As soon as I opened my eyes, the white sunlight shined into my eyes, making me frown.
While yawning, I made eye contact with Huey. I froze. He was looking at me, surprisingly up close to my face.
When Shada was unable to yawn properly and hiccuped, he smiled and kissed her round forehead.
Good morning. A voice that was sinking low tickled my still dubious ears.
“Did you sleep well?”
Did I sleep well? I did sleep well. I was so tired and sleepy yesterday, that after a hot bath my mind seemed to boil down. The place …. and that happened yesterday…….
Such a thing? Suddenly, his sweet, soft voice rang in my head.
‘I like Miss Shada.’
‘I like you.’
He looked at Shada stupefied, staring at him in a daze; her eyes were hazy as the blood drained out of her face.
Huey laughed. Without intending to, his eyes curled with mirth. Unknowingly, my eyes narrowly folded and then came back casually.
“What is so shocking—especially between us? Is it that bizarre to see my face in the morning?”
“No! No, it’s not th…….”
What to do? What can I do?! What’s going on? How the hell did this happen?
Yesterday, the reality that had fled came up to the surface of her consciousness as soon as morning broke.
Shada was in a state of chaos.
That great Count likes me? That person? What the hell is going on? No, why would he do that? Why? Why would he want me……. No, —rather, what am I supposed to do now?
Excitement and palpitations were brief and replaced with fear and anxiety that pressed down on my chest like a rock.
The most enormous rock being that bitch’s face, the vicious Princess Julia.
Next was my old maid’s clothes, my ugly thick hands with worn, stubby nails rough due to frequent mopping and chores, and the envious gazes that followed the noble Count Kirchner, who no one did not know of, as he walked down the corridor of the royal palace.
Shada spontaneously grabbed the pleasing scented quilt. She was utterly embroiled in her confusion, not knowing that he was paying attention to her ever-changing expressions transforming from moment to moment.
That person can’t really like me. It was self-defensive denial. Even if he says he’s sincere—Even so, nothing changes.
She tried hard to focus on that one fact.
It was a luxury for Shada to hope that her partner would give her strength, to doubt or test the other person’s heart, not wanting to be hurt.
It was foolish to run to the cliff even though the end is obviously decided. Regardless of this man’s will, the circumstances and status surrounding her and him were already clearly determined.
After all, he is a noble Count while she is a maid. And Shada was used to accepting those realities. In this way, she was less hurt.
So Shada didn’t ask about yesterday’s confession—she locked away the part of her heart that wanted to ask for reassurance to deepen her feelings.
Instead, she chalked it up to trivial infatuation for a maid.
I don’t even want an answer. In fact, please don’t say anything.
Shada thought to herself that if he said anything, it would make her sad.
If you don’t have expectations, you won’t get hurt.
All the wounds in the world were just different forms of disappointment—when expectations were betrayed.
The expectations she promised herself to throw away were her illusions, dreams, and unrealistic love affair.
I have to cut it off, she stood up and thought.
Oh, but I have to last for a month. No, how would that man react if she refuses? Will he get angry? He won’t do that. Even if he is an aristocrat, he is not that kind of person.
Or will he throw her out because his pride would be hurt and wouldn’t want to look at her?
When she remembered Huey’s face coldly turning away from her, saying that he had been insulted, her chest started to throb as if she had been stabbed.
Ah. Shada was torn and flustered. It would be so difficult to refuse and avoid him. She wanted to cry.
What are you doing? Don’t you want to be ignored and have him turn away from you??—You’re scared!
Huey frowned, and Shada blinked in surprise.
His hand grabbed Shada’s hand, who had been biting her nails.
It seemed to be bleeding, already started to get swollen, her skin opening up a little more where it met the nail.
As his green eyes sank and stared at her silently, Shada wanted to hide in a mouse hole.
At this moment, she was mortified that he saw her biting her nails like a child instead of facing her anxieties with the stoicism of a strong, immovable mountain.
Wielded by her sheer emotions, she tried to soothe her tumultuous stomach.
“You have that look again.”
He smirked shortly at her pink eyes that were blinking quickly.
“You look like you’re about to cry. I told you yesterday that it was dangerous to cry in front of me. Are you seducing me?”
Shada thought about it for a moment before his words registered. She shouted her protest quickly.
Huey laughed with a sensitive and bold look. He probably joked around with her to ease her mood. It was a little mischievous.
But one of the heavy corners of her mouth became warm as if being touched by sunlight.
His cherishing affection was a sweet poison to Shada.
“That’s why I didn’t say it.”
He said, looking into her puzzled eyes.