon. Using sharp scissors, he accidentally cut his brown hair into a lump while imitating a hairdresser. Riggs, who lost half of his hair in an instant, thought for a long time whether to shave it or pretend he did it on purpose to look cooler. He was not as stiff as he was today when he decided to live a year with a bald head.
Was it an unreasonable request to get married tomorrow?
There were countless moments when she asked him to do something, but she has never been as desperate as she is right now. Isabelle, who had barely endured her tears, struggled to dust off her clothes and returned to the temple building. There’s a saying that you shouldn’t think negatively about a situation.
Just when she wanted to check on her clothes, an old mirror came into her eyes. Isabelle stood before it.
Look at your face.
Perhaps it was a matter of course. She’s going to be sold to, the full of bad rumors, Duke Cardiago.
The Duke Cardiago.
The only child that has waited patiently for so long. The head of the Cardiago family that is firmly established as one of the three great families in the Empire thanks to his strength in handling the power of the Death Specter. When he was only seven years old, he inherited the underground power from his family. It was said to be the youngest in family history.
Due to the characteristics of Cardiago, which seeks extreme closure, anecdotes about the head were not well known. Instead what was known was just groundless rumors and speculations.
Only two things were certain: 1) The Duke of Cardiago will be elected as the next emperor and 2) he’s very sensitive to scandals involving women.
Of course he’s sensitive about having problems with his lower body… but nothing has happened yet, so let’s not get scared.
Isabelle consciously erased her timid expression and smiled. Like a pond on a clear day, she has a fresh face that matches her blue eyes and long silver hair that falls smoothly. It was said silver hair and blue eyes can only be found in those who are loved by Goddess Isis. It’s not rare, but it’s not common. Thanks to this, Isabelle was favored by the saints and believers.
With this, you won’t be embarrassed when you introduce me as a wife. Riggs feels comfortable with me too, so he’ll think about it when considering the offer.
Isabelle knew that some boys her age, who visit the temple’s small cathedral every weekend, were watching her. They hid themselves in Goddess Isis worship place to not be caught carrying an impure heart. When they happened to make eye contact, she would avoid further eye contact and stop walking. It was at puberty when she learned what their consistent symptoms meant. However, Riggs never showed such a reaction.
Isabelle, who had been lost in thought, suddenly felt uneasy. Even after searching through all her memories, Riggs has never avoided her eyes with his face as red as an apple. From the age of six, when she first met him, to the age of twenty. Her anxiety gradually increased and her steps toward the room slowed down. Isabelle was dumbfounded, blinking with shock, and pondering her past with Riggs.
Isabelle remembered exactly the first time she met Riggs – not just because it was the day after she turned six.
“St. Maria, today is the day of the festival, right?”
She remembered holding onto St. Maria’s skirt, jumping and begging her to go to the festival. Once every 7 years when the solar eclipse returns, was the day when she met Riggs.
The Duchy of Cardiago, where the temple is located, was a place where people believed in underground forces such as darkness, shadows, and death. Therefore, a big festival was held every seven years to celebrate the eclipse. In addition, the food was going to be even more luxurious this year – it was the day when the owner of the Duchy of Cardiago, who was living in the Imperial Palace, returned to the duchy.
“St. Maria, what? I won’t bother you to buy snacks. Can’t I just go and see the fireworks?”
When St. Maria gave a stern voice, Isabelle became sullen. It was obvious what she was going to say.
“Isabelle, it’s true that there’s a luxurious festival in town, but we’re not going to see it. There’s danger everywhere on a blessing day like today.”
“Shouldn’t we convey the meaning of Isis in such a crowded place? They’re giving us eggs.”
“I’m flattered, but most people in Cardiago would not want the women of the Pilsburg Temple to disturb the festival. You’d better go to bed early today.”
“Oh, my! Holy lady, gently!”
All she seems to do is prepare for prayer and pray, but St. Maria was strong. Isabelle was dragged all the way to the bedroom with a sour face.
She washed herself, prayed, laid down on the bed, but she couldn’t sleep. Isabelle blinked her eyes and it became clearer and clearer.
The reason why Isabelle, who had never actually seen fireworks, desperately wanted to was because of the way the saints described them. They said it looked like shooting stars that started in one place then spread everywhere.
You said that a wish made on a shooting star will come true.
Isabelle quickly closed her eyes and made a wish when she saw the shooting star. She couldn’t even think of delicious food and fancy dresses that ladies would wear.
Goddess Isis. Don’t let me be alone.
Village children around her age will make a wish while watching fireworks holding their parents’ hands. But all Isabelle wanted was to be with someone.
I wish I had a family to join hands with and go to the festival. The saints hold hands, but they don’t go to the festival together…..
At that time she felt a sense of frustration, but then, there was a rustling sound coming from somewhere. It was strange to think it belonged to animals hanging around at night.
Isabelle, who crept out of the window, squinted. She saw a small child curled up in the grass.
At this hour?
It was midnight when the saints, who do not sleep much, slept deeply. If a child came to the temple far from the village alone and came at midnight, there is only one reason.
Are your parents in critical condition?
Isabelle headed for the forest without thinking deeply. She was going to let the shivering child come inside and give him a cup of warm tea. Then wake up the saints and ask for herbs, so the child would not have to worry about their parents. She strode in the grass.
She thought he looked like an injured baby animal from the way he looked at her, and with his arms twitching. There were dirty stains on his face and clothes. It was dark, but the red eyes were full of fear.
“Are you okay? Are you hurt?”
“I’m not a bad person. We’re living together in the temple over there. Why did you come all the way here at this time?”
The child trembled and said nothing. He came to get medicine for his parents in critical condition, he was too vigilant to say anything.
Isabelle recalled the story of a baby deer she heard from St. Cecilia a while ago, rather than thinking about calming down a scared child.
She said that the baby deer she rescued from the noose grew up and told her the location of precious mushrooms.
St. Cecilia sold the mushrooms without St. Maria’s knowledge, giving Isabelle a lot of sweet treats. As she remembered eating the pie, Isabelle’s eyes on the child in front of her changed. Looking closely, he looked like a baby deer as he curled up his thin, weak body, and looked to be fully on guard.
Isabelle spoke to the boy, feeling like she had found a wild animal.
“I’m Isabelle. Who are you?”
“I’m Isabelle, I’m six years old. How about you?”
“You’re the least talkative girl I’ve ever met. But silence is also a virtue for a lady…”
Isabelle couldn’t finish her speech. The baby deer shouted back, who initially seemed to be wary of her with its mouth closed forever.
“I’m not a girl!”
“Huh? Are you a boy? You look so pretty.”
“What makes you think I’m a girl? I am…”
The baby deer regained its coolness and shut up. Isabelle felt a strange desire to pierce his mouth.
“You look like a girl no matter how much I look at you. What’s your name? Elizabeth?”
Isabelle deliberately added names mainly used by girls such as Ibelina, Amelia, and Seirin so the sickened baby deer soon confessed his name.
“It’s Riggs, Riggs! Why are you so stupid when you’re six?”
“Why are you so feisty? I ran out on this cold night to help you!”
Isabelle regretted it after she shouted, the baby deer, who’s going to get her something precious, started to be on guard again. Being feisty and sensitive reminded her of a real injured baby animal. It was dark, but she could see there were some pretty deep cuts on his legs that were revealed under his shorts.
I need to take him to the temple to treat his injuries. For the sake of my precious mushrooms.
Isabelle took a deep breath, she decided to relax her baby deer once again. To do so, it was important to find out what each other had in common.
“Riggs, where do you live?”
“You’re a little shorter than me. How old are you?”
“What are you doing here at this late hour?”
No matter how much she smiled and talked to him, Riggs did not reply. It’s embarrassing to talk alone but with persistence, Isabelle tried to loosen the baby deer’s guard.
“What do your parents do? Don’t they say anything when you walk around alone at night?”
“…My parents died in an accident so they don’t talk to me.”
Although it was just a drawn tone, his shut tight mouth finally opened. Without thinking about what Riggs’ answer was, Isabelle finally appealed to the commonalities she had discovered.
“Really? I don’t have parents either! They abandoned me as a baby.”
“Now that we have something in common, we’re friends.”
Riggs was dumbfounded.
Read only at Travis Translations
Read only at Travis Translations